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Need advice on upgrading my system

 

New member
Username: Cravegoodmusic

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-11
i used a onkyo TX-8255 receiver and bose base woofer and double cubes
for several years and decided to make an upgrade so i purchased heresy
III's. wow! wow! what sound the klipsch speakers put out. it didn't take long before i realized the 8255 receiver needed an upgrade too. has anyone
experianced the new onkyo TX-8050. also, i am thinking about moving the
8255 and the bose to the garage, moving the heresy III's to the back
ground and purchasing la scalas or at least cornwalls. i love the
honest sound klipsch puts out. will i be satisfied with 8050's. pls advise
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16264
Registered: May-04
.

Buy the Lascala's. They are more indiciative of Paul Klipsch's thinking regarding woofer and room loading techniques. Where the Klipschorn uses a tri-fold horn system with the walls of the room forming the final portion of the horn's throat, the LaScala is the same speaker system in a double fold bass horn which will not require a tight fit into a corner.

The high efficiency and electrical sensitivity of the horns will allow you to play very loudly with less than ten watts being used. So your choice in amplifier should be made on quality and, if they interest you, features rather than high on papper wattage numbers. You'll find features emphasized in receivers and this is how most receiver lines distinguish between models; the higher the price, the more features are included. Most receiver lines are no longer discrete models but rather one series of receivers will include several extremely similar models which all share common parts. It would be inaccurate to expect better sound from the higher priced models as several models in a series will have very similar internal parts. That leaves you buying mostly features until you step up to the next series of receivers which, of course, cost more money. Even then, IMO, you're far less likely to find higher quality sound when staying with a receiver - just more features.

My suggestion would be to move to higher quality gear and forgo the whistles, buttons and knobs. With the high efficiency of the horns a small amplifier such as the units from Virtue, Sure, Miniwatt or Decware would be more than sufficient and would provide substantially higher quality music reproduction. Place any of those names in a search engine (for example; "Virtue audio" would get you http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=slv8-hptb5&p=virtue%20audio&type= to read a few reviews of their products. You could also go a more conventional route and move to products from NAD, Cambridge or possibly the better quality integrated amplifiers from Onkyo or Marantz.

Integrated amplifiers lack the tuner (radio) function of a receiver and focus more on sound quality, most expecially from the low volume manufacturers such as Decware. The LaScala's sound extrememly good with tubes but you might not be a candidate for tubes. A "tube like" sound from a company such as Virtue might then be more to your liking.

Which ever way you go, with a speaker upgrade, you really should, IMO, be stepping up out of the mass market receivers and buying better quality components with less button and knob features and with more of an emphasis on far superior sound quality.


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New member
Username: Cravegoodmusic

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-11
i thank you for all this most informative information. i reviewed the tube amp providers as well as the intergrated amp manufacturers you suggested and as of this minute am considering the cambridge 650a amp and the 650t tuner. why are some people not "tube candidates". i have heard this mentioned on other blogs. i will give this new info a few days to sink in
before i jump in. my best
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2418
Registered: Oct-07
Jan,
Speaking of '10 watts', how about one of those T-amps you like? I'd love to hear that combo.
Or....Tubes is best?
 

New member
Username: Cravegoodmusic

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-11
Jan. Not sure I understand your last thread. Help
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16270
Registered: May-04
.

The Sure and the Virtue are essentially the same technology as the T-amps, leo. They are higher output chips but still the same basic idea, top notch sound at rock bottom prices. The original T-amps were only ten watts at about 10% THD. Otherwise, they measured a decent five to six watts output with negligible distortion. That would still be enough to drive the 104dB LaScaals to very high volumes in most rooms and the impedance load of the Klispch's would suit the T-amp well. I have no problem with suggesting a lower powered T-amp but they are becoming more difficult to source and it's always a bit of shock when you suggest someone buy a five watt amplifier. Besides, the new amps from Sure and Virtue are supposedly better sounding still and more readily available.


Tubes are not difficult to own but you should have some idea what you're getting into before you take the plunge. First, many people do not understand the requirements of speaker selection when buying a tubed power amp. By doing a poor job of system matching, they are disappointed in "tubes" in general when the fault was really their own. Second, the tubes themself will require ocassional replacement, not often but more often than a solid state amp which might run for twenty years with the same output devices. Fortunately, almost anyone can change tubes themself; it's an unplug and plug affair, no soldering or disassembly required. The Miniwatt and the Decware both use fairly easy to source and realtively low cost tubes so the task has been simplified for you. Finally, tubed power amplifiers can get rather hot. You might consider those tubes used by Miniwatt and Decware to be the equivalent of several 60 watt light bulbs in your room. With either of these amps the heat produced shouldn't be much of a problem but you should be aware of it before you make a purchase. These two tubed amplifiers are about as user friendly as they get other than they are still low powered in comparison to any mass market receiver. But watts are not created equal and good tubes have more to offer than most mass market receivers when it comes down to watt for watt.

On the other hand, there are tubed pieces which are exhorbitantly high priced, use unusual tubes which will cost in the $kkk's to retube and will work as room heaters even in the summer with the AC cranked down. Unless you are prepared to deal with those issues, I wouldn't suggest them so someone who is not already a "tube person".


I would warn against the idea of "tube sound". While there is often an identifiable signature to the music which pases through tubes, the idea is to have a relatively neutral presentation with the system neither adding nor subtracting from the original signal. Someone selling "tube sound" might very well be making intentional distortions and frequency alterations which do not represent the best of good audio design. Ideally, you shouldn't be able to tell what sort of devices are operating, you should just enjoy the music. Both amps I suggested should give a hint of what's very good about tubes with little of the problems some people associate with poorly designed or matched tubed gear. Both are, however, more than good enough to show up any deficiencies in other equipment. So, if your CD player and so forth doesn't suit the quality you'll receive from the amplifier, the amplifier will only show you what is coming into it. As Decware points out, their amplifier can easily show you the need to also upgrade the rest of your system.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16271
Registered: May-04
.

"Jan. Not sure I understand your last thread. Help"


What don't you understand?
 

New member
Username: Cravegoodmusic

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-11
Tube power vs integrated amp power? Ratio?
Will be pushing one la scala and one heresy III on each ch
Will cambridge 650a do an ecellent job? Or...do you prefer?
I appreciate you opinion and time
Also, what would you do
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16273
Registered: May-04
.

There is no magic calculation for watts when it comes to tubes vs solid state. The issue is far more dependent upon the quality of each component. There are lousy solid state amplifiers and terrific solid state amplifiers. Likewise for tubes.


Why would you run two speakers on each channel? The LaScalas are far more electrically sensitive than are the Heresy's (104dB vs 96dB) and they will play far louder than will the smaller speakers with the same amount of power applied to each.


The Cambridge is a nice amplifier. It depends on what you want to hear from the music. To an extent it also depends on the features and inputs/outputs you require. Not everyone is destined for hairshirt audio but certainly the BS buttons and knobs and screens and connectors on far too much mass market audio gear only gets in the way of the music.


I can't tell you what to do. I've sold the Klipsch line for years and I like the LaScalas in the original Klipsch line up. But I would never own a pair of LaScalas for many reasons - size being the most important. Personally, I use amplifiers that are probably much older than you. I learned many years ago that my tastes in audio are seldom in synch with those of other listeners.

Possibly, some of the other forum memebrs will chime in with suggestions. IMO you simply need to audition a few amplifiers with the speakers you prefer and make a decision. I know that's not always the easiest thing to do nowdays but I really know of no other way to ensure satisfaction.



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New member
Username: Cravegoodmusic

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jun-11
hairshirt audio ?
i previously did not realize you were responding to leo also. new to forums.
i think it would be interesting to locate the heresy III's in the back of the room. yes, they would have less volume being on the same line as the la
scala's but that would be what i wanted. being in the middle of the sound
but mainly listening to the la scala;'s. should i wire them left and left/right and right or use an "X" pattern. where is pink floyd when you need him ? i also must admit the decware se34I.2 looks interesting.
i am curious to know what components you have. may i ?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16277
Registered: May-04
.

The difference in sensitivity specs between the LaScalas and the Heresy's is large enough (8dB) that the LaScalas will be playing at almost twice the volume of the Heresy's with equal power applied to both speakers. Center yourself between that set up and you might barely notice the Heresy's being beaten to death while the LaScala's sing happily away in front. It's your room and your system, but this isn't an arrangement I would encourage.

There are several arrangements which might suit a four speaker set up. I would suggest a "X" pattern will only make for confused sound in most rooms.


"i am curious to know what components you have. may i ?"


My preference is not to mention my own systems. A few of the long time members of the forum know most of what I own as the details have been used in various examples over the years but I see no need to use my preferences as a guide, nor as a bludgeon, for other opinions. Suffice to say I use tubes in my primary music system along with vinyl and digital played through diy speakers.




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New member
Username: Cravegoodmusic

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jun-11
Jan. So far I am thinking cambridge iamp plus tuner and cd player and? The hereseys. Or buy a decware lamp and? Tuner and cd player and again? The hereseys
 

New member
Username: Cravegoodmusic

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jun-11
Jan. So far I am thinking cambridge iamp plus tuner and cd player and? The hereseys. Or buy a decware lamp and? Tuner and cd player and again? The hereseys
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16278
Registered: May-04
.

The Heresy's are at a far lower sensitivity spec than are the larger speakers and won't be as happy with really low powered amps as would the LaScala. You know your volume requirements better than I do but I certainly get the impression you're not going to be satisfied with any amp under ten watts driving the Heresy's. IMO, you'll be better of for now buying the Cambridge or one of the T-amps (Virtue/Sure) and getting a taste of what better audio is about. If you eventually buy the LaScala's, then you can consider a flea watt amp.



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