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Weaning off Solid State (Read 1910 times)
Palomino
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Weaning off Solid State
05/07/13 at 18:17:17
 
Just an observation that others may find useful and/or interesting.

Before my Rachael, I had a 100 watt class D and 89db speakers.  When I first got Rachael, I struggled with the volume being so much lower.  I moved my system to a smaller room and still was not completely satisfied.  Best sound quality of my life, but just not loud enough.  I ran the amp to almost clipping with no headroom.  About 3:00 on the dial for me.

Over time, I have found that I have come off that 3:00 position to 1:00 and the other day, I had a pretty satifying listening session and happened to look at where the dial was.  It was at 11:00.

So my listening volume has come down, my wife has stopped complaining and I will probably still be able to hear later in life.

So I know that lower volume listening is mentioned in the information about Decware amps, but it may take someone coming off SS some time to get to that volume level and still have a satisfying listening experience.
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beowulf
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #1 - 05/07/13 at 18:32:52
 
Hi Palomino, just curious ... what are the specs on your current speakers?  Are they higher efficiency type?  Also, what size room did you move into and is it treated at all?

Thanks!
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Palomino
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #2 - 05/07/13 at 18:54:03
 
My speakers are DIY DNA Horns.

Originally, I had the Tang Band W5 Drivers in these cabinets.  But in my quest for a little more volume (and a suggestion by ZYGI), I switched them out for SB Acoustics SB15nrxc30-4 with Vifa...xt25sc90 tweeters and minimal crossover.  These are 4 ohm and 89db/92 db.

These drivers do seem to play somewhat louder than the W5s.  Now that I have been weaned off SS volume, I may pop the W5s back in and give them a listen.

I was thinking about building HDTs and may still do that some day, but for now, I am very satisfied with the sound out of these speakers.

My room is roughly 15' by 13'.  No treatments.  Basement room with acoustic tile ceiling, berber carpet flooring with no pad and drywall walls.  A desk and some shelves on the wall behind the speakers.
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« Last Edit: 05/07/13 at 19:22:48 by Palomino »  

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beowulf
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #3 - 05/07/13 at 20:17:54
 
I would like to know your impressions if you ever got a hold of some super efficient (99+ dB) speakers like Zu, Tekton or even older Klipsch Heresy's if they could really draw the volume up enough for you?  One thing I don't normally hear around here is that Decware amps don't get loud enough (well, as long as the speakers are super efficient).
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Palomino
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #4 - 05/07/13 at 23:05:34
 
There is a forum member "Frimpy" who has a Rachael with DNA Horns, but while he waited for the DNAs to be built, he had Klipsch speakers.

You might try to PM him to get his impressions.  He travels a lot so he might not get back to you that quickly, but he can offer impressions.
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Palomino
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #5 - 05/07/13 at 23:22:20
 
Also, based just on what I have read here, I think you will get plenty of volume with 99db speakers.  I ran some 94 db speakers as a trial and they were pretty loud.  Now that I have been weaned off solid state, the only thing I don't get with ~89db is party level volume.

What you might not get is what from speakers like the Zu is discussed in the Adding Weight and Body thread.  A midbass module sounds like it would allow you to keep the bass definition and add back the punch.
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DBC
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #6 - 05/12/13 at 17:35:31
 
Palamino,

You make some great points regarding the transition from Solid State to Decware Tubes. Many newcomers to this site get a little hung up on watts which is understandable since I started out with Solid State also.

From my experience Decware amps paired with high efficiency speakers just kicks everything up another notch.


89 db Speaker            98db Speaker

1   watt = 89db
2   watt = 92db
4   watt = 95db
8   watt = 98db          1 watt = 98db
16 watt = 101db         2 watt = 101db
32 watt = 104db         4 watt = 104db

As noted in the example above you would need 8 watts of power on a 89db speaker to equal 1 watt on a 98db speaker. My Klipsch 101db speakers just seem to have a bunch more dynamics at low volume than my previous 89db Paradigm.

With the Mid Bass Module I am in effect Bi-amping. The 350 watt MBM amp is doing the heavy lifting in the 50 to 150 Hz range. On music with the Super Zen I typically listen with the volume at 9:00 O'clock (no pre-amp being used). At loud levels I'm typically at 12:00 O'clock.

