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mistahan
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Super T + PSB Alpha B1

I got a new headphone setup with k701 through E-MU 0404 USB with some headphone amps i borrowed(i haven't decided which one i want to buy). Although I like the headphones better than speakers, I still want a budget speaker sysetm.
I've been doing some reading, and I was thinking of the Super T power amp and PSB Alpha B1 hooked up to my e-mu 0404 USB.

The question is, am I missing something in that chain? and is super T power amp enough for that speaker? There are so many different numbers and I'm confused (especially the watt thing)

ohfourohnine
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Re: Super T + PSB Alpha B1

Can't speak for the quality of that amp, but those nice little speakers are rated at about 90dB. Unless you're planning on filling a pretty large room with sound, you shouldn't have any difficulty driving them. Good choice on the speakers.

Since you haven't already invested in a headphone amp, why not buy a nice integrated with a headphone jack and kill two birds with one stone? I don't know what you might be planning on spending on the headphone amp, but you might wind up with better sound both through speakers and the phones with an integrated in the same budget range. There's a lot of good entry level stuff around today.

mistahan
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Re: Super T + PSB Alpha B1

Could you suggest some integrated amps for me? Something to start my search? I can't seem to find any around #500. Maybe that's too low for integrated amps?

Edited

I've done some more looking, and I found several budget integrated amps NAD and Cambridge are the two I like. (The sub $400 ones) I wanted to know how those would compare to a standalone head amp like firestone cute or anything around $200 for my k701.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Super T + PSB Alpha B1

Having played around with the class T amps I would suggest you can hardly do better - in terms of sound quality for the dollar spent - than one of the various upgraded models with the Tripath chip. As the Super-T review in Stereophile suggests, these amps might not be keeping the folks at Mark Levinson awake at night, but the amps are quite a bit of fun to listen through. That is, assuming you can find speakers friendly to the class T requirements.

High efficiency is the first requirement with a 90dB spec being about the minimum I would suggest for the six real watts the Tripath chip can manage. Asking anything more than those six watts will result in high distortion figures and an aluminum spitball clipping sound from the amp. But those six watts are very good watts and as Nelson Pass likes to say, "It's the first watt that counts", meaning there are plenty of amps that cost far more and get far less right than the T amps manage. High power is irrelevant if the first watt is rotten.

The speakers must maintain a reasonably consistent eight Ohm impedance. Anything above or below that spec changes the sound of the T amps in mostly undesirable ways. If the PSB's measurements suggest a dip below six Ohms, you might want to look a bit more for a better match to the T amp. If the speaker you are considering has a rather difficult electrical phase angle, you again might want to look for a more appropriate speaker match. You should be seeing reviews which indicate the speaker is an "easy load" or "doesn't ask much of mating amplifiers" or similar verbage. I had very decent sound with an old pair of KEF speakers and with the current Insignia BS2111(?) sold at Best Buy for less than $100/pair. There are better speakers to own with the T amps than the Insignia but I was just experimenting with how cheaply the system could go and still be musical.

The T amp does limit you in the future and this might be a consideration for purchasing another amplifier instead of a T amp design. As a rule the T amps have only one input and very little flexibility. You can find reviews of the various makes and models by doing a search on Six Moons, Enjoy The Music, TNT and Stereo Mojo as well as here; http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/47077/209464.html

There are also higher wattage T amps without the restrictions of low wattage that items such as the Super T would impose on your speaker choice.

IMO, the T amps offer very good quality sound for very little cash outlay. But they are not going to suit everyone's needs. Your decision should be based on several issues. Can you audition the products before making a purchase? If not, can you audition the gear with a return policy? Will you require the asistance of a good dealer to get you well along on system set up and how to build a system that has flexibility? Do you have any priorities set for what type of sound you prefer? How loud will you want to listen through this system? Are you wanting a known brand or are you willing to take a chance on a small on line company?

NAD and Cambridge are very well known names in the consumer audio market but there are other lines that many people haven't heard of which offer good sound for not a lot of money. And there is the pre owned market. There are good values on specialty sites such as Audiogon. You can buy a pre owned component and resell in two years without loosing much of your investment, if you choose wisely. What do you think you're looking for?

cyclebrain
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Re: Super T + PSB Alpha B1


Quote:
Could you suggest some integrated amps for me? Something to start my search? I can't seem to find any around #500. Maybe that's too low for integrated amps?

Edited

I've done some more looking, and I found several budget integrated amps NAD and Cambridge are the two I like. (The sub $400 ones) I wanted to know how those would compare to a standalone head amp like firestone cute or anything around $200 for my k701.

Go to audiogon and buy a NAD C372 integrated.
As for speakers, while the PSBs and such are great they will be lacking in low end. Shop audiogon for some floorstanding full range speakers. It might stretch the budget a bit but will provide many hours of enjoyment.

Thor
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Re: Super T + PSB Alpha B1

or try a Sonic T amp from amazon or buy.com for $26 as an experiment.... without the Super infront of it.
Remember that exposure to 90 dB for 8 hours will cause hearing loss, and you may find that 15 watts is enough if you are getting 90 at one watt. You said you wanted budget.
If you look around you may find something like a rear loaded sigma horn used. Or if you hook the T amp to a fostex horn kit you'll have plenty of power.

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