Sudgen Meets the Arias
Easter Friday brought me a visitor with a Sugden A21se Class A amp . Clean lines and styling & decidedly elegant for a reason I can’t put my finger on.
Initially we hooked up the Petittes and let the amp slowly warm to its work. So what happens when you attach an amp of this calibre to a new seat of speakers and only have an On/Off switch or Volume control to work with. Well you listen to it of course. Nice clean highs and midrange is excellent.
The titanium tweeters that I use worried me a little as they can be quite harsh, however I need not have worried, the amp’s high end control is nothing short of excellent. I still feel as did my guest that some experimenting with different capacitors may lead to even better performance from the little speakers.
We both noted the softness of the bass, this was a function of both amp & speakers as they are quite small. It takes an amp with either more bottom end emphasis or the ability to adjust the levels accordingly. That’s not to say the amp was short on bass, but rather that the speakers require a bit more bass response to really push them in that region. We had had things running for some time and decided to crank them a notch or two and played Dire Straits’ ” Heavy Heavy Fuel”. Once a bit more power was added the bass came alive so it’s there but with the Petittes you just need to give them a little more oommph!!
We then switched to the HT’s ( a three-way design ) which are designed for home cinema use primarily, I was a little concerned that the bigger speakers may put too much load on the amp, but as it turned out my efforts to design them to be as efficient as possible had worked well. In fact the amp wasn’t even breathing hard and the room was nicely filled with sound. Bass response was very good, neither under or over stated, just well controlled. So obviously the right speakers for the amp is a must.
To start with it sounded a little odd as we moved from quite a bright speaker to a more reserved one, but after a few tracks I was able to just sit there and enjoy the sound. My guest felt the wider and more spacious sound from the big speakers was pleasant to listen to and preferred them to the smaller set. I like the bright mid/top end of the Pettites, and I think a new 3-way design using the 8″ bass driver along with the 5.5 inch Kevlar as a mid and coupled with the silk dome tweeters I use in the Ht’s, could well make for a very enjoyable speaker to listen to. Now I wonder what a set of Transmission lines we be like.
A very enjoyable afternoon. My thanks to my guest for providing a listening experience that I have not had in a very long time.