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Discovering pure Class A - It's true, not all Watts are created equal

Owl

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I had a class A Plinius amp for a while. It wasn't especially great TBH.

My Melody pentode amps were much better and not class A. Definitely depends on implementation.

High power class A triode amps anyone ūüėó
awesome - that Amp looks like Satan’s milk bottle delivery
 
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Lawrence001

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While you can't generalise about the sound of all "Class A" amps, I have noticed that the type that are heavily biased into class A, have big heat sinks that get very warm and pump out about 20-30 wpc do have a similar sound. I'm not sure they can be compared to a Krell or Plinius as the higher power will give more grip. The latter tend to sound more A/B like but without the hint of grain some people are sensitive to.

Equally they can't be compared to amps described as "Class A" that don't have big heatsinks or don't get hot or have about 50+wpc without weighing an absolute ton (in heatsink weight) as they are A/B biased into class A (admittedly as are most, but it's the power level at which the class A bias goes off that really matters, it's a spectrum really).
 

karlsushi

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Ok so a question.

If I've decided on the sound signature of my Aleph 5, but need higher levels from my system in my bigger room, the sensible thing 'seems' to be to go and research some higher sensitivity speakers.

My issue there though is that options are much more limited and it also rules out some really nice speakers (ok, so it might rule-in some nice ones too).

So the question is, does anyone know of any Pass Aleph-sounding A/B designs which would give me the necessary power (probably at least 250W)?

My main issue with high sensitivity speakers is less the cost (I can always save up, if I can be patient enough) but more the design.

Horns are definitely a no no and I'm not keen on the big box Klipsch or Tannoy designs. I keep coming back to Living Voice, which at least hits the design brief, but for so long I have had my eye on some gorgeous looking speakers as my next upgrade, but that will require more power.

My concern is forking out for some high sensitivity speakers that are actually a downgrade in sound quality against my Spendor A7's, just because they hit the higher sensitivity brief. And if I save up for some really good ones, what will I be missing out on in terms of less efficient speakers with that higher budget.

I guess hi-fi is always a compromise within terrestrial budgets.
 

rabski

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Ok so a question.

If I've decided on the sound signature of my Aleph 5, but need higher levels from my system in my bigger room, the sensible thing 'seems' to be to go and research some higher sensitivity speakers.

My issue there though is that options are much more limited and it also rules out some really nice speakers (ok, so it might rule-in some nice ones too).

So the question is, does anyone know of any Pass Aleph-sounding A/B designs which would give me the necessary power (probably at least 250W)?

My main issue with high sensitivity speakers is less the cost (I can always save up, if I can be patient enough) but more the design.

Horns are definitely a no no and I'm not keen on the big box Klipsch or Tannoy designs. I keep coming back to Living Voice, which at least hits the design brief, but for so long I have had my eye on some gorgeous looking speakers as my next upgrade, but that will require more power.

My concern is forking out for some high sensitivity speakers that are actually a downgrade in sound quality against my Spendor A7's, just because they hit the higher sensitivity brief. And if I save up for some really good ones, what will I be missing out on in terms of less efficient speakers with that higher budget.

I guess hi-fi is always a compromise within terrestrial budgets.
I'm biased, having owned various pairs for more than a few years. However, I would definitely suggest auditioning Living Voice, or better still buying a cheap(ish) pair and running them for a while to see how you get on. They generally resell quite readily and the reason for the suggestion is that some time spent playing about with positioning can pay dividends. With LVs it tends to be the difference between 'that sounds really nice' and 'that sounds really special'.

Caveats with LVs are few, but they do need to be a little away from corners and the wall behind them, and in particular you ideally want a good distance between them for them to do the magic.

The suggestion that class A does not have 'a sound' is the sort of thing I generally agree with, in the same way that valves and solid state don't really have a sound, but circuits and designs do. Nevertheless, class A (pure class A, rather than AB) does seem to, mainly not because it's class A, but because of the type of designs and circuits that class A permits; with very high quality components, short signal paths and (when done properly) well-designed power supplies.

A lot is also down to how you listen, and what to. If possibly the majority of your listening is at moderate to low levels, with the occasional foray into window rattling, than there is always the off the wall suggestion of having a spare, high output class D amp to plumb in for the odd occasions, but sticking to low power class A for the subtle listening.
 
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