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New Martin Logan Aeon i

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Joseph

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Forum members: I just purchased my first ESL speakers, the ML Aeon i. I have them hooked up to a Rogue Audio Magnum Tempest tube amp, which puts out 60 watts in ultralinear mode. I think this is just a little underpowered and I thought it might be interesting to bi-amp the speakers. My second amp is a small little 2 watt SET amp that will supposedly do well with 4 ohm, efficient speakers. I know my speakers are 89 or 90 db and 4 ohm. Question: I would guess that the more powerful amp should drive the woofers, no? I know I could just try it and then switch them around but I'm not going to try it until I get another decent set of speaker cables.
 

twich54

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Joseph, welcome ! Your little two watt SET dosen't have a prayer with your speakers unforuantely. That amp was meant to be used on very effecient horn loaded speakers. If your going to bi-amp then a nice SS amp for the bottom end is the way to go IMHO.
 

mondoribo

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60 W might be just fine. Why do you think they are underpowered? Do they sound bad? I think many folks run their MLs (e.g. Aeons and smaller) with 60W or less.
 
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Joseph

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Food for thought

I don't have any evidence they're underpowered. I can turn the amp up all the way and get a satisfying output. I don't think I hear any clipping. It's just the ML literature that recommended 100 watts. I called the company and they said you would get the most out of the speakers with 100 watts. Maybe I'm fine. I guess I should borrow my neighbor's amp just to see if the extra power translates to anything meaningful. Would running my tube amp full out have any negative effect over time?
 

twich54

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Joseph said:
I don't have any evidence they're underpowered. I can turn the amp up all the way and get a satisfying output. I don't think I hear any clipping. It's just the ML literature that recommended 100 watts. I called the company and they said you would get the most out of the speakers with 100 watts. Maybe I'm fine. I guess I should borrow my neighbor's amp just to see if the extra power translates to anything meaningful. Would running my tube amp full out have any negative effect over time?
Please tell us you have NOT asked the above questions and that you had too much too drink !!! ?????
 

Craig

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Would running my tube amp full out have any negative effect over time?<!-- / message -->
The only negative effect would be to your amp, speakers, ears and possibly your social standing among your neighbors. Other than that, everything else should be fine.
 
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Joseph

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I guess I'm not expressing myself clearly enough. The volume, fully turned up is satisfying, but it is not that loud. No neighbors will complain, police will not be called, women won't faint with a handkerchief clutched to furrowed brow. As a non-audio guru, I was asking a serious question. Does running the amp full out have a deleterious effect?
 

roberto

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Joseph said:
I guess I'm not expressing myself clearly enough. The volume, fully turned up is satisfying, but it is not that loud. No neighbors will complain, police will not be called, women won't faint with a handkerchief clutched to furrowed brow. As a non-audio guru, I was asking a serious question. Does running the amp full out have a deleterious effect?
Hola Joseph...usually the volume control, when you put it at the maximum, the amp is not capable to handle it and goes to clipping, this is, distortion, but it depends of the input level. Sometimes the input level is so low, that you can bring all the knob at the top, and the amp is o.k. But with a normal C.D. or DVD output, the level is enough to clip any amp, (2 A.C. Volts output) regardless of brand or power. It could saturate the first stage of the amplifier, and clipping means that the sine wave of the signal is suffering a deformation, and this is distortion. Your amp just runned up with no more juice. It can not deliver that signal clean. And also means that you could damage your speakers, because that distortion is d.c. No speaker can handle d.c. Before you get to this point, your ears can tell. The signal is not clean and the sound is awful. In most sound systems, the volume level of the preamplifier is most of the time between 10 to 1 o´clock position and at 2 o´clock the level it very high...altmost the point of saturation. There are only a very few preamps on the market with a special volume control, that you could adjust the level more with no problem. One of the good things of the sound of ML, it that you don´t have to play the music too loud to get the size of the musical instruments and voices. The scenario is great also at very low levels, where other speakers are sounding like a small transistor radio. This is a good thing too, because you can listen for hours without ears fatigue. Play a spanish guitar and listen the level that it has and try to get the same volume with your sound system. Also a piano or a violin. 90 dbs is great for listening, but sometimes 100 dBs is what we want with rock music. I measure 93 dBs as a maximum level with the Beethoven´s 5th Symphony at the 3rd rod at our National Theatre. 110 dBs of sound presure is a jet taking off at a distance of a 150 yards. Some rock grups play so loud that the measure in picks are around 125 dBs at a live concert. Hope this can help. Happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto.
 

attyonline

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Simple answer: When your speakers sound strained, turn it down. That means you are overtaxing your amp. Anyone can tell the difference when any amp including a tube amp, begins to go into clipping. Solid state tends to get hard sounding through the upper midrange. Your tube amp likely will sound too fat on the bass and indistinct on the midrange. TURN IT DOWN! :) You find you want more volume get a more powerful amp.
 

Craig

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Typically 60 tube watts would be sufficient to drive the Aeon i unless of course you like to play at high volumes. As said before, you'll likely need a more powerful amp. MLs can handle high volumes as long the power is clean and the amp is not peaking out and going into clipping mode. I believe the woofer would be the first to go if the speaker is over driven.

With that particular integrated you can try using an external preamp that might give you more gain which would result in more volume. However, that's easier said then done unless you have access to a few preamps to experiment with. w

What are you using for a source component? Perhaps your source component is putting out low gain.

Congratulations on your new Aeon i's. Looking forward to seeing your system posted on the "Members Systems" page.
 
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Joseph

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Thank you all sincerely for your help. I understand your points. My amp manufacturer offers an upgarde that would give me 90 watts, though I have to confess I rarely hear any distortion or clipping when I turn the amp all the way up. Truth be told, I rarely listen to it at that level. On the other hand, I have a little 2 watt SET amp and that I certainly can clip with the wrong speakers. Anyway, I love the speakers which I have had just about a month. I have just noticed though that I'm getting some of those crackly, popping sounds. Is this because we are getting are first really humid days of the summer here in the northeast? Haven't heard this before except one day when some smoke got in the house from the fireplace. Anything that can be done other than dehumidify or air condition?
 

SugarMedia

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Joseph said:
Haven't heard this before except one day when some smoke got in the house from the fireplace. Anything that can be done other than dehumidify or air condition?
Unplug and vacuum your speakers really well. If they are tainted by smoke and soot, you can also wash them in water. Find the thread on this for a more detailed explanation.
 
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djmika

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Hey, FYI... I'm pushing my Aerius i (similar load and efficency as the Aeon) with 22 watts of 300B triode power. I live in an apartment and my listning room isn't huge, but it's good size. My amp does fine. Actually more than fine. It's downright impressive. I'm in my late 20's and I DJed for 13 years and I still feel like it plays plenty loud... Every Martin-Logan I've ever heard sounds great with tubes. They love the voltage and although ML suggests more power, in a lot of cases you won't need it. I'm sure your Rogue makes the Aeons sing.

As far as the 2W SETs, I say try them. They obviously won't push the woofers, but if you bi-amp and you're in a small room they might be okay at lower listning levels and with the right music. As long as you don't crank it up to distortion levels, what's the harm? Nothing sounds like a low powered SET amp right?
 
J

Joseph

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Thanks, for the advice. I will try the bi-amping just for kicks.

Apropos of nothing in particular, I thought forum members would appreciate this: In yesterday's NY Times magazine section there was a story on parents of child actors. One father noted that his priorities had completely changed. Now his life was all about his daughter and her career. Before, it was golf, partying and buying expensive Martin Logan speakers!
 

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