First Watt M2 or J2

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Kimo, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    Has anyone heard either of these two amps?

    I have read the reviews on Sixmoons, but am curious as to the opinions of any forum members. My speakers are 93db efficient. I believe that both models will provide ample power for my needs at 25 watts. Thanks.
  2. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member

    Location:
    Pac NW
    No, I haven't heard them. I've looked long and hard at the First Watt amps, but haven't yet purchased one. It would be nice having a world class amp hand built by the master himself.

    Unless you need the balanced inputs, between the two... I would choose the M2.
  3. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    Reno Hi Fi has a nice demo program. Perhaps, I will give an M2 a try and report back.
  4. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member

    Location:
    Pac NW
    I see Reno has a demo M2 up on A-gon for $2995.00 obo.

    The only caveat is that you'll pay round-trip shipping if you decide to return it.

    If you do get one, be sure to share your impressions with us. Thanks! :thumbsup:
  5. rcspkramp

    rcspkramp Active Member

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA USA
    I've heard the M2 and it is an out and out bargain if your speakers are reasonably efficient.
  6. regvic

    regvic New Member

    I own a J2 with similar efficiency speakers, it's a marvellous amp and is easily the best amp I've heard or owned, valve or transistor,and wouldn't consider anything else. It does depend on the type of speaker though, I use Omega Alnico Super 6 Monitors, ideally suited to the J2 as they are an easy 8 ohm load.
  7. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    Well there you go. I am using Omega Stick Six speakers. Basically the Super 6 Alnico combined in the same cabinet with an active sub. Sounds perfect then?
  8. Toka

    Toka Active Member

    I'd be interested to see what amp you end up with...the Omega line has had my attention for a while.
  9. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    J2 is in route. Likely my last shot at solid state one way or the other. Will report on its sound vs. SET 845.
  10. Toka

    Toka Active Member

    Sounds good...interested in your impressions!
  11. farmingdad

    farmingdad Forum Resident

    Location:
    albany, oregon
    Yes-please let us know how the combo turns out!
  12. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    Been listening to the J2 this evening. Initial impressions are as follows; nice pace, excellent tone, nothing harsh or hard at all. Perhaps a little soft on top, actually. Very smooth; however, as compared to the SET, not quite as open in the midrange or live sounding. Will continue with the audition, but first my impression is quite positive.
  13. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    Update: Swapped out the VDH Revelation speaker cable for Grover's latest and the midrange opened upon wonderfully. Still no hash or hardness, and no glare either. The amp has a wonderful bottom end with nice PRAT.
  14. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member

    Location:
    Pac NW
    If it was a new amp it should continue to get better as you put some hours on it. Maybe run pink noise or something through it when you are not listening to speed up the burn-in process.

    Glad you like.
  15. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    Well, the results are in, and while the J2 is a very nice solid state amp, it won't be supplanting the SET. Ultimately, the 845 tube simply sounds more natural than the the JFET. Perhaps, this may be attributed to distortion, though the J2 isn't exactly free of the stuff, or the lack of feedback. Perhaps, my ears are simply tuned into the SET.

    My next, and likely final effort will involve an Art Audio Symphony 300B. It will be interesting to hear the 300B and 845 go head to head in my system.

    I believe that the J2 is worth a try if you have efficient speakers. (It only does 13 watts into 4 ohms) I don't know that it will sway too many tube lovers, however. I would also add that warmish cables didn't work too well for me with the J2.
  16. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member

    Location:
    Pac NW
    No itch to try the M2 or F5?
  17. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    I don't think so. I will talk with Mark at Reno Hi Fi and see if he really thinks the M2 could do the trick. It would be nice to have a little more power and a little less heat and upkeep, but if the sonic signatures of the J2 and M2 are close, the outcome for me likely won't change.
  18. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member

    Location:
    Pac NW
    It goes against the conventional thought, but I've come to the conclusion that a little feedback is a good thing in amplifier design. It adds a touch of life to the sound. Both the F5 and J2 employ feedback, the M2 does not. They also increase their power into 4 ohms where the M2 significantly decreases its power.

    I didn't bring these points up before because I didn't want to rain on your M2 parade.

    Keep us posted regarding what amps you try out!
  19. rcspkramp

    rcspkramp Active Member

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA USA
    I thought the M2 did 25 watts at 8 ohms and 40 watts at 4 ohms.
  20. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member

    Location:
    Pac NW
    You're right... my bad.

    J2 25/13 watts uses feedback.

    M2 25/40 watts no feedback.

    F5 25/40 watts uses feedback.

    That's what I get from going by memory... always risky. :agree:
  21. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    Well, I keep fooling with this thing...

    I was able to further address the congestion problem by changing out the digital interconnect. Perhaps, the interconnect is causing congestion. Never noticed this too much with the SET. I would say now that the J2 is performing quite nicely in the mid range. The musical flow has improved greatly.

    I would suggest that anyone who auditions the J2 be sure to try different cables along the way, if they find themselves dissatisfied with the original sound they are getting.
  22. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member

    Location:
    Pac NW
    How many hours do you think you've got on the First Watt amp so far? Sounds like it is still breaking in...
  23. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    It is a demo unit. The dealer indicated that it should have sufficient hours on it. I do think part of the "sound" is the JFET. It sort of has a little of that mosfet mist thing going on.
  24. 6L6X4

    6L6X4 New Member

    Location:
    Pac NW
    The midrange of my recently acquired Jungson amp sounded so horrid out-of-the-box that I was considering my return options. And the sound-stage was totally MIA with all the instruments tightly clustered around the speakers.

    That all started to change around the 50 hour mark and continued to improve until I had logged around 100 hours on it. I ran 0db pink noise through it (attenuated at the volume control, it's an integrated amp) at night which should have really flexed the input circuitry and, so my thinking went, sped up the burn in process.

    Your dissatisfaction with the midrange reminded me of this and is why I suspect(ed) the amp may not be totally burned in.

    Keep us posted regarding what you finally decide. :thumbsup:
  25. Kimo

    Kimo New Member

    There is one conclusion that I might have to consider. Perhaps, it is the SET sound, i.e. high second order harmonic distortion, which is making things sound more real than real with the Carissa.

    I wonder if someone can chime in on that?

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