amps for the horns (BD-Design)

by DeMarko @, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 23:31 (915 days ago) @ robert
edited by DeMarko, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 23:57

I have 5 amplifiers currently to play with:

- Border Patrol S20 EXD - tube, 18 watt per channel, single ended in parallel, 300B. Dual mono, 2 external power supplies. THE BEST

- Border Patrol SE 300B - tube, "entry level" Border Patrol. 9 watt per channel, 1 external power supply. Amazing and my favorite until I heard S20.

- Coincident Frankenstein MK2 - tube, 300B, 8 watts per channel great music. Lacks bass and control compared to BP. Some say this is the best amp in the world, obviously they haven't heard Border Patrol. But for it's price this is indeed one of the very best value for money in high end. Cheapest entry ticket.

- Coincident Dynamo SE EL34 - tube, single ended, not high end with stock tubes. I bought 600-700 worth of tubes for it to see if it can be better. Haven't tested with much better tubes yet. Amazing value for money. Compared to the amps above, it's a pain to listen or enjoy with stock tubes for a long time. I hope tube investment will pay off. Control and bass are very promising even with stock tubes, so has potential. My hope is to make it high end at low price, say as much below $2000 as possible.

- Class D amp - nope compared to the first 3. YES for the money and compared to EL34 amp above. Can't tell more yet, I am too busy enjoying the Border Patrol S20, don't want to test anything after that, I've never heard my system like this, amazing.

I had several more amps in the system.
- Hegel H300 was no match to anything above but better than below.
- Sun Audio EL34 with good tubes was total crap, worse then all of the above. This is an example of cheap and bad tube amp that has beautiful mids but is terrible in everything else, including control, bass, neutrality, high frequencies... oh! just a bad tube amp confirming all the prejudices about tube amps. I bought it thinking Tamura transformers can't be bad or spoiled. Well, fortunately there are some excellent tube amps. I think all tube amp designers should hear top of the line Border Patrol and top of the line Kondo and then decide if they should write their own poetry.
- Aura VA100 (of B&W fame) was not good, basic hi fi. Had better control than Sun Audio but totally liveless compared to it.


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