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Old 8th June 2007, 07:46 PM   #1
fighi77 is offline fighi77  Norway
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Smile Help me choose please

Hi folks! (Please forgive my English as this is not my native language).

Iím looking to buy a new amp soon. Up until now Iíve focused on solid state Vincent equipment with Monitor Audio speakers, but lately Iíve caught an interest in tube amps. Since low power SET amps require high sensitivity speakers Iíve ordered parts to build a pair of Decware HDTís which has a sensitivity of 96dB. So far so good :-)

The shop I'm considering is Diy HiFi Supply. In my budget I see two possible solutions and I would like to have a brief discussion with you on what you think would be the best.

1. Buy the Ella Signature - Level three kit with KT88 valves. This is a PP construction with plenty of power to drive my new speakers. But maybe an effect overkill?
2. Buy the Ladyday Ė Level one kit with ďstandardĒ driver and rectifier tubes + the Valve Art 300B tubes. This is more in the power domain of high sensitivity speakers.

Of course these are two quite different alternatives, but I can decide for which one to buyÖ

Alternative 1 with the Ella is the option with the most upgrades included; alternative 2 requires me to use a passive QED volume control until I can afford a preamp.

I guess the Ladydays have the biggest potential over time with doing upgrades and acquiring a preamp. But how will these alternatives sound compared to each other? Will the ELLA option outclass the LADYDAY mono amps when they are just level one with a simple passive volume control? I listen to all kinds of music; metal, pop, singer/songwriter, electronica, some jazz and so on. A good 3D soundstage is what amazes me the most with good stereo equipment so this is important.

Since I donít have the opportunity to listen to the amps before buying I hope you will take the time to help me choose the right buy.
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Old 8th June 2007, 11:02 PM   #2
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96 dB. is on the border between medium and high efficiency. 8 WPC is enough, unless the listening space is very large.

IMO, you've overlooked the preamp. What do you use for source(s)? Have you considered an "integrated" amp?
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Old 9th June 2007, 10:38 AM   #3
fighi77 is offline fighi77  Norway
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eli Duttman
96 dB. is on the border between medium and high efficiency. 8 WPC is enough, unless the listening space is very large.

IMO, you've overlooked the preamp. What do you use for source(s)? Have you considered an "integrated" amp?

My source is a cd-player - Cayin CD251.

Alternative 1 is an integrated amp.
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Old 9th June 2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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Why do you want to buy a tube amp?

A modern transistor amp is much better.

You can choose between Class A (consumes much electrical power, efficency 25%), Class AB (efficiency ~78,5%), Class D (efficiency >80%).
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Old 9th June 2007, 12:49 PM   #5
SY is offline SY  United States
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A 2007 Lexus will go faster than a '57 T-Bird and get better gas mileage. Which would you rather drive?
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Old 9th June 2007, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by fighi77



My source is a cd-player - Cayin CD251.

Alternative 1 is an integrated amp.

An "El Cheapo" seems perfect for your needs. View the schematic here. Read the complete saga here.

If you build with 6V6s as the O/P devices, you'll never have problems retubing. The 'AQ5 called for is an inexpensive 6V6 "equivalent". The design expolits the capability of good O/P transformers, even though it works quite well with low cost stuff.

The Sowter (England) model UA23 looks very good. If you buy from Sowter, be sure to specify UL taps. "Iron" of that quality allows you to use up to 90 nF. as the I/P high pass cap. value.

Your "neighbor", Lundahl, winds good stuff, but a quick look at the web site did not turn up a suitable unit. Exchanging EMail messages with Lundahl about the requirements might be a good idea.

The Triad power trafos mentioned in the "El Cheapo" thread come with dual primaries. So, "230" V./50 Hz. power is not an issue.
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Old 9th June 2007, 01:29 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2007
You might want to take a look here:

Acoustic Dimension

They sell the amps you are considering.
Prices are in Ä, a little bit higher, but I suspect the shipping costs will be much lower.

If your room is not very large I would go for the single ended amp. There is a lot of space in the chassis, plenty of opportunity for future tweaking.
Also, if you like a 3D presentation single ended is the way to go IMHO.

As a passive volume control you could consider this:

SPL Volume 2
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Old 9th June 2007, 07:53 PM   #8
fighi77 is offline fighi77  Norway
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Quote:
Originally posted by Keruskerfuerst
Why do you want to buy a tube amp?

A modern transistor amp is much better.

You can choose between Class A (consumes much electrical power, efficency 25%), Class AB (efficiency ~78,5%), Class D (efficiency >80%).

I think its fun to try something different from what I have experienced up until now. I'm a curios soul
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Old 9th June 2007, 07:53 PM   #9
fighi77 is offline fighi77  Norway
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Quote:
Originally posted by SY
A 2007 Lexus will go faster than a '57 T-Bird and get better gas mileage. Which would you rather drive?

Quote:
Originally posted by Eli Duttman



An "El Cheapo" seems perfect for your needs. View the schematic here. Read the complete saga here.

If you build with 6V6s as the O/P devices, you'll never have problems retubing. The 'AQ5 called for is an inexpensive 6V6 "equivalent". The design expolits the capability of good O/P transformers, even though it works quite well with low cost stuff.

The Sowter (England) model UA23 looks very good. If you buy from Sowter, be sure to specify UL taps. "Iron" of that quality allows you to use up to 90 nF. as the I/P high pass cap. value.

Your "neighbor", Lundahl, winds good stuff, but a quick look at the web site did not turn up a suitable unit. Exchanging EMail messages with Lundahl about the requirements might be a good idea.

The Triad power trafos mentioned in the "El Cheapo" thread come with dual primaries. So, "230" V./50 Hz. power is not an issue.

Thanks for your suggestion Eli. But I think a kit would be the best as this is my first DIY project. I guess I would learn a lot by building an amp as the "El Cheapo". Maybe this should be my winter project this year. Will I need any other electronics equipment than a multimeter to build an amp from "scratch"?

Thanks
Oyvind
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Old 9th June 2007, 07:53 PM   #10
fighi77 is offline fighi77  Norway
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Quote:
Originally posted by Gerrit Boers
You might want to take a look here:

Acoustic Dimension

They sell the amps you are considering.
Prices are in Ä, a little bit higher, but I suspect the shipping costs will be much lower.

If your room is not very large I would go for the single ended amp. There is a lot of space in the chassis, plenty of opportunity for future tweaking.
Also, if you like a 3D presentation single ended is the way to go IMHO.

As a passive volume control you could consider this:

SPL Volume 2

Thanks for the tip about Acoustic Dimension Gerrit. I'll check with them to see what the shipping costs would be to Norway.

My room is not that big as we live in an apartment for now. I guess I'm leaning towards getting the Ladydays but as I wrote earlier I can only afford Level 1 at the time. But this gives room for experimenting later on with tweaks and upgrades

I actually have a passive volume control from QED. I hope this will do in the beginning. I guess the success of this depends on the output level of my cd-player?


Cheers
Oyvind
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