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Thread: Anyone hear the MA-3?

  1. #1

    Anyone hear the MA-3?

    How good is it really, beyond the marketing hype? Is it just an evolutionary improvement over MA-2, or is it revolutionary?

  2. #2
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member]
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    If you are talking about the amp I think you are talking about, you would have to be glutton for punishment trying to care and feed for that many tubes. Yikes!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    If you are talking about the amp I think you are talking about, you would have to be glutton for punishment trying to care and feed for that many tubes. Yikes!
    As they say, if you are worried about the cost of gas, don't buy the car. Cooling the room, and the noise generated by that, is another story.

  4. #4
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    Caesar-Never mind the cost of the amp and the costs of the tubes, I would be more concerned with the reliability because there are 14 gazillion tubes that you have to worry about going south on you and I'm getting to the point of losing patience with tube amps for a number of reasons.

  5. #5
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Caesar-Never mind the cost of the amp and the costs of the tubes, I would be more concerned with the reliability because there are 14 gazillion tubes that you have to worry about going south on you and I'm getting to the point of losing patience with tube amps for a number of reasons.
    Not with the Atmasphere's! The 6AS7 tubes they use are intrinsically reliable, last for long and when they occasionally break go in open circuit - you risk not noticing it! I have owned Ma50's and Ma2's and never had to replace a single component, even after some severe abuse took some several output tubes. I just had to replace them and it played again.

    BTW, most tube problems are caused by poor tube quality or abuse - e.g. operating the amplifier with a not adequate speaker having low sensitivity or low impedance points. Most modern loudspeakers are designed to be used with solid state and are not tube friendly.

  6. #6
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    My speakers are 92dB efficient. I don't know what the impedance curve looks like though. I only buy output tubes from Upscale Audio. As far as tube quality, we are all at the mercy of the Chinese and Russians unless you are chasing NOS and good luck matching those.

    If you are an Atma-Sphere fan and can afford the freight, sounds like you can't go wrong according to what you said. You might want to wait until he gets a few MKIs and MKIIs under his belt on this model before you jump in. Check out their website and you will see that they claimed a 90% reduction of full power distortion via one of their updates for the 3 series amp.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    Not with the Atmasphere's! The 6AS7 tubes they use are intrinsically reliable, last for long and when they occasionally break go in open circuit - you risk not noticing it! I have owned Ma50's and Ma2's and never had to replace a single component, even after some severe abuse took some several output tubes. I just had to replace them and it played again.

    BTW, most tube problems are caused by poor tube quality or abuse - e.g. operating the amplifier with a not adequate speaker having low sensitivity or low impedance points.
    My understanding that one of the main virtues of Atma-sphere amps is that they keep playing music without anyone noticing even if you remove or break a tube or several of the tubes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    Most modern loudspeakers are designed to be used with solid state and are not tube friendly.
    Microstrip,

    Can you please say more about what you mean? Thanks

  9. #9
    VIP/Donor [WBF Founding Member] ack's Avatar
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    @caesar

    Ralph Karsten explained it well on a'gon with an example: speakers that are designed to sound right in the treble region by being built for tubes (i.e. by expecting some high-frequency tube rolloff) they will sound harsh when mated with some solid state. Look up that (Wilson) thread, it's really interesting. Take this and extrapolate what people may mean when claiming that X is being built to mate with Y.
    Sources: mod. VPI Aries 3;mod. JMW 10.5i/Ortofon A90;mod. Pass XP-25;Spectral 3000SL xport/mod. Alpha DAC;mod. Magnum Dynalab Etude;mod. Revox B-77II Amplification: Spectral DMC-30SV/DMA-400RS Speakers: Heavily mod. MartinLogan (custom Mundorf xover, cabling, woofers; structural mods);mod. REL Cabling: MIT Oracle 50ic,MA-X/Oracle 90.1 Power: MIT Z-Strip, Magnum Z-Trap; Shunyata Black Mamba CX HC cords, Typhon Tweaks: EAR Isodamp c1002 References: Live unamplified music
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  10. #10
    So, after 6 years since this thread began, has anyone heard the MA-3? There are no reviews and no prices that I could find online.
    Does anyone know how much a pair costs?

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