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Thread: Tube amps for ML vantage

  1. #1

    Default Tube amps for ML vantage

    To tube amp lovers,
    Any sense in trying to run Vantages with a two channel tube amp (likely 100Wpc will be the highest I can do right now). I saw the specs of the vantage say recommended amp power from 20-500W/ch. Has anybody compared the ESLs run on a solid state versus tube?

  2. #2
    Forum Administrator twich54's Avatar
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    This has been done and discussed many times. Do a search, there's lots of chatter about it. Myself I'm presently using a pair of Rouge Audio M-150's but also have in use when I feel the mood is my Plinius SA-102. Both methods work well IMO.

    The general rule of thumb with tubes and stat's is having an amplifier with a low enough impedence output capability so as to not roll off the top end.
    Dave

    System #79 - Analog is Alive and Well, if in doubt, click the link below !

    Click Here to see my System

  3. #3

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    My Expierences were that Tube amps had a lot more boom with the Vantage Subs and much.many adjustments needed to be made. Using an Integrated SS amp with Tube outputs was much better for my situation.
    ML Electromotion , LSA Statement Amp modded by Exemplar Audio, AMR CD-77.1 Modded by Avatar Acoustics, Sono's Server.
    CLX System -Sold System
    Vantage 5.1 System - Sold System

  4. #4

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    I find that the "tube" sound is much more pleasent then pure solid state. Granted, the correct amp coupled with the Vantage is going to sound great regardless. I think it will most likely come down to personal taste. My amp (Conrad Johnson Evolution 2000) puts 200 wpc @ 8 ohm and double that into 4 ohm. I find that it is a very pleasing sound. I can't really comment on what lower power would sound like although the speakers are rated to use much lower power (as you described in your original post). I would definitely experiment but you'll most likely be pleased with the warm "tube" sound.

    My Home Theater (including full equipment list, pictures, and room build gallery): Home Theater web page

  5. #5

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    I'm struggling with tubes and the Vantage at the moment. I had a tube amp on my old ML quest and it sounded fantastic. On the Vantage its definitely not good. I'm sure it's a mitch match between the active part of the vantage and the tube amp, so some experimentation might be needed.

    Enjoy the hunt.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reenberg View Post
    I'm struggling with tubes and the Vantage at the moment. I had a tube amp on my old ML quest and it sounded fantastic. On the Vantage its definitely not good. I'm sure it's a mitch match between the active part of the vantage and the tube amp, so some experimentation might be needed.

    Enjoy the hunt.
    What kind of problems are you having? Tube amps should generally give a nice warm and musical touch to the sound, vs solid state. What kind of amp do you have, how much power do they give at 4 ohms? Have you changed anything else in your system since the quests, player, cables, pre-amp...? Have you tried the vantages with another amp to make sure it's not something wrong with the speaker itself?
    My Home Theater (including full equipment list, pictures, and room build gallery): Home Theater web page

  7. #7

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    I have a string about the whole storey inhere Problems-drivning-vantage.


    It was a high quality tubeamp ( 6l6GC PP class A, Lundahl iron, 3 driver tubes pr. pair ect. ) and it was a match in heaven with the quests. It sounded terrible with the vantage ( my Accuphase and DOXA on the other hand sound great on both the Quest and the Vantage). The rest of the chain is by the way, m2tech from my pc feeding a modded benchmark dac one.

    All I'm saying is that not all tube amps are capable of driving the Vantages, and iff Papageno hit one of those in the first try, dont be scared, just try another one *s*

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reenberg View Post
    I have a string about the whole storey inhere Problems-drivning-vantage.


    It was a high quality tubeamp ( 6l6GC PP class A, Lundahl iron, 3 driver tubes pr. pair ect. ) and it was a match in heaven with the quests. It sounded terrible with the vantage ( my Accuphase and DOXA on the other hand sound great on both the Quest and the Vantage). The rest of the chain is by the way, m2tech from my pc feeding a modded benchmark dac one.

