darTZeel NHB-108 users please check in ...


I just picked up a darTZeel NHB-108 amp. I love the way it sounds. Please let me know your experience with darTZeel gear. Thanks!
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First amp I have kept for 4 years with no plans of changing. No problems at all. I had to change the batteries one time. Does your have the upgrade? Runs the evolution acoustics mm2
hi joe!

good to see you here too, and good to see you're enjoying the darTZeel!
lovely amp... will only change mine for the monoblcks!

cheers,
alexandre
Hi Snook,

Yes, it has the latest SCNP update and is the version "A". What batteries are you talking about? I know the preamp uses batteries, not the amp. Amazing sound.
It is very sweet. I am going to have to experiment with cables, ac cords and my preamp and see how the sound changes. Some of my sources are not worthy of the Dart amp and it shows :(

Any idea how much the mono blocks cost? I know they are out of reach, just curious. Thanks Alexandre.
Joenid, sorry I assumed you had both amp and preamp. You are correct that the amp does not have batteries. I have yet to do the upgrade but I am told it is a real upgrade in sound.
Hi Snook,

I would love the preamp as well but my Burmester 077 seems to do very well with the NHB-108. I really like my Dart amp. Herve is a genius.
Joeinid:

Most darT owners are using either Evolution Acoustics or Jena Labs cabling with the amp (interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords).

Jena is super stuff, but Evolution would be my choice with darTZeel if I weren't already invested in all-Jena (that's actually not true - I have a modest Kimber power cord on my darT, but everything else is Jena).

Those who also have the darT preamp need to use the "Zeel" 50 Ohm interconnect between the darT preamp and darT amp - it brings the level of performance to an almost bizarrely good level. Both Evolution and darTZeel make a "Zeel" interconnect.
Have been extremly happy with my darTZeel gear.
Purchased the preamp first which then led to the purchase of the amp. The 50 ohm zeel interconnect is a true bargain compared the Valhalla's which is what the zeel replaced.
Using the zeel from the pre to the amp and using the Valhalla for all of my source components.
Originally had a concern that the amp would run out of power when paired to my Maxx II, but this has not happened.
My power chord is the TEL HC.
Thanks Raquel and Rugy,

I wish I had discovered Dartzeel earlier. I appreciate all the comments. Please keep them coming. When the dust settles, I will be comparing the Dart 108 against Burmester 911mk3 monos and see where it takes me.
Joeinid
Wise words "I wish I had discovered Dartzeel earlier."

On my system page I posted the following.

"the dart pre and amp just do everything so 'right' that you just listen to music and don't give them a second thought. solid state? tubes? you don't even think about it, just music!"
I am very impressed by my Dartzeel amp and like it very much.

Rugy posted "the dart pre and amp just do everything so 'right' that you just listen to music and don't give them a second thought. solid state? tubes? you don't even think about it, just music!"

A big thumbs up to that!!! So far my Dartzeel is on top of my list. There's magic inside :)
At 160/8Ohm & 230/4Ohm (as measured by stereophile) Dart is not the most powerful amp out there, but as long as you don't ask it to drive sub 2.5 Ohm loads and within its power rating, Dart can be a true magic.

It is certainly not another 'me too' product, and Herve Delatrez, like Nelson Pass and Charlie Chansen, is one of true innovators in this industry.
Well it's time for an update. Slightly more than one year later I was finally able to add the Dartzeel 18NS preamp to my beloved Dartzeel 108 amp. Holy cow is there magic in these components. I still need to add the zeel bnc cable but I am loving this combo immensely. Big, wide and deep sound stage. Detail in spades with zero harshness. The music just flows out of a quiet background. Herve is a genius. My speakers are TAD CR-1's. I could not get rid of my Burmester gear fast enough to get both the Dartzeel amp and preamp.
You forgot to mention, that the dart dislodged the $60k 911mk3 monos from your system :)

I sold my dart since it was not able to drive the punishing load of Sasha, but since I sold my Sashas, I considering getting another one. Yesterday I have heard the dart combo diving the Maxx 3 (with $200k worth of Siltech cabling and Metronome C-8 DAC) and I was literally blown away. I do not think I have ever heard a more natural sounding system.

