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Inspire by Dennis Had Enjoying Vacuum Tube Audio

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Old 06-24-2019, 10:05 PM
Bombadil Bombadil is offline
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I like ProAc speakers. I am familiar with the DT8. A medium efficiency speaker, spec'ed at 90db, I read a review which estimated them at 89db. My present speakers are 90-91db, so a bit louder than what the DT8 would be in my room. I've run mine with 4-5 watts, and they are fine at moderate listening levels, but if cranked much at all, there is a definite loss of dynamics and some audible clipping on deep bass notes.

If I didn't have a fairly high-end speaker, I'd give the DT8 a listen. Looks like a very well put-together design. I truly love my present speakers, when driven by my 100wpc or 260wpc amps, they really sing. They are great with my Inspire as long as I don't overly push them. I don't play them as loud as I used to or in a room as large as I used to have. Back in the old room, I twice drove them into clipping with the 260wpc amp.
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  #5342  
Old 06-24-2019, 10:38 PM
decooney decooney is offline
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Originally Posted by Bombadil View Post
I am not surprised to read that people like different tubes. Some of our amps are very different from each others. Certainly our speakers are different. Many here like the lower power triode-strapped amps, of which Dennis also seems to favor given his posts on eBay.

Running 6V6 in a triode amp produces what, around 4-5 wpc? That's not enough power for me so those amps aren't an option. My amp produces 17-18 wpc and that's a bit low for my system, I'd much rather have 25-30 wpc. But as long as I don't crank it way up, it sounds great with the 17. I have run it with tubes producing as low as the 4-5 watt range, but that's giving up 6 dB of headroom.

Maybe someday I will find a high efficiency speaker which I like, and doesn't cost $30K. The search continues ...
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Originally Posted by maro View Post
Ya just never know with speakers. I'm using 6F6's with probably 4W maximum with Proac DT8's. On paper they don't appear to be efficient enough to run with low power. Using them in a small 12 squared room and they go as loud as needed. They are also a killer match, really great combination. The cost is a ways south of $30k!
Much of it truly comes down to personal preference starting with speakers. Speaker tone and types of sound and presentation we enjoy tends to vary from one person to the next. Of the speakers I've heard and preferred (tonally) in rooms larger than 12'x12' most were lower sensitivity, 92db@1w/1m and below. And, when the particular speakers made a memorable impression on me they sounded their best (in most cases) with good solid state -OR- tube amp(s) with at least 25wpc for added dynamics and driver control. Powered my own custom 92db speakers with a 10w Inspire in a 14x19 room, and with then with a 50w strapped triode amp that effortlessly provided a large dynamic sound stage at low volume levels.

Last edited by decooney; 07-22-2019 at 12:19 AM.
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  #5343  
Old 06-24-2019, 11:43 PM
Comzee Comzee is offline
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With all the speaker talk I'm sure some here have tried or own what I have, the Omega Alnico Compact Monitors? They're 94db, I actually feel they need more power than the sensitivity rating alludes too. With my Fire-Bottle I have to run kt88 for 12wpc to really feel like they're being fleshed out with good dynamics.

My end game for speakers is the Omega Super Alnico High Output XRS, they're his top of the line tower speakers with better sensitivity rating at 97db. Not only would I be getting the extra speaker for bass, but the better sensitivity would increase that performance flat overall. They're $5k tho so not sure when I'll be picking them up...

His Alnico Hemp Cone drivers produce the most organic and gorgeous mid range I've ever heard. Not that there isn't better out there, surely there is, but the Omegas house sound is exactly what I like. Unfortunately the Monitors I have produce nothing of impact under 50hz, of which I'm sure the towers will fix. Someday...
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  #5344  
Old 06-25-2019, 04:55 AM
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GeAllan70 GeAllan70 is offline
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"My end game for speakers is the Omega Super Alnico High Output XRS..."

Want!!
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David St. Hubbins "I believe virtually everything I read"
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  #5345  
Old 06-25-2019, 07:27 AM
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maro View Post
Ya just never know with speakers. I'm using 6F6's with probably 4W maximum with Proac DT8's. On paper they don't appear to be efficient enough to run with low power. Using them in a small 12 squared room and they go as loud as needed. They are also a killer match, really great combination. The cost is a ways south of $30k!
The Proac speakers have very flat impedance which makes them a great match for lower power amplification.
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  #5346  
Old 06-25-2019, 08:14 AM
FloridaBoy FloridaBoy is offline
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Originally Posted by Comzee View Post
With all the speaker talk I'm sure some here have tried or own what I have, the Omega Alnico Compact Monitors? They're 94db, I actually feel they need more power than the sensitivity rating alludes too. With my Fire-Bottle I have to run kt88 for 12wpc to really feel like they're being fleshed out with good dynamics.

