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

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,519
    I'm Mike.

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

    Post heading should really read valve amp and audio note speakers to be fair. So finally got my Audio Innovations s500 up and running with the AN Js I got from another forum member, and after an initial 'meh' period, now realise the combo is fantastic with jazz, a main reason why I got them. Before jazz sounded a bit dull, now instruments feel extremely 'live', the bass on the AN Js is tuneful and just deep enough without being over bearing, I am having quite few wow moments, the most realistic I have ever heard music before. Downside is this combo can be quite awful with alot of other music, but that;s fine, i listen to a lot of jazz and want to listen to more, possibly even something more sedate, I'm 50 this year after all.......... So I would like another integrated amp and speaker set up, what is the best to make 60s rock/pop like scratchy early/mid period Beatles, stones, kinks sound at its best? I also listen to some other stuff like US garage rock, UK punk, techno, and other 'poorly recorded music'. Something you will often read in reviews of audiophile brands is that they will make poorly recorded music sound worse, so i need something to make it sound better ! Was thinking early Exposure integrated or perhaps a Nait 1 to 'make it boogie'!
    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. #2
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,703
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    Post heading should really read valve amp and audio note speakers to be fair. So finally got my Audio Innovations s500 up and running with the AN Js I got from another forum member, and after an initial 'meh' period, now realise the combo is fantastic with jazz, a main reason why I got them. Before jazz sounded a bit dull, now instruments feel extremely 'live', the bass on the AN Js is tuneful and just deep enough without being over bearing, I am having quite few wow moments, the most realistic I have ever heard music before. Downside is this combo can be quite awful with alot of other music, but that;s fine, i listen to a lot of jazz and want to listen to more, possibly even something more sedate, I'm 50 this year after all.......... So I would like another integrated amp and speaker set up, what is the best to make 60s rock/pop like scratchy early/mid period Beatles, stones, kinks sound at its best? I also listen to some other stuff like US garage rock, UK punk, techno, and other 'poorly recorded music'. Something you will often read in reviews of audiophile brands is that they will make poorly recorded music sound worse, so i need something to make it sound better ! Was thinking early Exposure integrated or perhaps a Nait 1 to 'make it boogie'!
    6 ohm loudspeakers are usually best with solid state amps, whereas valve amps suit speakers usually 10 ohms upward.
    The science behind this is revealed here: http://education.lenardaudio.com/en/...ve_amps_7.html

    But great there is some good result & you are enjoying some jazz with the s500 and j's , my favorite music too.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 28,347
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    The problem is both the valve amp and the speakers are not very good. That's why only plinky-plonk sounds any good through them. Plinky plonk will sound good on an Amstrad.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Oppo BDT-101CI* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 43,796
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    I don't think I'd be looking at Exposure or Naim to get the best from recordings of limited quality.

    A serviced Cambridge A60 or Audiolab 8000A would probably suit, but if you can get away from the idea of an integrated, a Quad 909 with a passive pre-amp would be just the job, offering oodles of refined power! A 606 Mk.II does the same.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  5. #5
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Posts: 333
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    The problem is both the valve amp and the speakers are not very good.
    Hope Peter Kay doesn't read this, he'll fear for his livelihood.....

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 1,952
    I'm Adam.

    Default

    Scrap the System and start again, it should should good whatever the genre.
    Something isn't right....
    "lack of passion is fatal"


    Vinyl: Thorens TD-124mk2 / SME-312 Aluminium 'special' / SME M2-9R / STEREO: Etsuro Urushi Cobalt / Shure M3D / Ortofon SPU A95 / Cartridge Man Music Master / Shure - SC35C (US) / SAEC C3 MC MONO: Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Miyajima Premium 1.0 / Amps & SUTs: Radford STA25 mk3 / AD Audio 'Satchmo2' pre & LCR phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / ETR-MONO SUT Digital: Audio Note 4.1 (with DAC5 upgrades) DAC / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC crossovers / Tannoy ST-100 Super Tweeters Cables: LFD Grainless phono / RFC Mercury / Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture rack / Audiodesk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner / a very beautiful & understanding Wife!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 1,472
    I'm Dennis.

    Default

    I cannot understand the liking for AN products.

    Many years ago I went for an interview there to be a construction worker on amplifiers. The owner's wife was running the interviews, and was immediately very rude to me and factually incorrect in her assertions about me.

    I sat and did a wiring test on a valve, and she said "You think you are too good for us don't you?". I declined to agree but did notice the whole culture there, one of a 1950s factory, complete with tea trolley and aluminium sugar basin, and the associated culture.

    I completed the test before others, and my soldering was better, and I observed earthing polarity when others did not.
    I left afterwards and never heard from them again.

    IMO there designs are primitive and lacking in many areas, and they are well behind in development, but they have a following.
    Subsequently a guy joined my gym, and told me he was a constructor there; he had no training or qualifications in electronics or audio.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 1,952
    I'm Adam.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    I cannot understand the liking for AN products.

    Many years ago I went for an interview there to be a construction worker on amplifiers. The owner's wife was running the interviews, and was immediately very rude to me and factually incorrect in her assertions about me.

    I sat and did a wiring test on a valve, and she said "You think you are too good for us don't you?". I declined to agree but did notice the whole culture there, one of a 1950s factory, complete with tea trolley and aluminium sugar basin, and the associated culture.

    I completed the test before others, and my soldering was better, and I observed earthing polarity when others did not.
    I left afterwards and never heard from them again.

    IMO there designs are primitive and lacking in many areas, and they are well behind in development, but they have a following.
    Subsequently a guy joined my gym, and told me he was a constructor there; he had no training or qualifications in electronics or audio.

    OOH! Disappointing experience indeed.
    Whilst others will testify to AN being one of the most helpful, friendliest and informative people in the industry.
    Their quality speaks for itself. The Story of the 'Guy in the Gym' really doesn't sit right with the level of quality they produce
    Anyway, as you say their products have their following, and very very many at that!

    Peter Qvortrup hasn't become one of the most respected figures in Audio by accident...
    "lack of passion is fatal"


    Vinyl: Thorens TD-124mk2 / SME-312 Aluminium 'special' / SME M2-9R / STEREO: Etsuro Urushi Cobalt / Shure M3D / Ortofon SPU A95 / Cartridge Man Music Master / Shure - SC35C (US) / SAEC C3 MC MONO: Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Miyajima Premium 1.0 / Amps & SUTs: Radford STA25 mk3 / AD Audio 'Satchmo2' pre & LCR phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / ETR-MONO SUT Digital: Audio Note 4.1 (with DAC5 upgrades) DAC / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC crossovers / Tannoy ST-100 Super Tweeters Cables: LFD Grainless phono / RFC Mercury / Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture rack / Audiodesk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner / a very beautiful & understanding Wife!

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jun 2010

    Location: Liverpool, UK.

    Posts: 1,100
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Each time I have listened to AN speakers, they have sounded fabulous with simple recordings and poor with more driven, complex material. Living Voice are the same, in my experience.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    Main system: Sony TTS8000; SME IV; Audio Technica Art1; Denon PMA-850; SBT; Technics sh-x1000 DAC; Yamaha NS1000.
    System 2 - SBT; Kinshaw Perception DAC; Lentek and Klark Teknik Jade 1 studio monitors

  10. #10
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 28,347
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    More likely to be the amplifier than the speakers. Lots of harmonic distortion to give that 'better than real life' sound but once the mix gets busy the associated intermodulation distortion kicks in and it all starts to sound nasty.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Oppo BDT-101CI* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

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