Amps for Usher BE 718 speaker

AMITNOIDA

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Hi

I am thinking to purchase BE 718. Please suggest suitable amps from both SS and Valve. This speaker has low sensitivity 87 db/watt and as I know loves powerful amp. Suggestion of amps (both SS and Valve) may please be given keeping in mind the budget for amps at 50K-100K.

I like vocals, soft instrument, indian classical etc. No heavy metals kind of music.

Does anybody tried BE-718 with Lyrita valve amp?

Amit
 

odyssey

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The Be-718 works fabulously well with a Lyrita pre and an Operetta power amp. This combo will work out well within 1L.
Alternatively, if you can push your budget, you can use the Leben CS300 integrated which works very well provided you dont need too much dynamics and the last grip in bass.

cheers
 

Asit

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Hi Amit,

The sensitivity of Usher BE-718 (the so-called tiny dancers) is actually 85 db/W/m, and not 87 db/W/m (even though the literature may say otherwise), as far as I know. But it has a very flat response curve and actually is reasonably easy to drive. A lot of not-very-powerful but good amps would drive these speakers quite well. My understanding is that you should have a good choice of amps with these speakers. The owners of tiny dancers would be able to tell you more specifically.

I do not know if the Lyrita SET at 15 wpc would be able to drive these. But if you want something from both worlds, you may consider the Lyrita Pre (with or without the built-in phono stage) along with a power amp like the Odyssey Khartago or the Odyssey Stratos or the Jaton Operetta. These power amps along with the Lyrita pre should be well under 1L (especially if you consider the Khartago which is also a very decent power amp for the price).

Obviously, your best bet is to talk to Sridhar who must have tried all sorts of amps with the tiny dancers. Also talk to people like RoC who owns the tiny dancers and Cranky who did own the tiny dancers and then upgraded to the mini dancers. There are others too in this forum who own the tiny dancers.

Regards.

Note added: After my post, I find that Sridhar also has just posted with similar views.
 
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Asit

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The Be-718 works fabulously well with a Lyrita pre and an Operetta power amp. This combo will work out well within 1L.
Alternatively, if you can push your budget, you can use the Leben CS300 integrated which works very well provided you dont need too much dynamics and the last grip in bass.

cheers

Hi Sridhar,

I hope your comment on the Leben CS300 is meant specifically for speakers of the kind of the Usher BE-718 with lowish sensitivities. Paired with my Cantons (93.4 db), I do not see any deficiency. Pratim (owner of the tiny dancers) came to my place a few days ago, and he would be able to say this better, but he was incredibly happy to hear my set-up, after listening to a combination of all kinds of music for over an hour and a half.

I hope some time soon Pratim brings his tiny dancers to my place or I can go to his with my Leben and hear for ourselves the combination of the CS300 and the tiny dancers.

Regards.
 

reignofchaos

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The Be718 needs an amp with nice mid range body. Somehow I've noticed that super flat response amps like the symphonic line don't sound the best with it. The Operatta is a very nice amp. You could look at Plinius integrated amps too. I've never heard the Be718 with viren's monoblocks but I'm guessing they should sound nice
 

odyssey

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Hi Sridhar,

I hope your comment on the Leben CS300 is meant specifically for speakers of the kind of the Usher BE-718 with lowish sensitivities. Paired with my Cantons (93.4 db), I do not see any deficiency. Pratim (owner of the tiny dancers) came to my place a few days ago, and he would be able to say this better, but he was incredibly happy to hear my set-up, after listening to a combination of all kinds of music for over an hour and a half.

I hope some time soon Pratim brings his tiny dancers to my place or I can go to his with my Leben and hear for ourselves the combination of the CS300 and the tiny dancers.

