Kavent S33 owners...are you out there?

Just wondering if only 2 people own these things (including myself).
Ag insider logo xs@2xwolf_garcia
Hey Wolf

From looking through the A'gon archives there was a member in Jan of 2006 that listened to the S33.

Here is part of what he said about it:

"You might want to consider the S-33 preamp by Kavent.. It runs about $1199.00 new and sounds great for the money. Me and 3 others did have the chance to hear the difference between the S-33 and the X-1 Pass labs preamp and all agreed we thought the S-33 sounded a little better overall.. There will always be matter of option , but we all thought it did sound a little more impressive.."

I also found an owner of the Kavent S-22 here and his system is pretty sweet. The title of the system in the Virtual Systems part of the forum is called MUSIKAVENT.

So I guess unless other members come forward it looks like it is just you and me with an S33.

I'll bug you about your headphone set-up in bit. Sounds like you did some cool things to get a headphone amp incorporated with the S-33.

Keep those funny posts coming too.
Funny? My posts are all DEAD SERIOUS! I did see the archived post...it was part of what led me to buy the S33. Interestingly (or not) some Canadian dude who had posted pics of the S33 later posted something about Kelsie Audio going out of biz...which explains the inexpensive selling of things. I should just call Kelsie maybe, or gather up some venture capital and buy 'em (I wish...but I do hope somebody does). Check out this pic (from the Canadian dude)...it has "SA 93" (Vincent model #) printed on the circuit board. HA! http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt266/NY1PR2009/DSC03037.jpg

The headphone thing was easy...and you can hook up anything to it that takes a line level. I'm running a pair of old Straightwire Rhapsody ICs to the Bravo and it sounds amazing! I assume any other headphone amp would work too...I run the 'phone amp at about 50% or less gain.
Good catch there Wolf. I honestly never noticed the writing of SA 93 on the S33's circuit board and I think I've seen that pic quite a bit from when I was looking for info about the S-33. I had also forgotten that there is a relationship between the Vincent Audio SA-93 and the Kavent S-33. I guess we can open this up to SA-93 owners as well.

I had heard about Kellsie Audio Video Design going under as well. I too hope they can get some VC or acquired by someone who cares about audio.

Thanks for the tip about how to hook up a headphone amp to the S-33. I'm saving that one for later.

I was able to get a pair of AKG K-701's that have been modified so that they can be plugged into XLR outputs. I was thinking I could plug in the AKG K-701 into the XLR outputs of the S-33. I just don't know if I'm going to have volume issues. That and currently the Kavent P-3300 amp hooked up to the XLR outputs of the S-33 and the combination is quite pleasing to my ears. If it ain't broke don't tweak it I'm beginning to think.
I have my S33 running balanced into a Forte' Model 55 (balanced outs is what led me to Kavent in the first place)...I imagine there would not be enough gain to drive regular phones out of line level jacks, balanced or otherwise. "Balanced input" phones...unless they're powered somehow that is unusual as phones are usually little speakers needing a little amp...not merely signal.
Hi Wolf

After reading your response above about hooking up my headphones to the balanced outputs of the S33 directly I had one of those what the hell was I thinking moments. The K701s aren't amplified and they would definitely need more than a signal to sound good.

Thanks for the help. You saved me a lot of unnecessary connecting & re-connecting of gear along with frustration. I can go back now to listening to music.

Looks like it is still just you and me with the Kavent S33. No owners old or new of either the Vincent SA-93 or S33 have come forward. Maybe they are all sitting back and relaxing.
Yeah...S33 owners are too hip for forums as they know this stuff is so good they're DONE! Hey...I still recommend that el cheapo BravoV2 headphone amp...the dude in China sent me a replacement power supply (original one died) free in just 5 days total. I've been using it more recently and man...it's just so sweet with my trusty Grado 60's I stay up WAY too late listening to stuff.
Kavent S-22/P-2200 here. I started with Vincent and then move to Kavent because I had the amazing opportunity to get the P-2200 monoblocks. To my surprise, I found the matching preamp when I venture to contact Kavent a few months ago. Now I am in the process of auditioning XLRs cables, since I was blown away with Holograms II (mono) that I configure to use a pair for each monoblock/speaker. Any suggestions?

