Age old question from a newcomer!

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stephen4wine

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This is a first post from a first time buyer of 11A’s that I bought used for 7k on ebay earlier this year. I was enchanted by the transparency of a pair of ML I heard 10 years ago. I listen to CD/ vinyl, mainly orchestra and small ensemble/ Jazz. Occasionally I like to lean towards rock and EDM.

I found my speaker purchase easy but now my next stage is an upgrade too a Pre/Power Amp. This is proving to be difficult as I have zero experience in such matters. Please help!

I have watched reviews and seems that Parasound, Bryston and Anthem provide solid synergy amp options suited to the electrostat ML? Spending up to 7-9 k is ideal. I am open to you input and experience. I’m sure this is a noob question but of paramount importance as to not make a mistake in my purchase in order to make them sing.

thanks in advance Stephen.
 
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Ronin

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You are going to get a million suggestions but really the only way to tell how anything will team up with your speakers is in your house with your own ears. There are so many good pieces out there- but perhaps some members have your speakers and have tried a few different amps. I have CLSIIz panels. Best amps were a Dag and a Michi X5. They are both integrated but I found if you are spending under 20K (certainly under 10k) there are integrateds that do just as well if not better than separates. However if you just want seperates, then you can't go wrong heading in that direction, especially if you like experimenting. Best of luck.... Fun journey.
 

Robert D

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The big statistic for an amp that most guys agree on is that the amp doubles its power when going from 8 Ohms down to 4 Ohms. Electrostats are hard to drive, and so just any amp won't do. If I remember right, the higher frequencies are what's hardest to power.
If I was in the market and buying a new amp, I'd probably look at the Sanders amps.

That's his more affordable one. He has two models. If you read up on his website, you'll learn some about driving electrostats.
There is a long thread on this forum about what amp to use. That's a good place to read.
I use a stereo Aragon amp. Lots of guys use Parasound like you say.
 

msimanyi

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The good news is with 11As your woofers are already powered. You don’t need high power from an amp, just one that is good at 2 ohms. Ideally, you want one that doubles power from 8 ohms down to 4 ohms and specifically is stable for 2 ohms.

If I were in your shoes right now, I’d look for a used Pass integrated amp or even a CODA. If you’re willing to go separates, I’ve read the Sanders amps are superb and specifically developed for ESLs.

I‘ll add that I’m exceptionally happy with my PS Audio M1200s and Odyssey Audio Kismet amps.

Ronin is correct above. Lots of options, I’m sure you’ll see lots of suggestions. Have fun.
 

Robert D

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Super affordable, this monoblock works well on my Martin Logan Focus center channel.


We have at least one member here that uses 3 of those if I remember right. One for each of the front speakers.

Looking at the stats on that, you see the power output does double when resistance halves.
 

PVMIKE

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I have the ESL 11A's and am driving them with Parasounds JC5 power amp, and am currently saving to get the JC 6 pre amp. I am currently only streaming music and using a Linn Majik DSM that is doubling as my pre amp for now. I am very happy with the sound I am getting from this set up.
 

BigGuy

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This is a first post from a first time buyer of 11A’s that I bought used for 7k on ebay earlier this year. I was enchanted by the transparency of a pair of ML I heard 10 years ago. I listen to CD/ vinyl, mainly orchestra and small ensemble/ Jazz. Occasionally I like to lean towards rock and EDM.

I found my speaker purchase easy but now my next stage is an upgrade too a Pre/Power Amp. This is proving to be difficult as I have zero experience in such matters. Please help!

I have watched reviews and seems that Parasound, Bryston and Anthem provide solid synergy amp options suited to the electrostat ML? Spending up to 7-9 k is ideal. I am open to you input and experienc. I’m sure this is a noob question but if paramount importance as to not make a mistake in order to make them sing.

thanks in advance Stephen.
Given your budget, I would recommend the PASS INT-60 integrated amp...


 

stephen4wine

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You are going to get a million suggestions but really the only way to tell how anything will team up with your speakers is in your house with your own ears. There are so many good pieces out there- but perhaps some members have your speakers and have tried a few different amps. I have CLSIIz panels. Best amps were a Dag and a Michi X5. They are both integrated but I found if you are spending under 20K (certainly under 10k) there are integrateds that do just as well if not better than separates. However if you just want seperates, then you can't go wrong heading in that direction, especially if you like experimenting. Best of luck.... Fun journey.
Thank you Ronin, I shall take a look at the Michi X5..
 

stephen4wine

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I have the ESL 11A's and am driving them with Parasounds JC5 power amp, and am currently saving to get the JC 6 pre amp. I am currently only streaming music and using a Linn Majik DSM that is doubling as my pre amp for now. I am very happy with the sound I am getting from this set up.
Thanks PVMike, the JC5 seems to be a strong contender in my price range and I appreciate the confirmation especially as you have the 11a also. Cheers
 

stephen4wine

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Given your budget, I would recommend the PASS INT-60 integrated amp...


Looks like a more than competent option and maybe better than the Parasound. So let me take a closer look. Thank you very much Big Guy.
 

BigGuy

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Looks like a more than competent option and maybe better than the Parasound. So let me take a closer look. Thank you very much Big Guy.

You are more than welcome. I have been running various models of Martin Logan speakers with numerous Pass Labs amplifiers for the past 25+ years and consider them a marriage made for audio nirvana.

Good luck with your quest, Steven.
 

Big Dog RJ

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G'day mate, welcome to MLO.

The ESL 11A's are outstanding stats! Auditioned them on a few occasions with Vitus and Pass Labs amps, extremely good. As mentioned above, the Pass Labs gear is exceptionally tops, as well as others that have been listed.

Re. To amplifiers power ratings, although power output is important, it's not just about power in terms of watts. It all depends on the amp's power supplies and how well designed they are. Larger power supply design means higher current capacity and highly stable voltage, this is what grips, controls, and drives stats efficiently.

I've come across many different types of power amps with high power ratings that look impressive on specs... but failed miserably when driving stats. Simply because they ran out of puff... which means inadequate power supplies and mediocre current and voltage capabilities. Better suited to benign loads not electrostatic impedence swings. This can vary from high as 22 Ohms and down to 0.7 Ohms. That's less than 1 Ohm and this swing happens in a blink of an eye... this is where most amplifiers give up.

Those listed above, such as Pass Labs, Parasound, Anthem, Bryston, Aragon, Magtec, Dan D's designs, Michi and so on... all have rock solid power supplies. These brands are designed to handle notorious impedence swings typical of stats, and they don't flinch one bit under stress. You will come across many others but only a few can really double at 4 Ohms then triple at 2 Ohms and still remain stable at less than 2 Ohms, this is a very good design!

So don't just focus on 100s & 100s of watts... rather the current capacity and stable voltage is most important. Some specs will provide the current in amperes and talk about handling "reactive loads" these are the ones to consider.

Cheers, and have a good one,
RJ
 

twich54

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as stated stats impedance drop is inverse that of your typical box speaker but remember this, it's at the upper most range of the audible freq spectrum that it dips into the 2 ohm range. Far enough up that there is little musical content there IMO. FWIW, when I had my Spire's I was driving them to complete satisfaction with a pair of Rogue M180 mono blocks.
 

Reverb

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Welcome to the forum Stephen. Enjoy
 
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