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The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner

2.108.1.16

Posted on March 2, 2017 at 08:42:42
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15164
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
I think buyers of moderately priced, commercially available, SET amplification and speakers have always been a very small part of the SET world. It seems to be mostly inhabited by DIY builders and people with deep pockets. It used to be (is it still) that 300B owners could find a fair number of tube friendly 2-way speakers that sound just fine on tube friendly 2-ways. But the more I look at Stereophile, the more I see small stand mounts with very wicked electrical loads, obviously designed for SS amplification or perhaps paralled 300B output tubes, and anything else that can put out 20+ SET Watts (45, 211, 70, etc).

This leaves 2A3, 45 and smaller SET in the dust. Here, the moderately priced alternatives are honking full range speakers, some ZU speakers which don't sound much better to my ears, a small number of lone-wolf builders who have day jobs, and the low end of Audio Note (UK).

I consider myself lucky to have found one of the latter in Tonian Acoustics, but I had to take a big gamble since I had to rely mainly on word of mouth. I would have bought a less extensive pair of AN-E speakers, but they excited my back wall and the new technology and labor hours to replace that wall (so it doesn't vibrate) was just too expensive.

 

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RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 2, 2017 at 14:16:31
mrubey
Audiophile

Posts: 31
Location: Central Texas
Joined: May 16, 2015
I love my RETHMs on a diet of 3.5 watts of 2A3.
Amazing speakers.

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 2, 2017 at 15:08:45
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15164
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
I'm sure from what I have read that they are excellent speakers, and there is a dealer in Norway, but they are out of my "average Joe" price range. I also like the two Orangutan speakers by Devore, which I have heard, but I have the same problem there. I've also heard several Vaughn loud speakers, which I liked very much, but they too are out of my price-range.

Maybe I am asking too much. My current speakers please me no end and cost me less than $3500 shipped to Denmark from California.

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 2, 2017 at 16:26:25
Randal P
Audiophile

Posts: 33
Location: NYC Area
Joined: August 19, 2004
You are overlooking Omega Loudspeakers: fullange speakers of efficiency from 94-99dB priced from $695 - $4,695.

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 2, 2017 at 18:57:05
mrubey
Audiophile

Posts: 31
Location: Central Texas
Joined: May 16, 2015
I picked my RETHMs up as demos for a huge discount. They had barely been used at all. A little patience and effort can uncover some great deals.




 

Thanks, posted on March 3, 2017 at 01:55:52
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15164
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
I've looked at their home page before. I have never heard them. All of the modestly priced, "pure" full range speakers I have listened to do have a pretty nice mid-range that is just forward enough to suit my preferences, but every last one of those I have heard have jagged roll-off in the treble that is annoying to me. My current "affordable" speakers have ribbon tweeters combined with Fostex full-range drivers and a cross-ever between the two to replace the roll-off from the full-range drivers with the ribbon tweeter.

But, of course, there may be exceptions at the affordable end of the spectrum, but it takes a lot of "sampling" to find them. This is at a time, when virtually all of the big shows in the EU and the US are turning 95% high end SS power and 4% high-end tubes, most of which is PP, and the remaining 1% generally high-end SET, a good portion of which focuses on the 70, 211, and 845.

Another brand I almost tried, unheard, was Tekton, but I was a little leary of their claims, prices, and non-professional reviews. Who knows, I may have missed the real deal. Decision-making under uncertainty can lead to real regrets, so it's always best to slow down and be conservative when you come to a sharp bend in the road without a sign.


 

Also Tekton Design (nt), posted on March 3, 2017 at 06:07:18
msa
Audiophile

Posts: 666
Location: Northeast
Joined: November 1, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
July 13, 2010
nt

 

Mark Audio Alpairs, posted on March 3, 2017 at 11:04:07
andy evans
Audiophile

Posts: 2952
Joined: October 20, 2000
If you can manage to build an enclosure or have one built, the Mark Audio full range units are close to best in class for a 5" or 6" aluminium cone. I use the Altair 10s

The alternative - which would clearly be better - is what I had before, Apogee full-range ribbons. I just don't have the space but if I did I'd use an amp that suited them, SET or PP or whatever as long as it was DHTs right through. In the case of panel speakers, it's speaker over amp.

 

Blumstein Audio are still around (among others)., posted on March 4, 2017 at 01:07:41
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5114
Location: Ryedale
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
July 23, 2004
But I don't see that much change - it was ever thus!


Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

RE: Blumstein Audio are still around (among others)???, posted on March 4, 2017 at 01:35:27
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15164
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
Have you ever owned, or heard any of their speakers?

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 4, 2017 at 01:56:02
mah
Audiophile

Posts: 55
Joined: May 26, 2008
o0w output SETs are very simple amplifiers. High costs don't reflect worthwhile gains. Duck,the world is about to collapse into subjective waffle.

 

RE: Blumstein Audio are still around (among others)???, posted on March 4, 2017 at 04:55:20
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5114
Location: Ryedale
Joined: April 4, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
July 23, 2004
No. But I have heard some of those (Fostex) drivers before. But the point is availability, is it not?
Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 4, 2017 at 17:32:05
drlowmu
Manufacturer

Posts: 9706
Location: East of Kansas City
Joined: January 10, 2005
Dear E.E.,

Name FOUR SET amps you have heard. How about three???


