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-   -   Dennis Had Inspire Amps (https://www.audioaficionado.org/showthread.php?t=24170)

pstrisik 03-11-2016 01:34 PM

Omega Super Alnico Monitors here. 8 ohm, 95db, full range 6" driver in large monitor box (11x14x20). They are the core of a quad-amped speaker system. Using a Marchand XM66 variable line level crossover, the monitors are fed 60Hz up and the signal below 60Hz is fed to Rythmik Audio 8" powered mid-woofers in custom cabinets Louis of Omega built to serve as bases for the monitors. The extend down to 30Hz. Completing the extension, Rythmik F12's from 30 down (they go down to 14) and DIY supertweeters using 1980's Yamaha beryllium tweeters and a Harrison Labs line levelhigh pass filter - 2nd order roll off at 15kHz - at the inputs of a 25wpc Bantam Gold amp to feed them. 4th order roll offs between monitors and mid-woofers and between mid-woofers and subs for seamless integration.

Sounds complex, but the monitors run from 60Hz up so they are basically doing the vast majority of the range and their amazing imaging is preserved. Everything else is for enhancement of extension. I am currently on audio cloud nine. All of this has just come together in the past month after working towards it for two years.

This is with, of course, Inspire LP-2 and KT-150. The amp is running with 1974 Voskhod "rocket" 6N23P driver, my beloved Visseaux 6V6GT's, and a vintage Cossor 53KU/GZ37/CV378 "fat bottle" rectifier.

Herbie's "fat dots" between monitor and mid-woofer and his studded gliders as feet that also allow for adjustable tilt back.

Relieving the Inspire and the monitors from frequencies below 60Hz, as well as supplementing gain with the mid and sub woofers, allows this 5wpc configuration to play quite loudly. I was listening to Beethoven piano concertos (Barenboim - wow!) last night. Blissed out with the fullness and power of the presentation.

http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=136080

http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=136078

http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=137057

http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=137054

Musica Amantem 03-11-2016 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nhparrot (Post 766484)
I am driving a pair of ProAc Response 1SC's with my Inspire amp. They have a sensitivity of 86dB/W/m and an impedence of 8ohms nominal. They shine when it comes to imaging and midrange. Good bass response for a small speaker. The Inspire amp drives them to satisfactory listening levels in a small room (even using 6V6's).

Wow! That is interesting. What about headroom (power reserve for peaky passages)? My 98 dB's are merely enough and I don't like loud volumes, just enough to get a vivid presentation in a small room. It may be my absorption panels are dampening sound too much?

Musica Amantem 03-11-2016 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simonatsea (Post 766491)
I was running Zu Audio Soul Superfly 100db/w at 16ohm with my 6V6 amp fitted with specially wound 16ohm output transformers. That was in my large living room with vaulted ceilings, and I never was able to max out the volume.
I have now downsized and am surprised how well they drive my Kef LS50 at 85db/w 8ohm.
They have may not be able to reach concert levels but I rarely go over 12 o'clock on my Dact volume potted LP-2. They do everything right, imaging, depth, width, separation, and reach out and touch realism.
Maybe it is my smaller room but they sound better with the Kef's than with the Zu's.
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...psoa0axahi.jpg
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...psnsbizjty.jpg

I have been interested over time in the Zu Audio Souls (not the Super Souls), given their good sensitivity ratings and 8 Ohm impedance. Some people really swear by them. Curious how you instead prefer the 85 dB speakers in a smaller room ... I also have the DACT attenuator on my LP-27a, but still find the system just enough in power/SPL. Of course, room conditioning makes a big difference to kill booming and piercing highs, balancing the sound spectre across frequencies ... But, this is something that definitely robs SPL as less reflected sound gets to the sweet spot.

Musica Amantem 03-11-2016 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 766503)
Omega Super Alnico Monitors here. 8 ohm, 95db, full range 6" driver in large monitor box (11x14x20). They are the core of a quad-amped speaker system. Using a Marchand XM66 variable line level crossover, the monitors are fed 60Hz up and the signal below 60Hz is fed to Rythmik Audio 8" powered mid-woofers in custom cabinets Louis of Omega built to serve as bases for the monitors. The extend down to 30Hz. Completing the extension, Rythmik F12's from 30 down (they go down to 14) and DIY supertweeters using 1980's Yamaha beryllium tweeters and a Harrison Labs line levelhigh pass filter - 2nd order roll off at 15kHz - at the inputs of a 25wpc Bantam Gold amp to feed them. 4th order roll offs between monitors and mid-woofers and between mid-woofers and subs for seamless integration.

Sounds complex, but the monitors run from 60Hz up so they are basically doing the vast majority of the range and their amazing imaging is preserved. Everything else is for enhancement of extension. I am currently on audio cloud nine. All of this has just come together in the past month after working towards it for two years.

This is with, of course, Inspire LP-2 and KT-150. The amp is running with 1974 Voskhod "rocket" 6N23P driver, my beloved Visseaux 6V6GT's, and a vintage Cossor 53KU/GZ37/CV378 "fat bottle" rectifier.

