Fryette LX-II vs Synergy SYN-5050 vs Fryette PS-100

MikeyT

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
119
Thanks for doing this Michael. For me, the LXII sounded more open and fuller. I'd be really interested to see how the LXII compares to the 2/50/2 or the RT 2/50. kind of 2 space vs 1 space.
I have both of those power amps as well. The 2/50/2 would be a challenge for the LXII. I don't think the RT 2/50 would stand up well but that would be a fun shoot out.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
I have both of those power amps as well. The 2/50/2 would be a challenge for the LXII. I don't think the RT 2/50 would stand up well but that would be a fun shoot out.

That would be great! I’m considering both of these! I have an LXII on the way (whenever it decides to ship) but fear it wouldn’t stand up to the 2/50/2.
 

support

Member
Messages
889
There’s always speculation about how power amps work and which power tubes do what, and then there’s the reality, which is when you set them all side by side, it’s green apples vs red apples vs honey crisp apples vs golden delicious.

At the end of the day, brute power output has never been the real driving force behind tube guitar power amp preference. One reason our big power amps are so reliable is that nobody ever runs them anywhere near the point where the tubes are working even medium hard.

Dean Deleo uses his Classics on half power, Page Hamilton, who used to use 2150s exclusively though he never turned them up past 10-11 o'clock, recently played his GPDI through a Power Station PS2 (50W) for the first time and is now going to use that as a fly rig. Mastadons Bill Kelliher just started using an LXII after initially inquiring about a 2/90/2, and he says it sounds "monsterous".

The truth is, most people choose a tube power amp because it has a rep, it's cheap, it's the most expensive, it's big or small, has a lot of tubes or a particular tube type, or "massive transformers", how much noise the fan makes, or someone else's recommendation. Maybe 10% of people who buy our power amps, do so based on individual trial and error.

You really can't go too far wrong with any decent quality tube power amp, but there are things that distinguish one from another that users never even think to explore - the most important of these being channel separation.

If you A/B one channel only of 2 different brands of tube power amp to evaluate the comparative sound, you will totally miss how much crosstalk exists between the 2 channels of a given tube stereo power amp. But if you're actually using it in stereo, this will be the most important criteria on which to compare. Crosstalk is low level signal bleed between channels. A high level of crosstalk can cause the stereo image to diminish, and with reverbs and delays, will result in frequency cancellations significant enough to make the image sound congested and in extreme cases, practically mono.

Intermodulation distortion (IMD) is another artifact that will be overlooked when doing the above A/B comparison. IMD occurs when the power supply runs out of gas such that when one channel is operating, it causes fluctuations in the power supply that are transferred to the other channel. When both channels are used, they are basically beating against each other causing ghost artifacts and comb filtering.

Spoiler alert: Some of the more frequently discussed stereo tube amps using 3 preamps tubes are the worst offenders in this regard.

A power amp design that minimizes crosstalk and IMD will typically feel a little stiffer - especially at low volumes - when only one channel is used, but in stereo operation will sound and feel more natural, and it's stereo image will be dramatically wider.

YMMV
 

RMosack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,440
There’s always speculation about how power amps work and which power tubes do what, and then there’s the reality, which is when you set them all side by side, it’s green apples vs red apples vs honey crisp apples vs golden delicious.

At the end of the day, brute power output has never been the real driving force behind tube guitar power amp preference. One reason our big power amps are so reliable is that nobody ever runs them anywhere near the point where the tubes are working even medium hard.

Dean Deleo uses his Classics on half power, Page Hamilton, who used to use 2150s exclusively though he never turned them up past 10-11 o'clock, recently played his GPDI through a Power Station PS2 (50W) for the first time and is now going to use that as a fly rig. Mastadons Bill Kelliher just started using an LXII after initially inquiring about a 2/90/2, and he says it sounds "monsterous".

The truth is, most people choose a tube power amp because it has a rep, it's cheap, it's the most expensive, it's big or small, has a lot of tubes or a particular tube type, or "massive transformers", how much noise the fan makes, or someone else's recommendation. Maybe 10% of people who buy our power amps, do so based on individual trial and error.

You really can't go too far wrong with any decent quality tube power amp, but there are things that distinguish one from another that users never even think to explore - the most important of these being channel separation.

