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Amps for SL3?Low power possible?

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raanan

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Hi All,After 17 years with CLS in my main system,allowed myself the luxury of a pair of SL3s in my small bedroom.A pair of 12 watt tube amps that are definitely unable to drive the CLS to even moderate levels without distorting,drove the SL3s easily and effortlessly.What is the lowest powered amp that can drive SL3s?On live recordings the 12 watt amps belie their low power in noticeably restricted dynamics,but acquit themselves admirably with commercial material.
Thanks,Raanan
 

aliveatfive

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I tried driving the Sl 3's predecessor (Sequel II) with 40 watts of single-ended power. It was anemic and totally unsatisfactory.
 

roberto

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raanan said:
Hi All,After 17 years with CLS in my main system,allowed myself the luxury of a pair of SL3s in my small bedroom.A pair of 12 watt tube amps that are definitely unable to drive the CLS to even moderate levels without distorting,drove the SL3s easily and effortlessly.What is the lowest powered amp that can drive SL3s?On live recordings the 12 watt amps belie their low power in noticeably restricted dynamics,but acquit themselves admirably with commercial material.
Thanks,Raanan
Hola Raanan. Your new SL-3s have a sensitivity of 89 dBs/2.83V/m. This means that you can use one third of the power to get the same SPL as the CLS at full power. The new Vantage needs only 1/7 of this power because their sensitivity is 92dBs/2.83V/m. So, make your numbers and trust your ears. Long time ago, I drove my cls with only 50/ch, the Conrad Johnson MV-50 tube power amp. I was very happy with the sound, but the level was very low. My room was small, so I could be there hours without any ear-stress. But when I got power, the sound of them was definitive thousand times better. I think that in a small room, you could drive the SL-3s with 100 w/ch with SS and 70 w/ch with tubes. Hope this can help...happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto.
 

kach22i

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aliveatfive said:
I tried driving the Sl 3's predecessor (Sequel II) with 40 watts of single-ended power. It was anemic and totally unsatisfactory.
40 watts of single-ended power

Not a cheap thing to do. I've only read about such amps in the magazines, always in awe.

As to raanan's situation, I'm not sure if the lowest power to do the job really means the lowest cost.

I'm sure you could spend way more for a new 50 watt tube amp ($2,500 for example) than an old 100 tube amp ($1,000 for example) with a few scuffs and perhaps a little hum in a transformer that you can live with and tolerate for many years because of the low hours you might be putting on the amp.
 

aliveatfive

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kach22i said:
40 watts of single-ended power

Not a cheap thing to do. I've only read about such amps in the magazines, always in awe.

As to raanan's situation, I'm not sure if the lowest power to do the job really means the lowest cost.

I'm sure you could spend way more for a new 50 watt tube amp ($2,500 for example) than an old 100 tube amp ($1,000 for example) with a few scuffs and perhaps a little hum in a transformer that you can live with and tolerate for many years because of the low hours you might be putting on the amp.
Several years ago there was a company called Golden Tube Audio that sold single-ended tube amps for very reasonable prices. The one that I had (still have) retailed for only $1,000. Unfortunately, these amps were very unreliable. Mine began popping power supply fuses just about the time the comapny went out of business. I luckily found an e-tailer that sold a kit of parts that replaced the power supply with sturdier components. There were other upgrades also. When I replaced all the stuff on the circuit boards, I had a better sounding and performing amp. At some time I might try this amp on my Summits to hear how it sounds.

PS - BTW, these amps did not use very exotic output tubes (such as 300Bs), but common triodes driven as a single-ended output stage.
 
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aliveatfive

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Correction: the amp did not use triodes, but pentodes driven as triodes. (EL 34s or 6L6s)
 

kach22i

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aliveatfive said:
Several years ago there was a company called Golden Tube Audio that sold single-ended tube amps for very reasonable prices.
I own a Golden Tube SE-100 (for the past year, used $1,000), the one model without problems requiring aftermarket mods (I trust this is still true). Some people swear by G.T. amps and preamps, I love my 100 watts of Russian EL-34 power.

The Golden Tube single ended is not equal to the expensive the Cary Audio or DeHavlin counterparts I assume.

There is a Golden Tube Yahoo group I'm part of. Not a lot of SE-100 and SE-200 chatter, like I said I'll take that as a continued good sign.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/golden_tube/
 
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Artar1

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Over the holidays I purchased a McIntosh MC 2102, rated at 100 watts RMS into 8, 4, or 2 ohms.

At my normal listening levels, which precludes talking because of the loudness of the music (about 90 dB one meter away from my Martin Logan Ascents), the power meters on the MC 2102 showed about one watt of continuous output with less than 10 watts on all musical peaks for classical and jazz recordings. My room measures 13.5 feet deep and 27 feet wide. I sit about 10 feet from the Ascents.

I think that any good 25 watt amp that has excellent transformers and/or good current delivery can drive most ML speakers in small to medium-sized rooms with little difficulty provided one does not try to achieve very high SPLs, such as 100 dB plus on a continuous basis. Incidentally, sound levels this high will cause hearing damage over time. For larger rooms, 100 watts may required. It all depends on how loud one listens to music.
 

aliveatfive

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Even the best analog meters are too slow to show peaks. I've never heard an "old" style ML sound good with less than 100 watts.
 

jjqiv

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aliveatfive said:
Even the best analog meters are too slow to show peaks. I've never heard an "old" style ML sound good with less than 100 watts.
I have!

I am pretty darn happy with 50 watts of tube bliss. Beats the snot out of my previous 200 watts of high current SS.
 

Spike

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aliveatfive said:
I've never heard an "old" style ML sound good with less than 100 watts.
For my ReQuests, my SixPacs at 50wpc sound much more musical than my Classe' CA300 at 300wpc. The SixPacs go deeper in the bass region than the Classe' but do not have the taut control like the Classe'. Understandable since solid-state amplifiers fare better in the bass-control department than tubes. Nowadays, the SixPacs are driving the panels and the Classe' is doing what it's good at: driving the woofers.

Spike
 
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