DK Design Review

Strange silence on the recent DK Design review considering all the comments previously about this integrated.
I just received a used MK II version with NOS Phillips tubes in it. I am just getting adjusted to its sound. It is a full sounding integrated, with the most detail I have heard in my system, and the best bass I have heard comparable to a 300 watt Hybrid Llano amp I owned a year ago. It does seem to like to be played on the louder side to sound right, and I can only turn the colume up to 10 oclock or the sound is too loud. These are just my initial impressions. Ask me again next week.
I'd have to say that most owners are probably listening to music and not writing about the DK. Nothing better can be said than that!
Baiting or trolling Emorawski?
Baiting.....of course.
I was referring to the review in the latest Sterophile of course.
I'd have to say that most owners are probably listening to music and not writing about the DK.
Keep telling yourself that.
My opinion is that in the audio world the DK has become yesterday's news. In the changing audio scene where new products take center stage and displace the "flavor of the month," the fire dies quickly for certain gear. The fire over the DK died long ago.
It's good to see the amp get the kind of press it deserves. The company has been expanding it's offerings with a new Signature and a new Statement Integrated, as well as several speakers under the LSA Brand. I have the Statement Amp and LSA2 Statement Speakers in my system, and I can't wait for them to be reviewed.

The former owner hurt the company with his over the top marketing. The new owners have been quietly developing and building better products, upgrading their national and international dealer network, and giving great customer service. Water finds it's own level, and time will tell if this company is yesterday's news or a major player for the future. After listening to the new products, and Knowing Larry Staples commitment to excellence, I'm betting on DK/LSA being a major player.
Sigh.........not again.......pass the Kool Aid please.....
jmcgrogan, Have you heard the new products? No apologies here! I think the amps and speakers are wonderful, and I have no doubt that reviewers and audiophiles will agree when they hear them.

Perhaps one reason that DK owners haven't responded to this thread is that they don't want to take the abuse that comes with a positive mention of DK. I've had a couple of friends e-mail me and say they weren't participating on the forums because it was getting too hostile. That's understandable, nobody likes ridicule, but we shouldn't allow ourselves to be intimidated by a few bullies on the playground. I don't make a dime either way, and I'm not in the audio business, but I enjoy sharing my passion with others and turning them on to something special. This is a great hobby and I've met some great people through Audiogon, and we should all keep contributing.

Again, I believe these to be outstanding products, and I would encourage you to try them in your system before dismissing them.
I'm not sure it was so positive.
84Joe I have written 3 responses to this thread and I have deleted all three..They have all been negative, not towards DK just the whole aura on these pages is starting to wear me down, down..Tom
I knew a DK thread would get John back in here! Heheh.
Hey Dean, how are you doing?
I couldn't help myself, the thread title had me ROTFLMAO. :-)

Jeez, if these folks think AudiogoN forums are soooo rough, let's make sure they don't find out about the Audio Asylum. One thread in AA may take years of therapy to get over!

Tom, I don't think it is as bad as it used to be about a year ago on back. I don't think the 'Gon is nearly as contentious as I remember it. I have found it refreshing lately.

Sometimes when I get really busy with work and am away from the 'Gon for a few months, luckily for me guys like you will email me 'Gon threads I should take a look at. Did someone send you a wake up call? Heheh.


Audiogon is actually pretty tame compared to some of the other forums out there. Much has to do with who's participating. If you want to see brutal, go to a car forum or one centered on combat sports like MMA. Those get personal immediately. One of the craziest I witnessed was a Valentine versus Escort radar detector debate. Battle royal was more like it!

I try to add that Groove Tube/Kentucky Fried Movie perspective to my posts on the 'Gon, heheh.
Any one knows what might be the problem with my DK MK II. The sound coming out from the left channel is always louder than the right channel. This is particularly noticeable when I turned the volume down to a low level. I tried swapping tubes, speakers, and even the left/right input(just to be sure its not a problem with my digital source) but the problem remains.
I guess I'm supposed to throw in my 2cents worth here as a DK Mk II owner (has been for sale on consignment at a local hi-fi emporium for about 6 months). I pretty much agree with the polite, carefully worded review in latest Stereophile, except the bit about excellent soundstaging. Was interesting to see the note about inverted signal, I never did try reversing speaker wiring, may have helped bass impact. The comparisons to other amps were also pretty much inline with what Iv'e heard at CES demos. Any thoughts from you guys on subject of speaker polarity and bass response/imaging? Thanks, Mike.

