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Thread: What SET amplifiers have Realistic Midrange Magic AND have the Great BASS? Rock your Horns!

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    What SET amplifiers have Realistic Midrange Magic AND have the Great BASS? Rock your Horns!

    Which SET amps deliver on their usual virtues but also have great bass to rock out on AC/DC and Led Zeppelin?

    Or does one actually need an SS amp in addition to a SET amp for their horns?

  2. #2
    Caesar, I would recommend that you consider the combination of speakers / amp together rather than just the amp in isolation. Low frequency grip is not the natural preserve of SET amps, and therefore you will need speakers with a kind impedance curve as well as high efficiency. This approach could be ultimately cheaper than looking to high power SET amps which require huge traffos / chassis and may not have the traditional midrange magic of 300b / 2A3 / 45 designs.
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    Please, have a look at the Border Patrol amplifiers. They are famous for their excellent power supply units, which are apparently responsible for the unusual for a SET amplifier bass quality. Depending on your speakers, you can go for 8 watts per channel in single 300B output mode or for 18 watts per channel in parallel 300B mode. Pair them with good 300B valves like Takatsuki, and you will be surprised with what a 300B SET can do.

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    Ime, 845-based amps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithR View Post
    Ime, 845-based amps.
    Shakti mentioned that if you get the KR Audio 211, you get the benefits of 845 mids with 211 dynamics
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    a hard call indeed, I have had Viva Solista and liked it a lot - my speakers have a low sensitivity rating so I moved on, but it was one of the best SET I have had by far.
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    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    I defer to my Europe-based, NAT Audio-loving, friends but I think one or more of the NAT Audio SET amplifiers would fit this bill.

    (I continue to wonder about NAT Audio Magma New SEs on the Pendragon ribbon panels.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by caesar View Post
    Which SET amps deliver on their usual virtues but also have great bass to rock out on AC/DC and Led Zeppelin?

    Or does one actually need an SS amp in addition to a SET amp for their horns?
    My Air Tight ATM-211's driving Tannoy GRF90's play rock to insane levels without breaking a sweat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Resnick View Post
    I defer to my Europe-based, NAT Audio-loving, friends but I think one or more of the NAT Audio SET amplifiers would fit this bill.
    I would like to add the also european based KR Audio with their Kronzilla Amps.

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    I guess the answer here is "It depends". If you have really sensitive speakers then rocking and midrange magic can come from quite modest amplifiers and usually for purity, simpler is better.

    For rocking hard with SET, I have found that big bottles usually work best; 845, 211, GM70, 813, 805, T100, T1610 and 6C33C (i know it is not as BIG as the others but it sure sounds big) etc. These USUALLY do not have quite the midrange magic of 300B, 2A3, 45 etc. If your speakers are in the low 90db/watt range though you will usually find these smaller triodes gasping a bit and despite the delicacy of the sound they will not rock like the house like the big bottles. Parallel 300B can do a very good job but still doesn't seem to have the impact of a single big bottle.

    Here is a list of ones that I have heard that sound very nice in the mids/highs and still rock pretty hard (again with speakers > 90db/watt and easy(ish) loads)

    New Audio Frontiers 845SE stereo and monos
    New Audio Frontiers Superme 300B (sweet but maybe a bit too soft to Rock hard with anything less than 95db/watt)
    NAT SE1, SE2SE and SE3
    NAT Transmitter
    NAT Single (with 805 output tube)
    KR Audio VA340
    KR Audio VA350
    KR Audio Kronzilla SXI
    KR Audio Kronzilla DM monos
    Wall Audio Opus M50 monos (great midrange and strong bass)
    Ayon Crossfire III (was a bit dry with stock tubes but much more liquid now with NOS tubes Ayon rectifier and swapping 6N30 for 6N6)
    Ayon Vulcan Evo
    Vaic 52B monos and Vaic/Ayon 52B reference monos
    Wavac HE805 (midrange to die for! Spooky good)
    Lamm ML2 (that 6C33C does something special I tell you).
    Aries Cerat Diana Integrated (dynamic monster with OTL like transparency)
    Aries Cerat Concero 65 monos (as above but more of both)



    For more delicacy I would think something like the Audio Note P4 balanced monos or Conquest Silver signature might fit the bill. I heard the orginal P4s drive the hell out of Magnepans.
    Kondo Gaku Oh (also parallel 300B) or Kegon (parallel 300B) are sublime but maybe not "rockin'" enough.
    Audio Aero Prestige monos (haven't heard first hand but a trusted source says they are unreal good sounding...hallucinogenic)
    Kondo Ongaku and Gaku On (parallel 211)
    Audio Note UK 211 based monos (I have heard Jinro but not in a non-Audio Note system so hard to decouple what I heard).
    JJ-322. Nice delicacy and insight but doesn't rock very hard.
    Audion Black Shadow: This amp seems promising but I haven't heard it.

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