P.S. I am actually selling my Vincent preamp Sa-T1(new tubes) and SP-331 hybrid amp. THANKS
I'm using Audioquest Diamondbacks with the S33...work great for an inexpensive XLR (and they're Chinese made so they can speak the same language)...I'm looking around for a used Audioquest "DBS" XLR pair just to try 'em. So now we're up to 3 Kaventophiles...or 4 if you count "musikavent".
Kavent S11/S22/P2200 owner here! Wish I have the S33, but couldn't pass up the change to own a mint S22 for $320! I think I am kind of the "done" side to my amp/preamp for a while. Keeping both preamps as well!

Oh yeah, and I also use Shengya rebadge of the vincent CD-S6MK in balanced mode.
Cool. Another Kavent owner coming out of the wood work. Very nice set-up you got their Kinn. I was contemplating buying an S-22 for my 2nd system but I needed a preamp with a good phono section and headphone jack. I needed to keep the 2nd system more simple than my main system where I have all sorts of separates. The S22 was very tempting though.

Wolf. Again you crack me up. Keep em coming. I saw the Bravo headphone amp but decided for a headphone amp from (you are going to get a kick outta this) Schiit Audio. Yup it is pronounced like you would think. I got the Valhalla headphone amp but haven't hooked it up to the S33 yet but might soon.

Melanco: Any luck with the XLR cable quest? Did you audition the Acoustic Zen Reference XLRs yet? Those Audioquest ones Wolf mentions are nice. If I ever get a source that was XLR outputs I may consider the Mogami Gold Studio XLR Male to XLR Female Studio Mic Cable (3') for them. I'm still pretty cheap with cables still.
I am going to be auditioning the Absolute, Silver And Matrix next week. By the way guys, you should try the HIFI Fuses(supreme) tweak on the Kavent preamp and amp.
Whom are you guys buying these Kavent units from ...?

I guess you have to email Kelsie Audio for Kavent, although I haven't communicated with them since I bought the S33...good luck!

'Jedinite...I gave up for now (impatient, and the Diamonbacks I had bought previously started sounding really great) on the DBS 'Quests and bought another pair of Diamondbacks from the same Ebay dude for $65 bucks a pair...safe buy I think, and after my issues with the Mogami/Neutrik cables it was great to see how good the Diamondbacks sound in my system. I think the fact that they construct 'em in China makes them a steal really...just a beautiful cable. I do buy into the technology of solid wire in a somewhat neutral dialectric. I have heard of the Shiit Audio thing someplace (I suppose in my headphone amp search)...let me know how it sounds.
Just looked up the Shiit Audio site and am completely impressed. I now want one (my thing in audio is really "bang for the small buck" and the Shiit stuff just looks so cool)...although I haven't been listening to headphones that much except when recording I'm kinda getting back into it for late night fun...I even ordered a better quality JJ gold pin 12au7 for my silly BravoV2, pushing its value up another 19 bucks.
3 AZ cables to audition at once. Very nice. I probably would get confused after a while switching between all of them. Still a nice problem to have. How much time will you have with all of the AZ cables you are trying out? Do AZ cables require a long burn-in period?

I got my Kavent S-33 used from an A’gon member not too long ago. The P-3300 amp I got directly from Kelsie Audio Video Design. I called them about a question regarding S-33 and after talking to them they told me they had a B-stock P-3300 for sale. Maybe just give them a shout to see if they have anything left?

Man AQ Diamondbacks for under $100. Good deal. All this talk of different XLR cables is making me think I should swap out what I got but I currently enjoy the sound of my system. I must resist the urge to tweak.

So far I’m really enjoying the Schiit Audio Valhalla. I got it hooked up to a Cambridge Audio CD30 and I’m getting lots of sweet music going on there with the AKG K701s or the K240 Mk IIs I got. It does run a bit warm but thank goodness for longer headphone cords. What headphones do you use when you are recording?

