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Thread: Ref 3A speakers with BP SE300b

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Shrewsbury

    Posts: 42
    I'm Michael.

    Default Ref 3A speakers with BP SE300b

    I was wondering if anyone here has experienced the combination of BP SE300b with Ref 3a products. I've read that the De Capo is borderline in sensitivity with some 300b SE amps. Maybe the BP choke input psu would make a difference. I like what I have read about Ref 3a - in particular their capabilities rendering acoustic/jazz/vocal.

    My listening would rarely be at high volume.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Nr Ashbourne, East Midlands, UK

    Posts: 70
    I'm Mike.

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    Personally I haven't found the choke input approach to really affect what the amps can drive...More that it affects what you get once you have everything else sorted.

    A couple of points

    I have found that the matching of gain in the system makes a lot of difference, in particular the input sensitivity of the power amp and gain in the pre amp.

    Not sure which version of the power amp you are looking at but they are/were available in both a high and low gain version and this will significantly affect the above...
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Belfast/Northern Ireland/UK

    Posts: 17,182
    I'm Neil.

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    Ref 3A are nice with valves, but for best control you need more power.
    Regards Neil

    System 1 (Living Room) : AMG Giro turntable, AMG 9W2 tonearm, Air Tight PC3 cartridge, Passlabs Xono phonostage, AMG Reference armcable. Marantz CD7 CD player, Sony HAP Z1es Digital File Player + Audioquest Jitter Bug, Veracity Audio Mystra DAC + HP laptop + iFi Audio i power, Wireworld Starlight USB + Audioquest Jitter Bug, for computer audio, Audio Valve RKV2 headphone amp, headphones Grado GS 1000, Nakamichi CR5e tape deck, Balanced Audio Technology VK300se integrated amplifier, Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1 speakers. Cabling: Signal - Atlas Mavros, Audience AU24, Speaker - Atlas Mavros. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, Analysis Plus, TCI. Mark Grant distribution blocks, Equipment tables Target Audio B series.

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  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 1,410
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalek Supreme D L View Post
    Ref 3A are nice with valves, but for best control you need more power.
    I would agree that low output 300b designs may be pushing it a bit, especially with a low gain pre-amp. However, I have driven my Reference 3a de Capo speakers very well with an Art Audio Quintet in triode mode (15w per channel). No need to switch to pentode mode.

    Geoff

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Shrewsbury

    Posts: 42
    I'm Michael.

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    Mike,

    How does the power amp input sensitivity affect current delivery to the load? If the pre is delivering sufficient voltage to suit the gain of the power amp driver stage, surely maximum output can be achieved into the speakers. My pre is an Aikido design with plenty of drive.

    My amp is currently wired for high gain and I intend to change it for low sensitivity though not to increase amplifier/speaker capability - instead to further improve the already very good sq.

    I know that ideally I need loudspeakers of >94dB sensitivity according to BP but I have read several accounts of 300b 8W amps and even 2A3 amps powering the Ref 3A De Capo successfully. It's probably a lot to do with room size, listening levels and music choice. Maybe if I go down the Ref 3A path I will need to reinforce the bass with a sub but I do accept that ultimately the amp/speaker combination may not work well enough for me.

    My current speakers, some 3dB less sensitive do lack bass with my BP amp They go loud enough for me without significant distortion however.
    I will build a Nelson Pass amp at some point which should give me some of the qualities I like in my BP but more oomph.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Adams View Post
    Personally I haven't found the choke input approach to really affect what the amps can drive...More that it affects what you get once you have everything else sorted.

    A couple of points

    I have found that the matching of gain in the system makes a lot of difference, in particular the input sensitivity of the power amp and gain in the pre amp.

    Not sure which version of the power amp you are looking at but they are/were available in both a high and low gain version and this will significantly affect the above...
    Last edited by Avinunca1; 31-05-2018 at 09:34.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Nr Ashbourne, East Midlands, UK

    Posts: 70
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    IMO it’s part of the question; ie, is the Aikido providing sufficient voltage to get full output out of the power amp? I’m unfamiliar with the Aikido design or how much gain it provides…

    Personally I would have thought that you wanted the higher gain version?

    The point I was trying to make is that I’m not convinced that looking at watts and db alone is necessarily a great indicator of a good match between amp and speakers as there are so many other factors and Ive found that as well as needing an amplifier that can deal with the requirements of a speaker you also need to match the gain within the system to get good results.

    Whether you will be happy with it is going to depend…you can get away with all sorts but eventually it may be musically unsatisfying or restrictive. Regardless of anyone else’s opinion this is going to come down to you at the end of the day and I guess the only way to know is to try…
    Lenco B51/upgraded bearing/slate plinth
    DIY Schroder/Axia/HM7
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    BP P20 (SJS upgraded)
    Trenner and Friedl RA

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 812
    I'm Edward.

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    I have Ref 3A De Capos but no SE amp. However for what it is worth I've run the Ref 3As with a Radford STA25, a Sugden Masterclass and a prototype KT88/EL34 PP amp. The Ref 3As sing beautifully with great imaging and scale - even at low vol.
    Source: Tidal/Roon
    DAC: Metrum HEX NOS

    Amp: Sugden Masterclass 2018 spec, Radford Revival STA25,
    Speakers:, Tannoy Eaton


  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Shrewsbury

    Posts: 42
    I'm Michael.

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    I've bought the De Capos and they are as Craig says A Mazing!
    Running them with my Leak Stereo 20. Need to sort a problem out on the BP before I can try it. In Stereophile the reviewer was using an AN Kit one. The review , like all the others I've read was glowing with praise for the speakers. Just need to sort proper stands out.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: belgrade serbia

    Posts: 635
    I'm gordan.

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    My fav small boxes, amazing with Pass Labs Aleph 30. Probably even better with toobs.
    Gordan.
    Speakers: Oris Swing MkII
    Amps: Thomas Mayer 300b/ Hiraga La Maison de L'Audiophile 20
    Preamp: Silver AVC by eng. Ferenc Lazar
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    Step Up Transformers: Tango MCT 999/ Ortofon T-5000/ Lumiere SUT
    Digital: Shigaclone by eng. Ferenc Lazar with Lampizator Amber II
    Wires: of sufficient length

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Shrewsbury

    Posts: 42
    I'm Michael.

    Default

    I will probably build a Pass M2 having heard favourable reports for the pairing.

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