• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Help choosing right integrated amplifier for Snell Type C/V

edoardoz

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
35
Likes
22
Hello,

recently, I've been given a pair of Snell Type C/V speakers. The previous amplifier was Krell kav 300i, I think the whole system was intended for Home Theater, but I'm interested only in music.

I've only the speakers for now, and a friend of mine is building the Protodac TDA 1387 x 8 by hifinet (project on moode github page), with the difference that we're using a couple of 430R 0.4W Charcroft Z-Foil resistors.

These are the specifications of the Snell:

Type C/V

Handsome three way, vented enclosure design with dual 8'' woofers providing Room Ready performance with Coincident Virtual Image (CVI) technology and rear-firing tweeter

Frequency response
30 Hz to 22 kHz +- 3 dB anechoic
50 Hz to 20 kHz +- 1.75 dB anechoic

Driver Complement:
Two 8" woofers with injection-molded
cones and surrounds
Two 5" midranges with injection-
molded cones and surrounds
One 1" pure titanium dome front tweeter
One 1" 5 layer laminated metal dome
rear tweeter

Crossover points:
300 Нz, 2.8 kHz

Power requirements:
Suitable for use with amplifiers from 40
to 250 watts

Sensitivity:
90 dB SPL @ 1 meter with 2.83 Vrms
in anechoic half-space

Driver complement:
8 ohm nominal
5 ohm minimum

Shipping weight:
225 lbs. per pair


Now, I'm looking for a good integrated amplifier and my budget is 800/1200, I'm located in Italy, so for me is easier to buy in Europe cause import taxes...

The speakers are good, I like very much the bass and they're soft at mid-range and I suffer very much of middle if they are confused.

The previous Krell amplifier was very good, but miss some high frequencies, I want them to be very present and very cold, I like the valve amplifier for that reason. In general, probably a little too soft for me.

Some suggest me the Electrocompaniet EC1, I can find for around 1000/1200. Some prefer the EC3.
I can find the Krell KAV 300i too for the same price, and the Marantz PM 8006.

As far as I know I need 50–250W and 8 ohm amplifier, that can drive the Snell that are moderately sensitive.

Please suggest me how to get the best from them.

Edoardo
 

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,928
Likes
4,947
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
Hello and welcome to ASR.:)

A well designed amplifier will not color the signal to sound soft or sharp. A well designed amplifier does the job as the name says, it just amplifies the signal without changing it. That if a well designed amplifier is defined as having linear amplification (plus low noise and distortion).
Here you can check a blind test about that:


Having said that, your speakers seem to have 87dB/W/m sensitivity. We start from that what then comes to suitable amp power.


Practical parameters:
What sources do you have? Streaming, CD, record player?
Features? For example remote control?
How do you listen to music? "Normal" listening volume around 65-75 dB or do you like to play really loud?

_____
Here you can put in, but keep in mind that an extra speaker gives 3 dB more plus that longer distances than 1.5-2 meters you don't have to count, even if you listen from a longer distance, because your room acts as a reverb chamber:

 
Last edited:
OP
E

edoardoz

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
35
Likes
22
Practical parameters:
What sources do you have? Streaming, CD, record player?
Features? For example remote control?
How do you listen to music? "Normal" listening volume around 65-75 dB or do you like to play really loud?
Hello Daniel thank you.

This is my first audio setup, so I need to understand a lot of things.

I'm well trained in listening to music as I studied it and I go to classical and electronic music concert, and to some hifi festivals. But I don't know so much in terms of hifi setup.

So, you said that a good amp do not color the sound, now I've to trust what you said. I read the article but I need to go deep into and start studying the argument.

Said that, actually I doesn't have any source, but, as I wrote, I'm building the Protodac, then I'll use it with Raspberry Pi 4. For now, want to use streaming, but in future I want a good CD player.

[Actually I've the DVD player Philips DVP3350, I've to figure out if is possible to use the digital out and send it to the Raspberry using the Protodac.]

So I don't want particular features, if there is remote control is better but not essential, I only want to listening to music well without waste my money. I don't play loud music but normal volume tipically.
 

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,928
Likes
4,947
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
New:
Yamaha A-S701 and :


Admittedly good and also damn good looking I must say.

