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August 18, 2019, 06:17:49 AM

Author Topic: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS  (Read 7273 times)

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Offline coca

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ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« on: March 09, 2012, 01:52:56 PM »
I Have ordered a Quickie kit recently, and my next purchase will be a Paramount kit later this year. I have a question though, and was not sure whether to post it under Speakers or the Paramount 300B. However, here goes.
I have seen it written that a single ended triode amp such as the Paramount, will not perform well with Electrostatic speakers, such as my QUAD 57's. Can anyone comment on this?
This will not prevent me from purchasing the Paramounts if this is true; It just means I will have to aquire a dynamic pair of speakers to mate with them.

Bernie.

Offline porcupunctis

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 02:09:27 PM »
The only thing I've ever heard regarding electrostats and SET amps had to do with the fact that many of these have a lower sensitivity and may not produce the volume that you desire.  Maybe someone knows of some other issue but I cannot imagine there would be.

I would say try them out before you change speakers.  My in-wall living room speakers are only 89db and I've driven them as loud as I would ever want for sustained listening with a SEX amp at only 2wpc.

I sold my Marten-logans before I got into Bottlehead gear so I cannot speak with any real first-hand knowledge but I would bet that they would be a killer combination as long as your not needing rock concert level sound.

Randall Massey
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Offline Grainger49

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 02:29:52 PM »
Electrostatic speakers work off of the voltage swing an amplifier puts out.  Dynamic, cone, speakers work off of the current supplied by the amp.  That is why tube amps have transformers to drop the voltage and boost the current capability.

If you could hook the Quads to the plate circuit you would be better off.  Now that swings some voltage!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 06:00:14 AM by Grainger49 »

Offline AudioDave

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 04:01:35 AM »
This doesn't exactly address your question but in my second system I am using a Dynaco ST-70 amp and Foreplay III with my Martin Logans and have plenty of volume for the room it is in.  Sounds very nice to my ears.
Dave   

Offline Roger

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 05:42:18 AM »
Some electrostatic speakers have a very low impedance at some frequencies. However, I don't know your speakers, so I can not comment about the result. Try.
Roger
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VPI Classic (record player), Trigon advance (RIAA), Electrocompaniet EMC1-up (CD-player), BorderPatrol (line), Paramount v1.1 2A3 (power), Avantgarde Acoustics Duo Grosso (speakers)

Offline coca

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 02:08:59 PM »
Thanks guys! No, I wouldn't part with my Quads. However, they are not the most sensitive speakers in the world, so I am expecting that I will have to use a different pair of speakers with the paramounts.
I came across a pair of Bellklipsch speakers today that are in really great shape. Of course, I am very very tempted.

Bernie.

Offline Paully

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 02:47:04 PM »
Might search the archives at the SET asylum.  This topic has been discussed there.

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/set/bbs.html


Offline earwaxxer

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 04:13:54 PM »
coca - I can relate a bit to what you may be trying to do. I had been driving my 86db maggies with a 30wpc t-amp for some years. I really liked it! With the Quickie it was even better. What the Quickie made me realized though was the potential of my speakers was not being utilized. The Quickie has great drive, especially with with 45V and modded caps etc. It pushed my little 't' to the max- in  a good way! For me, it made me want more power for my pans, not less. I think it depends on what you want, but bass response (in plannars) requires large sums of power. Horns and sensitive cones would be another animal.
Eric
Emotiva XPA-2, Magnepan MMG (mod), Quickie (mod), JRiver, Wyrd4sound uLink, Schiit Gungnir, JPS Digital power cord, MIT power cord, JPS Labs ultraconductor wire throughout, HSU sub. powered by Crown.

Offline Paul Joppa

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2012, 06:16:58 PM »
Ed Fallon has been running 'stats with Paramounts with surprising success. It shouldn't work nearly as well as it actually does. Always worth trying before making expensive decisions...
Paul Joppa

Offline Jim R.

