Best amp match for Lowthers?

gnugear

Member
2005-08-07 8:26 pm
I've got a Primaluna Dialogue that I run in triode mode. I've replaced all the caps with teflons and love it. That said, I had the opportunity to hear a Cary SEI 300 and thought it was magical. I've built a Bottlehead Seduction phono stage so I've been looking at their 300B Paramounts but have not been able to hear them. Sounds like they come from two different sound camps. People comment on the Cary being thick and syrupy whille the Bottlehead is more accurate.

I've also decided to build a BIB using Lowthers which I've heard can be very clear. Do you think the Cary or the Bottlehead would be a better match?
 
The best sound I heard from my Lowthers came when paired with a Bryston 3BSST amp. I tried a Tripath based amp and it just did not have the juice and tended to roll off the low end. I wanted a Bryston amp but settled for a Rotel RB-1080 which came very close to the Bryston in performance at significantly less cost. My advice is don't lock in automatically on a tube amp, there are a lot of advantages to a SS amp's power with full range drivers.
 
I second MJK on a solid state solution. But it needs to be very good solid state. Something inexpensive but sounds very good is a LM 3886 power op amp. There are many kits available but parts quality is paramont. In that simple circuit every part makes an impact. Parts location is important also. The power supply caps need to as close as possible to the 3886.
I used a 3886 amp on my Lowthers for several years and thought the sound was very good. Didn't have quite the majic of tubes in the mids and high frequencys but the bass was much better. Plus the 3886 was just coasting driving the Lowthers.
 
Depends on what you're doing with them. Best combination I've heard is with my mate Steve Sheil's own vale amps, but he's using very high quality transformers and 1930s vintage British valves. For the rest of us? First Watt amps; if the Lowthers are solo, F1 or F2, F3 or F4 if not, with the proviso that the speaker system you're using doesn't need a passive BSC circuit, which clobbers its efficiency. You'd have to spend ~£1,000+ (10 times as much as it'd cost to build one of the FW amps) to actually better them with valves. Which in my book makes the FW amps downright frightening value for money.
 
I've had very good results with the Gainclone amps (and passive preamp). The 45 and 2A3 amps I had at the time were not as interesting...
Next one to try with my DX-3 will be the Bottlehead SEX amp (with active gain preamp). I read some good thing about this combo, within the limits of a 2w amplifier (small rooms, etc...).