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06-07-2012, 02:36 AM
Hello RGA,

can i get your impressions on the following please?

CAT JL2 Stereo Amplifier
NAT SE-2 20
Thank you

06-07-2012, 03:46 AM
I have not investigate NAT because I was told they largely design for difficult to drive panel speakers - someone should tell the speaker makers to show with them instead of the likes of Bryston. The guys I would talk to are morricab on Audio Asylum - he runs SETs and or Tubes on his tougher to drive panels.

From Dagogo's staff - Philip Holmes is about as knowledgeable about the best tube types people should be looking into. He too has owned Panels and may still have a set.

Different tube amps play better with certain speakers is the impression I am getting and that just in the AN line-up so outside of that the various permutations can be staggering. Philip believes that the low impedance tube amp types are far better than the high output tube types. He also noted that his favorite amps are "push-pull DHT, with transformer phase splitter" using low impedance tubes like the 300B. He also doesn't seem to care for amps using the 12AX7 tube type.

The problem with this of course by reading Philip's views is that if the low impedance tube types "sound" the "best" and based on my lesser experience I would so far concur with his tastes then it further creates problems for guys with low efficiency speakers. They need high output tube types like the KT 88s or 211 or 845 and he feels all of them are much worse than the lower powered EL84, 300B, 2a3 etc.

It's why it's critical to try them. I like the LM 219Ia (Line Magnetic) because it's a beast for SET but my main audition was with the ATC SCM 150 - a speaker that needs power and the 845 is very powerful. My fear is it might bully the more delicate nuance of both my speaker. The big powerful Grant Fidelity Rita with the KT88s I liked but it did bully the speaker drivers thinning the sound out and sounding more SS than a delicate OTO with the low impedance EL84 output tubes.

CAT is designed for speakers that need to be bullied and they're built like absolute tanks. Not cheap but high quality rarely is. But hearing them briefly I can't be credible in talking about them - Philip and morricab are the panel guys who absolutely love tubes. Morricab seems to believe Kornzilla is the best amplifier maker out there right now - at least for his speakers which are panels. I don't buy his sweeping statements that they're the absolute best - for example Philip notes that Audio Note UK makes the best transformers by anyone "ever" and it's down to their unique winding process and higher quality cores and materials.

06-07-2012, 05:22 AM

Morricab is a good friend of mine and we visit each other quite often. Just wanted to hear your opinion on it. Thanks :-)