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 05:07:50 AM »
Bernie,

Not sure how closely this replicates your situation, but I do have a friend who runs his quad 63 monitors with a 2 wat 45 SE amp (with really good iron) and loves the music this pairing makes.  Sorry but I don't know how large his room is and I'm guessing he listens at rmedium levels.

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Offline coca

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 07:25:29 AM »
I think I will eventually order the Paramounts, and If my Quads and the paramounts are not a good match, I will do something re new speakers. However, I will no part with the Quads. I have several amps that work well with them. All are tube amps. I can not, Iwill not part totally with the midrange of the Quads. Thanks again guys, you have all been very helpful.

Bernie.

Offline earwaxxer

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2012, 05:06:59 PM »
coca - I dont blame you! Dont just keep the Quads, have them buried with you when they put you in the ground!
Eric
Emotiva XPA-2, Magnepan MMG (mod), Quickie (mod), JRiver, Wyrd4sound uLink, Schiit Gungnir, JPS Digital power cord, MIT power cord, JPS Labs ultraconductor wire throughout, HSU sub. powered by Crown.

Offline barry robin

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2012, 07:51:42 PM »
sorry about being late to the discussion...

i may be able to help. i run stacked quad esl57s using 35 watt push-pull monoblocks. over the years i've used both dynaco-70s and SETs. the quad 57 pretty much needs a push-pull configuration because of the dips and fluctuations-and the idea of using a rebuilt hot rodded dynaco will fit like a glove, if you like the sound of EL34s. if you have a bigger budget, you can try the manley EL84 version. or how about an old audio research 60?
most of the modern electrostatics handle SET just fine-but on the other hand, the larger ones like martin-logan or soundlab need serious power to run them-which defeats the point of SETs. loosely speaking, the quads can-and will-be turned into fireworks if much more than about 60-100 watts is pumped into them. they were designed to play rather loudly with only 17 watts. no headroom, of course, but 35 watts from a ST-70 will do nicely.

-b   

Offline milosz

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2018, 01:06:19 AM »
The ESL-57 is considered one of the very best speakers ever sold, but won't sound it's best unless paired with an amplifier that can cope with their very low impedance in the treble, and the unusual load they present, which mostly capacitative  reactance. Also, the ESL-57's are notoriously inefficient - my own measurement is 85 dB at 1 meter at 2.83 V drive at 1 kHz - and so the low powered SET amps seem unlikely to produce satisfying listening levels. 2~4 watts doesn't sound like enough unless you like listening at rather subdued levels.

It's hard to find anyone discussing a good experience with SET amps and the ESL-57 on the Internet.  I found that a modern 845- based SET and also a modern 829- based SET - both zero-feedback designs - did not like the ~0.5 ohm impedance of the ESL-57 in the high treble, the result was a VERY dull sound, almost no output above 10 kHz when driven from either the 4- or 8-ohm taps.

There might be SET amps that work well with the ESL-57, but I'm not aware of any reports of such.  If you have access to ESL-57s and a SET amplifier, it's certainly worth a try, but I would not advise spending significant money on a SET unless you know for certain it's a good match with the ESL-57's - or you have a lot of money and just want to give it a try.  It's a safer bet to use the 57's with one of the amplifiers that are widely regarded as good pairings.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 02:04:20 PM by milosz »

Offline Doc B.

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Re: ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS WITH 300B AMPS
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2018, 04:30:39 AM »
I think it's unfortunate that the experience you are relating is about using some form of SE 845 amp with an 8 ohm tap to determine if a SE 300B amp will be suitable. Your graph shows the minimum impedance of the ESL-57 at around 2 ohms. The Kaiju 300B amp has a 2 ohm output tap and I think it would be worth trying.

One also needs to consider power bandwidth. I don't have any definitive recommendations about this w.r.t. Kaiju and the ESL-57.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Bottlehead Corp.