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I have an old Sugden A21aL. I bought a new a21se phono stage to use with it. My other input is from a JoLida DAC. I've no real appetite to change but wondered if I could use my amp as a power amp and whether it would be worthwhile investing in a pre amp. 

There is a passive for sale on pfm for a couple of hundred. I've also thought maybe a croft or some valve might be fun. 

Is this even possible or worthwhile?

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New to the rack

Hello all Picked up my brand new IA4 yesterday and my room is very warm now. Took me about an hour to pull the trigger after having one on home demo a few weeks ago.  Decided after many years of

So, having been underwhelmed by the ANV-50 and as subsequently reported here: I took my Posselt Albatrosses to Fanthorpes in Hull and heard them driven by A21 Signature, A21SE and IA-4. The IA-4

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1 minute ago, Ruairi said:

I have an old Sugden A21aL. I bought a new a21se phono stage to use with it. My other input is from a JoLida DAC. I've no real appetite to change but wondered if I could use my amp as a power amp and whether it would be worthwhile investing in a pre amp. 

There is a passive for sale on pfm for a couple of hundred. I've also thought maybe a croft or some valve might be fun. 

Is this even possible or worthwhile?

I’ve never understood why people use an integrated as a power amp, seems a faff to me. Go dedicated power amp or bi amp the Sugden with a matching Sugden power amp.. that, you might find a sonic benefit if you can bi wire your speakers

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30 minutes ago, radiant red said:

I’ve never understood why people use an integrated as a power amp, seems a faff to me. Go dedicated power amp or bi amp the Sugden with a matching Sugden power amp.. that, you might find a sonic benefit if you can bi wire your speakers

Thanks. Just recently it was suggested to me that a modern integrated does not really have a pre section so having an external pre amp would give benefit. Perhaps I have misunderstood or perhaps the Sugden isn't built in the same as modern amps of today. 

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5 minutes ago, Ruairi said:

Thanks. Just recently it was suggested to me that a modern integrated does not really have a pre section so having an external pre amp would give benefit. Perhaps I have misunderstood or perhaps the Sugden isn't built in the same as modern amps of today. 

No, it isn’t and in many ways a lot better, I feel you would need to spend considerably more to better it. Also factoring in additional cables etc. 
I have the series 2 in my collection and it’s imo, one of the best amps ever made.

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19 minutes ago, radiant red said:

No, it isn’t and in many ways a lot better, I feel you would need to spend considerably more to better it. Also factoring in additional cables etc. 
I have the series 2 in my collection and it’s imo, one of the best amps ever made.

Cheers. 

The good lady of the house will be pleased because I'd mentioned spending up to £500 on a pre amplifier.

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5 minutes ago, Ruairi said:

Cheers. 

The good lady of the house will be pleased because I'd mentioned spending up to £500 on a pre amplifier.

I'd look at a few mods to that DAC if you've got "permission" to drop a few quid on the hifi..

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16 minutes ago, MotherSky said:

I'd look at a few mods to that DAC if you've got "permission" to drop a few quid on the hifi..

Yeah. I've paid for all the parts on those mods and will send the DAC over to have work done when all parts arrive. I'm getting the full works done. There's a bit extra at the minute because we're only paying a reduced rate for childcare. 

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Yes as mentioned.above  there is no point in adding a pre to an A21a integrated as all the inputs run through the volume pot anyway, so you will further degrade the quality by putting another pre section in the chain.

The pre section of.the a21is well matched with the power section so to.do better you will need to get an A21 power amp and add a suitable pre amp.  But that will be a lot more expensive 🤑

I did something similar recently as I wanted to reduce the box count with a pre that included a phono stage, dac plus balance and tone controls useful for very small  study 

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20200526_112935_copy_453x604.jpg

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Nice Graham. 

Yeah I'm done with the idea. Moved my thoughts towards a subwoofer instead. Ha. 

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1 hour ago, Ruairi said:

Nice Graham. 

Yeah I'm done with the idea. Moved my thoughts towards a subwoofer instead. Ha. 

God no! A subwoofer on a 23w class A would be very difficult to integrate successfully. Woolly bass comes to mind. 
to upgrade the bass, imo would be a speaker change but to better your Proac’s fine characteristics, it would be more costly 

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7 minutes ago, radiant red said:

God no! A subwoofer on a 23w class A would be very difficult to integrate successfully. Woolly bass comes to mind. 
to upgrade the bass, imo would be a speaker change but to better your Proac’s fine characteristics, it would be more costly 

I had a REL subwoofer wonderfully integrated - by ear - with my (2015) CELEF LS8's. These are beautiful speakers; the radically different Tablette 10 came out of this side-project of Stewart's. On lots of diferent styles of music they worked wonderfully on their own, but when fuller bass was required (not just say rock but orchestral) the sub added what was missing.

One anti-sub friend of mine asked me to switch the sub in (my Arcam amp allowed that as it had speakers A and B); I told him it was already in. He asked me to take it out; the sound lost more than a bit of bass. Woolly bass often arises because folk want a sub to impress rather than blend in, so they turn the wick up. It spoils everything.

It does take self-control (the REL guidance on this is great: basically turn it up until you can hear the bass then wind it back a notch) but for someone who loves their standmount speakers except for... a sub can be a saviour.

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I have a sub (REL T-zero) with my IA4 and PMC FB1s, and I have to agree it works wonderfully well if you get it set up correctly

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1 hour ago, radiant red said:

God no! A subwoofer on a 23w class A would be very difficult to integrate successfully. Woolly bass comes to mind. 

Funnily enough, the preamp shown has both adjustable hi pass and low pass filters so would probably be achievable , not that I am planning to......

DSC_1736.JPG_copy_297x158.jpg

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1 hour ago, radiant red said:

God no! A subwoofer on a 23w class A would be very difficult to integrate successfully. Woolly bass comes to mind. 
to upgrade the bass, imo would be a speaker change but to better your Proac’s fine characteristics, it would be more costly 

Not necessarily by a long way.

There are plenty of subs that do 'clean and tight', rather than 'fluffy and loose'. Above all, however, it's down to properly integrating everything and ensuring the sub starts where the main speakers stop. The usual problems come IME when the sub and the main speakers are trying to reproduce the same frequency.

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23 hours ago, TheFlash said:

I had a REL subwoofer wonderfully integrated - by ear - with my (2015) CELEF LS8's. These are beautiful speakers; the radically different Tablette 10 came out of this side-project of Stewart's. On lots of diferent styles of music they worked wonderfully on their own, but when fuller bass was required (not just say rock but orchestral) the sub added what was missing.

One anti-sub friend of mine asked me to switch the sub in (my Arcam amp allowed that as it had speakers A and B); I told him it was already in. He asked me to take it out; the sound lost more than a bit of bass. Woolly bass often arises because folk want a sub to impress rather than blend in, so they turn the wick up. It spoils everything.

It does take self-control (the REL guidance on this is great: basically turn it up until you can hear the bass then wind it back a notch) but for someone who loves their standmount speakers except for... a sub can be a saviour.

Is placement a major factor to consider for using a REL sub. I'm considering the zero or the t5. 

I'm in a small stereo room that's 3m x 3m and floor space is at a premium. 

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