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    Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

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    Chestermo

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2010-02-13

    Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by Chestermo on Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:53 pm

    Hey guys,

    New here. I am lusting after some tubes and need some advice.

    My system consists of:

    Hafler IRIS Pre Amp/Tuner/CD Player with Audio Alchemy DTI and DDE 1.0. Stereo subs each powered by a Hafler DH-200 crossed over at 70 Hz. Acoustat Spectra 11s powered by an NAD 2600A. I am thinking of replacing the NAD with an ST-120. The Spectras are only about 85db efficient and drop to around 2 ohms in the higher frequencies. Considering that the 120 would only 'see' 70 Hz and above, would it have enough juice? The NAD is pretty stout and does have to work fairly hard to drive the 11s.

    I listen fairly loudly at times, but not as much as when loud meant good. What say you?

    Thanks,

    Chestermo

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2411
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by Bob Latino on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:03 pm

    Chestermo wrote:Hey guys,

    New here. I am lusting after some tubes and need some advice.

    My system consists of:

    Hafler IRIS Pre Amp/Tuner/CD Player with Audio Alchemy DTI and DDE 1.0. Stereo subs each powered by a Hafler DH-200 crossed over at 70 Hz. Acoustat Spectra 11s powered by an NAD 2600A. I am thinking of replacing the NAD with an ST-120. The Spectras are only about 85db efficient and drop to around 2 ohms in the higher frequencies. Considering that the 120 would only 'see' 70 Hz and above, would it have enough juice? The NAD is pretty stout and does have to work fairly hard to drive the 11s.

    I listen fairly loudly at times, but not as much as when loud meant good. What say you?

    Thanks,

    Chestermo

    Hi,

    If all you are looking for is 70 Hz and above the ST-120 should have enough power to drive your Spectras in an average sized (200 - 250 sq. ft.). Your NAD 2600A is 150 WPC and the ST-120 is 60 WPC but tube watts tend to sound "louder" than solid state watts. When tubes are driven very hard they "distort" gracefully and gradually. When solid state amps distort they do it all at once and give a very hard and grating distortion that is quite noticeable.

    As to the 2 ohms ... I know people that use an ST-120 to drive Martin Logan electrostatic speakers similar to your Acoustat Spectras. The ML speakers are also difficult to drive and do dip down to about 1.5 to 2 ohms at some frequencies.

    Many people use a tube amp for the top end of a good audio system. You will usually notice more "air" in the top end and instruments and vocals will appear more natural. A sax sounds more like a real sax with a tube amp. Vocals are more realistic ..

    Bob

    Chestermo

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2010-02-13

    Re: Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by Chestermo on Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:15 pm

    Bob,

    Thanks for the feedback. My system is in a fairly small room but that could change.

    What is your opinion of using a tube amp with a solid state pre amp? I like the convenience of the Hafler remote system. One remote controls all components. I am not unhappy with the sound of my system, but I haven't upgraded for quite some time. I guess we all get the itch at some point.

    Thanks again.

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2411
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by Bob Latino on Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:50 pm

    Chestermo wrote:Bob,

    Thanks for the feedback. My system is in a fairly small room but that could change.

    What is your opinion of using a tube amp with a solid state pre amp? I like the convenience of the Hafler remote system. One remote controls all components. I am not unhappy with the sound of my system, but I haven't upgraded for quite some time. I guess we all get the itch at some point.

    Thanks again.

    Hi,

    You can use a solid state preamp with the ST-120. Many people do that ... Some even use the pre-outs of an old solid state receiver ..

    Bob

    Jhoman

    Posts : 25
    Join date : 2010-01-03
    Age : 56
    Location : Meridian, MS

    Re: Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by Jhoman on Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:48 am

    I run my ST120 with a Carver C-11, sounds great!

    thevic24

    Posts : 29
    Join date : 2010-01-31

    Re: Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by thevic24 on Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:59 am

    I also run my ST-120 with a Yamaha SS pre amp.

    IMO, its an EXCELLENT combo


    -Vic

    Chestermo

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2010-02-13

    Re: Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by Chestermo on Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:03 pm

    OK, cool. Thanks for all the input everyone.

    I have assembled Hafler DH-110 pre amp and DH-200 kits. (I'm still using the 200 to drive a sub, bought new in 1982.) Is the ST-120 kit doable for me? I looked at the step by step here on the website. I think I could do it.

    Chestermo

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2411
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by Bob Latino on Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:07 am

    Chestermo wrote:OK, cool. Thanks for all the input everyone.

    I have assembled Hafler DH-110 pre amp and DH-200 kits. (I'm still using the 200 to drive a sub, bought new in 1982.) Is the ST-120 kit doable for me? I looked at the step by step here on the website. I think I could do it.

    Chestermo

    Hi,

    People with NO kit building experience at all have built both the ST-70 and the ST-120 kits. Some have never even soldered before. The assembly manual is written for the beginner. If you have built Hafler kits in the past, you can do it ...

    Bob

    Chestermo

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2010-02-13

    Re: Thinking About an ST-120-Questions

    Post by Chestermo on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:37 pm

    Bob,

    I will need to save my coins. I think the 120 is just what I have been looking for.

    LH

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