Herbie's "fat dots" between monitor and mid-woofer and his studded gliders as feet that also allow for adjustable tilt back.

Relieving the Inspire and the monitors from frequencies below 60Hz, as well as supplementing gain with the mid and sub woofers, allows this 5wpc configuration to play quite loudly. I was listening to Beethoven piano concertos (Barenboim - wow!) last night. Blissed out with the fullness and power of the presentation.

http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=136080

http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=136078

http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=137057

http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=137054


This really sounds sophisticated! I'm sure it must sound quite marvelous. Evidently, reinforcing the main gear with auxiliaries for the extended frequencies allows the main system to really focus on the most important sound range/band, agreed. I've experimented this with my Subwoofer at various crossing points, from 50 to 80. Much simpler approach, of course.

I've also been quite interested in the Omega's and in particular the Alnico Super Monitors. The only drawback I saw at the time was the lower sensitivity, equivalent exactly to a doubling of power (i.e., 3 dB's relative to the Tekton's), a variable that still is very important in my preferences. I know Louis claims his Alnicos are the best drivers he's ever designed. I also hesitated in that choice given the smaller 6" driver, as I assumed some lacking sound body stemming from that (speed vs body of sound is a difficult design variable to fix). No wonder your extreme band auxiliary support makes the best complement to Louis's driver design, keeping its speed with added body and extension through the auxiliaries. Then, there's the special Alnico material imaging effect, as you said.

What sort of room conditioning have you used in this great setup? Congrats on your excellent gear!

pstrisik 03-11-2016 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musica Amantem (Post 766513)
Wow! That is interesting. What about headroom (power reserve for peaky passages)? My 98 dB's are merely enough and I don't like loud volumes, just enough to get a vivid presentation in a small room. It may be my absorption panels are dampening sound too much?

Well, it depends on how you define peak levels. I typically try to max out at 80db nominal. That means peaks that register to high 80's on C weighting/slow readings. I could check on fast readings and they would be higher than that. My room is approx 4500cf (fairly large) and I do have room treatments (six 2x4 panels plus the acoustic foam you see around the screen, more on the rear wall and ceiling absorption at the first reflection point.

But that is my listening level. I have not tried pushing it to see its max before audible distortion. I do sometimes listen while cooking and turn it up louder than that for rock/jazz without problem.

I'm not familiar with your speakers, so don't know how they would compare for pure output. I would think yours would be higher given the sensitivity and driver size. However, the Omegas do deceive given their size. On the Omega forum, others rave about the RS5 driver that is even smaller and never complain about output.

How big is your room? You are running a preamp. How about your source? Could it be less than average voltage output? I'm using a Cambridge Audio Azur 851N network streamer/DAC that, I think, has 2.2v output.

Musica Amantem 03-11-2016 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pstrisik (Post 766526)
Well, it depends on how you define peak levels. I typically try to max out at 80db nominal. That means peaks that register to high 80's on C weighting/slow readings. I could check on fast readings and they would be higher than that. My room is approx 4500cf (fairly large) and I do have room treatments (six 2x4 panels plus the acoustic foam you see around the screen, more on the rear wall and ceiling absorption at the first reflection point.

But that is my listening level. I have not tried pushing it to see its max before audible distortion. I do sometimes listen while cooking and turn it up louder than that for rock/jazz without problem.

I'm not familiar with your speakers, so don't know how they would compare for pure output. I would think yours would be higher given the sensitivity and driver size. However, the Omegas do deceive given their size. On the Omega forum, others rave about the RS5 driver that is even smaller and never complain about output.

How big is your room? You are running a preamp. How about your source? Could it be less than average voltage output? I'm using a Cambridge Audio Azur 851N network streamer/DAC that, I think, has 2.2v output.

My source is a Schiit Yggdrasil with 2.0 volts output single-ended and 4.0 Volts XLR. The slam in some classical music passages is what is weakest in my system. Plenty of volume, but lacking slam. So much so, I need the KT88's plus the Pre and 6SL7 input tubes for those specific demands.

I think Omega's RS5 is a very fast driver and must be excellent in dynamics and middle frequencies, but it may need reinforcements in the upper and lower frequency distribution tails to keep up body of sound, but that is just me.

pstrisik 03-11-2016 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musica Amantem (Post 766536)
My source is a Schiit Yggdrasil with 2.0 volts output single-ended and 4.0 Volts XLR. The slam in some classical music passages is what is weakest in my system. Plenty of volume, but lacking slam. So much so, I need the KT88's plus the Pre and 6SL7 input tubes for those specific demands.

I think Omega's RS5 is a very fast driver and must be excellent in dynamics and middle frequencies, but it may need reinforcements in the upper and lower frequency distribution tails to keep up body of sound, but that is just me.

I've never heard the RS5. Before the SAMs, I had his Super 7 XRS (original bigger cab) with both RS7V (no whizzer) and RS7A (alnicos). There was no contest for me. The Alnicos had much more depth, texture, smoothness. The ferrites were too hot for my tastes.