If you A/B one channel only of 2 different brands of tube power amp to evaluate the comparative sound, you will totally miss how much crosstalk exists between the 2 channels of a given tube stereo power amp. But if you're actually using it in stereo, this will be the most important criteria on which to compare. Crosstalk is low level signal bleed between channels. A high level of crosstalk can cause the stereo image to diminish, and with reverbs and delays, will result in frequency cancellations significant enough to make the image sound congested and in extreme cases, practically mono.

Intermodulation distortion (IMD) is another artifact that will be overlooked when doing the above A/B comparison. IMD occurs when the power supply runs out of gas such that when one channel is operating, it causes fluctuations in the power supply that are transferred to the other channel. When both channels are used, they are basically beating against each other causing ghost artifacts and comb filtering.

Spoiler alert: Some of the more frequently discussed stereo tube amps using 3 preamps tubes are the worst offenders in this regard.

A power amp design that minimizes crosstalk and IMD will typically feel a little stiffer - especially at low volumes - when only one channel is used, but in stereo operation will sound and feel more natural, and it's stereo image will be dramatically wider.

YMMV
Can't like this post enough.

Is there a way of measuring those two factors: crosstalk and IMD? I'd be curious to know how the LXII compares to the SYN5050 in both regards.

And the underlined paragraph is so spot on, for me anyway.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
There’s always speculation about how power amps work and which power tubes do what, and then there’s the reality, which is when you set them all side by side, it’s green apples vs red apples vs honey crisp apples vs golden delicious.

At the end of the day, brute power output has never been the real driving force behind tube guitar power amp preference. One reason our big power amps are so reliable is that nobody ever runs them anywhere near the point where the tubes are working even medium hard.

Dean Deleo uses his Classics on half power, Page Hamilton, who used to use 2150s exclusively though he never turned them up past 10-11 o'clock, recently played his GPDI through a Power Station PS2 (50W) for the first time and is now going to use that as a fly rig. Mastadons Bill Kelliher just started using an LXII after initially inquiring about a 2/90/2, and he says it sounds "monsterous".

The truth is, most people choose a tube power amp because it has a rep, it's cheap, it's the most expensive, it's big or small, has a lot of tubes or a particular tube type, or "massive transformers", how much noise the fan makes, or someone else's recommendation. Maybe 10% of people who buy our power amps, do so based on individual trial and error.

You really can't go too far wrong with any decent quality tube power amp, but there are things that distinguish one from another that users never even think to explore - the most important of these being channel separation.

If you A/B one channel only of 2 different brands of tube power amp to evaluate the comparative sound, you will totally miss how much crosstalk exists between the 2 channels of a given tube stereo power amp. But if you're actually using it in stereo, this will be the most important criteria on which to compare. Crosstalk is low level signal bleed between channels. A high level of crosstalk can cause the stereo image to diminish, and with reverbs and delays, will result in frequency cancellations significant enough to make the image sound congested and in extreme cases, practically mono.

Intermodulation distortion (IMD) is another artifact that will be overlooked when doing the above A/B comparison. IMD occurs when the power supply runs out of gas such that when one channel is operating, it causes fluctuations in the power supply that are transferred to the other channel. When both channels are used, they are basically beating against each other causing ghost artifacts and comb filtering.

Spoiler alert: Some of the more frequently discussed stereo tube amps using 3 preamps tubes are the worst offenders in this regard.

A power amp design that minimizes crosstalk and IMD will typically feel a little stiffer - especially at low volumes - when only one channel is used, but in stereo operation will sound and feel more natural, and it's stereo image will be dramatically wider.

YMMV

Very helpful post!

If the LXII is good enough for Bill then I really can’t wait to get mine! Mastodon is one of my most listened to bands of the last 10 years! That and some of my favorite tones (Deleo, Mick Mars, Greg Edwards of Autolux) have been through Fryette stuff, and I’m going to be coming from using my Pitbull as a power amp, so I was a bit wary of downsizing my power, but I have been trying to keep my master under 12:00 these days as to not totally bludgeon my bandmates every practice. I’m looking forward to getting into a proper rack, whether I end up with a LXII or one of the bigger power amps.

I like honey crisp myself.
 
Last edited:

support

Member
Messages
889
Can't like this post enough.

Is there a way of measuring those two factors: crosstalk and IMD? I'd be curious to know how the LXII compares to the SYN5050 in both regards.

And the underlined paragraph is so spot on, for me anyway.

Crosstalk is tested by feeding a signal into CHA and measuring the signal output of CHB. A figure like -60dB is typical. A power amp in which a single 12AX7 serves as the input stage for both channels would be hard-pressed to achieve anywhere near -60dB.

