Which Amp to buy? The most frequently asked question on this site. READ THIS!!

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Big Dog RJ

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Thanks! I'm super happy with it, it sounds awesome and has looks to match. I really like the circuit design of this amp, it's so simple, outside of the power supply I think there's only 4 film caps in the whole amp outside of the power supply.

I have no experience with there newer offerings, I have seen the class D stuff but haven't heard it. I probably never will hear the newer models as that stuff is wildly expensive. I'm sure it's great stuff but making amplifiers from 500lb blocks of billet aluminum seems kinda excessive.

I actually reached out to Jeff Rowland Design Group and it sounds like they can get me the service records and even offer an "update" package. I'm waiting to hear back from them.
Yes, you'll be very pleased with this one, and there's really no need to change at this stage. Check on what upgrades they offer, as it may enhance performance in the long run. It's one of those company's that gets their customer service right! Many others fall short today...

JR-DG have come a long way with their Class D designs. In fact, it's probably the most advanced tech in Class D design and they sound pretty darn good. With the all aluminium design chassis, this is solely for heat dissipation and to maintain light weight, so a forklift is not required when moving...
Their matching preamps are equally good and can compete with the top dogs. Pricing is Aus for the entry level gear Model-125 starts at 3grand. So things do get pricey over here.

Look after it well and it should serve a lifetime!
Cheers, RJ
 

DanR

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Nice amp man and at a very reasonable price too! And Big Dog for one I think your comments are spot on! Also, good move on staying in contact with JR design group, these older soldiers need refreshing at some point to stay in the war and they very deservedly have a place on the front lines, these were great pieces of equipment built very well, take care of that new to you beauty!
 

Brandon Hartwick

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Thanks guys, good to know others feel the same way about this amp. I feel it was a great find and I'm not a huge fan of solid state amps usually but I love the way this one sounds.

I picked this up to use I'm place of my big tube amps for now. They have blew up rectifier tubes twice now and with the price of tubes right now that sucks, they will be shelved until I can have a look at them.
PXL_20220429_230705563.jpg
 

Flm09

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"What would be a good amp choice for my MartinLogan speakers"?

That is the most common question we hear on the site. The folks at ML hear it too.

Selecting the right amplifier is a HIGHLY personal decision. Before asking the question again, here are some things you should read first:

MartinLogan's guidelines on finding a suitable amplifier:
MartinLogan | Help Articles : Features and General Questions for Electrostatic Speakers

A section here on the MLO site of recommended amplifiers: Amplifiers
These are ML owners who have taken the time to write about the amplifier they're using with their system and what results they've had.

Search the "Members Systems" part of the site. Find owners with the same speakers you have and see what they're using.

Use the SEARCH function here at the MLO site. Read what others have asked and already answered!

An electrostatic speaker can dip down to less than 1 ohm in resistance, which many amplifiers cannot tolerate. An amplifier that doubles it's output when the resistance is cut in half (ie 250w @ 8 Ohms / 500w @ 4 Ohms, etc. ) is a good indicator that the amp is well built and stable.

As ML states on their site: ...it is important that the amplifier be stable operating into varying impedance loads: an ideally stable amplifier will typically be able to deliver nearly twice its rated 8 Ohm wattage into 4 Ohms and should again increase into 2 Ohms.


Do your research. Contact amplifier manufacturers and ask them questions about driving electrostatic speakers.

And lastly: You've made an investment in purchasing what we here at MLO consider to be the finest loudspeakers made. Don't cut corners when it comes to amplification.. Get the best amplifier you can afford. Your ears will be rewarded!
:music:
I love my all tube amplification! Sublime!😊
 

Ronin

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One amp I am really like right now that drives the CLS with no issues is the Michi X5. Look that one up if your curious. It pretty affordable too. 350 into 8 and 600 into 4. Another is the Dag Progression integrated but for a fraction of the cost, the Michi does it all and has digital AKM 728.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Nice one on the MICHI amplifier Ronin!

Have never heard or come across this particular one, in fact made by Rotel! Looks like Rotel's high-end version of what TEAC offers with Esoteric gear, which is very supreme indeed! Speaking of Esoteric, their digital playback systems use AKM chips in most of their DACs. Now Eso offers slightly different designed Dac's on their top of the line gear, being their own discrete ladder type DACs. Either way, this AKM stuff is definitely top notch!

