Dartzeel 108


Right now i’m feeling the urge to upgrade my system again. Currently I have a Mark Levinson 390s directly link to GamuT D200 driving JM lab micro utopia (be). My listening room is moderately small (about 20 m2).
I do like the system, it’s very fast, punchy, with a huge sound stage. But something is missing, it’s not refined. Reading the reviews, I think I’ll have everything that gamut delivers plus a sweet refined sound.

Have anyone tried the combo jmlab micro utopia be with dartzeel ? (neither the less I’ll listen to this combo second of feb).

I have to confess that I have some kind of fetish for amps, that is , is always the first audio gear that I upgrade.

Moving to DartZeel will be the first step of my upgrade, then speakers to finish with source. So, as I’m waiting to have budget to move everything up, I’ll have to live possibly with dartzeel micro utopia and 390s.

Thanks in advance,
Rodrigo Carvalho
hi Rodrigo,

i've not tried the darTZeel NHB-108NS/JM Labs Micro Utopia Be combo; however i have listened to the dart with a number of speaker systems and have listened to the Micro Utopia Be a number of times and i do have an opinion on how the combination likely would sound.

the Micro Utopia Be is a very transparent sounding speaker, that Be tweeter does not suffer 'ordinary, decent sounding' amps happily. it demands naturalness and refinement and will pay those characteristics back with high level performace in spades. at 89db efficiency and a 8 ohm load the dart's 100+ watts should drive the Micro Utopia nicely. and amps do not get more refined or have sweeter more transparent mids and highs than the dart. the dart also has wonderful microdynamics that the Micro Utopia will communicate accurately.

i would be surprised if this combo was not special. and if your sources or speakers are upgraded the dart will always be a worthy match for any additional performance.

one additional note; the dart 108 is reported to be an ideal mate for the Magico Mini II; which is 84db efficient, 4 ohm load (assuming the right medium to small sized room). i think the Micro Utopia Be might be a similar type sounding speaker (but much easier to drive) if not at the same level as the Mini II.
Just wanted to say that I agree with Mike's accessment of the dartzeel amplifier. In addition to it's absolute world class refinement, purity, transparency and resolution, it also floats grainless 3D images in an open spacious layered soundstage. It sounds like music.

Good luck,
Disclosure - Dartzeel dealer

I owned a 390s. Eventually I found a Wadia I liked better that also had volume control. Then I finally took the plunge and bought an Ayre K-1xe preamp to compliment my Ayre amp. Wow was I blown away by the sonic improvement. To this day it was the single biggest improvement I ever made. Everything got clearer and more defined. The soundstage widened more than I thought possible, and the dimensionality went from what I thought was 3-D to what really is 3-D (AKA more refined). I've since come to believe the preamp is the single most important component after speakers.

The Dartzeel is an excellent amp but you're still missing a very important ingredient. Adding a better amp is an inferior upgrade choice IMHO.

Heck don't take my word for it. Seek out a good deal on a used preamp and try it. If you decide I'm full of it resell it and upgrade your amp.
I just sold my speakers to a guy who had the micro utopias. He had the same issue as you. He decided to change speakers because the micros were not giving him what he wanted.
The speakers were Verity Parsifal Encores.
Just some more food for thought.
Have you considered tube electronics? I too have Micro BEs and using BAT 32se and vk-75se. This set-up gives me everything (SS control with tube depth and texture). Certainly other tube gear can do this as well.
Have tried using Elgar Plus straight to amp for past 5yrs with various combinations of amps and speakers. Although most times I do get excellent sound, I always felt something essential missing from the whole musical picture. So here I am now a believer, with pre-amp being the building block as well the costliest component in my set-up.

You have made great choices of amp and speakers, however, to unleash their fullest potential I do think you need to allocate budget on a good pre too. Or maybe as Mmike84 above suggests, even consider getting them first! In your case, inserting a darTZeel NHB-18NS (pre) in current set-up and do the amp upgrade later when budget permits. Fetish aside.. =)) imo, this to be the better path taken.
Thanks all for responses :) Yes, I think the pre amp would be the path to unleash the full potential of my system. I’ll try the dartzell pre-amp. On the second of February I’ll go to the show room of my country dartzeel dealer, with my system, doing all kind of experiences!! I love that :) ! Then I’ll write here my experience!

Once again thank you all.


Rodrigo Carvalho
Vaipe : I do like the system, it’s very fast, punchy, with a huge sound stage. But something is missing, it’s not refined. Reading the reviews, I think I’ll have everything that gamut delivers plus a sweet refined sound.

< In reference to essence of post.
As I have found, with a good pre-amp, you will preserve the transparency and transient performance you had/liked, but with an improved sense of pace and timing, as well, more heft (body, weight, organic) feel to instruments.

Also, most noticeable will be a more developed (width, depth, height) and organized soundstage, with better delineation of individual instruments being fleshed out into their own separate living entity (space), yet more seamless/continuous both at the same time.

Overall, resulting in a much more relaxed (refined) and involving (3D, live) listening experience. And to me, it's like finally the music had found 'SOUL'! Just an addendum to my previous post.. Good luck, and have some fun while at it anyway!
I have used the Dart amp with my JM Labs 1027Be. My current amp is a Bryston 4b-ST. I was curious to see how my speakers would react. My dealer could not believe it either.It was actually Bkonig who did the demo for me. To say I was floored would be an understatement. Basically, the dart made my bryston sound broken. It was just so much more musical. The speakers really like the amp. I am sure the Micro Utopia Be would as well. Down the road I hope to be able to get the integrated in my system.