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  1. #1

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    Default I'm about ready to be SET

    I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on one of these kits, the one with the 2A3 tubes. Still looking for something that might be better though if anyone runs across something.

    http://www.bottlehead.com/et/adobesp.../paramount.htm

    I'm thinking these may sound pretty good with the 104db efficient horns.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  2. #2

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    Go for it. Looks very nice. I would get the "Experimenter's" kit, with both 300B and 2A3 tubes (only $100 more).
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  3. #3

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    Would love to hear a review about it if you do, I've been checking out their preamp kits from time to time and contemplate pulling the trigger on one.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Go for it. Looks very nice. I would get the "Experimenter's" kit, with both 300B and 2A3 tubes (only $100 more).
    I've got an extra pair of 300B tubes for my preamp that I can try in the future.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  5. #5

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    Go For It! 104dB with 8 watts sounds superb. What speakers are they?

    Just for curiosity sake, I gotta ask. Is the picture of the male nudies touching two bottleheads on the Bottlehead website?

  6. #6

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    IIRC, it's his wife.
    Scroll to bottom: http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php
    There used to be more pictures.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  7. #7
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    I've heard nothing but good things about Bottlehead kits. Good luck!

  8. #8

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    I've owned a pair of the original Paramours (one of the first post-beta sets of kits, in fact) for many years. They sound great. Mine are not in current use; I decided when it is all said and done I currnently enjoy push-pull EL84s just a bit better. This is no knock on the Bottlehead amps, though... they're a great value, with great support (formal and forum-al!) and sound fine. The Paramours were my main amps for several years in the living room.

    The Bottlehead Seduction is still my 'real' phono preamp in the LR.

    Obligatory photo-bandwidth-wastage...



    (a then photo of the LR hifi)
    all the best,
    mrh

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    IIRC, it's his wife.
    Scroll to bottom: http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php
    There used to be more pictures.
    Yes the nudes on Dan's site were/are his wife, "Queen Eileen" Schmalle. I think most of 'em are gone, now.
    all the best,
    mrh

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    Mine are not in current use; I decided when it is all said and done I currnently enjoy push-pull EL84s just a bit better.
    Any thoughts of getting rid of them?
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  11. #11

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    not so far, sorry :-(
    all the best,
    mrh

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    not so far, sorry :-(
    I guess thats a good thing. :)
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  13. #13

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    MM,

    You could consider the Hagerman Cymbals. Lots of favorable reviews and perfect for high efficiency horns. I have built 2 Hagerman tubed pieces and they have my highest delight.

    http://www.hagtech.com/cymbal.html

  14. #14

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    3.5 watts gives you a little latitude with speakers; you don't have to go the Klipschorn/Lowther/Tannoy/Altec VOTT route if you don't want to (but of course you might want to).

    Some (mostly vintage, sorry) speakers that IME work well with SE 2A3 (besides the most obvious).

    IMF SuperCompacts (amazing little British three-ways)
    ads L-710 (believe it or not)
    DCM Timewindows (original series)
    Electrovoice Esquires (unlike most vintage EV hardware, these are bookshelf-sized, barely)
    Fostex FE-207E fullrange 8" drivers (these will work reasonably well in small BR cabinets)

    I've yet to have the nerve to try the Paramours on my ESL-57s.

    The Monitor 7As weren't good with them though.

    You can have even more latitude if you use a subwoofer...
    all the best,
    mrh

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by analog97 View Post
    MM,

    You could consider the Hagerman Cymbals. Lots of favorable reviews and perfect for high efficiency horns. I have built 2 Hagerman tubed pieces and they have my highest delight.

    http://www.hagtech.com/cymbal.html
    Interesting little amp. I'll consider it.
    Thanks!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  16. #16

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    I'm still looking at all the 300B and 2A3 amps and most of them are fairly expensive. Before diving into such a low powered amp I decided to find out what 3-5 watts sound like on the Duo horns. Last night I hooked one of the little 5W T-Amps up to the system instead of the 200wpc Manley mono blocks. I was quite amazed that it had just as much sound power. I'm guessing most everything past the first few watts is lost on these speakers. I went through several LP's and cuts from a lot of CD's. At about 8:00 I decided I had put the neighbors through a lot already and should shut it down. Wow!

    Oh, and although the T-Amp (totally stock running off of AA batteries) was slightly less perfect in the lower treble than the monster tube amps it performed quite nicely. I could actually live with that sound if I had to but would probably do some modifications. I might anyway.

    This flea power stuff on the right speakers is awesome. I would challenge anyone to tell me we were listening to a 5 watts rather than 500 watts. High eff speakers are where its at!
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    I'm guessing most everything past the first few watts is lost on these speakers.
    It is so. And that's why you've got to get the first watt (or two) right when using speakers like the Duos. "Modern" amplifier design, for far less sensitive speakers, often don't get the first watt right. The T-amps do a pretty good job in that regard; I could live with the sound of one if I had to.

    FWIW (and it's more a matter of taste than anything else), I find 300B amps almost uniformly to be a bit too "hi-fi" (frankly, ordinary) sounding for me relative to an SE 2A3 or 45 for example. I think I have a minority opinion, but I am sticking with it.

