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    VTA ST-120 with Maggie 1.7i

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    ImFritz

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    Post by ImFritz on Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:16 pm

    Anyone have comments on this match up? Im going down to Audio Dimensions and bring the amp for a demo tomorrow for a test drive.
    Bob Latino
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    Post by Bob Latino on Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:29 pm

    ImFritz wrote:Anyone have comments on this match up? Im going down to Audio Dimensions and bring the amp for a demo tomorrow for a test drive.

    Hi Fritz,

    I personally have used my own ST-120 to drive 86 dB efficient Magnepan 1.6 speakers. It drives them fine with no issues. Since the 1.7i speakers are also 86 dB efficient (relatively low), the ST-120 will not drive them to high volume levels in larger rooms. The three things you should consider when figuring whether the power of an amp will have enough volume for you in your music system are listed below.

    1. The speaker's efficiency
    2. The size of your room
    3. The type of music you play

    That being said > The pentode ultralinear output circuit as found on all the VTA amps, IMHO, is the best type of TUBE output circuit for driving complex loads. There are many VTA amps out there driving planar magnetic, electrostatic and hybrid (cone/electrostatic) speakers like certain Martin Logan speakers without any issues reported to me. Many VTA amps are also used "as the top end amp" in numerous biamp and triamp configurations.

    When you do your test drive, understand that you won't get ear splitting volume like a 200 WPC solid state amp but the ST-120 should soundstage better and acoustic instruments and vocalists should have a more realistic sound than most solid state amps.

    Bob
    pedrocols
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    Post by pedrocols on Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:46 pm

    I currently drive my 1.7s and have also powered my mg12s with the m125s. I prefer the ultralinear with the 1.7s and the triode mode with the mg12s. I think you will be satisfy, Please report back!
    jsl1234
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    Post by jsl1234 on Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:50 am

    Hi, I had a less than a satisfactory result using my VTA 120 with Maggies .7.

    Per Bob, I'm sure it had ALL to do with how well they could be driven at higher than very moderate volume levels (where I often listen). They just lacked dynamic umph when driving anything but jazz and classical that emphasized solo instruments, voices, etc..

    Nothing wrong with the combo for some, just didn't work for me so I moved the Maggies downstairs to my home theater room where they are now driven by a 400wpc D-Sonic SS amp.
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    ImFritz

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    Post by ImFritz on Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:47 am

    Thanks for the response guys.
    Well I made the trip to (audio dimensions.com) with my gorgeous little (Heavy for its size) VTA st-120 in tow. Its a small Hi-end shop. First off the salesman there (Jay) was a really good guy to talk with. Its always nice to speak with someone that still has a passion for what he's been doing for a long time. After waiting for a little bit with other customers we wired up my st-120 with I think was a audio research preamp and a Fancy Dancy cd player. (The cables were Kimber Kable 8tc. Side note is that years ago my dad gave me a set that I had collecting dust.) I have been using bluejean 12 ga that I terminated cause I prewired the walls with it when I remodeled the basement to hide the wiring.
    I asked him what a 15 ft pair would cost and he told me 775.00!!!  Shocked
    I had no idea they cost that much now. I don't know what my father paid for them years ago but THANKS DAD. Very Happy Just for the fact that they cost that much I re-terminated them and now ill look at them laying on the floor back in use. I was a little surprised that he didn't know of the VTA Dynaco
    ST-120. After we had it wired up to the Maggie 1.7i he put in his test demo cd. (Burmester art for the ear). Man I've got to get those sound tracks. All I can say is it exceeded my expectations.
    After the first two tracks I was sold on the Maggie 1.7i's. After we listened for a little bit Jay the salesman kept walking up to the amp and staring at it. LOL. Imaging, depth, and the definition was in my opinion incredible. Just to clarify I'm not looking for chest pounding air to hit me in the face.
    For 2200.00 bucks he can have my money What a Face  One thing I did ask him to do was bypass the pre-amp so I could more closely match my system and we used the attenuator on the amp. Everything was still there. I think he was a little shocked cause after the second track I told him to go back and get me a set. Unfortunately I've got to wait two weeks for him to order them. No problem I told him.
    It will give me some time to research and mull it over more.
    As we were listening an older couple came in looking for an entire 2 channel system. He sat them down behind me for a demo with my amp. Guess he liked it.
    Again thanks guys.
    Fritz
    jsl1234
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    Post by jsl1234 on Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:02 am

    Glad it worked out for you. I admit to listening to my setup way louder than I should, so I'm not at all surprised the demo exceeded your expectations.

