Audio Reasrch REF 5 Vs. Dartzeel NHB 18NS

What say you, which is the better one ? couldn`t find any comparisment of the two. And then, considering the REF5+ARC phono REF2, does this combination change the equation?. Those who heard them, please fill this thread with your thoughts. Thanks
Hi Papaya, some nice pces you are looking at. What is the rest of your system to pair up with these?

I don't believe there will be a "better one" just a different flavour along with presentation. Will depend greatly on the rest of your set-up along with what you are after.
My system - Wilson Maxx 2 and I`m using now the ARC REF 3 as my preamp. But I`m on route of change, trying to put future parts into context. Thanks.
Hi Papaya, what amplification are you using including source and cables.

I like ARC, I have owned allot of their product and enjoyed, their Aniv pre looks interesting and anyone whom I have communicated with who owns the Ref2 phono seems to be thoroughly enjoying it.

The Dart is going to be a different beast and if you have been voicing your set-up currently arround the Ref3 then I would think it would be a safer bet to stick with ARC which ever direction you go but in the end would be best to hear in your own set-up so you can deside for your self.
Hello Dev. I wish I could hear them in my setup but I`m not able to do that since no dealer in my country is holding them on display. The ARC Aniv pre seems to me to high priced and the knowledge that the new crowned king is always around the corner, gives me no incentive to put that kind of investment on it, with out SOTA phono stage inside. I was told that the REF 5 goes 95%+ of the Aniv way, so the ARC Aniv pre is not for me .
Any way, the reviews on the Dartzeel pre seems to prase their transperancy and musicality, on par with the ARC and they are built in a way that allows upgradability plus near SOTA phono stage. Hence my above question.

Dev - Thanks for your comments.
Hi Papaya, you still haven't mentioned what is the smplification, cables and other pces you have currently paired up with your ARC Ref3 and Maxx2's.
sources - Playback designs Mps-5, TW Raven Ac-3. Power amp(temp)- Parasound, cables - Shunyata all on Finite Element Master Reference.
Papaya, Playback designs Mps-5, TW Raven Ac-3, on Finite Element Master Reference very nice.

Are these the only amps (Parasound, are they the mono blocks?) that you have paired up with your MAXX's?

If I was you I would check the threads for MAXX owners to get a feel for what they are using amp/pre combo. I personally have six friends with them and all of the presentations and sonics are very different.

Jadis 80/80 mono's
ARC Ref5/610 mono's my old 610T's
Joule Ma/Destiny mono's
ARC/LAMM Ref3/Lamm ML & M 1.2 mono's my old Ref3
Mac 1000/2301's mono's
ARC/CAT Ref3/Cat JL2 Sig stereo my old CAT amp

it seems like most of my freinds like to have tubes but I have read other members on this site who own different Wilsons and are happy with solid state.

Off topic your TW what arm and cart are you using, I'm using a Phantom MK2 w/DYN XV-1s with great results. I personally really like TW product.
Dev. I`m using the exact arm and cart as yours on my TW. I was thinking of the Ravn phono, but the decision on the preamp will effect my consideration.
What setup do you use in your system? and as you mentioned your freinds, which of their system do you like best?
I was thinking myself getting the LAMM 1.2 REF or the ARC 210 but I`m not sure. If I will go the Dartzeel road then I don`t think these options are good match. I can see that ARC + Lamm goes well in other member`s system. Have you got any suggestion from your own experience?

Yes it will and it's the joys of this hobby of ours, Raven phono is suppose to be very nice and can use three arms with it. Tron Seven is another one that you should look at, I have heard this with your same table, arm, cart combo and it's a nice match, their full function pre with phono is another one for you to look into suppose to be really nice.

Currently my pre-amp is the VAC Sig. MK2a w/phono and I'm lovin it but I will try some other external ones down the road.

All the pces you are mentioning are great it's just going to come done to pairing them up and in the end what you like. One thing is if you go with the ARC pre it goes well obviously with ARC but also with Lamm, if you go with the DART well I just know. It's a great pce too but if you refer to what most others have paired it up with should say allot. In the end you are going to have to try and see what floats your boat, there will be differences for sure.

Well from my friends set-ups my top two are and these which I feel could be used if you changed your speakers down the road to say the MAXX3's for example;

- ARC Ref5/610 mono's my old 610T's
- Joule Ma/Destiny mono's

I should have never sold those 610T's because they would likely be a really nice match-up with my MBL 101E's. I was using them with Avalon Isis speakers.