    Gary Kaufman built a convertible 45/46/300B amplifier a while back, so I've actually gotten to hear those three tubes not only in the same system but also in the same amplifier. The fleapower tubes outperformed the 300B in terms of sound quality to my ears. YMMV, of course.

    Gary Kaufman's "ragtop" amp: http://www.the-planet.org/Ragtop.html
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 08-28-2009 at 12:39 PM.
    all the best,
    mrh

  18. #18

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    I'm looking at this one too.
    http://www.decware.com/newsite/SELECT.htm
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  19. #19

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    I decided on one of these single ended OTL 1.5W per channel kits. I was really into the idea of a 2A3 or 300B but that can wait for now. I heard a similar amp that BlueMDPicker had quite some time ago and thought it sounded pretty cool.

    http://www.transcendentsound.com/singleended.htm

    I hope 1.5W is adequate. This one can be bridged for 4W but of course I would have to buy a second one and that is not in the budget right now.

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  20. #20

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    MM,, what are you going to be driving with these? I got an education recently with a small single driver speaker pushed by a whopping 1.5 watts,,the sound was incredible to say the least.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    I decided on one of these single ended OTL 1.5W per channel kits. I was really into the idea of a 2A3 or 300B but that can wait for now. I heard a similar amp that BlueMDPicker had quite some time ago and thought it sounded pretty cool.

    http://www.transcendentsound.com/singleended.htm

    I hope 1.5W is adequate. This one can be bridged for 4W but of course I would have to buy a second one and that is not in the budget right now.

    madmax
    A very cool little amplifier... but I thought that Bruce had stopped selling kits (due to the economy)? Has he started again?
    EDIT: nothing on his site says he's not... his newsletter e-mails had said a while ago that he was only going to sell parts (at least, that was my recollection).
    all the best,
    mrh

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    A very cool little amplifier... but I thought that Bruce had stopped selling kits (due to the economy)? Has he started again?
    EDIT: nothing on his site says he's not... his newsletter e-mails had said a while ago that he was only going to sell parts (at least, that was my recollection).
    I hope he is. I sent him an email to order one yesterday, I guess we will see. I'll go with a Bottlehead 2A3 (I think) if he no longer supports the kits.

    George,
    I'll be driving Avantgarde Duo 2.1's. They are 104 db at 1 watt. The little sonic impact I tried kicked so much butt at 5w that I don't think I need that much massive power. :D

    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  23. #23

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    Awesome Chuck, you know I have always been a big power/big speaker/high resolution kind of guy, but this Rig definetely intrigues me, besides the awesome horns the rest still looks like the shiznet, one day when I make it out to Coloradee I gotta hear this stuff, who knows maybe I will get inspired to have a flea rig, buliding a kit would be fun no doubt. I remember when Jesse opened up that Jolida he modded, some cool tricks he pulled off there, of course different kit here, but still high on audio humping factor.

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  24. #24

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    RT, just let me know when you are in town. I would not be into this low power crap if it could not blow your head off with a quality sound. These duos are absolutely amazing. I'm learning that the high cost of the speakers could have saved lots of $$ had I bought them earlier. I could have exceeded any previous system in both sound levels and sound quality had I started with the horns, the cheapy little t-amp and a decent sounding CD player. There are a lot of other high efficiency speakers out there that would be cool too. Of course vinyl is still the **** even though its expensive. :)
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeltrouble1 View Post
    Awesome Chuck, you know I have always been a big power/big speaker/high resolution kind of guy...
    RT1
    heh. You want resolution, you want SE 45 amps... and you'll need big speakers. :-)

    finestkind.
    all the best,
    mrh

  26. #26

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    Madmax,
    I think you will be extremely pleased running a SET amp on your horns. Out of the directly heated triode tubes, I've only tried the 2A3 and 300B. My preference leans toward the 300B for its more 'colorful' presentation and 'sweeter' HF's.

    My horns (La Scala's) were also 104db. Make sure the amp you're getting is super quiet or has a "hum adjustment" pot. The smallest amount of noise will be picked up by the speakers. I was able to hear the noise difference between different brands of tubes.
    You should also experiment with the 4 ohm output taps if your horns go below 8 ohms on some freq's. All my SET amps sounded best using the 4ohm output taps to the LS's.

    Honestly, I couldn't tell the power difference between the 2A3 and 300B even though the 300B is 8w vs the 3w on the 2A3. Both amps were able to drive me out of the room before breaking a sweat. Of course, they couldn't do the bass slam of SS but the sweet sound is killer.

    Do you know of any dealers in your area that does consignment. I find that this is a good way to get into SET quick without blowing a hole in your pocket.

    Careful, the SET sound can become highly addictive lol.
    Good luck on your search!
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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  27. #27

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    The Bottlehead stuff is quite nice I had always wanted to try one of the 6SN7 kits Doc offers. That looks to be quite interesting.

    Regards
    Mister Pig

  28. #28

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    This was pretty cool to read about SET amps. It gets pretty good once you are into it.

    http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/1/119397.html
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

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