Just a few cuts from the review for those who haven't had a chance to form their own opinions:
"...the integrated amp possesed some of the hallmark attributes of a high quality tube preamp." By way of comparison, most high quality preamps don't weigh 77 pounds and have an amp as an add on, and cost only $3200.

"On all closely miked female vocals, sibilants were clear, crisp and distinct." ""...Minimum/Maximum ...also showed off the VS.1 ....lightning-fast ability to render rapid transients, without any sense of blunting or artificial edge. My listening note: "Chills!"

"My notes: 'The stage! The stage!! Hall ambience, wall reflections, depth width, specificity, and the speakers disappear."

"But you might just conclude the you no longer want--or need--to make that "upgrade", (to separates).
End of Quotes:

Was the review, that of the perfect product? Of course not--the amp isn't perfect, then again, I am not sure,any are. I think Stereophile's Bob (Reina's) review, allows the potential buyer to realize, that for $3200. (our entry level amplifier) one can have the basic sound of many separates which traditionally cost much more.

My personal assessment is, that this is a good review and points out the 'value' of this product.
We are also excited about an upcoming review, (elsewhere) on the SIGNATURE Amp.

Larry R. Staples
LSA Group
President Designer
Yeah...the "review" brought me back too.

But...I seem to have a different overall impression of what I read.

but lets take a walk down memory lane first.

Wasn't DK the integrated that would beat 10k separates?

Sounds to me like the reviewer thought more highly of the Creek (with the exception of holography)


I guess the Creek is a $1500 integrated that beats the $3200 DK integrated that beats $10,000 separates (although they still never told us what separates those were)

I feel really sorry for whoever bought those so-called $10k separates.
All you guys still bashing the DK need to take your medicine! Give it up, all your bashing didn't work, the DK will continue to set standards for the industry. Anyone who is still hostile at this point MUST be jealous of DKs success.
and just like the old DK threads...brand new one-post users coming to DK's rescue.

BTW...what standard is DK setting in the industry?

Looking at the ones in the classifieds leads me to believe that they are the one of the industry leaders with regards to depreciation.
Yo Jimmy Olson - you need to read the review my friend. From a world beater to something apparently barely managing to stay up with a $1500 piece, and it's setting standards?

Standards for what? Number of models released in 18 months. We're up to what, 4 models now. Great for resale eh?

Stndard setter - right. Another newbie out of the closet to wax eloquent about DK - even those that got all gooey about the thing last year have already sold them - you're a bit behind the power curve already my friend.

Danny - that you?
I have a strange feeling that a majority of the negative posts are from people who have not even heard this product, sure the past marketing was a shame but un-educated rants about the ACTUAL performance and quality is atleast as or more criminal, if you never heard it then input your thoughts elsewhere...and get a life.
That being said, is it, is it the be-all-end-all integrated...ofcourse not, but it is very good of gear and sounds great for what money you are paying for it I spent a few days hanging out with a fellow AGON member, we listened to 5 systems wich included gear such as , Theil, Esoteric, BAT, VPI, Genesis, BW, and other high end gear that ascapes me, my point is to simply say we heard some very good gear, the most enjoyable was the time spent with the DK, it was the most entertaining....and the cheapest.
Ellery, I looked at your system and I believe you should refrain from making comments as the only standard set by the makers of your amplifier is the company going out of business!
Snofun, clearly the reviewer says that based on the performance and the build of the amplifier, "I figured I was listening to an amplifier that would retail somewhere between $5000 and $7000". So, what is your beef? This is definitely an outstanding complement to the DK.

