frankmarsi Posted September 26, 2016 Report Share Posted September 26, 2016 "HEAD-ROOM" The thread “Another Amp for AR 3’s” sounds like a needle-point club for seniors. Where's 'owlsplace', did he start knitting yet? But please, don’t get me wrong as I believe what’s correct for one person, may not be for another. But, this is an AR site, not an JBL one. However, progress in the last forty plus years has afforded us the good graces to allow us to hear music more accurately that is sounding more natural and with a higher degree of 'you-are-there' qualty to it. Lower power amps can ‘clip’ mildly and one not even notice it while ruining the realism of the music’s flow and accuracy during play-back. Tube amps have a characteristic about them that smooths out and even cover up a mild degree of clipping and like I said a moment ago one may not even notice it. Whereas when solid-state amplifier clips, you'll notice it but, if it does it's more your fault than the amps. I say forget the clipping and buy into the inescapable reality which is if you want 'real' you buy real, 'real' wattage that is, so you never actually have any clipping. Cause if you do, you're driving it beyond it's operable limits. So, in this case there's such a thing as more is better, watts that is! Check out this amp below, I'd love to have this but, I realize that some of the SAE amps are difficult to work on. Not so much individual electrical components such transistors, diodes, resistors, IC's etc. but, I have learned that their actually construction is pretty involved. Not that I took one apart but Ive seen them on the bench. http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-SAE-P500-PRO-SERIES-POWER-AMPLIFIER-500-WPC-at-8-OHMS-EXCELLENT-EXAMPLE-/282177028799?hash=item41b30fc2bf:g:nkMAAOSwAuZX2cfP I mean why put oneself on a skinny man’s diet when you could load up on all the pasta and protein plus dessert? Once more please, let me be frank, after all, that is my name. This starving diet of low watts compared to high watts makes no sense in light of the fact that AR’s (excuse me, big AR’s desire and actually demand so much more in terms of watts). And to think, here with many lovingly stroking their cabinets to have great finishes and the like to make so perfect, skimping on power seems to be so anti-productive, doesn’t it? It’s like years ago, would you put regular gas in your Caddy or Vette or any high performance car of today? Ditto for musical details, transients and transparency, you simply need high-power for smoothness and effortlessness of sound reproduction. The old big Caddy had a 500C.I. engine for effortless and smoothness whether it was at take-off or running at 65+MPH. AR speakers, excuse me, big AR speakers, need high power to convey all the delicacies of the musical piece, using low power the whole listening experience is struggling to sound realistic. This misconception of, “well it’s enough for my situation”, and stuff like, “my room is small and high power is not the correct for me” or “Not in my stereo system because I only listen at low levels” is actual bull-shit and an act of self denial. In 1974 I was using my AR-3a’s in a 9’ by10’ room powered with my PL-400 and I still felt that more power would afford me more detail and realism. I had worked up from my tubed ‘Dynaco’ ST-35 to a SS ST-120, and when I purchased a PL-400 for that same room, I became- convinced that high power was the key and answer to ultimate musical enjoyment. It’s not only about wattage or how loud the rig can go, it’s the amps ability to present detail thru the speakers, while providing a more realistic amount of bass. This is why I use two PL-700 Series II amplifiers in a 12’ by 25’ room with my four LST’s. The PL-700 Series II can easily put-out over 550+ RMS watts at 4 ohms per-channel. So, I’m listening with 2200 watts RMS at any listening level, playing at whisper levels or making the house fall down is always effortless and more satisfying. This crazy notion I read around here and other sites filled with self-proclaimed ‘know it alls’ and self-professed 'reviewers' about their volume knob set at 9 o’clock or 11 o’clock or 12 o’clock is not any method of measurement by any stretch. Why is that used or spoken of as if it’s a standard method of power? I know most amps start giving forth their power near those positions, but it's not a true method as other matters come into play regardless. Regarding using a tube amp; AR speakers of any size are very inefficient, and that is a well known fact. By their very nature, AR’s present a warm somewhat soft sound rendering across the entire frequency spectrum, coupling them with tubes is only magnifying that aspect. Back in the later sixties and very early seventies in the ‘Golden-Era’ of hi-fi when mostly everyone was still using tube amps like myself, a change was soon coming. In the very early ‘70s when solid state components made their debut those who were inclined to buy SS amps were finally rewarded with a new perception of what a Hi-Fi system was supposed to sound like. That ‘soft’ and muted, that ‘wet blanket over the speaker’ sound was finally gone and AR speakers finally showed what they were really capable of because finally these speakers were being driven with more watts. Hungry little bastards that they are. ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat’, or just a bigger amp in this case. In reality, the more watts one can have, the better music reproduction will approach reality, hands down. No ‘ifs’,’ands’, or ‘buts’ about it. The design of an amp should be able to produce high watts is most important for the sake of being able to reproduce the highest of the highs to the lowest frequency extremes of an actual musical event. It’s not just about volume, it’s clarity, transparency, depth, fluidity and every other HI-Fi requirement that’s calling out for all of us to embrace. You know back in the day we use the term ‘HEAD-ROOM’ which indicated that an amp had the ability to handle those extremes and everything in between, effortlessly with out stress or strain. Call it an envelope in which the amp was able to operate cleanly and not lessen the musical experience. Pul-ease. if you’re not listening to music at realistic levels, or close to it, then just use headphones when you’re in that boogie-woogie mood, probably tripping over the headphone’s wire and falling into the couch or smashing your coffee table and forgetting all those discos and live concerts, and clubs you probably didn’t go to anyway because you have welt on your head from the fall. Let us not forget, "Power to the people and our speakers, right on!”. Many fellows like myself are progressing in age, who doesn't and maybe after us, no more old AR speakers? I suggest listening to music in a realistic way now, or deal with some degree of deafness later on anyway, regretting that when you had a chance to listen to it correctly, ya just didn’t take that chance and pissing in your pants now is easier but, still regretful. I say, go for the realistic sounding music levels now cause tomorrow will probably be a very quiet time, if you’re lucky. Sort of like all of the stupid times I didn’t say anything to a beautiful woman on the subway station or in the street, when I had the chance to, because I stupidly thought I’d see her again when my testicles were more ripe. Thank goodness I spoke with many and I have none of those regrets now! Well, maybe some. To finish here, I’m going to sleep with the thought of maybe purchasing this amp tomorrow. Likely, I may back out but, only because I already have a number of high-power amps. Yes, I still have my 1967 Dyna ST-35 and ST-120 along with a PAS-3X but, I know they could never satisfy me today. They did back then, but not today So look, I am not going to make age a point of contention in this discussion here so, I will not use your youth and inexperience against you. FM Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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