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Antique Sound Labs - "Extreme Hurricanes" Tubed Amps

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Robin

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Has anyone here auditioned, Antique Sound Labs - "Extreme Hurricanes" tubed amplifiers? I wonder how they would sound with ML's (Summit's)? I've been researching / lusting after these babies, ever since I saw a pair on Audiogon recently... :eek:
 

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Robin

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I found some more information...

I've been reading as much information as I can, but from what I can tell 6550/KT88 tubes powered properly can deliver some beautiful tubed music. The Extreme Hurricane offers eight 6550/KT88 per mono block, which is extreme... :D



http://www.responseaudio.com/extreme asl hurricane.htm



This amplifier seems very well built from what I can see. Though, I wonder what it sounds like? :confused:
 

aliveatfive

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Robin said:
I've been reading as much information as I can, but from what I can tell 6550/KT88 tubes powered properly can deliver some beautiful tubed music. The Extreme Hurricane offers eight 6550/KT88 per mono block, which is extreme... :D



http://www.responseaudio.com/extreme asl hurricane.htm



This amplifier seems very well built from what I can see. Though, I wonder what it sounds like? :confused:

Robin -

Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound had a fit when he auditioned these amps about 5 years ago. He thought they were among the best poweramps he'd ever heard. There were changes in the parts specified, however. Allegedly, they have since been improved by the Chinese manufacturer. If you can find a reliable, newer pair of these, they are a great buy. Any comparable North American assembled units would probably run 2 or 3 times as much. I've heard them at shows, etc. Recommended.
 

Robin

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North American vs. Chinese Assembly?

aliveatfive said:
Robin -

Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound had a fit when he auditioned these amps about 5 years ago. He thought they were among the best poweramps he'd ever heard. There were changes in the parts specified, however. Allegedly, they have since been improved by the Chinese manufacturer. If you can find a reliable, newer pair of these, they are a great buy. Any comparable North American assembled units would probably run 2 or 3 times as much. I've heard them at shows, etc. Recommended.
aliveatfive,

So what you are saying, is the Extreme Hurricanes are currently being assembled in China, but used to be assembled in North America, correct? Well, it sounds like the quality is still being continued, which is good news... :)

Thank you for your recommendation and feedback. I appreciate it... :D
 

kwr

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Be careful Robin - there are a few reports of quality concerns with failures and poor backup. I would go via a dealer on this one rather than the web. Harry Pearson is as capable as the next reviewer in terms of raving about a capable but not outstanding product. The easy place to cut costs on a valve amp is at the transformers and the output transformer has a big impact on the sound.

Listen for yourself - if you like it get it via a reputable dealer.

Kevin
 

patlad

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Robin,

if you are looking after big tubed power amps, you may want to look at Jadis (JA 200, JA 500) although these amps would be probably outpriced. And as kwr said, the output transformer is critical and most of the cost of such amps comes from it. Jadis makes the transformer themselves and it comes with a life time warranty. Powering a ML speaker with Jadis means you're touching audio nirvana. But at what price :)
http://www.pierregabriel.com/Jadis/Page/ElectronicsIntro.htm

Patrick
 

Craig

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I auditioned a pair of these nearly 2 years ago. I recall I liked the sound of these and was considering a pair to drive my Ascents, but it was too along to remember specific sound qualities. All those tubes make a lot of push-pull power. The downside of all those tubes is the cost of replacement or tube rolling. The other downside is the amount of heat they will produce if you don't have a large room and/or good ventilation. If you are looking for something to power a pair of Summits you don't necessarily need 200 watts of tube power to make them sing.
 

kwr

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Hi again Robin,

I hadn't realised that your post referred to modded Hurricanes. My reading of it sets off alarm bells. Unless there are some big design faults with the original amps I strongly doubt that the mods will have that big an impact on the sound as the output transformer has not been touched.

Beware.

Kevin
 

edwinr

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I have to say I am dubious about the claims made for the Chinese sourced tube amps that have flooded the market during the last few years. My last experience with Chinese tube amps was costly and frustrating. I owned two Jolida integrated amps and while it's claimed they were assembled in the U.S.A., I doubt much assembly had occured. I suffered a lot of mains transformer related problems with a hum on both amps that wouldn't go away. The mains transformer was remounted with rubber grommets and I even had the transformers relaminated without success. I eventually sold both amps and bought s/s. I admit these amps looked great though. Here's a pic...
 

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aliveatfive

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Robin said:
aliveatfive,

So what you are saying, is the Extreme Hurricanes are currently being assembled in China, but used to be assembled in North America, correct? Well, it sounds like the quality is still being continued, which is good news... :)

Thank you for your recommendation and feedback. I appreciate it... :D
The Hurricanes were never produced in North America. They've always been a Chinese product. They did some fooling around with different capacitor types in early production. This has been stabilized in cuurent models. A lot of electronic goods that you may think have been produced domestically are actually produced in mainland China.
 

Robin

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Thanks...

aliveatfive said:
The Hurricanes were never produced in North America. They've always been a Chinese product. They did some fooling around with different capacitor types in early production. This has been stabilized in cuurent models. A lot of electronic goods that you may think have been produced domestically are actually produced in mainland China.
aliveatfive,

:eek: Thanks good to know. I have lots to consider...
I'm just wondering where I can audition a pair of these puppies, in California?
Oh well, Thanks again for the information. Auditioning good, powerfully - tubed mono blocks can be a difficult proposition, thornier than I suppose... :)
 

DTB300

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edwinr said:
I owned two Jolida integrated amps and while it's claimed they were assembled in the U.S.A., I doubt much assembly had occured. I suffered a lot of mains transformer related problems with a hum on both amps that wouldn't go away. The mains transformer was remounted with rubber grommets and I even had the transformers relaminated without success. I eventually sold both amps and bought s/s. I admit these amps looked great though. Here's a pic...
The Jolida factory is just up the road from me fronted by an Audio Store with what else....lots of Jolida gear. I met and had some nice talks with Mike Allen. The first time I met him, he walks out from the back in shorts, a cup of coffee and flip flops. We had a nice discussion about many things, and some of his recommendations were NOT his products or items he offered.

The Jolida amps were not bad sounding, but not my taste. They also have the new Heil speakers which were good sounding no matter if you were seated in the center or at the left or right speaker.

Dan
 

Zorro

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Robin,

I too have heard of many reports about the Hurricanes having problems, similar to what kwr noted. That said, even if you decide to go ahead, another factor to consider is that there are 16 tubes to constantly re-bias, which means more work than pleasure... :)

Apart from the fact that they are selling PrimaLuna amps like hotcakes, Upscale Audio seem to be clearing all their Antique Sound Labs stock. There may be a reason for this, you may want to enquire.
 

Robin

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Excellent points - Thank you...

Zorro said:
Robin,

I too have heard of many reports about the Hurricanes having problems, similar to what kwr noted. That said, even if you decide to go ahead, another factor to consider is that there are 16 tubes to constantly re-bias, which means more work than pleasure... :)

Apart from the fact that they are selling PrimaLuna amps like hotcakes, Upscale Audio seem to be clearing all their Antique Sound Labs stock. There may be a reason for this, you may want to enquire.
Zorro,

Yes, I plan to beware and proceed with caution. Constantly re-biasing 16 tubes diffinately is a consideration as well. ;)
I know the McIntosh MC275 tubes do not have to be biased, which is a plus.

Thanks for the excellent information... :)
 
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