My end game for speakers is the Omega Super Alnico High Output XRS, they're his top of the line tower speakers with better sensitivity rating at 97db. Not only would I be getting the extra speaker for bass, but the better sensitivity would increase that performance flat overall. They're $5k tho so not sure when I'll be picking them up...

His Alnico Hemp Cone drivers produce the most organic and gorgeous mid range I've ever heard. Not that there isn't better out there, surely there is, but the Omegas house sound is exactly what I like. Unfortunately the Monitors I have produce nothing of impact under 50hz, of which I'm sure the towers will fix. Someday...
Interesting. I was considering The Omega CAM's.

FWIW, I've been using Klipsch Heresy III's for 6-7 years. They are 99db but the impedance dips to 4 ohms. In a 14 x21 room placed in corners the bass was adequate. I moved in with the GF and in the present room I could not place them in corners and the bass was as you describe with the CAM's. I added a HSU VTF-2 MK5 sub and the bass was back in spades. It was easy to integrate, is very tunable and the 350 watt amp is fine with efficient speakers. I thought I might need 2 subs and called HSU. The rep thought one would be fine and he was correct.

Perhaps a sub or two from Omega may be the ticket?

Last edited by FloridaBoy; 06-25-2019 at 03:11 PM.
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  #5347  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:27 PM
Bombadil Bombadil is offline
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Originally Posted by decooney View Post
And, when the particular speakers made a memorable impression on me they sounded their best (in most cases) with good solid state -OR- tube amp(s) with at least 25wpc. Improved dynamics and better driver control won me over and 100wpc tube amplification with the right amplifiers can sound great too.

I've found out, over the years, that it is rare to ever have too much power. Yes with a 100 db speaker, you can get by pretty well with 10 watts, but even with a Klipschorn, owners have found that they sound best with 100+ watts. Dynamic peaks and deep bass really do need a lot of power to sound unrestrained.

There is a famous video of a Harbeth speaker being powered by monster amps (something like 800 or 1000 wpc) with a power meter attached. At sound levels where two people could still talk to each other, those speakers drew up to 700 watts!

Alan Shaw, Harbeth speaker designer, feels that even when driving their small speakers like the P3-ESR, you need at least 150 watts for them to play their best. I know people driving these speakers with 5-10 watt amps and saying how much they like them. And I'm sure they do, but it does significantly restrain them. This is particularly true for classical music.

Now if you primarily listen to folk music or James Taylor or simple jazz arrangements, you can get by with much less power. Or in a small room or if your typical listening level is in the low 70s decibels.

My Von Schweikerts sound glorious when driven by my 17wpc Inspire. But they do not sound as unrestrained or have as natural and large a soundstage as when I have my 100 wpc amp driving them. And I'm sure they would be even better with a high quality 300 wpc amp. The same is true for my Focal and Spica bookshelf speakers. I never use the Inspire if I'm playing orchestra pieces. I wouldn't for Hip Hop either, if I owned any Hip Hop. I don't use it for Dire Straits or Lyle Lovett or a number of other groups who have very deep bass or strong dynamic range. No Bach organ pieces either!

Now if my speakers were just another 4-5 db more efficient, I might expand my Inspire playlist.
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  #5348  
Old 06-26-2019, 07:35 AM
bearcity bearcity is offline
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As this thread has turned to speakers of late, please note my recent posts on the “What speakers are you using with your Inspire?” thread here on AF. It may be of interest. Not sure how much traffic that thread gets. It seemed the appropriate place to post my story.

Dennis Had Inspire Amps...what speakers are you using?

Scott

Last edited by jdandy; 06-26-2019 at 10:58 AM. Reason: add active link
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  #5349  
Old 06-27-2019, 07:55 AM
oldominion oldominion is offline
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Scott, thanks. Just posted some speaker-oriented stuff there, as that is what I'm most interested in learning about, being an almost brand new owner of an LP 3.1 preamp and and Inspire Universal, both of which I'm crazy about! If anyone reading through this long thread has any speaker-specific advice, posts or questions, please head over to Scott's thread. Many thanks!
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  #5350  
Old 06-29-2019, 10:15 AM
triode4 triode4 is offline
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Default KT66 Inspire Hot Rod options question

When I received my SE hot rod amp, there was no manual included with the amp. Is there something online I can use to what tubes I can change out in the amp? Right now it uses a 5u4,2 KT66's and a 6sn7.
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