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Single Ended Triodes (SETs), the ultimate tube lovers dream.

RE: Dennis Fraker

Correct. There exist plenty of high-power amps that WILL deliver 300 watts or more into a specified load. In that case, only on that load, only under that amp-drive condition-- sure-- a watt is a watt.

The problem arises when MUSIC changes both the amplifier's -and- the load's characteristics-- and keeps changing both continually throughout a musical performance.

Believe me, there are 300 watt amps that can light up a 400 watt light bulb, but CANNOT deliver even 1/400 of a watt of useful acoustical energy into a speaker voice coil under SOME combinations of frequency, frequency shift timing, and amplifier loading-- all of which are changing as music plays.

Enter an amp that can deliver one watt-- or whatever-- into any condition that music imposes on both the amp and the speaker-- and all wiring as well, and you will still have only one watt-- from the amp-- agreed.

What you're not addressing is that one watt is a LOT of power if it's working right all of the time under all musically driven conditions..

My JBL Paragon is a 3-way system using JBL 15" woofer in a Tunnel Port, a 2" midrange driver- spread-horn short-loaded, and JBL's Ring Tweeter.

Each channel has two crossover networks. The second network borrows power from the first network's output! Now, this thing is hard to drive! (more so than operating the same drivers and crossover networks in two separate cabinets would be-- the Paragon uses an integrator panel to combine and spread energy all over an entire room).

This means that all of the drivers must be driven harder to arrive at the same SPL's that are easier to achieve with the same parts-- operating only in stereo-- not as an integrated stereo/mono whole. (The Stereo Paragon is ONE stereo speaker).

There is a lot of wiring in this system, and that means substantial wire losses as well.

This system will not do anything even remotely impressive on solid state amps of less than about 500 watts/channel, and it has the same problems with almost all tube amplifiers, requiring a really good 150-200 watts of power per channel from them.

However, I am running all of this on a MAXIMUM of 1/12 watt per channel-- from a very carefully engineered S.E. direct-coupled tube amp.

Since the amp easily puts out over one watt, this system has tremendous bottom-end, outstanding wide-range dynamics, and tons of reserve power.

Measurements made of heat buildup INSIDE the woofer, mid-range, and tweeter voice coils tell the story: other amps are making a lot of HEAT-- this one is NOT.

The heat buildup from other amplifiers is because they cannot deliver MOST OF the musical signals ON TIME-- to the speaker driver voice coil. The physical motion is mostly fibrillation-- not music, and although the speaker may sound loud enough and sound pretty good, (because not ALL of said amp's power is causing fibrillation-- SOME is actually getting through on-time)--the heat buildup still tells the truth for anyone to see.

Also, woofer-cone motion is almost undetectable with the one watt D.C. amp-- indicating near ideal amp control over speaker diaphragm behavior.

1/12 watt MAX-- per channel-- that's all the listening room can take-- yet low-end output of this system is outstanding. The midrange is solid and full, and the highs are extended-- but coherent to the music-- they're part of the performance, not added "sizzle". Highs in this system, driven in this way-- are spookily real, sublime, pristine, powerful, solidly fleshed-out, multi-layered, and not a layer out-of-time or place.

The old Paragon is a great speaker-- I think easily the best ever built- but you'll never hear it on almost all available amplifiers-- it will sound bland.

Another interesting thing is that the system sounds exactly the same-- musically-- at all usable volume levels-- on the one watt D.C. amp..

This speaker will not do that on any other amplifier.

There you have it. Take it or leave it-- what exists-- is!


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