New Line Magnetic 508ia Integrated Amp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by GoldprintAudio, May 20, 2016.

  1. Seafinch

    Seafinch Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Utah
    Has anyone spent significant time with this amp and any Harbeths? I’m still really tempted to give it a whirl with my C7es3’s, but am a little concerned about 48w with them - 48w is probably plenty right?
     
  2. Nate nowinowski

    Nate nowinowski Active Member

    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    the 518ia has half that and seems great with mine.
     
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  3. Seafinch

    Seafinch Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Utah
    Can you get some decent volume out of yours? Still want to be able to listen loud occasionally (or more than occasionally).
     
  4. Nate nowinowski

    Nate nowinowski Active Member

    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    yeah i mean - the harbeths are never going to do huge scale and dynamics but it plays loud and clean
     
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  5. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    Actually, it is at louder volumes that it really opens up (518ia/c7es3). It is at lower volumes that the lower efficiency of the Harbeths creates some compromise. With the 508 having double the wattage, I would expect it to have less compromise at lower volumes, and to sound fantastic at louder volumes.
     
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  6. noladaoh

    noladaoh Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    I’m using the Line Magnetic 211ia with a pair of ATC SCM11V2 which are 85db sensitivity and I can rarely move the volume past 10 o’clock. 38 watts per channel in Ultralinear. I can’t recommend Line Magnetic enough. Great build quality and fantastic sound bottom to top and big soundstage.
     
  7. bugo403

    bugo403 New Member

    Location:
    israel
    Hi,
    i'm new to this forum and i need your advise. i was thinking to get the 508ia but i do not have the chance to compare it in my system. right now i'm driving my 91db TRIANGLE QUARTET speakers through the EAR 834L pre and the BELLES 150A REFERENCE V2 power amp. although this set up is very good, i was after a more engaging sound without loosing much of the dynamics. i've owned the CARY SLI-80 in the past and it was really wonderful but also too romantic and a kind of a compromise with some genres of music that i like. i don't listen to classic music or jazz but also not heavy metal, mostly reggae, rock, blues, world music.
    to explain it in a different way, right now i have a very detailed, fast, clean sound or in other words a superb HI-FI sound but i am more after a "HI-END" sound without sacrafice too much of what i have right now.
    do you think the 508ia would be a good solution?
    thank you
     
  8. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    I think either the 508ia or the 518ia would have no problem driving your Triangle speakers easily. The Line Magnetic amps are definitely more of a modern tube sound versus the older vintage sound that was more romantic and very midrange-focused, at the expense of the highs and lows. I have owned vintage McIntosh and Fisher tube amps in the past, so that is what I am basing my comparison on. The Line Magnetic has WAY more bass (quantity and quality) than those vintage amps, and a more balanced presentation overall. However, being a SET design (either 508 or 518), there is also lots of tonal color and dimensionality (that you can tailor to your tastes with different tube combinations) that I am guessing is not present in your current setup. The character of the presentation will be pretty different from what you have now though, so I wouldn't look at it as simply taking what you have now and adding something. I think it will be something completely new, from the ground up, that you will hear out of your familiar speakers, if you try a Line Magnetic integrated amp.
     
  9. bugo403

    bugo403 New Member

    Location:
    israel
    thanks,
    now i'm super intersted to do this comprasion. i'm really looking for a bigger soundstage, more engaing and detailed sound and the filling that the speakers disappear to a higher degree than i experiencing now. another option i've considered in to upgrade to the EAR 868PL but it is very pricey and also i'm afraid it would be getting "just" more of the same.
    there are no easy choices i guess.
     
  10. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    Some of the things you are looking for may be achievable with different positioning of your speakers within your room. Distance from side and rear walls, and toe-in. Also, perhaps room treatments. Soundstage can be influenced by an amp for sure, but I tend to think of speaker/room interactions as having a bigger influence. And getting your speakers to "disappear" is definitely more dependent on speaker position (and design) than on the amp used to power them.
     
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  11. bugo403

    bugo403 New Member

    Location:
    israel
    i agree. i guess i meant by "disappear" for the music that draws you in and you just want to keep listeting more and more. i had that experience with the cary sli-80 for example, where i even found myself listeting to lp's that i wouln't normally do. i miss that feeling and my truly loved setup just can't provide it in that level.
     
  12. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    Oh, in that case, I think a Line Magnetic amp would give you that, no problem.
     
  13. advanced101

    advanced101 Active Member

    I have an 868PL driving my LM 219ia. It will be more of the same for you. Very detailed with a touch of tube magic but definitely not romantic. I get plenty of romance with my Koetsu and Daedalus speakers so the EAR works for me.
     
  14. Seafinch

    Seafinch Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Utah
    Ordered one. Arrived today. Only got to spend an hour with it before I had to leave on a trip - horrible timing. BUT in the hour I got to spend with it, it seemed plenty in control of my C7es3’s - and the tubey goodness it added (over the Rogue CMii) wasn’t subtle! I can’t wait to get home and properly put it through it’s paces.
     
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  15. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    Pass Lab amps are MOSFET, correct? Solid State amps increase wattage at lower OHMS. Tube (valve) amps do not.
     
  16. alvin1118

    alvin1118 New Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    [​IMG]

    Guys,

    First post in the forum !

