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Shoving Saras

Discussion in 'audio' started by Mr Pig, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I've got a pair of basket case Saras which I'm nailing back together to use in the shed. Won't be used loud but have a feeling the little Rotel in there won't wake them up at all. Have bought a Creek 4140 S2 off eBay, nice amp but I've never tried to drive Saras with one.

    Any opinions on a cheap amp that will drive them? It's a shed system so not spending a grand on a amp.

    The Saras are mongrely. They were converted to active but they will have a Sara 9 front driver, bigger Sara 9 crossover and Hiquphon tweeters. So basically Sara 9s but with the older style rear bass unit.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Saras have a reactive low impedance dropping down to a couple of Ohms. That’s the issue rather than efficiency. One curve-ball I’d research is the endless numbers of cheap Chinese-made switch-mode/“digital” amps. Mostly these seem favour low impedances and some appear quite powerful even allowing for exaggerated specs. I’d have a look on eBay, chances are one costing £100-150 or whatever will have a lot more actual ’grunt’ on tap than a budget ‘80s job like the Creek. I’m thinking of the things that are conceptually similar to a ‘T-Amp’, but a lot more powerful (T-Amps are in reality only 6-8 Watts). I’m sure some here will know that market far better than I do, though I’ll vouch for the better built T-Amps such as the Amptastic as a great sounding amp for the money into efficient speakers (I have one). Worth looking anyway.
    Iain Docherty and Mr Pig like this.
  3. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC

    I have used my Saras with my Linn Majik-I integrated, the original LK box one.

    Sounded not bad and has plenty on inputs on the back.
  4. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    This sounds really interesting but I don't know the first thing about them. I wouldn't know what I'm looking at. I'm assuming this is just a power amp so a pre would be needed?
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Most seem to be a single input amp with a volume control, though some have a DAC built-in too. I’m deliberately not recommending anything as I just don’t know this market beyond ny little Amptastic T-Amp, which is very good indeed into efficient speakers, far better than it has any right to be. It is a great amp to have knocking around as a spare.

    There will unquestionably be folk here who know this new amp market somewhere!
  6. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Tuner, CD player and turntable to plug into it. Do have a phono stage I could use so phono input not essential.
  7. 9designs

    9designs pfm Member

    Why don't you try the Rotel and Creek, which I would have thought would be fine, I have a 4040S2 in my garage, tried it in doors first on some SL6Si.... nice sounding amp.
  8. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    The Sara9 Crosssover is much kinder to amplifiers than the old two crossover setup. I dont think youll have a problem using the creek.
  9. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I will, once the Saras are back together. The Rotel is only something like 20 Japanese watts so figured it maybe a bit too risky. I had a 4140 S2 until fairly recently, I sold it as it wasn't getting used but it's a nice amp and 40wpc so I've just bought another to try with the Saras.

    Amps that will work fine on most speakers won't necessarily work well on Saras. They are horrible to drive. Each speaker is effectively two speakers in one box.
  10. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    I drove my Saras with a JVC AX-3 and at low to medium volumes it drove them perfectly. It started to run out of steam at higher levels but never tripped.
  11. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I'm more concerned about it going into clipping and frying something.
  12. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Or a Rotel If it was built after about 1984-5. If one of the smaller Rotels it should play fine just not very loud.
  13. yuckyamson

    yuckyamson pfm Member

    A great challenge!

    My bet in such a situation would be a used pro-amp, like a crown micro/macro tech. You still need a volume control but that can be figured out in a bunch of ways (not the least of which would be some really cheap pre-amp found somewhere or the pre-amp section of whatever integrated). The thing is that the Saras, as you know, are a really difficult load and just don't wake up without some slapping around. I think a used crown/crest/etc. would be a really solid combination and you might find will punch way above it's own weight, price-wise. The only issue is fan-noise, but if you're in a garage....meh.
  14. Rosie

    Rosie pfm Member

    I'm going to say it …

    Or buy a pair of JPW 's for 20 quid
  15. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    The PA amp is an idea. There is a faulty one in the loft, can't remember what it is. Of course using another speaker would work, there are Heybrook HB1s in the shed just now, but I want to see if I can get the Saras to work. As working Saras are.. good :0)
  16. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    Why would it go into clipping?
  17. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    I have a REALLY ratty Realistic 100 watt power amp in the garage, not powered it up in years so I’d have to give it a check over, but if you can collect it from me in the West Midlands, it’s all yours!
  18. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    I think you'll be quite pleased with the 4140S2 on the Saras, Colin.

    Power wise, this isn't far from an NAP110. Creek claimed a nominal 40W/ch (=16.0dBW) with instantaneous peak current rated to 15amps (the latter roughly the same as for NAP250).
  19. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I'd take the cart out from in front of the horse and sell the Saras for bits, then use the loose change behind the sofa to find a pair of bookshelf speakers in a charity shop. The amp you have works perfectly after all.

    In my garage workshop I have a pair of speakers that a mate got from a charity shop for £3. I've connected a £12 chip amp from Fleabay (is it a Lepay? I forget) and a DAB radio. 6 Music, Planet Rock, it's a great system.
  20. yuckyamson

    yuckyamson pfm Member


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