Quantcast

Summit and tube amplifiers

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

edwinr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
Having auditioned both the Vantage and the Summit, I choose to take delivery of the new Summit to replace my old Klipschorns. The Summit is an outstanding loudspeaker. The Summit approaches the Klipschorn in it's ability to fill a large room, but easily beats all-comers in the reproduction of fine musical detail. The sheer coherency of this speaker is amazing.

Being a longterm tube fan (but not currently owning a tube amplifier), the question to be asked is how will the Summit match with a tube amp? One possibility I've been looking at is a Juicy Music Peach preamp with a pair of VRD monoblocs (NOSValves). These amplifiers feature KT88's with an output of around of 60 watts per channel.

I've also considered the Consonance model range. They have some interesting monoblocs and an intergrated amplifier called the Reference 880 with 4 KT88's per channel for around 70 watts per channel.

I'm currently running the Summits with a 150 watt per channel integrated.

I'm very surprised at the Summit's sensitivity. They go very loud for very little watts.

Any thought's?
 

jhorowitz128

Active member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
edwinr said:
Having auditioned both the Vantage and the Summit, I choose to take delivery of the new Summit to replace my old Klipschorns. The Summit is an outstanding loudspeaker. The Summit approaches the Klipschorn in it's ability to fill a large room, but easily beats all-comers in the reproduction of fine musical detail. The sheer coherency of this speaker is amazing.

Being a longterm tube fan (but not currently owning a tube amplifier), the question to be asked is how will the Summit match with a tube amp? One possibility I've been looking at is a Juicy Music Peach preamp with a pair of VRD monoblocs (NOSValves). These amplifiers feature KT88's with an output of around of 60 watts per channel.

I've also considered the Consonance model range. They have some interesting monoblocs and an intergrated amplifier called the Reference 880 with 4 KT88's per channel for around 70 watts per channel.

I'm currently running the Summits with a 150 watt per channel integrated.

I'm very surprised at the Summit's sensitivity. They go very loud for very little watts.

Any thought's?
It's generally agreed that virtually all the Martin Logans respond well to tube amplification. I own the Aerius i's which are less sensitive than the Summits and am driving them with the Rogue M-150 Monoblocks.

These amps put out 150 watts in Ultralinear mode and ~100 watts in Triode mode. Although there hasn't been a lot of talk about these amps in recent posts, they are outstanding amplifiers. They sound great, are well-built, and Rogue has customer service second to none. I highly recommend that you audition a pair if possible.

Here's a link to a review of them by 6moons.com.
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/rogue2/m150.html

Hope this helps,
Jeff
 

edwinr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
Thanks for that reply, Jeff. There seems to be theory espoused by some hi-fi retailers that if you spend say, $10,000 on a pair of speakers, you must then spend that same amount on amplification. I'm trying to avoid spending the same amount of money I've spent on the Summits. So I'm considering different options.

The main thing, I guess, is that any tube amp will need to be able to operate down to 2 ohms if required. I know most good quality tube amps have a 4 ohm tap. I just don't know how stable they are driving really low impedances.
 
Last edited:

jhorowitz128

Active member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
edwinr said:
Thanks for that reply, Jeff. There seems to be theory espoused by some hi-fi retailers that if you spend say, $10,000 on a pair of speakers, you must then spend that same amount on amplification. I'm trying to avoid spending the same amount of money I've spent on the Summits. So I'm considering different options.

The main thing, I guess, is that any tube amp will need to be able to operate down to 2 ohms if required. I know most good quality tube amps have a 4 ohm tap. I just don't know how stable they are driving really low impedances.
Edwinr,

Don't get hung up on how much money you should spend. The theory you mention is BS. The thing to look for is quality. Some will also say synergy, but to tell you the truth, I think that's mostly a lot of BS, too. There are loads of components that will work with one another. Obviously, I'm not talking about cartridge/arm matching in a vinyl system, or an amp that will not be able to handle a difficult load. Those are technical matters.

In any event, the impedence of the my Aerius i's can go down to 1 ohm, and that is at 20,000 Hz, a rare occurence. Regardless, virtually all good quality tube amps, will be able to handle the Summits. I even know of cases where some will attach their 4 ohm speakers to the 8 ohm taps without any ill effects.

My Rogues handle the impedences of the Aerius' just fine. If you feel insecure about you choice of an amplifier, it may be a good thing to contact the manufacturer. Most of the good ones will be honest with you.
 

roberto

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,261
Reaction score
64
Location
San Jose, Costa Rica
jhorowitz128 said:
Edwinr,

Don't get hung up on how much money you should spend. The theory you mention is BS. The thing to look for is quality. Some will also say synergy, but to tell you the truth, I think that's mostly a lot of BS, too. There are loads of components that will work with one another. Obviously, I'm not talking about cartridge/arm matching in a vinyl system, or an amp that will not be able to handle a difficult load. Those are technical matters.

