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SE250 Hybrid Power Amp

User Comments

From: grouse
To: CCPOON
Subject: Re: Tubes for SE-250 amps 
 
Hello Mr Poon. The 12 AT7 tubes are definately superior in the 12AU7's in my SE-250amps. Both the 12AT7 and the 12Au7 tubes I replaced are dead quiet in the amps. The 12AT7 has noticeably more gain. Compared to the 12AU7's there is more detail. For example I usually test changes in my system by playing "The way I feel inside" from the Zombies first LP Begin Here. The singer sings mainly acapella in a empty studio. With the 12Au7s you hear marvelous detail, the slight echo of the studio and a wonderfull voice. With the 12AT7 in the detail is amplified. I hear the singers breath and I realize how hard he is trying to get things right. Even the echo sounds more real. Now I'm thinking "That wall in the studio must be about 4 ft behind him". 
 
In general everything sounds more dynamic and real. My wife says the instruments sound more real. The 12Au7s I replaced were great tubes, Amperex Bugle Boys. They have about 3000hrs on them but still tested strong (although not equal) with my tube tester. At first I thought the 12AT7s might be a little bright but now I think that just because I'm hearing more of the upper register. I just replaced the tubes in my preamp over a six month period. With every replacement I noticed an improvement but not at the level of this. Its the kind of change that makes you want to go through your music collection all over again. The 12AT7 tubes I used are 1960's Mazdas which were pretty expensive, about $160 a pair. I bet a less exotic 12AT7 would sound great also. 

 Best regards, Kim  


From: kevin keefe
Subject: THANKS FOR THE AMAZING AUDIO EQUIPMENT.

WHEN I LOOK AROUND MY LISTENING ROOM AND SEE ALL THE WONDERFUL EQUIPMENT THAT I PURCHASED FROM MONARCHY AUDIO; THE "DIP CLASSIC, THE TWO "SM-70 PRO ZERO FEEDBACK POWER AMPS, THE TWO DAC AND LINE AMPS, THE MIND BLOWING 300B TUBE PRE-AMP AND OF COURSE MY MOST PRIZED POSSESSION; THE SE-250 HYBRID MONO-BLOCK AMPS. MY LIFE CHANGED THE DAY I DISCOVERED THE MONARCHY WEBSITE. FINALLY I COULD REALIZE MY DREAMS OF HAVING TRUE AUDIOPHILE EQUIPMENT. IF THAT WERE NOT ENOUGH, THE FACT THAT ANYTIME I HAD ANY QUESTIONS, I CALLED AND WAS GRACIOUSLY INDULGED BY THE VERY SAME (IF I MAY, GENIUS) THAT CREATED THESE WONDERFUL AUDIO PRODUCTS. PLEASE FORGIVE MY EXUBERANCE BUT I LOVE MY MONARCY AUDIO EQUIPMENT AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WHAT NEW PRODUCTS YOU MAY OFFER IN THE NEAR FUTURE. THANKS SO MUCH

KEVIN JOSEPH KEEFE


Mr Poon,

Received the monos in perfect condition. They are wonderful. I left some positive feedback for you on Audiogon. Please do the same for me. Username is EHoehn. I will be positing a review on audiocircle in the coming weeks. I will send you a copy

Thanks again

Eric
ehoehn@rocketmail.com


Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 20:50:54 -0800 (PST)
From: Peter Anon
Subject: Re: SE-250 tubes

I havn`t tried many tubes yet but these Mazda silver plate easily beat the following tubes - Tubes you sent me x2,RCA 3mica cleartop 12AU7, Genalex A2900 3mica 12AT7. The Mazdas produce good bottom end,clear slightly warm mids and extended beautiful airy top. Very musical dynamic and detailed. GEC A2900 was good also but not as nice top end and also too expensive.
I was lucky and got a NOS matchd pair from a guy in russia on Ebay that were in great condition for only US90. He will be selling more when he can get hold of some for around US120. Currently there is 1 person selling a pair on Ebay for US200 from Singapore. Other than that you would have to search some online tube stores I guess.

