Sugden Masterclass and Tannoy DC

graham67

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Does anyone have any experience with the Sugden Masterclass amplifiers and big Tannoys? I used to own an A21a for 10 years and always enjoyed it - I should not have sold it!

However, my GRF Tannoys like a bit of control at the bottom end so I dont think the A21 would be a great match but am thinking that perhaps the beefier soudning Masterclass integrated would make a decent match. I have always liked the sound of the amp since hearing it in 2001/2 and on and off since. It also comes with a decent phono MM stage so could probably use direct with my AT 150 cartridge.

I am getting a very good sound with my Quad 405 and a valve pre, but valve gear can be a faff. And chasing up vintage valves is an expensive affliction of mine which is only solved when I dont have any valve gear :)..... A couple of years ago, I swore off valves but sure enough they have crept back into my system......

But TBH, I would prefer to get a comparable or better decent sound from an all transistor rig. So am interested in anyone findings with the Masterclass amplifiers with 15" Tannoys?

thanks in anticipation,

graham.

 

meninblack

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I used a Masterclass integrated with Turnberrys. It worked very well, but didn't quite give the richness you can get with valves.

Class A can work very well. I've heard GRF Memories sounding fantastic with a Pioneer A-09.

 

Marvt74

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I had a Masterclass Integrated, the IA4. I've not got Tannoys but Vinnie (bonnieville) came round with his Tannoy Autograph (little things) and they sounded pretty impressive.

 

graham67

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thanks for comments guys, yes i know the little Autographs, their distinctive voicing worked well on my A21 :) .

IMO, I found the A21 to be too lean with current 8" and 10" prestige models. But I never heard it with HPDs which are not as incisive as the Turnberry but are richer sounding. And the clean treble of the masterclass should work very well with the rolled off top end of the HPD.

Based on my memory, I think the Masterclass would sound fuller on HPDs but whether enough is the question. Only one way to find out of course.... :)

Also, does anyone know what the differences between the first Masterclass AA integrated and the IA4 are?

Many thanks,

Graham.

 

meninblack

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Differences between old and new Masterclass integrated are AFAIK cosmetic. I would agree that the Masterclass (IA4) was a little lean with my Turnberrys.

A Pioneer A-09 is both better and cheaper, if you can find one.

 

early

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I briefly tried a Masterclass into my Chatsworths once , it was horid ! .

If your tying to get a " valveish " sound from solid state amps I'd suggest trying something with a mosfet output stage .

 

notevenclose

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Does anyone have any experience with the Sugden Masterclass amplifiers and big Tannoys? I used to own an A21a for 10 years and always enjoyed it - I should not have sold it!
Correct. ;-)

I can't imagine the Masterclass integrated being that great with big Tannoys, it's got a bit more muscle at the bottom end (although it's not particularly 'snappy' or agile) but to my ears loses the midrange magic which makes the a21 (the previous series) so special.

FWIW, I've owned both, and 9 times out of 10 I'd always put my money on the a21 to put more of a grin on your face. But no, I don't think it would be great with big DCs.

Matching solid state to the big Tannoys is tricky, worst I've ever heard was a complete Cyrus-based mono block set-up, best probably with big Classe, the latter not an amp normally on my radar but worked well in this instance.

Tannoy themselves have demonstrated with Sugden, confess I've never been particularly bowled over. I'd say a decent home demo is probably essential.

 

HoopsOnToast

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What about some of the big Japanese Battleship amps like Sony ES or Denon? I have had (numerous) good experiences with the 770ES and PMA-2000AE. A bit easier to find than the Pioneer Mibby mentioned :love: .

 

graham67

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OK, and thanks Phil that is most useful to know. chatsworths are a good reference. and horrible is not a good recommendation!!

