Any Antique Sound Labs Tube Amp owners here????

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Brett DiMichele, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Hey Folks,

    In a week or so I am going to order a pair of the Antique
    Sound Labs Wave-20DT's. This is the newer version of the
    original Wave Monoblock. The Wave-20 puts out 20 watts of
    pure class A power and has a better THD and FR than the
    smaller Waves.

    The price I found is $249.00 each and that seems like a real
    bargain to me.. Under $500.00 for a 20 watt stereo pair of
    Monoblocks in pure class A.. And I have heard nothing but
    good about the older Wave's so I would imagine these newer
    models are astounding.

    So what do you think?

    Another option would be the nOrh SE.9 but that's only a 9
    watt integrated (the volume control is nice, but not really
    needed).

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    I wanna try those mono blocks but i'm afraid my speakers aren't efficient enough....plus i've already settled for the C320BEE...with the warm sound from NAD, do you think those tubes are any warmer?
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Khoa,

    These are 20 watts per channel I think that is more than
    enough power to drive even a faily ineficient (say 89Db)
    speaker to high enough levels for music listening.

    I am only going to use these to power my midrange and
    tweeters (AR Recommends 7watt Tube Power) so 20 should give
    me plenty of head room. The 10's in the lower section will
    still be powered by my external Sunfire amp.

    And then when I finally have my 2 channel only speakers
    these amps and the speakers will migrate to thier own room
    and then my 2Ch will be officialy segregated from my HT...

    [​IMG]

    As for "warmth" I have not heard any of NAD's amps so I can
    not make a decisive statement either way.. Lets just say
    the Waves should be very warm [​IMG]
     
  4. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Hi Brett. I am also looking at these amps but I think that I may pull the trigger on the LH-01 ($500.00)remote controlled preamp offered by Diver Tech. I plan to run the LH-01 through my 2-channel bypass on my Sony TAP for 2-channel listening.

    I used to have a Sonic Frontiers Line 1 preamp and loved it. It was one of the biggest mistakes I've made regarding audio. I want to get back into tubes again but I want to take another approach but I do want a remote. I think I'm on to something with the Antique Sound Labs LH-01.

    Keep us posted if you do decided to get the amps and I'll let you know my thoughts on the LH-01.


    [​IMG]
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Martice,

    That looks like a great component as well. I think for now
    I will just use my Reciever to do the source switching and
    gain control and let the amps muscle the speakers around.

    But later on when the 2 channel setup moves into it's own
    room I will need a preamp and I am thinking about going
    with the Symphonies Ultralinear Tube Linestage from YS
    Audio. The thing is well built to say the least with all
    Point to Point wiring (no PCB's) R-Core transformers and
    all audiophile grade components. YS Audio deals directly
    on ebay and the Symphonies goes for about $450.00 if you
    "Buy it now" they ship directly from Hong Kong I believe.

    Shame you got rid of the Sonic Frontiers Preamp I can
    understand why you wish you hadn't.. Sonic Frontiers over
    builds thier components big time! Good stuff (pricey) [​IMG]

    I will let you know how these work.. I am going to order
    them as soon as I hear back from Brooklyn Audio.
     
  6. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Might want to check out htese two reviews if you haven't already
    ASL Wave-8's

    Norh SE9

    Same reviewer and he certainly seems to prefer the Waves.

    Personally, I have not heard the Norh or the Wave-20's, but I have had a chance to hear the Wave-8's on my system.

    They are a very enjoyable listen. Are they the last word in all of the audio adjectives. Heck no! But I could certainly sit and listen to them for hours on end and have a smile on my face at the beginning and the end.
    However I will warn you, do not listen to a better higher cost tube amp, as they may change your viewpoint on the Waves for good, to the point where you just can't live with them because you have heard what more is possible from your gear.

    It happened to my friend who brought the Waves to my house within months he was ordering up a different more expensive amp. We had listened to the Waves first, then plugged my Art Audio Concerto MKII KT-88 tube amp back in, and it was an instantaneous increase in everything by a significant margin.

    So there I warned you if you get them just don't go toting them around and compare them to a lot of other amps, especially more costly designs. Otherwise I am sure they will give you many sessions of joy.
     
  7. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Scott,

    I think it would be fairly pointless to compare the Waves
    to a pair of $4000.00ea Monoblocks.. I realize there is
    better out there. But I don't think there is anything
    better for the price (the nOrh may be a very good
    integrated for the money but I am lookinf for Mono's)

    One thing though, the Wave20's are suposed to be very
    different from the 8's, the specs are far better on the 20
    than they are on the 8. There is less roll off at the low
    end and they play clean to 20Khz, there is less harmonic
    Distorsion than the 8's at full power and at idle. And the
    20's are suposed to use better resistors, capicitors and
    what not, than the 8's.

    But I am still not saying they compare to somehting in the
    thousands of dollars range. I am not willing to spend that
    kind of money right now. I was looking at the Cary Rocket
    88's and they look like a great pair of Mono's but there
    again for 2grand + they had better be phenominal.

    Is there anywhere in the US that you know of where I could
    order these? I found Brooklyn Audio on Audiogon and I don't
    know them from Adam.. Jody from Brooklyn said they could
    have anoter pair in by next week and they would cost me
    $498.00 Duties and Shipping included (from Canada) but like
    I said, I don't know much about Audiogon dealings and I
    don't even know if they can take a CC or not..
     
