Author Topic: Antique Sound Lab Hurricane DT, Golden Tube SE 100, Carver Black Beauties.  (Read 2640 times)

Offline StephenWVU

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Well guys,

Time for some reviews, at least the start of more detailed reviews.  So I started off my tube experience with the Golden Tube SE 100 amplifier on a pair of Sunfire CRM 2 speakers.  They matched beautifully and honestly I cannot imagine a better amplifier for a monitor used with a subwoofer.  The highs shimmer, the detail is outstanding, a natural sound on the highs I have yet to hear surpassed.  I later got a second Golden Tube SE 100 and that broadened the soundstage exponentially.  The depth with the Sunfires.  I then upgraded to the Martin Logan ReQuest speakers and noticed that unfortunately the bass was not what I expected using these tube amps and felt the need to biamp with a Solid State amp on the lows (Chiro C-200)  This sounded good but without the use of an active crossover I could never get them to blend as well as I would want.  Still, the highs were outstanding, shimmering, and natural.  The depth was easy to identify, the imaging was pinpoint, and the soundstage was well beyond the speakers.  I later placed the Carver Black Beauties on the lows and used the gain control to match the Golden Tubes and this matched MUCH better.  However, to say it was an improvement over using the Black Beauties would be a bold and in my opinion not quite true.

The Antique Sound Lab Hurricane DT amplifiers sound absolutely stunning.  At this point they are still being worked on by a friend of mine but can be used under a close eye.  They are being upgraded to different caps and some work is being done with how they bias.  The lows are extremely well controlled.  The highs are natural and clear.  They might not have the shimmer in the highs but they seem a little more realistic and overall balanced.  The mids are just nice and true.   A bonus is that even with all this accurate sound it is still a very musical pair of monoblocks.  They are a little tuby which may or may not be a plus.  On the downside, they currently drift hard (which should change when the mod is done), and the soundstage is not quite as huge.  I would take them over the Golden Tube amps due to their overall performance.  I had played with a pair of 100 watt ASL amps, I am drawing a blank as to the model and these sound nothing like them.  The others were not tuby in the least and almost sounded like a VERY good solid state amplifier.  These are much more musical and sweeter.  I have been told that is due to the lack of Global Feedback.

The Carver Black Beauties are the best amp I have ever heard.  They have a soundstage that I would say is lifelike, very wide, sounds come out of the walls and almost from behind me.  The 2 ohm tap is wonderful while running my demanding Martin Logan ReQuest speakers.  The depth goes on for as far as the recording goes.  The highs are sweet and there but not as sweet as the Golden Tube amplifiers.  The mids are perfect, natural, and accurate.  Perfect pretty much detailed it in the beginning.  The lows are more controlled and powerful than what I have heard even with solid state amplifiers.  The downsides to these is that they are far from cheap and even though they put out 300 watts at 8 ohms I feel to play the Martin Logans are reference levels I am stressing them quite a bit and running them with an amp that is not the same makes the quality of sound decrease.  If I had another pair of Black Beauties I think it would be impossible to beat but once again, that is a little bit expensive..  :P  Back to not valuing sleep and enjoying my music.





Speakers: Nearfield Acoustics Pipedreams Reference 18
Amplifier:
Crown XLS2000 on subs
VAC Renaissance 30/70 (towers)
Preamplifier/DAC: Phison PD2
Server: Antipodes DX (everyone should investigate this brand)
CD: SONY DVP 9000ES
Turntable: I will have one again... Looking at Hanss T60 or VPI Aries

Offline StephenWVU

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Re: Antique Sound Lab Hurricane DT, Golden Tube SE 100, Carver Black Beauties.
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 12:30:02 PM »
Wow... I must have been more tired than I thought when I wrote this.  The content is true please forget the random word skips and bad prepositions.  The Sunfires with the Golden Tubes lacked depth, the ASL 100 watt amps were Model 108s, and I forget what else was horridly written but ew.  I will be adding to the writeup later anyway.  The Hurricanes and Golden Tubes are for sale.  The Golden Tubes are available now, the Hurricanes are not.  PM if interested.  Moreover, the lack of bass from the Golden Tube amps could be due to the demanding Martin Logan ReQuests.  I would like to try them on a full range 8 ohm speaker but do not have any available to me at this time.
Speakers: Nearfield Acoustics Pipedreams Reference 18
Amplifier:
Crown XLS2000 on subs
VAC Renaissance 30/70 (towers)
Preamplifier/DAC: Phison PD2
Server: Antipodes DX (everyone should investigate this brand)
CD: SONY DVP 9000ES
Turntable: I will have one again... Looking at Hanss T60 or VPI Aries

Offline schwarcw

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Re: Antique Sound Lab Hurricane DT, Golden Tube SE 100, Carver Black Beauties.
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 11:07:40 PM »
Nice write up Steve!  The Carver's sound very good for sure.  And they should for the cost LOL!

Personally, I got a lot of mileage of having a nice tube preamp, a tube phono preamp and a high quality solid state amp.  It's a matter of taste, YMMV!

Thanks for the critique.
Carl