Deleted the old system I had published and added this one. Major changes in components over the last few years. 95% vinyl listening. Mostly rock, lots of acoustic-based stuff, classic jazz, fusion, prog, classical, female vocals....and beyond!
Never had pure SS. First amp was a hybrid integrated: tube preamp with SS amp; then separates: tube preamp (also 6SN7-based) with Van Alstine hybrid amp (tube + mosfets); then finally Audio Mirrors. My progression of preferred sound kept me on a path to applying more and more tubes. I don't have much experience hearing different amps, but from what I have heard, I suspect I'd have to spend a LOT of $ to equal or better the Audio Mirrors with an SS, if that is even possible. I suspect the secret to my awesomely preferred sound comes from a high-quality source + 6SN7-based preamp + powerful SET amps + high-quality speaker.
Thank you jond! I also have a used Ultraverve that I got here on Agon. I like both preamps as each has its own signature. I had Kara Chaffee build the Mercury III with upgraded output caps. She is great to work with. After I heard the Ultraverve I immediately sold my 12AU7-based preamp with 5R4GYS rectifiers. The 6Sn7 Ultraverve has the sound I was looking for...full, rich, not etched but detailed, relaxed. I like to think my system has a modern, but old-school sound.
Thank you rockadanny! I saw your system (somewhere? - maybe another forum) when I was in conversations with Vlad and researching. I figured if the amps worked for you they would have no prob driving the Fontaines. I had the Fontaines first, then added the mono blocks. I think mine are the second version of that speaker being just the Signature model and not the Signature SE, which I believe is the one they discontinued as it is on their site under Legacy products. Yes those are very inexpensive subwoofers beside the speakers, but they work fine for my setup and room. They are 8-inch, no port, with adjustable crossovers. Some off the wall brand from Amazon. For years I went through tube amps and tube integrated but found the sound I like with these amps. I have not had a solid state amp in so long I am kinda' wanting one! I would keep the monos but use the solid state to have a different flavor as I have 2 preamps and the little ML electrostatics in the 5.1 video system. After I got the Fontaines, EgglestonWorks, made me a pair of grilles at a very reasonable cost. Have you ever run an SS amp with your speakers?
Sweet setup there. I also have Fontaines (original version) with Audio Mirror 45W SET amps. Must say, the sound IS awesome, eh? Wonder how different, if at all, your model of Eggys sound compared to mine? I augment the bottom end with a pair of ACI Titan subs. Are those subs adjacent to your Eggys?
Thank you! EgglestonWorks Fontaine Signatures (listed on their website under Legacy Products) Bought them from a fellow Agon'er. Really like them. They reached another level when I added this amp and pre-amp. I also have Kara Chaffee's Ultraverve pre.