Another way. Used, there are many good ones from well-known brands to choose from in the price range around 200 Euro that would do the job excellently. But buying used with all that it entails in the form of a lot amp for the money but no guarantees.

BUT now I'm most curious about your DAC DIY project. How come you want to build this Protodac?:) A topic for the DIY section here on ASR, but I'm still asking you here in this thread.:)

I don't know if there would be problems with sending a digital signal from the Philips DVP3350 to the Raspberry using the Protodac. Those with more knowledge of Raspberry can help you with that.

Edit:
When you build anyway take this one, if only one input is okay for you::) If your Protodac has volume control.3e Audio TPA3255
is linear:
 
Last edited:
OP
E

edoardoz

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
35
Likes
22
New:
Yamaha A-S701 and :


Admittedly good and also damn good looking I must say.

Another way. Used, there are many good ones from well-known brands to choose from in the price range around 200 Euro that would do the job excellently. But buying used with all that it entails in the form of a lot amp for the money but no guarantees.
The ones you suggested me seems good, but already have integrated DAC, I don't need it as I'll use external DAC. And also, I prefer to buy a used one, because the prices are very low compared to new one. Some shop here has also warranty on used product.

What do you think about the amplifiers that I said in the first post? If you can suggest some alternative is appreciated, anyway.

About the Protodac, once is completed (we're waiting the TDA 1387, capacitors and resistors), I'll make a dedicated thread about that with all setup and detailed info.
But I can make some spoiler ;)

I come into this Facebook page, that is in italian, but you can translate if you are interested: HI-FI RASPBERRY DAC. Hardware & Software
This is a youtube video about basic implementation and some upgrades: ProtoDac Amazing HIFI Audio DAC HAT using eight parallel vintage Philips TDA1387 chips
But this is the official documentation: github documentation

Here I translate what the Facebook dedicated page states about the Protodac:

Protodac try to replicating a "vintage" sound that in the 90s was reproduced by the famous Philips TDA1541A chip, considered by many to be one of the best DA converters of that period.

Using 8 TDA1387 chips in parallel allows you to replicate the same sound, but using fewer discrete components that would be needed if you used the original TDA1541A.
TDA1387 is a simplified component compared to the 1541, but using 8 of them in this configuration reduces the conversion distortion rates even if the sampling frequency is "only" 16bit.

In order to make the most of its possibilities, ProtoDac must necessarily use a reclocking card as the jitter introduced by the Raspberry's modest quartz could ruin the listening experience.

Two components are essential to obtain the best possible quality and they are the two Z-FOIL 430R resistors produced by hand and in modest quantities by a British company called Charcroft or industrially by Texas Instrument, but practically unobtainable in Europe.


3e Audio TPA3255 seems interesting, but the implementation is too hard for me, I prefer to buy a commercial solution for now :D
So, can you tell me please if the amplifiers I told you are good enough or if you have a better alternative for my budget? Thanks!
 

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,928
Likes
4,947
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
Build because it's fun. :)
Having said that. What I said in my #2 about amps also applies to DACs.

The amps you mention
Electrocompaniet EC1, Krell KAV 300i and Marantz PM 8006. If they have enough power to drive your speakers and are constructed according to the principle mentioned in #2, you will hear no difference between them, nor any difference between them and the ones I suggested.But ok to answer your question, sorry I don't know anything about your suggested amplifiers.

Otherwise, if you want to "color" the sound, you can easily do so via EQ.:)

If you are curious about hearing differences or not check here:


Edit:
Just to illustrate the problem, imagine if someone says that Krell amplifier you mentioned sounds especially good in the higher frequencies, very present and very cold. Which is how this person experiences it. You see the tricky thing with subjective judgments?

Does that sound boring? You can't hear a difference between...so why stick with Hifi? BUT I haven't mentioned speakers, fix the room acoustics, fix good FR via EQ. Things like that can REALLY make an audible difference to the sound.:)
 
Last edited:
OP
E

edoardoz

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
35
Likes
22
Just to illustrate the problem, imagine if someone says that Krell amplifier you mentioned sounds especially good in the higher frequencies, very present and very cold. Which is how this person experiences it. You see the tricky thing with subjective judgments?

