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I recently purchased a pair of Tannoy System 12 DMT II speakers to use in a home studio. I'm now looking for an amp. The speaker's specs recommend an amp between 50 and 300 watts per channel (8ohms) but suggest strongly on erring on the upper end of the scale.

Looking through the local eBay equivalent, mercado livre, there are quite few options between 50 and 100 watts (prices in Brazilian real):

Urei 6230 R$1900
Hafler TA 1600 R$990
Hafler P1500 R$1200
Hafler dh200 (don't know if it's a kit model) R$1000
Bryston 3B $2300
Bryston 2blp R$1800

There's also a crown CSL 800 (R$1200) and a choice of 2 macro-tech 1200 amps for sale (R$1500 and R$2500, ugly and clean looking respectively) I think both of these models give about 300 watts pc into 8ohms but are fan cooled and may be noisy. If so, perhaps I can put them in the adjoining bathroom and run longer cables.

At the audiophile end there is a McIntosh MC 162 for R$4.8k which gives 100w into 8ohms. Also a Krell KST-100 for 4.8k which gives 100w into 8ohms and a Emotiva XPA-2 which gives 300w pc for 2.7k.

Any thoughts/suggestions?



anonymous Tue, 02/11/2014 - 06:30

I'm not a Tannoy fan, although I must admit I've never mixed through the model you mentioned.

All of the power amps on your list have solid reputations. I like Hafler and Crown... I own both - a TransNova 1500 and an ancient Crown SA 2020...and I have no complaints whatsoever with either one.

Bryston has a reputation for making great power. I don't know if I've ever mixed through one or not. Maybe... a lot of times I'll go into a studio and the power amps are racked in another room or hidden.

There will probably be some variance in parameters like slew rates, but I wouldn't think it would be really distinguishable at that level / caliber....I guess I'm suggesting that if you go for any one of those amps you listed I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Surdo Fri, 02/14/2014 - 02:50

Thanks a lot for your replies. Very tempted by the Brystons and Haflers but I'm thinking strongly about getting something higher powered which may come in handy for other things and should suit the DMT 12s. A friend of mine who had a studio for many years with a pair of Tannoy gold (15"?) main monitors has been giving me some advice too. He mainly used Quad amps with the Tannoys and is crazy for these amps. They seem to be as rare as hens teeth here unfortunately. From my list he pushed me away from the fan-less crown 300A towards the Macro-tech 1200. I think I may buy this but since there are 2 for sale will wait a little more time to see if something else appears. Cheers.

mberry593 Mon, 02/17/2014 - 06:03

I probably should add to my comments above. Those System 12 installations were all for TV control rooms that were only concerned with speech. The little Brystons might not have been adequate for music.

I have another room that I am now using for various projects including music. I bought a pair of System 10 DMTs (2 dB less sensitive) and I am using a big Bryston 4B with them.

So I must apologize for my previous post. IMO the 2BLP is precariously low powered for driving DMT12s for music in anything but the smallest rooms.

Surdo Mon, 02/17/2014 - 06:40

Thanks mberry593. I still haven't purchased the power-amp and hidden away on this eBay-type site, I found two other options. One is more expensive but very tempting given the specs, power (perhaps too much), lack of a fan and the apparent condition. It's Carver's Sunfire Signature stereo amp - with 600 wpc into 8ohms. I also found a cheap pair of Carver PM1.5 monoblocks - but these look a little rough and don't seem to have the reputation of the Sunfire Signature 600. Any views on the Sunfire or the PM1.5s? Cheers

Davedog Mon, 02/17/2014 - 17:40

Carvers suffer a couple of engineering flaws much like the infamous Phase Linear amps. While they sound great and produce a huge amount of power they also are capable of going DC and taking everything downstream with them. That includes speakers. But they do sound so far as your list goes, all of the Haflers are smaller wattage amps although the old DH200 will do about 100wpc at 8 ohms. And it will not give up when pushed hard. I owned a small PA with them in it at one time. Two DH200,two DH220, four DH500's and never had a bit of problems. They aren't very sweet sounding. Very upfront.The Bryston is a great amp and @120wpc will drive those Tannoys quite well. The Crowns are all brutal real power amps. They are rated way below what they will actually put out. Unless you are listening to pre-recorded music, however, they tend to sound best when bi/tri amped and somewhat bandlimited. But the Macrotech amps are, as I said, industrial and brutally powerful. Buy the Bryston.

dvdhawk Mon, 02/17/2014 - 21:34

Hard to beat the Bryston recommendation, definitely top-shelf.