I am also surprised that no one brought this up yet, but there is actually a mistake in the review. The reviewer states that Siemens NOS tubes were used in the DK during the HE2005 show where he heard it first and thought so highly of it. But, the tubes that were used in the DK during the show and driving Von Schweikert speakers were the Mullard Cryo CV2492.

I actually tried the Siemens NOS in my DK VS-1 Mk. 3 and did not like them very much. But the Mullard CV2492 did make a phenominal difference in sound quality.

Despite all this commotion about the DK, I have never talked to anyone who actually heard the unit or owned it that did not enjoy their time with it; I wish the same could be said about Krell, Levinson, and a few other brands that appear in Snofun's system...
In the new Bound For Sound ( Martin G. DeWulf writes "I have been working with the DK VS1 Signature (tube, solid state hybrid) for a while now, and I can say without fear of contradiction, that the VS1 Signature totally wipes out any distinctions one can make between integrateds of the past and the highest performing separates of today. Oh my, is it good! Honestly, I'm having trouble coming up with a separates combo - at any price - that is as revealing and harmonically complete as the DK Signature. And the DK is frightfully powerful, delivering brute strength and energy to the VMPS RM40s in ways that few amps ever have."
Is the 3 person/sample DK amp challenge thread still in the archives?
05-19-06: Brianmgrarcom

"I'd have to say that most owners are probably listening to music and not writing about the DK."

"Keep telling yourself that."


Excellent Brian..

Ellery, I looked at your system and I believe you should refrain from making comments as the only standard set by the makers of your amplifier is the company going out of business!


Actually, NOT TRUE. Electrocompaniet was acquired and is doing quite fine Jim. Do your research before you make bold statements like that.

Gunbei, here is the link you are looking for:
Kid, the statements by Jim are true. Electrocompaniet has filed for bankruptcy in Norway. Per Abramsen, the lead designer at Electrocompaniet has formed a new entity called ECS Holdings, Ltd. which is now responsible for the manufacture of all of the Electrocompaniet products moving forward. So, do you think a company is doing well if it has to declare bankruptcy?

This may be very hard for your die-hard DK bashers to swallow, but part of the reason Electrocompaniet got hit so hard is because DK has become one of the most popular and sought after amplifiers in Norway and other nearby countries...

Want more proof? Home Studio Magazine in the Netherlands (many times larger and more influential then Stereophile) declared: "It is the best amplifier I have ever had in this house and it is my new reference."

So, DK bashers - its Game Over for you. And if you keep feeding the flames, you only inadvertantly spread the news about DK products to other people, thereby making it even more popular.
The manufacturer's response to Brian's review reminds me how all too often it is forgotten that no one product is the best and everyone has different tastes.

I'm glad DK has found a market.

I stand corrected.. Thank you for the update as I had no idea. I just thought they were acquired as Per was retiring. As for DK bashers, I could really care less as it is what it is.

If it is not a pure Tube Amplifier, I am just not interested personally.. I just hate when people take pot shots are people's systems as Jim did with Ellery..

OMG!!!...problems at Electrocompaniet? C'mon...tell me something OTHER than LAST YEARS news.

And you know how much I care? NADA...cause it's just sitting on a shelf now collecting dust.

But the real kicker is that even for a company that is having/had problems...whatever...the depreciation hit is still far less than for the DK's.

Go ahead...make fun of my system all you want...booo hooooo.
Gunbei, let me make something clear about the Daniels comments at the end of my "review". Two of my friends contacted him speaking kindly as they were hoping he would allow me to give the amp to them instead of sending it back to the fatory. His taking an opportunity to inject comments are out of line, IMO.
I agree Brian, it always rubs me the wrong way when a manufacturer feels compelled to add comments to a review they aren't happy with. And to place blame on possible faulty internal wiring doesn't help the reputation of their Q.C. either.
DK bashers may also want to check out the following review, where the DK clearly competes with separates well north of $10,000:
Has absolutely nothing to do with DK I can assure you that. I know the Norwegian importer of DK products and he has sold about 10 pcs of the integrated amp.
I am also from Norway and know the history with Electrocompaniet and Per Abrahamsen.
Electrocompaniet is alive with new owners, and Per Abrahamsen has his own company and has started producing new products. In fact the procucts are copies of the old "the 2 channel amplifier".
I would not consider myself a DK basher but being off today and doing a little listening, I decided to read the review in Stereophile after coming across this thread. I have to say, after reading it, I would absolutely seek out the CREEK Integrated after reading that if I was in the market for a new Integrated Amp..

