Non headphone system.
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acidtripwow

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I'm looking to put together a non-headphone based system using a tube amp and speakers and I'm looking for some suggestions. Are the ASL amps good for this purpose? I just read a favorable review on the ASL Tulip that was in Listener magazine. How about Jolida amps? I just saw somebody selling a Jolida SJ-502A amp for $650. Has anybody ever heard this amp. How are the Loth speakers? I heard that they are a good match for tube amps. My budget is about $2000 for both the amp and speakers.
 
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smokey

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Acid -

You probably already know this, but look at www.audioreview.com. They have 24 reviews listed for the Jolida SJ-502A, with a 4.88 out of 5 average rating. I personally have heard an anecdotal story or two regarding unreliability of the Jolida stuff, but take that with a small grain of salt.

ASL stuff has an excellent reputation. Hard to go wrong there, if you don't want to spend many kilobucks. On the other hand you could look for used Cary stuff, like the SLI-80, which I have. You can find these around $1,300 to $1,500 if you're patient.

As far as low cost speakers go, you have many choices. The most popular are mini-monitors by folks like Coincident and Soliloquy (sp?). One interesting choice might be the Cicada from Moth Audio. www.mothaudio.com. These are full upright speakers using a single driver. Advantages include 94db efficiency, and 12 ohm impedence, which most tube amps really like. Especially nice is that they "only" cost $695 new. They also have one in their garage sale section going for $549.

Hope this helps.
 
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TimSchirmer

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If it were me, I'd go with Moth Cicada speakers...their site is here... http://www.mothaudio.com/
(about 700$)

Or, you could go with norh 6.1's which run from 600-900$

As for the amp, I'd either use a bottlehead foreplay connected to paramours (about 500$ total...the best you can get for the price IMO, but you have to be able to use a soldering iron)

If you don't want to build your own amps, you could go with ASL wave 8's, and a twin head as your preamp (muahahaha...use your main setup as an excuse to get a kickass headphone amp/preamp) this amp combo would cost about 1450$...but you would have to spend a bit less on your speakers...hell, if you wanted to spend less, you could get any good tube amp with a headphone jack...melos sha-1, microzotl...almost anything. I know the melos will make the best preamp though. I have not heard the twin head myself, but I bet it sounds pretty sweet.

Alternatively, you could go with an integrated amplifier (much more convient if you don't have space) ...there are many great integrateds out there...but I think you would like the ones of a tube flavour...here are my recommendations:

ASL AQ1001 DT (1100$)
McIntosh MA1500 (about 400 used) good deal!

I have not heard the jolida that you mentioned, but it looks like a good deal, go for it. Whatever you end up with in the end, I'll be envious, just because mine will probabally never be up to that level. (I spend waaaay too much on sealed vinyl...it's a bad habit)
 
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TimSchirmer

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one more thing, I would go to the bookstore and pick up a book called "the complete guide to high-end audio" I am reading it right now, and it is quite a usefull tool. It helps you to decide which component is the weakest link in your system, and how to get the most sonic improvement for your budget. Believe it or not, I read their turntable chapter, and was able to tweak my CEC's tonearm by adjusting the anti skate, and now my turntable has almost no noise. I think it is worth the 30$ for the hundreds of dollars you can save.

Another good idea might be to get a tube phono preamp. I havn't reasearched those though.
 
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Calanctus

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I'll second the recommendation for the book (Complete Guide to High End Audio). Robert Harley writes well and the book has really helped me in picking out my stuff.
 
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kelly

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acid
Have you seen the Jolida amp that Dan Wright has contributed to? I don't know much about Jolida on the whole but took interest only because Dan (and Jena Labs) did. It's at a good price but being a tube amp, you still want somewhat efficient speakers--unfortunately my taste in speakers don't seem to guide me toward the efficient ones.
 