The Mid Bass Module simply expands and beefs up the overall sound stage and presentation. As you are transitioning from Solid State to Tubes there is also a transition to the Mid Bass Module for those accustomed to a traditional Subwoofer.

The Mid Bass Module is not a Subwoofer and therefore does many things that traditional Subs can not do and were never designed to do. I have the HSU Mid Bass Module and HSU ULS 15 inch sub. Using only the Mid Bass Module (no sub) has a much more profound positive impact musically compared to using only the ULS 15 Sub (no Mid Bass Module).

Of course using both together is just icing on the cake. Your best bang for the buck however is by far the Mid Bass Module.
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Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
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Palomino
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #7 - 05/13/13 at 14:24:01
 
Thanks DBC,

I will keep the MBM on my radar.  Seems like a pretty cost effective way to beef things up a bit.
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Frimpy
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #8 - 07/06/13 at 14:24:36
 
Went from Harmon Kardon Citation 19 SS amp to Decware  se34i.5 and I also wanted rock n roll levels from this amp. Had an issue with Sansui SR 626 turntable and solid state phono pre cambridge 551p where I couldnt get the gain needed to give me dynamics I was getting from CDP. By the way I am running Decware DNA that are 89 db. Puschased a Quicksilver phono pre used and that helped alot, I also purchased 6n2p pre tubes for the Racheal which added 2 db of gain to the amp. Things were getting better gain wise with the Sansui turntable, noticed the 6n2p tubes clipped quicker than the 6n1p's but got the gain I needed.  
Had Klipsch quartets before DNa's arrived and thought them very good with the Racheal until the DNA's arrived. Played 2 songs comparing the Quartets to the DNa's , after 2 songs the Klipsch's were in the garage, 2 days later in someone elses house to enjoy. The DNA's bettered the Quartets in every arena.
Today my setup is Decware Se34i, AR XA Grace tonearm(modded by Mark Morin AKer) , Decware DNA's , Quicksilver Phono Pre, Denon 2910 for CDP. So far stock tubes have been the best JJ EL34 and 6n1p's.  
Sidebar: Switching from Sansui Sr626 to AR XA turntable my gain problem when playing records have gone away. I player 85% vinyl ....and yes it took me a while to get used to less than rock n roll volumes at 1st but now I listen to music not noise.
frimpy
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Decware Se34.5, Decware DNA's, Z-Stage, VPI Scout 1.1 Ortofon Bronze, Quicksilver Phono Pre, Virtue Audio speaker cable, Decware IC's, Denon DVD 2910,
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Frimpy
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #9 - 07/06/13 at 14:25:54
 
Should have reread post before posting sorry for mispelling and typo's. As with most of us I'm pressed for time.
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Decware Se34.5, Decware DNA's, Z-Stage, VPI Scout 1.1 Ortofon Bronze, Quicksilver Phono Pre, Virtue Audio speaker cable, Decware IC's, Denon DVD 2910,
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jsm71
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #10 - 07/12/13 at 19:55:02
 
I have been considering this phenomenon as I await my first Decware amp.  I'm even a little more deeply in the hole with speaker sensitivity.  My Janszen hybrid ESLs are rated at 87db.  I have the Torii MK3 on order so I will have more oomph in the amp.  I luckily had the chance to hear the Torii with my speakers before ordering and know that I'll get sufficient volume, but I also know there will be limits.

I learned quickly that the Torii presents FULL fidelity and great bass right out of the gate with minimum volume.  My current SS muscle amp doesn't sound alive until the volume level is close to too much, and even then the bass isn't as good.  This difference is what sent me to the waiting list.  I really don't need to put my hearing at risk especially when at lesser levels the Torii sound is superior.  My speakers can play louder than the Torii can support, but I don't need it and I don't care.  

Weaning off SS will not be a challenge for me.  I have been ignorantly bliss with respected high power SS for decades.  It is only by chance that I was exposed to the Torii amp, but it is better late than never.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Weaning off Solid State
Reply #11 - 07/12/13 at 22:44:38
 
Solid state is poison. You have to turn it up to get dynamics and life from the music and by the time you do turn it up and get that dynamics it is too loud to enjoy.
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