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  • Interesting Preamplifier Shootout

    Interesting because none of them is pure tube either.

    I would add that placing the cj GAT on the SRA base might change his opinion about the unit's dynamics a bit.

    http://www.theaudiobeat.com/blog/trio_preamps.htm
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    Didn't know that the GAT inverts phase.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mep View Post
      Didn't know that the GAT inverts phase.
      All cj preamplifiers invert phase since day one. Because it's only a single gain stage. That's why always have to remember to correct the speaker leads if switching preamps.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        It’s exactly the sort of comparison that readers and consumers so often cry out for ...

        Thanks for posting that link, Myles - you beat me to it. :-) Roy pre-acknowleged and spoke to your idea: I also need to provide identical (or equivalent) support under each ... In a perfect world, I’d optimize support for each individual chassis ... .


        Comment


        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          I've know Roy for about 20 years. He was at one time the UK importer for my magazine Ultimate Audio. Used to see Roy all the time at the old Heathrow Shows.

        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          Roy writes faster than I can read. :-)

        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes he was a one man crew in the old days of HiFi+.

      • #5
        I like Roy's writing. He did a comprehensive line stage shoot-out a number of years ago in HiFi+ that is still a model of subjective reviewing; I think Alan Sircom gave second opinions, and each unit was also reviewed in detail. What it gave you was a real world reference point for the differences in each of the units--at the time I read it, I owned one of the units under test--the Lamm two chassis line stage--and Roy's observations about that unit's strengths and weaknesses were "spot on," as the Brits say. As a result, when he compared and contrasted with the other units, I felt I had an understanding of what their character was- something very hard to convey without actually hearing the damn things!
        Last edited by Bill Hart; 12-04-2016, 09:09 PM.

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        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          ++ Both he and his writings are very helpful. He turned me on to the GPA Monaco with the 4Point.

      • #6
        I like his comment about the three not being points on a straight line but of a triangle. When I read Fremer's comments on the ARC Ref 10 in the latest Stereophile, they don't seem to match up but then he didn't have the other two for comparison.
        Thiel 7.2s, Manley NeoClassic 250s, Wadia 850, MIT Oracle V3 speaker cables, MIT MI-350 Oracle interconnects, Black Diamond Racing Shelves and Cones in a dedicated room with ASC Tube Traps, Room Tunes and 3 X 20 amp dedicated circuits.

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        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm thinking that review was about the ARC REF 6.

        • mkuller
          mkuller commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep, sorry you are correct.

        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          No worries - I only checked cause I didn't t think Fremer had spent any extended time with a Ref 10 - at least that he wrote about. But I did mean to include my agreement with you about RG's triangulated comparison of the three units. It really struck me at the time I read it. While each has relative pros and cons, it was an implicit way of saying at that level there is no best.

      • #7
        Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
        Interesting because none of them is pure tube either.

        I would add that placing the cj GAT on the SRA base might change his opinion about the unit's dynamics a bit.

        http://www.theaudiobeat.com/blog/trio_preamps.htm
        I have zero experience comparing CJ to anything. I have only heard it at yours.

        But this week we compared the Ref 10 with the older Dartzeel model and Ypsilon PST mk 1, into the constellation insipid amp, the Ref 10 was clearly ahead. The Ypsilon and Dart were equal into the dart amp and Ypsilon edged ahead on the constellation, but the ARC was another league. With the external power supply and whatever they have done, it is now more resolving unlike the lower models. And like Roy Gregory says on his review, it is muscly, loud, big. The orchestra expands and rises and falls much better. Speakers were Alexias and source was the Lampi.

        So now this is my favorite pre even with the stock tubes. I can imagine it will only get better with the GE tube rolls.

        The one thing was that some vocals were sounding hard, no idea why, and maybe that can be treated by cables etc or amp matching.

        Bottom end and slam was fantastic. Soundstage was way larger. Please note as compared to lower ARC models, which I always found to be good on midrange and air but not on separating, the external power supply and anything else they have done has

        So AR ref 40 used is currently my top favorite till I compare it to the rest.

        Comment


        • Madfloyd
          Madfloyd commented
          Editing a comment
          So you compare an AR Ref 10 to some other brands and then decide that your favorite is an AR Ref 40??? Am I missing something?

        • bonzo75
          bonzo75 commented
          Editing a comment
          Arc 40 anniversary is the same but was discontinued. Ref 10 is user display and some caps change. So the 40 is available at nice used prices

        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          The power supply tube you want is NOS Sovtek 6550C. Recent manufacture is no good and not reliable. But the 6550WE is fine. Forget the GE 6550A - too soft.

