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SL3 - Amp for Pace, Rhythm & Timing

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Ripple

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I've been looking through the recent threads about amplifiers for MLs but there isn't really an answer to my particular problem. [Of course I've got quite a lot of problems but only one of them is susceptible to help from fellow ML owners].
I've had a pair of SL3s for nearly eight years. At first, I was using the Krell KAV250 pre/power combo. But then the itch struck and I went to Audio Research LS25II, VT100 III. Wow - smooth, detailed, bass to die for ... and so on. Vocals and small scale accoustic music [solo piano, David Grissman's mandolin] are magical.
But ... lately I find I don't listen to music as much as I used to. Also when I do listen, I have to concentrate. There's a lot more information there than I've ever heard before, but my feet don't tap. My favourite tunes, electric guitar solos, etc don't leap out and grab me like they used to.
So, what I'm looking for is the best of both worlds. I want the detail, full range, and rightness of the ARs but I also want the whole set up to play tunes.
I'm using a Sony SCD1 and my tastes vary - I like Miles Davis, the way Murray Perahia plays piano and Jerry Garcia, Richard Thompson, Ry Cooder and Jorma Kaukonen play[ed] guitar.
Can anyone help me, please. Should I keep the ARs and lose the SL3s [guess I know the likely answer in this forum]? Or which other amps should I listen to? I'm thinking about McIntosh MC401 or Parasound JC1s. Of course given the way that I was initially seduced by the ARs only to be disappointed now, I guess I'll need to listen very carefully this time ...
 

Anthony A.

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ar amps are very nice pieces. i really think you need a new preamp and cdp. even just a cdp will make the presentation much more musical. if you want to try something cheap, the musical fidelity x-10 tube buffer is quite a nice piece for cheap money. it really brings music to life and helps smooth out any non-musical tendencies. or, if you really want a new amp, tubes will give you the most musical sound imho.
 
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Sky Saw

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Pace, Rhythm, and Timing

If you are looking for overall rightness of sound, then I suggest that you try looking at Blue Circle's hybrid amplifiers - they will bring life back to your SL3s (and hopefully to your interest in listening to your system as well). Reminiscent of NAIM, but with vastly better timbre, and a huge sense of presence and space.
 

Jeff Zaret

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One thing I would ask myself is when was the last time I vacuumed my panels? Check all your connections and at least "re-seat" - unplug and then plug them back in. Depending on where you live you may look at investing in some contact cleaner. If it is a humid area then this is a worthwhile investment. Washing the panels is another option.

All of these suggestions cost very little.

I would also agree at looking at a tube preamp. It will open up a new world and still not break the bank.

Jeff
 

aliveatfive

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I would also suggest the audition of a new (tube) preamp. Logans are very sensitive to the most minute changes in the electronic chain. I just substituted a new Whest phono preamp for a Herron phono preamp (moving coil version) and the results are nothing short of astounding. BTW, I use an ARC VT100 III and a BAT VK51SE.
 

kach22i

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I've never read anything lacking about the Acoustic Research VT100 III before, but I suppose there are used ones for sale for a reason.

I have not heard the VT100 before, but doubt many of the Mac's could give it a run for the money.

I have limited exposure to the older Sonic Forntiers stuff, but think it may be the opposite of what you seek.

Linn is the pace and rhythm kings, but pale in other areas, plus I've never heard them on M/L's or maggies.

I'm siding with the other guys here, look to your preamp for gains.

Also you might want to tune your system with isolation systems - they can act like giant tuning forks.

I can alter/change the timing and pace of my turntable very easily (for better or worse) with a few rubber balls, glass marbles and Corian.
 

raygunn

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Before giving up on your AR's or cd player, I would get back to the basics.
You should try "tuning" the equipment by experimenting with power cords and footers.
Even the use of Quicksilver contact enhancer may ultimately solve your problem. You seem to have prime quality ingredients, I would try to make it all work before moving on to something else that may not be as good in other areas...

In addition, there are some tweaks to the SL3's that can be made to enhance woofer integration and overall musicality and presentation of the speaker. I guess it all depends on what you are more inclined to do, change out equipment or put a little work and "hobbyist adventure" into deriving a solution..

Just my $.02
 

aliveatfive

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There is no such thing as an "Acoustic Research VT 100 III." The name of the manufacturer is Audio Research and they've been around for years. They are the company that started the tube renaissance in the US.
 

kach22i

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aliveatfive said:
There is no such thing as an "Acoustic Research VT 100 III." The name of the manufacturer is Audio Research .
I sometimes switch the names up because they are often both refered to as "AR", a mistake on my part, I know the difference just slipped up.

