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[WTD] Valve amp for Tannoys

Discussion in 'classifieds' started by jonnypsvinyl, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. montesquieu

    montesquieu pfm Member

    It's a subtle thing really. For me the KT90 is a really musical tube, like an EL34 on steroids. The KT120 seems to me to be like a KT88, only 'more of'. Having owned quite a few of both amps, I'm more of an EL34 fan than a KT88 fan, except for the fact that some speakers really need the extra power. A giant EL34 suits me really well. I suspect what you are hearing with the 63 is the fact that the driver has transparency to spare, you certainly don't need the power. Maybe try some KT90s in the Jadis sometime.
  2. montesquieu

    montesquieu pfm Member

    I totally agree but I thought the OP was talking about 15in HPDs? With those heavy cardboard stiffeners on the cone, it's really not the same thing at all as a Monitor Gold.


  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I agree with that based on my findings so far. I have a feeling that taking power out of the equation I may actually prefer EL84s to EL34s too, but I’d like more time to really get to the bottom of that one. It is certainly far easier/cheaper to get nice EL84s now the supply of ‘Winged C’ Svetlanas looks to have dried up at any sane price. The Russian 6p14p-EV etc EL84 types are really good and still affordable. There is a lot to be said for going EL84 and stockpiling a lifetime’s worth of valves! I’m about there (allowing for not catching covid 19, so maybe hopelessly overstocked!).

    As stated I have no real experience of HPDs. I heard Andy831’s GRF Memories many times driven by a variety of amps from under-powered SETs to beefy SETs to push pull and with those I’d say they need a really good grippy 10 Watts or so, I’m sure a Stereo 20 would be fine unless you wanted crazy loud. They are K Series, so kind of a HPD, but with a ceramic magnet. Same cone struts IIRC.
  4. tonerei

    tonerei pfm Member

    :D You want me to turn into a tube roller like you? I get your points and when I get over the shock of buying the Tannoys I might indulge in a bit tube rolling. From listening to some of the experiences on various threads here EL34's appear to have some reliability issues. Is there any rock solid option to go with? From what you are suggesting maybe the KT90's might be the best option for me to compare with the KT120's.

    I also attribute a lot of what I am getting to the wonderful diy dac build(it is a dual mono burr brown pcm1794 chip based on DDDac) I got involved in. That coupled with a fanless pc and minimal Unix operating system which runs in ram is giving me holographic soundstage that is very rich sounding in terms of detail. I bloody hope the Tannoys offer a quality alternative to the 63's!
  5. montesquieu

    montesquieu pfm Member

    Very different presentation between Tannoys and ESLs.

    I wouldn't put EL34s in an amp designed for KT120s, though KT90s will be fine at or close to the same bias level. I run KT90s at 60mV in the Leben, the KT120s at 65mV.
  6. tonerei

    tonerei pfm Member

    The Jadis has autobias and can take 34's and 6550's. Mind I have never tried EL34's in it or the previous smaller unit the DA50s. The Jadis was originally designed to run with 34's, 6550, KT88 and KT90's. The KT120's came afterwards and Jadis have confirmed that they can be used.
  7. wainwj

    wainwj pfm Member

    The only valve amp that I have tried with my 15” HPD’s was an integrated 2a3 of around 18w I believe. (Puresound)
    It was a particularly short lived combination, so certainly no match made in heaven.
    Seeing the suggestions above, did I simply try an amp based on the wrong type of valve for my Tannoys?
    Is 18w of 2a3 completely different to, say 18w of el34 power?
    My understanding of valve amps is minimal and now wondering if I should try again,maybe with Quad II Eighty’s or the like?
  8. wainwj

    wainwj pfm Member

    Apologies for tangent. Just realised this is in the classifieds and not the discussion area.
    With that in mind :) I’ve got a Puresound 2a3 going spare, but likely better options out there for your particular application.
  9. montesquieu

    montesquieu pfm Member

    I ran the Puresound 2A3 quite successfully with my old 15in Monitor Golds but I would doubt very much if it would be man enough for 15in HPDs. They are just a different animal altogether. Quad II Eighty's would be bang on in my opinion (or something of that ilk).

    Also EL34s aren't going to give you 18w unless you do something daft with them like wire them as triodes. Something between 25w and 40w would be more typical for push-pull EL34s, depending how they were implemented.
  10. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    So, Radford experts, is the STA15 not the right sort of amp after all? The reason I ask is that sometimes the techies seem to say that the power is not what matters, it’s the quality of the output transformer. And they then go on to say that the Radford’s OT is so fabulous that it’ll drive anything . . . I have no idea whether this is bullshit it not.
  11. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    I would have no hesitation at all in saying that the STA15 would be powerful enough into 12" HPD's.

    The 10wpc Leak ST20 is plenty into 15" HPD's.
  12. montesquieu

    montesquieu pfm Member

    Hmmm. I would agree on the Radford. Not on the Leak. (Having owned 12in and 15in Golds and HPDs, an STA25 and STA100, several St20 and a pair of TL12s.) But I guess it depends totally on what your expectations are. The Leak will ‘work’ but can surely be bettered.
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  13. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    All I can say is that my ST20 sounds superb to my ears into my 15" HPD's, far beyond simply "working". That's in light of direct comparisons against several highly regarded 100wpc SS amps and my STA25.

    12" are obviously going to be a bit less efficient.

    I'm not claiming the ST20 to be the best amp in the world but it's a seriously good amp into appropriate speakers. Someone coming from a background of SS amps and less efficient speakers will be amazed how far 10wpc gets you into big efficient Tannoys.
  14. Nye Samuel

    Nye Samuel Cymru am byth

    A friend has Rodgers Cadet 2 and 3 he might sell...both pre and power...He lives in Whitchurch in Shropshire...All in excellent condition, I have been told.
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It will be absolutely fine unless you are stone deaf and want to create the front row of a Motorhead gig in your front room, and then you shouldn’t really be using Tannoys at all IMHO. With the exception of the much later SRM, SGM, FSM etc they were never actually designed for crazy rock levels at all!
  16. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    I had 15" Monitor Golds in the mid '70s, and that's what I am looking for now. I have GRF cabinets available, so just the drivers.
    Darmok likes this.
  17. James46

    James46 The Crystal Method

    I have a Croft 4S that would work really well, 60W enough for HPDs, you need PP for them as SET just doesn't seem to work well.
  18. jonnypsvinyl

    jonnypsvinyl pfm Member

    Lots of helpful stuff here. They are 12" HPDs, to be clear. And I think its fair to say there is no clear consensus on what works well with them! I've got a few leads so I'll follow those up.
    mandryka likes this.
  19. anubisgrau

    anubisgrau pfm Member

    No one mentioned Berning.

  20. montesquieu

    montesquieu pfm Member

    Not in budget I suspect.

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