I gather you will pay somewhere between US90 - US250 for a good NOS pair. I am about to put them up against some 1950`s Tele ECC801S AT7 or 802S AU7 tubes from a reliable source. I will let you know the outcome. Bare in mind I am not using any other tubes in my system yet as I have not received my NM24 from Lenehan audio. It is still getting modified along with my Marantz CD80 transport. I can`t wait. Mike says I will be floored.

Two things - people keep telling me that a good 12AU7 should usually sound better to some extent than a good 12AT7(so far the only evidence I`ve heard is the cheaper Mazda beating the highly regarded expensive GEC A2900). If that is so then I might be inclined to try the early tele 802S instead of the 801S when I compare with my Mazda silver plate.

ATM I am clipping my Yamaha preamp if I turn volume up to far. BUT before this happens the sound is very very nice indeed. My current cdp is of pretty good quality and I am using GE NOS cable as dedicated lines and good quality cables. I will be purchasing a regenerator from you soon and some sort of power isolation.

You might be interested in knowing that I am a huge believer in cables and had quite a few on hand for the 250`s. I tried many big buck PC`s on them. Quick exampe - Virtual dynamics Master (nice but a bit unnatural sounding), Lessloss DFPC(too uninvolving a bit bland),NOS GE cable(quiet nice smooth balanced dynamic),Purist Dominus(similar to NOS GE but less resolution and dynamics) BUT when I plugged in the huge Z-cable Cyclone Ref1 cables .... VOILA! Your 250`s love these cables. So smoooth and quiet yet everything is there/happening and very musical. I love this combo especially with the Mazda tubes! To compliment this I finally decided on the Audioquest Anaconda with Eichmann plugs. These ic`s truly sound nice on your 250`s. Nice extended very airy top end with good detail and everything else is very good. I went through many ic`s before settling with the Anacondas. Only other cables that sounded similar with slightly better resolution soundstage midrange on your 250`s was Z-cable(now clarity cable) current model Organic cable. I sent this cable back as it was too expensive to buy and my Anaconda sounds good enough. I will try the Organic again after I receive the NM24. I tried about 10 - 15 of my favourite highly regarded ic cables on 250`s including your DR-2 which sounded good well balanced for the price but a good ear will pick up improvements using other higher priced cables especially in the top end with the 250`s.

I have not played with many speaker cables as yet but my nice reference GE NOS cables seem to let everything through clearly and smoothly as always. Sorry to ramble on but I must say the above combo of cables on your 250`s sure sound sweet to my ears and everyone else that has listened. I am very happy! I had serious doubts that your amps could compete with my previous highly regarded and very popular current model Spectron musician III amp with all updates. What a great amp. With average cables and tubes Spectron beats 250`s in every area. BUT your amps really do seem to respond allot to great tubes and cables. With 250`s setup as described above I really do think I`m enjoying them more than Spectron even with good cables on it. Of course Spectron beats 250`s with more headroom etc at 600wpc and has better extended bottom end but heck listening to the 250`s atm I am not really missing that extra power at all as they are sounding great.

Plus I use a quality Revel B15 sub which is very tight fast and musical. Anyway my Lenehan ML1+ speakers are imaging like champs and sound big and beautiful.

Well done once again for a great design with loads of potential at an affordable price! SE-250`s are winners in my book!

I want you to clarify one thing for me again if you don`t mind. Are you sure that I will have all the gain necessary with the NM24 to drive the 250`s using AU7ubes??? Please advise again. I want to be sure because I have not played with the NM24 yet and will not be receiving it until April sometime. This information will help me decide which Tele tubes to try next as described at beginning of mail. If you are sure that NM24 will fix slight gain issue I am experiencing atm with AU7 tubes then I will stick with this tube type instead of AT7.
Many thanks.

