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Amplifier Pairing With Vintage Kef?

 
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T.O. Chef
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Joined: 31 Aug 2007
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Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:15 pm    Post subject: Amplifier Pairing With Vintage Kef? Reply with quote

Just wondering ..... who has experience with partnering NAD amplification with 70's-80's Kef's?

I am considering bringing home a NAD C-270 power amp for use with 104aB's, CS 1's, and/or 105's.
Circa 2001 this is a much "newer" amp than any of the speaker systems. (I have been using Quad 405/2 up to now.)
The published spec's of the NAD are impressive with tons of headroom. The newly recapped Quad is pretty good, but sounds a tad gritty with the 105's.

I also have a heavyweight Aragon 4004 mkII amp in another system, but it's too big to move about easily for trials.
I'm thinking the 120 wpc NAD should provide sufficient control, negligible distortion, and fine detail for the speakers mentioned in a smallish space should it not?

What is anyone else here using???
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proffski
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Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Amplifier Pairing With Vintage Kef? Reply with quote

T.O. Chef wrote:
Just wondering ..... who has experience with partnering NAD amplification with 70's-80's Kef's?

I am considering bringing home a NAD C-270 power amp for use with 104aB's, CS 1's, and/or 105's.
Circa 2001 this is a much "newer" amp than any of the speaker systems. (I have been using Quad 405/2 up to now.)
The published spec's of the NAD are impressive with tons of headroom. The newly recapped Quad is pretty good, but sounds a tad gritty with the 105's.

I also have a heavyweight Aragon 4004 mkII amp in another system, but it's too big to move about easily for trials.
I'm thinking the 120 wpc NAD should provide sufficient control, negligible distortion, and fine detail for the speakers mentioned in a smallish space should it not?
What is anyone else here using???


Hm, for my tastes I'd have thought that the NAD would be too laid back and polite to use with the KEFs. But that is purely personal.
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SaSi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have - in the past - used an under powered Luxman L-2 (2x32W) with a pair of home made CS1. Marginal in performance due to lack of power. Adding an extra 40.000uF in PSU capacitors helped a lot in cleaning up the sound but didn't actually sound much louder.

Much recently I have tried some vintage Technics integrated and power amps. The 9200, 9060, V10x and V6x with R105, R104ab, R107, Calinda and Carlton III.

The best performance was using a pair of bridged 9060s with the R105. Excellent and clean power and dynamics and lots of headroom. But one doesn't really need this. In most daily conditions, 10-15W peaks is the norm with them. But if you want to party or are home alone and in the mood, 180WRMS is very handy.

My pair of R107 clones (the woofers are SP1014 and the cabinets reconstructed from internet pictures) sound exceptional with the SU-V10x and 6x. Even the equalization in the low frequencies by the KUBE doesn't cause any clipping or overload to the amps. Currently using a single 9060 with them. Don't dare to bridge them as they are 4Ohm loads and the bridged amps are not supposed to drive them.

IMHO, any decent Solid State amplifier with at least 100WRMS nominal power and decent supply capacitors will perform great.
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audiolabtower
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Joined: 06 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 104aBs are very inefficient and do best with a true 100W. In those days I had a self built Quad 405 which I was pretty happy with but you can do somewhat better and more transparent nowadays, even after doing all the Snook etc mods.

For budget Kefs (eg when I had Coda IIIs and 10s) Rotel amps suited quite well after they were designed by Stan Curtis, tiny bit bright but very lively and "see through" and good value. Arcam also good, very slightly mellower at slightly higher prices.

For the 105s I found the British built Audiolabs to be very uncoloured and high end at a not beyond reason high end price (I use one 8000M bass and one 8000P mid/treble for each channel, triwired).
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T.O. Chef
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Joined: 31 Aug 2007
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Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings All.
I'm just circling back to this thread. I've been away.

I did spring for the NAD amplifier, (C-270 @ 120 wpc) and I'm pretty happy with it in this small space, practically near-field. I can't be sure how it would manage having to fill a really big space or do HT duty. But I didn't buy it for that. The occasions when I have tried "waking the neighbours" I have not been disappointed with the sound at all. (Source Dependent)

At 300 shrunken Canadian $ it's a bargain note for note. It certainly has more low end oomph than the recapped Quad 405/2 and I don't think I'd call it polite. At least not with the slightly forward presentation of the 105's. There's much less grain too.
I do appreciate the dual output terminals making bi-wiring of the 105's a snap. (It's very interesting how small changes in equipment including cables can be readily discernible through the 105's!)

So far I've only fed the big guys and some CS1's, but I'm sure the In Storage 104aB's would be quite happy with the NAD too.

Thanks for sharing all your thoughts!
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