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Which integrated amp to pair with Klipsch Forte IVs


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I'm just getting back into hifi after being away for many years and need some advice. I started building my system this summer and it now consists of the following:

 

- Cambridge Audio CXN V2 for streaming

- Pontus II DAC

- Klipsch Forte IVs

- Reisong A10 (temporary amp to get me by)

 

No turntable. I stream and have a fairly large FLAC library. My taste in music is Down Tempo, Ambient, Electronic, Trip-Hop and a little Jazz and Rock thrown in. My listening space is an open area that consists of a living room, foyer, dining room and kitchen though my seating position when relaxing and really listening to music is approximately 14 feet from my speakers. The open kitchen/dining room is behind me.  I do not listen at high volumes. 

 

After reading tons of reviews, pouring over the forums and watching youtube content, I've narrowed down my options to these:

 

- A new Luxman L-550axii

- A new Accuphase E-280

- A used Luxman L-590axii (may be overkill but it's not much more than the 550 since it's used.)

- A used Accuphase E-470 (again, may be overkill but the price is good.)

 

Why did I choose these three? Reviews, beauty, reputation and meters (LOL)...love the retro look with meters. 🙂 . They are all between $5800-$7000. I do not plan to add a turntable nor card slot DAC.

 

I know that folks like to recommend other amps/solutions, but I'm sold on these four so hoping to keep the focus to just these. The least expensive are the 280 and 550 with the other two being about $1200 US dollars more (used).

 

Edited by dao
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Nice system so far and good to see you have some decent, high sensitivity speakers.

 

Can you delete the Accuphase’s from the list? Entirely unnecessary with your speakers and why have all that class AB power if you don’t need it. 
 

Just for the hell of it go and listen to a Sugden A21se which you can get for under 5k new and upgrade your streamer with the left over funds.

 

Sorry had to mention something different 😅
 

 

 

 

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Have you had the chance to listen to any of those amps?

 

The Luxman amps come from the same model line up and I've heard the L-590 AXII so I suspect the 550 will sound very similar.  The 590 is a very, very good amp.  Very warm and lush (it also puts out a lot of heat, just as a side note).  It has luxurious vocals and only loses out just a little on fast and hard drums, everything else it does with aplomb.

 

I've heard the E460 Accuphase so I'm going to go with my experience there and hope the 470 is similar.  I would call the Accuphase more smooth than warm, it has a ton of power and excellent finesse but I suspect in the end it will come down to the sound you prefer.

 

If you like warm, go with the Luxman amps, if you like smoother and not quite so warm then the Accuphase is probably for you.  However you should really hear them first before pulling the trigger on one or the other.

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Thanks for the quick advice. Reluctantly, there is nowhere near where I live to audition these amps. I wish there was. The Pass Labs I'm sure is great as I've heard by many, but it nor the Line Magnetic is in the running. The Pass Labs lacks that retro beauty and I've heard it is warmer than the Luxman and Accuphase. For me, looks and meters matters. I just find the Accuphase and Luxman very beautiful. Also, the Line Magnetic is surely great as well, but it is a tube amp. I already have a little tube amp and I didn't mention it, but I have a Willsenton R8 on the way as well. The little A10 will go to a bedroom and the Willsenton will probably go in my office once I decide on which SS amp to get. The Accuphase may be overkill, but who knows, I may not stay with the Klipsch Fortes forever.

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Hi Dao

I'm a Luxman L550ax ii owner 

Mine is connected to a Mark Levinson No 5101 SACD/CD/DAC/Streamer into Spendor D7.2 speakers. We all know that a system is the sum of its parts...but I love the Luxman's sound, slight warmth, detail retrieval and the VU's!! Mine doesn't run that physically warm BTW. Good luck with your final purchase.1978075923_HiFiLuxmanL550AXiiMLNo5101YamahaNP-S303SpendorD7-2ThorensTD3094.thumb.jpg.1006d1feef997fcc30751230142232e0.jpg

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1 hour ago, dao said:

Thanks for the quick advice. Reluctantly, there is nowhere near where I live to audition these amps. I wish there was. The Pass Labs I'm sure is great as I've heard by many, but it nor the Line Magnetic is in the running. The Pass Labs lacks that retro beauty and I've heard it is warmer than the Luxman and Accuphase. For me, looks and meters matters. I just find the Accuphase and Luxman very beautiful. Also, the Line Magnetic is surely great as well, but it is a tube amp. I already have a little tube amp and I didn't mention it, but I have a Willsenton R8 on the way as well. The little A10 will go to a bedroom and the Willsenton will probably go in my office once I decide on which SS amp to get. The Accuphase may be overkill, but who knows, I may not stay with the Klipsch Fortes forever.

Fair enough too. You won't like the Sugden if the Pass Labs is to warm for you. Have you considered an Accuphase Class A amp?

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8 hours ago, Gryffles said:

Fair enough too. You won't like the Sugden if the Pass Labs is to warm for you. Have you considered an Accuphase Class A amp?

I have not due to being out of my set budget. Only considering the higher end E-470 and L-590axii due to those being used thus reduced price.

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For the Forte IV, the following options are very good but probably wont meet your meters and classic looks combo

 

sugden amp (class a integrated) A21se or similar (already mentioned)

tube preamp - couple with class A or similar power amp (even passlabs first watt)

tube preamp - with class D power amp(s)

Integrated tube amp (maybe 300b) - like an Earle Weston

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Demondes said:

For the Forte IV, the following options are very good but probably wont meet your meters and classic looks combo

 

sugden amp (class a integrated) A21se or similar (already mentioned)

tube preamp - couple with class A or similar power amp (even passlabs first watt)

tube preamp - with class D power amp(s)

Integrated tube amp (maybe 300b) - like an Earle Weston

 

 

 

I do appreciate the advice, but yes, I really do have it narrowed down to the Luxman and Accuphase amps. I think I'm going with the new Luxman L-550axii. Solid State Class A into 99dB efficient Klipsch Fortes will probably do the trick. If it doesn't, I'll put it up for sale and try something else. Thanks all.

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  • 6 months later...
On 11/01/2022 at 11:49 PM, dao said:

I do appreciate the advice, but yes, I really do have it narrowed down to the Luxman and Accuphase amps. I think I'm going with the new Luxman L-550axii. Solid State Class A into 99dB efficient Klipsch Fortes will probably do the trick. If it doesn't, I'll put it up for sale and try something else. Thanks all.

 

Howd you like that pairing?

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I'll take a different approach.... just an opinion. 

 

If you don't need analog inputs, I would suggest a digital setup. 

 

Signal chain would be something like: 

Roon Server > Roon end point I.e. Raspberry PI USB or I2s HAT, or something fancy if you will (Use Roon's DSP Volume) > Your DAC > Power amp (Your class of choice).

Roon can then be used to correct frequency response (Which measurements would suggest, would be helpful). 

I suspect you may be gravitating to warm sounding gear. I.e. R2R, Class A etc to correct for these issues. 

 

If you refer to nearfield and in room responses of your Forte's - link below. The speaker has a large 6khz peak right in sibilance territory (Probably an issue you are trying to tame with gear).

This peak is consistent looking @ estimated in room response and actual nearfield response measurements. There's a few other things going on with directivity and linearity @ temperature.  

https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/loudspeakers/klipsch_forte_iv/

 

If you correct for response, I suspect your speakers would have synergy with a boarder range of front end gear & amplifiers.

 

Edited by Grizaudio
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 05/08/2022 at 4:39 AM, Grizaudio said:

I'll take a different approach.... just an opinion. 

 

If you don't need analog inputs, I would suggest a digital setup. 

Not sure how your approach is different. In my original post, you'll see that I'm using a digital setup...Roon core...CXN V2 Streamer...Pontus II DAC...

 

System Update:

 

I ended up purchasing a Willsenton R8 tube amp in EL34 configuration. I've had it since roughly April of this year. In July, I decided to try some tube rolling and purchased the following sets of tubes:

 

    -  Gold Lion KT88s

    -  Gold Lion KT77s

    -  Tung-Sol 6SL7GT Golds

    -  Tung-Sol 6SN7GTBs

    -  Shuguang  CV181-Zs (still in transit)

 

I also just pulled the trigger on a Luxman L-550AX mark II (L-550AXII). It should get to my doorstep around August 22-25. I'm very much looking forward to deciphering the tube rolling and comparing my favorite setup with the Luxman when it arrives.

 

Dao

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