Sprout And Fluance SX6 Bookshelf Speakers Compatibility?


#1

Hi everyone! Forgive me if this has been covered before, but I’m new to PS Audio and a quick search of the forums didn’t yield any relevant results.

To make a long story short, I’m considering a Sprout amp as a replacement for a Musical Fidelity V90 amp. The Musical Fidelity amp only outputs 20 watts per channel and my Fluance SX6 bookshelf speakers are rated with a minimum power handling of 30 watts. The maximum power rating is 100 watts and the sensitivity rating is 92dB. With the 20 watt Musical Fidelity amp, I felt like I was pushing it too hard at top volume and the speakers were not performing optimally. Turns out I want to play my records louder than I originally thought from time to time.

A quick note to Fluance’s support staff confirmed that the speakers do require a minimum of 30 watts per channel. Otherwise, the relationship between the Musical Fidelity amp and the SX6s becomes a game of power supply and demand, with neither amp nor the speakers ending up happy and possibly resulting in damage over time.

That being said, in the interest of protecting my audio investments, I’m in the market to replace my Musical Fidelity amp and wondered if the Sprout’s 32 watts per channel, at 8 ohms, would be a good fit for my Fluance SX6 speakers. Ideally, I’d like an amp that outputs something closer to 50 watts per channel, however my shelf space is limited and a compact amp would better serve my needs.

Please advise, if you can. Thank you!


#2

I haven’t any experience with the very speakers you refer to but my guess is they’d be really happy with Sprout. 92dB efficient is way more than Sprout needs to play loudly and nicely and I’ll bet you’d be happy as hell with this setup.

Thanks for writing.


#3
Paul McGowan said I haven't any experience with the very speakers you refer to but my guess is they'd be really happy with Sprout. 92dB efficient is way more than Sprout needs to play loudly and nicely and I'll bet you'd be happy as hell with this setup.

Thanks for writing.


Thanks for the info, Paul. You’ve got a great little product in the Sprout and I love the aesthetic of your company’s other products. I’m considering a few other options but rest assured the Sprout is on my short list!

#4

I have another question. And forgive my lack of audio knowledge. I’m still learning.

The specs tab on the Sprout product page claims “32 watts per channel, both channels driven.” I had a Musical Fidelity V90 amp that was only 20 watts per channel and I experienced difficulty driving my Fluance speakers at high volume even though my speakers are rated at a 92dB sensitivity and a 30 to 100 watts power handling. If I’m not mistaken, the Sprout falls just above the minimum power handling requirement of my speakers. Will that be enough of a power increase over my 20 watts per channel Musical Fidelity amp to make my speakers truly sing at any volume?


#5

If only it were that simple. It really should be, but it is not, quite.

The Sprout should be able to play a bit louder than the V90. At that, it may sound considerably better or maybe not as good. The only way to know for certain is to try them both out in the same room and with the same accompanying equipment.

Different amplifier designs just work differently. Even with the same specs, one may be able to play louder, but the other playing near its maximum may sound better than the first when playing at the same high level, but slightly farther from its limit. This is one of the many things that differentiate amps in particular - how they respond when being used near their limits.

Musical Fidelity does make nice equipment. PS Audio makes nice equipment. Ultimately, it is a matter of try it out and see which works better for you and the equipment (speakers in this case) it is connected to.

Best of luck, and feel free to come back and tell us what you ended up with and why you chose it. We may have something to learn from you.

J.P.


#6
wingsounds13 said If only it were that simple. It really should be, but it is not, quite.

The Sprout should be able to play a bit louder than the V90. At that, it may sound considerably better or maybe not as good. The only way to know for certain is to try them both out in the same room and with the same accompanying equipment.

Different amplifier designs just work differently. Even with the same specs, one may be able to play louder, but the other playing near its maximum may sound better than the first when playing at the same high level, but slightly farther from its limit. This is one of the many things that differentiate amps in particular - how they respond when being used near their limits.

Musical Fidelity does make nice equipment. PS Audio makes nice equipment. Ultimately, it is a matter of try it out and see which works better for you and the equipment (speakers in this case) it is connected to.

Best of luck, and feel free to come back and tell us what you ended up with and why you chose it. We may have something to learn from you.

