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MA 12.2P Pensil observation

I have made an interesting observation regarding the performance of my Pensils. Up to now I had been using 300b mono blocs and the sound was pleasing most of the time. However, I took my amps to the shop to check the bias and run through the voltages, which I do from time to time out of boredom, and hooked the Pensils up to my Yamaha HT amp. Sound was OK but nowhere near as nice as with the SE tube amps. Then it occurred to me to turn up the bass as high as it would go (+10 something, dB maybe?) Voila! Deep, rich bass I had not heard in years. I know this is not an audiophile amplifier but the sound of the speakers is divine! I go directly from CD player to amp with just volume attenuation so I have no way to EQ when using the tube amps but it appears that my amps just don't have enough bass for my tastes. As an interim solution, I have a minidsp on the way and will try that as EQ. In the meantime, the 12.2 p Pensils are pure joy!

Still learning,
JP
 
Hm, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of feedback on this driver's sound qualities.

The thread starter was talking about amps so give him a chance to get comment on his subject matter, rather than pull the thread off-topic so soon.

There's a good deal of comment, use the forum's search function. I've just tried it and counted 200 posts relating to the 12P driver. Feel free to ask members who are using this driver.

Mark
 
I have made an interesting observation regarding the performance of my Pensils. Up to now I had been using 300b mono blocs and the sound was pleasing most of the time. However, I took my amps to the shop to check the bias and run through the voltages, which I do from time to time out of boredom, and hooked the Pensils up to my Yamaha HT amp. Sound was OK but nowhere near as nice as with the SE tube amps. Then it occurred to me to turn up the bass as high as it would go (+10 something, dB maybe?) Voila! Deep, rich bass I had not heard in years. I know this is not an audiophile amplifier but the sound of the speakers is divine! I go directly from CD player to amp with just volume attenuation so I have no way to EQ when using the tube amps but it appears that my amps just don't have enough bass for my tastes. As an interim solution, I have a minidsp on the way and will try that as EQ. In the meantime, the 12.2 p Pensils are pure joy!

Still learning,
JP

Hello JP, Guys,
There's been a good deal of debate over the years between the Mofset and the tube fellas. There's also a sort of "love hate" thing sometimes going on over how good (or bad) 300B amps perform. I have 2 300B's and love them. I also have 3 Japanese Vintage/classic Mofsets (Accuphase E308, Sansui Au-a-907DR and Sony TAF 333Ex). Could I choose between this lot? Very difficult. I sometimes like to "tweak" the bass gain on the Mofsets depending on the music I'm playing at the time. While other times, I'm into the sweetness of the 300B's, both amps have Mr. Zhu and Kenneth Wong handmade transformers - yummy.

I think its fairly typical to expect a lighter bass when using 300B's. Others might differ but this is my experience so far with the 2 amps I'm using.

Ozawa san (MJ Audio magazine - Japan) wants me to try an all Japan 2a3 amp soon as possible. Could be interesting.

For those guys wanting a bit more bass, the Markaudio drivers are "long throw" designs with compliant suspensions, coil winding lengths are significantly longer than most other full-range driver designs. Within reason (remembering they are light load drivers), you can extract more LF oscillation from these drivers. For those guys wishing to drive the LF response on a regular basis, the "A" (Arrestor) drivers are the better choice in the Markaudio family.

Cheers
Mark.
 
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Guys,
If, like me, you're into collecting vintage/classic amps (big boys toys thing), try and get your hands on this Sansui:

SANSUI ƒvƒŠƒ�ƒCƒ“ƒAƒ“ƒvAU-ƒ¿907DR‚ÌŽd—l ƒTƒ“ƒXƒC

I've got one of these amps, built like a battleship, weighing in a 33Kg (72.6lbs), expect a hernia each time you move it. This 907Dr was (I recollect) the first to have Sansui's Silent transformer technology, hence its weight. Very sweet clean tone from this amp. Sadly Sansui went bust in the mid 90's so these amps are growing in value. I'll take my credit cards with me on my next trip to Tokyo.

When using amps of this size on Markaudio drivers, go easy on the volume control. Drivers fitted with the Arrestor (A on their labels) will be preferable.

Cheers
Mark.
 
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mp9

Member
2006-06-07 7:00 am
300B isn't particularly know for it's bass. I've had a entry level Audio Note 300B amp with wooly uncontrolled bass, and one by Wavelength Audio which held it together much better, allot depends on the circuit design, driver tube, opt's...

While i no longer have a 300B amp to try, so far i'm happy with the A12P bass driven by a 45 tube SET amp, and the speed is pretty darn excellent.

Also, you may want to look into the Bottlehead BeePre 300B preamp. It was designed for their 300B amp but also for use with others. The designer says it really helps with the bass. People are saying good things about it. I can't comment yet one way or the other. Will try to update after i finish building one, could be a while, i'm horrible at soldering. Fwiw, i honestly wasn't in the market for a preamp but the concept seemed so out there that i couldn't resist.
 

Bob Brines

Member
2003-01-31 10:11 pm
I use the miniDSP when I am bi-amping, and it does a very good job for what it is. However, ADC is only running at 48kHz, and the chip is getting long in the tooth. I am wondering if this will fit with the mystic of the 300B. On the other hand, the mystic of the 300B and any other SE amps is in the coloration that they provide. so I have most likely wasted a post and said noting.

Bob
 
While i no longer have a 300B amp to try, so far i'm happy with the A12P bass driven by a 45 tube SET amp, and the speed is pretty darn excellent.

