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Amplifier advice

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Al ears

Moderator
Electro said:
Oran said:
Thanks for all the advice folks.

Budget is not set in stone. My starting point is to explore the sub £1000 options.

However if there is good reason to go up to the next level then I will consider that.

The Abrahamsen is an interesting option which I did not know about.

Im guessing that it not possible to audition these in the UK?
If you contact Colin about a demo of the Abrahamsen ( details and contact info in the link I posted ) or even possibly a home demo I am sure he will do his best to help you out, he has helped many people on this forum already so I am sure he will do the same for you .

He is based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

It would realy be worth your time and effort imo. *yes3*
Seconded. I believe they have a home trial period but basically you are buying on faith. Believe me it's worth a try. If I hadn't I wouldn't have ended up with the amps I currently own.

Don't forget Hegel either as they have an incorporated DAC that is better than you currently own, and are more 'auditionable'.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Blacksabbath25 said:
I really do think that abrahamsen 2up is the best possible choice here for the money it will be better then any of the amps you have in your list
I would guess as an Abrahamsen owner you would concur, but have you heard the Hegel. This would leave the OPs dacmagic 100 redundant and thus sellable.
 

Oran

New member
Apr 5, 2016
6
0
0
Just an update on where I have got to on this.

I had a listen to the 3 amplifiers driving PMC 23's.

Rega Elex R

Arcam A29

Naim 5Si

My set up was wav file playback from foobar with my PC connected to a DAC Magic 100 and then phono into the amps. The files were a combination of 16 and 24 bit and sample rates from 44.1 up to 96k.

My order of preference was:

Naim

Arcam

Rega

I know that it is completely subjective but that was my impression.

The Rega had the biggest bottom end but was a bit too bright in the hi mid and HF band.

The Arcam was very technical correct and whilst it didn't have the big bottom end of the Rega the tonal balance was very good.

The Naim impressed me straight away as it had a volume knob which was solid and actually did something when you turned it!

The Naim also didn't have the big bottom end of the Rega but bass notes were clear and defined. Other details like reverbs on floor toms became noticeable and my toes started tapping and I wanted more and more.

These are 3 good amplifiers with different charicteristics which will work for some people but not for others.

My subjective impression was that the Naim was better by a stretch.

In the end I felt like none of the amp combinations (with a 20.23) gave me a feeling of some punch and air moving on kick drum hits.

I then started to question if it was the right choice of loudspeaker for me?

Maybe I need a 24?

Maybe I need an amplifier with a higher output voltage which is better able to deliver transients of power.

As there were a pair of 24's available I quickly plugged them into the Naim 5si and had a listen.

And there it was, that LF punch from the kick drum started to poke its head out.

So to conclude:

I probably need to consider a twenty 24 or dare I say it a 26!

I also probably need to consider the bigger brother amplifier as well.

I going to keep my amp search (for now) focused on Naim and Hegel.

Options could be:

Naim Xs2

Naim Nap 200 DR

Hegel H160

As PMC use the transmission line bass loading the key thing seems to be finding an amp to make it move some air.

Hence my interest in the Hegel as they quote high damping factor figures. Thoughts on this are welcome.

Would anyone please be able to advise on what I would get from Naim Nait vs Naim Nap?

I have noticed that the Nap amps have figures on transient power, like 300VA for the Nap 200 for example.

The Naits don't have figures for this. Can I assume that a Nap will give me greater transient power than the Nait?

Is this a limitation of an integrated amp?

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Oran
 
Feb 18, 2015
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If going down the naim nap route...remember your going to need a nac to go with it pre amp and power amp.expensive it is.especially when you get into the 200 series or above.But I guess that could be what you might be looking for.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
You are falling for the oldest trick in the book. Naim sets their input sensitivity so you get all the power early on the volume knob. You get the impression it's a powerhouse, however it won't give you anything more except clipping and distortion for more than half of the volume turn.
Can you tell the difference between amplifier clipping and speakers being overdriven? 99% of the time the amp clipping will give you the impression the speakers are the ones bottoming out from too much amplifier power, and only at 11 o'clock of the volume turn. Again, it's a trick, a slight of hand for the technically uninformed. It sells.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
The input sensitivity trick doesn't make the amp bad, with only downside not having much usable volume area and the channel imbalance being worse than typical. Many will prefer those over the emasculating feeling of turning volume past half way to get decent loudness out of the amp.
 
Feb 18, 2015
58
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Is it not the case that most or even all amps are outputing there usable power at half way or 12 o'clock,I've read this here and there a few time.So the argument that naim amps use all or most of there power in the first half of the volume pot a bit redundant really.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
Most will do that going typically 150mV input sensitivity. Naim boldly goes even lower. IMO it's the equivalent of publishing PMPO watts. Arcam (1V) and Roksan (500mV) do things differently.
But let's not go off-topic here. I'm just giving Oran heads up when it comes to accurately evaluating amplifier power.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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No probs vlad.I remember when I first got the xs and compared it to (my then)Arcam a85/p85 and the arcam sounded weedy in comparison to the naim on it's lonesome.all be it an apparently 25wpc down on the arcam even if you don't take the p85's power into consideration.go figure.
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
2
18,545
Oran said:
In the end I felt like none of the amp combinations (with a 20.23) gave me a feeling of some punch and air moving on kick drum hits.

I then started to question if it was the right choice of loudspeaker for me?

Maybe I need a 24?

Maybe I need an amplifier with a higher output voltage which is better able to deliver transients of power.

As there were a pair of 24's available I quickly plugged them into the Naim 5si and had a listen.

And there it was, that LF punch from the kick drum started to poke its head out.

So to conclude:

I probably need to consider a twenty 24 or dare I say it a 26!

As PMC use the transmission line bass loading the key thing seems to be finding an amp to make it move some air.

Hence my interest in the Hegel as they quote high damping factor figures. Thoughts on this are welcome.

I have noticed that the Nap amps have figures on transient power, like 300VA for the Nap 200 for example.

The Naits don't have figures for this. Can I assume that a Nap will give me greater transient power than the Nait?

Is this a limitation of an integrated amp?

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Oran
Hi Oran,

As I recomended earlier The Abrahamsen would be the best especially as you are looking for more transient power .

The main design feature of Abrahamsen and also Electrocompaniet is their ability to deliver massive amounts of power ( killowatts ) for short periods of time so that transient peaks are delivered without any distortion and the whole note or drum strike is preserved intact with realistic impact , sustain and decay no matter how complex or dynamic the music is.

Hegel also has a similar philosophy so one of their models would also be an alternative choice.

Having used different PMC speakers with Electrocompaniet amplifiers for many years and being able to see the sheer amazement on peoples faces that hear real live sounding drums from a hifi system for the first time says it all to me .

I hope you give the Abrahamsen a try at least because words cannot describe what they are capable of .

You mention the NAP 200 having a transformer transient power of 300va .

Features
  • 70W per channel output into 8 Ohms
  • Large custom-designed transformer providing 300VA of transient power
  • Internal power supply to allow direct connection of a NAC 152 XS, NAC 202 or NAC 282 preamplifier
The Abrahamsen V2.0 UP has a 1000va transformer ! *biggrin*
 
Feb 18, 2015
58
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I do really want to hear one of the Abramsem amps.defo on my list whenever I'm on the hunt for a new amp.or the avi dm10's but not sure if I'm over the moon about there looks.The op should definitely check out the Abramsem option though,Naim could leed you onto the never ending upgrade path and shed loads of cash spent.
 

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