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Affordable SET amps for Alon Lotus speakers

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Posted on April 26, 2000 at 17:23:34
TG


 
A couple of months ago I was able to purchase a second hand pair of Alon Lotus SE speakers in very good condition at an excellent price. I loved the sound of these speakers at the dealer's showroom, but could not afford the amplifiers with which they were demonstrated (Audio Note SETs).

After listening to a range of amps, my wife & I decided on the Golden Tube Audio SEP-1 / SE-40 combination. The Lotus speakers really do seem to need valve amplification to give their best, and GTA was all the dealer had which was within our meagre budget.

Three months of intensive listening later we are very happy with the speakers, but feel that the amps just don't do them justice. The sound is lacking in the mid-bass area, loose in the low bass (although quite extended), and too prominent in the high frequencies.

Any suggestions for assembled or DIY SET amplifiers better suited to these speakers? Budget must be within US$1,500.

Cheers

 

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Re: Affordable SET amps for Alon Lotus speakers, posted on April 27, 2000 at 02:09:12
Were you the guys who reviewed the GTA SE40 at http://www.audioreview.com ?

Personal taste and perception do change over even a short space of time, doesn't it? But don't let go of the SE40 just yet. I recently
got myself a GTA SE300B new in box, and have yet to compare it with my
3 month old SE40 :)

As for loose bass...a true SET amp with low damping factor won't help there. Alons that I have heard with even hybrid tube/SS amps were loose in the bass, IMHO.

Try bi-amping. SE40 on the bottom perhaps and SE300B on the mids/highs. Let me know if you got a chance to do that.

 

Re: Affordable SET amps for Alon Lotus speakers, posted on April 27, 2000 at 06:58:42
TG


 
>Were you the guys who reviewed the GTA SE40 at >http://www.audioreview.com ?

Hi Johann, yup that's us. In fact I still think the GTA combo is OK for inexpensive valves, but, well - how to put it? - I know! - tasting valves for the first time after a lifetime of solid state sound is like your first taste of Johnny Walker black label after a lifetime of cheap blended scotch. A revelation at first, but then one day you discover Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Glenfarclas ... I guess that's what happened - at first we loved the GTA kit, but familiarity has let us see the weaknesses.

>As for loose bass...a true SET amp with low damping factor won't
>help there. Alons that I have heard with even hybrid tube/SS
>amps were loose in the bass, IMHO.
>
>Try bi-amping. SE40 on the bottom perhaps and SE300B on the
>mids/highs. Let me know if you got a chance to do that.

Hmm, but the Audio Notes *did* sound much nicer :) If I have the chance I'll try bi-amping and see if it beefs things up a bit.

Ciao
TG

 

Might i humbly sugest a pair of Paraglows..., posted on April 27, 2000 at 14:16:48
TG,

Since you mentioned DIY, over on the DOC Bottlehead discussion board you can find many raves about the Paraglow amplifier. i have a pair here and i must say they are quite impressive for the $$$. It offer a much cleaner, better bass definition and MUCH CLEANER highs than the GT-SE40 IMHO. The input gain is quite high so maybe a passive preamp/attnuator could d the trick. Hope this helps.

Enjoy the music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

Re: Affordable SET amps for Alon Lotus speakers, posted on April 27, 2000 at 15:11:58
My Alons are far in the past, but i did try biamping. As I remember, the crossover from bass to midrange was so far up into the midrange that there was a definite discontinuity. However, this was with an entirely different setup, so give it a whirl. (I just wouldn't spend any money to do so)

JMHO,
JeffreyJ

 

You certainly may :), posted on April 27, 2000 at 16:46:10
TG


 
The Paraglows were one of the DIY possibilities I have considered, the only downside for me is that I live in Australia and as a 240VAC power supply is not available as stock it will mean my hassling about to find a suitable substitute - otherwise this would probably be my kit of choice.

At the moment I'm inclining more and more towards the Assemblage 300B kit. They seem to have a good reputation sound and build quality wise, and the power supply is not an issue.

Cheers

 

SET amps and scotch whiskey..., posted on April 28, 2000 at 06:33:35
James Melhuish


 
go very nicely together. I love my Lagavulin, but now my all out favourite scotch is a Bowmore Islay 17 year single malt. Distilled AND BOTTLED in Scotland.

Like drinking pure gold...

James

 

Re: Affordable SET amps for Alon Lotus speakers, posted on April 28, 2000 at 22:05:55
samm


 
If your speakers' sensitivity is high enough (around 90dB?), check Zen amp or Zen monos at Decware.com. Or ask Steve of his new mono amps. I'm sure he makes amp for 110-120 volt and 220-240 volts. Good luck.

 

Re: You certainly may :), posted on April 29, 2000 at 05:50:21
Mike Spence


 
Maybe a few of us in the Antipodes should get together and order a batch of 240V transformers from Lucas Cant at Black Art Audio? (or Lancroft transformers, haven't bought off either of them yet). I've asked Lucas about making 240V versions of the Magnequest power transformers and he's quoted AUS$120 each (with flying leads, electrostatic and electromagnetic screening) but I don't know how well they'll fit the chassis...anyone prepared to take the plunge???
I'll bet Doc would be prepared to sell kits less power transformers (right?) which may help on freight costs...!
FWIW, I'm keen on a B-Glow or Parabee, but only if the above works out.

 

I have had Good Experiences with the AES SE811, posted on April 29, 2000 at 08:41:46
Mister Pig


 
This is a interesting amp that hits the 1500 dollar price point. Offes a bit more power then the standard 300b combinations. Bass extension and control are very impressive. Works well with mid efficiency speakers. My Cabasse are 94 db, and dynamic performances of big band, blues, and orchestral music arent a problem. My only recommendation is to dump the stock pre driver tubes, before forming any serious opinions on this amp. Also if you want 300b's, AES(ie cary audio) also makes a small 2 channel amp that accepts 300b's and or 2a3's. If you get the hot rodded version with oil caps, and other goodies, you are still in the 1500 price range. Cary is a big enough company that I think you should be able to get an appropriate power supply to meet your voltage requirements.

Regards
Mister Pig

 

Re: You certainly may :), posted on April 29, 2000 at 09:36:59
Doc B.


 
Sorry that we can't do the 240V tap folks. It's kind of a long story, having to do with our strong commitment to the legacy of our chassis layout and deciding what to compromise on to get the best features for the size of the power trans. There are so many terminals on the PGP 8.1 ( there are 11) that something had to give, and so we sacrificed the universal taps.

What we have done as an alternative( I really do appreciate our offshore customers, and we have many, in spite of this power thing )is to come up with a really nice, hunky, step up/step down autoformer, that can handle anything from 100V to 240V. It's big enough to run a pair of amps amd a preamp with VA to spare.

Note that this is an autoformer, not a transformer. It connects the power trans primary directly to the mains, and functions more or less as an extension of the power trans primary.

If you have specific questions regarding pricing, etc., please take this to the bottlehead forum where I can be more specific.

 

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