amps for the horns (BD-Design)

by robert @, Sunday, May 10, 2015, 11:16 (986 days ago)

What are your favorite amps for the BD horns?
for me and i try a lot …..i must say and i try a REALY lot of amplifiers.
tubes is the way to go.
Single ended triode is the real thing i have my preferences in sort of triodes also i tried 45,50, 2a3, px25 and 300b and a few more higher power tubes but in general
i find se triode always better then PP or otl and way better then transistor opamp fet and so on
The BD horns work good on any amplifier thats for sure.
but triodes give me the magic.


amps for the horns

by Bert @, Sunday, May 10, 2015, 19:31 (985 days ago) @ robert

The BD horns work good on any amplifier thats for sure.

Indeed... :smile:

but triodes give me the magic.

Yes and mainly because of the extreme low feedback giving more freedom to the sound. I do like that most as well but the problem mostly is lack of control in the bass.

A matter of priorities I guess... :yes:


BD-Design - Only the Best!

amps for the horns

by robert @, Sunday, May 10, 2015, 23:50 (985 days ago) @ Bert
edited by robert, Monday, May 11, 2015, 11:53

Bass don't have to be a problem
I have here a 300b amp that has better bass then a 50 watt opamp amplifier more powerful and better controlled
The 45 is extreme open and christal clear and more direct then any solid state amp yes the 45 is not the biggest in the bass but it is a wonder full tube indeed
Solid-state sounds always slower less dynamics and slower bass and there is always a veil to the music
that you only recognize and not have when you listen to a good se tube amp.
these horns are the best suited speakers for the best amps in the world ,single ended triode .
but 95% maybe more of the speakers can not be used with these amps and its a little compromising to get the best out of the amp and speaker
but not so with these horns it made a match in heaven
feedback and push pull are music and time killers but most of the people have to live with that and don't now better .

Another vote for the 45 SET amps!.............nt

by Kevin @, Minneapolis, Sunday, May 10, 2015, 20:44 (985 days ago) @ robert


amps for the horns

by DeMarko @, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 23:31 (975 days ago) @ robert
edited by DeMarko, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 23:57

I have 5 amplifiers currently to play with:

- Border Patrol S20 EXD - tube, 18 watt per channel, single ended in parallel, 300B. Dual mono, 2 external power supplies. THE BEST

- Border Patrol SE 300B - tube, "entry level" Border Patrol. 9 watt per channel, 1 external power supply. Amazing and my favorite until I heard S20.

- Coincident Frankenstein MK2 - tube, 300B, 8 watts per channel great music. Lacks bass and control compared to BP. Some say this is the best amp in the world, obviously they haven't heard Border Patrol. But for it's price this is indeed one of the very best value for money in high end. Cheapest entry ticket.

- Coincident Dynamo SE EL34 - tube, single ended, not high end with stock tubes. I bought 600-700 worth of tubes for it to see if it can be better. Haven't tested with much better tubes yet. Amazing value for money. Compared to the amps above, it's a pain to listen or enjoy with stock tubes for a long time. I hope tube investment will pay off. Control and bass are very promising even with stock tubes, so has potential. My hope is to make it high end at low price, say as much below $2000 as possible.

- Class D amp - nope compared to the first 3. YES for the money and compared to EL34 amp above. Can't tell more yet, I am too busy enjoying the Border Patrol S20, don't want to test anything after that, I've never heard my system like this, amazing.

I had several more amps in the system.
- Hegel H300 was no match to anything above but better than below.
- Sun Audio EL34 with good tubes was total crap, worse then all of the above. This is an example of cheap and bad tube amp that has beautiful mids but is terrible in everything else, including control, bass, neutrality, high frequencies... oh! just a bad tube amp confirming all the prejudices about tube amps. I bought it thinking Tamura transformers can't be bad or spoiled. Well, fortunately there are some excellent tube amps. I think all tube amp designers should hear top of the line Border Patrol and top of the line Kondo and then decide if they should write their own poetry.
- Aura VA100 (of B&W fame) was not good, basic hi fi. Had better control than Sun Audio but totally liveless compared to it.

amps for the horns

by Don Reid, Rural Northwest Georgia, USA, Sunday, May 31, 2015, 00:14 (965 days ago) @ DeMarko
edited by Don Reid, Sunday, May 31, 2015, 00:18