Jeff Medwin

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 4, 2017 at 19:40:13
mah
Audiophile

Posts: 55
Joined: May 26, 2008
Audition a pair of Altec Model 14s.



Under $1000pr. 95dB SPL - a bit more with corner, wall and room gain.

 

RE: The problem is looking to stereophile nt, posted on March 5, 2017 at 09:22:07
Iain42
Audiophile

Posts: 789
Location: Arcansaw
Joined: February 10, 2004
,
High sensitivity, wide dynamic range, low distortion, and smooth frequency response. Pwk

http://www.itishifi.com

 

ALTEC 14s, posted on March 5, 2017 at 15:15:25
drlowmu
Manufacturer

Posts: 9706
Location: East of Kansas City
Joined: January 10, 2005
Good post. May suggest this to one of my good buddies, in an apartment.

Thank you !! Off to eBay now.

Low Mu Jeff Medwin

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 5, 2017 at 20:42:49
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 10148
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
I don't know why you don't just build the corner that warren jarrett built and simply stick those in your corners.

This room had people who hated Audio Note call it one of the best sounds they've heard, and even reviewers I know who aren't big fans of the E were very impressed.

 

Amen to that, posted on March 6, 2017 at 01:38:57
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15164
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
I'm not sure why I still subscribe. My hope was that Art Dudley would be given some small space to cover SET amplification and speakers. But economics has prevailed.

 

That's tough for anyone, these days, posted on March 6, 2017 at 01:43:58
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15164
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
I have heard more than three, including your favorite, and I own or have owned five, but I bought three of them without having heard them, based simply on "research".

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 6, 2017 at 09:51:37
used-hifi
Audiophile

Posts: 529
Location: Surprise AZ
Joined: March 18, 2003
Simple: DIY your own! Learn something or if you are so not capable there are many that would love to build you one :)



Single Ended amplifiers are very simple and building/Voicing these simple amplifiers can be fun if you like to experiment as i do :) but also extremely difficult as every component sets a sound!


Lawrence

 

RE: Amen to that, posted on March 8, 2017 at 02:34:59
tube wrangler
Manufacturer

Posts: 1647
Location: USA
Joined: January 29, 2007
Absolute sound and Stereophile, and at times, many others,
remain as very valuable tools for us.

Analyzing musical tastes is, of course, a mostly no-win
situation, so why subscribe to any of the publications?

It is because of their EXPERIENCE with many different
pieces of equipment-- and in the long run, the reviewers
have learned what qualities good equipment should-- and
some do-- bring to the table.

None of us can buy or build everything-- it would take
millions of dollars, and many lifetimes to sample 10% of
it, and more would come along-- faster than one could
sample all of it.

But a group of people who can be loaned equipment from
different dealers and manufacturers -- and know what to
expect when that equipment is GOOD equipment, can and will
sample and report on most of the best of it. Coverage at audio
shows, while necessarily often spotty, adds greatly to the
accuracy of simple observations by the reviewer/reporter. Is
it totally honest? Let's put it this way: is anything else
MORE honest? I think not!

Of course, not all reporting is perfect-- that is impossible
for the Human Race to do! What we DO get, and that I appreciate
very, very much is comment from professionals who KNOW WHAT THEY
ARE DOING-- and already know what good equipment should do.

I salute especially Absolute Sound and Stereophile magazines.

I have personally subscribed to both for many years, and will
certainly continue to do so. When I need a new component (an
example is the new approaches to Direct-Drive turntables).

WHERE ELSE are you going to find out what the new Pioneer
Direct_drive TT actually does, for instance, in terms that
make MUSICAL sense? Are you going to buy 100 different brands
of turntables to find out? Or get some honest comparisons
from seasoned pros?

Sure-- the audio press has to satisfy both dealers and
advertisers. That is a given. Despite that, I find most
reviews VERY honest if the reader will simply do ONE thing:

READ BETWEEN THE LINES and LOOK FOR CLUES HIDDEN IN THE
DISCUSSIONS.

NO ONE is going to tell you point-blank that item "A" at
say, $1500.00 outperformed item "B" that cost $4500.00

But if it actually does that-- that fact WILL be buried
in the clues that are hidden in the reviews.

Seasoned pros are normally good at another thing:
spotting good build quality, and imparting experiences
about reliability.

These kinds of publications are the greatest gifts that
have ever been given to people who want to see music
reproduced right.

-Dennis-

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 8, 2017 at 14:15:37
vinnie2
Audiophile

Posts: 2598
Joined: September 28, 2013
Two layers of 1/2 inch sheet rock at 90 degrees to each other might have taken care of the problem and it wouldn't have cost very much in money or labor.

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 9, 2017 at 14:29:52
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15164
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
No corners!

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 9, 2017 at 16:22:17
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 10148
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
Move to a new house/apartment :)

 

RE: The world is getting worse for your average Joe SET owner, posted on March 29, 2017 at 14:24:51
hottattoo
Audiophile

Posts: 79
Location: New York
Joined: July 30, 2011
Depending on your room size, you can make or have made a pair of cabinets for the Great Plains Audio classic 604 driver. While not cheap, you can get excellent sound and I doubt will find better sound for the money. But , it is true that the picking are lean for SET owners. I guess we can blame cheap 100+ watt amps the size of a pack of cigarettes.

 

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