Audio Note Oto SE

Gromit

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 17, 2006
7,485
6,329
158
Yellowbellyshire
AKA
Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
So I had a false start to my valve-dabbling. Nonetheless I'm not overly put-off (because it wasn't all negative)having heard some very convincing valve-powered sounds at Heathrow this weekend.

Been meaning to ask this question for a while anyway...

Anyone have any experience of the AN Oto SE integrated? I see they come up for sale 2nd hand every so often and appear to go for around, or a mite less than, a grand or so. Thought it may be worth a punt.

Ta.

 

stefanher

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 17, 2006
860
0
0
Lincs, , United King
AKA
Stefan
By FAR the "nicest" sounding valve amp I've ever owned. Makes the Quad II sound harsh. Very limited power- can't drive the 57's. I'm in some respects sorry I ever sold it.

 

Gromit

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 17, 2006
7,485
6,329
158
Yellowbellyshire
AKA
Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks Stefan - talking of the Oto's power (or lack of) I often hook up my old Sugden A21 whose 12w/channel is actually surprisingly effective. Sure, I don't listen at high volumes as am unable to due to proximity of neighbours. TheOto's 10w may not be such a problem.

I've been a long-time fan of AN's products having spent many hours now listening to their gear at shows. Something aboutit gels for me - perhaps their interpretation of musical reproduction is the same as mine, who knows - anyway I fancydipping a toe or two in that water. TheOto SE was a suggestion from the AN guy at Heathrow this weekend simply because there are a few around, plus it'll give me a small dose of what the more serious AN kit can offer. 'If you end up not liking it you can sell it on at little or no loss - no harm done' were pretty much his words.
smile.png


 

lower bullens

NSNO Wammer
Wammer
Jan 20, 2007
2,680
843
158
Wirral
AKA
Jon
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I had one on loan a few years ago, very good amp but I couldn't afford it at the time.

 

Gromit

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 17, 2006
7,485
6,329
158
Yellowbellyshire
AKA
Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
lower bullens wrote:

I had one on loan a few years ago, very good amp but I couldn't afford it at the time.
Seems that they're now going, used, for around the same price as a new Icon Stereo 40 or some such. Perhapsa similar sound quality as it uses EL84's?I also wonder how much one should read into S/E rather than P/P. Does SE really sound better or is it just (all things being equal) dependant on too many other factors?

 

PAG

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 1, 2005
2,491
12
68
Wirral.
AKA
si
gromit,the Icon uses el34's, the AN uses el84's from what i can remember.

The el84 is a more 'chimey' sounding valve with a lighter bass than the el34. i prefer the el84. depends on the topology of the amp when comparing SE to PP. Each has their own strengths,but is down to the designer how he impliments it.

 

Gromit

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 17, 2006
7,485
6,329
158
Yellowbellyshire
AKA
Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
PAG wrote:

gromit,the Icon uses el34's, the AN uses el84's from what i can remember.The el84 is a more 'chimey' sounding valve with a lighter bass than the el34. i prefer the el84. depends on the topology of the amp when comparing SE to PP. Each has their own strengths,but is down to the designer how he impliments it.
Thanks PAG - did wonder as much re the implementation of the tech.

Was getting my 84's/34's mixed up. Doh!!

 

PAG

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 1, 2005
2,491
12
68
Wirral.
AKA
si
I can give you an example of SE vs PP from my experience though.

I used to have a Unison S6 SE class A amp for about a month. I sold my Tube Technology Unisis on a whim (just wanted a change) and bought the Unison purely on the strength of the reviews.

At first, i noticed the bass MUCH fuller on the S6, and overall smoother, especially at the top. After living with it for a bit, i couldn't live with the lack of air and sweetness and top end detail compare to my old PP Unisis, and i guess i prefer a drier sound.I do't know if was because of the EL84 compared to the EL84 or the S6 was an SE amp or just the design.

What i do know is that every EL34 based amp i've heard lacks the airiness and chimeyness of the EL84. The EL84 is lower powered though if that bothers you.