If the MICHI X5 integrated can deliver that kind of power including the required current then that's all that's needed to drive and control stats efficiently. Sounds like a very good match with your CLS stats.
Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 

Ronin

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My buddy at TMR got me researching it. They make a X3 as well which would probably do the trick.

But the X5 is beast...

The Michi X5 Integrated Amplifier is Performance Redefined packaged in an exquisite industrial design delivering an astounding 600 Watts of Class AB power into 4 ohm speakers even under the most extreme loading conditions featuring an array of source inputs including Analog, Digital, XLR, apt-X Bluetooth, Moving Magnet and Moving Coil Phono Stage.
 

BDH55

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One amp I am really like right now that drives the CLS with no issues is the Michi X5. Look that one up if your curious. It pretty affordable too. 350 into 8 and 600 into 4. Another is the Dag Progression integrated but for a fraction of the cost, the Michi does it all and has digital AKM 728.
Glad to hear the Michi X5 is working out for you. I recently went thru a big amp search/upgrade and was considering a pair of the Michi M8's. I thought that they were just great looking amps, and was totally amazed at the power to price ratio. Pretty amazing! However, I got scared off by the Stereophile review where John Atkinson states...

'Rotel warns in the M8's manual that 4 ohms is the recommended minimum load impedance. I did think about examining how much power was available into 2 ohms once I had finished the testing, but when I reexamined how much power could be delivered into 4 ohms before doing so, I tripped the circuit breaker. Hint taken.'

That was all I needed to hear and I struck them from my list. I haven't read anything about the X5 though, so maybe it behaves differently... ;)
 

Ronin

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I heard the same thing in respect to don't get the separates. I was directed at the X3/X5. And what also helped is the description of the amp which reads in part " even under the most extreme loading conditions". Also I got 60 day return policy. I mean nothing is guaranteed. I have a buddy with a Dag pre and a Kassandra DAC and they won't talk to each other.

However , Now at least I can tell you from direct experience- NO issues or tripping! Also it can't hurt I guess that the amp is plugged into a dedicated 20a circuit as well.

I hear some MLs are much harder to drive than others. Especially the older ones. But I am not sure where the CLS II fits on that list. They seem to require no more out of the Michi (comparing SPL) than the YGs I traded at 87db.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Mmm... that's definitely not the first time I've come across this. There's a good mate over here who had the same exact issue. He was pretty furious after the return policy was not honoured... probably had their reasons, I don't know the details. However, the previous combination that he had, comprised of the Weiss DAC and a top line CJ preamp, was fantastic! I told him to just keep it!

Once your system has achieved a certain threshold, going beyond that point doesn't necessarily mean there's going to be significant improvement. It all depends on which areas you're trying to improve upon, and whether the gear matches with the other. If it doesn't, what's the point of spending huge amounts... really doesn't make sense.

The other thing I've noticed over the decades is that most who constantly upgrade, nearly all of them always tend to miss on one very important aspect, and that's their room! They don't seem to understand the importance of room parameters and room Acoustics, which is basically a component itself!

Unless this very basic element is addressed, it will never sound right. No matter how many thousands of dollars spent on gear, simply won't fix the room. System / component matching is so critical, as well as the room interaction and eventually when that happens to a positive effect, only then does the synergy work.

Keep it simple maties, and enjoy those fine tunes! RJ
 

Paolo

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"What would be a good amp choice for my MartinLogan speakers"?

That is the most common question we hear on the site. The folks at ML hear it too.

Selecting the right amplifier is a HIGHLY personal decision. Before asking the question again, here are some things you should read first:

MartinLogan's guidelines on finding a suitable amplifier:
MartinLogan | Help Articles : Features and General Questions for Electrostatic Speakers

A section here on the MLO site of recommended amplifiers: Amplifiers
These are ML owners who have taken the time to write about the amplifier they're using with their system and what results they've had.

Search the "Members Systems" part of the site. Find owners with the same speakers you have and see what they're using.

Use the SEARCH function here at the MLO site. Read what others have asked and already answered!

An electrostatic speaker can dip down to less than 1 ohm in resistance, which many amplifiers cannot tolerate. An amplifier that doubles it's output when the resistance is cut in half (ie 250w @ 8 Ohms / 500w @ 4 Ohms, etc. ) is a good indicator that the amp is well built and stable.