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TimSchirmer

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those moth speakers are pretty efficient....and they sound incredible
 
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Tuberoller

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Acid,

I have never been able to get a very good audition with any of the small single driver speakers.Celestial Sound in Evanston has a large selection of LothX speakers and speakers built with the LothX drivers.I attended a meeting of the Chicago Audio Society and got to hear the Amaze and one of the horns.I also got to hear them at CES in Las Vegas back in January.I was not that impressed.They did sound good but most were not able to fill a large room.They also have a small "sweetspot" which was evident as I was able to move to an area in the center of the room at the meeting and the sounds improved dramatically.These speakers also lack low frequency bass extension.

I really like the ASL AQ1003DT and AQ1001DT integrated amps.I have auditioned them both and they are very worthy of consideration.If you can get the Jolida for that price do so,They are not bad amps.I also have a set of those ASL WAV8 amps and they are not bad for what you pay.I'll tell you this, you ain't never, ever gonna find a Cary SLI80 for $1500.00 if you do I'll pay you a $300.00 finder's fee, cause dealer cost is more than that.

I love the Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 speakers,they are efficient enough to be driven by mid-powered (20 amps or so) tube amps and have a great sound.They make big bass with the ASL Wav 8 amps I have connected to them and bring out the midrange sweetness of the ASL amps.The PSB Alpha A/V have always been giant killers and sound amazing as well.They are now discontinued but easy to find at cloesout prices.I'm trying to mention gear that I know you will be able to audition in the area so you won't have to be shipping stuff like speakers and amps all over the country,or world, trying to find the good stuff.I also like the B&W 602 and 603.These are a little harder to drive and need an amp that is capable of 40 watts or so but they sound great.


I know you are not trying to assemble an earth-shaking system so my recommendations are considerate of that fact.
 
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smokey

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Tuberoller,

I am sure you are correct about the price of the SLI-80 new. However, I was talking used prices. Audiogon currently has a number of these units listed, ranging from $2,300 to $1,499. As you would expect the $1,499 unit appears to be sold. I believe that I saw some cheaper than this listed a few months ago. But as Dennis Miller says, "I could be wrong."

They also list some used AES/Cary Superamps for reasonable money. These have gotten some good press, and if you're handy with a soldering iron, come new in kit form, for cheaper money.

Except for speakers, I tend to like to buy my electronics used. If that makes me a bottom feeder, well... However, I think I get better value for my money that way, since I'm not a rich guy.

If it means anything, I paid about $1,600 for my used SLI-80 about a year ago. I haven't had a moments problem. In fact I'm just now looking to tube roll, and expect to have fun well into the future.
 
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Tuberoller

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Used is ALWAYS the way to go.You will find no bigger advocate of used gear than myself(maybe Acid).I have yet to see a Cary sell that cheap but if you have it in your hands then I'm wrong.Most modern tube amps are not holding up in value well at all and used will be they way to go for sometime.There are more amps than there are audiophiles and guys like me that have a house and shop and garage and office and basement full of gear are always looking for the deals.
 
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acidtripwow

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Thanks for everyone's input. I may see if that Jolida is still available. This weekend may be good to go out to some audio stores and check what they got. I did see that there is a dealer for the Cicada from Moth Audio here in Chicago so I may go audition them since they are pretty cheap.
 
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pigmode

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Be sure to search Audio Asylum to get a perspective on reliability issues with Jolida tube amps.

What kind of sound are you looking for, for what kind of music?
 
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acidtripwow

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I'm looking for a wamer tube sound but not so warm that the setup would only work with one type of music. I want it to sound smooth with female vocals but could be more dynamic at times. I want it to be like my RKV amp which can handle all types of music.
 
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kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by acidtripwow
I'm looking for a wamer tube sound but not so warm that the setup would only work with one type of music. I want it to sound smooth with female vocals but could be more dynamic at times. I want it to be like my RKV amp which can handle all types of music.


Too bad you can't fit these in the budget:
http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...ube&1032278058
 
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