Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DryWhiteToast, Apr 6, 2021.
How would you decribe the difference between the Otto And the EVO 300?
I like both. So much so I sold the regular Oto and ordered an Oto Sig right before AN jacked the prices in February but have not received it yet.
Anyway, PL is PP and Oto SE. PL is a much more versatile amp and can be used with a wide array of speakers, whereas Oto is sort of limited to high sensitivity ones. I had them side by side and used to switch from one to another depending on the mood, type of music I listen and the format.
What I sometimes was missing with the Oto was the air that the records breathed with, when I listened to them through my PL with el34 tubes. The Oto is especially good for not very complicated music with vocal content whereas PL is a Jack of all trades, so to say – very simple to use and troublefree. It can be also very easily integrated into a 5.1 setup, which is one of the reasons I use Pl along with other amps.
Anyway, I use Oto to listen to HIREZ, sacd, cds via my SA-10 Marantz and use PL for records. Frankly, I do not like Oto with records, only with digital. Why, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me but with records the Oto seems to lack something in the upper register – my records sound kind of vailed to me.
I bought the EVO 400 integrated very recently, and it is powering Wharfedale Linton Heritage 85 speakers, which are slightly optimistically rated at 90 dB (probably closer to 89 dB) sensitivity. It's a lot more amp than these speakers need, and I suspected it might be but I didn't know for sure and also suspect these won't be the last speakers I own, and wanted the amp I got to be able to drive future speaker options. I listen mostly in triode mode, using the stock EL34s. It's probable that an EVO 300 could likewise run in triode mode with these speakers and have more than enough power for any level of comfortable listening.
Like you, I listen to a mix of records and digital audio from a server, I am using a Music Hall MMF 5 with Hana EL cartridge through a Music Hall 1.2 phono stage. I suspect an EVO 300 would be the sensible choice if you're looking to improve your front-end soon.
Good to hear you manage fine in Triode with higher volume levels. I have the opposite example - 8x KT88 tubes (a tiny bit more power vs EL34) and I cannot go high volume on my 85db sensitive speakers in Triode, it's audably struggling at high volumes. In Triode it's basically just around 40Wpc amp (and EVO400 is a 24Wpc amp in Triode). Well you can go to higher volumes, but you are clearly in distortion zone. Not that I need to and I listen at low to medium levels but it's around the limit I'd occasionally go to. With EVO300 I'd definitely struggle to power those speakers in Triode even at medium volume levels.
That's interesting, so even with my EVO 400, 85 dB sensitivity speakers might be too much for loud levels of dynamic listening in triode mode using anything less than KT120s? Did you select KT88s for their audio signature, and if so, what brand are you using?
Thanks for the feedback Dr. Goon. (If that is your real name ;-)
I like your Music Hall....great looking TT. I also have the EL and I like it but it can also be downright mean to my less well-recorded albums. (harsh)
Gold Lion KT88 purely for their sonic signature. I listen jazz and electronic. EL34 have that magical midrange, they barely notch the win there over everything else I've tried, but only in mids. Yet KT88 is very close on mids magic but considerably clearer and more defined bottom end and dynamic yet silkier highs that I much prefer. So the KT88 was the choice over EL34 for me. I don't care about the wattage since the HP gives me enough (with that very rare example of when listening Triode very loud as I stated above - it's rare when I do that so the amp is workig at proper optimum sweet zone - not underscaled or overscaled, so I'm a happy HP owner).
For KT88 I later swapped Brimar 12au7 long plates to Psvane 12au7-S models, those fixed the superiority of KT88 over EL34 for me, everything got even better. For me those tubes make a superb "sonic heaven" combination in HP/400 model.
That sounds great. I'm going to stick with the stock EL34s until the amp and stock tubes are properly bedded in before I start swapping things around, but I'll explore KT88s for certain. I have an assortment of KT88s from prior amps, but not an octet. Gold Lions look quite reasonably priced.
Tubes are, to say the least, very much a matter of taste. I’ve had the stock EL34s in my PL amps, various current production EL34, as well as KT88, NOS Winged C 6550, and KT150. The ones that do it for me in my setup are NOS RFT EL34. Surprisingly great bass, that EL34 midrange, and closing in on the detail of a KT88 or 150.
So were the Brimar tubes vintage or new production?
Vintage NOS. The "highly regarded" rather expensive long plates. They are not bad but IMO not worth the hype.
I was very surprised how much better balanced and additional subtle detail the new production Psvane were compared to them (after rather long burn in period they require though).
Please keep this going guys.
I know it has gone off on a bit of a tangent and I love that.
I am usually the tangent creator. If and when, I will save these comments for tube rolling etc.
Thanks to everyone.
Oh come one bro. Its been a year now. Pull that trigger..!
Thanks. I'll have to give the Psvanes a try. I've never been happy with any 12AU or 12AX7 new production tubes compared to vintage Tele, Mullard, RCA etc. I've heard JJ and Genelax. Anyway thanks.
I was on the fence deciding between the 300 and 400 and eventually went with the 300. The 400 has the balanced connections which I have no use for now, but eventually might be able to take advantage of in the future. On the other hand, I’m using Klipsch Cornwall speakers and the extra output is of no use. I find the EL34/KT77 THE tube for me with these speakers and 10 o’clock is about where I max out, plenty loud for anyone.
Overall, I have been overjoyed ever since I purchased it about 6 months ago. If I had to gripe about anything it would be that controlling the volume with the remote is almost useless with speakers this sensitive. One tap in either direction makes too drastic of a volume change.
Very observant of you brother!
I am usually a person that spends a year researching a purchase like this at the best of times.
I have to save for a purchase as expensive as this.
Covid through a curve ball at it all. Was planning on fall of last year to buy and yeah.
With the vaccine roll-outs I am hoping to pull that trigger once vaccinated.
Careful Canadian here.
Anyways, take care and thanks for the reminder.
Oh come on man. I'm just bustin' your chops... Another beautiful weekend to blast that radio!
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