Amplifier Pairing with Coherent 15s

Hello all,

About to finalize an order for a pair of Coherent 15s (yay!) and now I'm starting to look at possibilities for amplification for them. Since they are very efficient (I believe 106db efficiency), they can work well with flea amps+, so there's a wide range of possibilities.

I have a few criteria though: I would prefer an integrated amplifier vs separates/mono blocks, both for cost and space reasons, so something like AirTight is out (plus, a bit too expensive anyway). Looking around the $10k range at the higher end.

I don't listen to things super loud, and tend to prefer tube amplification. Music tends to lean majority Jazz, with some other things throw in here and there, but Jazz is the most important genre to get right.

Frank (from Coherent) recommended a couple -

Tektron Two 2A3/50S-i
Mastersound Compact 300B

Some others I've looked into:

Tektron Two 211-i
LTA ZOTL Ultralinear Integrated

I do have a few concerns with hand-crafted, more 'custom' made amps, especially by manufacturers overseas (I'm in the US) - mainly inability to demo them and ease of service/warranty. They also tend to be more difficult to sell in the case of deciding to go a different route, though this is of a lesser concern.

Anyone have any experience with any of these, have any other suggestions to explore, or any other comments?



@bjesien Not quite. I ended up asking for them to be held until early January to ship as it was getting into a time crunch before I was out of town for the holidays. I was supposed to receive them last week (they've been in the shipping process for a bit now), but the winter weather that swept across the US last week delayed it for some days. They're currently in a warehouse about 30 minutes from me waiting on last mile delivery appointment - should get that call on Monday.

A bit down to the wire - I go out of town on business for three weeks this upcoming Wednesday - though no fault of Frank. The weather threw a wrench in delivery.

I'll likely get them and get them set up the night before I leave for some weeks, so it will likely be after I get back before I can really enjoy them. The good news is, I received my amplifier and pre-amplifier from Aric earlier last week and have them set up. So, the speakers are the final piece to the puzzle now. The anticipation is killing me!!

@bjesien Just wanted to chime back in here since you asked - I have some notes on my thoughts on the speakers on my system page.

Just a very quick summary though: I love the speakers, and the combo with the Aric 2a3 and linestage is wonderful.

Hi @mmcgill829 ,

My congratulations.

In any case new speakers need a long break in to sound their best. I liked model 18 at Montreal audio fest a lot. It is very interesting to listen these speakers at home. In any case I don’t have a budget for new speakers. So I will stay with my old Altecs 604E. I just finished my DIY 300B SET project. I have a good first impression from this amplifier. After 50 hours the sounds is changing all the time. I am watching when break in will be finished.


@alexberger Thanks! Yeah, they will only sound better as they break in more. They were finished in early December, but because of holiday travel, Frank held onto them and started breaking them in over the holidays before sending them to me in mid-January. Gave him plenty of time to tweak them if needed too.

I've probably listened about 20 hours in the past 10 days or so since getting back from my long work trip and they keep getting better!

The 300b amp looks interesting! It's possible at some point I may pick up a 300b amp just to compare and contrast, but not anything I want to think about right now. Need to recover after a very expensive year in 2023!

Hi @mmcgill829 

With model 18 2a3 has enough power if you listening room is not huge. 

300b amplifier is not better vs 2a3 but more chalanging to make it sound good. Because 300b is much more difficult to drive. If you don't need extra power 2a3 is better solution.