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  1. #1

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    Default tube amp to drive sda-1c

    Just added a VTL TL-5.5 preamp into my system with one of my goals being to "soften" an overly bright power amplifier (a carver pro zr1000 digital ...aka bel canto). It did not work. System still grating on the ears.

    open to ideas on a tube amp under $1500 that would mate well with the sda's.

    Very disheartening to buy such a good preamp and have a system still sound like crap due to a poor power amp. ugh. I am sure the VTL is NOT to blame as it gets good reviews and the carver was bright before the VTL was bought in.

    Seriously thinking of putting it in the closet and running my ol trusty Luxman r-115 that sounds better than this power amp.

  2. #2

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    I have been thinking about www.juicymusicaudio.com for a preamp but there are many others out there & a lot of guys around here like......www.doddaudio.com

    Good luck on the search.
    Denon #2900, Denon stereo receiver, Conrad Johnson Sonographe 120 amp, Blue Jeans cables, and Klipsch RF-7's

  3. #3

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    Just out of curiousity, why do you want to stick with the bright amp? I mean, if you have a good pre, and you know the problem is the amp, why not get another amp?
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
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  4. #4

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    Upgrade the tweeters. The silk replacement may save you other equipment changes.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Gardner
    Upgrade the tweeters. The silk replacement may save you other equipment changes.

    I agree with DG..

    start with the tweets, then maybe upgrade the cross-overs, then see how it sounds before changing out more gear..

  6. #6

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    Why run pro gear for full range, when so many other options exist that give a more refined sound? I don't mind the pro stuff for a sub amp, but like more noticeable build quality and attention to detail in my full range amps.

  7. #7

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    I am expecting a new Jolida 1501 hybrid this week to push my sda1c's...I will post a review as soon as I get her burned in.
    "Thats great... but how does it sound"
    http://www.burginmcdaniel.com/

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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSycamoreTree
    Just added a VTL TL-5.5 preamp into my system with one of my goals being to "soften" an overly bright power amplifier (a carver pro zr1000 digital ...aka bel canto). It did not work. System still grating on the ears.

    open to ideas on a tube amp under $1500 that would mate well with the sda's.

    Very disheartening to buy such a good preamp and have a system still sound like crap due to a poor power amp. ugh. I am sure the VTL is NOT to blame as it gets good reviews and the carver was bright before the VTL was bought in.

    Seriously thinking of putting it in the closet and running my ol trusty Luxman r-115 that sounds better than this power amp.
    upscale audio has a pair of Manley labs 50 watt monoblocks used for $1399 for the pair.they make very good tube gear.thanks....WCW III
    JAS Audio Bravo 2.3 SE Single ended Class A Tube Integrated Amplifier Svetlana 6C33-B triodes @ 18 wpc-Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC W-LME49990 op amps w Siemens 12AU7 -Black Cat Morpheus cables -Silverline Audio Sonata III

  9. #9

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    Nice pre amp!

    I'm sure you're right about the pro amp causing the unpleasantness. I may have a lead for you on a pair of Manley 100 mono blocks in your price range, I'll let you know. BTW, what are you using as a source?
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  10. #10

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    Oh yeah, some of you guys need to READ the original post. He likes the new pre amp and wants to get RID of the pro amp!
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  11. #11

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    Oops. My bad. I totally thought he was looking for a new preamp. Hope you find an amp that'll work out nicely for ya!
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by beardog03
    I agree with DG..

    start with the tweets, then maybe upgrade the cross-overs, then see how it sounds before changing out more gear..
    I agree that you might want to try the silk replacement tweeters because the SL 2000's have a nasty spike! The replacements really smooth out the highs on SDA's!!!
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  13. #13

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    Default Tube amp for sda's

    Before you look for a tube amp to replace your carver, you may want to consider a source change or tube dac. I was running my sda1-c's with a homebrew tube preamp into a soundcraftsmen PM-840 solid state mosfet amp. Yes the highs were bright using a digital source. I tried the Scott Nixon tube dac, and the highs were phenominal. Still that spike from the original tweeters was there, but no more fatigue or glair. For the record, I'm now using a 35wpc Eico HF-87 tube amp, and did the swenson mod on my toshiba 3950. The highs are nearly as smooth as the tube dac. Just getting the hash etc filtered out really helped alot.
    Main System
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSycamoreTree
    open to ideas on a tube amp under $1500 that would mate well with the sda's.
    My Bad! He is looking for a tube amp..... If you are interested in used check out www.audiogon.com
    Last edited by PolknPepsi; 10-26-2005 at 07:34 AM.
    Denon #2900, Denon stereo receiver, Conrad Johnson Sonographe 120 amp, Blue Jeans cables, and Klipsch RF-7's

  15. #15

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    OldSycamoreTree,

    It's my understanding that a PM has been sent to you. Those are great amps, I almost pulled the trigger on them myself.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  16. #16

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    Default F1nut I have not gotten any pm or any emails

    from the polk automailer saying I even had replies to my original post.

