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An Audio Odyssey Begins - The Audio Note (U.K.) M10 S.E. Preamp

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  • #31
    Originally posted by fcrowder View Post
    I returned from paradise only to deal with a system that had been un-played for over two weeks and decided to throw a temper tantrum. Initially, things were not pretty but after a weekend of playing music through the system, things are beginning to sound reasonably good. One other result of my two week absence was some time to think about the sound of the Audio Note pieces. I continue to enjoy and learn from the M10 Signature. The combination of the M10 and the Balanced Kegons (particularly using Western Electric 300B tubes) is synergistic to say the least and has allowed me to get so much closer to the music than I ever thought possible and when all is said and done, isn't that what we are all looking for?
    Absence makes the heart grow fonder-both for love and audio!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Ortofon A95, Charisma Reference 2 cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

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    • #32
      So has the M10 got back to its old self or even better. Now that you have been away from the sound has any of your opinions changed? I would guess after airline ear buds and screaming kids on your flight to Hawaii, the system sounds a little more peaceful.

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      • #33
        The system is back to its old self; but it did require quite a bit of music playing to get there. While I remain extremely positive with respect to the Audio Note M10 (Signature), I did realize that I probably needed to put the Einstein preamp back in my system and determine whether some tube rolling would narrow the differences between it and the M10.

        On a related note, Ed Meitner spent the weekend in Houston initially to install a new set of updated input boards in my EMM MTRX amps. In the year since the MTRX amps first arrived for review, they have seen three distinct changes to the input boards, two of which were relatively minor involving changing values of a resistor here and there, the third involving a new layout and more resistor changes. Ed found that increasing the bandwidth and decreasing the settling time had real advantages with respect to bass, dynamics, palpability and three dimensionality. In any event, I removed the Balanced Kegons from the system and restored the MTRX amps. This in itself has really caused me to do some thinking. Two years ago, I would have said that the possibility of any solid state amp equaling a properly designed DHT tube amp was pretty low; however, the MTRX amps, particularly in their latest iteration have caused me to seriously reconsider that belief. Ed has now offered to send me a prototype of a new preamp based on some of the same technology, so we will see how that affects my opinion.
        Rockport Sirius/Ortofon A-90, Ypsilon Phono stage, Einstein preamp, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode stands, Halcyonics active isolation bases, Loricraft Audiodesk vinyl cleaners.

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        • #34
          I sometimes find myself thinking that I have written everything that I wanted to say (and much more than anyone really wanted to hear) about a topic only to later be surprised. Over the weekend my friend Paul Jackson brought three pairs of Stage 3 power cords to try on the Audio Note M10 (Vortex Prime, Minotaur and Kraken). After hearing the earlier differences between the two power cords which Peter had provided with the preamp (Sogon and Isis), I was not surprised that the Stage 3 cords made the M10 sound different. The surprise was the degree of difference and which cord worked the best. The Vortex Prime which is least expensive of the three actually bettered the more expensive Minotaur which was a bit bass heavy. However, the big winner was the Kraken which was the most expensive. With the Kraken, the noise floor was lower, dimensionality was better as was leading edge and bass slam. I have at this point sent the review to my publisher at dagogo.com and it should be in print in about a month with some nice pictures.
          Rockport Sirius/Ortofon A-90, Ypsilon Phono stage, Einstein preamp, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode stands, Halcyonics active isolation bases, Loricraft Audiodesk vinyl cleaners.

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          • MylesBAstor
            MylesBAstor commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes the Kraken has received lots of praise.

        • #35
          The final version of my review of the Audio Note M10 (Signature) preamp has been published at www.dagogo.com. While it is to a certain extent similar to my postings here, it is more polished, includes my final thoughts and conclusions and contains some very nice photos of the insides of the M10 and Galahad power supplies as well as one really nice picture of my system. As always, comments are appreciated. For what it is worth, I am currently in discussions with the manufacturer about purchasing the review unit.
          Rockport Sirius/Ortofon A-90, Ypsilon Phono stage, Einstein preamp, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode stands, Halcyonics active isolation bases, Loricraft Audiodesk vinyl cleaners.

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          • tima
            tima commented
            Editing a comment
            WoW. Nice job Fred!

        • #36
          Nice review and amazing equipment but, does this make any sense?

          2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTS - $138,965 or Audio Note M10 - $139,000

          Primary 2 channel stuff: Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk 3.3, Pass Labs X600.5 amps, Eminent Technology LFT VI speakers, Aerial SW 12 subs, True Sound Works Ultimate Apogee Divas, VPI Mag Drive / Rim Drive HRX w Avenger Reference footers, 2 - 12" VPI 3DR tonearms, 1 - 12" VPI Stainless Steel tonearm, Miyajima Kansui, Miyajima ZERO, Fidelity Research MC-201 & 202, VPI ADS, Vendetta Research SCP-1, Truth Mod OPPO 105, Western Electric Speaker wire, DIY & Discovery interconnects, Furutech Power Cords

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          • fcrowder
            fcrowder commented
            Editing a comment
            I am really not going to make any arguments about the price/value ratio. I view it much the same way as I view purchasing Patek Philippe watches. What I can say is that I have over the years had many preamps in my system for review and since I purchased the Einstein preamp over ten years ago, I have never really heard anything (prior to the M10) which convinced me to change. This is not to say that the Einstein was perfect, only that its particular mix of strengths and weaknesses appealed to me. Fast forward, the Audio Note is in every respect (except ergonomics) superior to the Einstein or for that matter anything else which I have heard with the possible exception of a prototype which has not yet reached final production, but shows much promise. In some areas, I cannot imagine that the M10's performance can be improved upon at any price (here I am thinking about three dimensionality, accuracy of tone/timbre, dynamics, coherence and retrieval of detail).
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