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Thread: Valve amps, great with Jazz, shit with everything else.

  1. #71
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,516
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I think you're oversimplifying something that is quite complex i.e amplifier-speaker- room combination. The KEF Reference 2 isn't inherently 'lifeless' but like any speaker it can be got to sound that way due to the other factors involved. Specifically with the KEF they are a very awkward load, the only time I have heard that particular speaker they were being driven by some POS boutique valve amp that wasn't up to the job and the sound was shrill and hard. But you could still tell that they were inherently a 'good' speaker.

    if we take as the starting point a speaker that measures well then there is at least something to work with. It might sound poor or lifeless or whatever to begin with but since we know that is not an inherent issue with the speaker itself we can then move on to addressing the problem with a logical approach. Whereas with a heavily coloured speaker like the Audionotes we're starting on the back foot and will probably never be able to correct their issues so they sound good with all genres.

    The 'measures well but sounds poor' is a good soundbite, problem is that despite what people claim there are not really any speakers (or amplifiers) that fall into that category. You might find a poorly measuring speaker or amp enhances some types of (simple) music like acoustic jazz over its well-measuring competitor, but then, as you've also found, that enhancement with simple music then becomes a drawback to enjoying something more difficult to reproduce - like 1960s rock music.
    Well, I might find a speaker that does all that one day, its all a bit trial and error for me, but then every time I read 'what hi fi have you owned' threads, I can see I'm in no way alone! For now I'm loving these with jazz, not perfect, but there are a few things to check and sort out in my system, like my cdp for a start. Incidentally my impressions of the Kefs were bang on according to a dealer on here, remember posting about them at the time.
    Current system. NAS Interspace/Garrard 401/Jelco 750 or Roksan Nima /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amp - Audio Innovations S500. Harmon Kardon HK6500. Audio Note J's/Chario syntar towers. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  2. #72
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Banbury, Oxfordshire/Panteg is where my late father was born

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    I'm Chris.

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    I think it's more to do with valve amplifier design, a lot of single ended amps sound good with simple music, anything really dense and complex, not so good.

    As for sounding good with jazz? Nice... Really Nice. Great!
    Chris

    We've gone on holiday by mistake !

  3. #73
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: Lincs

    Posts: 880
    I'm Philip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    Mike did you ever try the Kef 104/2? The "conjugate load" crossover means they are a reasonable load for a 40wpc EL34 amp and they are not laid back like the Model 2s you had.

    I used them with my opera valve amp and they rocked with Deep purple and the like as well as jazz. I'd try that first before getting a SS amp. Hopefully you could still keep them if you still didn't like the valve sound, they work well with Class A SS too.

    Just watch out for the foam rot in the woofers. If you can't find one already sorted, the single wire version is much easier to fix as just the doughnuts are foam, the surrounds are rubber in those, but they are both foam in the biwire version.

    Sent from my HRY-LX1 using Tapatalk
    I'd agree with kef 104/2.

    They were lovely on the end of an audio innovations 700 integrared.

    My favorite pairing to date.
    Same wpc as the 500.

    The donuts are a doddle to replace.
    A cheap socket set from argos, screwdriver, and some crimp connectors if you can't solder.
    The donuts are easy to glue, unlike surrounds where alignment can be tricky.

    They can be had very chaaply.

  4. #74
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 5,847
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris@panteg View Post
    I think it's more to do with valve amplifier design, a lot of single ended amps sound good with simple music, anything really dense and complex, not so good.

    As for sounding good with jazz? Nice... Really Nice. Great!
    I have to disagree having owned two S500s and driven Snell Js, KEF 3.2ís and Dali Ikon 6ís all worked well across all genres, Snells slightly down in Bass and more pure/clinical, if the S500 is working as it should, and itís just been serviced, the it will be the speakers, the AN Js that is.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Wilson Benesch Vector speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone

  5. #75
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,516
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    I have to disagree having owned two S500s and driven Snell Js, KEF 3.2’s and Dali Ikon 6’s all worked well across all genres, Snells slightly down in Bass and more pure/clinical, if the S500 is working as it should, and it’s just been serviced, the it will be the speakers, the AN Js that is.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Any idea where I can get the J's checked out? I'm close to Audio note but don;t wanna pay AN prices!
    Current system. NAS Interspace/Garrard 401/Jelco 750 or Roksan Nima /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amp - Audio Innovations S500. Harmon Kardon HK6500. Audio Note J's/Chario syntar towers. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  6. #76
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 5,847
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    Any idea where I can get the J's checked out? I'm close to Audio note but don;t wanna pay AN prices!
    Mike, try John at http://www.loudspeaker-design-restoration.co.uk he is very knowledgable and has some me good test facilities included a small anechoic chamber. I know him through Impulse H2s but he works on many historic speakers.

    He can at least check the cross overs and that they are matched.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Wilson Benesch Vector speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone

  7. #77
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Banbury, Oxfordshire/Panteg is where my late father was born

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    I'm Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    I have to disagree having owned two S500s and driven Snell Js, KEF 3.2’s and Dali Ikon 6’s all worked well across all genres, Snells slightly down in Bass and more pure/clinical, if the S500 is working as it should, and it’s just been serviced, the it will be the speakers, the AN Js that is.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Series 500 is a push pull design and is as you say a good all rounder.
    But even so it can be improved with a border patrol psu, I once heard a comparison of the S500 with and without the BP at the penta show 1997 by Gary Dews.
    The difference was not subtle!
    Chris

    We've gone on holiday by mistake !

  8. #78
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Harrogate

    Posts: 290
    I'm Mark.

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    As the thread title is a statement and not a question, I completely disagree. My AN system, using ANJ’s, plays all genres of music with a truly engaging musical presentation. Of course, as we are all different, some folks might well think it sounds shit!’
    Last edited by Sixty2; Today at 07:15.

  9. #79
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 5,847
    I'm Adrian.

    Default Valve amps, great with Jazz, shit with everything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty2 View Post
    As the thread title is a statement and not a question, I completely disagree. My AN system, using ANJís, plays all genres of music with a truly engaging musical presentation. Of course, as we are all different, some folks might well think it sounds shit!í
    I think part of the problem for Mike is he himself admits he has a challenging listening room. An observation also is he has been through many changes in gear over the last year or so trying to achieve his audio nirvana, something I was also guilty of about a year ago. In my personal experience at one point I found myself very confused and quite frustrated, was it amp, speakers or front end that was lacking. Eventually I realised it was what was making the sound that was the main protagonist, speakers, how they worked with the amp and in the room. The TT did have issues but imo looking back not as influential as the speakers.
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes


    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Wilson Benesch Vector speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone

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