Catchy title for a thread ain't it?
Iíve finally got my hands on a decent 2-channel tube amp! I purchased an Antique Sound Labs AQ-1002DT form Hoosier21 (AKA Russ). The amp came with 4 new Svetlana KT-88 tubes. Iím using a Dared SL-2000-A tube pre-amp as well.
The amp arrived in perfect condition with all the tubes removed to prevent damage. Russ had even provided a drawing to help identify which tubes went where.
Iíve listened to a variety of music on both the SDA-2bís and on the Lsií9s. Both have their strong points and I really liked what I heard from both. The SDAís sounded a little bit warmer with tubes than they did with my Pioneer Elite M-10x amp. I will say that although the sound is great, the highs seem to be little less detailed with the ASL amp than they were with the PE. There seemed to be a drop in the level of detail that I had heard previously. Mid and lower frequencies were fine with the SDAís providing and extremely wide sound stage. Imaging (placement of vocals and instruments) was as expected also. Bass notes were not hampered by the fact that this amp only cranks out 50w per channel, the passive radiator really helps with the low end. All in all a great combination!
The Lsi9ís continue to surprise me. Their performance with the ASL amp was nothing short of stunning. I had to play around with the toe-in a bit to get the proper alignment but it was time well spent. Imaging was amazing! Although the sound stage was not as wide as the SDAís, the detail was better. As with my previous tube amp (aka P.O.S.- DIY) I have give credit to the Vifa tweeter in the 9ís. Every piece of music that I listed to came through clear as a bell without even a hint of harshness or muddy bass. Piano music was reproduced flawlessly, violins didnít squeal, drumbeats were very distinct, bras and woodwinds were exceptionally sweet! Both male and female vocals were a joy to listen to as well.
Iím going to have to try the ASL with my 15ís one of these days, just to see how they do, but for the time being Iíll switch back and forth between the 9ís and the SDAís.
Hats off to Russ for selling me a great amp at a fair price!
I'll try to get some pics later.