Amps & Preamps... Do You Match Brands?

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Lightloopy

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If you have never had tubes in your system definitely worth checking out and see if to your liking. The heat factor depends on the amp and it's design. My VTL MB250's are definitely space heaters. They seems to be designed like a nuclear reactor ready to melt down. On the other hand , I heard a Mcintosh MC1502 and was surprised how much cooler it was running.
Enjoy
 

BDH55

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I was checking out the VTL website and found their argument for matching manufacturers preamps and main amps here. They certainly say matching different manufactures will work, but they add some cautions. Does this sound valid or is it more marketing hype? Also, since VTL is a tube company, is this something that applies to tube equipment, but not really to solid state gear?
 

Spike

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The VTL TL2.5 and TL5.5 with their output impedance of approximately 200ohms are both designed to be able to drive solid state amplifiers down to 45k ohm and 20k ohm input impedance respectively, with little or no noticeable roll-off in the bass.The TL7.5 will drive any power amplifier through any reasonable length of cable with predictable performance, with only slight bass loss into the punishing 600 ohm studio standard.top
Marketing hype! Reading the VTL webpage, it takes 5 paragraphs talking in circles. First, they said that "For the best and most predictable results it is often best to use pre- and power amplifiers from the same manufacturer " only to revert their position in a later paragraph at the bottom.

With regards to seeking sonic improvement from your JC1, I think you're going to have a hard time. The JC1 is that good! It's going to be a lateral move at best, with a different sound, but not necessary better.

With regards to the heat issue, do you recall where the volume position is currently compared to where it was when you had your Summits. That may give you some hints.
 
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Lightloopy

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I was checking out the VTL website and found their argument for matching manufacturers preamps and main amps here. They certainly say matching different manufactures will work, but they add some cautions. Does this sound valid or is it more marketing hype? Also, since VTL is a tube company, is this something that applies to tube equipment, but not really to solid state gear?
The impedance matching stuff is all over my head. I've run tube pre's with SS and now all tubes. I just plug it in and see if I like it. I remember trying out a Hovland HP 100 and I was trying so hard to like it since it was such a beautiful piece of equipment but no dice. These days I will only purchase something I have plugged into my system. I think the same equipment in a different room will be different but sometimes no choice.
As long as you are having fun...
 

BDH55

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With regards to the heat issue, do you recall where the volume position is currently compared to where it was when you had your Summits. That may give you some hints.
Unfortunately, no I don't. I suppose I could swap my Summits back into my system (yep, once again I'm being lazy and haven't yet sold my Summits, Stage or Descent i), but that sounds like too much work. Also, since my preamp doesn't have a display it wouldn't be easy to do an actual comparison. I certainly appreciate the suggestion however!
 

RCHeliGuy

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I'm still loving how my OPPO 105D pre-amp output drives my amp. I guess I'm tone deaf.
 

Paul172

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I’m running the PS Audio M1200’s Class D amp with a Class A tube input stage! Unlimited dynamics, headroom, and power plus very musical!
 

Bodyslam

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I run my ML's (Monolith panels in CLS frames) with an EAR G-88 preamp and EAR 549 amps. Not matching brands on purpose, just chosen because that combination makes the system sing in a way no other gear has. No one comments on the sound of the system, they just say "can we listen some more?" until late at night and we all have to quit for the night.

Yes, those tube monoblocks heat up the room. I just live with it.
 

Luna

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Hello everyone, I drive my ML Prodigy with an Emms-Labs pre amp and a Bryston 4bsst² amplifier and I am very satisfied with the result compared to my old Cambridge 840 and the monster power 2250 amplifier did not support the lowers ohm's.
 

JonFo

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No need to match brands, but you do need to match impedances and gain structures. Most of the 'differences' when comparing the same brand vs others boils down to some miss-match there.

I use a Marantz processor feeding DBX DriveRack speaker processors, which feed a mix of Sunfire (3 units, 12 ch total), Sanders Sound Systems ESL amp, Crown (2) and QSC amps. All carefully tuned for correct gain structure. And all BTW, on balanced interconnects. Performs superbly.

IMHO, most preferences for the same brand are more about aesthetic match than anything else. <ducks>
 
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