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Well, it's been three years...
Three years since we moved house, whence I last listened to my Weston Thunderbird valve amp (~12W SET). Which my son James won as the door prize one previous year at bathurst. And I confiscated coz I paid for his weekend. I'm a bastard like that!
Prior to the move it was part of my stereo system, along with my turntable & and other bits and bobs, including Osborn Interlude 2-way speakers & using an active sub to make it a 3-way speaker system, rather use the sub to augment the 2-ways.
The 3-way config I found improved the sound overall, as I reckoned it reduced cone distortion of the 8" woofers coz they don't need to do the lower octaves that the sub takes care of.
So, on the weekend I finally reinstated the Weston Thunderbird valve amp.
I use the preamp section of a NAD SS integrated, which outputs to the active sub & crossover, which then highpasses to the single input of the valve amp.
So, we now have three volume controls to deal with. After a bit of messing about they are sorta dialled in.
The volume on the preamp (primary volume control).
The gain on the sub, is set to ~2 o'clock
The gain on the valve amp, set to ~2 o'clock
Here's the rub! It doesn't like it used to... :( I can't get the previous SPL I used to. It sounds nice, but it aint loud enough!
The previous preamp solution has gone to heaven. It was the preamp section of an older NAD SS integrated receiver.
The sub used to be dialled in ~12 o'clock. It's now ~2 o'clock.
The gain on the valve amp used to be set ~11 o'clock. It's now ~2 o'clock.
I need more volume. I need more gain. I need to feed the inner bogan with _loud _ music.
Over to you Agony Uncles. What to do!?
Notes: I have more volume if I use the amp section of the NAD SS integrated, but I prefer the sound of the Weston.
I discussed with the Duke of Earle changing valves some time ago, but he suggested I would get little SPL gain from a 4W jump to 16W.