Tube Amp Review Redux

Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweebPosts: 5,967
edited January 2004 in 2 Channel Audio
Catchy title for a thread ain't it?

I’ve finally got my hands on a decent 2-channel tube amp! I purchased an Antique Sound Labs AQ-1002DT form Hoosier21 (AKA Russ). The amp came with 4 new Svetlana KT-88 tubes. I’m using a Dared SL-2000-A tube pre-amp as well.

The amp arrived in perfect condition with all the tubes removed to prevent damage. Russ had even provided a drawing to help identify which tubes went where.

I’ve listened to a variety of music on both the SDA-2b’s and on the Lsi’9s. Both have their strong points and I really liked what I heard from both. The SDA’s sounded a little bit warmer with tubes than they did with my Pioneer Elite M-10x amp. I will say that although the sound is great, the highs seem to be little less detailed with the ASL amp than they were with the PE. There seemed to be a drop in the level of detail that I had heard previously. Mid and lower frequencies were fine with the SDA’s providing and extremely wide sound stage. Imaging (placement of vocals and instruments) was as expected also. Bass notes were not hampered by the fact that this amp only cranks out 50w per channel, the passive radiator really helps with the low end. All in all a great combination!

The Lsi9’s continue to surprise me. Their performance with the ASL amp was nothing short of stunning. I had to play around with the toe-in a bit to get the proper alignment but it was time well spent. Imaging was amazing! Although the sound stage was not as wide as the SDA’s, the detail was better. As with my previous tube amp (aka P.O.S.- DIY) I have give credit to the Vifa tweeter in the 9’s. Every piece of music that I listed to came through clear as a bell without even a hint of harshness or muddy bass. Piano music was reproduced flawlessly, violins didn’t squeal, drumbeats were very distinct, bras and woodwinds were exceptionally sweet! Both male and female vocals were a joy to listen to as well.

I’m going to have to try the ASL with my 15’s one of these days, just to see how they do, but for the time being I’ll switch back and forth between the 9’s and the SDA’s.

Hats off to Russ for selling me a great amp at a fair price!

I'll try to get some pics later.
9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
Post edited by Frank Z on

Comments

  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2004
    Reserved for future pics.

    EDIT
    This didn't quite work....what else is new?!
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2004
    Here's pic of the gear.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2004
    ...and here's the rest of the room.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited January 2004
    Frank,

    Nice review. I know that you are somewhat pessimistic when it comes to wire but I strongly feel that you are at the point here where wire can make some noticeable difference in this system you have set up.

    What kind of interconnects and speaker wire are you using?

    Check out this review for example:

    ATC has a great deal going on in the flea market for some Kimber Wire you might just want to check it out. Trust me! You can always sell it again if you don't think it did anything.

    http://www.audience-av.com/REVIEW_985.pdf
  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited January 2004
    Frank,

    Man, you gotta give those SDA's some room to breathe....
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2004
    Tour,
    It looks a lot worse than it really is. I'd love to have a dedicated 2 channel room, but that's out of the question at this point.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • HBombTooHBombToo Posts: 5,335
    edited January 2004
    Frank that room looks outstanding from what I can see and also passes the WAF I'm sure.

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***
  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited January 2004
    Henry must like that the pillows match the wing chairs... ;)

    Frank,
    Understand that not every room can be an audio haven (though why, I'm just not sure). Mostly commenting on the SDA's proximity to the sidewalls.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2004
    you are correct on both counts H!

    BTW, I do move the 9's out of the way when listening to the SDA's.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2004
    Tour,
    I understand what your saying. Someday I'll finish my basement and perhaps have second room for audio gear. Me and the First Lady will negotiate at length.;)
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • HBombTooHBombToo Posts: 5,335
    edited January 2004
    Tour, I was actually thinking it would be fun to count how many nanoseconds it would take my 3 year old to totally trash the room:p

    my guess is 5:D

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited January 2004
    Great review and set up Frank. Tubes didn't work out with my LSi9 because they didn't get enough juice. But it was awesome on classical and opera. Your 50/ch is plenty. Tube watts is suppose to be more than SS watts. Is that the amp you can set to run on triode operation? Does it really sound better in triode?

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited January 2004
    double post
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited January 2004
    Originally posted by organ
    Is that the amp you can set to run on triode operation?

    No, That was the aforementioned P.O.S that I got off ebay.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
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