Have you had other passives?I have yet to find one with bass or enough dynamics to compansate fopr "lack of signature".Know that a freind bought the Placette with it's expensive Vishay's aplenty but ended much happier with the Active pre.
>I have yet to find one with bass or enough dynamics to compansate fopr "lack of signature<
That's because you haven't heard a TVC in a properly designed system.
I'm currently trying out an Electra Print PVA and a couple pairs of attenuators, EVS Ultimates and Endlers. The Luminous Axiom was recommended to me and the Monolithic passive/active, as well as the Space Tech Lab passive preamp are somewhat interesting.
I am now using the EVS Ultimates in conjunction with my active preamp (Joule Electra LA-100 MkIII) and this is helping with my original problem which was too much gain in my system as a result of the addition of my new amp.
So far I have been impressed with the EVS attenuators and will try a source directly into them this weekend. I have read all the threads about passive preamps here and am keeping your point in mind when I listen. Part of this experiment is to see if passive preamps will work in my system. I'm told they can, but whether I like the sound is a another matter.
Have you tried contacting Joule about lowering the gain on the LA-100??? If you are sticking with that piece and your current amps it would be by far better than sticking anything else in the signal path.
My experience is very different from Chazzbo. Preamps that I tried after the addition of Atma-sphere M-60 MKII.3 to my system just did not satisfy (Cary, Sonic Frontiers). The coloration in the upper mids and imaging I felt could be better moved me to a passive. The speakers are Silverline Sonata MK I which are an easy load and have great imaging.
I am using a Reference Line Preeminence 1A with a Meridian 508.24 CDP as a source. The result has been astounding. Tremendously wide soundstage, exact imaging, air on top and deep bass. Just stunning. I may never use a preamp again.
I'm interested to know how the Electra Print transformer volume control(TVC) stacks up against the resistor based competition. I have an S&B TVC that I love, but have never tried any other passives.
Of course, success depends entirely on source output voltage, amp input sensitivity, and impedence matching all the way around.
Clio did you ever consider sending the amp back to Paul to have the Gain lowered
That could be an option
Btw do you have a picture of your D 225
I want one for myself !
I have heard lots of good things about the Reference Line passive preamps. I missed a 1A here on Audiogon recently. I understand Scott Nixon now owns Reference Line and I sent him an email to inquire about them, but got no response. The webiste doesn't provide any information on the products either. Oh well...
That is an option I will look into, but only after I rule out a passive altogether.
I have spoken with Scott Nixon on the phone about the Reference Line which he does own now. He checked the 1A out for the seller and performed some minor repairs then drop shipped it to me.
I was leary going to a passive but Ralph Karsten at Atma-sphere was confident that the synergy with his amps and the Merdian front end would work with a passive.
My system has never sounded better. I am expereincing some depth, realism of instruments, soundstaging like never before with an active. I am using Tekline silver cables from the CDP and Magnan MKIII to the amps.
All I can say is it worked for me (and its remote control volume)
The thing weighs nearly 70 lbs. and there are very good reasons as to why it is high gain, so it would be easier just to fiddle with the preamp. My listening room is very small and I feel that in a larger space the 11db of gain on my Joule Electra and the D-225 will work nicely together. Just not in an 11 x 13 room that has a brick fireplace and plaster walls. To be honest, a bit more attention to room treatments could help too, but I still want to evaluate passive preamps first before I go there. With furniture, my stand, and the equipment there is just not that much space (bear in mind it is a 400 sq. ft. studio). I don't have a digital camera, but if you email Brian Weitzel he took a few pictures of it. It is not pretty by any means but is built like a tank.
Email me if you like and I will give you Brian's contact information so you can call him directly. My D-225 was his amp, the prototype, that was brought up to production spec prior to my taking delivery. He is also the one responsible for the solid state line, although the design is still mainly done by Paul Weitzel and many of the components, like the chokes and transformers, are custom designed to his specs.
Thanks for the response. Do you know if Scott plans to sell Reference Line in the future. Would it be possible for you to email me his number. I would like to learn a lot more about this passive preamp.