    I was trying to find some internal photos of the LM508ia but i couldn't find one. Decided to buy one to strip it nak*d :D
    Extremely well built. I'm impressed.

    The input sensitivity is a bit too high IMO, 300mV. With NFB setting at 1, it sounded very details, forward but too much for my preference. I prefer NFB at 3/4 position for mellow-er sound.

    Setup:
    - DIY Balanced Transformer 2KVA
    - SOtM sMS-200ultra powering up by Uptone LPS-1
    - DENAFRIPS Pontus R2R DAC
    - LM508ia
    - Spatial Audio M3TM

    Cheers!

    Rgds,
    Alvin
     
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  17. J.D.80

    J.D.80 Member

    Location:
    New York City
    I'm so glad someone finally opened one of these up! I've never had the guts to do that to my own.
    Very cool! Thanks for posting.
    I've also always found it very odd that 1 is the highest amount of NFB and 4 is the lowest NFB setting. I personally keep mine on 4 most of the time. Sometimes if the recording is crap, I'll switch it to 3 to get a little more detailed and forward playback out of the record.
     
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  18. JMAC

    JMAC Well-Known Member

    Location:
    PDX, OR, USA
    Thanks for answering questions that I always wondered about but never asked. I always kept my NFB on 1 until a few weeks ago, I figured I go crazy and move it to 2 and see if I noticed a difference. I never moved it back. Now I'll go really wild and try 4.

    Oh the places we'll go!
     
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  19. J.D.80

    J.D.80 Member

    Location:
    New York City
    4 definitely sounds the most natural and live like to me. I cant listen for long periods of time if I set the NFB to 2 or 1. I get ear fatigue too quickly.
    It's funny playing with those settings. If you are listening at 1 for an hour and switch to 4, it sounds too laid back. If you haven't listened to music for the day and start off with it on 4 for an hour, then switch to 1, it sounds harsh and bright.
    Goes to show how much we can get used to a sound if we just give it time.
    I guess that is some people's argument about burn in time and the such.
    Don't get me wrong, I personally still believe in burn in time..
     
  20. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Location:
    Catskill, NY
    From the reading I've done as well as my own listening, I think that setting #1 on the 508's N.F.B dial gives you the lowest amount of negative feedback. Setting #4 on the dial gives you the highest amount of negative feedback.
     
  21. J.D.80

    J.D.80 Member

    Location:
    New York City
    Logically that would make sense, but my amp gets louder, brighter, and more detailed with every incremental turn of the dial starting at 4 and working toward 1.
    Now if bright and detailed is a sign of less NFB, and natural, live, and a neutral is a sign of higher NFB, then sure. I guess that 4 could be the highest feedback setting. I'd have to first learn what for NFB sounds like.
     
  22. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Location:
    Catskill, NY
    The most obvious difference between the settings seems gain related. Given the same position on the volume potentiometer, N.F.B setting #1 appears to produce the loudest and #4 the lowest volume, relatively speaking. When I first got the 508 I spent most of my time listening on setting #3 because that seemed to afford the best sound quality on the most different types of music. After 300 or 400 hours I happened to switch to the #2 setting in order to check my initial impressions and found to my surprise that I now very much appreciated the more forward and vibrant nature of the sound. I've kept it on setting #2 since then. The difference I noticed could of course have to do with unit and/or tube burn in. I have on a few occasions switched back to the higher settings (3,4) to confirm my findings and I definitely prefer the enhanced liveliness and presence of setting #2. I think that much has to do, of course, with the relationship between the amplifier and one's speakers. From what I've gathered, the more negative feedback, the greater the damping factor. I use my 508 with a pair of 1977 vintage Tannoy Berkeley (HPD 385a) speakers for which I had new external crossovers built. The impedance doesn't dip below 7. I've rolled all the stock tubes (Psvane 805AT, Psvane WE replica 300Bs, NOS Sylvania VT231 6SN7GTs, Tung Sol 6Su7GTY) and my experience has been that the most critical one is the input tube (6SL7). After hearing a great deal of noise from the stock Sovtek 6SL7 as well as it's replacement (the noise took a few weeks to manifest itself in this one), I tried an RCA 5691 red base and a few different standard Tung Sol 6SL7s. But the Tung Sol 6SU7GTY has given me the cleanest, clearest, fullest and most balanced sound overall. Swapping out the stock 300Bs for the Western Electric Psvane replicas also helped with the sound by virtually eliminating any remaining hum from the speakers (something you could only really hear if you held your ear 3 or 4 inches from the Tannoy's 15" drivers). There is some interesting information about users' experiences with the 508 available beginning on page 29 of this Norwegian forum: Hifisentralen - Nyheter
     
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  23. alvin1118

    alvin1118 New Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    I'm keeping mine at NFB 4. NFB 1/2 is too shouty and fatigue.

    I'm now very tempted to buy the LM210 or the AS-125 for mellowed sound.
     
  24. bugo403

    bugo403 New Member

    Location:
    israel
    had some thoughts going for the less heavy/power/price 518ia but finally i ordered the 508ia. hope it would be a good match for my TRIANGLE QUARTETS.
     
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  25. Lee Seungwoo

    Lee Seungwoo New Member

    Location:
    Seoul
     

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