As a rule of thumb, I would say that to get the magic, you have to avoid speakers that dip below 2 Ohm.
Congrats on the your new pre amp.
Your right in saying that Herve is extremely talented.
Glad that your loving the zeel combo.
Take care,
Yes, my Dartzeel is better, IMO, than my Burmester gear and many others I've had. I am happy. Cable upgrades are on the list but this gear is wonderful.
You forgot to mention, that the dart dislodged the $60k 911mk3 monos from your system :)
911mk3 has a very low input impedance, is it POSSIBLE a preamp impedance mis-match problem? Did you use the Dartzeel 18NS?

TAD CR-1's is 86db, I'm surprise Dartzeel 108 can drive them as well as the 911Mk3 monos.
I was using a Burmester 077 with external power supply. I do admit the 077 is a superb preamp.
Wow...I have had the Vitus ss-101 that was replaced by the Dartzeel amp 108 and the preamplifier 18 and kept them only 5 months. In the beginning I was happy to listen my Avalon Eidolon Diamond with Dartzeel and after these few months I understood the limits because the music seems all the same and was not enjoable anymore. I had the opportunity to listen in my home the Burmester 911 and the preamplifier 077. Now the sound is excellent, a lot better than Vitus and Dartzeel, something that you can't never get tired when listening and this happened mainly with Dartzeel where a lack of emotions were far from the music hearth. Besided I prefer also Vitus to the Dartzeel, but I ran fast to replace it very soon. The bloated midrange of Dartzeel could surprise when you listen for the first time. Now, with the present Burmester components the sound has an appeal to the deepest emotions and captured my soul with a natural awesome dynamic authority. I demoed in my system also Pass xa160.5, Spectral 260 and the Krell Evo 302, but the Burmester 911 is for me the ultimate in sound quality. Now my Avalon are singing.
Ciro71, exactly my thought.
Knghifi,
I read some time of listening impressions that leave me rather puzzled, but It is a game and evenI could not understand the sound reality is often very different from what we read. For me the bargain is a pure musical goal, maybe for other audiophiles is just a game and the changing of game could get satisfaction enough. In my listening studio and my personal system passed a lot of audio components and the Burmester 911 is the best amplifier ever heard and far much better from latest owned amps, first the Vitus ss-101 and then Dartzeel 108 with preamp 18, which I compared with my Avalon.I lost a lot of money, but this is the true and based on own mistakes after hoping the future will be better. If the Burmester 911 exists now since 1991 there is a reason that It is still today is considered everywhere one of most musical amplifier ever made. The 911 with preamplifier 077 in my system reproducing harmonious organic musicality with top sources while remaining utterly neutral overall. Instead the Dartzeel, but also the Vitus and the others amps heard in my system, have a subtle reduction of musical colors like turning down the contrast and color saturation to get less noise. But less is not always more in audio reproduction. With Burmester, the Avalon retains the full-bodied, full color beauty of analogue richness and provides ultimate definition, exceptionally high in transparency and resolution with the realism of reproduction simply true. The mid and high are very natural and the bass are tight and deep, very articulate and so detailed. Now I have the best overall sound with bass qualitatively and quantitatively I've previously achieved in my listening room. Micro dynamics were very nearly as thrilling as macro dynamics! The alive-ness in my room is astounding now not reached with my previous amplifier. Now I'm very happy with these Burmester components and I am listening my music with full satisfaction and seen the sound quality level reached I think now only to the music.
Knghifi,