Does that sound boring? You can't hear a difference between...so why stick with Hifi? BUT I haven't mentioned speakers, fix the room acoustics, fix good FR via EQ. Things like that can REALLY make an audible difference to the sound.:)
Yes, build is super fun and instructive, and some time saves a lot of money.

I get the point, the amplifier should amplify the audio signal and should't color it. I agree that speakers, room acoustics, etc, can really make the difference, because I usually go to Techno concerts (clubs with really good setup sometimes), and they usually change something in the room, like speakers position or speakers, and the differences are HUGE.

Sometimes, same setup, just change the DJ, and the quality getting better, this I've never understand how, probably, like you said, could be the EQ or... the quality of tracks they're playing, with the SAME setup.

[I know that concerts are a different game in comparison to hifi, there are more problems like sound pressure, vibrations, more power in general.]

But, what I can't figure out, we take 2 amplifiers, same design, but with different materials, like better resistances, condensers, soldering, so better construction in general, how can this not make any difference, audible I mean?

To sum up, what are the key to choose an amplifier, only the power, low noise, distorsion and frequency response or there is more?
 

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,928
Likes
4,947
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
But, what I can't figure out, we take 2 amplifiers, same design, but with different materials, like better resistances, condensers, soldering, so better construction in general, how can this not make any difference, audible I mean?
If you compare two amplifiers with different construction materials that you mention, they will measure differently in a bench test BUT are these measurable differences then audible? A very popular topic on ASR. When does noise, distortion and deviations from FR become audible? Which differs from person to person how well you can detect it and if we are talking amplifiers, the speakers or headphones play a decisive role. I mean what does it matter if you have amp A with 0.05% distortion level vs amp B with 0.005% distortion level if you are listening to speakers that have (1% or higher) distortion level?:oops:
Given that there is enough power in both amplifiers so that neither is driven into clipping when listening

To sum up, what are the key to choose an amplifier, only the power, low noise, distorsion and frequency response or there is more?
That's it, plus what features you want, looks and warranties.Build quality and durability can also be something to think about.

By the way, here you can test::)


 
Last edited:

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,241
Likes
38,635
Welcome to ASR.

A friend had those speakers at one time. I heard several amps on them. For a while he ran a pair of bridged Dynaco Stereo 70's. Bridged 70 wpc tube amp. That was enough. He also had a big McIntosh SS amp on them for a time. You don't need all that much power unless you have a very large dead room.

Any of the amps you mentioned should do fine. I personally would go with a modern Purifi-based amp on them. If you have a particular preference for the looks or ergonomics of the Krell 300i it would work too.

So, you mention this is your first system, and you are getting a DIY DAC. Good DAC/preamps feeding a modern amp are fine. An older quality integrated amp will include a preamp/power amp and have more analog inputs if you have more than one source for music. If you use a DAC/preamp you'll only have inputs for digital source normally.

Don't sweat the differences in DACs, or power amps (unless they are tubed) etc as they are anywhere from very, very small to non-existent. The recording and the speakers make the most difference. The benefit to getting an older quality amp is if you change your preferences in what you want after owning it for a time you can resale it without taking a big loss.
 

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,928
Likes
4,947
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
Yes, build is super fun and instructive, and some time saves a lot of money.

I get the point, the amplifier should amplify the audio signal and should't color it. I agree that speakers, room acoustics, etc, can really make the difference, because I usually go to Techno concerts (clubs with really good setup sometimes), and they usually change something in the room, like speakers position or speakers, and the differences are HUGE.

Sometimes, same setup, just change the DJ, and the quality getting better, this I've never understand how, probably, like you said, could be the EQ or... the quality of tracks they're playing, with the SAME setup.

[I know that concerts are a different game in comparison to hifi, there are more problems like sound pressure, vibrations, more power in general.]

But, what I can't figure out, we take 2 amplifiers, same design, but with different materials, like better resistances, condensers, soldering, so better construction in general, how can this not make any difference, audible I mean?

To sum up, what are the key to choose an amplifier, only the power, low noise, distorsion and frequency response or there is more?
With your speakers, even if you wouldn't hear any difference between the amplifiers below, they are undeniably different regarding appearance and and what functions they have.