To the Kavent amp owners sorry for the stupid question but how long do you warm up your Kavent amps for before listening? With the P-3300 sometimes I wait for the meters to say .02 watts or until the amp is a little warm to the touch. I keep thinking about the Class A amps I’ve read about in the past that take about 45 min to an hour before they sound good. I don’t think I’ve noticed a difference in sound in my system though when the P-3300 is warm or cold but I figure I’d just ask anyway.

Just a note...I noticed the phone number for Kelsie is missing from their site, and I haven't received a reply to an email I sent 'em. Oh well...
Hey Wolf

Good catch again. My last communication with KAVD was on March 31 2011. I was talking to them about XLR cables. Oh well. That stinks they aren't around.
I start listening right away, but normally after 20-30min, the sound has a more liquid flow to it. If I do a demo, I always let it warm up first.

In my head or not, it seems to work everytime. One thing that is upmost important is to plug the amp directly into the wall.

BTW, do you plug your amp directly to the wall, or through a power conditioner?
My S33 was ordered late March...perhaps their last hurrah?
I have my P-2200 amp on its own dedicated line 10 AWG solid wire to a PS Audio Premier Soloist Outlet. Then I use Pangea Ac-9 to a Ps Audio Duet. From there I use a JPS AC+ to the amp. Pretty impressive!
Hi Kinn

Thanks for sharing. I’ll try to make note next time when I power up my P-3300 and listen to music from cold start and after it is warmed up.

Regarding power conditioning I’m part of that faction or cult. I plug the Kavent P-3300 amp into a vintage Tice Power Block power conditioner. It doesn’t limit current. The S-33 and my main source (Oppo BDP-83SE) are plugged into an industrial 1Kva Topaz Isolation Transformer and that doesn’t limit current as well. I believe with all this stuff I did get a bit more clarity out of my system. Not huge but I did notice something I think. I guess the power by me is noisy. From what I’ve read if you can plug directly into an outlet go for it. Most of my life pretty much everything electronic big or small was plugged into a surge protector or some kind of power conditioner. The audiophiles in my family plug all their stuff into power conditioners. I guess I got it from them. There is only 1 amp I have that I plug directly into the wall because of many conversations with a tech who was VERY familiar with it. Many times I look at it I want to plug it into a power conditioner of some kind. Haven’t heard any issues yet but the circuit it is on is different than the ones my Kavent gear is on.

When I last spoke to KAVD they said I could plug in the P-3300 or any of the Kavent amps directly into the wall socket with no issue. It is mostly preference. When I asked what power conditioners they would use with Kavent gear they recommended an APC S10 or S15. They said it has pure Sine Wave output with battery back-up, which is a true power conditioner instead of filtering that is found in most simple ones. I couldn’t physically squeeze either APC unit into my set-up but if I were in a market for one I’d look into those. They have dropped down in price significantly.

Hi Wolf

I guess the end of March might have been it for KAVD. I didn’t e-mail them after March because I didn’t need anything else from them. That stinks they were able to help you now.

Hi Melanco

Man that is quite a power set-up. Very Impressive. I haven’t done the dedicated lines for my audio system in my house because the circuit breaker box is full and it really costly for another sub panel. At times I have been thinking about getting a used power re-generator but I may stop as my system is sounding very nice to my ears. Even used those are pretty costly as well. Have you thought about the Pangea AC-9 SE to replace the AC9? I’ve read good things about the SE series Pangea cords.
Pangea AC-9SE isn't available, yet! But I will try it when it comes available. Regarding warm up, I place a small digital clock that measure humidity and temperature over the amps. You should check the numbers before(cold) and after(warm) so you could have an idea when everything becomes stable.
Yeah still no respondo from Kelsie...I used 2 different email addresses for them..."Raeon" and "Shan Lei"...oh well. I assume the preamp will run forever but I have to wonder what they did with whatever gear they had left, including one of the coolest looking integrated amps ever made in the SP230.

