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Just set up my Ascent-i speakers with a real amp...

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DukeGraham

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I've had my Ascents for 9 months now, and have been scared to turn the Pioneer Elite receiver up too high, because of the low impedance of the Ascents and the questionable ability of the Pioneer to drive them.

Finally, I ordered a pair of Outlaw Audio 200 Monoblock amps and hooked it all up this weekend.

What a difference! Even at low volume, the presence was fantastic! I could crank up some older albums and feel the ambiance of the studio!

Why did I wait so long... oh, yeah, ca$h. :cool:

Now that I have real amps, I'll have to have pictures taken of my system and get it displayed.

Graham
 

SugarMedia

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Congratulations!

I'm buidling a house, so I have to wait another two months before I get all of my "real" componets together...I can't wait!

And yes, please post pitcures of your system, I wish more would... it's kinda inspiring to see what people have done.
 

MikeN

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Hi Duke

I just did something similar. Was driving my Ascent i's with a Denon 3805 integrated and recently upgraded to an Aragon 2005 amp (using the Denon as my pre/pro). Was not sure how much improvement I could realistically expect but the difference was startling! Unbelievable improvement all around - soundstage, detail, bass, clarity -- everything!

Curious if you are using the Pioneer as your pre/pro? Wonder how much more improvement we could expect from upgrading to higher quality pre/pro's? Am guessing it would not be on the same magnitude as the amp upgrades but would like to hear thoughts on this from some of the more experienced folks out there?
 

jjqiv

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MikeN said:
Hi Duke

I just did something similar. Was driving my Ascent i's with a Denon 3805 integrated and recently upgraded to an Aragon 2005 amp (using the Denon as my pre/pro). Was not sure how much improvement I could realistically expect but the difference was startling! Unbelievable improvement all around - soundstage, detail, bass, clarity -- everything!

Curious if you are using the Pioneer as your pre/pro? Wonder how much more improvement we could expect from upgrading to higher quality pre/pro's? Am guessing it would not be on the same magnitude as the amp upgrades but would like to hear thoughts on this from some of the more experienced folks out there?
If you after good music reproduction, I would strongly recommend integrating a quality two channel tube preamp into your system. A processor can really reek havok on a music signal. Front-end first!
 
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DukeGraham

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Mike,

I am using my Pioneer Elite VSX-37TX as my preamp - it also drives the center and side surrounds and acts as a preamp for an older Adcom to drive my rear surrounds.

It sounds great to me now, considering I went from the receiver (and granted, it is a heavy receiver) with 125 quasi-watts per channel at 8 ohms, driving a 4 ohm (and less) load it wasn't intended to, to a real amp (200 real watts per channel into 8 ohms, 300 into 4 ohms.

The first thing I did was take AC/DC's Highway to Hell, put it on and turned it UP. After hearing Angus' first three chords, the decay and the ambiance of the studio, my wife and I were convinced. I've been running though my rock, blues, jazz, classical CDs since with glee!

My long term goal is to buy another amp from Outlaw to drive the other 5 channels and their, or possibly another preamp. But right now... I am happy!
 
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DukeGraham

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jjqiv,

I only use Direct mode on the receiver when I listen to music. Not the best, but still circumvents the processor.

Graham

jjqiv said:
If you after good music reproduction, I would strongly recommend integrating a quality two channel tube preamp into your system. A processor can really reek havok on a music signal. Front-end first!
 

Jeff Zaret

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jjqiv said:
If you after good music reproduction, I would strongly recommend integrating a quality two channel tube preamp into your system. A processor can really reek havok on a music signal. Front-end first!
jjqiv,

That is what I just did. I mostly listen to 2-channel music and very little HT. I upgraded my preamp from a Rotel to a Conrad Johnson tube pre. All I can say is un-freakin-beleivable! :D

Jeff
 

MikeN

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jjqiv,

Which tube preamp would you recommend in the 2k range? Does such a thing exist? I am pretty clueless about tubes as you can see. And what kind of difference would I hear? More warmth and presence? Thanks in advance!
 

aliveatfive

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Try VanAlstine. You will spend even less than your price point. Three of his models are also available as kits. I just built one and it sounds really good.
 
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HiDefBob

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When I added a Classé CAV180 to my HT system, my Martin Logans (Aeon/Scripts/Cinema) really came to life. Up to that point I was driving my ML's with a Denon 4802. It did an adequate job ... and I had the volume up as high as I could stand at times and the Denon never once complained. But I was not getting the best sound from my ML's.

I still have the Denon, but I am only using it for processing, using the pre-outs to the Classé.
 

risabet

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MikeN said:
jjqiv,

Which tube preamp would you recommend in the 2k range? Does such a thing exist? I am pretty clueless about tubes as you can see. And what kind of difference would I hear? More warmth and presence? Thanks in advance!
See the reviews at:
<a href=http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/amp/messages/65411.html> AudioAsylum</a> and at
<a href=http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?rprea&1094406656&openmine&zzRisabet&4&5#Risabet>
Audiogon</a> for some reviews of the TAD-150 which is a tube linestage with a SS phono section. An amazing value the money. I am an owner of a TAD-150 and have written some reviews on the sites above.
 
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SugarMedia

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Hey gang...

I'm going to purcahse the Aeon-i and have been shopping around for amps.

I have been seriously looking at Musical Fidelity to pair up with the ML's. Because of the price and selection I have available to me I was going to get the Musical Fidelity A308 Integrated Amplifier and the A308cr CD Player.