    I also want to emphasize -- I love  the way the VTA 120 sounds; it's my go-to system 95% of the time. I just found traditional high-efficiency monitors worked better for me in my small odd shaped room (this also may have been a factor with the VTA/Maggie .7 setup--the Maggies were not well positioned in the room due to size/shape constraints).

    BTW: I run my setup without a traditional preamp (DAC with volume control straight into the VTA120). Works fantastic since I only run digital sources.  Lastly, and totally not on point, I grew up in Oak Park MI, virtually next door to audio dimensions
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    ImFritz

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    Post by ImFritz on Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:04 pm

    jsl1234,
    Then you know where I live. Redford, Livonia area. I recently bought the Schitt Bifrost multibit DAC
    and Im pretty much streaming all my content as well. I've been toying with the idea to get into some vinyl but thats down the road. For now the Schitt is the shit. Also maybe the VTA sp-14 and build it myself for the fun of it.
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    ImFritz

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    Post by ImFritz on Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:16 pm

    Peter W.
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    Post by Peter W. on Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:02 am

    Very briefly, I tried to run MGIIIs from a Scott LK150 (75 wpc, 2 x KT88 per) in a room 17 x 22 x 10 (feet). It was dismal. Back to the brute-force SS amp.

    I am sure it would have been fine in a smaller room. Yes, I favor substantial (but not overwhelming) volume, and mostly orchestral sources.
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    ImFritz

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    Post by ImFritz on Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:23 pm

    Thanks for the feed back Peter. Guess ill find out as Ive got them on order now Smile
    Ive always got the emo xpa-5 to biamp them with and the outlaw 5000. I really prefer the tube sound though. The vta st-120 didn't seem to have a problem pushing them at the dealer. My room is in the basement that Ive recently refinished from the studs up. Its approx. 18 x 20 with low ceiling about 7 feet.
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    Jedidiah

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    Post by Jedidiah on Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:10 pm

    i know it isn't apples to apples but it for sure isn't apples to oranges.
    But i love my M125's + SP14 + modified Magnepan 3.6's . I'm glad to hear you were able to test the maggies out at A/D.

    and yes having owned a number of Emotiva items including the XPR-1's your ST-120 will sound way better in my opinion.

    update the thread after you take delivery and give them a go in your room.
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    ImFritz

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    Post by ImFritz on Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:12 pm

    Jedidiah wrote:i know it isn't apples to apples but it for sure isn't apples to oranges.
    But i love my M125's + SP14 + modified Magnepan 3.6's . I'm glad to hear you were able to test the maggies out at A/D.

    and yes having owned a number of Emotiva items including the XPR-1's your ST-120 will sound way better in my opinion.

    update the thread after you take delivery and give them a go in your room.

    Jedidiah,
    When you say modified your Magnepan 3.6's can you elaborate as to what you did to them? and why?
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    Jedidiah

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    Post by Jedidiah on Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:15 pm

    Why? ... Why Not.
    The stands have always been an upgrade point for maggies. So i built new stands that has a large slab of granite as the base to keep them planted, and to hold the crossover.

    Also the crossovers were who knows how old and rinky dink OE. So i built custom crossovers from Peter Gunn's design.
    No affiliation
    http://www.indiespinzone.com/magnestand.html

    For my 3.6's it was night and day difference.
    VTA ST-120 with Maggie 1.7i IMG-1885
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    ImFritz

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    Post by ImFritz on Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:15 pm

    Probably the best answer I've heard concerning upgrading crossovers! Cool Cool
    Because you can and that's what you want to do!!! Looks great.
    corndog71
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    Post by corndog71 on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:18 pm

    Most commercial speaker crossovers are pretty poor and use cheap parts. You’d be surprised what different parts even with the same values can do.
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    Post by deepee99 on Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:12 pm

    My two bits' worth, hard-earned from experience: If you're going to drive Maggies with tubes, get a powered subwoof and a high-pass filter the diverts the bass from the amps to the speaks and directs them to the woof. Then the amp(s) can work their magic on the mid- and high frequencies where the Maggies dance best.

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