In any event, the impedence of the my Aerius i's can go down to 1 ohm, and that is at 20,000 Hz, a rare occurence. Regardless, virtually all good quality tube amps, will be able to handle the Summits. I even know of cases where some will attach their 4 ohm speakers to the 8 ohm taps without any ill effects.

My Rogues handle the impedences of the Aerius' just fine. If you feel insecure about you choice of an amplifier, it may be a good thing to contact the manufacturer. Most of the good ones will be honest with you.
Hola and I agree here. Also, at mid-range where most of the music is, the impedance is around 30 ohms!, and here is where the tube amp shines so, don´t worry about the impedance. Serch for quality watts than quantity. The sensitiviy of you new Summits allow you to use low power amps with no problem. Listen to C-J, Vtl, Cary Audio, Audio Research, VAC, Margules, manley Labs, MacIntosch, there are so many good sounding amps. Also check at www.audiogon.com for a used tube amp. You can find there a good sounding tube amps at a great price. Hope this can help!, happy listening,
Roberto.
 

Rich

Super Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
4,138
Reaction score
2
Location
Huntsville, Alabama
I have a Conrad Johnson Premier 140 stereo tube amp driving my Ascents and the sound is heavenly. The CJ amp puts out enough power to sound great at insanely loud listening levels, but also reproduces the most minute details even at lower volume levels. I found the sound improved dramatically when I biamped and put Outlaw monoblocs on the woofers and used the tubes just to power the panels. It wasn't just that the bass got better, which it did, but the midrange and high end opened up even further. With the Summits, you will already be bi-amped, so you just need to find the right tubes to match with your panels.

I second Roberto's recommendations. There are a lot of great tube amps out there that will sound wonderful with your Summits, and many of them can be had for a reasonable price on Audiogon. Good Luck and Happy Listening.

Rich
 

edwinr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the replies, guys. I'm beginning to think that some ML stockists haven't quite tuned into the current ML lineup, which feature the the powered bass modules. After all, if the amplifier doesn't have to work hard to reproduce the bass, and the overall sensitivity of the Summits is quite high, then surely a lower powered quality amplifier will suffice.

As an experiment last night, I hooked up a 15 watt per channel s/s kit amplifier I built some years ago, and it drove the Summits quite well. Not fantastic quality, but the Summits sounded pretty good.

As a long time Klipschorn fan, I like the idea of quality watts over sheer power.
 

Robin

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
3,304
Reaction score
3
Location
Camano Island, Washington
Lately, I've Often Wondered...

edwinr,

:D I've been wondering what ML's Summits would sound like driven by McIntosh's MC275 tube amplifier? Ever since, I auditioned the McIntosh MC275's, which were hooked-up in mono (150 watt's plus pre channel) to B&W 800D's, I've been wondering just how the Summit's would sing? :D
 

Craig

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
1,463
Reaction score
1
Location
U.S.
I'm using an Art Audio Jota BX tube amp rated at 24 watts per and it works very well with the Summits. If you have a need to listen at rock concert levels then higher wattage is recommended. I'm going for quality over volume with my setup and very satisfied with it. I've also tried a Cary 300SEI (15 watts) on the Summit and it sounded very sweet.
 

edwinr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
My local dealer has the MC275 in stock. When I auditioned the Summits, I never even thought of giving them a listen. I'm going back to annoy him next week so I'll give the MC275 a whirl.

60 or 70 watts of tube power might be just the ticket.

I guess choice of amplifier power is closely linked to how loud you listen. Also listening distance is a factor. I'm not sure of the math, but the further away you are from your speakers, the more the spl's drop.
 
Last edited:

jhorowitz128

Active member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
edwinr said:
I'm not sure of the math, but the further away you are from your speakers, the more the spl's drop.
I'm not sure of the math either (inverse square law?), but with line source speakers, such as the ML's, the spl's do not drop that significantly. You can easily test this, even if you don't have an SPL meter.

Listen to the Summits, let's say 10 feet away. Then walk up to the speaker and hold an ear next to the panel. There will not be a significant increase in loudness.

On the other hand, with a point source driver (a dynamic tweeter or woofer) the loudness will increase much more as you get closer. Play that same music on the Summits and then walk up to it and hold your ear next to only the woofer (you'll probably look funny crawling on the floor!). The bass information will seem much louder.

How much a panel speaker "fills" a room is more important than listening distance per se.
 

edwinr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
I did that test on my Summits, and surprisingly the spl's didn't drop that much. I tried the same test on my Heresys and the spl's dropped significantly as I moved further away. Obviously the ML's interact with the room differently. Interesting.
 

