cheap amp for esl

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Is it possible to buy or build a solid state amp with a high voltage swing? Not the thousands of volts required for an esl, but maybe tens of volts just to help out the transformers. can power handling be sacrificed for higher voltage?

I ask because i would like to bi-amp my setup but am not crazy about spending a ton more money for another amp.

Can i use passive crossovers, inductors and capaciters, to cross over, on the line level side? Rather than complicated active crossover circuits?

I have recently been using an LM3886 amp to drive my ESLs. Works fine, only 30 W or so per channel.

Pick up a used, high powered amp to get higher voltage swing. I think you can by a Soundcraftsmen 200W/ch amp for <$100 these days. I used such an amp for years with my ESLs. Absolutely bulletproof amp- I originally bought it becasue I wanted an amp that wouldn't die if I shorted/opened it, or ran at high output for a long time during my speaker experiments. I have had that amp for 15+ years and it has never needed service. I just clean out the dust once per year...

Here's one now...

let's see... 200W into 8 Ohms... E^2/R=200 so 200*8=E^2 so E is about 40 Vrms. 2*sqrt(2)*40Vrms = 113 Vpp.

I forgot to mention, those amps are completely stable with ESLs as a load. They are built to last! They have a heat controlled fan that is very quiet unless you run at very high output for a long time and the fan kicks up to high speed. I only managed to make it do that a couple times.

possible choices of used amps

The DH500 Hafles is a gutsy amp that can run stats well and can benefit much from modifications. The Hafler DH200 will also work and can be bridged if you want more power for cheap. Look also to the Adcom 555. The Adcom has the jam to do the job but not a lot of heat sink area but a fan as in the DH500 would insure cool running. Big old Dynaco 400's are out there cheap as are the big 200 watt per channel Heathkit which is also a monster of an amp. All these are very inexpensive and if you like them could give long and improved service and performance with upgrades.
The Carver pro switching amp may also be another possible option. You might even find a pro shop that would rent you one for a day so you can check it out.
The John Lindsay-Hood amp has been modfied to run stats and is said to do it beautifully. You can find details on this site, Best regards Moray James.
I don`t claim to understand that design fully, and I didn`t follow the thread completely, but as far as I understand the design it is something like a current source, and current sources don`t like capacitive couplings, same as they don`t like most crossovers, so the transformer in first line brings the signal down to zero and makes it compatible to multi-way speakers. For ESL use the high voltage transistors would have two advantages, more power and less transforming factor, but I would first ask Susan Parker what she thinks about it.
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.