what is the best matched affordable power amp for NS 10s??

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nestle
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what is the best matched affordable power amp for NS 10s??

Post by nestle » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:46 pm

Need a new amp, don't want to drop a bundle.. buying an amp isn't a very sexy purchase but it needs to be done. any pointers? ideas?

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Post by dfuruta » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:31 pm

used adcoms (535 or 545) are nice

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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:17 am

I have an Adcom GFA 545 mk2 that I used to have set up with my 1982 Rogers Studio 1 monitors and my Yamaha NS-10Ms (with an Adcom speaker switcher in between the amp and speakers). I repeat... used to.

The best thing that I ever did was experiment around WITHOUT the switcher in there, and with a few different power amps. I have to say that THE BEST amp that I have heard for NS-10Ms, at various studios on various pairs, is the Hafler P-3000 Trans Nova.

I now have my monitoring system set up as follows (and could not be happier):

Black Lion modified (clock and analog) MOTU 828mk2 --> Mackie Onxy 1620 mixer --> (SPLIT) --> Adcom GFS 545 mk2 + Rogers Studio 1 Monitors / Hafler P-3000 Transnova + Yamaha NS-10Ms / Avantone MixCube (powered, mono)

One may think that the Mackie Onyx is noisy/colored/etc but let me tell you, it is clear as a bell. Pulling the speaker switcher out of the picture was like pulling a wet blanket off of the speakers. And the Adcom 545 sounded sterile and thin with the NS-10Ms but great with the Rogers.

Can't recommend that amp enough for NS-10Ms.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

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Post by Jim Williams » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:47 am

I set up NS-10's in LA rooms with Adcom 545's since the late 1980's. I use one for my JBL's too. I also have 555's and 535's here too.

The Adcom has higher resolution than the NS-10 drivers can reveal. I'm amazed folks are still trying to listen through those filters. Those drivers do 10% THD and the waterfall plots are frightening.

I would be looking towards better monitors than swapping amps around. After a while you get tired of looking through dirty windows.
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nestle
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Post by nestle » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:31 pm

Thanks everyone, GREAT info, now the search!
Yes, I have monitors I prefer that I'm currently using. Genelec and curiously KRK rockits (8) which I really like. They were a cheap blow out at GC and were white, thought they looked cool and sounded ok. I bought them for my other studio but began to really like them even more then the Genelecs and way more than the NS 10's.
I keep trying to dismiss them because they were cheap but I love listening on them!
maybe the NS 10's will come to life with the right amp, but I know they always will fatigue my ears

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Post by Jeff White » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:31 am

That's the thing with NS-10Ms and the right amp: The Hafler P-3000 sounds VERY different than the Adcom GFA 545 that I have. It's not a subtle difference; the NS-10Ms sound better and less fatiguing because they have a fuller sound to them.

My band Creepoid was tracking drums back in August over at Fancy Time (studio) here in Philly and I was FLOORED by how good the NS-10Ms sounded there. I picked Kyle's brain regarding signal flow / gear and the only thing that made a huge difference (I have good converters, nice cables, etc) was my amp / speaker switcher. Pulling the speaker switcher out of the path helped, but switching amps and routing to 2 separate combos (as explained above) gave me the best results. And my Hafler P-3000 even has an issue with low-end distortion on one channel (which seems to be below the NS-10M's range).

I am in no way trashing Adcom amps, as I feel that my 545 sounds great running my Rogers Studio 1 monitors. I just feel that the Hafler/NS-10M combo is the best that I have heard with what I have.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

dfuruta
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Post by dfuruta » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:02 am

Wouldn't be totally surprising to like the distorted (broken?) amp with the less accurate speakers..."fuller" could just be more 2nd & 3rd harmonic distortion

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Post by Jeff White » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:20 am

dfuruta wrote:Wouldn't be totally surprising to like the distorted (broken?) amp with the less accurate speakers..."fuller" could just be more 2nd & 3rd harmonic distortion
For the record, the amp isn't distorted except for low low bass (and not that pronounced), and only on one channel. I cannot detect it on the NS-10Ms; it definitely is there on the Rogers.

Jeff
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Post by dfuruta » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:28 pm

are you sure? not being easily audible doesn't mean it's not there, and if you do hear a difference between the amps there's something going on, no?

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Post by Jim Williams » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:21 pm

It's usually best to audition amps when they're not broken.
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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:56 pm

You guys are right. I have no idea. Jeez.

Auditioned NS-10Ms through another Hafler at another studio. Which is why I switched out to begin with. Translation: 2 separate power amps, 2 separate pairs of NS-10Ms. Maybe not the most scientific way to go (as in not a/b'ing in same space with Adcom INITIALLY) but I was seriously floored by the difference between Adcom and Hafler for NS10Ms in my space, slightly bad channel or not.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

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Post by David of New Brighton » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:42 am

You could bookmark a search on eBay / craigslist for Yamaha p2200/p2201 amplifiers. I think they were part of the series the NS-10's were in. The ones they have up on ebay now are pricey, but once in a while they show up around $100-$200 when someone pulls them out of the attic. That's what I use & I've had no issues or complaints.

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Post by Jim Williams » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:01 am

Back in the 1980's I carried boxes of spare NS-10 drivers as they blew out regularly in LA rooms. Sometimes if I had a little time I could have some fun with them. One trick was to "finish off" rubbing or damaged woofers. I would use a track and insert the studio's dbx sub-harmonic synth and pump it full of 20~30 hz signals. Then everyone would watch those woofers strain, groan and sputter their way into the LA landfills.

Another fun trick was to use the moving fader automation and play "shoot the pencil into the woofer" game.

We would divide up into teams and take turns "shooting" a pencil off the faders into the woofers on the meter bridge. I found the Uptown System to work best for that as they had the fastest fader times.

If you stuck the pencil into the woofer you got a point. If you got a "bullseye" into the dust cap, that was two points. The only loosers were the studio owners that had to pay for those replacement drivers.
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:27 am

David of New Brighton wrote:You could bookmark a search on eBay / craigslist for Yamaha p2200/p2201 amplifiers. I think they were part of the series the NS-10's were in. The ones they have up on ebay now are pricey, but once in a while they show up around $100-$200 when someone pulls them out of the attic. That's what I use & I've had no issues or complaints.
but the P2200 is several hundred watts.
They are great amps, especially after they are re-capped. But they will easily blow a pair of NS10's. The adcom 535 is 50 watts or so. It has decent bass extension for "only" 50 watts too.
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Post by UXB » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:34 am

I have a Hafler p3000 which used to drive the NS-10s, but could not rely on the sound for anything more than balancing the midrange. Once it was swapped out for a McIntosh mc2105, the NS10s really became the useful tools that one hears about. This was a real discovery for me personally (friends similarly rely on Bryston amps to drive their NS10s). I know it seems wholly overkill, but it really makes the speakers sing. I have successfully used this combination for the past 6 years and it has helped translation considerably.

Before recoiling at the expense of said amps, one can find a McIntosh MC2100 for around $500 or so, which as I understand, is the same thing as the 2105 but without the faceplate and headphone outs. I haven't personally tested the veracity of this claim so please double check. Also, if not mistaken, Lexicon released some power amps many years ago for home audio that were rebranded Brystons, but again, please double check this data.

Best,
H

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