The Montille is a real Shindo. The comment from the other poster seemed to have been made looking at the price rather than performance.
The Montille has all of the characteristic Shindo sound, typical Shindo parts, and build quality. Of course, you are not getting vintage Western Electric transformers. The NOS EL84 tubes in the Montille also do not cost nearly as much as the NOS 300B (i.e. real Western Electric tubes not moder production) tubes in the Western Electric limited.
The Shindo preamps all have the same sonic signature but with more refinement, weight, dynamics, etc. as you go up the line. The amps, however, all sound slightly different. They each take on the characteristics of the tubes used. The Montille will be immediately familiar to anyone who has used an EL84 amp. The EL84 is a very under appreciated tube.
I own a Shindo Vosne Romanee and a Cortese amp. People constantly ask me why I use the much more expensive Shindo preamp an a less expensive amp. The simple answer is I like the particular sound of the Cortese and the F2a tube. I also really like the push-pull 6L6 Haut Brion. It's not that I don't think that the Shindo flagship 300B limited isn't a better amp. It's just that the signature of the Cortese appeals to me more.
The Montille and Auriges would be my desert island combo. The main thing about Shindo is the correctness of tone. You get this with this combo. It also works with a fairly decent range of speakers. You don't have to have 95dB+ speakers. I've heard them work well with Devore and Verity audio speakers.
Shindo has been in business since the early 70's. I can only think of a handful of high end companies that have been around as long. There is no 'fake' Shindo. The price is based on what is needed to build rather than a price point.
If you do a search of old Shindo gear (especially is Asia), you'll find a range of prices. For example, a Shindo Apetite push-pull integrated.
Rchau: thanks for your informative comments. what speakers are you using with yours?
I'm in a transitional period right now.
I was using a pair of Ocellia Kedros (PHY-HP based speaker). I sold those because they were annoying my neighbors.
I made a temporary move to a pair of Devore Gibbon Nines (the first production pair actually). They work well with the Shindo gear and are very apartment friendly.
I currently switching to an Altec 604 based speaker. I'm getting quotes from Ken Shindo on a Shindo crossover and cabinet for the 604s. Eventually, I'd like to get a pair of Shindo Compact Latours if I don't go for the Shindo 604 speaker. I currently have the 604s in an open baffle. These work well in my room but are a bit too wide for long term use. The Altec speakers such as the 604 or the 515B and 288C combo work ideally with the Shindo gear since this is what Ken uses in voicing his equipment.
Thought of buying the Montille myself but...... it is still push pull amp and is not a DHT. They actually offer it it a single ended version which you see on some sites and not others. Strange.
There are other things issues to consider with Shindo that I have read about (can't get electric approval in North America, is sold for considerably less in Japan, and forget about direct customer support from Shindo should you need it as they won't return emails with you due to the language barrier).
Having said all that if it sounds great some things can be overlooked I suppose.
"can't get electric approval in North America"
what is that all about?
You seemed to be off on several points in your comments.
First, you seem to be confusing the Montille with the Montrachet.
The Montrachet is a EL34 based amp that can be ordered as either a push pull or single ended amp.
Don't be so enamored of something being DHT or single ended. I used to think like that many years ago. However, a good design is a good design whether it uses DHT, pentodes, etc. Just slapping a 300B, 2A3, 10Y, etc. into an amp does not make it great. In fact, one of the big problems with SET amps is that is is relatively easy to build something that sounds good. To make it sound great requires a lot more effort. An effort that I don't really see in many commercial offerings. Trust me. I've been building my own stuff for over a decade. One of the reasons I own Shindo gear is that I know what it takes to build something and I can appreciate the exquisite details Ken puts into everything he builds.
Also, there are no issues with Shindo getting electrical approval in the US. Otherwise, Shindo gear would not even be on sale in the US. The electrical issues are in Europe due to new EU laws that just went into effect. This affected not just Shindo but a large group of companies.
As for pricing, it is not unusual for gear to cost less in their domestic market. Also, grey market goods can give the illusion of lower pricing (pretty common in Asia). I suspect you picked up this point from other posts on Shindo gear made a certain poster. I'll leave it at that.
Ken Shindo does not speak English so direct communication is difficult. However, his service has been exemplary due to the efforts of Jonathan Halpern, the US distributor and Matt Rotunda at Pitch Perfect Audio. For example, my Shindo SPU cartridge developed a problem. The repairs and rebuild job was done free of charge and Matt loaned me a cartridge to use while mine was being repaired. The loaner cartridge was a $2K cartridge. I would consider that pretty good service and customer support. Also, even though Ken does not speak English, he is fully aware of his customers. When I ordered my Vosne Romanee, Ken sent a message via Jonathan and Matt that he would put something extra in the preamp since I was a good customer. Again I would say that the support is very good.
Shindo has decided to be represented by his distributors and dealers. A lot of people deride the value of a brick and mortar store or lament the lack of service. In my dealings with Jonathan and Matt, I've received nothing but the best service. It is a service that I also have no problems paying a premium for. In the end, you get what you pay for.
