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In Reply to: RE: Considering A Change In Electronics? Any Recommendations? posted by Mister Pig on April 30, 2022 at 10:19:52
Add all your 2nd order distortion, (what's SETs are famous for), at the preamp stage. (It ought to be needless to say you weren't getting that from your Halco preamp.) Conrad Johnson preamps, (for example), are well-known for producing lots of pleasant 2nd order distortion.
Downstream stick to ultra low distortion power amp such as the Benchmark or Purifi-based amp -- potentially you'll save a crapload of money while having enough power to drive anything.
....which is what I did when I needed a ton of power for my power hungry Thiel speakers.
Here's an even bigger "crapload of money" saved. Schiit Freya+( NOS 6SN7's) and the Classdaudio Mini GaN 3. Easily under $2K total IF you can find 4 nice NOS or ANOS 6SN7's. Works wonders with speakers in the low 90's and up in efficiency. ( 125 watts into 8/, 175 watts into 4) I like this amp (and combo) a lot and I'm a tube guy with two P-P's and an SET.
Interesting. Looks like Classdaudio now has a more powerful Mini GaN 5 that costs only a little more.
Yes, if one needs more power, that's a no-brainer for an additional $100.
In my case, the two speakers I use in this particular set-up are both simple loads 94db and above in efficiency. The "3" in this case is plenty adequate. What's most surprising is that after over a month of listening, I'm in no hurry to put either of my tube amps back in the system.
ASR's review of the Mini GaN 5 was quite negative, (see link below). Issues included high distortion, high load sensitivity, and failure to meet specifications.
I dismissed that negative review long ago by simply listening to the amp. If it would have failed that test, it would have been returned. I think they also gave a negative review to a much pricier GaN amp. Maybe the one sold by Underwood, but I'm not sure. Bottom line is that all my testing is done by ear. I'm sure my SET would receive a negative review spec-wise as well. I really have little use for that site to be honest, but it's an each to his own hobby and of course, YMMV.
What we hear is the final arbitrator.
Then why the continued references to a site that judges quality strictly by measurements?
You bet. But in most cases,(mine included) it takes some time and experience to separate from reviews/reviewers and trust one's own ear. As you say, the final arbitrator.
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