IMD is measured by feeding a signal into CHA at full output and measuring frequency modulation of the power supply that appears on CHB.

Test gear is required to evaluate these parameters.

The LXII and Syn5050 are different in a couple of key respects, but relative to channel separation and IMD, they're virtually the same as far as IMD and close with regard to crosstalk. This is because the channels are well isolated and don't share triode input stages. However, as much as people raise the objection of no presence and depth controls on the front panel, the LXII does a little better on crosstalk because of this.
 

RMosack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,440
Crosstalk is tested by feeding a signal into CHA and measuring the signal output of CHB. A figure like -60dB is typical. A power amp in which a single 12AX7 serves as the input stage for both channels would be hard-pressed to achieve anywhere near -60dB.

IMD is measured by feeding a signal into CHA at full output and measuring frequency modulation of the power supply that appears on CHB.

Test gear is required to evaluate these parameters.

The LXII and Syn5050 are different in a couple of key respects, but relative to channel separation and IMD, they're virtually the same as far as IMD and close with regard to crosstalk. This is because the channels are well isolated and don't share triode input stages. However, as much as people raise the objection of no presence and depth controls on the front panel, the LXII does a little better on crosstalk because of this.
Thank you!
 

tayholliday

Member
Messages
244
A power amp design that minimizes crosstalk and IMD will typically feel a little stiffer - especially at low volumes - when only one channel is used, but in stereo operation will sound and feel more natural, and it's stereo image will be dramatically wider.

Seems like having two separate mono power amps (in entirely separate boxes) would be ideal, no?
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
4,424
There’s always speculation about how power amps work and which power tubes do what, and then there’s the reality, which is when you set them all side by side, it’s green apples vs red apples vs honey crisp apples vs golden delicious.

At the end of the day, brute power output has never been the real driving force behind tube guitar power amp preference. One reason our big power amps are so reliable is that nobody ever runs them anywhere near the point where the tubes are working even medium hard.

Dean Deleo uses his Classics on half power, Page Hamilton, who used to use 2150s exclusively though he never turned them up past 10-11 o'clock, recently played his GPDI through a Power Station PS2 (50W) for the first time and is now going to use that as a fly rig. Mastadons Bill Kelliher just started using an LXII after initially inquiring about a 2/90/2, and he says it sounds "monsterous".

The truth is, most people choose a tube power amp because it has a rep, it's cheap, it's the most expensive, it's big or small, has a lot of tubes or a particular tube type, or "massive transformers", how much noise the fan makes, or someone else's recommendation. Maybe 10% of people who buy our power amps, do so based on individual trial and error.

You really can't go too far wrong with any decent quality tube power amp, but there are things that distinguish one from another that users never even think to explore - the most important of these being channel separation.

If you A/B one channel only of 2 different brands of tube power amp to evaluate the comparative sound, you will totally miss how much crosstalk exists between the 2 channels of a given tube stereo power amp. But if you're actually using it in stereo, this will be the most important criteria on which to compare. Crosstalk is low level signal bleed between channels. A high level of crosstalk can cause the stereo image to diminish, and with reverbs and delays, will result in frequency cancellations significant enough to make the image sound congested and in extreme cases, practically mono.

Intermodulation distortion (IMD) is another artifact that will be overlooked when doing the above A/B comparison. IMD occurs when the power supply runs out of gas such that when one channel is operating, it causes fluctuations in the power supply that are transferred to the other channel. When both channels are used, they are basically beating against each other causing ghost artifacts and comb filtering.

Spoiler alert: Some of the more frequently discussed stereo tube amps using 3 preamps tubes are the worst offenders in this regard.

A power amp design that minimizes crosstalk and IMD will typically feel a little stiffer - especially at low volumes - when only one channel is used, but in stereo operation will sound and feel more natural, and it's stereo image will be dramatically wider.

YMMV
Dave, awesome info

ya know, most of my tube power amp usage since 1995 has been rack mount VHTs.

I don't have any other tube power amps around to compare my VHTs against. When I got these VHTs last year, @chlorinemist was sharing his hex rig and talking about IMD and IMD crunge became quite obvious to my ears. Well, then I got the VHTs integrated unto my rig and, man, do the VHTs sound wonderful. I would love to go a step further and go hexaphonic.
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
4,424
The truth is, most people choose a tube power amp because it has a rep, it's cheap, it's the most expensive, it's big or small, has a lot of tubes or a particular tube type, or "massive transformers", how much noise the fan makes, or someone else's recommendation. Maybe 10% of people who buy our power amps, do so based on individual trial and error.