As ML states on their site: ...it is important that the amplifier be stable operating into varying impedance loads: an ideally stable amplifier will typically be able to deliver nearly twice its rated 8 Ohm wattage into 4 Ohms and should again increase into 2 Ohms.


Do your research. Contact amplifier manufacturers and ask them questions about driving electrostatic speakers.

And lastly: You've made an investment in purchasing what we here at MLO consider to be the finest loudspeakers made. Don't cut corners when it comes to amplification.. Get the best amplifier you can afford. Your ears will be rewarded!
:music:
Hi Tom
sorry for the question , for my English and especially if I have wrong section but I need a hand; I bought a couple of ML Impression 11a for a few months and at the time of purchase I thought that there would be no problems with my EAM LAB 701 mono amp capable of delivering Power rms 650/1000/1800 - 8/4/2 ohm : all right until a few weeks ago, taking advantage of the fact that some neighbors were on vacation, I tried to turn up the volume and unfortunately the low frequencies were considerably attenuated .. to bring back to an acceptable situation, I had to turn down the volume (first of the ML I had Thiel CS 2.7 which I had no problem flying at high volumes.
This situation seems very strange to me but unfortunately I have to deal with it and I do not hide from you that I am very sad for this.
Do you have any suggestions on this? Maybe I should try some other amps? And if so, what could be a possible choice?
Thanks in advance for everything.
Best Regards
Paolo
 

Don Camillo

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Mmm... that's definitely not the first time I've come across this. There's a good mate over here who had the same exact issue. He was pretty furious after the return policy was not honoured... probably had their reasons, I don't know the details. However, the previous combination that he had, comprised of the Weiss DAC and a top line CJ preamp, was fantastic! I told him to just keep it!

Once your system has achieved a certain threshold, going beyond that point doesn't necessarily mean there's going to be significant improvement. It all depends on which areas you're trying to improve upon, and whether the gear matches with the other. If it doesn't, what's the point of spending huge amounts... really doesn't make sense.

The other thing I've noticed over the decades is that most who constantly upgrade, nearly all of them always tend to miss on one very important aspect, and that's their room! They don't seem to understand the importance of room parameters and room Acoustics, which is basically a component itself!

Unless this very basic element is addressed, it will never sound right. No matter how many thousands of dollars spent on gear, simply won't fix the room. System / component matching is so critical, as well as the room interaction and eventually when that happens to a positive effect, only then does the synergy work.

Keep it simple maties, and enjoy those fine tunes! RJ
Again, so very true what you write here, as usual...!

Hi RJ, how are you doing mate?

One thing that popped up in my mind after reading this was the many system upgrades a friend of mine did over the years. It was always an improvement but a real big one was when he had his room measured and treated by an acoustic professional...
WITH optimal diffusors at the back and side walls.... that he made himself.
Suddenly the staging, depth possitioning and even realness of instruments and voices improved a lot! As if he had gotten a different system... and after the right speaker distance toe in and so....
This placement of course is incredibly important (depending on the speakers u have).. which most audiophiles already know of course.

It brings me to the question; what is better for behind the panel speakers.

Some say nothing (probably also depending on the brightness of the the system and room)
Some say mild dampening or even more...

I am curious for my CLS II but also for my Apogee Duetta Sigs that I at the moment I listen to.
Which sound amazing by the way after upgrading to the CJ amps that I bought thanks to the great and much appreciated advise RJ gave me.... so thanks again for that mate!

And the better the Duettas were placed the better the improvement with the new amps.
So next will be some room treatement and more diffusors (I already had one in the center).
Although, with panel speakers it is less important as with dynamic cone speakers who have a much wider dispersion pattern... so they benefit even more with room treatement...

Greetz,
DC
 

Big Dog RJ

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Again, so very true what you write here, as usual...!

Hi RJ, how are you doing mate?

One thing that popped up in my mind after reading this was the many system upgrades a friend of mine did over the years. It was always an improvement but a real big one was when he had his room measured and treated by an acoustic professional...
WITH optimal diffusors at the back and side walls.... that he made himself.
Suddenly the staging, depth possitioning and even realness of instruments and voices improved a lot! As if he had gotten a different system... and after the right speaker distance toe in and so....
This placement of course is incredibly important (depending on the speakers u have).. which most audiophiles already know of course.

It brings me to the question; what is better for behind the panel speakers.