Regards.
Hi Asit
yes the CS300xs is something we use quite a bit to drive the Be-718 in the showroom. It works very well except for the parts with huge dynamics or a lot of low end grunt.

cheers
 

odyssey

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The Be718 needs an amp with nice mid range body. Somehow I've noticed that super flat response amps like the symphonic line don't sound the best with it. The Operatta is a very nice amp. You could look at Plinius integrated amps too. I've never heard the Be718 with viren's monoblocks but I'm guessing they should sound nice

ROC, while I havent heard the Be-718 with the RG-1, with the RG-7 and a passive pre, the setup sounds fabulous. In fact, I can pretty much state that this is a reference setup in our showroom :eek:hyeah:
Is it different from an Usher R1.5 amp or a Jaton operetta....yes, but I can live with the latter as well. All said and done the RG-7 is many many times the Jaton so that comparison isnt fair, however in absolute terms you will find it hard pressed to find any issues with this setup. You should come down and have a listen to it. I can only conclude that the RG-1 setup that you heard may not have been that good (all RG-s are similar in sonic signature) based on what you are saying, this could be a problem of the preamp or something else. The best way is to hear the RG-7 with the Be-718 - that will determine whether the RG-1 setup you heard is similar or not.

cheers
 

AMITNOIDA

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Thanks Asit, ROC and Sridhar for your suggestions. Lyrita pre + Operatta seems to be one probable combo. Leben is out of my budget. Although I had heard mini dancer with Leben 600 series and was very satisfied. Viren's monoblock may be another option to be tried.

Waiting for Cranky's view because he earlier owned mini dancer.

Thanks
Amit
 

AMITNOIDA

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Thanks Cranky for your frank opinion. Opinion from you guys, who are very knowledgable is always special and worth.

Operetta is a 70 Wpc amp, so may be a match with BE-718 and it is moderately priced (in US 1k$). But I have to audition this pairing before zeroing on BE-718. I may have to make one more trip to Bangalore.

Regarding Tube amp I have listened BE-718 with Leben 600 series amp. Although I am not sure of its power rating but it may be around 50 wpc. To be honest, BE-718 was driven well with Leben 600. But when Mini dancer was paired with Leben, the result was further better. The bass became distinctively better and tighter.

How is Mini dancer vs Tiny Dancer. You have used both. Which amp are you using with Mini dancer? Whats are your music taste?

Thanks
Amit
 

odyssey

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Yes, I agree with what Cranky says to some extent. The more (of good power) you give it, the better it will sing, probably goes for most speakers not just for the Be-718. Having said that though, all amps arent the same. The SL RG-7 at 140W performs at a far superior league than an ATI 200W amp (forget tonally but even in control). I would invite anyone (in BLR or otherwise) to listen to this combo to really give an idea of what a reference setup can do. In addition, I will use a passive pre with the SL.
The CS300 will not give you the dynamics and drive that a good 100W SS amp will give you...for sure (especially at loud volumes). However, I believe that it makes up for that in almost every other aspect. The loss of the low level grunt/drive at low levels is insignificant. For low level / late night listening the Leben includes an innovative bass boost (through a feedback loop) that affects frequencies of around 100 Hz and below.

Amit, your room if I remember right is on the smaller side and you arent looking for party music at those levels. Budget aside, the CS300 will work well - you have to hear it ofcourse to find out for yourself.
The Mini-dancer 1 is easier to drive / more efficient. The CS600 is 32W.

cheers
sridhar
p.s. Even though I mention CS300, I really use the CS300XS.
 

dinyaar

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Hi Amit,
I have not heard the Usher 718 so all that i suggest is from what i have read only, unlike shridhar, cranky, ROC, Ronnie etc
My take is u will need the biggest, 'quality' SS integrated that u can afford. I know this holds true for most speakers but from what i have read the speakers need to be injected with power (100w minimum) to really move. They are capable of great dynamics and i doubt a 30 w tube is going to do that.
Amps that can be considered are Primare I30, Bryston B100 (get used ones @ 1/1.2L equivalent, etc
A friend in malaysia has the ushers with a Bryston 4BSST and he loves it. Says its a dyna beater for him and he found the Focus 140 a bit 'cruder' with the same amplifier.
Shridhar what about the odyssey Stratos for this speaker? Amit u can play around with the Pre.
Rgds
 
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AMITNOIDA

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Amit, your room if I remember right is on the smaller side and you arent looking for party music at those levels. Budget aside, the CS300 will work well - you have to hear it ofcourse to find out for yourself.
The Mini-dancer 1 is easier to drive / more efficient. The CS600 is 32W.

