Forgot...The M60 3.3 are awesome. But the MA-1 Silvers are simply incredible.... In every way
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Yes, absolutely. Ralph is tremendous. I'm part of an older group of Atma owners who has modified his gear. Unlike pretty much every other high-end manufacturer, he remains supportive, and has generously helped me out of problems that I brought down on myself. The MP-1 series integrated phono preamp is a keeper.
A while back Ralph was gracious enough to post an earlier M-60 amplifier design on diyaudio.com. Based on his design I built a set of monoblocks.
I added a couple power tubes and some other things but they sound wonderful. Very innovative circuitry! I think that pretty much tells you how confident he is in his products.Not many companies would do that.
goode news travels fast…. bad news travels faster!
I doubt you will get any negative arguments as to Atmas involvement with the public, regarding his gear or another’s.
Ralph has been for an extremely long time forthcoming on all sorts of equipment, technical info, matching gear, etc., on this forum and I for one definetely have gleaned and learned much from his input.
if there is a bar for customer support, relationships, and technological innovation atmas seems to have set it. albeit, Atmas is not alone in these respects, though this arena does appear to be more exception than rule in high end audio.
when I am avidly looking for this or that in audio, a primary factor in my buying decision is aimed squarely at how readily approachable, or how amenable towards their customers are they? are they handy by phone? how is the attitude with customer service in general?
as well, are they willing to aid anyone who did not buy their gear brand new?
having ben in electronic sales and service in past years, I understand the value of demonstrating outstanding customer service and developing great relationships with the public even if no sale of new goods is ever made.
positive word of mouth anicdotes are priceless. these ordinarily can not be bought, they have to be earned and here lays the hidden worth which gets developed in those ‘one on one’ interactions between maker and buyers, owners, and prospective customers.
there are just too many options out there in audio to end up choosing a product which onnly affords it clientele contact vvia email and extended delays for their reply, or they point you to some dealership for you to try getting what ever answers there instead.
satisfy a customer well and they may relate their experience with a handful or so of people they know.
however, once a customer has been ‘had’ or experienced a bad situation with a product and or its support, these folks will stop people they don’t even know and rail at length about what happend to them.
although money may not change hands, developping and maintaining great customer service and consequent relationships always pays huge dividends.
too bad more makers and or dealers don’t subscribe to this ‘pay it forward’ approach in business., as it does seem more the exception than the rule
that said, I have to submit here that at the 2019 Florida Audio expo, there was not one demo/room wherein the exhibitors were not the most forthcoming, polite, informative, and engaging people I’ve met to date in this hobby.
Thanks for posting this.
I should have done so myself.
Whenever I had a problem with my MA-1's or MP-3, Ralph or Adam helped me to find the problem.
Sometimes it took a few calls, but Ralph was always patient and offered great advice. Each time, it wasn't the amp or preamp, but something like a wonky connection that caused the problem.
So, +1 for another great American product and designer.
Bob, that’s been my experience also. Never the Atma-Sphere products. Just recently I had an issue. Did a lot of trouble shooting with Matt and Ralph. Then brought my amps over. Ralph check it, It was fine. Told me I had to had a speaker wire short, or a shorted speaker. I knew it wasn’t a speaker wire connection. I took the back of the speaker and found a shorted wire. Soldered it back to where it was suppose to go. And bang.... Everything was just fine. Not to mention the many, many times I called him for information. As I said, I learned more for him the past 7-8 months, then I have in many years from all
other sources. And I immensely appreciate it. I just thought he, and his crew should get a well deserved pat on the back. They actually and really do care. They want each, and every consumer, to get the most out of their gear as possible. It’s their passion....
Ralph as helped me with a couple of my DIY tube amp builds and has always answered my questions. He is such an asset to Agon and the industry. I greatly respect and appreciate him.
As a past customer I found his upgrade service to be fantastic! Lastly, the workmanship under the hood of his amps is an absolute thing of beauty to behold. Great team!
