Amp to Drive Lowther DX3's in Rear Loaded Horn - diyAudio
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Old 30th January 2013, 06:55 PM   #1
ranger3 is offline ranger3  United States
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Default Amp to Drive Lowther DX3's in Rear Loaded Horn

I generally hang out in the Class D forum, but I wanted some of your opinions.

I'm considering switching to a tube amp and trying to find out if it's worth it. I will try to be very specific on my configuration and goals.

I'm looking for an amp that will noticeably improve (that's subjective, I know) my current sound. I don't know how my system could sound better, so I can't define improve. I'm not saying it's the best, I just don't know what the weakness are. Except for the subwoofer which I'll replace at a later date.

I would like to stay under $500 if possible as this is my first dip in the tube pool.
I live in the USA. I am capable of light soldering jobs but prefer plug and play.

I have the following:

Computer playing Flac optical out to Minidigi/Minidsp. I used REW EQ and calibrated my system by applying the biquads to the Minidsp. The MiniDSP feeds a Trends Audio Hybrid Tube pre-amp. From the pre-amp, I send to a Virtue Audio class D amp and the subwoofer. The Virtue Audio sends to Lowther DX3s in Medallion rear loaded horns 100+ efficiency. High wattage not a requirement with these speakers.

I listen to 60s - today rock and roll mostly, some jazz, alternative rock.
Some favorites are Supertramp, Dave Matthews, 311, and love female vocalists.

Room is medium with carpet and couches. Vaulted ceiling. Room dimensions 18x18 feet. Speakers almost corner loaded.

I'm very happy with my current sound. Clarity, imaging, sound stage and dynamics are all very good, but once you have the bug, you always look for the next improvement.

Talk me into something or talk me out of something.

Thanks,

Allen...
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Old 30th January 2013, 07:03 PM   #2
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DHT like 2A3 single ended would be the obvious choice. If you dont go boutique on the output transformers that is.

enzo
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:11 PM   #3
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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small integrated EL84 Pushpull ought to work
and I guess just about any SE amp as well

but I don't know the DX3 Lowther/ Medallion horn combo
might matter if being very critical
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Old 31st January 2013, 09:58 PM   #4
ranger3 is offline ranger3  United States
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I'm sure those amps will drive the DX3s, but will there be a noticeable improvement in the sound?

Does anybody have experience with Lowthers and how the different amps sound with them?
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Old 31st January 2013, 10:56 PM   #5
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger3 View Post
I listen to 60s - today rock and roll mostly, some jazz, alternative rock.
Some favorites are Supertramp, Dave Matthews, 311, and love female vocalists.
6V6 amp ?

hey...have a look at the original 'Musical Machine'

http://www.audiotropic.net/Products/machine.html
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Old 31st January 2013, 11:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
I'm sure those amps will drive the DX3s, but will there be a noticeable improvement in the sound?
Is the Pope Catholic? Tube mid-range is where it's at!

The budget is $500. A very well executed "El Cheapo" will pass financial muster. Build with "reissue" TungSol 6V6s and above average 12AT7s. Buy Dynaclone Z565 O/P trafos from Triode Electronics. A complete set of power "iron" can be sourced from Allied Electronics. Other than a chassis, for which a large commercial kitchen cake pan will do, tubes, passive components, etc. come from Jim McShane.

The Z565 is a price/performance champion. You have to spend MORE to get better performance. As you have a decent preamp, you don't need the volume control. The RC high pass filter at the circuitry's I/P changes to 0.068 μF./150 KOhms. Above average O/P trafos provide freedom from core saturation worry. So, blocking the worst infrasonic noise is sufficient. F3 of 0.068 μF./150 KOhms is a "perfect" 15.6 Hz.

BTW, should you so choose, you could build with triode/UL mode switches. Triode wired "finals", as shown in the schematic, are good for approx. 6 WPC. That's PLENTY for your horns. However, being able to switch to UL mode gets you about 12 WPC and other speakers can be tried, with success.
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Old 1st February 2013, 09:01 PM   #7
ranger3 is offline ranger3  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli Duttman View Post
Is the Pope Catholic? Tube mid-range is where it's at!

The budget is $500. A very well executed "El Cheapo" will pass financial muster. Build with "reissue" TungSol 6V6s and above average 12AT7s. Buy Dynaclone Z565 O/P trafos from Triode Electronics. A complete set of power "iron" can be sourced from Allied Electronics. Other than a chassis, for which a large commercial kitchen cake pan will do, tubes, passive components, etc. come from Jim McShane.

The Z565 is a price/performance champion. You have to spend MORE to get better performance. As you have a decent preamp, you don't need the volume control. The RC high pass filter at the circuitry's I/P changes to 0.068 μF./150 KOhms. Above average O/P trafos provide freedom from core saturation worry. So, blocking the worst infrasonic noise is sufficient. F3 of 0.068 μF./150 KOhms is a "perfect" 15.6 Hz.

BTW, should you so choose, you could build with triode/UL mode switches. Triode wired "finals", as shown in the schematic, are good for approx. 6 WPC. That's PLENTY for your horns. However, being able to switch to UL mode gets you about 12 WPC and other speakers can be tried, with success.
This looks good, but it's beyond my pay grade. I flip bits for a living (Network Engineer). I've got an electronics repair shop around here that could probably do it if I provide the parts. Is it worth it or should I try to buy one used?
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Old 1st February 2013, 10:13 PM   #8
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"El Cheapo" is a DIY project. Those of us who worked on it placed it in the public domain. The people who built the project are highly unlikely to part with fruits of their labor, as it sounds too d@mned good. You will have to factor your tech's labor into the overall cost. $500 buys the top notch parts, but I doubt you'll have much left for labor. Edcor offers decent O/P trafos at lower cost than the Z565s, but ...

BTW, I too "shovel" bits and bytes for a living. I'm a CICS System Programmer.
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Old 1st February 2013, 10:42 PM   #9
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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also this Durandal amp might be fun
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Old 1st February 2013, 10:45 PM   #10
ranger3 is offline ranger3  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli Duttman View Post
"El Cheapo" is a DIY project. Those of us who worked on it placed it in the public domain. The people who built the project are highly unlikely to part with fruits of their labor, as it sounds too d@mned good. You will have to factor your tech's labor into the overall cost. $500 buys the top notch parts, but I doubt you'll have much left for labor. Edcor offers decent O/P trafos at lower cost than the Z565s, but ...

BTW, I too "shovel" bits and bytes for a living. I'm a CICS System Programmer.
I could spring for the labor. I'm starting to really like this idea. The repair shop is owned by a couple of old timers. Really nice guys.

Plus it's still DIY, even if I'm not manning the soldering iron. Right?

What do I mount it on?

Thanks for getting me started in the right direction. I know there is no going back after this. Just like when I got my Lowthers.

There's a saying. Lowthers for life. Is there also a saying, tubes for life?
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