    I would have corresponded with the thread earlier than today.
    Don't think I can go mono amps with sda 1c and its standard umbilical cord.

    My sound has improved with tube rolling , philips miniwatts for the 12at7 and amperex organ tubes for the 12 ax7.

    Still, at a normal listening levels the treble seems too strong in proportion to the bass. (I have alreay installed the silk tweeters)

  17. #17

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    IMHO, look for a used Conrad Johnson MV-60. GREAT amp in or around your price range. However, as has been stated, first swap out the tweeters. I wouldn't discount a GOOD solid state amp, either.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  18. #18

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    The silk are nice but they are not going to make such a quantum leap for the SDA to "fix" an amp problem. They are for refining a tweeter problem with an already good system to make it better on the top end, at that the top of the top end. Once you use the silks and decide you like them, it is hard to go back to the silver dome. However some folks here like the silver dome. FWIW Matt Polk did say that the 2000 was not his favorite tweeter.

    I am quite sure the silks mated with the VTL and say the Manley, Dodd, CJ, or other such quality tube amp would set just about anyone with a serious interest in audio on their way to nirvana. Just consider all the details as tube amps require a bit more care than the tube pre's.

    You can also have great success with ss amps and tube pre combinations which there are so many posts on this I will not repeat the fine results.

    Whichever way you go enjoy your gear. With your budget should be a great system.

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    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  19. #19

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    Default recently saw the thread "amps for sda"

    or similar title and got some good ideas from there and audio asylum.
    just so many choices it "boggles the mind" as an old Phili talk show guy used to say.

    ss I was thinking of preowned odyssey extreme, parasound, maybe a carver .t amp or cj 2500 / sonographe. nakamichi pa7 stasis or aleph 30 are supposed to sound great (nelson pass designs)
    anyone heard the 30 watt aleph with an sda model?

    tubes- considering prowned the cj mv60se , aronov, cary sla70b
    these are all 60 watt push pulls.
    The cary is the easiest on the budget which always helps- as tube rolling in the pre is costing more than I thought (the preowned vtl I bought had sovtek 12ax7 and no-name odd 12at7s with a symbol of an atom on them? these tubes sounded very thin lifeless compared to the ones I am running now)

    a new tube amp possibility is the mcalister that many here are speaking of.

    cd source is cal cl-20 that also reads dvd-audio.


    fwiw my current amp the carver pro zr1000 is a modded one and seems well- done my the tweaker who did it. For the technically savy here is what he related to me as his mods "replaced the 5V regulator with a quieter one, and the main rectifier bridge with a FRED bridge. Carver uses a Trypath chip (the same kind used by BelCanto). It's an excellent chip, but in this stock amp it is masked by a bunch of gain and equalizing stages not needed in an audiophile system. So following the Trypath application notes and Carver schematics, I removed all this extra processing out of the signal path for considerable more transparency, dynamics, and smoothness. I set the gain to 26dB and input impedance to 20K (both settings pretty standard for a power amp). Since I was working on the amp I also decided to upgrade some parts in the power supply and add some extra filtering (for less noise induced by the PS)."


    These digital amps get some praise, especially the belcanto evo, so I figurered this modified carver pro would be a close contender. It just seems to have something going on in the treble I cant put my finger on.
    Maybe it is TOO revealing of an amp. It is very dynamic. I have just gotten an improvement to the amps bass with power cord upgrade.

  20. #20

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    Default rather than a tube amp giving myself stratos for Christmas

    increased the budget and put on the credit card an order for the mono extremes from klaus. I think from what i've read on them they best suit my varied music tastes.
    The Mcalister tube amp is likley great also. Hard decision choosing an amp without hearing it, but Klaus has 30 day return policy and he says 95 percent of mono extremes are still with original owners.
    Will stick to tube tweaking in just the preamp.
    Lets hope Klaus can be as reliable as Santa and deliver my goodies by Christmas. :)

  21. #21

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    Congrats!!!
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