1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Amp suggestions for NS-10s?

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by Whitehouse_Prod, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Whitehouse_Prod

    Whitehouse_Prod Active Member

    Hey all,

    I'm looking to buy a new amp for our studios pair of NS-10s and was wondering where to look without breaking the bank. We are on a pretty tight budget at this time and while others have suggestion Bryston and the likes, it is unfortunately out the question at this point. Is there an affordable amp that will do the job well? What is everybody else using on theirs?


    Studio Manager
    Whitehouse Productions
  2. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    I have always been a fan of the old Yamaha amps the PM seres. they are not to bad used but will probably need a tek to go through and cap em.

    Not supper stellar but nice enough.

    Not sure about new stuff?
    I use some old beat up tube amps a lot here.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    My boss uses a hafler that is significantly more wattage than the speakers are rated for.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Look into a Peavey. Go for the power for the headroom. Plenty of used ones floating around. They'll work. I've actually liked the sound of some JVC consumer receiver/amplifiers. Nothing less than 40 W per channel and more if you can get it. Yeah, Yamaha amplifiers also.

    I use all of the above except for the Peavey substitute Peavy with Crown DC 300 A type II.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Find an old Rotel or Sansui stereo power amp. Fleabay will have em. The Rotel's are direct coupled. And very efficient. There are many. NS10's do better with fast slew big headroom.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You know... I never thought about powering a pair of NS 10's from a pair of Macintosh tube amplifiers? Probably because I only have a single channel Macintosh tube amplifier? They are so warm, rich and flabby that they may actually complement those horrid sounding Yamaha's?

    I forget what brand of toilet paper Bob Clearmountain used on his NS 10's? I know I personally like the Charmin Strong but not necessarily on my speakers but up my ass. And that's all because they are too naturally too bright. Not my ass where the sound don't shine. LMAO whoops! Now I need some Charmin.

    Thankfully at least my audio doesn't stink
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    yesa t shirts work in an emergency pinch, but, thats more for the woods than the studio. I can only imagine the atrocity of the auction title 'bob clearmountain used tissue', $1k?anybody.
    jokes aside i looked at your studio site and it looks like ya got some good things going on. Were you using an amp that stopped working.? If your already used to a setup's sound, and like it, it could be better to just fix it, and get used to the repair. If it's a new setup, all i can say is try some recommended stuff at your place till it's 'the one'. Having not used anything beside the halfler amp on the ns-10's, i'd personally just start smiling over the idea of a tube based power amp on any speaker. But blind tests are where its at, you just know what one you like better, usually right away.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'll chime in too, makes me want a new amp!

    More headroom the better for any speaker I say. I sold a Bryston 2B years ago because I was a moron and have been kicking myself ever since. First and foremost, they are quiet and choice for recording studios, then to add, have plenty of headroom and great detail across the spectrum. A 3b would be even better.

    That would be my choice and/ or a glorious McIntosh indeed Remy ... , always lusted over those ( do they come in stereo?), or as Dave mentioned, an old Rotel would be wonderful, always wanted one of those too.
    Peavey and Yamaha are workhorses, had plenty of those but I personally wouldn't use it for anything I wanted fidelity with but in a pinch... I've also got by using a Dennon home stereo when times were not so good around here.

    I need a new amp for my Tannoys. Blew one up using a crap amp years back lol. What are you using or have you lusting over for yours Dave?

    My G.A.S is getting amplified :)
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    My main monitor amp is my old vintage Crown DC 300 A type II. Followed by a audiophile tricked up Hafler. Yamaha, Kenwood and that single Macintosh MC 30. I don't think they came in stereo? They are too large and heavy for just a single unit. So you would purchase 2. Though my friends Macintosh 2100 transistor amplifier must have weighed over 60 pounds? Unfortunately he lost that amplifier in a fire when the studio burnt down. He dearly misses that amplifier. Another amplifier I have that I enjoyed was the Pioneer Spec2 but it is in need of service. It was made available to me at an incredible bargain. While it was clean and solid, it never wowed me all that much. Accurate, sure. Impressive, not so much so. It's remained in a box untouched for the last few years. I really keep thinking I should get it operational again. Though I never felt that it had the punch of the Crown. Certainly though, power to spare. I've also pondered obtaining a second Macintosh MC 30 to go with my single unit? It's so warm, so full and no 30 watt transistorized amplifier could ever compare, ever, not in a million years. All I have to do is sell some other junk to be able to afford a second. Not easy to find but certainly not impossible to find. It's dreamy sounding. Would rather have had it been a 60 W version for control room purposes. I've considered utilizing the single unit as the center driver for a surround sound application/control room configuration but I'm not really there yet. Not in any serious way. The secondary control room is which I have running on a Sony fairly high-end consumer surroundsound amplifier. And that's powering a couple of KRK's, B & O's and JBL 4408 full range speakers and no subwoofer. Not enough room for my JBL L-19's which also need new woofer suspensions since they have rotted out along with the ones on my 4411's. Ouch! The cost of replacing the suspensions are almost as much as replacing the drivers themselves. There's a reason why God created duct tape. So they don't quite move like they used to and I don't consider them to be a precision source anymore LOL. Those were just relegated for home entertainment and enjoyment.

