Solid State Low powered Amplifiers

My quest is to find a SS low powered amplifier to use in the Summer months, in place of Tube and Class A amplification … I have Klipsch Cornwall 4s and limited AC in my hot TN listening room for 4-5 months. I know it will be hard to match the sound I get from tube and Class A …on a solid-state amp and I am wondering if I’m looking in the right place for a “10 W per channel” solid-state amplifier which I don’t even know if they make. The Cornwall speakers are 102 DB sensitivity.

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xmoose89

Lower DF implies higher output imp.  Does lowering output imp. make it sound better as you said earlier or the other way around?  Did you notice you are conflicting with yourself? 

BTW, lower output impedance does not make the power amp sound more musical.  Where did you get the idea from?

With that low Output Impedance, I expect it to be very musical




599 posts

Lower DF implies higher output imp. Does lowering output imp. make it sound better as you said earlier or the other way around? Did you notice you are conflicting with yourself?

BTW, lower output impedance does not make the power amp sound more musical. Where did you get the idea from?

If I misspoke and said "low" vs "high" output impedance... whatever the case. I have experienced lower damping factor / lower overall negative feedback correlating to more musicality. Where did I get the idea from? I own all Ayre Acoustics equipment... "Zero Feedback".

If you want to be argumentative / pick of fight... have fun. I’m sharing what I live with everyday. Schiit is doing what they are doing for a reason. It would be much easier to just use a ton of feedback and brag about high damping factor being "good" and "what you need". It would also placate "The Measurement Crowd".

So... you asked... why would Schiit do this? Well, it’s because it sounds better. Don’t believe me... go read what Jason Stoddard at Schiit has to say about it. He says the Aegir 2 is clearly superior sounding compared to the first gen. If you read what’s different between the 2 of them, you’ll have your answer.  People can listen to it / examples like what I'm talking about and make up their own mind.  

@moose89 There are now class D amps that don’t take a back seat to tube amps for smoothness and detail in any way. If you get the right one you may find that not only have you solved the heat issue but you may find you don’t want to go back to the tube amplifier. Its very probable that the class D amp will be lower noise too.

@jim2 If the feedback is deleterious to the sound, its only because the feedback has been poorly applied. This problem has been known for a long time (Norman Crowhurst was writing about this issue in the late 1950s along with the why of it) but oddly, few have come up with solutions. However the solution is pretty simple; I think tradition has been more of the problem than the feedback.

For example in a tube amp feedback is usually fed into the cathode of the input tube. That doesn't work (as Crowhurst explained) because the tube isn't linear. So the cathode of the tube causes the feedback signal itself to distort, thus causing it to not do its job properly. The solution is to mix the feedback with the input signal with a resistive divider network before the input signal reaches the input of the amp. Resistors are far more linear than active devices; in this way the feedback signal doesn't get distorted and so can do its job properly.

That's not the only problem, but its a good place to start if you want feedback to work.


@Riccitone I have the FleaWatt Coltrane on the way from HI…thank you for that suggestion . It sounds really great and low power is what Klipsch enthusiasts all recommend in the reduced field listening that I do….and for the remaining Winter, the SMSL VMV A1, for experience reasons,I will welcome on Saturday. The Cornwall iv for me is just so airy that I hate jumping up too far up in WPC. Like most audioholics, I’m stockpiling and will make decisions on which to send to market, rather than sit on a bunch of amps. I cannot imagine I’d sell my Dennis Had Inspire SET 300B… and it’s just as good without WE300B, with Full Music solid not mesh, and Genelex Gold Lion…to my ears. And after waiting on Hegel 120 to appeal to me, it’s just made for a larger scaled listening area, as I cannot supply the increased volume to predicate enough gain to appreciate the beautiful bass and power it wants to unleash on the efficiency Klipsch Cornwall IV’s possess.