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Thread: Ker pow!!!

  1. #161
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

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    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    All this of course ably shows that there's no such thing as the 'perfect amplifier', so as with anything else in audio, all you can do is choose your compromises!

    On the subject of valves, however, I will say (as experience has shown it) that hybrid and/or OTL designs, certainly those I've heard, no matter how much they excel in certain areas, don't sound like the best valve amps should, which is why, as much as I acknowledge what they're capable of doing well, I haven't gone down that road.

    It's an old saying in audio, but quite simply, there's no 'free lunch', when attempting to build an amplifier that on paper is seemingly devoid of any of the vices of either valve or solid-state technology, or is touted as being the 'best of both worlds', as in reality that just doesn't exist.

    Marco.
    What kind of valve amp would sound "as it should"?

    Freely available and not the price of a used car please lol
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken & Tesla Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  2. #162
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 80,373
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    What kind of valve amp would sound "as it should"?

    Freely available and not the price of a used car please lol
    Lol, as ever the best things in hi-fi are never quite so straightforward!

    "Freely available", however, you've got no chance. The best valve amps I've heard have always been 'no compromise' (within a given budget) bespoke designs, built by experienced specialists [unhindered by commercial demands], who fundamentally understand the technology (its limitations as well as its strengths) and how to get the best out of it.

    That usually results in the production of a valve amp which sounds "as it should", i.e. where its strengths outweigh its limitations, and where it's not trying to be something it isn't (nor ever will be)!

    Incidentally, the same also applies to solid-state designs, particularly those that try to sound 'valvey'.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  3. #163
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,932
    I'm James.

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    Did you not have a little bake off sometime back with Firebottle and his amps Marco. I thought the outcome was very close between your all valve power amp and Alan's hybrid power amp which is a similar design to the Croft 7. I have heard and evaluated the Firebottle against the Croft 7 and there is very little difference between the two which would suggest it would perform equally well against your TD power amp?

  4. #164
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,244
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Lol, as ever the best things in hi-fi are never quite so straightforward!

    "Freely available", however, you've got no chance. The best valve amps I've heard have always been 'no compromise' (within a given budget) bespoke designs, built by experienced specialists [unhindered by commercial demands], who fundamentally understand the technology (its limitations as well as its strengths) and how to get the best out of it.

    That usually results in the production of a valve amp which sounds "as it should", i.e. where its strengths outweigh its limitations, and where it's not trying to be something it isn't (nor ever will be)!

    Incidentally, the same also applies to solid-state designs, particularly those that try to sound 'valvey'.

    Marco.
    That was my suspicion.

    Maybe one day I'll commission a very special build but i fear it'd take MONEY to better what I already own.

    I'd love a listen to Mikeyb's primaluna. I suspect that's rather good. And very much in the camp of proper design.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken & Tesla Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  5. #165
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 80,373
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Jim,

    I enjoyed the Firebottle amp I heard at the time, but despite its strengths (which I fully acknowledged), I could still hear the inherent solid-state nature/characteristics of the design, albeit it being a very good example of the hybrid species.

    The fact that I didn't rush out and buy one afterwards (or consider replacing my Copper amp with it), however, should tell you all you need to know.

    However, that doesn't detract from what Alan's achieved with his (very well-executed) hybrid amp design, which for the money I think is amazing, simply that it reflects my own personal preferences.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  6. #166
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 80,373
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    That was my suspicion.

    Maybe one day I'll commission a very special build but i fear it'd take MONEY to better what I already own.
    Trust me, Oliver, having been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, that is the *only* way of doing the job right, short of spending tens of thousands of pounds on something from the 'exotic high-end' of the market, built for the right reasons, and not just to look pretty.

    In terms of money needed, think around the region of 5k, to do it right, but much will depend on what you're looking for (SET or push-pull), which valves are used and how much power you want.

    The Primaluna is good, but not in the same ball park as the best examples of the above. I'd class it as one of the better commercially available valve amps, which offers high SPPV, and definitely well worth checking out.

    Quite simply, pound for pound, NO affordable commercial valve amp can be in that ballpark, because there will always be significant overheads for the company in question to consider, and often various middle men to pay, so unlike with a specialist 'one-man band' type of business, the budget simply isn't there with a commercial product to spend the bulk of the money where it matters most!

    And that's why most of them, despite in some cases looking 'prettier', are sonically inferior.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  7. #167
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

    Posts: 7,810
    I'm Josie.

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    As Marco said, you need a nice fund to get it right.

    Other than buyng brand new, look in to 2nd hand amps which are built well, well designed and which are easy to mod. For example a puresound A30 can be made it to a stonking power amp.

    All you need to do is ask on here and someone should be able to point you in the right direction in buying an amp which could only cost you around 800 and with someone who knows what they are doing can mod it to a much higher level for a modest cost.



    Sometimes you can get an amp which blows much more expensive new amps in to the dust once it's been sorted by someone who really knows his onions.

  8. #168
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,244
    I'm Oliver.

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    Well, a 5k amplifier is some distance away but I don't doubt what you're saying at all!

    We need to get this amp of yours to a bakeoff.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken & Tesla Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  9. #169
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,244
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Adder View Post
    As Marco said, you need a nice fund to get it right.

    Other than buyng brand new, look in to 2nd hand amps which are built well, well designed and which are easy to mod. For example a puresound A30 can be made it to a stonking power amp.

    All you need to do is ask on here and someone should be able to point you in the right direction in buying an amp which could only cost you around 800 and with someone who knows what they are doing can mod it to a much higher level for a modest cost.



    Sometimes you can get an amp which blows much more expensive new amps in to the dust once it's been sorted by someone who really knows his onions.
    Yes Josie, luckily, I'm not in any need to make any change to my monoblocks. The question was asked due to the suspicion that we were talking in the "custom" area of the market.

    If money was no object, I might have a look.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken & Tesla Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  10. #170
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

    Posts: 7,810
    I'm Josie.

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    Cool

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