SET amp owners thread

joaovieira

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Feb 16, 2013
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Gorgeous. I'm just waiting my turn to demo these with my Audiopax Model 5 and big Tannoys.

Tannoys and single ended are not normaly an ideal combination but we'll see ... very much looking forward to it.
You will be very happy with it. It’s very refined.
And you always have the option of the Maggiore M100, 100W pure class A1.
That’s the one I own. If you need more power.

And if you want to be shocked demo the L50 pre with it.
 
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joaovieira

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Feb 16, 2013
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Gorgeous. I'm just waiting my turn to demo these with my Audiopax Model 5 and big Tannoys.

Tannoys and single ended are not normaly an ideal combination but we'll see ... very much looking forward to it.
About Audiopax and Tannoy.
A friend with an amazing system uses both. Maggiore M50 and Tannoy.
He also has Audiopax Mandolin Ceramik speakers.
F3235F3F-BB6C-4A03-BE23-AEF324E17966.jpeg
 

perart1

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Mar 17, 2012
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Hi Tom

I will be very interested to see how they compare with your Leben, especially as the Leben uses KT88's in pentode mode and probably optimised for them rather than triode. You might miss their control and top end extension compared to the KT88's in SE configuration but the Audiopax may bring something extra to the party. Like most things high it depends on the compromises you are prepared to tolerate.
 

kpz

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Nov 17, 2019
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Just requesting all SET amp owners to mention their amps and speakers.
Not mine (yet, working on it).

I honestly can say, after living with a pair of Avantgarde Acoustics Trio and an original Kondo made Audio Note Kageki for some 8 years, this is far the most entertaining, emotionally involving and lifelike triode tube amplification I have ever tried. It just projects the music and does not matter what kind of source you are using. Finds the music in the pits, and in vinyl and in files, streaming too.




View attachment 72374
 

Lampie519

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Mar 14, 2021
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SET Zotl on a pair of Tannoy nfm-8 dmt. Light weight , ca. 3Kg, build-in 12V SMPS. The amp is very compact this way. It's strength is in the 3d detail and bass definition (nice for organ concertos).
 

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kpz

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I honestly can say, after living with a pair of Avantgarde Acoustics Trio and an original Kondo made Audio Note Kageki for some 8 years, this is far the most entertaining, emotionally involving and lifelike triode tube amplification I have ever tried. It just projects the music and does not matter what kind of source you are using. Finds the music in the pits, and in vinyl and in files, streaming too.




View attachment 72374

Hi everyone,
yes, I could not agree more with Ferenc_K, I'm happily using several units of Clarinet Audio Design and cables driving my Kondo Gakuoh PSE power amplifier.
I have been using Kondo power amps for a while and have been seeking and an adequate pre-amp for my system; I was aiming to buy a Kondo pre-amp however I had the chance for a few repeated occasions to listen to the Clarinet Line and Phono amp's with Kondo power amp's in A-B comparison within the same set up , switching among M1000MKII Phono and Ongaku M77 Phono versions, the tonality and performance of Clarinet units were astonishing. The buzz of comparing directly with a full Kondo system several times made me course correct quickly, selecting the Clarinet pre-amp and RIAA.
Nowadays I 'm fascinated enjoying music with AN-E speakers in my chain, however I decided to make another improvement , acquiring a pair of AA Duo G2 that will arrive soon. My hope is that such replacement will ease my never ending desire to constantly improve my high end chain...

IMG_0284room.JPG IMG_0279.JPG IMG_0295.JPG
 
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advanced101

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Air Tight 300R

Elrog 300B-Mo
Elrog 5U4G
Amerpex Bugle Boy 59’ D-Getter
RCA 12BH7A
 

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Tuckia

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advanced101

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Nice. How does it play with the Zeus?
As you know the Daedalus speakers don’t need much. It is nice to see another Daedalus owner. It is a great option for a high sensitivity box speaker. This is my second pair, previously owning the Orpheus. I need to post this on the Daedalus forums too.

I think it is a good match. The Air Tight is super quiet and very sensitive, which was the goal in pairing my EMIA Ag Autoformer. I have more than enough gain. Since The 300R is sensitive I can attenuate my phonostage a bit resulting in a noticeable noise floor drop.

The Air Tight is still breaking in and changing a little bit everyday but so far it is a winner. I don’t think I have heard a reproduced single guitar pluck have so much detail. Same with snare hits. At first I thought there was less bass but after spending a few days with it I realized there isn’t less bass but more gradation in each bass note, it is kind of trippy.

Bad news is now there is even more mismatch between my main speaker bass and passive Daedalus sub bass. I drive those with Parasound. I will be looking to eventually drive those with a low damping Air Tight amp in the future.
 
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bonzo75

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The AT 300b is a nice amp and with elrog will sound even better. transparent, uncolored
 
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Atmasphere

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As you know the Daedalus speakers don’t need much.
Unless you are in a smaller room, the 7-8 watts of a single 300b isn't enough power to avoid generating higher ordered harmonics, which will show up past about 20-25% of full power. They will cause the amp to sound 'dynamic' as the ear uses the higher orders to sense sound pressure and initially they are only showing up on the leaded edges of transients. Any time you read or hear of an SET being 'dynamic' its on account of the amp being used with a speaker of insufficient efficiency. It is safe to say that 95% of the time which audiophiles discuss 'dynamics' they are really talking about 'distortion'.

Unless you are in a smaller room.

If in a normal sized room, the really hear what the amp can do you need a more efficient speaker!
 

advanced101

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Thank you for the tip!
 

ketcham

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I respectfully disagree. Low wattage SET, 99 dB Daedalus in a larger than 40 x 30 x 27 foot room. No issues and certainly no distortion.
 
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bonzo75

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I respectfully disagree. Low wattage SET, 99 dB Daedalus in a larger than 40 x 30 x 27 foot room. No issues and certainly no distortion.

Db itself means nothing... The headroom required to do a large scale dynamic range and show drive is often not present. If it was a single driver with linearity in db it might have worked. It is not. Daedalus does need more power to drive than what people use
 

advanced101

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Listening preferences matter. After the above post I spent an entire listening session playing at a level I consider loud with a meter to determine what db peaks I was seeing. The max I got was 92db, also had a phone db app to get the average, that was 86. I played jazz, rock and classical. 92 db came off a Pink Floyd’s live album running both speakers and subs. If I play that same album with only one speaker on, it was 88db. Plugging 88db peak, 99db sensitivity, and 11 foot speaker distance, I come up with needing 1 watt. This also doesn’t include any room gain. For reference, my normal level listening peak is about 88-90.

As another test, I listened to that same PF album but at 100+ db levels. Yes, I hear the softening that Atmos refers to as well as an overall mushiness to the sound. I this was my preferred level, I would want much more power.

I am not claiming the 300R is the end all for the Daedalus. My EAR amps did some things better. Overall, I much prefer the strengths of the 300R. Is there a higher power SET amp that combines the strengths of both into one? Probably. Mind you, I am not big into large scale classical. I prefer solo piano, violin and cello. But to claim I am under driving them in my situation is not likely. If you want 105 db peaks, then yea but you are also crazy :p
 
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Atmasphere

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I respectfully disagree. Low wattage SET, 99 dB Daedalus in a larger than 40 x 30 x 27 foot room. No issues and certainly no distortion.
Deadalus, IMO, does not make a speaker that is 99dB 1 watt/1 meter. On their website, they claim 99 dB sensitivity which isn't the same thing. This is because the impedance of the speaker is about 6 ohms, making the efficiency (if his numbers are to be believed; for them to be real all the drivers in the speaker would have to be high efficiency devices and most of those I've seen are designed as 'full range' drivers) more like 97dB. Not sure what 'low wattage' means; to some people this might be 30 watts but in the context of SETs this is probably less than 7 watts. In a room 40 feet long... I have to assume then that the listening position is only a few feet from the speakers.


If you are using the 8 ohm tap on the output transformers, the 6 ohm load is causing the amp to make less than its rated power and with higher distortion.


You may not think you are hearing distortion because the amp isn't outright clipping. But you are hearing distortion and one of the ways it manifests is if the system sounds 'loud'. The mark of a properly set up system is that is will not sound loud even when it is (+95dB). Distortion in the form of higher ordered harmonics is interacting with the ear to cause the perception of 'loud'. IOW distortion is masquerading as 'loud'.


