What Amp do you use with your Mark Audio Drivers? - Page 6 - diyAudio
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Old 4th April 2012, 04:37 PM   #51
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Quote:
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we still talking measuring drivers?
Yes. And i should add "in room"

dave
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Old 4th April 2012, 04:41 PM   #52
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
"Move an inch, get a different response..." Ed Schilling

dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
we still talking measuring drivers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
Yes. And i should add "in room"

dave

sorry, I couldn't help myself - sensitivity, proximity, efficiency of effort - you see where this is going
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Old 4th April 2012, 04:51 PM   #53
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Old 6th April 2012, 07:50 AM   #54
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I have Alpair 10 Gen 1 in 21 litre infinite baffle columns. I have used a variety of amps, which I would place here in ascending order of satisfaction:
- 807 PP (triode) with 6SN7 drivers, choke loaded
- 6V6 PPP (triode) with 6SN7 drivers, choke loaded
- 300b with Lundahl LL1660/60mA OPTs and combination bias, 26 and 46 input
- 300b with Lundahl LL1660/80mA OPTs self bias, 26 and 46 input
- 2a3 PP with choke loaded 4P1L drivers and 26 input, O-netics OPTs
- 2a3 PP with 01A direct coupled to 31 then LL1660/PP to outputs (O-netics).

The 807 and 6V6 amps are indirectly heated - they have a rich and forward presentation which is good to listen to. Plenty of control. But with the DHT amps we get more detail and better timbre.

The 300b amps have the best midrange, SE DHTs all through with the 26 in choke loaded (2xHammond 156C) filament bias and the 46 coupled to outputs with Hammond 126C interstages. These amps are about as far as I could go with the 300b without getting exotic.

The drawback for me, despite the lovely liquid midrange, is the lower mids and bass which simply don't have the dynamics and attack of the 2a3 PP amps. The 300b stage needs to have at least 60mA current, preferably 80ma or more. I haven't totally optimised the amps, but they are pretty close. The 300b is also a warmer sound, 46 is neutral and 26 is warm. So sound is quite euphonic.

I turned to PP 2a3 not expecting it to better the 300b amps, but it did quite significantly in the lower mids and bass - cellos and basses in the orchestra came to life. This gave a better balance right through the frequency range, and overall there was more clarity and better control. I'm still experimenting here - the differential 4P1L stage is promising - it's choke loaded with the 90K side of a Hammond 124b which is surprisingly effective, and teflon FT-3 coupling caps. This is being driven with my 26 preamp. It's a really good combination.

The other 2a3 amp is all differential pairs - 01A direct coupled to 31 interstage coupled to the 2a3s. Now this is nice, very nice. It only just has enough gain from a CD player, and in fact I'm using it without a volume control. So there will be changes made, despite the fact that it's my amp of choice here. I've resistor loaded the 01A stage, so that's going to have a plate choke - 124b or Lundahl LL1667. I'll stick with direct coupling for now, though I could be using a LL1660/PP instead as an option. I'm thinking to substitute 26s for the 01As. The driver stage needs more gain. Choices here are 10Y, 46 and 4P1L. The 4P1L is a lot cheaper, though I have enough 46 and 10Y. It has the most gain as well. So this will be my first experiment. Right now the interstage is LL1660/PP but I'll also try LL1692 and LL1671.

I'm using standard Chinese 2a3s so I could move up to 2a3C tubes. I also have some Sovteks I can try. Then there are all the 6B4G and 6C4C types. But anyway, for now my conclusion is that a PP 2a3 amp is the way to go with these Alpair 10s. It's clean, clear, has good control and amazing detail, and is all-round musical and very satisfying. I'm pretty happy right now, and there is more optimisation to do yet!!

Andy

Last edited by andyjevans; 6th April 2012 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 7th April 2012, 08:44 AM   #55
Goto is offline Goto  United Kingdom
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Currently I use dual mono'd UCD180 with a little modding, driven from a Buffalo2/Legato3.1 (modded) to feed a signal to my Alpair 7.3s (grey cones, no voodoo- all that was in stock when I ordered).

The Alp7s are open baffle, 70cm from walls. In my current set up I am using them in FAST stylee with stereo TL subs. Because of this and in order to preserve the delicate suspension of the Alpairs and still get some spl going on, I have rolled off the balanced output of the I/V stage 6db/oct from about 180hz. A full range signal is taken from the SE circuit on the Legato to a mini-DSP which low passes and eq's a rough Linkwitz-Riley sub response fed to the much more robust subwoofers.

This gives me what I feel is a great compromise between the sweetness of the fullrange and the ability to feed the Alpairs enough juice to fill my (fairly small) listening room. This gives me great bass extension without forcing the little Alpair cones out of their comfort zone. Phase distortions are kept low (gentle filter slope) and out of the key pass band.

Still a WIP (the open baffles are cosmetically challenged for sure) but the match between the classD UCD180s and the Alpairs is very much to my liking.

Mark

Last edited by Goto; 7th April 2012 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 7th April 2012, 09:27 AM   #56
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Update on my PP 2a3 amp. Tried the Sovteks and hated them - hard sound. My Chinese biplate Golden Dragons are actually a nice sound. I prefer Chinese 300b over Russian ones so I'm not surprised at the 2a3. Thorsten suggests running the Sovteks like 45s but I don't know that you'd get the power.

Anyway, I took out the resistor loads for the input 01A long tail pair and put in a 124b Hammond as plate choke (the 90K side with the centre tap). This is cheap but half nickel and sounds better as a plate choke than as an interstage to my ears. Got some more volume and much cleaner sound with more detail and dynamics - well worth while. This is direct coupled to the 31s, which have a LL1660/PP to the 2a3s. So far this is the best amp I've made. I'm looking forward to optimising it.

I tried the UcD 400 but could only get one of my two modules to work. Have you seen the UcD180 Hybrid thread on this site? You bypass the input stage with tubes and just use the output section. This has a balanced input impedence of 1.8K so needs a bit of thought about driving it. Guido Tent has working versions for sale. I'd be looking to use DHTs with a stepdown transformer.

Andy
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Old 7th April 2012, 11:09 AM   #57
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Hi Guys,
You might find this new thread interesting:

Alpair 12P Gen. 2 (paper cone)

Cheers
Mark.
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Old 7th April 2012, 11:18 AM   #58
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Very interesting new product! Any idea of pricing? Will it be within the range of mortals?

Andy
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Old 7th April 2012, 11:58 AM   #59
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Using Alp 12 with Hypex UCD180HG modules. I am very happy. Very detailed and transparent midrange and airy top, plenty of treble extension. There is impressive bass weight in tracks that have it. Also trying Banglacx's MarKen7.3 this afternoon. Similar impressions - the amp matches well with these drivers.
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Old 8th April 2012, 06:55 PM   #60
doggy is offline doggy  Canada
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Well just tried out my bottlehead 2a3 and not enough power(for me), my main one has been a diy p2p lm3886, a lm3875, but now am trying out a diy Aleph30; seems promising but time will tell-this is a winter amp

Last edited by doggy; 8th April 2012 at 07:15 PM.
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