  8. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    You could email Divergent Technologies for the dealer nearest you.
    Divergent Technologies

    I do know Kevin Deal of Upscale Audio is a dealer.
    www.UpscaleAudio.com
    or here is some more: (cut & pasted from Audio Asylum)
    --------------
    Try Paul Lam at
    P.L.C.Lam Consulting Inc.

    e-mail [email protected]

    He is in Canada, but gives GREAT prices, as well as very responsive to questions and emails.
    --------------
    Give a call to Alan at AudioWaves, 1-800-510-4753. Good prices and free shipping!
    --------------
    Today I called Divertech and ask all the questions I could come up with. They gave me a list of dealers to call. I finally settled on Arizona Tube Audio. Call Dan at 480-921-9961 and talk to him
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Feel like playing devil's advocate with this Brett?
     
  10. glenn.arsenault

    glenn.arsenault Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are looking for an inexpensive little tube amp, look around for a used Golden Tube Audio SE-40. The company is out of business, but the amps were true "diamonds-in-the-rough". 35 watt single-ended-triodes. They show up used on Audiogon for about $450 ususually. The SE versions are even nicer.
     
  11. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Good suggestion glenn.
    Another suggestion would be to save a little longer and wait for the next pair of VTL Tiny Triodes TT-25's to go on sale used. They can be purchased for ~$900 as they did in this ad
    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...ube&1049911391

    Brett I guess my point to the above comparison is that these low-end ASL amps really aren't great amps. Once heard someone say that "Tubes add a rightness to the sound but still a bad tube amp is a bad amp" The Waves are pretty easy to listen to but there is a reason they sell for so little. I would save up for a better ASL amp or keep an eye out on the used market, for something like the VTL's.

    Check out this website for this guys thoughts on the best amps he has tested. He is pretty opionated and hasn't heard everything, but still he speaks very highly of the TT-25's.
    http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Amplifiers.html
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    well they're inexpensive because they're made overseas for starters.
     
  13. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Scott,

    The only thing I can reply with is that these are not the
    Wave8's they are a better amp than the wave8 they use
    better components have better THD and better frequency
    response.

    I am not expecting to get something like a Cary Rocket88
    for under $500.00 but I am not willing to spend anywhere
    near $2000 or more, right now. If I was spending that much
    I would be looking into a transport and DAC which I will
    also need.

    I am sure there are lots of better amps out there but I am
    not willing to spend that much. And I don't feel like
    waiting around and sifting through the web for deals on
    used equipment.

    If there is any reason why I shouldn't buy the Wave20's
    other than "well there are more expensive better sounding
    amps" then I am buying a pair.

    What I want, I can't or won't spend the money on because I
    have other hobbies and other priorities I guess.

    I appreciate all the information both ways but like I said
    unless there is some real reason not to buy these other
    than something more expensive sounding better, I can't
    understand why not to go with them.
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well consider this Brett, insofar as your desire to biamp. You'll be using SS for the bottom end (AR's I take it) and tubes for above. The tubes will have a certain degree of distortion and they'll have a frequency response that's different for every different speaker you throw at them (riding the impedence curve for a speaker). That's due to their relatively high and frequency dependent output impedance. If we call the tube part of this 'euphonic' and the SS part of this linear, you'll be combining two different flavors so to speak. Will it be pleasant? Dunno. That's gonna be a judgement call upon your part.
     
  15. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Chu,

    That is a very good point and I have thought about that.
    Initialy I will be using them on my 9's in a BiAmp config
    with the low end being powered by my Sunfire amp. But I do
    plan on using these with the DIY Line Array's that I am
    going to build from Jon Marsh's design and plans.

    I never considered using tube power to run subs most people
    don't use tubes for low end simply because the power needed
    costs a large fortune. I would need a couple hundred watts
    each just for the subs and I simply can not afford that
    much power to use on the bottom end.

    I think I can make a tube/ss combo work and I think I can
    enjoy it. The only real way is to try it.

    I am not throwing Scott's recommendations aside I do agree
    and appreciate what he is saying. I just don't want to wait
    around and search for a "good deal" on used gear. And I
    think the sound the Waves will make will probably be fine
    for my ears.
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I quite agree that in the end it's your call. Just wanted to be a wee bit contrary. I've been trying to find out which overseas manufacturer they're OEM'ing from 'cause the design is very familiar. I take it you've looked into ability to return and all that.
     
  17. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Chu,

    That is why I am trying to find a US dealer... I emailed
    HighEnd Audio and am awaiting response. Brooklyn Audio in
    Canada is all ready to do the deal but they want me to
    call in with a CC number or do a paypal transaction and I
    don't like to do buisness that way. Plus I don't want to
    have to spend $50.00 in duties to send them back to Canada
    if I have to...
     
  18. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Welp,

    I placed my Pre Order with Kevin at Upscale Audio today.
    He said he hasn't had these in yet (aparently these are
    brand new releases) and as good as the Wave8's are for the
    money he said they should be really neat!

    A little over $500.00 for the pair but I bought them from
    someone I can trust and I know returning them wouldn't be a
    problem if I had issues. I am sure the other place is great
    to do buisness with as well but I did not want to deal with
    the whole customs deal and duty fees if I had to ship them
    back for whatever reason.

    I probably won't have these for a couple of weeks they will
    be shipped directly from Divergent Technologies from what I
    gather.

    I will let you know what I think when I get them!

    Thank you all for the tips and links and information and
    opinions. Very appreciated!
     

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