Direct your inquiry to Ralph Karsten, owner of Atma-Sphere. They have a website. Check it out.
12 responses Add your response
I had owned the MP-1 for better than two years. Amps were A-S MA-2's. The match was very satifying. The amps need to be balanced. The phono stage should also be balanced. Ralph Karsten has prided himself on the phono stage, which he told me the piece was designed for. As a line stage the MP-1 was very musical, and with the MA-2, very detailed. For a short time I had a pair of Classe CAM 200's driving the A-S preamp. I found this to be a mismatch. As is typical, inserting the piece in your system proves most practical.
Ralph Karsten is a very nice person. Very knowledgable and honest. He can probably provide very useful info regarding various pairings. ie, I have the M602.2's which I am using with a Ys Audio Audio Experienced Balanced A1. Ralph has given me excellant advise regarding tubes, wiring, equipment supports, etc., and all of it was right on the money, even though I am not using one of his pre-amps (which, I would LOVE to own), or, his modded, tricked out Empire TT (also WAY COOL!).
Thanks for your helpfull responses. I am considering the MP-3 to use with my lamm LP-2 phono stage. Is the linestage in the MP-1 that much ( if at all) better than the MP-3, being that the MP- 1 really is supposed to be an all out assault phono stage that just happens to have extra inputs. Thanks in advance.
I have an MP-1 with AS MA-2, and the combination is astounding. Just so much better in almost every respect than other preamps I have tried, including the much vaunted Mark Levinson 32 reference preamp. I cant, however, comment on the MP-3, but would certainly endorse the MP-1 as a wonderful linestage preamp.
Thanks Springbok 10, I am looking for a tube Preamp which portrays good texture and decay , and does that dimensionality and space thing. It is o.k. and maybe welcomed if it is not dead neutral and slightly warm. I believe all good preamps at this level should be well designed so that they are quiet enough and give great detail, but it is that extra magic which I am after. I was in Montreal last week and listened to the Jadis gear and in the context of the system which I heard it, there was that magic musicality that eludes many of us, regardless of the money we spend. Again , all my comments are I M (humble) O.
Fjn04, I think you will find that the Atma-Sphere MP-1 does all that you describe, and with a great neutrality. It will not have that euphonic warmth we sometimes associate with tube electronics, it is quite neutral, but it will have superb rendition of harmonic overtones, timbre and recreation of soundstaging in width, depth and height you value. Then it will deliver transient speed, detail and resolution that will delight you, but without any artificial highlighting or edge.
Best wishes in your search,
Fjn04, since you brought up the Jadis line of preamps I will chime back in. I have owned a Jadis JP-80MC for nearly 12 years. It is the only component I have been compelled to hold on to.
A backgound of my experiences with the JP-80 and MP-1. In 2001 I bought a set of Atma-Sphere MA-2 mono blocks. These amps were splendid, but prefer balanced inputs, which are unavailable on my Jadis. So I bought a used MP-1 with all the upgrades. The match was top-grade except for a few essential ingredients. Great detail, strong bottom end and treble extension, along with some of the best soundstage and imaging produced in my listening space. Missing, though, was the body and involvement delivered by the mid-bass; the soul of the music.
As you have written the Jadis is, if nothing else, very musical. I spoke to others about modifying the Jadis. I commissioned a modifier to attempt extending the JP-80's frequency extremes while retaining it's musical qualities. For the most part the mod has proven successful. After nearly 4 months of break-in the preamp played musically and had loads of extension. The issue of A-S/Jadis match continued to go unresolved.
Being a fan of OTL's the large Joules came highly recommended and with their 220 watts of power, just might fit the bill. I purchased a used pair of Rite of Passage amps, with single-ended ins, played with cables and isolation, and let the entire system slowly break in. I now find this set-up to be the most musically and emotionally satisfying of any I have owned. For nearly nine months I have not sought out other options...except for maybe a new cartridge. If you knew me you would understand the profundity of such a statement.
The Atma-Sphere equipment is some of the best I have owned, but taking in to consideration the amount of time tweaking the Jadis/Joule/Avalon has received, the colorations produced by the latter is so much more fitting for the music I wish to hear.