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SoundLabs with various amplifiers? (Read 8039 times)
TWB
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SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Mar 3rd, 2014 at 11:23am
 
SoundLabs have always demanded a lot of the amplifier and only sound their best when powered by a quality amp that is capable of delivering current as well as sufficient wattage. There are a number of amps that have always done this well. With the introduction the PX models and the Toroid II transformer, they have become easier to drive and have expanded the list of amps that can do the job well. Please post your experience in this regard. What amps have you found that that you think are worthy of consideration? Also, do you know of any otherwise highly regarded amps (like McIntosh) that should be avoided?
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Paul Reale
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #1 - Mar 4th, 2014 at 4:52am
 
I have mentioned a number of amp choices before, but I will try to condense what information I have. Presently, I am use hybrid prototypes, designed by Stephen Sank of Talking Dog. These monoblocks were based on the old Moscode 600 and have about 500W of power into 8 ohms. I sought Sank out, because years ago I had a modified 600 powering my old M-1's which sounded beautiful but did not have enough power. Prior to the Sank amps I was using a Bryston 14BSST, not bad but not as good as a good tube am like the Wolcotts. All the other SS amps, like McIntosh really failed to do the job and sounded two dimensional. I know that many users swear by Ayre, but I have not tried these in my system.
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #2 - Mar 4th, 2014 at 4:27pm
 
I don't have the PX version but I can tell you that the ARC REF 600 Mk II's are a very nice match for my U-1's.  They are lightening fast with explosive dynamics and a bottom end second to none.  The soundstage is huge and layered as well.  With the right program material, they come "fool you" close to the real thing.

A friend who is a critical listener was over last week.  He described it best when he said "listening to your SL on Thursday I did not feel like I was listening to a speaker.  I felt like I had been transported to the actual venue and was listening to real musicians playing in real space.  A very disconcerting sort of experience.  The SL scare me.  There is a sense of tension, a sense of anticipation, like we get with live music."  He went on to say he felt SL's were the best speakers he's ever heard.  I have to agree with him.  Quite a testament to Doctor West's fabulous speaker.
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #3 - Mar 15th, 2014 at 8:13am
 
I have U-1s with the "almost PX" panels and upgraded to the Toroid IIs last year.  I've always driven them (previously Acoustat 2+2s) with VTL MB450s to good results.  Once I got the new trannies, I find that I can run triode at lower power and still get the kind of volume I previously got running tetrode.

While the older VTL amps are manually biased, I rarely need to change them. I monitor them each month or so, but they don't drift much.
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #4 - Mar 16th, 2014 at 5:14am
 
This post is really for those who have not upgraded panels to PX technology. If you decide to do this, then the choice of amps is so much greater. Naturally, the increased efficiency changes the overall sound of the speakers, mostly for the better; however, I really did not get the great results that I have without the hotrod back plates and toroid II's.
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #5 - Mar 16th, 2014 at 5:24pm
 
Five Parasound JC-1 amplifiers, designed by John Curl, driving five SounndLab M-1PX. The important specification is an output voltage drive of +/- 100 Volts.
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #6 - Mar 16th, 2014 at 10:19pm
 
Quote:
Five Parasound JC-1 amplifiers, designed by John Curl, driving five SounndLab M-1PX. The important specification is an output voltage drive of +/- 100 Volts.


Having owned Parasound JC-1 amps, I can attest to their ability to drive and control SL M-1's nicely. They can often be found used at a bargain price. Nonetheless, there are better SS amps.
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« Last Edit: Mar 17th, 2014 at 6:11am by TWB »  

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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #7 - Mar 18th, 2014 at 5:01pm
 
I have used my pre-Px A1's with VTL MB450's and MB750's with great success. Now that I have the Toroid II I can now use an Audio Research REF150. 
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #8 - Mar 22nd, 2014 at 12:06pm
 
I visit SLOG almost every day hoping for some new contribution from a SL owner. Most days I am disappointed. Today is no exception. 366 'views' of this thread and only 7 responses, one of them mine, since March 3rd! Can't we do better??
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TWB
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #9 - Mar 23rd, 2014 at 9:40am
 
As mentioned in my opening post, SoundLabs and MacIntosh amplifiers do not seem to be a popular combination. Does anyone here have experience? Can you comment?
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #10 - Mar 24th, 2014 at 12:57pm
 
Hi Tom,

Regarding MacIntosh with Soundlabs, my experience has been poor at best. Some time ago I purchased a pair of used MC1200's off of Audiogon to use with my UIPX's. The amplifier would easily clip and didn't sound very good even when it wasn't clipping.
Needless to say they went back onto Audiogon within a day of receiving them from the previous owner.

I continue to use my bridged Crown Macro's, not highly regarded in high end circles but they work for me.

I'm about to begin a restoration on a pair of old HK Citation II tube amplifiers and will try them in a bi-amp configuration once their restored. My back plates are set up for bi-amping with separate inputs to the Bass & Toroid xformers to allow this. 
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #11 - Mar 27th, 2014 at 6:51am
 
"I visit SLOG almost every day hoping for some new contribution from a SL owner. Most days I am disappointed. Today is no exception. 366 'views' of this thread and only 7 responses, one of them mine, since March 3rd! Can't we do better??"


What do you suggest? Only a few of us tinker with the speakers or discover information useful to others. Personally, I would like more SLOG user reviews of high quality CD's or downloads. Most published reviewers have only medium resolution systems, so I have mostly given up on their opinions.
I will start by suggesting "Yo Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone" Sony 82876-76255-2. I have only listened to the CD stereo, but it also includes SACD and surround versions. Most movie music bores me to tears, but this is a wonderful exception.
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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #12 - Mar 27th, 2014 at 8:09am
 
samujohn wrote on Mar 27th, 2014 at 6:51am:
What do you suggest? Only a few of us tinker with the speakers or discover information useful to others. Personally, I would like more SLOG user reviews of high quality CD's or downloads. Most published reviewers have only medium resolution systems, so I have mostly given up on their opinions.
I will start by suggesting "Yo Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone" Sony 82876-76255-2. I have only listened to the CD stereo, but it also includes SACD and surround versions. Most movie music bores me to tears, but this is a wonderful exception.


I suggest two things:

1) Start a new thread with your topic as the subject.
2) Respond to the the question raised in this thread- What amp do you currently use- how happy are you with it- any past amps?
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« Last Edit: Mar 27th, 2014 at 9:54am by TWB »  

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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #13 - Mar 27th, 2014 at 3:48pm
 
TWB:
i suggest that you read a few old posts before you light in to somebody. We have beat the amplifier question to death for years. I have posted my suggestions of what works in my price range. I have received no response to any of my posts on the subject. Apparently my suggested amps do not cost enough, because they certainly have the power and ability to drive the load. A used solid state CJ 2500A can be had for under $1500. A new Wyred4Sound ST1000 goes for two grand. It will drive any Soundlab. I have posted all this before. Tubes are for crazies (Nothing against crazies -I have had my share, including VTL monos) Unless somebody has some new information, call me bored.

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Re: SoundLabs with various amplifiers?
Reply #14 - Mar 27th, 2014 at 4:44pm
 
Sorry, it was not my intention to cause offense. Thanks for your previous posts which I obviously failed to acknowledge.
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« Last Edit: Mar 28th, 2014 at 5:35pm by TWB »  

Tom
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