I mentioned someplace earlier that I still use my trusty old Adcom ACE515 AC conditioner which keeps everything very quiet and refuses to die, although no longer garnering any respect from the Audio Elite. I should stop mentioning it as I think it effects my cred. Please don't spread this around...I did put a PS Audio AC outlet in the wall though, which I think gets me a half point back toward possible respectability.
Hi Melanco

How is it going with the AZ cable auditions? Just an FYI give Audio Advisor a call. I got their latest catalog and after getting my concentration back after looking at the cute brunette they always have standing next to various audio gear I saw they had the AC-9 Signature Edition power cords in. They even offered a trade in program for your older Pangea cords.


To me you got more cred because you stick with what works and aren't afraid to admit you've got some "budget" gear that sounds good. I'm still trying to talk myself into the more expensive audiophile outlets. I just used the heavier duty outlets from those big box home hardware stores. Might try an Albert Porter outlet in the future.

That Adcom isn't the prettiest looking power conditioner but hey it is still working and is getting the job done.

Last guy I spoke to @ Kelsie was Raeon via e-mail. I don't think I ever spoke to Shan Lei but I think that was the person I had to wire funds too. I saw the Kavent SP-320 integrated also and thought it was cool looking. Almost like something from a Sci-Fi movie.

I think my Kavent gear too will last for a long time as I'm not over driving them. I don't even think I get out of the Class A amount of watts. From the manual it says the 1st 50 watts of the P-3300 are Class A.

I was listening to my system this weekend and took note of temps. The P-3300 gets warmed up when it's temp is about 90 degrees F. When music is playing at a volume level I like the hottest it got was 111 degrees F. The funniest thing I found was with the wattage meters. When I play music from a CDP it goes to at most .04 watts. When I play music from a TT or from my computer I think the most it goes to is 1.0 watt. I was going to ask Kelsie about the meters but oh well they aren't around any more.

back to work for me.
I am afraid to admit I own some old stuff as it severely downgrades my audio geek street cred, but I'm also an audio cheapskate so I have no choice. It is kinda funny to me how self indulgent I felt when I bought the ACE515 all those years ago...there were very few power conditioners out there and all the reviews raved about the damn thing.

Also, we need to hire a detective to find the Kelsie dudes...just to give them a sympathetic hello and find out where all the unsold gear went. Form a POSSE!
I don't see the AC-9SE anywhere, but I don't have the catalog that you have from Audioadvisor. I just checked the website. I haven't been able to order the AZ cables yet but I will post my comments as soon as I listen to them.

Regarding your wattage meter been higher from TT I will assume that since the whole process of been analog and microphonic you get more harmonic complexity on the signal which at the ends tends to be more information for the amp to amplify.
I have owned a pair of P-2200 monoblocks for about 6 years now. They provide stunning clarity and monumental punch with the right front end. I had used them with the S-22 preamplifier, but find better results with an Audio GD Master 1 preamp mated to an Audio GD DAC & Transport. The greatest find for me throughout my ownership is that they sound so completely different depending upon the interconnects. I am using them to drive a pair of Martin Logan CLS-IIZ panels and have them sitting directly next to the panels. The greatest interconnect I have used is ironically the least expensive. Anti-IC balanced interconnects have been a tremendous improvement over the Vampire Wire Silver IC balanced interconnects I had been using. Check them out by searching for Anti-Cables in your favorite search engine.
Hi Newcent

Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear there is another Kavent owner out there in this world. That Audio GD Master-1 preamp is some pretty serious gear. I still love my Kavent S-33 though but should I ever want to replace it I'll keep the Audio GD in mind. Since this thread was last updated I've tried tube amps and even a Hafler 9505 amp with the S-33 and it has matched well. In my systems I'm very happy that the -10db gain adjustment is available with the S-33. That function has come in very handy for me especially with the Hafler 9505 and a Schiit BiFrost DAC in the signal chain. That combo and really make music play loud clear and in your face.