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Thread: Power amp help

  1. #1

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    Default Power amp help

    Hi and thanks in advance to anyone that can help. I have a pair of lsi-15 speakers and currently am using a jolida 502brc to power them. Unfortunately it just doesn't have the power I want. Could I use the variable outputs of the jolida to connect to another power amp and still get the "tube" sound or am I better off just getting a dedicated preamp to go along with a power amp that can better handle these speakers?

    I am just using this for a 2 channel turntable/cd setup.

    Newbie so hopefully posted to right area!

    Thanks!

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    Welcome to CP J3. I cannot answer your question directly as I have no experience with the tube amps. I do see that yours puts out 60 watts rated 85 watts max. I can tell you I have a set of the same speakers and They are a 4 ohm speaker. I was using an EMO XPA-3 to drive them and at 300 watts they sound pretty good. I was using just my Onkyo TX-NR809 and I could clearly tell they needed more. Just my .02. I'm sure others will pipe in and give you an opinion you can live with. Again welcome to CP.
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    Thanks hearty! I love this tube amp and it does have taps for the 4 ohm speakers, but the 60 wpc just isn't pushing the speakers to full potential....I was also looking at the EMO XPA-3 also so maybe thats a sign...but wanting to keep the tubes in play just wasnt sure if that is going to work.

    Thanks!

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    Cnh has a jolida (502?) He may chime in later & he's a big help..Good luck & Welcome
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    The Carver M-4.0t is a copy of their Silver Seven tube amp, and puts out close to 500wpc into 4 ohms. I am curantly using one I just had re-capped/upgraded to push my SRS's, and am very pleased so far.

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    Welcome to Club Polk J!

    I understand that you love the tube sound, but as you have found out the LSI's need more power to operate to their full potential. So the solution is to get a solid state power amp and then get your tubes in another piece of gear somewhere in the chain. That is what many of the guys on here do. If they make a tube based cd player then get one of those.


    Quote Originally Posted by J3cook View Post
    Thanks hearty! I love this tube amp and it does have taps for the 4 ohm speakers, but the 60 wpc just isn't pushing the speakers to full potential....I was also looking at the EMO XPA-3 also so maybe thats a sign...but wanting to keep the tubes in play just wasnt sure if that is going to work.

    Thanks!
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    Wasn't sure from your description, but from a quick search it appears that your Jolida has pre outs. Depending on the sensitivity of the power amp under consideration and the signal strength of the pre amp, you should be able to use it as a pre amp.

    Sounds like a good solution! Can you borrow a friends power amp to see how well this set up would work?
    Last edited by drumminman; 10-19-2013 at 10:10 AM.
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    How about use the preouts for a larger amp to power the woofers and the tubes to power the mids/tweeters? I love the combination of tube mids and highs with solid state bass!

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    Quote Originally Posted by J3cook View Post
    Hi and thanks in advance to anyone that can help. I have a pair of lsi-15 speakers and currently am using a jolida 502brc to power them. Unfortunately it just doesn't have the power I want. Could I use the variable outputs of the jolida to connect to another power amp and still get the "tube" sound or am I better off just getting a dedicated preamp to go along with a power amp that can better handle these speakers?
    You'll get some "tube sound" by using the Jolida as a preamp only.

    You'll also fry the output tubes if you power them up with no load connected. Yes this is even true if there is no signal sent to them. Never send power to a tube amp without a load connected to them.
    "The ear is not a microphone, the brain is not a tape recorder, and measurements are limited in describing subjective quality." Nelson Pass

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    Thanks everyone for help and suggestions. I think I may just get a ss amp and try to see how works. Then if just doesn't seem right I can always just swap out jolida if needed for a tube preamp of some sort.

    I love idea of trying with friend but unfortunately no one has a 4 ohm amp to try.

    I guess I will not know till I try but love the tubes and really want to get these lsi's pumping :)

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    I use a tube pre powering a SS power amp. It is a magical combination, especially when the right NOS tubes are swapped in.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR binding posts, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheets (3" strips) installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA transformer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocezam View Post
    You'll also fry the output tubes if you power them up with no load connected. Yes this is even true if there is no signal sent to them. Never send power to a tube amp without a load connected to them.
    I believe you toast your output transformers without a load present.

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    Default Thanks Drumminman!

    Quote Originally Posted by drumminman View Post
    I use a tube pre powering a SS power amp. It is a magical combination, especially when the right NOS tubes are swapped in.
    I agree about NOS tubes! I am using some mullard NOS preamp tubes with my Jolida and it made a huge difference when I did that upgrade a while back!

    Also as an update I visited a local "true" audio store ( not a best buy etc!!) and talked with the owner who told me based on my room size 10 x 14 I might want to consider instead just using some bookshelf speakers versus these floor standing ones.

    Does anyone else agree/disagree with that?

    I don't really listen to the volume that high etc but that is why I have a problem. I just don't feel like the speakers are full sounding with this amp. He suggested auditioning some bookshelf speakers and trying that route before introducing a multiple amp situation.