Can you ever forgive me. :( :D
 

Jazzplayer

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I would look into Linn equipment. I got a LP12 and Linn amps with my Aeon-i's. In the rythm and pace department it is heads and shoulders above anything else I have heard. I had actually planned to sell my Linn amps when I got the Logans, but the combination has worked like a charm, much to my surprise. The LP12 record player positively rocks, beyond any CD at any price. Getting back to vinyl and Logans really rekindled my interest in listening to music, much due to the "toe-tappin" factor!

In addition the advice above on clean panels, clean power, and clean connections are mandatory... :)

One advice on Linn, you need to look into their more expensive amps for something that sound good with Logans, or you will probably feel you give up too much in transparancy and soundstage. Compatibility may also be an issue.

all the best
Svein
 

kach22i

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Jazzplayer said:
One advice on Linn, you need to look into their more expensive amps for something that sound good with Logans
You are not talking about the expensive digital amps are you?
 

DavidG

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Combintions. . .

A few combinations that you could consider are:

Meridian pre / power - G02 pre and G57 power. These are both SS amps, but in terms of sheer grip, drive and quality are very hard to beat. The G57 will handle SL3s without even getting warm, and the G02 is one of the sweetest sounding SS amps I've ever heard. As a bonus, they will both work with balanced connections.

If you wanted to spend a little more, you could try the G02 pre with a Bel Canto eVo 2 power amp. On paper, the eVo 2 offers less power than the G57, but it's a tri-path amplifier so it's got many of the sonic qualities of a tube amp with the current delivery of an SS item. . .

Both combinations sound fantasic, but it depends on personal taste and budget. To make life worse, it won't be easy to find a dealer who does both Meridian and Bel Canto (I know this from personal experience).

Cheers,

David
 

Jazzplayer

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kach22i said:
You are not talking about the expensive digital amps are you?
I'm talking the Klimax series and the level below (2250/Exotic etc.). These are not digital amps. In fact I do not think Linn has ever done a class D amp. Klimax series is AB as far as I know.
Svein
 

jjqiv

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You have great amplification. My advice is to sell the SL3's and get some CLS's. I paid $1300 for some mint CLS's and plan on selling my SL3's for more. First I want to play around with using the SL3's as surrounds. I don't have room to keep them, but just want to check it out.

Back to the topic. Using SL3's dramatically improved the PRAT. No more panel/woofer integration issues at all! Everything about the CLS is an improvement over the SL3's.
 

kach22i

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jjqiv said:
Everything about the CLS is an improvement over the SL3's.
I hate to differ, but I think the larger the stat panel, the larger the image is.

This is not always good.

Some mini monitors do voice so well because driver is just about the same size as a human voice box. Or at least my imagination allows me to make this connection and visualize it.

I like the CLS very much; it's kind of like the Porsche 911. However like the Porsche 911 it can be tricky to handle at it's limits but rewards the good driver/listener in this case.
 

jjqiv

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kach22i said:
I hate to differ, but I think the larger the stat panel, the larger the image is.

This is not always good.

Some mini monitors do voice so well because driver is just about the same size as a human voice box. Or at least my imagination allows me to make this connection and visualize it.

I like the CLS very much; it's kind of like the Porsche 911. However like the Porsche 911 it can be tricky to handle at it's limits but rewards the good driver/listener in this case.

We will have to differ. On some recordings you do get a huge voice image. However, both SL3's and CLS's reproduce it. But its the recording. For instance, I was just listening to Ringo Star - Good Vienna. You sometimes get an image of a big 5' head. But on other recordings such as Nina Simone's - I Loves You Porgy, or Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding, which I was listening to earlier, you get Nina or Bob in proportion. In all three cases, the voice benefits from the CLS's superior midrange, the inner detail, the dynamics, the imaging, blacker background, seamlessness, etc.
 
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Jean-Marie

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Jazzplayer said:
Klimax series is AB as far as I know.
Svein
They are Class A swittching to AB for high level, as Chord electronics do.

JM
 
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Jean-Marie

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I think you need first to take care of the "source" gear. Your ML desserve a better CD player. ( I use Linn IKEMI )

Personnaly, I have very huge results with neutral and detailed electronics. ( My amp is a Chord Electronic SPM600 )

Just a suggestion...

JM
 

jjqiv

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Jean-Marie said:
I think you need first to take care of the "source" gear. Your ML desserve a better CD player. ( I use Linn IKEMI )

Personnaly, I have very huge results with neutral and detailed electronics. ( My amp is a Chord Electronic SPM600 )

Just a suggestion...

JM
In all honesty, I think ML's deserve better than CD on the front-end (i.e., a nice vinyl rig).
 
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