I like pioneer amps, having a A300R Precision. But the PD-09 looks like a real statement piece. No expense spared japanese engineering. i will keep my eyes peeled but i suspect it will be as rare as hens teeth in the UK

thanks again,

:)

 

graham67

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Correct. ;-) Matching solid state to the big Tannoys is tricky, worst I've ever heard was a complete Cyrus-based mono block set-up, best probably with big Classe, the latter not an amp normally on my radar but worked well in this instance.
thanks miles. good feed back there. my current setup is hybrid, solid state quad with valve pre. It actually sounds really good, the pre injecting some valve magic but the quad able to control with bottom end which my leben was not able to, sounding too loose (it was glorious everywhere else though!). so it could be I have to stick with valves for a while.....

You could always try Luxman Graham, Hans of the Tannoy MG site is a big fan though I think the vintage models mainly.
thanks Dave, didnt think of Luxman. thanks for the suggestion.

Graham

 

nozy

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anyone any thoughts which interconnects suit sugden a21a, i have sugden cd 21 and proacs studio 150, have nordost red dawn

which nocks the warmth out of it, and also have van dan hul the fisrt but i find it a bit dull( bland and dull ,not van den hull lol)

 

JimR

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Hi Graham,

Can't help I'm afraid, but I'm interested in this thread.

I currently run valves into a pair of DCs and I too wonder if there is a solid state alternative that would sound as good. I've always fancied trying an A21SE but have yet to get the chance.

The only thing I know for sure is that mid-range Naims don't cut it! (Oh, the wasted years!)

I should be inteested to hear of any success you have.

Jim.

 

simonms

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Hi Graham,Can't help I'm afraid, but I'm interested in this thread.

I currently run valves into a pair of DCs and I too wonder if there is a solid state alternative that would sound as good. I've always fancied trying an A21SE but have yet to get the chance.

The only thing I know for sure is that mid-range Naims don't cut it! (Oh, the wasted years!)

I should be inteested to hear of any success you have.

Jim.
Hi Jim,

There is a fellow who wrote a paper on the improvements he made to his original Westminsters, lives in Bournemouth I think who uses newer Meridian amps with his. I have never heard this combination but worth looking at.

http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/UPGRADING-TANNOY-WESTMINSTER-ROYAL-LOUDSPEAKERS.pdf

Si.

 

Thetiminator

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If you're looking for a solid state I'd recommend Electrocompaniet. In my experience they have a valve like sound but with tonnes of current which handles the bass with an iron grip. The AW180's are sublime for the money......c.£2k a pair 2nd hand. Then later down the line you could add another pair if you wish. The flagship Nemo's are essentially 2 bridged AW180's.

 

graham67

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anyone any thoughts which interconnects suit sugden a21a, i have sugden cd 21 and proacs studio 150, have nordost red dawn which nocks the warmth out of it, and also have van dan hul the fisrt but i find it a bit dull( bland and dull ,not van den hull lol)
Hi Nozy,

i can as i actually asked Patrick at Sugden this very question when i bought my Sugden A21 and CD21 many many years ago. And he recommended Townshend Isolda speaker cable and DCT300 interconnects, which they also used in their show demos at the time.

I duly bought some and found the Townshend works brilliantly with these two components as does their Isolda speaker cable.

The DCT300 is so far ahead of Van den Hul The First which I also owned that I predict you will be impressed. It retains any system warmth but not by smudging things over, as it is a very revealing cable.

I highly recommend Townshend cable and in fact i still use these same cables nowadays, finding it rich, detailed and with a great soundstage. Only my old tannoy DCs seem not to like the speaker cable, it must be something to do with the high capacitance. Every other speaker I have owned has worked brilliantly with Isolda. It also works well with Pro-acs including SC1s and Response D1 and D2.

If Townshend is too exxy, another good IC for this pair is Kimbre Timbre, but the Townshend is better.

All the best,

Graham.

Graham

 

nozy

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many many thx,i have also been thinking of kimber,so i guess this is fate lol. i us chord odyssey2 as present cable.my next move following 7 years with sugden,may be-

[h=4]Musical Fidelity A1008 integrated amplifier[/h]musical fidelity cd -a55 and pmc 0b1,unsure though if the price will make much diferrance to good old sugden,but do miss having a volume remote control.

again thanks for the help!!!

 

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