I've lived with the Calypso for several years now...have not heard the AV. The upside of the Calypso is that you can add a great phono stage down the road (Rhea), the price used is a bargain (my opinion) for the performance, and it can be upgraded down the road to Signature series.
Anymore I look for equipment that has an upgrade path for the sake of it being relevant for a longer period of time as other components change.
The key is to hear both if possible!
I really like my Calypso and it responds very favorably to rolling tubes. I just plugged in some Telefunken smooth plate 12AX7's and the sound is sublime.
The eclipse is great. I own it and tried many press before settling on the Eclipse.
It is not overly tubey, and has nice extension, etc. Arrange a home audition.
Hi Kabaraka, I just replaced my Eklipse with a Concert Fidelity CF-080 which costs $15000.00 more then the Audio Valve piece! I had auditioned scores of preamps, including the Calypso, and found the Eklipse to be better in its sonic performance or at least as good up to $12000.00 units. For details on the Eklipse and what tubes make it "sing" take a look at my Gon review. Hope this helps.
thanks all, I might go with the eklipse since it's about 4000$ here in thailand while the calypso is about 5000$. anyway I'll go for the audition this weekend. Teejay, do you think the eklipse will blow the vtl2.5 away by a large margin? the vtl is quite good in my system which makes me think what can the eklipse do more? I'm just curious
Not too long ago I read Teajay's review of the Audio Valve Eklipse and ended up purchasing one. Its an outstanding very musical pre-amp. I couldn't be happier with my purchase and, not only does the pre-amp deliver the goods sonically, but its also a nice piece of extremely well built eye-candy. To sound its best, the Eklipse needs after-market tubes.
Kabaraka, I would not use the term, "blow away", to describe what would be the difference sonicly between the VTL2.5 and the Eklipse. When I have auditioned the reference VTL linestage compared to the Eklipse, with the right NOS tubes, the Eklipse was more musical and natural sounding to me. Both the linestages and amps that VTL offers have a house sound to me that just not my taste. They remind me of tube versions of Arye SS gear, which do not sound as real to me as other tube and SS pieces from other companies. So, yes I think the Eklipse would bring your system to a higher level, but you really have to audition it to find out what appeals to you.
thanks, I just auditioned yesterday and placed order already, the unit will come in the end of this month, now the problem is what colour should I get black or chrome :)
I have owned the Eclipse for a year now and have not had any problems with it.
I tried the NOS tube thing and so far I have gone back to the stock EH tubes,the NOS tubes(RCA clear top)perhaps weren't up to spec,but other tube replacements were also not much better than stock.
Being a tweaker, that was a disappointment.
But the sound even with stock tubes is very good, and the build quality and the quietness of the pre amp is hard to beat for the money.
Lacee, you must have bad luck with NOS tubes. I agree that the RCA Clear tops are not that much better sounding then the EH tubes in the Eklipse. However either NOS Amperex long plate G getters or NOS Mullard long plate square getters bring the performance of this linestage to a much higher degree on all levels. If you can get a couble of pairs of these 12AU7's, I think you will be very happy.
regarding tubes replacement with NOS tubes, do we have to change all four of them or just the front or back set? also I notice the faceplate of the demo unit at the dealer is different from the picture I see in many forums, including audio valve website, the characters of the words "eklipse" is different, and also the characters on the input is different, other than that looks pretty much the same. I asked if the unit was made in germany and he said yes. is it the newest version?
Kabaraka, Audio Valve will tell you that the pair of tubes on the left, assuming your looking at the preamp from the front, are the lead tubes and therefore are more important then the other pair of tubes. My experience has been that both set of tubes are important to get the highest level of performance out of the Eklipse. So yes, change all four tubes when you tube roll. Can't answer your question regarding the spelling on the front plate, unless your dealer has an older model.
thanks again Teajay,I'll try tube rolling after getting the unit. I notice a little roll off on the high frequencies or may be it's the warm characteristic of the eklipse.may be the dealer set up.
I revisited tube rolling with my Eclipse.
A pair of NOS 5960 really did smooth things out and take a harsh edge off of what I had previously felt was decent sound.
I agree completely that better tubes (left side)make this an even better pre amp.
The RCA clear tops that I had tried (bought used)must have been sub standard or used up.
Update! just got the eklipse yesterday and the dealer also offered a demo unit which is very new of the Coda CSX amp so I took it home too. The eklipse is being ran in and it sounds fabulous already. Thanks all for the comments. Anyway,any opinion on this Coda amp is welcomed.