Yes, my room is smaller (15 x 12 ft). But Leben CS300XS is out of my budget. Can I go for Quad power 909 with Lyrita Pre?
 

odyssey

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Hi
I havent heard the quad 909 with the Lyrita pre. Lyrita pre + Operetta + Be-718 sounds very good for the money. ROC is running a mcormack with the Lyrita. I dont know of other amps with the Lyrita as I havent heard them. An Odyssey amp with a Lyrita pre may also work, however I havent tried it

cheers
 

arj

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Hi Amit,
I have not heard the Usher 718 so all that i suggest is from what i have read only, unlike shridhar, cranky, ROC, Ronnie etc
My take is u will need the biggest, 'quality' SS integrated that u can afford. I know this holds true for most speakers but from what i have read the speakers need to be injected with power (100w minimum) to really move. They are capable of great dynamics and i doubt a 30 w tube is going to do that.

Although I have never heard the Ushers, from what I have read about them, i would heartily concur with Dinyaar. a good clean amp with enough power reserves ( maybe 50 W for a small room) would be good. If you can get hold of a plinius 8XXX series in amp..that may be a good synergy.
you may get a great midrange with most tubes but the bass punch might be missing especially if you are into Rock...
 

AMITNOIDA

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Personally, I found the 909 pretty warm and rolled off, though the resolution was pretty good and dynamics were excellent. I wouldn't get it for myself, FWIW.

For your room, I would suggest the BE-718 instead of the Minis. You may be overwhelmed by the bass modes.

Thanks Cranky for your response.
Quad 909 has 140 WPC and may offer the required power to BE-718. If it is warm, it may not be objectionable for me. Actually an used Quad 909 is currently on sale. Does it make sense to think for it. The pre may be tried from either Quad 99 or Lyrita pre, if found suitable after audition.

Between Little dancer and mini dancer, thank you to remove ny dilema. In fact BE-718 may be more than adequate for my room size. But mini Dancer is obviously much good looking and costly too by about 70k.

Thanks
Amit
 

Asit

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The Leben may have been the first tube amp that was tonally very clean, but even with 90dB speakers that Asit has, I could hear it struggle at the loudest levels.

I am not too sure about that statement, Cranky. I feel very uncomfortable to say the following but need to say this: Please remember that I am not quite a novice neither in music nor in equipments, and would never say something in favor just because I happen to own a certain equipment. In all these years, I have had the privilege of listening to tons of gears and even more varieties of music than most people can ever think of. I see a lot of myths both about music and the equipments floating around and I am either too old or too busy to constantly raise my voice and therefore mostly keep silent.

I certainly do not agree with you at all. Just that nobody, absolutely nobody gets a WRONG impression about these things, I am categorically stating that you are wrong about the Leben as paired with my Cantons, because 1) when you heard it, the AA cable was still some way to go in terms of a full burn-in, the system since then has become much more refined and smoother 2) even then I do not remember it "struggling" at any point of time during that session (just that at the bottom end it still has some issues because of the poor positioning of my speakers, but that also is much improved now after the AA cable fully burnt in) and I do not remember you complaining about it struggling at any point of time, (in any case, don't you honestly think the word "struggling" is plain and simple unfair?) 3) When you heard my system, we hardly ever went past 11 O'Clock position in the volume knob. Since then I have heard the system at much louder levels at times, and the system shows NO signs of illness.

In my opinion, if music ever needs to have more dynamic range than what is there in my system, it tends to be more drama than music. I say that with full conviction. In any case you would never get that in any recording that you and I can comfortably lay our hands on.

But, over all, I do not want to dispute your comment on the pairing of the CS300 with the BE-718, because I have not heard that combination. We have just to remember one thing though: all systems at all budgets start with a compromise (as somebody, probably dinyaar) said in this forum. For the given money, it's the optimal balance that one should aim for.

Regards.
 