If the DK competes with Separates well north of $10,000.00 at $3,200.00; does this mean the Creek at $1,495.00 actually betters separates north of $10,000.00 and is solid state to boot?

I mean you could purchase the CREEK, an upgraded Power Cord, and a TON of new Music for well under $3,200.00.

Not bashing just simply asking a question based on the review?

Another interesting makes me want to go out and audition the Creek even more...especially knowing that if it can beat the DK in more areas than not (according to the Stereophile review) and if that's the case...then I guess that a $1500 integrated will clearly compete even more advantageously with separates that are "well north of $10,000"

Oh...and I loooooove the comparison to Gryphon. Never heard the stuff but I understand that it is one of the "Holy Grail" brands (in all seriousness)...but if you say that the DK is like Gryphon because of Solen devices...then you could also assume that it is like the sub $1500 Primaluna Prologue 2 as they use Solen also.

Taking a "part" that is used in an amplifier and then using it as a basis to give it a favorable comparison to a MUCH higher end amp is akin to putting 18" wheels & S03's on a Honda and comparing it favorably to a Porsche.
Ellery, you mentioned something about depreciation? I just checked the classifieds and all the DK stuff is marked as sold, and your Electrocompaniet is just collecting more dust on the shelf as it is being offered for 1/4 of the retail price and no one is buying...yeah, I guess DK really does depreciate faster then Electrocompaniet.
Actually, I wouldn't mind having a Honda S2000 with 18s, but I wouldn't put Bridgestone Potenza SO3s on them. Too damn noisy!

IMHO, modern Porsches lack driving soul. You know what era 911 I like Ellery! I'd rather have a Cayman than a new 911.

Hondas are made for driving enthusiasts!
Wow, Ellery. Just so you know, output devices on the Gryphon are transistors. Primaluna only has a Solen capacitor...
Actually, yes Chris, you absolutely should seek out the Creek. Isn't it time to upgrade the Cary Audio Design SLI-80?
my Electro is being offered at 1/4 retail? far as I remember I haven't listed it for sale...nor do I plan to...yet I'm pretty sure that I could get more than $500 for it (original retail was $1995).

Why can't DK just have a little humility and say that it is a good amp for it's price rather than try to tout it as the most marvelous product to hit the market since the wheel?
It's fascinating how the mention of DK evokes such strong anger from some who haven't heard the products. No amount of positive reviews or recommendations will change their minds. They have no interest in actually listening to the integrateds, but they will eagerly twist the meanings of reviewers or supporters, or do what ever they have to do to bash DK. Some people aren't happy unless they're miserable, and if they aren't happy, why should anybody else be? It's not about logic or evidence for them.

What's important is that there are a lot of very happy DK owners who are passionate about the product, and more reviews are coming on line that agree that the integrateds are a tremendous value. If you are looking to upgrade your system, as a DK owner who sold his higher priced separates, I would respectfully suggest that you give the DK Integrateds a listen.
How is DK touting anything? The reviewers are.
05-29-06: Audioari1
Actually, yes Chris, you absolutely should seek out the Creek. Isn't it time to upgrade the Cary Audio Design SLI-80?

LOL! Is that really the best you can do? I really expected a revelation of a response. I just asked a question. You are the one posting reviews and putting lipstick on the Pig..


You are the one posting reviews and putting lipstick on the Pig..
LOL Chris!!
I have no position on the DK products, but I did finally read the Stereophile review yesterday. As I read it, Mr. Reina preferred the Creek. He said many nice things about the DK, but the bottom line was lukewarm at best.