I read some time of listening impressions that leave me rather puzzled, but It is a game and evenI could not understand the sound reality is often very different from what we read. For me the bargain is a pure musical goal, maybe for other audiophiles is just a game and the changing of game could get satisfaction enough. In my listening studio and my personal system passed a lot of audio components and the Burmester 911 is the best amplifier ever heard and far much better from latest owned amps, first the Vitus ss-101 and then Dartzeel 108 with preamp 18, which I compared with my Avalon.I lost a lot of money, but this is the true and based on own mistakes after hoping the future will be better. If the Burmester 911 exists now since 1991 there is a reason that It is still today is considered everywhere one of most musical amplifier ever made. The 911 with preamplifier 077 in my system reproducing harmonious organic musicality with top sources while remaining utterly neutral overall. Instead the Dartzeel, but also the Vitus and the others amps heard in my system, have a subtle reduction of musical colors like turning down the contrast and color saturation to get less noise. But less is not always more in audio reproduction. With Burmester, the Avalon retains the full-bodied, full color beauty of analogue richness and provides ultimate definition, exceptionally high in transparency and resolution with the realism of reproduction simply true. The mid and high are very natural and the bass are tight and deep, very articulate and so detailed. Now I have the best overall sound with bass qualitatively and quantitatively I've previously achieved in my listening room. Micro dynamics were very nearly as thrilling as macro dynamics! The alive-ness in my room is astounding now not reached with my previous amplifier. Now I'm very happy with these Burmester components and I am listening my music with full satisfaction and seen the sound quality level reached I think now only to the music.
You didn't need to say it twice :) I've moved on from Burmester.
Joenid,
sorry if I repeated my post twice. You moved from Burmester to Darzteel and myself moved from Dartzeel to Burmester. For me a couple of steps ahead Burmester, but as long as you are satisfyed It should be good enough, but in my experience only the time can say if you made the correct choice. Instead I erroneously moved to Dartzeel from Vitus, but my real sensation with Dartzeel 108 and 18 was coming out after few months that I could not listening anymore due to lack of dynamic and the top frequencies in evidence my music collection so bloated and artificial. With Vitus ss-101 I had other impression but now I can say better than Dartzeel and more close to the music. Then with full satisfaction never achieved before I moved from Dartzeel to Burmester and now I finally found myself listening to the music, not through an audio system. Now with Burmester almost seems as if the entire system relaxed allowing the music to flow effortlessly without any strength. Pure musical bliss. A unique experience and the best investment I ever made in my long audio journey. I noted that you own the Tad Cr-1 that I often listen to my retailer. The sound is quite good with a precise sonic signature and lacking a little in the area of bass frequency, imo. Heard the Tad with Mark Levinson 20.6 mono, my ex Vitus ss-101 and with an integrated amplifier Burmester 032. In all of situation the cd player was the Linn cd-12. I prefer them with Burmester 032 and the sound was well balanced and refined, with no particular coloration and a nice soundstage large and deep and pin point image focus. I noted also that you have the Dan D'Agostino power amp, so It could mean that you are feeling the same unhappy sensations that I had with Dartzeel and being not really satisfied you're already in movement searching to replace it or being music matter is not the final goal you could achieve the full satisfaction playing with audio components and the changing of game will grant to you the same happiness. It could be considered normal for the most of audiophiles that the music matter is not the first target! Bye.
Ciro,

