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    Glow Tube Amp

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    uw69

    Number of posts : 4
    Thanked by peers : 0
    Registration date : 2009-02-08

    Glow Tube Amp

    Post  uw69 on April 10th 2009, 8:19 am

    Anyone used a Glow the X-ls speakers? Thoughts?

    Larry D

    Number of posts : 47
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    Registration date : 2009-02-03

    Re: Glow Tube Amp

    Post  Larry D on April 11th 2010, 3:26 am

    My feeling, without having tried the combination myself, is that the X-ls would not be the best speaker choice for the Glow tube amp because of their inefficiency. I think the X-ls are down in the 84-85-86 db sensitivity area -- the higher the number, the more efficient the speaker and the less power required to operate it properly. I have X-ls and like them very much.

    I have used small tube amps on relatively inefficient speakers and achieved (to my ears) excellent results. However, I don't play music loudly and it was, in addition, a more intimate setup - actually two, one was basically what we would call a "desktop" setup today, in a dormitory study room where my speakers were close by; the other was in a small guest room. These were Rogers speakers, not X-ls. However, I have even used the original T-Amp just to see if it worked by plugging it into my X-ls speakers and, surprisingly, I got usable volume just so I didn't play it loud. It was not a good combination for normal listening levels. I've read, too, that T-amps will distort if pushed close to their limit in volume.

    The Glow amp would perform much better with high efficiency speakers -- say, 90-something and up, preferably 93-95 db or higher. I have Tekton speakers which are perfect for the Glow amp.

    Although most of my speakers are "regular" rather inefficient (to very inefficient) box speakers, such as the X-ls, ELT's, vintage AR3a's (my latest find), Dynaco A-25's, Boston Acoustics, ESS, etc., I love single driver speakers, as well as, open baffle, folded horns, etc., for listening to music.

    Similar to the Glow Amp in size, I have a Dared MP5 and a wonderful little amp called a "Spud Amp" that comes in an easy to assemble kit. It is available from Hawthorne Stereo which specializes in Open Baffle speakers utilizying a custom manufactured Eminence 10" or 12" drivers. These speakers are very high efficiency and are easily driven to loud volumes by the little tube Spud amp. They would be ideal also for Glow amps and T-amps. Audio Nirvana has a very complete line of high efficiency drivers from which to DIY your own great sounding speaker that would easiy be driven by the Glow amp. Of the large commercial speaker manufacturers, I know that Klipsch specializes in high efficiency speakers. Check out Dennis Murphy's "Plop-in-a-Box" speaker design!

    The X-ls take some power to perform properly, especially as the room size increases or if you want to play them loud. I'm not sure if they have their own forum, however, I'd check their website to find out and if they do, you can probably get a lot of good and bad ideas from Glow amp owners. I think if you were to listen to the Glow amp combined with Tekton speakers or any good single driver, quarter horn or open baffle you would be amazed at the beautiful, clear, open sound they are capable of producing.

    It is not expensive to make your own (DIY) speakers nowadays. For example, you can buy very nice pre-built speaker enclosures (even in beautiful piano black) from Parts Express. Then buy the proper size drivers from Audio Nirvana, Planet10 HiFi or Madisound. You would have to cut an opening in the front baffle or have someone do it for you.*

    *If you decide to build the "Plop-in-the-Box" you don't need to use a router and "recess" your driver. You can carefully hand cut a fairly round hole with just a jig saw. Screw your driver right into the front baffle on top of the hold. It will cover over your imperfect hold, look great and sound great.

    Likewise you can get good speaker enclosures from Madisound. Planet10 HiFi buys their drivers from Madisound and then Dave "enables" them by painting custom little dots and dashes on them. The result, although your first impression of reading about it may be that it is yet another high-end audio "snake oil", it really does work. I don't know why. Dave can explain it. Customers swear by it and keep coming back. It doesn't cost that much. Plus, I think they look really cool. I don't know if he custom cuts front baffles for customers ... I know Madisound will if you buy the drivers from them (you could buy them from Madisound and have them send them to Planet10 first).

    You're probably not interested in all this. I kind of hyjacked the orignal question a bit. The answer is, no, I don't think the Glow Amp and X-ls are a very good combination, but you will hear music and it will probably sound good (because both are good sounding components) -- depending, of course, if you play "good music"! Someone with more technical ability might want to comment on what effect (if any) it would have on the little amp to push it to drive inefficient speakers. I don't know if it is like (to use an analogy) using a small car engine to pull a heavy trailer. It might overload it and break it, I don't know.

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