    I am using a pro-ject S tube Phono preamp along with a Rega P3 turntable and a Ortofon red cartridge which I realize all isn't the most expensive fanciest of equipment but I mean I should have some good sound here right?

    Thanks again to everyone - glad to be able to discuss with other people who appreciate music on real speakers and not some Bose/iPod type situation!

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    Sounds like the guy is just trying to sell you some new speakers. And why he wants to downgrade you from floorstanders to bookshelves makes no sense whatsoever! If you are happy with the LSI's then get a SS amp and enjoy. It has nothing to do with the size of your room and everything to do with the fact that the LSI's require more power to drive to their full potential.
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    My Jolida 302 pushed the LSi9's VERY well and they are a harder load than the 15's are. I'm not quite sure why you're not getting the full sound you are wanting. Do you have the speakers positioned on the long wall or the short wall? Have you tried switching them so that the subs fire inward? I'm wondering if the side-firing subwoofers have enough room to breathe in a room that small.

    I disagree with Cathy on this one. That room is not doing your 15's any favors due to their design. I'd suggest digging further into placement and room setup before dropping more money on an amp as I really don't feel that is the issue.
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    There are some really great stand mount speakers that would sound great with your amp. A lot of good choices, unfortunately all involve spending money. I have no clue as to your dealers motives but a 10x14 space isn't huge and I can understand his suggestion. Good luck whichever direction you choose to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    My Jolida 302 pushed the LSi9's VERY well and they are a harder load than the 15's are.
    Not quite sure why you said this. The 15's are the LSi9' with the addition of a woofer. Anyway to the OP if you decide to use bookies remeber to factor in the price of good stands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monepolk View Post
    Not quite sure why you said this. The 15's are the LSi9' with the addition of a woofer. Anyway to the OP if you decide to use bookies remeber to factor in the price of good stands.
    From what I recall the 9 has bigger dips in resistance than the 15 does. More woofers doesn't equate to a harder load on an amp.
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    I am going to toy around a bit with placement as suggested and see if that helps....

    YOU ARE ALL VERY AWESOME TO TAKE TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AND HELP THANK YOU ALL!!!!!

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    I agree with the dealer. Even before I read that post I was thinking, you need to get rid of the LSi 15's and get some speakers better suited to your amp. Then I saw your room size, which re-enforced my original thought. Even if you got a high powered SS amp, the LSi 15's without the woofer upgrade are simply not a very good speaker.
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    I would also agree with the dealer. Some floorstanders simply don't sound that well at lower volumes. They need some current to make them wake up. Bookies and a decent subwoofer for a smallish room will give you a better sound experience imho, especially at the lower volumes you listen at.

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    J3cook, have you considered the new LSiM 703 bookies on some nice stands? They're Polk's latest and greatest (by far!) bookshelf speaker. They are an 8-Ohm load and have very impressive bass, especially for a bookie. They might be just what you need for your current amp and room. If you were to want a little more bass, you could easily add a small sub down the road.

    Search the forum for more input on these remarkable speakers. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone that's not impressed by them.

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    Thanks teekay for the suggestion! Those do look like they have great reviews indeed!!

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    Default Final Solution

    Thanks again to everyone for suggestions and advice! I reconfigured the whole room for better speaker placement and created a nice triangle position dead to center from my listening chair. This made a bit of improvement but still the lsi15 speakers just were not full life with the tube amp. After considering the passive biamp option I bought off eBay a used Adcom GfA-535 power amp. It had a little over a 100 watts into 4ohm and added again just with using tubes for highs and Adcom for lows without a proper crossover or something of that nature it just didn't do much.

    So I finally decided to spend some money! I had been wanting a better preamp for my Rega turntable anyways so I bought the USP-1 Pre Amp and XPA-200 Power Amp from Emovita. Less than $800 got me a great preamp and the phono preamp is way better then I imagined it would be! The new amp is providing 240 watts per channel at the 4ohms.

    Okay so verdict - room size is still a tad small for speakers but regardless the lsi15s are finally awake and wonderful. The sound of the Emotive gear is great for price and what I was after. Very happy with this switch and didn't break the bank. I can now if I want to later use the tube amp as a proper high level amp and then the XPA-200 as a Low level amp (if I understand how to adjust the crossover). For everyday listening the volume is full and thicker at lower levels. It also (when my wife is not home) has a great just kick you up and jam level! (for every once in a while occasions :)

    Just wanted to say thanks to all again and post the happy ending. My pet peeve is when no one ever updates once they solve or decide what to do with questions etc.

    Silly but my only complaint now is reissue vinyl doesn't sound as great as pre digital. Some of my oldest even a bit worn sound so fantastic yet a new Adele LP produced from digital source just isn't quite as there etc. silly but I think I just finally have better equipment to hear some of that. I'm sure this is entry at best but so happy I decided to keep speakers and change up amp!

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    Congrats! Always make sure that your speakers are operating to their full potential by getting all the power that they need before running out to replace them. You now know and can hear what they truly sound like, that was the whole reason you got them in the first place.
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    Glad you got it sorted out J3.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR binding posts, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheets (3" strips) installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA transformer

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