I was just fooling around about the double post. No worries. I am glad you are happy. In the right system, Burmester can be wonderful. I like Dartzeel and D'Agostino better. It's just my opinion.
Joenid,
no problem. I understood that you were joking . Of course we are talking about opinions. You like more Dartzeel, but I had Dartzeel and others high cost amplifiers and now I have Burmester and for me there is not comparison between them. Burmester is like Ferrari in audio, the best amp and preamp heard in my system. Bye.
In my system nothing I have tried touches the Dartzeel. You can always change to something that sounds different. My speakers are 87.5 Db and 8 ohm. The dart drives them easily.
Ciro71, what Avalon do you have?
Synergy is the key!
Knghifi,
17:16
My spekears are the Avalon Eidolon Diamond. Bye.
Joenid,
I am agree with you, but the "true sinergy" is the one created by the brand designer. The sinergy is a lot important to achieve an excellent sound, but I don't believe to the synergy created by the audiophile that mix a lot of components!
but I don't believe to the synergy created by the audiophile that mix a lot of components!
Isn't this the only synergy that's important to an audiophile/consumer? "true synergy" is meaningless if it doesn't sound good to an audiophile.

Joeinid, how far from the front wall and amount of toe-in is your TAD CR1?
My CR-1's are 2 feet (maybe plus a few inches) from the front wall and almost cross-fire in front of me. They are probably a little further apart than TAD recommends, but as time went on, I'd move them in tiny amounts. All in all, I am very happy with the sound. I do like to switch gear around to mix up the flavor. The Dartzeel combo seems the most detailed yet natural sound I've heard from the TAD's. I get more excitement from the Dagostino and it's nice to have choices. I don't think I'd ever be satisfied with one system. The tinkerer in me can't leave well enough alone. The highs on the TAD's from my Burmester gear was just a little too much for me. I don't get that from Dartzeel or Dagostino.
Jeinid, My TAD Evolution One's arrived last week so been breaking them in and playing with placement.

This is the 1st ported speaker in many many years. They finally ended up in the recommended 24" from front wall and toe-in to ears like your CR-1's. Probably will tweak them until final break-in. Sound is AMAZING and worth every penny!
Knghifi,

I am so happy for you. TADs are amazing speakers. Just enjoy the heck out of them. I have a friend who is very close to pulling the trigger on the Ref Ones. Please post some more of your opinion so as to help me push him over the edge. Congratulations!
Thanks Joeinid. Your friend can't go wrong with any TAD especially Ref1. E1 is less forgiving so one has to choose components carefully.

I'm driving my E1 with VAC Sig MKIIa pre and TRL Samson and it's a sounds fabulous and NOT edgy, hard or bright. I would not recommend Samsons for something like Revel Salon 2 but @88db, it's perfect. I was considering Hegel H30 and my TAD dealer recommends Viola but will hold off indefinitely now.
Viola was recommended to me as well for my TADs. I do plan on hearing them at some point, just for fun. But as we both know how dangerous to your wallet it can be. I am so glad you are happy. That's what it's all about. Have fun!
As the E1s are breaking in, I moved them 28" from front wall and decreased toe-in so intersecting 1.5' from back of my head.

Have you ever tried a tube pre with your CR-1s?
Hi Knghifi,

Yes. I've used a VAC Sig IIa and a CJ GAT. Right now I am using a Dartzeel NHB-18NS on my Dartzeel 108 and I am waiting for a Dagostino preamp to go with my Dagostino Momentum stereo amp.
Joeinid,

Look forward to your comments on the Dagostino preamp. My GUESS is Dagostino combo a superior match for your CR-1s than Dartzeel.
Knghifi,

I should hopefully give you an answer in about 6 weeks. Production is a little backed up. I can't wait.
Hi knghifi!

Can you explain more about what you mean by the E1 being less forgiving than the R1? Usually the words less forgiving refer to something that is more ruthlessly revealing, in other words, more transparent/detailed/etc. With the E1's midrange being magnesium vs. a BE in the CR1 or R1 speaker, I don't see how the E1 would be less forgiving. If anything, the BE mid would be much less forgiving and require careful matching of components to either CR1 or R1?

Thanks for your input!
08-05-14: Audioexcels
Hi knghifi!

Can you explain more about what you mean by the E1 being less forgiving than the R1? Usually the words less forgiving refer to something that is more ruthlessly revealing, in other words, more transparent/detailed/etc. With the E1's midrange being magnesium vs. a BE in the CR1 or R1 speaker, I don't see how the E1 would be less forgiving. If anything, the BE mid would be much less forgiving and require careful matching of components to either CR1 or R1?

Thanks for your input!
Are you familiar with R1 and E1? R1 = E1 + warmer + more musical. TAS E1 review was spot on. Less forgiving is just relative when comparing them back to back. Andrew Jones is a genius with great ears.

I'm very sensitive to brightness and never had a problem with E1 after a year of ownership driving them with both high quality SS and tube amps.
Hey,

I'm wanting to find a great Preamp for my 108 but cant afford the Dart Pre.
Any experience on great pairing would be greatly appreciated. Right now I'm using an old Krell KRC-HR and it sounds pretty darn good.