The Purifi based amplifier has more power than the Leak amplifier.They're both well-built, measure well and cost about the same, but which would you choose?::)
AUDIOPHONICS HPA-S400ET Review Balanced Purifi Stereo Amplifier.jpg

AUDIOPHONICS HPA-S400ET Review Back Panel XLR Balanced Purifi Stereo Amplifier.jpg


...or..


Stereo-230-Standard-Walnut-3.jpg

Stereo-230-Standard-Walnut-4.jpg


 
OP
E

edoardoz

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
35
Likes
22
Welcome to ASR.

A friend had those speakers at one time. I heard several amps on them. For a while he ran a pair of bridged Dynaco Stereo 70's. Bridged 70 wpc tube amp. That was enough. He also had a big McIntosh SS amp on them for a time. You don't need all that much power unless you have a very large dead room.

Any of the amps you mentioned should do fine. I personally would go with a modern Purifi-based amp on them. If you have a particular preference for the looks or ergonomics of the Krell 300i it would work too.

So, you mention this is your first system, and you are getting a DIY DAC. Good DAC/preamps feeding a modern amp are fine. An older quality integrated amp will include a preamp/power amp and have more analog inputs if you have more than one source for music. If you use a DAC/preamp you'll only have inputs for digital source normally.

Don't sweat the differences in DACs, or power amps (unless they are tubed) etc as they are anywhere from very, very small to non-existent. The recording and the speakers make the most difference. The benefit to getting an older quality amp is if you change your preferences in what you want after owning it for a time you can resale it without taking a big loss.
Hello and thanks for the reply,

I didn't mention that I didn't have a very large living room, so I didn't need too much power.
I've take a look on purifi-based amps, that are interesting for sure, but can't find something for my budget.

You think tat modern amp are best suited for DIY DAC for some reason?

The last point you said, 100%, older quality amp lose less value in terms of money, and for my personal taste are very good looking.

I've found this Electrocompaniet EC1, there are a old guy selling it that he offered to let me try it in 2 days, he sells for 1000 euros but I'll offer 900, and this is considered, at least in Europe, a piece of history, so super easy to resell in the future if needed.


1705413885575.png

1705413912981.png


Krell 300i is very good and powerful, but can't find under 1200 and I want to try something new :D

These are the specs about EC1:

1705414210449.png


Do you think that'd be good? If I'll choose a old amp I like this so much and I can buy it in 2 days...
unless you recommend a new generation amp which for some reason is better
 
OP
E

edoardoz

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
35
Likes
22
With your speakers, even if you wouldn't hear any difference between the amplifiers below, they are undeniably different regarding appearance and and what functions they have.

The Purifi based amplifier has more power than the Leak amplifier.They're both well-built, measure well and cost about the same, but which would you choose?::)
Haha yes, in terms of appearance there is no comparison!
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,241
Likes
38,635
Hello and thanks for the reply,

I didn't mention that I didn't have a very large living room, so I didn't need too much power.
I've take a look on purifi-based amps, that are interesting for sure, but can't find something for my budget.

You think tat modern amp are best suited for DIY DAC for some reason?

The last point you said, 100%, older quality amp lose less value in terms of money, and for my personal taste are very good looking.

I've found this Electrocompaniet EC1, there are a old guy selling it that he offered to let me try it in 2 days, he sells for 1000 euros but I'll offer 900, and this is considered, at least in Europe, a piece of history, so super easy to resell in the future if needed.


View attachment 342341
View attachment 342342

Krell 300i is very good and powerful, but can't find under 1200 and I want to try something new :D

These are the specs about EC1:

View attachment 342344

Do you think that'd be good? If I'll choose a old amp I like this so much and I can buy it in 2 days...
unless you recommend a new generation amp which for some reason is better
Should be all you need. It is attractive.

Just make sure it is still quiet with no hum or noise.
 
