I know someone who sold his EAR324 within a week after acquiring an Einstein, he thought the improvement was very significant and easily heard. Hopefully he will chime in.
16 responses Add your response
I finally have the choice to audition the Einstein (unbalanced unit) against the EAR 324 on my system. No contest - The EAR wins hand-down. It makes the Einstein sound flat and CD-like. The conclusion - the kind which is TOO obvious - came in just 10 secs playing the same track on the EAR after the Einstein.
I would say the Einstein has a similar sound to the Ray Samuels F117 Nighthawk.
**I did not leave the Einstein on standby for 24 hours before auditioning. I'm not sure if doing it will help but I doubt it - The performance gap is just too big.
I think it is "dangerous" to draw conclusions after only a very brief listen to two components, especially when it sounds like you are not being rushed to make a decision. The aphorism "all that glitters is not gold" is applicable to audio components; what you think is so compelling about the EAR after a very brief listen might end up being a source of irritation in the long run. So why not take your time and a few days of listening to each before jumping to conclusions? One reason I say this is because by all accounts, and all other things being equal, the Einstein should be superior to the EAR 324. I have no dog in this fight; I have never heard either.
What I do like a lot about the EAR is its front-panel adjustability for cartridge loading, so if it really is competitive with the Einstein, I would choose it for that reason.
As a former Einstein dealer, I can tell you the phono stage (balanced version here) is anything but flat and CD-like, nor is it tubey. Shsohis, since you didn't describe at least the associated cartridge and line stage preamp, there is no way to know, but I strongly suspect you had the incorrect load resistors, which take only a few seconds to change, and it's easy to know when you've found the ones that are just right. The EAR isn't in the same league by any stretch.
I went through a very similar situation and ended up getting the RCM Sensor Prelude. It has the earthy 3-dimensional sound that people associate with great tube designs, the cleanliness of Einstein and rhythmic prowess of a Naim. It is a superb product IMO. There is one for sale at Agon right now, check it out.
Dear Shsohis: I never had and heard both phono stages in the same system at the same time but I rememebre both quality performances.
The EAR is a good PS for its price and we can't ask more for it, what mean I with that?, well the EAR is not so accurate as the Einstein and IMHO more colored than the Einstein.
No, IMHO the Einstein has not a " CD alike performance " but only more accurate and neutral that for me are main priorities in any audio item. The Einstein design is a high gain active one on LOMC against a passive ( SUT. ) one on the EAR. IMHO this passive EAR design degrade and colored the cartridge signal on LOMC cartridges ( the EAR low price came from this passive kind of design. ).
It is obvious that accuracy and neutrality/what is in the recording is not what you are looking for but something more " colored and distorted " and nothing wrong with that because each one of us are different about.
Me, for example, always try to hear and to be " nearest to the recording " and not only that but that that " nearest to the recording " sounds " good " at the same time.
I agree with Lewm: more listening time and agree with Essentialaudio that we have to have the right set up when we are doing comparisons and to all of us could help to know which cartridge you are testing and how it is surrounded other than the PSs.
Of course that the more important subject here is not what I think about but what you think and what you like because is you whom have to live with that audio system.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Well, I know the Turntable Choice is one of the very few Einstein components that ISN'T a tube unit, which is where they have earned their names. So when a company like Einstein goes the SS route, they probably understand the advantages of that technology in this type of component, especially one that is so near the beginning of the signal path.
I never owned an EAR but did switch from an Audio Research PH3 SE, mainly for gain reasons. (68 vs 54). I am a huge fan of ARC gear but really like the sound of the Einstein single-ended version I have. Very clean and powerful soundstage and I do leave it on all the time. Doing so improves the sound, especially if you are trying to audition something within the first 30 minutes or so.
The build quality is superb, as you might expect on a $5,500 unit, while the engineering and even the round shape makes sense.