J.P.


Thanks for chiming in, J.P. What’s great about Sprout is that it takes a lot of the confusion out of the hi-fi equation. And you’re right, it would just be a matter of “see for yourself” and picking the component that sounds best through my speakers to my ears.

Much as I loved the look of the little Musical Fidelity amp I had, when played it at high volume (of which I maxed out on more than one occasion while I was craving more sound) the music just didn’t sound “right.” I thought it was a watts per channel thing but clearly, there are many more variables at play.

All that said, I have another question; this time about the analogue or phono inputs on the Sprout. I read the product manual front to back and didn’t find the info I was looking for. Maybe you guys can help.

From my research, I gathered that these small footprint, high power, amps are operating in a “digital” way in order to generate “more” without all the bulk of traditional space hogging amplifiers. If that’s the case, then the analogue/vinyl inputs of the Sprout aren’t truly analogue and the signal generated by the music source is converted to something digital and then back to analogue as the signal travels to the speakers. Right? A competing product I’m considering claims it converts the audio signal to 24-bit/96kHz. What is the sampling rate of the Sprout? Or doesn’t it operate this way?


#7

The analog inputs, including the phono, are truly analog from the input through the preamp/control section. Indeed, the digital inputs are converted to an analog signal and fed through the control section the same as all of the analog inputs. This remains analog right into the amp modules. In the amp modules, the analog signal from every source option in the Sprout gets converted to a PWM switching mode for the final (current amplification) stage.

It might be a fun exercise to study exactly how “digital” amps work. They (or at least all that I know about) are not truly digital. The power amplification stage, before the signal gets to the final output filters, is still analog, even though it is being switched between only two states: Plus and Minus, High and Low, or On and Off as you find easier to understand. The analog component is the amount of time that the final stage is switched to plus or minus. Half the time on each level averages out to zero. A little more plus and less minus averages out to a slight plus. This is done anywhere between 150,000 and perhaps 1,000,000 times a second depending on the design of the amp. This is all much faster than the 20,000 Hz that is the commonly understood upper limit of human hearing. A filter just before the speaker output connections averages out the high switching frequencies and allows only the audio frequencies out. This is just a quick overview, you can search the Internet for “switching amplifiers” to get more details on this.

Next question? :-)

J.P.


#8
wingsounds13 said The analog inputs, including the phono, are truly analog from the input through the preamp/control section. Indeed, the digital inputs are converted to an analog signal and fed through the control section the same as all of the analog inputs. This remains analog right into the amp modules. In the amp modules, the analog signal from every source option in the Sprout gets converted to a PWM switching mode for the final (current amplification) stage.

It might be a fun exercise to study exactly how “digital” amps work. They (or at least all that I know about) are not truly digital. The power amplification stage, before the signal gets to the final output filters, is still analog, even though it is being switched between only two states: Plus and Minus, High and Low, or On and Off as you find easier to understand. The analog component is the amount of time that the final stage is switched to plus or minus. Half the time on each level averages out to zero. A little more plus and less minus averages out to a slight plus. This is done anywhere between 150,000 and perhaps 1,000,000 times a second depending on the design of the amp. This is all much faster than the 20,000 Hz that is the commonly understood upper limit of human hearing. A filter just before the speaker output connections averages out the high switching frequencies and allows only the audio frequencies out. This is just a quick overview, you can search the Internet for “switching amplifiers” to get more details on this.

Next question? :-)

J.P.


J.P.! Your knowledge is unsurpassed! And my head is spinning. LOL! Let me keep it simple this time…

I take it you own a Sprout? If so, what speakers are you using with it? And “final” question, how do you like your Sprout? Paint me a word picture of what it’s like to own one, first hand.cool


#9

Actually, no I don’t. A Sprout is on my wish list for a workshop system, whenever I can afford one. I am following with interest any discussions about speakers that would be a good match. I still need to look up your Fluance SX-6 to see what those are like.

As with many of my answers on this forum (and others), I do a lot of reading and absorbing across the internet and give back when I think that my accumulated information might be useful. Sometimes my information actually is first hand, but not always. Sometimes I miss… Hopefully less often than I think I do.

J.P.