In the old days I had a half dozen or so Carver PM1.5s. We used them live for stage monitors and low-mids. We always liked the sound of them on anything except subs, but they can be high-maintenance. I never personally had a PM1.5 go into DC kill-mode, but had numerous failures. In my estimation, the dual capacitor that makes the whole thing tick would be their achilles heel. That, and the fact that Carver put a cheap fan (like a $10 hair-dryer would have) in them - which has always been a mystery to me. The fan speed is based on temperature and they scream bloody murder when you've been pushing them hard for a while - and even at idle the fan noise is still too audible for my taste in a studio environment. (problems I think could have been prevented by a higher quality fan)

On the other hand, we ran several Crown amps in the live rig back then and unlike most reports - I have had a one Crown D150, and one aptly named DC300 series amp go into DC kill-mode in a voice-coil scorching cloud of smog. Again, the sound was silky smooth and a thing of beauty through many years of road life prior to their untimely end.

To me, a good convection cooled amp (having no fan) would not be a deal-breaker. There are some great amps that have adequate heatsink to run 24/7 without a fan. The discontinued Crown K series, for instance, and a personal favorite of mine in the realm of old-school power amps - the Yamaha Professional series. Much like the Crowns Davedog was referred to, not a lot of watts on paper - but loads of actual real-world clean output.

Our live 4-way PA system back then (80's - 90's) was VERY hi-fi. :-)

Surdo Tue, 02/18/2014 - 01:54

Thanks Davedog and Dvdhawk. I guess Davedog you're referring to the Bryston 3B in my list. This is not from what I see the newer 3bsst but a model produced/purchased in the mid-80s. It also looks like it is the unbalanced version. According to the following site the older 3B model has 100 watts into 8ohms:

[=""]D 'n A Electronics Specifications | Bryston 3B Specs | Bryston 3B Repair | Bryston Repair | Bryston Stereo Repair | Vintage Stereo Repair[/]="http://www.dnaelect…"]D 'n A Electronics Specifications | Bryston 3B Specs | Bryston 3B Repair | Bryston Repair | Bryston Stereo Repair | Vintage Stereo Repair[/]

The link to the actual 3B on sale is:

[[url=http://="http://produto.merc…"]Bryston 3b Amplifier - R$ 2.350,00 no MercadoLivre[/]="http://produto.merc…"]Bryston 3b Amplifier - R$ 2.350,00 no MercadoLivre[/]

Still worth it with 100wpc and probably unbalanced inputs?

Shame about the DC issue in the sunfire. Couldn't find anything on this although I found one review that mentioned the unbalanced RCA "lab" input had no filtering capacitor to protect against a DC signal from a pre-amp (a review of the standard 300wpc sunfire).


Surdo Tue, 02/18/2014 - 08:05

Getting back to dvdhawk's reply, there is a Yamaha P2201 available, but the price is very high:

[[url=http://[/URL]="http://produto.merc…"]Power Integrado Yamaha 2201 Monstro P Destruição De Timpanos - R$ 3.799,00 en MercadoLibre[/]="http://produto.merc…"]Power Integrado Yamaha 2201 Monstro P Destruição De Timpanos - R$ 3.799,00 en MercadoLibre[/]

also a much cheaper and new Pc4801n. The specs on these aren't so good though although lots of power.

dvdhawk Tue, 02/18/2014 - 09:45

Having looked at the current exchange rate, I would agree with you that price seems excessively high for the Yamaha. Certainly about 5x more than I would pay for one. If that website is your best source, I'd be much more interested in the much newer P1600 on that site at a fraction of the cost. Or any number of the Crowns listed, or the small Hafler TA1600 currently listed.

I wouldn't get too focused on wattage specifications, they tend to be greatly exaggerated. The more reputable companies that list lower output specs, are probably just being more honest and more concerned about fidelity.

A lot of the amps listed on that site were designed for use in the USA, do you have a transformer to reconcile the line voltage?

Surdo Tue, 02/18/2014 - 10:34

Yes I have a transformer, but that hasn't stopped me from blowing two computer power supplies in the past (I'm a foreigner here, the locals are much smarter). Thanks a lot for spotting the P1600 - I had seen it, but disregarded it for some reason - i guess i thought it was too cheap! The specs look pretty good. I'll think about this strongly. Cheers