Robin

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
3,304
Reaction score
3
Location
Camano Island, Washington
Summits with McIntosh MC275...

edwinr said:
My local dealer has the MC275 in stock. When I auditioned the Summits, I never even thought of giving them a listen. I'm going back to annoy him next week so I'll give the MC275 a whirl.

60 or 70 watts of tube power might be just the ticket.

I guess choice of amplifier power is closely linked to how loud you listen. Also listening distance is a factor. I'm not sure of the math, but the further away you are from your speakers, the more the spl's drop.
edwinr,

:) Please let us know how your audition goes with the Summits and the McIntosh 275 tube amplifier. I am very interested in knowing how this particular combination sounds together. :) None of my local (within 100 miles) dealers offer this combination and I have never been able to read a review of the McIntosh MC275 powering ML Summits.

If you would be so kind as to share your impressions here, it would really be great as well as valuable and informative... :D :D
 

aliveatfive

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
776
Reaction score
0
Robin said:
edwinr,

:) Please let us know how your audition goes with the Summits and the McIntosh 275 tube amplifier. I am very interested in knowing how this particular combination sounds together. :) None of my local (within 100 miles) dealers offer this combination and I have never been able to read a review of the McIntosh MC275 powering ML Summits.

If you would be so kind as to share your impressions here, it would really be great as well as valuable and informative... :D :D

Robin -

For some reason, not too many Mc dealers carry ML. Also, the 275 is a very old design that dealers do not demo too often. There is only one NYC dealer who carries both lines and he never displays them together. I think you would have to find a dealer inyour neck of the woods who carries both and ask him/her to set up your requested pairing and let you have a listen. Unfortunately, now-a-days there are not too many dealers willing to do this.

I also think that most reviewers would set up Summits with more contemporary electronics for review purposes. I do not know of any reviewers who audition speakers with Mac 275s. Stereophile did do a review of the amps a while back. In casy you're interested, the amp got a good review. So much for progress!
 

garmtz

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
250
Reaction score
0
edwinr said:
I did that test on my Summits, and surprisingly the spl's didn't drop that much. I tried the same test on my Heresys and the spl's dropped significantly as I moved further away. Obviously the ML's interact with the room differently. Interesting.
It's physics... Look at it this way: because a line source like the MartinLogans only sends out energy in a straight line (not to the floor or ceiling), its sound energy decreases linearly. Because a 'normal' speaker sends out sound in all directions (as a sphere), it's sound energy decreases at the power of 2 (remember how the surface of a sphere is calculated, like pi * r squared?).
 

edwinr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
Robin said:
edwinr,

:) Please let us know how your audition goes with the Summits and the McIntosh 275 tube amplifier. I am very interested in knowing how this particular combination sounds together. :) None of my local (within 100 miles) dealers offer this combination and I have never been able to read a review of the McIntosh MC275 powering ML Summits.

If you would be so kind as to share your impressions here, it would really be great as well as valuable and informative... :D :D
I'm very happy to do that, Robin. I'm organising a visit to the city soon. I live a couple of hours drive away in the country so for me it's a day trip. I'm also hoping to buy a new turntable. So I have a double reason for a trip.
 

Robin

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
3,304
Reaction score
3
Location
Camano Island, Washington
Excellent Fun Day Trip...

edwinr said:
I'm very happy to do that, Robin. I'm organising a visit to the city soon. I live a couple of hours drive away in the country so for me it's a day trip. I'm also hoping to buy a new turntable. So I have a double reason for a trip.
edwinr,

Excellent! your day trip / audio trip does sound like a lot of fun... :D

I wanted to thank you in advance for making this audio expedition - Summit / McIntosh MC275 audition. :) I am very excited about your trip as well and everything your ears will hopefully expericence, sonically speaking of course. I'm on pins and needles, as it were, as to what you will hear and relay back to us here at the ML Club... :eek:

Good luck and have a safe journey into the big city. :D

Thanks again
 

aliveatfive

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
776
Reaction score
0
Tiberium said:
Which tube amp isn't.
There's not too much new under the sun, but there is some. Some tube amps use FETs in conjunction with triodes in the input stage. Some amps are OPT (output transformerless.) Some amps use vacuum tubes which did not exist when the 275 was produced. Etc, etc, etc.
 
T

Tiberium

Guest
There's not too much new under the sun, but there is some. Some tube amps use FETs in conjunction with triodes in the input stage. Some amps are OPT (output transformerless.) Some amps use vacuum tubes which did not exist when the 275 was produced. Etc, etc, etc.
All tube amps are like that not just the 275 and why change a flawless design?
 
Top