Change of amps – worth it?

FennerMachine

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Partial repost from topic “Valve Vs Solid State amps”

I'm currently really happy with my system.

But...

I keep thinking of changing my power amps. Would older Quad valve amps such as Quad II's or similar be powerful enough to drive Spendor SA1's? I only listen at moderate volumes, very rarely at silly volumes levels, normally maximum of 8, sometimes 10 on my volume control (goes up to 22 with each setting from 6 onwards adding 2.5 decibels).

I can get a pair of Quad II amps for about £800.00 but spending more gets better ones.

I have no particular budget in mind, but do not want to spend too much more.

Thinking of Quad amps as I liked the change that the Quad 44 made to my system.

Caveats: sometimes use my system for movies, but never very loud. Usually Max of -20 on Denon 3801 AV amp.
 

CnoEvil

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Wihout knowing for definite, I suspect that that even if the amp could adequately drive the speakers, the sound might be too smooth and lacking excitement. Ideally those SA1s need a powerful amp to light a firework under them.
 

FennerMachine

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Thanks CnoEvil.

So are you kind of saying that unless I wants to spend decent money on some high end powerful tubes maybe stick with what I have?
 

CnoEvil

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FennerMachine said:
Thanks CnoEvil.

So are you kind of saying that unless I wants to spend decent money on some high end powerful tubes maybe stick with what I have?
Sort of.

I'm saying that you can, by all means, change amps, but preferably for organic sounding, high current SS/Hybrid ones....unless of course you get some tube friendly speakers.

Or like someone on another thread....get a tube pre and a SS power (like the Quad 909)
 

FennerMachine

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What you say makes sense.

I don't want to change my Quad 44 though.

That leaves power amps.

What would you recommend considering I don't want to spend a fortune but am happy with second hand that can be factory/manufacturer refurbished when needed?
 

CnoEvil

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Maybe keep an eye out for some MF or Quad (909) or possibly the older Linn stuff like the Klout (it has a very different presentation from Linn's current sound).

The SA1s sounded very well on the end of my Kairn/LK100 + Karik/Numerik
 

amcluesent

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>I don't want to change my Quad 44 though. That leaves power amps.<

Audio Analogue Donizetti CENTO Rev2.0 around the £2K mark? Good for 100W and I find that the tonality of my Quad and AA gear is comparable.
 
FennerMachine said:
I don't want to change my Quad 44 though.

That leaves power amps.

What would you recommend considering I don't want to spend a fortune but am happy with second hand that can be factory/manufacturer refurbished when needed?
Hi FennerMachine

Krell's KSA-50S, KSA-80 and FPB300 are worth seeking out :twisted: These power amps will give your SA1's a big wake up call :rockout:

Btw, i'll be very :mad: if you change your Quad 44 pre amp :grin:

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

FennerMachine

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Would a Quad 303 power amp drive the SA1's? 45W per channel.

As stated in my opening post I rarely go above 10 on the volume dial (not 10 O’clock).

Its a solid state amp before the current dumping tech on the 405 onward.

I can get one cheap enough to try and sell on if I don't like it but no point trying if its not powerful enough.

Anyone tried one?
 

CnoEvil

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FennerMachine said:
Would a Quad 303 power amp drive the SA1's? 45W per channel.

As stated in my opening post I rarely go above 10 on the volume dial (not 10 O’clock).

Its a solid state amp before the current dumping tech on the 405 onward.

I can get one cheap enough to try and sell on if I don't like it but no point trying if its not powerful enough.

Anyone tried one?
Personally, I wouldn't go less than a 909.....but that's a hunch.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
FennerMachine said:
Would a Quad 303 power amp drive the SA1's? 45W per channel.

As stated in my opening post I rarely go above 10 on the volume dial (not 10 O’clock).

Its a solid state amp before the current dumping tech on the 405 onward.

I can get one cheap enough to try and sell on if I don't like it but no point trying if its not powerful enough.

Anyone tried one?
Why does it have to be Quad? I would guess that SA-1 and Quad = very smooth or too safe.
 
FennerMachine said:
Would a Quad 303 power amp drive the SA1's? 45W per channel.