Pete


Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 07:58:11 -0800 (PST)
From: Peter Anon

Hi, I am in love with sound of Mazda silver plate 3 mica 12AU7 tube for SE250 amps! BUT gain is very low. I want to try the Mazda 5751 low gain 12AX7 tube. Is it hard to adjust bias on amps to accommodate this tube? Or will current tube be OK once I insert NM24 in system? My NM24 is still with Mike Lenehan`s tech getting modified. I am currently using Yamaha reciever as pre-amp. Please advise. Pete



I wanted to write to tell you how much we (my wife and I) are enjoying the new SE-250 amps. You were totally right in thinking I was jumping the gun worrying about tube substitutions before I ever even received the amps.

When we hooked up the SE-250's I immediatley noticed the great midrange and highs we were looking for. Detailed with a liquid feel that was missing from our previous solid state amp. The bass seemed a little thin, but I thought this was probably because my VMPS RM-2 speakers were over damped. This turned out to be the case. After I adjusted the putty on the RM-2 passive radiators, the bass was back and the music had a lifelike full feeling. I'm pretty poor at discriping how a piece of equipment sounds. Like alot of audio buffs, we have reference songs to test aspects of a a new piece of equipment.

One song for bass response,one for female vocals, ect. I started to go through this list but became too involved with the music to continue. Instead I started going through our CD's wondering how The Monkees and other "nonaudiophile" selections would sound. I think the ability to make one listen closer and more to music is the best compliment one can give. The SE-250's do that.
I'm sure we will be trying some more exotic tubes in the future. Tweaking a system is half the fun of this hobby. For now we have alot mor listening to do. I will certainly recommend the SE-250's to anyone.

Thanks Kim Schroeder



Dear Mr. Poon:
I cannot get over how great these SE-250 mono block amplifierssound. The stereo imaging is sensational, and the sound is crystal clear.One of the best things about these, besides the price, is that I canadjust the sound by simply changing two relatively inexpensive tubes. Ilove tubes and being a hybrid tube/solid state design they are justperfect for me. I have experimented with all types of tube replacementsfor the SE-250's and when I get the upgrade bug I can dramatically changethe sound by just dropping in a new set of tubes. I am also using yourupgraded power cords with your amps and they replaced some more expensiveafter market ones I was using. I did enjoy the SE-160 mono block amps you let me try but the 250's gave me the power I wanted, although I probablydid not need because my speakers are quite sensitive. Please put these on your price list so others can learn of these amps too, why do you keepsuch a good thing a secret?

I read the article from "Secrets of HomeTheater and High Fidelity", and it’s too late the word is gettingout. One of the things that persuaded me to go with the SE-250 over theSE-160 is the beautiful faceplate you designed; all my audiophile friendsand my wife love them. Even my teenagers thought they were “kool�. If you could do it this would be a great upgrade option for your wholeline. I wish more manufacturers would make attractive faceplates as Iconsider my equipment a large part of my home decor (since it fills alarge part of the room) and therefore it must be pleasant to look at aswell.

Attached is a picture of my living room with all the equipment togive you an idea of what I mean. If you look closely at the pictures Imade some brass cylinders of various heights and widths to put under andon top of your amps, my speakers and other equipment. My friends and Iseem to really enjoy the sonic upgrade they made for only a small outletof cash. You can borrow some if you would like to try them. Your DIP andUpsampler are still in my home theater room and doing fine. I will becoming by soon for some more DR-1 interconnects, as they are quiteaddictive. Lastly the audio cables you sold me a few days ago are amazingfor only $49 and sound better then the $500 cables they replaced. Youwere right; you can get true hi-end sound without spending a fortune.

