Doug Sax mastered with all tube boards.
His work spoke for that.
His work spoke for that.
How do you describe the tonality of your Legacy IV4 Ultra? I want neutrality and HF extension, and no euphonic warmth. Ric of tweak audio.com describes the Rouge Audio N-10DM as similar to the Legacy IV series. I emailed Francesco of Rouge who describes the IceEdge 1200 modules as more neutral than Hypex modules, with the aptly named Studio N-10DM as representing studio monitor type of sound. I own the Mytek Brooklyn Amp which uses a modified Pascal module. It is neutral with good HF detail.
Thanks for your impressions.
@viber6 WIth the large driver area and sheer scale and abilities of the Legacy Valors and the Elrod speaker and interconnects that I utilize, I tend to hear in vivid detail whether an amp or source or source material is too much "this" or "too little that" in undeniable terms. This combination alone with the Valors in showing me recordings I know intimately in new and very detailed ways.
That stated, if the iV.4 Ultra with its ICEedge boards were conveying euphonic warmth or anything else out I would hear it; of that I'm virtually 100% certain. I've always sought amps that are extremely neutral and to the greatest extent possible, inject no sonic signature of their own on incoming waveform and only amplify the waveform. Edge NL12.1s and NL Ref amps many years ago did that in my systems and to an extent so did their Maker Audio NL14 brethren. The Esoteric Grandioso M1 monoblocks also to my ears fall into the category of amplification that I seek though I've not been fortunate enough to own them or their probable M1X successors (yet). The one exception I've owned might have been the Esoteric A-02 stereo amp that was warmer by a small amount and had a certain lushness to everything that it did however I would labels it's sound when amplifying various speakers I've owned included Legacy's but also a pair of TAD R1 Mk2s and rich/lush not overly warm.
I've heard other great SS amps (both Class A and AB) that do what I'm after however this is a very short and very expensive and backbreaking list (weight, size, etc...)
All that to pave the way toward saying the surprise with the i.V4 Ultra, at least here in my system cabled and powered the way I have it, is that the goals above are very much intact and the i.V4 Ultra delivers. Some days I look at the amp and cannot believe I found all that in a digital amp that weighs and cost far less than many contenders in other power/design classes.
It has excellent HF extension and rendering of those frequencies, transients, air, etc....what it sends to the 14" midrange on the Valors comes out detailed, rich, withOUT being bloated, overly emphasized mids, is lifelike and tonally accurate with great depth. It's hass is taut, extremely fast, accurate, impactful, all without being lean, again,...tonal accuracy is extremely accurate. Euphorically warm...."no" for sure.
I have what I would consider and others tell me is a bit of an insane and extensive CD, XRCD (various types) and SACD collection. There are many 'crucible recordings' that I both love and know incredibly well; since getting these speakers and amp I've spent months learning new details that have not come out of these discs and what I'm hearing uniformly across the board tells me this amp (and speakers) are a winning combination. They got installed a few weeks after hearing everything I ever wanted to compare them to at High End 2019 and Hifideluxe 2019...
Am I delighted this doesn't kill the wallet or the back? Sure am however I am making every effort to be objective. Is it perfect? No...not perfect but it's excellent to my listening preferences.
Have I heard equal and better sound quality both in digital as well as Class A or AB. Definitely yes....
Sound quality with this much raw power unleashed without grain or grunge sounding extremely non-digital amp-like? Only in A or AB costing $50K-$100K and more, that neither my wallet or my back can take for the foreseeable future.
From what you and others write there are other amps out there I'd also like to hear in this newly improved genre. Someone mentioned the AGD monoblocks on this or the other digital thread that's hopping recently; the AGDs sound amazing as did the Merrill Element 118 monos and a few others I heard in Munich and elsewhere,...I am sure the list will only keep growing.
Hope this helps...
I started this thread late one night after a few crowns... totally forgot about it.
I’ve since moved from a gorgeous sounding Belles Aria Integrated to an older Raven Blackhawk. I was concerned about moving from the Belles to another class A/B because I felt like I’d gain power but lose quality and I wasn’t about that.
Well the move to the Raven did it for me. If possible, I may never return to solid state aftrr hearing a good tube amp with some pretty decent tubes.
Rolling tubes is sooo fun and tube amps with their warm up / not leaving them on all the time, makes listening more of an intentional, ritualistic experience.
I think Im getting a turntable very soon.