Today I went back to the store and saw that they had the new Musical Fidelity A5 Series- (CD and Integrated amp). This shop is offering it for the exact same price as the A308 Series, well, slightly more but not enough to make a difference to my wallet.

The dealer is telling me that the A308 series is much better quality than the A5 series, and that the A5 is a new release to a series that is cheaper than the A308's. • Is this true?

Also, the A5 has 400 watts per channel into 4 ohms, while the A308 has 300 watts into 4 ohms. • Should I take this into account with ML speakers?

I have an audition set up for next week so I will ultimately let my ears be the judge, but it's important for me that I'm not taken advantage of since to the best of my knowledge the A308 is phased out. I actually thought the A5 Series was replacing the A308. • Are they just trying to push an older model on me to make a sale?

Any advice to help me make a better decision would be greatly appreciated. I have only one chance to make the right purchase and then my wife says I can't spend anymore on HiFi.

Thank you!
 

DavidG

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A5

I've not heard the A5 yet - but the reviewers over here all love it. It's supposed to sound not dissimilar to the Nu-Vista / Tri-Vista series gear, with the A5 CD getting a lot of praise.

Cheers,

David
 

MikeN

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Is this possible?

Having just purchased the Aragon amp, I have very little budget left (none actually :D ) for a new tube preamp. But I came across this and wondered if it really is possible to get the magic of tubes for $400? or would this be a case of "you get what you pay for"? :confused: maybe better off waiting until I can afford a real preamp?

http://www.amusicdirect.com/products/detail.asp?cat=&sku=AMUFIX10V3
 

risabet

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MikeN said:
Having just purchased the Aragon amp, I have very little budget left (none actually :D ) for a new tube preamp. But I came across this and wondered if it really is possible to get the magic of tubes for $400? or would this be a case of "you get what you pay for"? :confused: maybe better off waiting until I can afford a real preamp?

http://www.amusicdirect.com/products/detail.asp?cat=&sku=AMUFIX10V3
Wait, adding an external buffer stage seems to me to be going away from TAS, as any additional gain stage can only remove musical info and not make the music more real.
 

SugarMedia

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MikeN said:
Having just purchased the Aragon amp, I have very little budget left (none actually :D ) for a new tube preamp. But I came across this and wondered if it really is possible to get the magic of tubes for $400? or would this be a case of "you get what you pay for"? :confused: maybe better off waiting until I can afford a real preamp?

http://www.amusicdirect.com/products/detail.asp?cat=&sku=AMUFIX10V3
Mike: Here's some fine reading on Tube Amps. I say go for it...MF makes very good products and has received excellent reviews on ALL equipment.
http://home.comcast.net/~enghenry/diy/taste.pdf
you'll nead acrobat reader, but can download it for free
 
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NJH Smith

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Mike,

Definitely worth trying. I have an MF X10V3 installed between my Meridian processor and the Quad 909 powering my front L & R speakers. When I bought the V3 these front speakers were good quality Ruarks. The difference in A/B testing was most noticable, particularly on solo piano and solo violin music. The V3 delivers firstly a more holistic sound (by which I mean that one feels one is listening to the instrument and not to a digital synthesis of its sound), secondly a more rounded sound (by which I mean that it makes notes at the top end of the scale warmer, not that it's cutting the treble & bass to deliver a "warmer" sound by emphasising the mid-range) and thirdly a more coherent sound stage in orchestral works (although the distance between my fronts is not large enough to gain the full benefit of this).

I have since replaced the Ruarks with Scenarios (my first step into the ML world) and have not repeated the A/B testing, but am confident that the V3 would still win its spurs because the Scenarios are more analytical than the Ruarks.

Reviews in the UK hi-fi press for the V3 have all been positive. However, it's worth making clear that the better one's system, the less the effect of the V3 is likely to be.

One more reason to go for it: at $400 in USA the V3 is a steal. I bought mine some months ago here in UK, but at current exchange rates the UK list price must be about $200 higher.
 
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stieger

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You guys will probably think I'm nuts, but I had the big halo amp. During which time I bought a pro amp and I've never looked back.

I have it hooked up to clarity's at the moment, and did some tests with various types of music, home theater scenes, etc., to determine the difference between the Halo at $4k, and the Crown XLS 602 pro amp at $350.

I also tried it against a Blue Ice Pro Amp just to see any other differences. I hooked up one channel to the crown, one to the halo. Balanced them to 75dB, and whoola, no difference.

I tried movie after movie, 2-channel song after 2-channel song, and I could hear no difference. Given the cost difference, I could only assume the Halo, made for the consumer market, is priced as it is because the market will bare the price - and of course it looks cool.

The pro amp, on the other hand, has loud fans (wouldn't matter if you had a cabinet) and isn't all that great to look at - BUT, it cranks, has detail, controls bass response, and has excellent mids and highs! I sold the Halo and bought 3 crown amps and kept the blue ice. I now have almost 4000 watts of power. Can't wait to get it setup in my new room.

If you have a few bucks, I'd check out a pro amp. Yes, they can be loud, Yes they are somewhat ugly, and yes they are only 2 channel. But after selling my halo, and buying the 4 amps, I still have about $1300 to spare!

Best,

Stieger
 

SugarMedia

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stieger said:
I now have almost 4000 watts of power. Can't wait to get it setup in my new room.
Oh my god! 4000 Watts, that reminds me of the scene in "Back to the Future 1" where Michael J. Fox hooks up the electrical guitar, strums it once and is blasted into the back wall. And I think all of the speaker equipment exploded.

Whatever floats your boat, yeah?
 
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