I had a RL Preeminence 1B for a brief period. I didn't care for it even compared to my JJ preamp at the time, and my TVC lays both to waste. The RL has all the cleanness and transparency of a passive design, but also retains the negative aspects, lack of dynamics and tonal color.
Which TVC are you using?
My preamp is a custom job by Kevin Carter of K&K Audio. It uses the Mark I version of the S&B transformers and Seiden switches for input selection and volume control. Previously I had the Mark II's, but the original is much better, in my opinion.
I'm actually using the K&K MC step-up and like it a lot. I have to imagine the S&Bs are nice for a TVC. Thanks for the information.
I also have Kevins SE parallel feed phono preamp in the same chasis hard wired to the TVC with two extra inputs. It has an outboard PS. So basically, this is a full function preamp that just happens to have a state of the art phono stage....;-}}}
I talked to Kevin yesterday and he is reviewing some stuff for me and then getting me a quote for a MkI version. He was familiar with you and I did see in some other discussion threads where you talked about the phono stage and TVC. I'm pretty excited about trying this out.
I'm currently demoing a Sonic Euphoria PLC passive and it's really, really nice. I was worried about the "lack of sound" I'd get from all the knocks against passives on the forum.
The Sonic Euphoria has great dynamics and all the bass one needs. I've demoed a few preamps the last couple months to move off of using an interim NAD receiver. Nothing has made me want to depart with my money before the Sonic Euphoria. This may very well be the ticket.
The receiver is like watching the Superbowl on a 27" TV. The other preamps I've demoed were like moving to a 32" TV. The Sonic Euphoria is like a 50" HDTV.
My system is Arcam CD-33 source, Pass Labs Aleph3 amp and Onix Ref 2 speakers.
Good luck Clio. Kevin is a great guy and very smart. He is always willing to help. I have been to his house a few times and it was a pleasure meeting him in person. If you are considering his phono pre you are in for a real treat.
Unfortunately I stumbled onto Kevin just after I bought a Hagerman Trumpet, a great phono stage that has worked out well for me. Kevin built me a step-up for it using the Lundahls. It is an excellent value and has worked well with the Hagerman.
I am really looking forward to hearing the TVC.
Oz - I took possession of the K&K TVC today. It took all of 5 minutes to hook up. I'm using Brian Kyle's Xtreme X-2 Copper/Silver hybrid cables he loaned me for the output to the amp.
Is this thing for real? It sounds amazing and it hasn't even broken in yet. I ordered mine with dual volume and source selection switches. The wood knobs are exquisite. I'm not enamored of the labels, but this is still one fine piece of equipment.
If you like it now, the best is yet to come. It's hard to describe how a TVC in the proper system can sound better than the most expensive tube preamps I have heard or owned. Give it a couple hundred hours and you will surely be impressed.
Has anyone tried the Goldpoints?
Have not tried Goldpoint but have compared DACT (Danish Audio ConnecT) based passive (with is considered also very good stepped attenuator) with Alps Bluepot based passive and TVC.
The DACT based passive I have is with all those fancy audiophile insertions (silver/teflon internal wiring and WBT nextgen`s).
The results were following:
DACT was considerably better than Alps and TVC totally destroyed DACT.
Hope this helps.
It is Promitheusaudio (balanced) Reference TVC. I will probably upgrade to the new Reference C-Core soon. These are also available here in the gon.
These assessments must be incredibly system dependent. I had a TVC w/S&B 102 and a Pot-in-a-Box by Music Reference and in auditions, everyone consistently preferred the resitor-based attenuator. I think that my amps and very low capacitance Cardas GR cables do not require the impedance matching benefits of transformers and compared with the simpler attenuators is a bit less pure. I'm going to try the Gold Point as it is a stepped attenuator compared to the potentiometer (a very high quality one)in the PiaB. I think in my system attenuators work optimally and are as tranaparent as a volume control can be. By the way, the TVC sounded fantastic as well; it is not a matter of good or bad, just preference.