EQUIPMENT FORUMS >> SE84UFO >> SE84UFO with relatively lower-efficiency speakers

Message started by alper_yilmaz on 11/29/18 at 05:06:07

Title: SE84UFO with relatively lower-efficiency speakers
Post by alper_yilmaz on 11/29/18 at 05:06:07

Just wanted to share this with you Forum members...

I have been using my SE84UFO with my 91dB B&W DM630s.  Quite satisfactory in volume, the B&W's have provided me with some decent listening experience.  But I have a second pair of speakers, ProAc DM28's, which are much better than the B&W's, but they are rated only at 88.5dB.  By the way, these are published specs, not anything I have measured myself.

These two sets of speakers are sitting next to each other, ProAc's driven by a push-pull Copland amp at 50w per channel.  Given the low efficiency of the ProAc's, I have never dared to try it with my UFO, but just yesterday I wanted to give it a try, and the result is amazing!  The volume is more than enough; the frequency spectrum is quite evenly presented (despite no room treatment), and the detail is just there with amazing soundstage!

Given the quality of this setup, I cannot even imagine the SE84UFO25 that I am in queue for; and any decent high-efficiency speakers.  Again, just wanted to share with you...

Here is a picture of the setup...




Title: Re: SE84UFO with relatively lower-efficiency speakers
Post by Steve Deckert on 11/30/18 at 02:38:02

This brings back some warm memories from the early 1990's when I spent the better part of 3 years listening to the SE84 2 watt amplifier on speakers ranging from 87dB to 90dB and even some 86dB speakers which turned out to be the loudest of the pack... go figure?   It was what hooked me and I guess why were all here today having this conversation. I started building and selling the amps before I even owned any high efficiency speakers... unless you count the Imperial Horns and yes I did spend lots of hours listening to that combo during those early years. The first foray into high efficiency speakers that fit in your house started with Fostex and Lowther both of which were out of there element in box speakers and sounded pretty hit and miss. The frustration with the limited choices out there that didn't cost too much is what got us making speakers for our amps in the first place.  Anyway, great post! Thank you!


Title: Re: SE84UFO with relatively lower-efficiency speakers
Post by Steve Deckert on 11/30/18 at 02:45:55

Haha, maybe you should amuse yourself one of these evenings and hook-up both speakers at the same time!  The amp will love it.  In it's desperation to not get replaced by the UFO25, it will no doubt push a few buttons you won't be expecting ; )

Title: Re: SE84UFO with relatively lower-efficiency speakers
Post by alper_yilmaz on 11/30/18 at 02:54:12

I should definitely try it, as the SE84 loves lower impedances, right?  :)

Title: Re: SE84UFO with relatively lower-efficiency speakers
Post by Kevin on 12/05/18 at 21:03:02

A few weeks ago friends brought over a pair of Falcon ls3/5a. At 83 db/wm we all figured the little Decware would bottom out but it drove the speakers very well with more than enough grunt. The volume control was over at 3:00 rather then 8-9 like normal, but they felt this was the best the Falcon's had ever sounded. On paper it doesn't work but in real life things don't always go the way you expect! Such a great little amp!

Title: Re: SE84UFO with relatively lower-efficiency speakers
Post by Earl Dunbar on 02/04/19 at 19:12:06

My room for the Super Zen is small (9’7” L x 8’7” W x 8’7” H) so the first speakers I tried were some Angström 202s bookshelf two-ways, which I believe are about 85-86dB.  They were made by the "original" Angström, with the aid of the NRC anechoic test facility.  They're actually pretty nice for what they are (purchased around 1988 - 6" woofer, 1" dome, , front port, VERY solid construction) and while they were good with the Zen, they seemed a bit dull and underpowered.  Maybe the crossover needs refreshing, maybe the load is funky ... I dunno, I'm not an electronics engineer.

Eventually, I pulled in a pair of DCM Time Window 1A which I had snagged about 6 years ago.  I wasn't expecting much; I figured they were about the the same efficiency.  Boy was I wrong!

The first play (they had been in my living room TV/faux home theatre installation,) shocked me so much that I looked up their sensitivity - turns out they are 92dB.  These were really good, and there was an ease to the sound presentation.  There was more bass, but more importantly the bass quality was better, more defined.

I continued to tweak - better speaker cable (don't ask what I had - it was embarrassing!) and pushing the Time Windows further back toward the wall produced further improvement in the bass.  Next was cones under all components, which further solidified both bass (maybe not as much as one might suspect,) and tightened up the upper midrange.

The biggest improvement however has been my first tube rolling - I exchanged the 6N1P input for a NOS Sylvania 6922.  Frankly, I wasn't expecting much, if any significant change, and I wasn't sure any change would be positive.  I picked up this tube partly to simply have a backup input tube, as well as play with tube rolling.

Wrong again!  I immediately heard more "musical" midrange/vocals and the higher mids and high frequencies are better defined.  Along with these traits, I feel the overall tonality is "rounder" ... definitely not in the sense of softness or exaggerated harmonics, but more solid, more three dimensional.

It's not like the 6N1P was bad, or even "wrong" - with different speakers I might prefer the original tube - it hasn't been chosen for no good reason.

The only things I don't think are quite right yet with the Time Windows are a lack of some high frequency extension as well as "speed".  I have auditioned Triangle Gaia II speakers (from Triangle's Esprit line,) driven by the Super Zen and wow.  The Gaias are rated at 91.5dB, use dual 6" woofers and a horn-loaded titanium tweeter.  The sense of speed and drive is amazing; they get PRaT right without sacrificing accuracy and musicality.  I may trial a pair in my room (my local dealer is very accommodating,) though the CFO may not approve.  ::)

So overall what I'm getting at is confirmation of "try it before you rush to judgment" ... you just never know how good a design the Super Zen is!

Title: Re: SE84UFO with relatively lower-efficiency speakers
Post by on 09/12/19 at 01:22:03

I also have some older m&k s-3 satellite and sub sensitivity 87 or 89 still trying to find specs. The ufo has satisfactory volume on my initial listen just received amp today. Ufo set at full volume dbx preamp never went above 12 . Completely impressed with the Sonics verses my el34 single ended amp.

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