As stated in my opening post I rarely go above 10 on the volume dial (not 10 O’clock).

Its a solid state amp before the current dumping tech on the 405 onward.

I can get one cheap enough to try and sell on if I don't like it but no point trying if its not powerful enough.

Anyone tried one?
Hi FennerMachine

Although at 85dB the SA1's also have a benign resistance so if you're not after disco like listening levels then the Quad 303 power amplifier has enough quantity and quality of power to drive SA1's.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

FennerMachine

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CnoEvil.

I would love to get a 909 but can't afford one for maybe a year.

Maybe a future upgrade!

Good question PP.

It doesn't have to be Quad but I like there service.

I've bought various accessories from them at very reasonable prices and the service cost of my Quad 44 was well below what I expected.

Smooth I can deal with – trying to get away from the Cyrus sound that I had for about 8 years.

Rick.

That's what I was thinking, good quality amp that works well at low to medium volumes.

I know that Quad took there time on the 303 as there first SS amp as they thought that they didn't need to rush.

Question is now, do I get one?

Looking at bidding on one today.
 

FennerMachine

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Too late!

Bought 1.

Now I need to get the correct banana plugs – I think they are slightly shorter than normal ones.

And a 4-pin to 4-pin din for the Quad 44 to 303 connection.

And I might get an instruction manual for the 303 as well.

Oh, and another 5-pin din to 2 RCA cable. I can use the Radio input for my Sega Mega drive so I don't have to keep swapping the one from my TV using a tape input. That one is only used when using the Sega Saturn anyway but saves the hassle!
 

CnoEvil

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Well, you're in for a very different presentation, but as PP says, I hope you don't miss the drive and detail of the Cyrus.

I look forward to what you think.

Cno
 

plastic penguin

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I do honestly believe that there's no such thing as a perfect system.

The Quads should have great texture, subtley etc etc. However, with something like a price compatible SS amp you'll gain a livelier presentation, with possibly more detail and verve but lose the lovely qualities the Quads give.

When I heard Audio Analogue amp it sounded fantastic. But compared to a Rotel RA-06 it lacked the tight, fast paced bass and detail. Further down the line, when listening to the Leema, it was like giving the music hi-fi equivalent to viagra.

I'd wager a fiver that those Quads will have similar sonic qualities to the Leema, although the presentation will probably be the flipside to the Pulse.

What you gain in some respects you lose in another. And so the hi-fi merry-go-round continues.
 
FennerMachine said:
Too late!

Bought 1.

Now I need to get the correct banana plugs – I think they are slightly shorter than normal ones.

And a 4-pin to 4-pin din for the Quad 44 to 303 connection.

And I might get an instruction manual for the 303 as well.

Oh, and another 5-pin din to 2 RCA cable. I can use the Radio input for my Sega Mega drive so I don't have to keep swapping the one from my TV using a tape input. That one is only used when using the Sega Saturn anyway but saves the hassle!
Hi FennerMachine

Nice one :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

Frank Harvey

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Even if the SA1's were a little hard to drive (their lower sensitivity does take a little more driving than the average speaker), it wouldn't be a problem for Quads due their Current Dumping system (if this models incorporates it). Most Quads have been designed with this feature, and because of it, the 909 can drive a KEF Reference 201/2 to decent levels. I'm sure the 303 will be fine. They're pretty stable under awkward loads anyway.
 

CnoEvil

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Even if the SA1's were a little hard to drive (their lower sensitivity does take a little more driving than the average speaker), it wouldn't be a problem for Quads due their Current Dumping system (if this models incorporates it). Most Quads have been designed with this feature, and because of it, the 909 can drive a KEF Reference 201/2 to decent levels. I'm sure the 303 will be fine. They're pretty stable under awkward loads anyway.
I don't believe the 303 has current dumping.....good robust amp though, if in reasonable shape.
 

CnoEvil

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
That's why I mentioned 'if' it had it, as I wasn't too sure. But as I say, Quads are very stable anyway.
...certainly not having go, but just trying to clarify.
 

FennerMachine

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Ordered the bits I need from Quad today.

Not expecting to get the Quad 303 & all the bits until end of this week or maybe early next week!
 

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