      • #8
        That's a good way to sum up the review..."
        Despite an almost obsessive level of care, it’s simply not possible to define an overall winner, or even to eliminate the major variables -- the most major of all being the individual listener.
        Ultimately, the song remains the same: you pays your money and you takes your choice. What’s important is that it is your choice -- not mine. I can shine a light on relative merits, but I can’t rank the contenders.
        Christian
        System Gear

        Comment


        • #9
          Originally posted by rockitman View Post
          That's a good way to sum up the review..."
          He has, in a way, ranked the attributes, which pre does what better.

          If I were to rank based on his write-up only (no listening), VTL and ARC seems to be the ones which will do orchestral well. CJ seems to be more for the intimate feeling. At least, based on this statement of his " It lacks the sheer weight and scale of the Audio Research preamp and the bottom-end definition, utter stability and dynamic authority of the VTL, but there’s a corresponding subtlety and delicacy that can be absolutely breathtaking.'

          Comment


          • #10
            Fun read. Glad I didn't have to make the comparisons myself or switch the preamps in and out. Can we assume he used the same power cords for each piece? Can I say that one brand PC for all three might have influenced the sound one way or the other and that optimization of a different cord for each might have change his opinion? Variables abound with possible outcomes.
            TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter mat & weight; PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

            Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

            VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
            Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

            Piega C711 Loudspeakers

            Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

            Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref IC, MIT Oracle IC, synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

            Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

            Comment


            • bonzo75
              bonzo75 commented
              Editing a comment
              What would have made a difference is system strategy. ArC does a lot, and that might not suit those who want the pre to get out of the way, or prefer passives
              Last edited by bonzo75; 03-29-2017, 09:46 AM.

            • BadBob
              BadBob commented
              Editing a comment
              Bonzo, what the hell does the second sentence in your comment mean? Seems like maybe you were really sleepy, or drunk!

            • bonzo75
              bonzo75 commented
              Editing a comment
              Hi, corrected, see now

          • #11
            Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
            Fun read. Glad I didn't have to make the comparisons myself or switch the preamps in and out. Can we assume he used the same power cords for each piece? Can I say that one brand PC for all three might have influenced the sound one way or the other and that optimization of a different cord for each might have change his opinion? Variables abound with possible outcomes.
            His signal cables were valhalla. He used the same cables everywhere except for AR and Dart which he used balanced when comparing with constellation, Ypsilon is SE only (you can use external transformers to connect to XLR of power but it is still single ended), and Dart vs Ypsilon into Dart were RCA (I did not want him to use the Zeel). We downloaded toiling in active and passive, and went back and forth.

            Cable changes could make things less or more bright etc, but the giant soundstage, drive, bass, slam, and heave and fall of AS could not have been changed by cables

            Comment


            • 1morerecord2clean
              1morerecord2clean commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks. Fascinating read in a situation so seldom encountered.

          • #12
            I recently auditioned a fair number of preamps and did my own shootout between:

            Pass XS
            Vitus SL-102
            Ypsilon PST-100Mk2
            Aries Cerat Impera II
            CAT Legend
            Soulution 720
            CH Precision L1 (not shown)

            All of these are expensive ($30k or more) and none of them sound alike, each with their own strengths.

            The crazy thing is that one of my buddies built a tube pre for less than $2k in parts that holds its own among them.
            Magico M-Project, CAT JL7SE, CH Precision L1/X1/P1, Kronos Pro Limited Edition/SME 3012R/Atlas SL/Opus-1, Schiit Yggdrasil, ZenWave D4 ICs & SCs

            Comment


            • #13
              http://www.theaudiobeat.com/equipmen...ference_10.htm

              Marc's review of the Ref 10 includes a comparison with the Ref Anniversary.

              Comment


              • #14
                I am wondering if preamp preferences change from digital to analog.

                Also do these preamps work well in SET based horn systems - any experience here?

                Comment


                • #15
                  Originally posted by bonzo75 View Post
                  I am wondering if preamp preferences change from digital to analog.

                  Also do these preamps work well in SET based horn systems - any experience here?
                  If nothing else, the gain factor will determine preferences. I still like my cj because of its old school almost 25 dB of gain. That's in contrast to the newer designs that might be 8 or 10 dB. Sure helps a lot when driving low output MC cartridges. You know these phonostages with 60 dB of gain makes things hard for many of us.

                  But someone using digital won't need the amount of gain that us analog lovers prefer or demand.
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                  Comment

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