off-the-shelf amplifier suggestions for Alpairs - diyAudio
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Old 29th January 2010, 09:53 PM   #1
tdr1213 is offline tdr1213  United States
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Default off-the-shelf amplifier suggestions for Alpairs

What's the appropriate amp for MA Alpairs fr speakers?

I want to make some speakers and I understand that my receiver (yamaha htr 5940) is very poor indeed.

I have searched quite a bit - but not finding anything clear. Suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 30th January 2010, 03:45 AM   #2
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Hi tdr1213,
Thanks for asking this question as it's very timely. As you may have seen from the other thread on this Markaudio section, there's both up-grades to existing driver and prototypes. We're at the stage where most of these drivers are being run on various amps to see how they behave.

I'll expand more on this very soon but for now, here's pics of amps that we find to be an excellent match:

Tony Wong's 6V6 4 watt - Pentode with Triode connections currently powering Alp5, Alp6, Alp7 and Alp 10 protos
Tony Wong's EL84 12 watt-push-bull -Currently powering Alp 10 (existing model) Alp7 and Alp 12
I also use a Sansui AU-a907-DR Mofset for current model Alpair 10 and Alpair 12

There's more to say but must dash.

Cheers

Mark.
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Last edited by markaudio; 30th January 2010 at 01:02 PM. Reason: typo mending
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Old 30th January 2010, 06:24 AM   #3
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4 watts is probably a little light except for a real small room, but i bet its sounds good within its limits. If it is enuff, El Cheapo TubeLab SimpleSE, or the Music Machine would be diy choices.

I'd suggest that almost any of the gain clones, maybe the better class D amplifiers will outgun your HT receiver. Any number of the diy tube amps (Red Light District, Baby Huey) will do really well. For more power something like Gregg-the-Geeks DynaMutt (what i'm currently using does do very well)

Any of the Pass clones would be a good choice too.

dave
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Old 30th January 2010, 02:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdr1213 View Post
I have searched quite a bit - but not finding anything clear. Suggestions? Thanks.
Hi trd,
Assuming you plan to keep the Yam and get a second amp for the stereo music? If this is the case, what's you're amp budget? Or, are you going to ditch the Yam and start again?
Also, how's big is your listening room LxWxH?

Cheers

Mark.

Last edited by markaudio; 30th January 2010 at 02:52 PM. Reason: additional info.
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Old 30th January 2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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Hi Mark,

6V6 is power tetrode and EL84 is power pentode. This mini 6V6 amp is under single end class A circuit. The plate voltage of 6V6 is 250V in the amp and the plate current is 35 Ma. EF95/5654/6AK5/WE403B is a low noise RF voltage amplifying pentode with miniature 7 pins. We adjusted the plate voltage of EF95 at 140V in the amp and the plate current at 2 Ma. The pentode EF95 is under triode connection for 6V6 single end circuit. The reason is 6V6 is easy to be driven and if EF95 is under pentode connection, the gain ratio will be too high, but if under triode connection, the gain ratio will not be so high. Many people like the sound of triode and believe it is sweeter and warmer than pentode.

Tony.
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Old 31st January 2010, 06:58 AM   #6
tdr1213 is offline tdr1213  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markaudio View Post
Hi trd,
Assuming you plan to keep the Yam and get a second amp for the stereo music? If this is the case, what's you're amp budget? Or, are you going to ditch the Yam and start again?
Also, how's big is your listening room LxWxH?

Cheers

Mark.
The room is 34’x25’x8’. Open concept with living room, kitchen, and dining room kinda all together.

I would like to build an amp and could easily ditch the yam, whatever makes the most sense. I watch tv, movies, and listen to music via itunes from a htpc.

I would like minimal components – simply a htpc, an amp, and two speakers to handle all my music and movie audio needs. Not sure this is realistic. Let me know.

Budget….hmmm..... $500? I really have no clue what an amp costs. This is my first effort – maybe there’s some beginners kit out there. If this works out, I could build a better one for the man cave.