Some say nothing (probably also depending on the brightness of the the system and room)
Some say mild dampening or even more...

I am curious for my CLS II but also for my Apogee Duetta Sigs that I at the moment I listen to.
Which sound amazing by the way after upgrading to the CJ amps that I bought thanks to the great and much appreciated advise RJ gave me.... so thanks again for that mate!

And the better the Duettas were placed the better the improvement with the new amps.
So next will be some room treatement and more diffusors (I already had one in the center).
Although, with panel speakers it is less important as with dynamic cone speakers who have a much wider dispersion pattern... so they benefit even more with room treatement...

Greetz,
DC
Hey DC mate how's it going... trust all is well at your end of the woods.
Re. To placing things behind panels, well there had been much debate over this topic and there really isn't a correct or wrong way. Rather, it depends on your overall room dimensions.

In general, what I've discovered is that if you've got plenty of space behind the panels to the front wall, say over 5ft to 6ft then placing things behind the panels isn't necessary. This kind of adequate space allows the true dipole affect to work optimally, such that the 10 milli second delay is more critical in achieving that full soundstage depth and full 3D effect. If the distance is less than 4ft to 5ft then some sort of absorbers or diffusers may help but I can't recommend it, as I've not set up panels in any room where there was less than 5ft from the front wall.

In the first place if I have to set up panels in a room where there's not adequate space of 5ft to 6ft minimum from the front wall then I don't use panels. There's no point in trying to make a panel fit into a cupboard, it definitely won't sound any good. OTOH, there's also no point I setting up panels in large oval shaped rooms, without having solid walls reinforced on at least 3 sides, L & R and back, panels won't work in such rooms. For example there was a member on this forum who had a large oval shaped room with no proper walls as such, rather a big egg shaped space, setting up panels in this kind of space didn't work. He's using AG Horns now, which is much better combination. Spherical Horns, like as Avant Garde, don't require walls as such, they're dispersion patterns are totally forwards, hence absolutely no dipole effect.

If you're planning on placing anything behind the panels, just for experiment... start with wall hangings of some soft materials. Like 1/4 sized carpets that you can hang on the walls or even picture frames may help. A very good mate who also owns CLX's and has a nice large room, has placed wall hangings behind on the front wall, works wonders! Of course carpeting in the middle and sides does help, so that your room doesn't have any echo effect... it must not reverb or echo.

I know another chap with Maggie's MG30.7's where his room has thick wall to wall carpeting fully enclosed. Not a very good set up. It kills off the natural HF & LF extensions the 30.7's are capable of due to that wall carpeting.

Like I said, there's no golden rule to any room set up, since every room is quite different in nature. The key is to achieve the most natural tonality as possible, with the least amount of reverb or artificial enhancements. You should hear more of the recording and this is where more of the musicality will come from. So start in moderation and don't overdo room treatments, keep it simple and clean.

Cheers DC, have a good one
RJ
 

Don Camillo

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Hi RJ mate, yeah everything is cool, (but too busy with work as always).

I guess I have to buy another sofa for my living room 😄

I have the speakers at 4ft now, which was a HUGE difference with 3ft.
So I can imagine 5ft will give another improvement..... so yep now that sofa has to go!

My room is 24ft x 12ft. And I sit a bit over the middle of the length.

Good info on the oval shaped room too! I didnt know that... I wanted to build an oval shaped room in the future tbh with a new house some day made with natural materials.

Also because I was once in Spain -Barcelona in a Gaudi house that had many oval rooms which were mostly empty inside. When we talked I noticed the damping and started to clapp and my girlfriend thought what is he doing now... hehe.. but I immediately heard it was extremely well damped inside. I was astonished.

But now knowing we need the straight solid side walls I understand more of how the panels work.
I thought the panel brings sound more in a straight line towards the listener with way less dispersion as a cone speakers so we have less problems (or need) with the side walls, ceiling, and floor. But mainly the front wall after the speakers.

But it makes so much sense now that dipoles need their side walls too!

Thanks for the sharing!

I am gonna take it slow with the room treatment...

Cheers!
DC
 
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Don Camillo

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Hi RJ mate, yeah everything is cool, (but too busy with work as always).

I guess I have to buy another sofa for my living room 😄

I have the speakers at 4ft now, which was a HUGE difference with 3ft.
So I can imagine only 5ft will give another improvement..... so yep now that sofa has to go!

