Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

General audiophile discussion that doesn't fit into one of the other main categories.

Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby maddog07 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:12 pm

I'm about to become the new owner of a pair of Trio's... the build is documented over on the Speaker Builder forum "Real Time Trio build". I have heard a pair of Duet's once...driven by a Decware amp. I believe the coaxial units are in the 94-95 db sensitivity range. I was just curious as to what amplifier's the veteran Hawthorne owners have found to work well and to their liking driving the coaxial drivers. Augie's too I guess... though sensitivity is not really a concern I have there with tons of ClassD watts available on the cheap these days. I assume most folks are using valves on the coaxial's, but I would not expect that to be "universal". So... you SS guys - please chime in also - I have no prejudice or preconceived notions here...
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby InfernoSTi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:24 pm

My favorite (and I've tried more than a half dozen tube amps) is a Bottlehead 2A3 amp. The Stereomour is simply outstanding especially at the very low price. I like it with Mundorf Silver/Oil coupling caps and JJ 2A3-40 tubes (a 300b with a 2A3 filament). The design doesn't compromise bass like some SET circuits do. I've posted the details why before and can again if needed.

Best,
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby Darrel Hawthorne » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:20 pm

Hey Maddog,

Thanks for starting this thread. Yeas ago we had a similar thread and it quickly became obvious that we were all over the place with regard what amps guys were using with the Silver Iris drivers. This, we assumed expresses the diversity of these drivers and well as their owners world wide. It further suggests that the speakers are not all that amp fussy and simply pass along whatever we send them. If you have an amp that you fancy or that has some sort of intrinsic sonic signature unique to it... chances are good that these drivers will faithfully pass that characteristic along, intact and in full voice.

The sensitivity and impedance of the drivers allow for a lot of experimentation. I fancy the 3 watt Spud style tube amps as well as our 25 watt tube mono blocks made by QuickSilver. For me personally it often comes down to needing a demo amp or R&D amp that is very natural sounding as well as being very neutral. I need an amp that does not have much a sonic signature. This lets me hear the speakers without coloration as much as possible.
Some other amps may be personally preferred but I depend on these very neutral amps to minimize unwanted influence during the design or demo times.

When just listening to music... Diana and I usually like to use her spud amp that she made. Proud Mama perhaps but the little spud is a remarkable amp. Very holographic and very open/honest but perhaps a bit underpowered for demo purposes. Ours has the original output xformers which are a little light in the bass. This disadvantage become a neutral or positive advantage when you run Augies as there is less loverlap in the low mid range this way... Sort of a built in high pass filter which limits how low the mids are being asked to play.

I imagine you will gets lots of responses to the question which amp do you prefer with your Silver iris’s. B_Y3P!


Cheers,
Darrel :D
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby maddog07 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:43 pm

well I have a Decware Torii MKIII that I just acquired late last year with the intention of it being the power for my first DIY full-range, high-efficiency, single driver DIY speakers - which did not come to fruition until about 3 months ago. And they are a match made in heaven. But, as you and I discussed early on about my Trio build, Darrel.. where I started out seeking OB add-on bass, i.e. Augie's, and have ended up with full range OB Trio's. One cannot have too many speakers can they? Especially if they are different "types"! But I digress. Anyway, another forum member that you directed me to (Echarlie), who is local to me, was kind enough to let me hear his Duet's - twice actually - his place with his amps and in another venue driven by my Decware Torii. So the coaxials will see Decware power to start with. The "spud" has piqued my interest here on this forum too. But I don't know enough about it at this point. Quicksilver is a "known" also, and a possibility. I guess I'll just have to see how it plays out - literally! But it's always good to poll the masses and look for "trends". After all, a thousand wise men can't be wrong - right?
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby ALF » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:56 pm

I have used them with a 300B SET amp (about 9W) and they sang ever so sweetly - beautiful mids and tops.
I changed to a KT120 PP amp (about 45W class A) and they sing ever so sweetly, and punch like a heavyweight boxer ... still beaut mids and tops, but with a fleshed out bottom end.
The SIs with a mid-fi NAD 320BEE (50+ watt) sound really good too - not as sweet as a SET, not as refined as the KT120, but in the reality of the real world, the "not as" really is pretty small.
I'd say the Hawthorne coaxials are pretty forgiving, but they do reward care and quality.
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby Bob from Florida » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:00 pm

Hey Maddog,

I can second the Quicksilver choice. I had a pair of the original Mid-mono's - the ones with the larger output transformers - when I first got my PSI 15's. They started out at 55 watts in Ultralinear with KT88 tubes but I ended up added a Triode/Ultralinear switch, Audio Note Copper Foil caps, and variable feedback. Most of the time I like them in Triode for about 30 watts output which I thought was more than enough power. I do some engineering work for the local Quicksilver dealer and was updating the Silver 88 amps he had in his demo room to the latest circuit changes and decided to test them with the Hawthorne speakers. Well, now I own that pair of Silver 88's. As it turns out 80 watts of Pentode power amp is something the PSI 15's like a lot when it comes to super dynamics. These Pentode amps are the best I have heard yet! So while these speakers can sound very intimate with a low powered amp like the Spud - which is also a Pentode amp - coupling them with the right higher powered amp can be impressive at low to high playback levels.