I mostly listen to country and pop music and usually not loud, wanna save those ears ya know.
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Old 31st January 2010, 07:10 AM   #7
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For a beginners kit, a gainclone (peter (audiosector) or Brian (chipamp.com)) if SS -- i like the 1875. A tube amp will probably cost more and be a bit more work, i'd suspect a PP would be more appropriate but the TubelabSE might well be the easiest. Getting lucky and finding a good donor amp can shift the cost of tube amp considerably

dave
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Old 31st January 2010, 07:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdr1213 View Post
The room is 34’x25’x8’. Open concept with living room, kitchen, and dining room kinda all together.
I would like to build an amp and could easily ditch the yam, whatever makes the most sense. I watch tv, movies, and listen to music via itunes from a htpc.
I would like minimal components – simply a htpc, an amp, and two speakers to handle all my music and movie audio needs. Not sure this is realistic. Let me know.
Budget….hmmm..... $500? I really have no clue what an amp costs. This is my first effort – maybe there’s some beginners kit out there. If this works out, I could build a better one for the man cave.
I mostly listen to country and pop music and usually not loud, wanna save those ears ya know.
I should have asked if you already have Markaudio drivers, I'll assume not for now. Your room's a fairly big so for sort of listening you've mentioned. I'd suggest Alpair 10 or better still, Alpair 12. It's worth taking a look at this thread:
Alpair 12 - Damped Air Coupler box design

The Pencil 12 is an easy build, smooth on the ears, easy adjust by adding or subtracting the damping material. Its principle of operation makes it ideal for the larger room sizes.

On to amps. So you're easy on your ears, very wise! I'd suggest the following:

1 - Tube amps, a 300B single end around 8 watts or for a bit more power an EL84 pull-pull. More power still takes you to KT-88 push pull. The 300B is possibly the nicer of these options but good 300B tubes cost more. Good transformers and components will also cost for 300B. This choice might take you beyond the 300B if you want to do a nice job. The EL-84 is a nice compromise. Transformers are smaller and components should be easily sourced at affordable prices. 4 X EL84 tubes in push-pull is enough power and tube prices are more affordable. Going to KT-88 may be a bit of over-kill on power.

2 - If the budget can't stretch quite so far and the kit idea becomes too challenging, keep an eye out on Ebay and alike for anyone selling off their project. Could be your lucky day. I recommend searching for the tube amps types I've mentioned. But also any Sansui 907 series and Sony Taf-333EX or 555EX series Mofsets. Sometimes, these amps pop up for moderate money and provided they've been looked after, will do you some musical justice.

Try to avoid buying into a cheap tube kit. With $500 bucks as the budget, this rout may be tempting but risky as you may be restricted on the quality of the components. Watch out for some of the cheap "Chinese built" tube amps. They look good but their components aren't up to much. While others China brands are good but the cost is up.

You could drop a line to member Tony (Musik007). He may be able to help and advise. One thing for sure, Tony and Thomas know their amp onions so feel free to ask.

Finally, take another look at your source. Assuming you're mainly using CD's, up-grading the CD should also be on your future shopping list if like me, you rely on an ageing CD player. I recently up-graded to a used Accuphase DP-65, wow what a difference!

Hope this helps, feel free to ask more

Cheers

Mark.

Last edited by markaudio; 31st January 2010 at 08:28 AM. Reason: additional info.
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Old 31st January 2010, 07:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
For a beginners kit, a gainclone (peter (audiosector) or Brian (chipamp.com)) if SS -- i like the 1875.
dave
Dave's idea is also worth exploring.

Going down the chip-a rout, also, talk to Michael at: Power Amp Kits by AmpsLab

Michael's gear looks very interesting. His Bi70Mk2 and Lm60 kits could be interesting. I've not tried them myself so tell him: Alpair 12 drivers or whatever choice you've got or going for.

Cheers

Mark

Last edited by markaudio; 31st January 2010 at 08:21 AM. Reason: typo mending
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Old 31st January 2010, 04:21 PM   #10
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I would also suggest any of Nelson Pass's DIY designs. If you can weild a soldering iron, you're in business. Probably, in this case, one of these would be my pick:

http://www.passdiy.com/pdf/sonofzen.pdf -the Son of Zen amp
http://www.passdiy.com/pdf/zen-v6.pdf -modification to the above
http://www.passdiy.com/pdf/zen-v7.pdf -further modification of the above
http://www.passdiy.com/pdf/zen-v5-hires.pdf -something a little different
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