For a decade or so I used single ended triode amps, Cary Audio 2a3, mono blocks on the Oris 150/AER MD3 and Fostex t900a bullet tweeters of my three way all horn loaded systems. Then I listened to one of Mr. Nelson Pass' First Watt F3 Jfet artisan stereo power amps. The F3s output 10 watts into a 16 ohm load and 15 watts into a 8 ohm load. As I understand it the single gain stage F3 is a single ended class A circuit. At any rate I loved the warm, rich, realistically textured, natural and immediate sound of these solid state amplifiers. I sold the 2a3 mono blocks. I now use a pair of First Watt F3 stereo solid state amps on the Oris 150 and Fostex bullet tweeters. My stereo system sounds better than it ever has before.

If anyone wishes to know more about these amplifiers check out:

amps for the horns

by RobsterD @, UK, Friday, June 05, 2015, 22:09 (959 days ago) @ Don Reid

I have gone through a few amps to find my best combo.
bought and sold the following
Allnic A5000 300B
Audio Projekte CA10
Bel canto S125
Bel canto ref1000
Almarro  A318 B
Audio Note Conqueror silver 300B
Audio Note Vindicator silver 2A3
John Howes PX25
maatamp 45
Fi X3 300B
Welborne DRD45
Welborne DRD 300
Ming Da MC805-A

also tried all these
Allnic  A6000
Yamamoto A0-8S
Lampizator GM70
Bakoon AMP-12R
Audio Note Conquest 300B monos 
ECOFAN Sound 6A3
Digital Do Main B-1A

But for a bit of DIY thought I'd build some mono SIT amps as featured on the DIY Audio forums still using them ,sound is somewhere inbetwwen a good 45 and 300B SET

by far the best valve amp I tried was the Ecofan but got so hot and now unfortunately its designer Murray has sadly passed away

would love to try Thomas Mayer's amps

amps for the horns

by diz1, Friday, June 12, 2015, 21:59 (952 days ago) @ RobsterD

I have 2 that works great for me on the swing horns:
SET base on WE vt 52 tube (I like it more then 45)
SET base on Siemens Da [image][image]

amps for the horns

by robert @, Sunday, June 14, 2015, 15:26 (950 days ago) @ diz1

what is the upper amp diz1?
i use the same driver c3g for one of my 300b's
a very good sounding tube is that !

amps for the horns

by diz1, Sunday, June 14, 2015, 23:59 (950 days ago) @ robert

Audio Collections Lab is "high end" tube amplifier manufacturer in Japan, all parts in their amplifier was special order made one by one, from the wiring inside amp to speaker terminal and RCA plug, they are not commercial grade one. This is special order made one. The previous owner of this amplifier is big fan of Siemens tube, he ordered 2 amplifier using Ed tube and this one, using Da tube as power tube After the two amplifier was done, he found that the sound of Ed tube and Ad tube is similar but Ed tube amplifier has higher power output, 8W to compare with 4W of Ad amplifier, so he decide to sell this amplifier (to me). All tube of amplifier is Siemens ones, Reflect tube is Z2b, drive tube is C3g which is driven by interstage transformer, power tube is Da, All of them are long life tubes (Approximate 15000~20000 hour) . The chassis was made from Japan tradition karin wood. Wire inside is silver with teflon Sound is very beautiful, detail and vivid in high range , sweet and wide sound stage, if you are a fan of 50' tube, 45' tube, this is high recommended one,
[image] [image]

amps for the horns

by robert @, Sunday, June 14, 2015, 15:22 (950 days ago) @ RobsterD

that is an impressive amp list RobsterD!

Second the First Watt

by samoore @, Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 03:53 (878 days ago) @ Don Reid

I am running my Orpheans with a Nelson Pass First Watt F3 and they sound better than they ever did with several tube amps, including a custom 45 SET. I think I have found the perfect amp for the Orpheans.


Second the First Watt

by robert @, Friday, August 28, 2015, 10:37 (876 days ago) @ samoore

Yes the First Watt is an very nice amp
I have them to but i prefere my 300b or 2a3 more
But not all 300b amps i have 2 other 300b's and they sound te slow
And to round in the bass
The 300b i now use ist very tight powerfull and controled in the bass
And acvery open sound.
Amplifiers are very important for a good match

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