If you really want to hear what your amp is all about, a more efficient speaker that does not ask the amp to make more than about 20-25% of full power is how you do it.
 

morricab

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Deadalus, IMO, does not make a speaker that is 99dB 1 watt/1 meter. On their website, they claim 99 dB sensitivity which isn't the same thing. This is because the impedance of the speaker is about 6 ohms, making the efficiency (if his numbers are to be believed; for them to be real all the drivers in the speaker would have to be high efficiency devices and most of those I've seen are designed as 'full range' drivers) more like 97dB. Not sure what 'low wattage' means; to some people this might be 30 watts but in the context of SETs this is probably less than 7 watts. In a room 40 feet long... I have to assume then that the listening position is only a few feet from the speakers.


If you are using the 8 ohm tap on the output transformers, the 6 ohm load is causing the amp to make less than its rated power and with higher distortion.


You may not think you are hearing distortion because the amp isn't outright clipping. But you are hearing distortion and one of the ways it manifests is if the system sounds 'loud'. The mark of a properly set up system is that is will not sound loud even when it is (+95dB). Distortion in the form of higher ordered harmonics is interacting with the ear to cause the perception of 'loud'. IOW distortion is masquerading as 'loud'.


If you really want to hear what your amp is all about, a more efficient speaker that does not ask the amp to make more than about 20-25% of full power is how you do it.
It’s still sensitivity (efficiency is given in watts) but it is sensitivity relative to a given voltage (in this case 2.83V, which is 1 8 ohm watt but into 6 ohms a bit higher wattage). Your estimate is probably pretty correct that the sensitivity for 1 watt is around 97db (assuming they are honest with their rating in the first place…a reasonably big if). My own horn speakers are 97db and I have driven them as loud and clear as I like with 6 watt 300b monos.

If the listener is sitting not much more than 3 meters from the speakers not much power is needed to hit high 90sdb; which is loud enough for most music and listeners. I would argue < 5 watts for peaks and < 1 watt for most listening.

A friend of mine had McIntosh MC-501 monos for a long time and he had first quite demanding KEF Ref 207s and later quite demanding Thiel CS3.7s. He also liked to listen loud (louder on average than all but one of my hifi buddies) and I never saw the needle go above 50 watts on the KEFs and above about 20 watts on the Thiels. Neither was nearly as sensitive as the Daedalus speakers. We were sitting probably 3.5-4 meters at his place.

As to distortions making it sound loud, it is only the high order harmonics that cause this perception. As long as the amp is not clipping the harmonic products for a SET should rise in concert together and that effect will not occur. In amps where low orders are suppressed the rise of high orders will be more noticeable and add “edge” to the sound. SPL also plays a major role. We are less sensitive to higher order harmonics as the SPL increases, so as long as the pattern of distortion is maintained the sense of purity will be retained. That pattern needs to be both even and odd harmonics because that is a pattern from nature and our ear/brain has mechanisms to mask as the ear generates its own harmonics when receiving and transmitting sound waves. Jean Hiraga noted this preferable pattern (he called it monotonic but he meant a smooth exponential decay in modern scientific terminology) quite a long time ago. An interesting experiment by Keith Howard where he added distortion to digital files found that an all odd harmonic distortion pattern was the most offensive sounding, indicating that little to no masking of high orders is occurring with such a pattern. The best, unsurprisingly, was no added distortion but second best was all orders with an exponential decay with increasing order. All even (not really possible I think without a computer program) orders was worse but better than all odd.
 
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DaveC

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There's more involved than efficiency/sensitivity, power handling is a big clue to what's the most appropriate amp.

You can simply parallel a bunch of drivers and increase efficiency as much as you want, but this doesn't mean a 1.5W 45 SET is the best answer if you have a dozen 15" woofers involved.

OTOH, if you have a single 4.5" wideband driver with ~95 dB efficiency then even if the efficiency is far less than the dozen 15" woofers, the smaller amp will work much better for that application.

Daedalus speakers have drivers that, IMO can use much more power than a small SET and also IMO you will get better results from an amp that produces power closer to the speaker's power handling ability.
 

djsina2

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You may not think you are hearing distortion because the amp isn't outright clipping. But you are hearing distortion and one of the ways it manifests is if the system sounds 'loud'. The mark of a properly set up system is that is will not sound loud even when it is (+95dB). Distortion in the form of higher ordered harmonics is interacting with the ear to cause the perception of 'loud'. IOW distortion is masquerading as 'loud'.
When I bought my Audio Tekne system Imai told me to “be careful” because he has eliminated much of the high freq distortion. That it won’t sound loud to me and I may have the tendency to keep turning it up until I adjust to it.
 
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