    All I'm saying is that not all tube amps are capable of driving the Vantages, and iff Papageno hit one of those in the first try, dont be scared, just try another one *s*
    I read through the thread you referenced. So basically it could be a couple of issues in my opinion: 1st, the tube amp was only rated at 20 wpc, that is right on the lower end of recommendation. This simply may not be enough power, especially for the highs. 2nd, for some unpredictable/inexplicable reason that particular tube amp is a bad match for the vantages. 3rd, a connection issue (unlikely as you checked this out and you didn't have problems with the other speaker). 4th, the vantages have some kind of defect (you can try them out on somebody else's system or with a new preamp/amp). I did see that one of your comments was that the vantages didn't sound as good when you were in other rooms of the house. I find that the vantages overall have a very small sweet spot when compared to typical speakers. I sit 12 ft away from them in a 500 sq foot room and I can close my eyes and tell you the sweet spot within 6 inches! They will not sound good while your in another room, or even out of the sweet spot. I guess that leaves me to the last question, did you position them correctly? They should be at least 2-3 ft off the side walls and ideally 5 ft off the back. They also have to be vertically angled correctly. Did you use the "flash light" test to make sure they are angled "out" properly. It's amazing how room acoustics and positioning will effect the sound. I hope this helps! Don't give up, the Vantages are great speakers and very popular for good reason!
    My Home Theater (including full equipment list, pictures, and room build gallery): Home Theater web page

  9. #9

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    Hi Envenio

    Thx for the long post.

    The system is playing flawless with my solid state amp, so i'm sure it's not a technical problem. the 20w was plenty with the hard to drive quest's son there should be power enough ( on can of course always use more ). Im guessing that you are spot on on number 2, bad match and when times comes ( will it ever ) I'll rebuild the tube amp.

    I'll agree that room acoustic is important, One of the walls in the room is covered with Rockofon behind a big picture, that did a lot ( and was cheep )

    No doubt that the Vantage is a great speaker, I'll just miss the magic sparkle the tube amp gave ( female voices was sooo nice)... But I knew that it's not just only about buying quality stuff, but also about finding stuff there matches...that the fun part of this hobby *s*
    Last edited by Reenberg; 09-21-2011 at 10:18 PM.

  10. #10

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    To add my .02 I had the Ayon Triton running my Vantage and Spire, both times it was not a good match. Added SS power with Tube pre and the magic returned.
    ML Electromotion , LSA Statement Amp modded by Exemplar Audio, AMR CD-77.1 Modded by Avatar Acoustics, Sono's Server.
    CLX System -Sold System
    Vantage 5.1 System - Sold System

  11. #11

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    tried several solid state amps on my Vantage: Anthem,Bryston,Carver, and a few more,currently using an McIntosh MC 275 the only upgrade that MAY happen is a second MC 275 so...horses 4 courses.......

  12. #12

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    Some changes since last time, had a radford sta-15 for almost a year, nice amp, great midrange, and still enough bass to annoy the neighbours.
    Changed it to an MC 275 ( golden lion drivers, treasure kt88) , wonderful sound, resolution and bass a step up from the radford, midrange...different, I think I have traded resolution and bass for a tiny part of colourful midrange, but we are talking very small things here. Think Ill keep it for some time .

    Next project is an new dac

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reenberg View Post
    Some changes since last time, had a radford sta-15 for almost a year, nice amp, great midrange, and still enough bass to annoy the neighbours.
    Changed it to an MC 275 ( golden lion drivers, treasure kt88) , wonderful sound, resolution and bass a step up from the radford, midrange...different, I think I have traded resolution and bass for a tiny part of colourful midrange, but we are talking very small things here. Think Ill keep it for some time .

    Next project is an new dac
    Glad it working out. The Vantage is a great speaker but like any other, it needs to be coupled to the right amp.

    Let us know how the DAC hunting goes. I use a Conrad Johnson d/a-2b tube based DAC. I absolutely love it. Great detail, yet none of the harshness that many digital DAC introduce. It makes well recorded CD's sound amazing, and bad recordings sound actually pretty good. I found that bad recordings on certain DAC's sound awful. Good luck!
    My Home Theater (including full equipment list, pictures, and room build gallery): Home Theater web page

  14. #14

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    txs

    Right now the MC 275 is driven with an old benchmark dac one ( balanced ), and i'm collecting bit's for a buffalo III dac with a pass labs inspired I/V.

    Right now I have skipped the pre-amp...but the jury is still out on that part ...

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reenberg View Post
    txs

    Right now the MC 275 is driven with an old benchmark dac one ( balanced ), and i'm collecting bit's for a buffalo III dac with a pass labs inspired I/V.

    Right now I have skipped the pre-amp...but the jury is still out on that part ...
    What are you using for volume control if your not using a preamp?
    My Home Theater (including full equipment list, pictures, and room build gallery): Home Theater web page

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