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Do Watts matter

EddieRUKidding

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If you were a Guitarist and you had to choose between a Marshall valve and tranny amp I would suggest most would choose the valve jobie to powered the your stack- I agree with some of the previous comments, that quoted watts aren't necessarily the same. I know I get a sh!t load more volume out of my 30 Watt Laney Tube amp (single 8" driver) than my 50 Watt Marshall twin (2 x 8" drivers)- well at least I used to get more out of the Laney until my son borrowed it permanently - so if anyone knows of a nice tube Laney for sale let me know :LOL:
 

Batty

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I find 85watts per channel from my Copland CSA29 is more than enough power to drive 86dB 1w/1m 8ohm speakers to very loud a volume, too loud in my case.
My previous Copland CSA14 at 50w was also very loud into the same 86dB speakers, but the 85w Copland has better control of the bass and more fine detail.

Even louder with my Castle Howards at 92dB 1w/1m.
 

steve 57

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I find 85watts per channel from my Copland CSA29 is more than enough power to drive 86dB 1w/1m 8ohm speakers to very loud a volume, too loud in my case.
My previous Copland CSA14 at 50w was also very loud into the same 86dB speakers, but the 85w Copland has better control of the bass and more fine detail.

Even louder with my Castle Howards at 92dB 1w/1m.
As had been said by many in this thread its the speakers / efficiency and how loud you you want to listen are the deciding factors.
For example your 85 watts into your 86 db speakers will give you approximately 105 dbs flat out.. and I would guess those speakers will be distorting and compressing big time..
My 102 db speakers will do that on 2 watts, virtually distortionless.
Theoretical acceleration and self damping are better with high efficiency cone speaker's too, but there's trade off in size and usually cost
As ever you take your choice ?
 
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Kiwikev

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I did a write up on here about three power amps that I was using from Audio Research, Quad and Accuphase. They were all about 130 watts but the punch and control into a pair of ATC SCM11s varied greatly as did the amount of transparency. So as others have said not just about the watts.

I also used to use a Leben CS300 and a Marantz PM11S2 into a pair of Harbeth SHL5s and they were equally enjoyable although quite different.
Hi Dom, I am researching the CS300XS currently. Are you able to share why you moved on from the Leben and Pros/ Cons of the Leben please? I don't currently have a system but heard the Leben with Spendor classic 3/1 and thought it sounded pretty good. Thanks Kevin
 

DiggyGun

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I sometimes wonder if I wouldn't be better off with a less powerful amp for this reason... I can never get past 10 o clock on my volume.
10 o’clock. I can’t get past 8 o’clock.

Funny thing is I changed from a Linn LP12 to a Klimax DS3/Katalyst streamer in June this year. Previously, we were listening at around 9 o’clock, now, it’s around 8 o’clock.

DG
 
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audio_PHIL_e

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If you were a Guitarist and you had to choose between a Marshall valve and tranny amp I would suggest most would choose the valve jobie to powered the your stack- I agree with some of the previous comments, that quoted watts aren't necessarily the same. I know I get a sh!t load more volume out of my 30 Watt Laney Tube amp (single 8" driver) than my 50 Watt Marshall twin (2 x 8" drivers)- well at least I used to get more out of the Laney until my son borrowed it permanently - so if anyone knows of a nice tube Laney for sale let me know :LOL:
I am under the impression that an if a 50W Marshall can pin people to the far wall, an AC30 can blow them through it to the street outside. I have both :) plus a 100W stack. The 4 x 12"s of the stack are highly directional - on-axis they will deafen you but off-axis you will wonder why he doesn't turn it up. Whereas the twin speakers in an open-backed cabinet will spray the sound over a wider area.

I've tried Laney combos and quite liked them. Especially the small ones - you can lean on the vol pot without being too loud for everyone else.
 

rabski

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I am under the impression that an if a 50W Marshall can pin people to the far wall, an AC30 can blow them through it to the street outside. I have both :) plus a 100W stack. The 4 x 12"s of the stack are highly directional - on-axis they will deafen you but off-axis you will wonder why he doesn't turn it up. Whereas the twin speakers in an open-backed cabinet will spray the sound over a wider area.

I've tried Laney combos and quite liked them. Especially the small ones - you can lean on the vol pot without being too loud for everyone else.
There's a quite rare AC10 here at the moment. I would not under any circumstances descibe it as 'quiet' ;)
 

DomT

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Hi Dom, I am researching the CS300XS currently. Are you able to share why you moved on from the Leben and Pros/ Cons of the Leben please? I don't currently have a system but heard the Leben with Spendor classic 3/1 and thought it sounded pretty good. Thanks Kevin
@Ian @Nagraboy will have more current knowledge but I will give my perspective.