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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby ALF » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:01 pm

Oh BTW - I also played them with a small cheap chip amp of forgotten breeding - apparently about 10W and they were a very good version of the 'Curate's Egg' - in this case mostly very good, but with a tiny underlying harsh graininess that sorta messes with a fella's mind after a while ... some people may not notice, but when you do, it starts to rule your struggling psyche.
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby jimcant » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:36 pm

Another Spud amp user here =D>

No complaints at any sane listening level, but someday I would like to try some more grunt, as Bob does,
but there is no dissatisfaction at all with the way my system sounds now.

Cheers,
Jim.
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby Jerry » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:03 am

Jim and Darrel,

Thanks!

Of course, I have to chime in with the expected (and biased) endorsement of the Spud. It can be your first or last tube amp as it really opens some doors and sets a value benchmark on the one end. On the other end, it can stop the tail chasing and allow you to settle down with something that is really unique and special in so many ways.

That being said, I've also heard the following with HA speakers and endorse them highly:

Anything from Decware. I've heard most variants of the Zen amps and they are great.

The AES SuperAmp (a Cary spin-off).

Several Carver and Sunfire SS amps (all worked very nicely)

Enjoy! It's tough to make a bad decision when powering the Hawthorne products. They aren't all that fussy and work with a wide range of amplification.

Jerry
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby BillS » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:46 am

Early 70's Kenwood Receiver for me, it has that soft sound that older equipment is known for. I like it a lot, I have tried several different receivers and a even SET amp, but I still ended up with the Kenwood. The SET was noticeably cleaner sounding, but I didn't like it enough better to find a place for it. Partly, it is a style thing too, the Kenny just looks right in my console...
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby George » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:12 am

Maddog

As this picture begins to unfold; the responses don't surprise me. These HA speakers pass on the characteristics of the respective amp as Darrel so well stated B_Y3P!

Keep in mind I am also biamping. Amps I have used with the HA include:

low watt amps such as the SPUD paint a marvelous musical picture, as does the Decware SE84; these are wonderful music reproducers, whose only limitations are on the power end for those who like to crank things up. They are magical on low to mid volume levels in my large room

I have found SE amps in the 8 to 9 watt range can have that same type of magic and be very, very satisfying for 95%+ of what I listen to. In very rare occasions; when I want to listen at extremely loud levels to complex music or rock they begin to run out of steam. If I could only have one amp; personally it would be one of these for the combination of musicality and power. My current favorite is the Sophia Electric 91-01 300B. A value option is the Dennis Had Inspire 807, Dennis is the retired founder of Cary and is building amps as a hobby. Very sweet sound amp. Have the 807 in the system right now

For when I want to get insanely crazy with bringing the house down, I put in a set of Quick Silver Mono 100's. As you have heard here, Quicksilver makes wonder sounding gear loved by many with their HA speakers. Couldn't go wrong with any of the QS products

You mentioned class D. I ran a Wyred for Sound putting out 540 watts per side. [^]- Awesome sound and limitless power; but to my ears not the musical magic of glass. Sold this one.

many, many options; as you have been reading. It is finding that right combination that you enjoy for your type of listening

this is all part of the enjoyment of this musical adventure

do enjoy :D

George
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby Bob in St. Louis » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:10 am

Hey MD,
So are you just curious to what we've got, or are you looking to make some changes?
Honestly, that Torii amp that you already have would be perfect running full range to the coaxes. Put a cheap(ish) plate amp downstream for the Augies, and let the amps internal crossover cut off the high stuff and that's all you need.

In the past, mine have been run with a 5 watt tubed Almarro or a 90 watt H/K AVR, but currently switch between a brand new Denon AVR or a 40wpc Jolida tube amp depending on my goals.
For bass duties, I've got various high octane amp from Parasound, Adcom and Crown.

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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby maddog07 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:41 pm

I absolutely intend to use my Decware Torii on the coaxials... and I have a Class D Audio SDS-470c that will be driving the Augie's. This will be my first config. I was just looking for "what" other folks have found to be to their fancy. I wouldn't want to miss out on some other magic combo that the HA veterans have already discovered...!
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby Bob in St. Louis » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:10 pm

:lol: I understand totally!

The tubes for the coaxes and big block high horsepower for the Augies is a combo that can't be beat.
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Re: Amps you like with your Hawthorne's ????

Postby George » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:39 pm

Maddog B_~!@

your Decware will be awesome for both musicality and power. Most people would be very, very, very happy with that driving thier HA's from now on B_Y3P!

George
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