I'll admit to not owning any AtmaSphere components for a number of years. But when I did Ralph did everything he could to offer the little support I needed (meaning not much came to question).
Since then I've continued to be impressed by his openness in sharing general information as well as that specific to his products. All this praise is well deserved.
But a question for pestores: you said, "The M60 3.3 are awesome. But the MA-1 Silvers are simply incredible". So which is better, awesome or incredible?
Lol.... Incredible is better.... I know when I went from the 3.0 M60’s update that was really a huge step up. The silvers are 3.1. Using the same tubes. Silver 3.1 are better than the M60’s 3.3. I’ll upgrade the silvers to 3.3. And I can not wait. As soon as I can afford to. It will happen. If the update is remotely as good as the 3.3 in the M60’s.... It will be more than worth it.
Funny, that was the exact thing that happened with me.- Just a cable that somehow managed to not make contact.
When I look back, I remember that checking the speaker connections was his first recommendation.
I poopoo'ed it, how could anything have moved since I restarted the system? But, low and behold, if I moved the cable 2 inches, the issue disappeared!
He must have had this happen so often, it must be a reflex response.-Of course, years of experience and knowledge of his equipment must have also played a part.
tswisla - I followed Ralphs advice, and bought Audiokinesis Dream Maker speakers to match the MA-1 amps. Very glad I did. They fit my large room, you might prefer something smaller. I live across the Atlantic, so buying US products is more expensive for me. And if they need to go back to the factory for repair. I've had my share of problems. Yet Atma-sphere and Audiokinesis has given me a lot of support and information along the way, along with reasonable pricing. I wish all US business was like this.
I run the Vandy Treo's with MA-1's, too. Vandy's aren't so inefficient as to the point of taxing an amp to clip or distort.
I probably could have gotten by with a pair of M60's, given that I don't listen to music loudly.
I know Ralph swears by the AK Swarm. So, using the Dream speakers should be a good fit, as well.
gdnrbob testing some speakers with the MA-1s when I got them back in 2011, I found that speaker ohm should be more than 8. 12 or 16 is fine, along with a "nice" amp loading and 90+ sensitivity. Yes, the amps will drive 8 or lower ohm speakers also, but you are not getting what you paid for. The OTL factor comes into its own with matched high ohm and sensitivity speakers. I tried Speltz autoformers, very capable, increasing the chance of speaker match, but all in all a minus compared to "easier" speakers driven directly by the amps.
Yes - the AK Dream Makers, 16 ohm, 92 db sensitivity, are a very good match with the MA-1s. From what I've seen (not heard them) the Vandy Treos are a poor match, https://www.stereophile.com/content/vandersteen-audio-treo-loudspeaker-measurementsWhat about looking for some not-so-expensive high ohm speakers, just to test the concept - or borrow some, from a shop, just to try?
gdnrbob - interesting. It would be nice to be able to compare the Treos and the Dream Makers. I can only speak from my own experience, trying some 8 ohm speakers (mainly, Abrahamsen floorstanders) with Krell FPB600 and MA-1s. First I tried Dynaudio Consequence (4 ohm) - it did not work well with the MA-1s. The Abrahamsen worked OK but the DMs were much better with the MA-1s. Krell + Abrahamsen was a better match.
Its all about Speaker Matching, Once you can find the right speaker to Match Atma-Sphere gear the rest is history. Nothing much can rival in all aspects of sound. You're off the Merry Go round.
I have the M60 3.3 Fully Loaded With Power Supply boost and Caddoc Resistor package i wander how far behind this is to the Silver addition.
I own the basic MA-1's and an MP-3 and have no issues with sound reproduction. I am thinking of upgrading to the MP-1.(Though, I am trying to find an Ayre KXR, too, to go with my MXR's).
To be honest, I really don't get too caught up with trying to compare various combinations of equipment. I just add things and see if they 'improve' my experience.
After 30+ years, I got tired of chasing my tail looking for perfection.
Though it might be because I know what want/like.