Hi Mp, (Guys)
I'm keen to expand my amp collection. Could you post more details and your thinking/experiences on the 45 Tube amp? Would be much appreciated:)

Thanks
Mark.
 
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I use the miniDSP when I am bi-amping, and it does a very good job for what it is. However, ADC is only running at 48kHz, and the chip is getting long in the tooth. I am wondering if this will fit with the mystic of the 300B. On the other hand, the mystic of the 300B and any other SE amps is in the coloration that they provide. so I have most likely wasted a post and said noting.

Bob

Good to hear from you Bob, comments in your post are interesting. Your thinking is much welcomed.
Cheers
Mark.
 

mp9

Member
2006-06-07 7:00 am
Hi Mp, (Guys)
I'm keen to expand my amp collection. Could you post more details and your thinking/experiences on the 45 Tube amp? Would be much appreciated:)

Thanks
Mark.
I'm running the 45 tube in a Fi 2A3 which isn't entirely optimized for the 45, it requires swapping the 5V4GA rectifier tube used with the 2A3's for a 5Y3WGTA. At some point i'll either change the output transformers from the Magnequest 2.5K DS-025 to 5K DS-050 and the other minor change for it to specifically run 45's or i'll get another amp.
I don't listen at high realistic concert levels, prefer ~80db so i'm not running into to much compression and dynamic contrast is ok with most music. They do run out of steam with more complex demanding material. So far thats been easily dealt with by lowering the gain or putting the 2A3's back in the amp. For me the Bass is better then with the 2A3's in the amp.
I have yet to build a proper box, presently can't make up my mind on a standard pencil. Been using the 12P's retrofit to a second set of EPI 100 sealed box's that were collecting dust. Glued multiple strips of dense styrofoam to the inside with rubber cement to bring the ~23L box down to ~16.5L. Turned the tweeter cutout into a port tuned to ~55hz, roughly the same as the moose-box just different proportions. Lined them as best as i could given limited access with home depot denim insulation. Remarkably good for what it is, no doubt due to the quality of the 12P's.
I'm sure building the actual moose-box would be a improvement, at the time i wasn't physically up to it, seemed easier to do the retrofit. Please don't request pix, lets just say the don't sound anything like they look and leave it at that, although if any of you are in Philly you're welcome to stop by to hear them.
Anyway it's difficult to say if the bass is satisfying because of the higher tuning Fq. cut off, prob won't know till i build a bigger box. Once i had recovered enough from my latest injury i found myself too busy chasing blizzards to get around to it. Now that we're back in the 60º's, i'm feeling more motivated to cut some wood, hitting 70ºF Monday!
I have enough space for the super pencil. Have read of slightly better BSC with the standard and i think something about a more even Fq resp over the usable bandwidth, so leaning toward the standard. Not sure whats going on with Bob B's ML-TL or the floor standing vented box Toppsy was building for someone, no follow ups. I'd think both would be similar enough to the standard Pencil in performance, idk??
 
Hi all, my observation was meant to point out the shortcomings of my amp choice and what I consider to be the beauty of the 12.2p speaker. I don't have a lot of experience in this field and consider myself to be at the start of a long journey but I am amazed at what a single speaker in a well designed cabinet can do. A couple of years ago I would not have believed such a beautiful and full sound could come from what I have thought of as being a small driver. Why i am getting such poor bass response from my tube amps is obviously going to take time and money to figure out but for now I am enjoying immensely the music from great speakers and a truly pedestrian home theatre amp. Go figure. I guess I need a couple of thousand dollars in output transformers to see what the SE 300b design can really do! The meantime I will try the minidsp approach. I suppose I could try 300b in push-pull configuration....

Very thankful for the MarkAudio team,
John
 
Amplifiers for Alp12P...

Hi all.

I use mine Alp12P in my own version of the Onken-like boxes - and it is so fullbodied and tonally rich - because I use my self-made SIT amplifier. It is buildt from the inspiration from Michael Rothacher and the Nelson Pass forum. It is two mono 1 stage NonFeedback transistor(Sony 2SK82)based design. In sound it is more like a Triode Vacuum Amplifier - but more distinct and clear. It should give around 2x8 watt - and that is just perfect here in my sound-chamber.

I am VERY satisfied with this configuration - and will suggest more people to try a SIT amplifier!

Best

Olav
 
I guess I need a couple of thousand dollars in output transformers to see what the SE 300b design can really do!

Shouldn't be necessary to spend big bucks on OPT's just to get low bass. What are you using in the 300b monoblocks now? Assuming you built the regular Pencil (not the Super Pencil) might be why you're not getting really low bass output without EQ.

jeff
 
I also have a Sony home theater receiver (STR DE835, one of the last ones with a phono input) and the analog inputs have weak bass and poor imaging due to small electrolytic coupling caps, electronic switches, and cheap op-amps in the signal path. The sound quality is much better using the digital inputs. Just put your CD in the DVD player if it has digital sound output.
In my receiver, the absolute best sound comes from using the LF and RF discrete 5.1 analog inputs! These inputs are just before the volume control, and bypass all the opamps, selector chips, coupling caps, tone controls, and surround decoders. You lose your tone control with these inputs, but I don't need to boost the bass when using them. It's almost an audiophile sound from an old Sony receiver.
Let me know if these tips give better sound with your 12P Pensils. I built some CHR70 Frugalhorns, but those sound better on a friend's tube amp than they do on my transistor receiver.