Review: Space-Tech-Lab HP-50 & SE6AS76 Tube amp

Category: Amplifiers

Recently purchased the amplifiers in addition to the QA-113 Space tech labs tube pre amplifier.
This is my first venture into high end gear, and Tubes.
Musical tastes vary, but concentrate on womens vocals, acoustic, live music. Includes Rickie Lee Jones, Cowboy Junkies, Richard Thompson, Martin Sexton. I do not "head bang"
I primarily used RL Jones "Naked Songs", Martin Sexton "Wide Open" and Barry White to test the equipment.
I was looking for an acurate presentation, wide dynamic range, and system that would compliment my Zingali .3s speakers.
I put the entire system into use at the same time, so really can not give much AB comparison data. I did hook up a krell HTS 7.1 and kAV500 for a day to the Zingali's to compare.
I am using the Space-tech equipment in a bi-amped set up, as the Zingali .3s are bi wired.
I did replace the stock power cords with Signal power cords. They have not had time to "burn in" so cannot give info if this affected the sound.
HP-50 hybrid amp for Bass, and SE6AS7G single ended for the horns. Each has output control so I can tonal balance. Seems vital to achieving the right sound. The SE6AS7G has a built in HPF to further concentrate on the high end sound reproduction.
The system was "custom built" and tweaked by Albert to match my budget, music tastes, speakers, and his pre amp.
Strengths are Build quality, adaptability. I requested Black Oak. It is beautiful with the tubes, stainless accents, and my stand.
Weakness. None seen yet, I should have added balanced inputs to the amplifiers. (and may do so at some other time)
The sound, I did listen on an older pair of M&K Sat 1B too, but from just the HP-50. So much of what I am describing is the Space-tech versus the Krell.
The first thing I noticed was openess. The highs were higher and the bass smoother. The Krell pounded a little deeper, but seemed more like I had just hit the "loudness button" on an old receiver. Loud but not acurate. When listening to Rickie Lee Jones Naked Songs, I could hear her miss a few chords and drop her papers, Cannot nearly hear this on the Krell. (Krell/Zingali was not run Bi amped) STL much more revealing. Last Chance Texaco gives me goose bumps on the STL gear. I had forgotten the emotion that a good recording can bring.
Now when I play my poorly recorded discs, I can hear the difference. Before just muddled, and it all sounded the same.
I have also used the STL amps when listening to HT. I was watching Lord of the Rings, and the experience compared to my old Sony HT receiver was captivating and visceral. Fantastic dynamic range. This without a center channel.
I opted in this equipment for lower powered models. The Zingali's are efficient (94) so I did not need more. If money were no object, I might have stepped up to the higher powered offerings (SE-6BG6G-KT88 for the upper end, and hp-150 for the bass)from STL and balanced the amplifiers. I do not feel that I have let the system really burn in yet so I may be able to change this review in 200 more hours. I may tube roll a little in the future to further fine tune the system.
Albert also will upgrade the equipment, The upgrade path is full of options. So you will not see this equipment for sale on Audiogon in the future!
Feel free to E mail if you have any questions

Associated gear
Click to view my Virtual System
hey, another proponent of space-tech! if my threads are still around you'll find i'm in the select group as well. i also posted a review at AA for albert's cheapest preamp and found it truly amazing even at 5x the price. i'm exactly with you on your impressions regarding openness and detail... that's where SPL's really shines. the detail on my cheap $300 space-tech preamp matched my audio research ref-1 (although the ref-1 excelled in all other better have at the price.)

the only reason my entire system isn't space tech is because i have a problem with changing gear (for absolutely no good reason)and resale on these isn't very good simply because not many people know about the brand...yet. albert is great to deal with as well and does accept tradeins when you want to upgrade.

HIGHLY recommended over here. in case anyone lives in B.C. you can go check out his shop for a listen. i know someone who has done just that and raved as well. they especially commented on his dacs which are pretty elaborate. you can find his web address under the manufacturer's button.

congratulations on a great find.

(btw, if you email or speak to him say hi from dennis for me)