I retired to Portugal to live a low cost low maintenance lifestyle. So anything that maybe had maintenance requirements or a level of difficulty to get fixed was sold off. Also it gets hot here and I don’t like air conditioning. So power amp stages with valves doesn’t work from this perspective.

From a listening perspective I really like what valves do. I have bought a valve preamp with phono stage because I wanted that valve flavour again.

When I bought the Leben I also auditioned a hell of a lot of other amps from Unison Research, Pathos, Devialet, Nagra, Belcanto, Levardin etc. The Leben was the one that spoke to me most from a musical as well as design perspective. It has some useful features eg the whole amp acts as a headphone amp, output settings for speakers etc. it’s very compact and looks fantastic. And the designer only used quality mainstream parts.

From a sound perspective you either like the typical sound of these output valves or you don’t. I found that the sound was detailed enough but not as explicit as the Levardin (claimed to sound like a valve amp even though solid state) but it was a warmer sound with more tone. It had a rightness to it. It’s pacy sounding but not like a Naim. But it’s not going to have huge deep punch because of it’s topology. It’s going to work well with speakers like the SHL5 that don’t present a difficult load. I only listen at modest volumes so it was never a problem for me.

But amps are a personal thing. I would certainly recommend that you have a listen. If I was seeking a modestly priced valve integrated this and a Unison Research Preludio or Primaluna would be on my list. But if you are a headphone user then the Leben is the obvious choice. There again if you want to swap tubes frequently and use different types then Primaluna is the way to go.

Lastly make sure to listen with the speakers that you like as the Leben will only work well with sympathetic speakers.
 

DomT

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If you were a Guitarist and you had to choose between a Marshall valve and tranny amp I would suggest most would choose the valve jobie to powered the your stack- I agree with some of the previous comments, that quoted watts aren't necessarily the same. I know I get a sh!t load more volume out of my 30 Watt Laney Tube amp (single 8" driver) than my 50 Watt Marshall twin (2 x 8" drivers)- well at least I used to get more out of the Laney until my son borrowed it permanently - so if anyone knows of a nice tube Laney for sale let me know :LOL:
Many guitarists for decades have recorded straight into the desk and not used an amp. As always it depends.
 

Kiwikev

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@Ian @Nagraboy will have more current knowledge but I will give my perspective.

I retired to Portugal to live a low cost low maintenance lifestyle. So anything that maybe had maintenance requirements or a level of difficulty to get fixed was sold off. Also it gets hot here and I don’t like air conditioning. So power amp stages with valves doesn’t work from this perspective.

From a listening perspective I really like what valves do. I have bought a valve preamp with phono stage because I wanted that valve flavour again.

When I bought the Leben I also auditioned a hell of a lot of other amps from Unison Research, Pathos, Devialet, Nagra, Belcanto, Levardin etc. The Leben was the one that spoke to me most from a musical as well as design perspective. It has some useful features eg the whole amp acts as a headphone amp, output settings for speakers etc. it’s very compact and looks fantastic. And the designer only used quality mainstream parts.

From a sound perspective you either like the typical sound of these output valves or you don’t. I found that the sound was detailed enough but not as explicit as the Levardin (claimed to sound like a valve amp even though solid state) but it was a warmer sound with more tone. It had a rightness to it. It’s pacy sounding but not like a Naim. But it’s not going to have huge deep punch because of it’s topology. It’s going to work well with speakers like the SHL5 that don’t present a difficult load. I only listen at modest volumes so it was never a problem for me.

But amps are a personal thing. I would certainly recommend that you have a listen. If I was seeking a modestly priced valve integrated this and a Unison Research Preludio or Primaluna would be on my list. But if you are a headphone user then the Leben is the obvious choice. There again if you want to swap tubes frequently and use different types then Primaluna is the way to go.

Lastly make sure to listen with the speakers that you like as the Leben will only work well with sympathetic speakers.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I greatly appreciate that. Primaluna is certainly an option that I need to review as well.
 
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rdale

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But amps are a personal thing. I would certainly recommend that you have a listen. If I was seeking a modestly priced valve integrated this and a Unison Research Preludio or Primaluna would be on my list. But if you are a headphone user then the Leben is the obvious choice. There again if you want to swap tubes frequently and use different types then Primaluna is the way to go.
The current range of PrimaLuna Evo integrated amps have excellent quality headphone outputs.
 
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DomT

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The current range of PrimaLuna Evo integrated amps have excellent quality headphone outputs.
The entire Leben CS300 acts as a headphone amplifier. As does the PL EVO according to their website. Great news.
 

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