Can't like this post enough.

Is there a way of measuring those two factors: crosstalk and IMD? I'd be curious to know how the LXII compares to the SYN5050 in both regards.

And the underlined paragraph is so spot on, for me anyway.
well, those NMB-MAT 3115Ps-23T-B30 fans are very loud

a low noise studio version would be welcome :hide
 

support

Member
Messages
889
Seems like having two separate mono power amps (in entirely separate boxes) would be ideal, no?

Define “ideal”.

Would you consider two separate 1 space monoblocks with a 50% weight increase and practically double the cost a worthwhile tradeoff to gain an arguably small improvement in these 2 specs?

Sure, some people would. Especially if that were the only way to accomplish the goal. Fortunately, attention to detail and intelligent design makes that largely unnecessary.

Never underestimate gear lust though. See hexaphonic comment above :).
 

support

Member
Messages
889
well, those NMB-MAT 3115Ps-23T-B30 fans are very loud

a low noise studio version would be welcome :hide

You’re talking about the 2/50/2 and 2/90:2 fans.

Nobody here would argue with you that quieter fans would be welcome. Unfortunately, tube amps - especially enclosed ones which are mandated by regulatory agencies - need lots of airflow, and end users are much more sensitive to excess heat than noise.

Fan noise is directly related to speed. Fan size and speed determines air volume. When push comes to shove one of those 3 parameters needs to be tolerated to obtain the other two.
 

tayholliday

Member
Messages
244
You’re talking about the 2/50/2 and 2/90:2 fans.

Nobody here would argue with you that quieter fans would be welcome. Unfortunately, tube amps - especially enclosed ones which are mandated by regulatory agencies - need lots of airflow, and end users are much more sensitive to excess heat than noise.

Fan noise is directly related to speed. Fan size and speed determines air volume. When push comes to shove one of those 3 parameters needs to be tolerated to obtain the other two.

Could larger radius fans be used, mounted with a vertical rotational axis and ducts to direct the air, much like what laptops do?
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
4,424
You’re talking about the 2/50/2 and 2/90:2 fans.

Nobody here would argue with you that quieter fans would be welcome. Unfortunately, tube amps - especially enclosed ones which are mandated by regulatory agencies - need lots of airflow, and end users are much more sensitive to excess heat than noise.

Fan noise is directly related to speed. Fan size and speed determines air volume. When push comes to shove one of those 3 parameters needs to be tolerated to obtain the other two.
yes, I'm talking VHT 2502 and 2902. Is the LXII quieter...or the same ballpark ambient noise fan due to the 1U form factor?

I'm thinking to put then in a "silent" rack case

or just open them up and add a bunch of quieter ventilation

I think the "silent" case is not a great idea, tho
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
25,722
Very helpful post!

If the LXII is good enough for Bill then I really can’t wait to get mine! Mastodon is one of my most listened to bands of the last 10 years! That and some of my favorite tones (Deleo, Mick Mars, Greg Edwards of Autolux) have been through Fryette stuff, and I’m going to be coming from using my Pitbull as a power amp, so I was a bit wary of downsizing my power, but I have been trying to keep my master under 12:00 these days as to not totally bludgeon my bandmates every practice. I’m looking forward to getting into a proper rack, whether I end up with a LXII or one of the bigger power amps.

I like honey crisp myself.

"I like honey crisp myself." - I do as well, expensive taste.
 

hbb

Member
Messages
212
Curious if there is any difference in noise floor between the PS2A and the PS100. I have an LXII and a PS2A. When using the LXII I do hear a little hum when playing in bridged mode which becomes quieter in single channel mode. The PS2A seems quieter — just wondering if anyone has heard the two side to side in terms of noise floor.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
948
"I like honey crisp myself." - I do as well, expensive taste.

They can be definitely be expensive when out of season but since I'm in Ohio we have honey crisp season and I can get them for as little as .89 a pound late summer, early fall! I definitely feel like every other varietal pales in comparison though...
 

MacL

Member
Messages
112
I bought the LXII over the Syn 5050 because of size and weight and the slightly better technical specs. Size was a misprint and weight maybe as well but for Fryette it turned out great that Synergy on all webshops misprinted the specs LOL. I’m very happy with the LXII but the Syn 5050 would have made me happy as well. Size matters ;-)
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom