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Are all valve amplifiers heavy ?


Berkel

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G'day learned friends,

Please excuse my ignorance, but are there any valve ( tube ) amplifiers, which aren't heavy ?

I love the sound of valves and had a couple in the past, but these days, with advancing age and spinal issues, I can't handle the weight.

All the decent ones ( 20 - 40 wpc ) seem to be 20 - 30 Kgs.  Are there any about 10 - 15 Kgs, or is it simply the nature of the beast ?

 

Thanks,

Dennis

 

 

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Short answer, yes Dennis.

 

Certainly, there are tube designs that output in the range of 20-40W/ch if they use a Push-Pull config and power tubes like KT-88 which are very capable tubes with a nice sound.

All this and keeping within you preferred lighter weigh preference in monoblocks (rather than a heavier design in a single stereo amp).

 

Not specifically recommending the amp below, but these Monos weigh net 17kg each and deliver a decent amount of power depending on the tube selected:

 

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649630419-aricaudio-super-kt-push-pull-monoblock-amplifiers/

 

image.png.31c9e6833cf08bfc598c1b793874405c.png

 

 

 

Edited by Silver Audiophile
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Valve power amplifiers need transformers whose size is proportional to their power output and lowest impedance they're designed to drive (except for the extremely rare and relatively inflexible OTL variety). Thus they're always heavy. If they're not heavy there's something wrong.

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On 29/12/2023 at 1:50 PM, Ittaku said:

Valve power amplifiers need transformers whose size is proportional to their power output and lowest impedance they're designed to drive (except for the extremely rare and relatively inflexible OTL variety). Thus they're always heavy. If they're not heavy there's something wrong.

 

... or they are not valve amplifiers. They might have input valves with an transistor output stage. 

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1 minute ago, Keith_W said:

... or they are not valve amplifiers. They might have input valves with an transistor output stage. 

True that, and in fact that may just be what our opening poster is looking for - a hybrid design with some valve romance injected on the input stage and a solid state output stage.

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Ah, Con .... you've struck gold ! Excellent idea. Some years ago, I had an Italian hybrid integrated which was nice. Unfortunately it had a fault, so I traded it for something else, but I did like the character of it's sound.

 

Dennis

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1 minute ago, Berkel said:

Ah, Con .... you've struck gold ! Excellent idea. Some years ago, I had an Italian hybrid integrated which was nice. Unfortunately it had a fault, so I traded it for something else, but I did like the character of it's sound.

Mate has a PS Audio BHK 300 monos. Nice sounding for a hybrid tube/S.S amp. However at close to 40Kg per monoblock (they still need a big torroidal tranny and heavy bilateral metal heat sinks).

Still my 845 SET tube stereo amp has all over the BHKs (sound wise). My amp is around 30Kg. Too heavy.

Best solution, hang out at the local gym, spot a couple of big young fit guys, and offer them a $50 and cartoon of beer. They'd more than obligate to shift heavy amps all over your place.

 

 

 

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My Copland Hybrid is 19Kg, and has valve i/p and SS o/p stage.

It kicks out 85wpc into 8 ohms.

It is an older model but I believe there are now 75, 100, and 150 watt Hybrid in their range these days.

Edited by Batty
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On 29/12/2023 at 10:33 AM, Berkel said:

"Are all valve amplifiers heavy"

 

Are there any about 10 - 15 Kgs, or is it simply the nature of the beast ?

 

Thanks to all who've replied.

Dennis

 

For others that search "Are all valve amplifiers heavy"

 

No, OTL (output transformer less) tube amps are far lighter for the same given wattage like these

 http://www.atma-sphere.com/en/index.html 

But they like even more benign speaker impedance loads than tube amps with output transformers, but if used with that type of speaker will sound better and more accurate (less coloured) for it.

 

Cheers George

Edited by georgehifi
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You have a nominal speaker impedance that might be stated as say 8 ohms, but the reality is that across the frequency range that impedance of the speaker that the amplifier sees will vary going higher and lower than 8 ohms. with peeks and dips.

 

Where it goes lower creates difficulty for the amplifier to control the driver, lower the dip the more difficult the load, so a benign load is where the impedance doesn't dip too much lower than the nominal figure.

 

An 8 ohm nominal speaker that doesn't drop below say 6 ohms at any point across the frequency is pretty benign.

 

Edit: a benign load is good for any tube amp, I'm not sure how benign it needs to be for a OTL amp, and from what I gather OTL amps don't sound like most transformer tube amps so they have a different character, you may or may not like the sound..

Edited by muon*
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19 minutes ago, Berkel said:

Thanks for the replies.

 

How do I find out what my speaker's impedance range is ?

 

Dennis

What are your speakers?

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12 minutes ago, Berkel said:

Monitor Audio Silver RX 6

 

These have a nominal impedance of 6 ohms and around 90dB (IIRC).

Any respectable amplifier of 50 watts p/c will drive them easily, but as with almost all speakers more and better quality power will make major improvements and like nearly all MA speakers they scale very well indeed.

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Thanks. Perhaps you could make a suggestion as to a "suitable " amp for these ?

I have 2 at present. Onkyo A 9030, which is remarkable considering the cost ($300 used ), and 

Rotel A14 Mk.II, ... more refined & detailed, but lacking in warmth and mid bass.

 

I only listen to "classical" music. I also have a REL T3 subbie for pipe organ recordings.

 

My budget is up to $3K on the used market.

 

Thanks,

Dennis

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https://www.stereophile.com/content/monitor-audio-silver-rx6-loudspeaker-measurements
 

this is worth a look. It does suggest using an amp that can handle 4 ohms. If you’re thinking of a valve amp it’s worth checking  if it has 4 & 8 ohm speaker connections. 
 

for that price you could get a new Weston topaz made to your requirements - highly recommended

https://westonacoustics.com.au

 

Edited by buddyev
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