My room is 24ft x 12ft. And I sit a bit over the middle of the length.

Good info on the oval shaped room too! I didnt know that... I wanted to build an oval shaped room in the future tbh with a new house some day made with natural materials.

Also because I was once in Spain -Barcelona in a Gaudi house that had many oval rooms which were mostly empty inside. When we talked I started to clapp and my girlfriend thought what is he doing now... hehe.. but I immediately heard it was extremely well damped inside. I was astonished.

But now knowing we need the straight solid side walls I understand more how the panels work.
I thought the panel brings sound more in a straight line towards the listener with way less dispersion as a cone speakers so we have less problems with the side walls, ceiling, and floor. But mainly the front wall after the speakers.

But it makes so much sense now that dipoles need their side walls too!

Than
 

DaVinci Media

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At DaVinci Media we became Classe dealers last year and I have finally started using the Classe Delta amps hooked up with the Martin Logans. I have tried them with all the current Masterpiece speakers and in my ears opinion they are a perfect match. easily driving any speaker with clarity precision and pressence. I loved them so much that I decided to bring a pair home and use them as my personal amps in my personal system with the Martin Logan CLX. Since im not a reviewer I am going to include some links to reviews that are also very very impressed with the Classe Deltas.


And here is the link to the Classe site

I realize everyones ears and preferences are unique and varied, but I believe the Classe amps are a great match for the Martin Logans. I would recommend that you give them a listen, They are great amps that truly sing with the Martin Logans.
 

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Big Dog RJ

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Nice one mate!

The Classe gear has always been top notch. I still remember to this very day my ever first experience with ML stats. Way back during my undergrad studies in Chicago, Naperville, one of my associates was the co-owner of Sound Lab. He called me in for a special invite, apart from the usual CJ & NHT speakers that I used to spend most time with. He said, big dog you gotta come out and check these duude! I asked what were they, said something about Martin and a chap named Logan... uh? So I went in and didn't leave until they closed, and later bought that very gear! It was the Aries driven with a full array of Classe gear, Pre, power & CD player, really tops! This is the old school Classe design, big, bold & beautiful! In another demo room he had the SL3 driven by a full array of Krell gear, which I later bought the SL3's. Although the Krell's had no issues driving ML stats, I must say the Classe signature sound was so much more musical, and it was a very fine combination! It was more expensive than the Krell's but I managed to get a good deal off the demo items... and from that point onwards it was ML all the way!

Fast fwd that to nearly 30 yrs... and the Classe gear still holds strong. Amongst the very best I must say, and as stated above, definitely an outstanding match with ML, without a doubt! They don't make a lot of gear as they used to 30 years ago, just a handful of amplifiers that are really well designed. I had the opportunity to experience the Delta series during my travels and it was one of those combinations I would categorize within the best of the best (CH Precision, Solution, Pass Labs, and my favorite SS of all time, Dartzeel). However, these brands cost a fortune! Goes to show that Classe can still hold itself strong amongst these lofty names, even after so many decades. I can't quite remember exactly what the meters do but I think they indicate the current availability switching from Class A into Class AB, similar to what Pass Labs meters do... but I'm not too sure. They do look exquisite though when you see them in person, and they are extremely well built. This is really top notch gear if there's anyone looking for serious SS drive with musicality and finesse partnered with ML stats at its finest!

Just another superb combination worth looking into. You won't be disappointed.
Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
Woof! RJ
 

SomeGeoffGuy

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I love how far those monoblocks stay in Class A operation so long. I have my Aerius on 5 watts Class A and they sound better then the 85 watt Yamaha reciever I had them on when I first got them.

-Geoff
 

Big Dog RJ

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Yes, that's a definite 👍
5 watts of Class A is way better than 85w from a receiver. There's no comparison in the two. Like I mentioned earlier in my post, nearly all Receivers and most low end integrateds just can't handle difficult loads, and there's no chance they'll drive reactive loads typically found in stats.

Regardless of their power ratings at 8 Ohms, their power supplies aren't design to handle stress, hence they're low end, no where close to highend designs.

Class A 5w is a clean start, when you get over 30w it gets serious and in the region of 100w, that's SOTA. On normal playback levels, we can't listen to anything over 100w, we'd go deaf! Only a handful of watts is ever used. It's all to do with high current along with stable voltage that will drive speakers efficiently, and especially stats.

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 

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