If there isn't some risk (for you to assess), you could try an XLR to RCA adapter and feed the 4 volts to the pre. If the DAC has an attenuator, you could even dial that back to somewhere between 2 and 4 v.

However, I only recently have found configuration that gives me enough slam with classical. Without the mid-woofers, I never experienced it. Orchestral music had been interesting, but once I got the mid-woofers dialed in, I started choosing classical more often. I think it is quite difficult to get proper sound with full orchestra. Until I heard it, I never new what was possible.

I wish there was some way we could hear each other's systems. Maybe we will get some virtual reality transmission capability in our lifetimes (if not transporter beams!)

Musica Amantem 03-11-2016 04:22 PM

I have read posts in other forums which describe those same advantages using mid-woofers, particularly at the Decware forums. I've been also considering these ... but I'm so happy with my current dialing/fine-tuning process at this point mostly through tube rolling, I just want to reach a plateau and then consider other improvement avenues ...

I have a passive Decware ZBit also, which transforms the Balanced signal from the DAC into a single-ended stream keeping voltage anywhere from 4 to 0 volts. I tried it once with the Inspire amp directly but did not do much for me. I may try again, but I believe the DACT attenuator (passive) I also have in my amp is not too synergistic with the ZBit. It works better in my Decware Mini Torii, but I prefer the Inspire, anytime.

pstrisik 03-11-2016 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musica Amantem (Post 766546)
I have read posts in other forums which describe those same advantages using mid-woofers, particularly at the Decware forums. I've been also considering these ... but I'm so happy with my current dialing/fine-tuning process at this point mostly through tube rolling, I just want to reach a plateau and then consider other improvement avenues ...

I have a passive Decware ZBit also, which transforms the Balanced signal from the DAC into a single-ended stream keeping voltage anywhere from 4 to 0 volts. I tried it once with the Inspire amp directly but did not do much for me. I may try again, but I believe the DACT attenuator (passive) I also have in my amp is not too synergistic with the ZBit. It works better in my Decware Mini Torii, but I prefer the Inspire, anytime.

The guy with the handle DBC has posted a fair amount on both DECWare and Omega forums. I believe he has SAMs and was using a single HSU mid woofer. Later posts indicate that he's moved away from that setup. I suspect a stereo pair of powered mid-woofers would have an edge over a single mono though.

Interesting to me on two counts in your post:

I took a look at the ZBit. Interesting option, though $649 discourages me. My Cambridge Audio streamer/DAC has both balanced and unbalanced outputs. Naturally, I use the unbalanced with the Inspires, but makes me curious how it would sound with balanced to ZBit and all the flexibility of adjustment at the source that would add. Sounds like it didn't wow you though. Maybe relevant that whenever I try to run the Inspire KT-150 without the LP-2, I'm less satisfied. I found that true with the Kitoki also. It is odd that the LP-2 doesn't seem to add much gain, but I like the overall sound better. Before I discovered Dennis in retirement, I had his Cary SLP-05. I bought the KT-150 and a few months later bought the LP-2 so I could have a matching set in the same color since it looked like I was keeping the KT-150 long term. I didn't expect to use the LP-2 extensively. But I went back and forth between the SLP-05 and LP-2 and kept finding the LP-2 preferable (at 1/6 the price!). I ended up selling the Cary. Go figure!

The other thing is that you are the first that I have seen compare Inspire with DECWare directly. I've been curious about the DECWares, particularly Super Zen. I recently had the opportunity to try a new internet direct amp by Wolf Ear Audio (Canada) called the Kitoki that is now on tour. Two watt EL 84 based SET. It was sweet, particularly the transparency in the upper registers. It looks like the MiniTorii is more comparable to the Inspire SEPs though - 6V6 based. I may try the Super Zen Select someday as there is the 30 day trial period. It would be cool to have a zebrawood base on the amp to match the Omegas' veneer. I like my Jaguar Red Inspires look though.

BearCityUSA 03-11-2016 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musica Amantem (Post 766443)
I'm wondering if anyone would like to share his/her personal experiences with the speakers they use for the Inspire gear, and specifically, the sensitivity and impedance values on these? You can see mine on my previous post. Thanks!

I am also using Omegas, the Super 7 Monitor MK2. They are rated 95db into 8ohms. When I got my Inspires I was pushing Epos es14s, mid 90's vintage, at 86db into 8ohms. Listening room was identical. The Epos were a bit timid. The notes were there but without as much life as the Omegas. This setup is in my office and I have neighbors so higher volume is not so much the issue. I have lately inserted a sub (pinnacle baby boomer) after reading a post on the Omega forum. Never been much of a sub/mains fan for audio. In fact this sub was borrowed from my video system. Now I see the reason and I understand Peter's endeavors. The Omegas driven by the inspire with the appropriate tube combo is sublime. The sub just fills out the lower extreme and just adds to the experience. Of course since this is my office listening is not often my primary focus though I do get annoyed as the phone rings and I have to turn the volume down.


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