    Swimming in speakers.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  10. pan60

    pan60 Active Member


    Same boat with some of my JBLs.
    I am still hoping to get some butyl rubber surrounds for mine.

    My Macintosh amps are some of my most favored.
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I use a three digit serial number Crown D150 for my passive Tannoy System 8's. Its the oldest D150 Crown I've ever seen. I've owned quite a few over all the years...Sounds great BTW. One of these days when my "friend" returns my old Hafler I'll dual amp the Tannoys with the Crown on the tweets. My Hafler was a first year KIT! Yeah, thats how that company started. Kinda like Heathkit only a little higher up the food chain in fidelity.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    I helped build, install the sound and then DJ'd a dance club years back. We only played 45 RPM long play vinyl. Its when I was first introduced to high end masters and tracks before they were cut down for radio etc. Some of the long play 45's sounded amazing. We fitted the club with Crown amps and all JBL. The bass was amazing. We used 6, 18"
    front loaded JBL, mids and 2445 highs. Wow was how it all sounded. The specs on them were the best of all the amps we looked at. I later took part of that system on the road and started a techno duo. We used all JBL, all front loaded but used Carver, Yamaha and Bryston. Nothing compared to the Crowns for bass.
  13. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I've owned a couple of P.A.'s. My little 4-way was all JBL speakers and mostly Crown power. A pair of 4530's for sub, 4560's for low/mids, 2395 lens with 2440 drivers for upper mids and a couple of potato mashers for tweets. Crowns for all the power except the subs which was a BGW 750. TDM crossovers and an old beat to death PM1000 Yammie. Symetrix compressors and Yamaha Rev7's. It was a small but very very good sounding system. You could throw a grill cloth over it and swear you were listening to home theater speakers. It was all short throw so it worked well in smaller venues.

    I kinda miss that sort of thing but not enough to ever want to move that kind of weight around again.
  14. bishopdante

    bishopdante Guest

    I have one of those that I've been meaning to repair that I use for keeping doors open. Heavy old beastie. Every time I bring it out, I wonder if they used a lot of lead in its construction.
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i can't get old amps worked on in my neck of the woods.

    i take them to the local "studio tech guru" and he looks at me like i am coming from mars. says they're too old to fix .... no parts support from the manufacture /out of business.

    somthing like a new crown or qsc ... passive cooling 200 watts @ 8 ohms.
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I understand there are those Crown DC 300 amplifiers that supposedly, can't be repaired due to discontinued parts? Lead? Feels like lead but it's all beefy iron and mostly from that single gargantuan transformer on the back. Because you needed a huge electromagnetic field to transfer huge power to your speakers. Now we have class D. Huge amplifiers are now quite lightweight. Basically a modification of a computer switching power supply as the power supply and as the amplifier. So your old DC 300 may in fact be nothing more than a doorstop? And it used a very early integrated circuit chip, might be like trying to find a original Neumann U-47 tube? I haven't heard of any good retrofit modifications? At least any that you'd want to use? Though it might be fine for driving a hysteresis synchronous capstan drive motor for an old analog tape recorder?

    It's really hard to find those brand-new parts for your Duesenberg.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yup, lots of doorstops. Some of those will be priceless and some are just junk.


  18. mberry593

    mberry593 Active Member

    I am very happy at home with a Bryston 4B driving my Tannoy DMT 10s although a 3B would probably be adequate.

    I have built 4 (television) control rooms using Brystons to drive Tannoy DMT 12s & people were happy with the results.

    To get back to the OP's question, I have always used Bryston 2BLPs for NS-10s. A lower cost alternative might be to find a used Crown D75 on ebay...try to get one with the black face and the stepped level controls. Even cheaper might be an old consumer Adcom GFA-535 on ebay.

    I have also used a 3-channel Yamaha E492 as a power amp(again cheap on ebay) successfully with Tannoy Saturn home-style loudspeakers.

    The idea of a tube Mac driving the NS-10s makes me uncomfortable. I agree that it sounds like a good match BUT remember these things are not supposed to sound accurate or good....they are, like Auratones, just a well-known reference.

    btw, I have purchased 27 Bryston power amps in my career and not one has ever caused any problem either to themselves or to the attached speakers. I can't say that about all of the power amps that I have installed over the years. The big point about them however for me has been the convenience of the VCA option that allows a remote DC pot to control the level.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    When funds permit, a Bryston 3B has always been on my list. thumbs up
  20. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well, I said what I had, not what I actually wanted, a BrysTon. So you did this after we all split from NBC? I don't remember seeing any of those amplifiers around NBC? And we certainly couldn't get Scott to get this one for KYS? Did you do that for Fox? It's been so long since we've talked.

    Now Mike unlike myself, knows his stuff better than I do. I come from a different angle. We're very lucky to have Mike here. And he also knows I'm just a hack. But it's all art and rock 'n roll and I like it, like it, yes I do with the occasional operatic recording thrown in for good measure.

    Really I'd rather be recording contemporary country. Maybe next lifetime?
    Mx. Remy Ann David

Share This Page