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Old 13th May 2011, 03:21 PM   #1
rss388 is offline rss388  United States
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Default Newbie question about output transformer to speaker matching

Hi all, I am a SS guy starting to dabble in tube amplifiers and quickly becoming a convert. I have some observations that I would appreciate your input.

The combinations I am using are based on a pair of Martin Logan QuestZ (with a pair of Hafler DH220 monoblocks driving the woofers in all cases) and a pair of Maggie 2.5R. For amps, I have a Yaqin MS22b preamp driving either a Yaqin KT88 amp in power amp mode or another Chinese made brand 300B SE power amp. These amps would either drive the ML panels or the Maggies full range.

While I was fooling around with the combinations, I found that, regardless of the speakers or amps, I like the soundstage of using the 8 ohm outputs rather than the 4 ohm outputs much better. A lot more filled out in the center, more body to instruments and better dynamics. That would be true regardless of the amp (within the power limit of the 300b) or the speakers, even though the Maggies are 4 ohm speakers and the ML panels are low impedance at high frequencies.

Is that normal or what are your experiences or what should I know about that? Many thanks in advance.
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Old 13th May 2011, 03:53 PM   #2
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You are actually getting more power from this and also increasing distortion slightly by reducing the reflected impedance on the primary. This may sometimes sound better even though measurements may show otherwise.
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Old 14th May 2011, 04:03 PM   #3
rss388 is offline rss388  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quikie22 View Post
You are actually getting more power from this and also increasing distortion slightly by reducing the reflected impedance on the primary. This may sometimes sound better even though measurements may show otherwise.
quikie22, how would this change the soundstage and focus of the sound so drastically? Even my non-audiophile family members immediately pick out the 8 ohm connection as far more live like sounding to them. Thanks for your quick answer btw.
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Old 14th May 2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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The distortion pattern gets changed when you use the 8 ohm tap instead of the 4 ohm tap......and in the world of tubes distortions is everything.
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:23 PM   #5
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Many people prefer their sound slightly distorted. The OP and his family may be among them. There is nothing wrong with that, except when people deny it. Slightly distorted sound will appear to be louder, and people prefer louder sounds too.

The 8 ohm connection may give a slightly more lumpy frequency response, which some people prefer. (This is demonstrated by the popularity of graphic equalisers)
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Old 15th May 2011, 08:05 AM   #6
rss388 is offline rss388  United States
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Thanks to all your replies. It seems the consensus is that the distortion is being altered by different taps to the speakers. I am still trying to find the connection between distortion and sound stage or focus/body of the sound. Are we saying that the increased distortion somehow got manifested in the sound stage or presence?

Further to a finer point, since the ML is a highly reactive load and really cannot be represented as a simple load, is the interaction with the 8 ohm tap more or less than the 4 ohm tap and which one should have been chosen?
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