 

beeroclock

Wammer
Wammer
Dec 30, 2006
379
1
0
Bath, , United Kingd
Hi Gromit

Nick at the Hifi Collective is just putting the finishing touches to a new EL84 amp, which he can put together for you aswell. If its anywhere near as good as their 300b - it will be very good indeed.

It would certainly be worth giving him a call, I found him to be extremely helpful - and he knows his stuff as well as Audionote.

regards philip

 

stefanher

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 17, 2006
860
0
0
Lincs, , United King
AKA
Stefan
Having owned both p/p & SET amps I can vouch that they produce very different sounds. I mentioned the Oto as sounding very "nice"- from memory it produced the "rosy" sound valve amps are often criticised for doing; I've owned several other designs from Beard, Leak & Quad that are far less "guilty" in this respect; my current first choice amp- the Viva- can certainly not be accused of sounding "nice". However if an amp is inaccurate that doesn't mean it can't be very pleasant to listen to & from what I gather that is AN's philosophy. Trouble is it doesn't square up with driving 57's to even vaguely reasonable levels in a largish room something which my 17 W Viva does with ease. It's still a worthwhile approach & something which manypeople who aren't after "slam" may appreciate.

 

Gromit

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 17, 2006
7,485
6,329
158
Yellowbellyshire
AKA
Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks for the input guys - most interesting.

Listening to the AN set-up at H'row (CD4.1x/Meishu/AN-E HE) I was quite taken aback at how much punch the system had, all on its 'meagre' 8 watts of power. Obviously the highly efficient speakers had a lot to do with this. I would loveto achieve a little of this at home - with slightly less elevated £££ levels!

It's certainlyconvinced me of the effectiveness oflow wattage/high efficiency.
smile.png


 

Tons of Fun

Wammer
Wammer
Apr 26, 2006
3,524
72
93
Concrete cow funland
AKA
Ed
Gromit wrote:

Thanks for the input guys - most interesting.Listening to the AN set-up at H'row (CD4.1x/Meishu/AN-E HE) I was quite taken aback at how much punch the system had, all on its 'meagre' 8 watts of power. Obviously the highly efficient speakers had a lot to do with this. I would loveto achieve a little of this at home - with slightly less elevated £££ levels!

It's certainlyconvinced me of the effectiveness oflow wattage/high efficiency.
smile.png
I owned an OtoSE for about a year and I was very fond of it. In most real world situations it had enough power to fill a normal ish room. It was more ballsy than people tended to expect but definately tended to the warmer side of life. It was reasonably well put together and easy enough (for other people in my case) to work on.

Why don't I still have it? Well I got a good offer for itwhilst I was moving house and needed the readies and the Mrs never really took to the idea of an amp that wasn't really "ready to go" 30 secondsafterswitchingit on so I went back to solid state, buying one of the MarantzPM8200's that RS had at thetime for asong.

 

Gromit

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 17, 2006
7,485
6,329
158
Yellowbellyshire
AKA
Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
As a slight aside (but no less relevant when talking low-powered amplifiers)...

I recently bought a pair of Audio Note AX2's from a fellow Wammer - mostly out of interest and a desire to try them out in my somewhat small listening room. On the end of the Exposure amps I normally use (XI pre, IX PMS, IV Dual reg) they sound somewhat unruly - chesty, overly bright and brittle and musically a little disjointed. Re-connecting the Quad 21L's blew the AN speakers away.Something I didn't expect tbh.

However, fast-forward to this afternoon when I fired up my old 1972 vintage Sugden A21 (12w/ch of hot-running Yorkshire born & bredclass A). Well knock me over backwards...the little AN speakers just sing like there'sno tomorrow on the end of the A21. The harshness has gone, the sound has opened up and the slightly disjointed feel has been replaced with a real sense of melodious music-making. The combination of this little old, wooden-boxed amplifier with the AX2's hastruly gelled.

What the chap from Audio Note said to me on sunday was well and truly ringing in my head during this...'you really really need to use valves ora good old class A s/s amp to hear these speakers at their best.

It's always good to have a 'waking' moment every now and again.
smile.png


 

Forum statistics

Threads
109,267
Messages
2,316,233
Members
69,444
Latest member
vnvhgfguyh