BTW- if the push-pull Montille doesn't float your boat, no problem. You can always go for a Shindo Lafon using real PX25 tubes or have something custom built for you. All of his gear are limited editions anyways.
Forums as this,used properly are wonderful for information, insight and experiences.Every now and then someone like FrankK comes aboard and makes negative statements that he has no first hand knowledge of.He states he has read that.......
I have had first hand dealings with Shindo's representatives
namely Jonathan Halpern and all the great people at In Living Stereo.I have found them all to be most helpful before and after the sale.
I owned the Auriges-L and in many ways found it to be the best preamp I have owned and I have been listening for about 40 years.If my budget allowed it I would own a complete SHINDO SYSTEM.
Mr Shindo's products are ULTRA reliable and his representatives are as well
I think I made it clear that it was something I read that others had written in the past (also was trying to remember to the best of my ability) and from that one should accept it as such. Do we have to have owned the equipment to write anything about it? People share information here all the time.
Having said that I stand corrected as it is the the el34 Montrachet not the el84 based Montille that is available in P/P and single ended form and if others have information that counters the other things mentioned I would be interested in any clarifications.
As mentioned I did consider the Montille amp contacting Jonathon a few months ago so Shindo was on my radar but recently I became a low powered DHT SET convert. If I had had the money and they were monoblock designs maybe I would give consideration to a Shindo DHT SET as many seem to swear by them for its musicality, which is something I greatly value.
Dear Shindo fan,
Living in Europe and being a Shindo owner (Monbrison serie 1), I would like to clarify what was mentionned to be an "Electrical Issue" in Europe. There is NO issue (electrically speaking). The problem is that a Lead ban in all electronics was voted a long time ago and is now in place for all electronic stuff imports.
Very unfortunately Shindo Lab's gear still contains this heavy metal (Lead). So, importing a new Shindo amp or preamp is not longer possible as this would 'break the law'.
I hope this helps.
ps: Shindo preamp are really fantastic (so Musical with perfect respect of timing!)
Laurenta: this is the first time I've heard about this lead issue. Where is this lead, in the paint?
The lead is in the solder. It is 37% lead. This is a HUGE issue in electronics and the new no-lead global initiative is called RoHS. You can do a search for it if you want more info. I have to deal with this issue everyday. Europe has become very serious about it.
To be honest, many amps made today still use SnPb solder. I do too in all the electronics I build. The current RoHS solders aren't fully tested yet and in my experience, they don't flow nearly as well and wet with difficulty. But eventually, everyone will have to switch over.
So is this solder unsafe to handle with your fingers? Personally I'm not the techie type so I probably won't go near any solder in my gear, so I assume for a plug and play user like me its OK.
I also assume the lead is just an environmental issue and it doesn't affect the quality of the sound, correct?
As much as a single cable can affect the sound, I would say solder matters just as well - but I haven't made any direct comparison studies. However I do know that lead solder makes better joints than the latest no-lead solders I've used.
yes, the environment is driving it - not the health of EEs. I, and tons of other EEs, will probably get nutty with old age but I figure everyone does anyway! oh well.
Yes guys, the Lead metal is into the solder and also inside some old / vintage components still used by Ken Shindo to build his electronics...
Zero risk for your own safety/health since you are not leaking the electronic circuits inside ;-)
The European importer (nice guy, btw) for Shindo Labs being German, you can easily understand that the environmental things are VERY serious in this country.
The ban does not apply to second-hand equipment. But we can't reuse products sold in the USA since mains voltage is different. Finding a brand new in the box Monbrison, like mine, was an exceptional chance that I didn't miss!
Enjoy your week-end
Its been a while since my original post. This thread originally started because someone once quipped that this entry level Shindo PP amp wasn't a "real Shindo". Since then, I have acquired a Montille and had a chance to really listen to it both in my own as well as a few of my friends' systems. I can now unequicocally say that yes, Virginia, the Montille is a real Shindo and a darned nice sounding one to boot. I've compared it to a MC275, Verdier 45, and Fi X and all parties have indicated that it had the best tonality, openess, air, detail and control over the bass. I also compared my Aurieges pre to a few other similarly priced pres and the Shindo outclassed them as well, but that's another thread. To think that I'm using "entry level" Shindo, makes me salivate to think what aural ecstacy awaits me as I move further up the chain.... :)
hi guys , can you guys help me some though of shindo lafon gm 70 and cary 211m as i am going to chose one of them, which one should i chose as my system is : tannoy 15" red monitor autograh speakers,jadis defy preamp,bat vk p10 phono stage,thoren 124 mk2 sme 3012 ortofon jubilee,victor tt 801 ikeda 407 shelter 901,audio quest connection cables. many thanks .
I can relate my experience hearing a Masseto Pre/Shindo GM70 driving Tannoy Kensingtons. It was the most amazing experience when listening to Jazz or Chamber music. Crystal clear and supremely musical. But when listening to more complex orchestral classical the sound got clogged up and lost air around the instruments. When I asked others about this they related the need for more power when driving the Tannoy to hear them at their best when listening to orchestral music.
Hope this helps