Nowif you would only design a new pre-ampï¿•••ï¿•••ï¿•••I might be reae ready foranother change. I seem to be becoming quite a fan of Monarchy equipment.
Thanks and Happy Listening
Tony(Tony Nicosia)
Date: Thu, 02 May 2005From: Tony BarnsE-Mail: nato



May I say a few things about the Monarchy SE-250? It is such anexceptional amplifier. It indeed possesses both the sweetness of a tubeamp and the power and dynamics of a large solid state amp. The sound isso balanced, detailed, so pleasing and full-bodied.
As I had mentioned to you, I had been thinking of bi-amping theDynastats, but the SE-250s are so powerful that I am having secondthoughts. Bi-amping doesn't at all seem necessary. However, depending onwhat it costs, I think I will yet have the passive pre-amp built with thetwo volume controls and two sets of outputs-who knows what the futurewill bring. Will building it this way reduce the gain of the two outputscompared to a single output?

The Dynastats are themselves a joy. I am quite mindful of thecircumstances of their sale and can only express my gratitude.
The length of the speaker cables I am interested in are as follows: onepair at 18 feet and one pair at 12 feet. What would the price be for these?

I hope that your weekend was an enjoyable one.

Sincerely,
Tony Barnes
March 6th, 2006



CC-I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your response to my email with respect to the questions I had about the se250's andalso the M24 DAC. I wanted to share a couple of things that I have done: I put the 6922's which you gave me, into the 250's and really liked thesound as compared to the 6DJ8's. I thought the sound was a bit smoother, withmore pronounced lows with a greater sound-stage. I was very happy with the tubeswitch. I then purchased a matched set of Amperex 6922 PQ's, white label, totry in the amps. Admittedly while these are expensive tubes, I had read somegreat things about these particular tubes and I was anxious to hear how theywould sound in the SE250's. Well, I must say the sound was just amazing! Your amps REALLY do respond to the sonic characteristics of the tube and I thoughtthe Amperex tubes did sound better than the Phillips JAN 6922's.

When I got your email I thought that I would try putting in the Phillips 6922's intothe M24's output stage as suggested. Interestingly enough, I did not like theresult. For whatever reason, I felt the highs were very harsh - excessivelyso. I then replaced the 6922's with the stock tubes of the M24 and I think thatI've got the best sound coming from my discs that I can get; save spendingthousands of dollars more, which I won't be doing. I just want to say theresults of using your electronics is nothing short of amazing and given theprice point, almost too good to be true.

I have the M24 DAC connected in between my transport, which is nothing special; a Pioneer Elite unit, and mypre-amp which is another Pioneer Elite product, model C90, which is, I think, a great solid-state preamp. I use the Monarchy upsampler, and set the samplingrate at 96 kHz. As interconnects, I use Monarchy digital cables (1/2" model)between the transport, upsampler and DAC.
The interconnects that I use for the SE250's are Kimber Kable. Because I live in a small apartment in Boston, space is an issue, so rather than floorstanding speakers, I use very average Cambridge Soundworks satellite speakerswith a powered subwoofer. I know you'll chuckle at using such a small speakerset up with the SE-250's, but the results are quite stunning. The quality ofthe sound, the sound-stage that I can achieve with satellite speakers is reallyunbelievable. The speakers will handle 150w, and while I know i could drive thespeakers well past their power capabilities, it is really never an issue as thequality and clarity of the sound is so good, moderate level of gain is all thatis needed. I also use the SE250's as part of my video/home theater set up andthe sound experience, albeit only 2 channel is terrific.
In closing,great products. I always talk about Monarchy to my friends here on the eastcoast, although, admittedly, it is not a name that well recognized around theseparts. I hope your new DAC continues to get great reviews and that your Companyreceives continued recognition as a leader in the audiophile industry.


Sincerely,
Jeffrey Mead je.mead


Mr Poon,
 
Received the monos in perfect condition. They are wonderful. I left some positive feedback for you on Audiogon. Please do the same for me. Username is EHoehn. I will be positing a review on audiocircle in the coming weeks. I will send you a copy
 
Thanks again
Eric
ehoehn@rocketmail.com

 

 


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