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I have a chance to purchase OTL amps from the man who designed them. If I do, what am I in for as an OTL owner. I agreed not to say who or what they are but you all would probably know. I already use tubes. Audio Research. Will I need more active involvement as an OTL owner?
...Search this forum carefully for that brand and READ the threads.
Tin-eared audiofool, large-scale-Classical music lover, and damned-amateur fotografer.
William Bruce Cameron: "...not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
I remember my first Atma-Sphere. It was the M60.
The amp it replaced was the Counterpoint SA12, no slouch. Actually quite musical.
What you will get, from the first note, is a clarity in the midrange that's smile inducing. With an OTL the highs are just as crystal clear.
You don't want to tell us the brand you're getting, which is fine.
With A-S, the base is absolutely fabulous.
I have the Tenor Wi 75 OTL in house. It can't compare to the A-S, but is still great in the midrange and treble.
I will put forth: any OTL, regardless of price, will beat Audio Research.
Involvement?, hell yes, but it is self induced. You will be so enamored with your amps, you will WANT to do stuff. No words can convey how incredible the VH Audio CuTF capacitors are. Yes they are expensive, but the OTL allows all their glory to shine through.
Dare I say, once an OTL owner, nothing else will do.
My crystal ball: there will come a day when differential (balanced) amplification is finally given it's due. Is the amplifier you're going to buy fully balanced?. Please note, an XLR connection on the back does NOT guarantee its a balanced circuit.
My Audio Research equipment is as reliable as tube amps can be. I have never had to adjust bias. Stone cold simple. I just wondered if OTL needed more attention? I was asked not to let anyone know the by manufacturer. They are his personal amps and I think that he doesn't want anyone else asking. If I buy them, I will let it be known then. Just trying not to betray a confidence.
I am tempted to start guessing, but it's really not important to know who is interested in selling his "personal pair" of OTLs. However, this does not sound like something Ralph would ever say. Over the ~60 years since the Futterman amplifiers were introduced under the aegis of Harvard Electronics, there have been some less than ideally reliable OTLs on the market now and then (definitely NOT including anything made by Futterman or Atma-sphere), but most of those products have been weeded out by time and market forces. Therefore it is highly unlikely that you will have any special problems not faced from time to time by an Audio Research owner. (In the early days of AR, their Dual 50 amplifier and its various versions were more unreliable than any OTL in my experience, by the way.) So, if this is a "name brand" (Joule?) proceed with alacrity.
If it's KSS or Fourier, caveat emptor.
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