.....And we're off! Tomorrow, I shall have a new to me Musical Fidelity AC3R amplifier. Pure Class A sand amp. This will be in place of two Anthem1 tube amplifiers.
This is not all of my rig, but will be the chain most often used...
Jolida JD100 w/12AX7 Ei Gold pins, isolation footers and an upgraded PC>
Dodd Audio MLP preamplifier w/ isolated P/S, upgraded PC, isolation footers and also has 12AX7 Ei gold pins>
Musical Fidelity AC3R w/ upgraded PC>
Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signature Series speakers.
All interconnects, PC's and SC's TBD for synergy aspects and these components [excluding the mains] will be plugged into the Richard Grey Power supply 400Pro.
Since hearing tubes and ultimately introducing them into my rig, I have become a huge fan of the end result as to what hits your ears. There is just something magical that happens to the playback whenever I use tubes in the rig. I can tell you that the introduction of tubes have added more pleasure to my audio journey than probably anything else.
That said, for the first time in years, I will be using a sand amp when this arrives. I have read and had folks tell me that Class A sand amps are the way to go for sound and that a tube pre mixed with a sand amp is a stellar combination. As always, I have my doubts but I'm always willing to explore different ways to obtain audio nirvana.
I have had this very system hooked up to a Class A/B amplifier before [Odyssey Stratos sand amp] and while it had a great sound, the two Anthems had such good sound compared to the Stratos. To me, watts mean absolutely nothing. The Stratos had I believe around 150 watts and a boatload of capacitance. Each Anthem had 40 watts and surprising balls backing the sound, especially when the right tubes were introduced. Since I have 4ohm speakers, I will have 210 available with the MF amp. I say this to let folks know that watts mean nothing to the actual sound because the 80 [even 40, when I only had one Anthem1 amp] sounded better than the 150. I have had as little as 8 and as much as 3400. In my audio travels, it seems less is more [properly chosen].
Here's where I am with my thoughts right now. Having not ever had a Class A sand amp in the system before, I am cautiously optomistic to the change the sound will bring. In your own audio journey and opinion, will it be for the better....or worse?
We'll tell in the next couple of days and I'm going to be having a lot of fun trying my new toy out with all different types of music. This should prove to be a learning experience for me and I look froward to the end result, no matter what that may be.
That said, I do have a couple of questions concerning a Class A sand amp that those with experience could help me out with. You ready?
1 - How long would you recommend keeping it on for [from cold] to achieve optimal performance?
2 - Would you recommend keeping it on all of the time?
3 - Any other recommendations besides proper ventilation that I may not be aware of yet?
4 - I know how tube amps are affected by vibration, in your experience, how important is the isolation of vibrations with a Class A sand amp?
One other question. At this point, I do not wish to upgrade this amp. What I am concerned about is its age and whether or not I should consider replacing the caps in it. In other words...
5 - Does anybody know the production dates of when these were manufactured?