Asit

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Hi Amit,

The BE-718 speakers have low distortion, and what I have learnt is that for obvious reasons speakers with lowish distortion are not very sensitive and generally need more power to be driven for the best results. There are exceptions, of course. For example, my Cantons are also low distortion (less than 0.7%) speakers, but at the same time they are very efficient too (93.4 db).

But there is a catch here, I think. We need to make sure in order to get the maximum juice out of your speakers, how far one should go with the power thing? Everybody as a rule would say you would need more power. Within a given budget (that you and I may be comfortable with), we have to make sure if we are compromising everything else by overdoing the power bit.

The Harbeth owner and designer Alan Shaw (popularly known AS) takes pains in his forum (Harbeth owner forum) that one should not go overboard with the power requirement of the amps. That's quite opposite to the Musical Fidelity kind of philosophy.

I would tend to settle for a compromise of the following kind: tonality and clarity followed by microdynamics are the most important traits, at least for the predominant variety of music I listen to. I am not ready to compromise with these things too much and may let go other desirable traits to some extent. Of course, if I had the budget of a dinyaar, I would not mind having more powerful amps, because I would know at that budget fewer things will be compromised.

To comment on the Quad 909 power amp: Yes, I have heard that at a lengthy (3 hour long) audition. It is a decent amp, and its strengths are absolutely fabulous mid-range resolution and dynamics, but in terms of clarity, it is not the best available for the price. I would personally prefer a much cleaner amp. My Leben CS300 is simply a class apart from all these amps that I auditioned (detailed in my amp thread).

Regards.
 

mahiruha

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Hello Amit,
I don't know much about stereo amps but from my recent experience I can tell you that this 6c33c set amp Viren produces has lot of power. In my big room the amp volume is always set to 1 o clock position and I control volume through my pre amp. I get very loud volume when the pre amp volume knob is set to 11 o clock position. SO I believe this amp is really powerful. Since you are in delhi you can take your Ushers to viren's place and try for yourself how they are performing. Don't know about other delicate things you are looking for but on the power front this amp won't let you down.
Thanks,
Mahiruha.
 

mahiruha

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mahiruha, what speakers are you using with that SET amp, and what is their sensitivity?

Power has nothing to do with the volume control position.

Hello,
I am using Hamony one floorstanding speakers produced by Viren. It has a sesnitivity of 93db at 1 watt and power handling is 50 watt. Does it mean if 1 watt power is suplied to the speaker then it produces a spl of 93 db. My intention of relatiing the knob position with power is to have a mapping how much power the amp is producing. I know watt = volt * ampere. When we control volume then what are we controlling voltage or current? I also want to know why low power rated tube amps sound as much loud compared to much higher rated SS amps. Where is the falacy?
Thanks.
 

AMITNOIDA

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Hi Amit,
I would tend to settle for a compromise of the following kind: tonality and clarity followed by microdynamics are the most important traits, at least for the predominant variety of music I listen to. I am not ready to compromise with these things too much and may let go other desirable traits to some extent. Of course, if I had the budget of a dinyaar, I would not mind having more powerful amps, because I would know at that budget fewer things will be compromised.

To comment on the Quad 909 power amp: Yes, I have heard that at a lengthy (3 hour long) audition. It is a decent amp, and its strengths are absolutely fabulous mid-range resolution and dynamics, but in terms of clarity, it is not the best available for the price. I would personally prefer a much cleaner amp. My Leben CS300 is simply a class apart from all these amps that I auditioned (detailed in my amp thread).

Regards.

Asit you are absolutely right. I don't have budget for going to region of fewer compromise. I have to live with some compromise due to budget. Leben is a good amp. I had personally listened BE-718 with Leben CS600. But you know, it is simply beyond my budget. I think, considering all the feedbacks, Jaton Operetta with Lyrita pre is going to be the choice available to me within my budget. Regarding Operetta you, Cranky, ROC, Sridhar and Dinyaar all have given good opinion.

Also, I will be happy to include at least one component from Viren. I have big respect for him.

But I have to go to Bangalore once more to listen BE-718 with Operetta and finally decide. Thank you all for your overwhelming response and suggestion.
 
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