OP
E

edoardoz

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
35
Likes
22
@DanielT @Blumlein 88 What does it means that the EC1 is dual mono?
It is only about inside architecture or that modify in some manner the stereophonic sound? I mean, stereo is delivered in same manner to pan left and right, like REAL stereo?
It can overheat more likely, or there is some disadvantages?
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,241
Likes
38,635
In most stereo amps they have a single power transformer and may also share the rest of the power supply with both channels. If it is true dual mono, then it has a separate power transformer and power supply for the left and right channel. This should prevent one channel from effecting the other. I think that idea is over-promoted as plenty of stereo amps with a mono supply for both channels perform very well. It certainly does not hurt anything, and might be a tiny advantage.

They are not modifying the stereo with some processing. It is all about keeping each channel separate, but otherwise operating in a straightforward manner.
 
OP
E

edoardoz

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2024
Messages
35
Likes
22
In most stereo amps they have a single power transformer and may also share the rest of the power supply with both channels. If it is true dual mono, then it has a separate power transformer and power supply for the left and right channel. This should prevent one channel from effecting the other. I think that idea is over-promoted as plenty of stereo amps with a mono supply for both channels perform very well. It certainly does not hurt anything, and might be a tiny advantage.

They are not modifying the stereo with some processing. It is all about keeping each channel separate, but otherwise operating in a straightforward manner.
I think it is a real dual mono, I summarize the ECI-1 user manual concepts about design features:
  1. Feedback Concept:
    • The design incorporates a feedback concept that allows local feedback around individual stages of the amplifier circuit.
    • This approach is intended to avoid the sonic disadvantages of overall feedback from output to input.
  2. Individual Gain Blocks:
    • The amplifier is divided into two separate sections or gain blocks (input block and output block).
    • The input block is described as a transconductance amplifier without overall feedback.
    • The output block is a transresistance amplifier with parallel feedback.
  3. Class A Operation:
    • All stages work in Class A with an efficiency of less than 0.1%.
  4. Power Supply:
    • The power supply consists of two 500 VA toroidal transformers.
    • There are details about the capacitors used in the power supply, including a 40,000 microfarad reservoir.
This is too technical for me, seems legit?
 

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,928
Likes
4,947
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
It is as Blumlein 88 explains with two separate parts. Here's what the Electrocompaniet ECI 1 looks like inside, you'll see two separate toroidal transformers, one for each channel. You can almost see how you can cut that amp in half and it becomes two monoblocks.:)

By the way, that ECI 1 looks really nice. :) Just check that there is a reasonable used price for it.
2.jpg.6640f5447146d1fd22c9d4e852e6bbf3.jpg


Speaking of which, you can buy two monoblocks and it will be stereo. For example, two pieces like this (I just took this one at random to exemplify):

 

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,928
Likes
4,947
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
So that Electrocompaniet ECI 1is nice looking, but 900 Euro for an amplifier that is around 30 years old (which I think it may be), well well ...hm ..
It seems to be well built and can probably last several more years, but you know electronics wear out with use and time.
 

ZolaIII

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
4,302
Likes
2,552
Seriously? Those speakers handle 650 W peeks in bass region at 5.5 Ohms so they aren't hard to drive regarding impedance at least. 30 years old under powered amp for 900€. My only comment is LOL.
Take a look what 900€ can bring you in PA form like Dynacord L1300FD (or trough their lines) and one day you decide to not use it for mains you can use it in bridged mode for running a sub.
And you get FIR and PEQ while performance is more than adequate (not top of the pop's but you won't hear a difference) and would be even better if they used better ADC. I/O varies with model but remains balanced as after all it's PA and you would have to play a bit with speaker cable's (easy enough to do).
 
Last edited:

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,928
Likes
4,947
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
If we compare with vintage cars. Yes, some models cost a lot of money and there are also those who own these and drive them around on a daily basis (perhaps not that common). BUT these people have has as a hobby to fixing, renovating, getting them in mint condition and so on. People who have their own workshop, who like to fix rust, buy spare parts and more. People who have the knowledge and experience to renovate and fix old cars.:)
Of course, everyone else who wants a sensible car to drive on a daily basis doesn't have a vintage ditto for that purpose.

By the way. Handing in old electronics to a professional repairman = a lot of $

Edit:
Yes, I know you can't directly compare vintage cars with vintage amplifiers, but still.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom