16 responses Add your response
Pani, As you may know, the last and still latest Klyne models go up to "7". The "6" series is second tier in terms of cost, with the 7 series at the top. There are some variations in this theme; I once knew for sure what is the difference between the 6 and the 7 that confers the higher price on the latter, because externally they look identical. I think it was provision for balanced output and the use of an outboard power supply in the 7, which mainly allowed for a beefier power transformer and more filter capacitance. Further, there was and maybe still is ongoing evolution in the phono section, for both the 6 and the 7 series. Further, further, there are two subtypes within the 6 series, 6LE and 6LX. The LX series has an outboard PS, identical to that of the 7 series. So a 6LX is pretty much the same as a single-ended version of the 7 series, assuming all 7s have balanced option. I own a 6LX for which I built my own outboard supply; I got it at a low price, because the PS was missing entirely. I then sent it back to Stan Klyne for work on the phono section. I think he can install the very latest 7 series phono circuit into a 6 series, or at least the 6LX. I opted for second best, because of the cost differential. My point is that not all these Klyne preamplifiers are created equal. My only regret with my 6LX is that I did not opt for the max phono circuit; I may yet send it back to Stan for that. He was very helpful to me when I was building the outboard PS, as well. A very nice guy. Thus, I recommend you find out what phono stage is built into the 6 that you are contemplating; the sonics will vary depending upon the answer to that question. Stan may be able to help you figure out what version you have there, if you supply him with the serial number.
Bottom line: I do believe that a max'd out 6 or 7 series is in the same league with the other units you mention or maybe better, but like ebm says, only you can be the judge of that.
Klyne’s products have a pretty good reputation and usually sell quickly. I’d say buy the 6 and do a comparison and if it’s a no go then resell.
I have a 6PE stand alone phono and although I think it’s excellent (I bought it used for $700) I compared it to a friend’s BAT (5K something or other) in his system and I thought the BAT sounded a hair better. The BAT is likely in the range of phono amps you mentioned.
I owned a Klyne 7PX5.0 and thought it was the best phono stage I have ever heard. I have also owned more expensive phono stages from BAT and Walker Audio. The Klyne sounds incredibly natural. It won't stun you with bass or sparkling highs, it just sounds like real music instead of HiFi.
As others have said here, Klyne's are hard to find on the used market. If you get one, and don't like it, you will have no problem selling it.
Dear JMcgrogan, So I am wondering why you sold your Klyne? I find my 6LX to be great as a line stage and maybe not as good as my best sounding tube phono stages, but maybe only because I cut corners on having Stan Klyne upgrade my phono. As I said, I now wish I had asked him to max it out. I think the 5.0 version, the one you had, is probably his best.
lewm, financial hardship is why I sold the Klyne. When I lost my job about 5 years ago, I downsized drastically.
I am working again now, and have recovered enough to have a very nice system, but not as expensive as my old big rig of yesteryear.
I don’t know if I would ever have enough consumer confidence, or stupidity, to spend that much $$$ on audio gear again.
Today I use a Allnic H1201 as a phono stage, which is very nice. I wish I could say that I compared it directly to the Klyne 7PX5.0, but I haven’t, nor can I imagine that day coming.
Yes, I can't really compare the Klyne to the Allnic with any sense of fairness. Different speakers, amp, turntable, cartridge, cables/cords, etc.
That said, I am currently very satisfied with the Allnic H1201. I do not feel like I am "suffering" at all. LOL!
It reminds me quite a bit of the Klyne in that it has a natural sound to it. Bass is not boomy, but very solid for a tube amp. Good HF extension, and a nice midband and stage. I like the flexibility of the transformers too, even though I can't actually adjust the impedance loading.
That said, all I have really been able to compare it to directly is internal phono stages. The Allnic is the first external phono stage I have owned since I sold the Klyne, a span of about 4 years with only internal phono stages.
The H1201 beats the internal MM phono stage of my VAC 160iSE integrated amp pretty easily, even when coupled with a Bob's Devices Cinemag 1131.
I'm currently using a VPI Prime with 3D arm and a Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge.
I would like to compare the H1201 to a Herron phono stage one day, as they get a lot of buzz for a good budget phono stage too. I don't see that coming anytime soon though.
Did you ever talk with Stan Klyne? He's a pretty cool guy. I talked to him once, and he really doesn't seem to get caught up in the HiFi craze at all. He's very happy flying under the radar.
I can't say that I've ever spoken with Kang Su Park of Allnic.
Dear J, Yes, as mentioned, I did talk to Stan Klyne 2-3 times, regarding both the outboard PS that I built myself for my unit and the state of tune I eventually chose for the phono section in my 6LX, which he rebuilt. I agree he is a very nice person; he and I share an interest in Beveridge speakers, and I tried to hook him up with a pair of 2SWs that were then for sale in Canada. My ulterior motive was to get him to take a look at the schematic for the solid state input stage of the Beveridge direct-drive amplifiers.
I've communicated with Mr Park, as well, but only by email and only with respect to a Silvaweld phono stage that I own. He too comes across as a very nice person. However, he could not help me, because he does not have the schematic for my unit. (As you may know, he was the designer of Silvaweld components, before he started Allnic.) Also, I sensed that English is not easy for him.
I've tried a Klyne( 6 or 7)?, and had tried many other phono preamps including the Niam 52's own phono boards. The Naim was better than anything else compared to it. Then I tried the Klyne and fell in love. It remains one of the best I've heard. It has a seductive sound that just makes you want you to listen for hours. It draws you in and gets things right. Naim gear is no slouch in the PRaT department but the Klyne sounded different and better. The nice thing is that it's versatile with gain/loading selections.
I had a Klyne 7.0 Series stand alone Phono preamp for some years. It was a beautiful piece of equipment and had a very natural presence.
Ultimately, I was downsizing all the iterations of phono preamps I had and landed on keeping the 3 box Aesthetix Io instead- -A little more excitement and depth.
I would like to try the FM Acoustics 122 II sometime in my system to see what the comparison might be to the memories of the Klyne.
I could actually live with the Klyne for ever. If one ever comes up again I may buy it. The problem is that the Klyne is hard to find- some might wonder if he is still in business based on the presence of the brand.
At the time, I did not have my Beveridge speakers- I wonder how the Klyne would sound with them now?
nkj, I’ve got Beveridge 2SWs and two full function preamplifiers that alternatively drive them with phono input most of the time, the Klyne 6LX described above and a vintage Quicksilver tube unit. While I do like the Klyne, lately I have been heavily favoring the Q. I really do need to go back and have another listen to the Klyne however. This thread got me pumped. But I am also pumped to send my unit back to Stan Klyne to have him max out the phono section. Yes, he is still in business in a silent way; at least he WAS in business a year or two ago.
There’s been not a word from Pani lately on this subject. I wonder what he decided to do.
It is difficult to shy away from the jewel like quality of the Klyne brand. For solid state it is hard to beat. Some will argue that SS is the only way to do mV phono stages. On paper I might agree, tubes add noise which for some is unbearable- I get that. For me I stuck with tubes. There is something artificial about some SS phono stages. Klyne is very good at natural presentation. The Quicksilver is a great pre.
I have not heard the latest crop of five or six figure SS phono stages ... I would like to- maybe Pani went in a different direction?
Thanks guys for keeping the discussion going. I now have the Klyne 7 preamp with phono with me. It is indeed a very special unit. This is probably the closest I have heard a transistor having tube like qualities without losing the transistor virtues of extreme quietness and dynamics. The 47 labs interestingly comes scarily close to do the same. In fact in a blind test they are not easy to differentiate. Klyne is quieter than 47 labs though, in fact it is the quietest phono I have heard. It is tough to decide between the two. Klyne has the advantage of an amazing preamp in built. This preamp is so close to a passive preamp in tonality and transparency yet has the dynamics and drive of an active preamp. It is a gem.
Having said all that I am in a dilemma. My amp is solid state and I wanted to have at least a tube phono or preamp in the chain. The klyne in the chain wouldn't allow me that. So I am still looking at a tube phono or tube preamp with phono. Has anyone heard the David Berning preamp ? It has the option of internal phono too.
Dear Pani, I don't quite get it; if you are very pleased with the Klyne, and if it is tube-like to your ears, why insist on actual tubes in the signal chain? Unless there is some particle of goodness you still feel is missing. In which case, I too am a big fan of full-function preamplifiers. IMO, the best tube preamplifier I have ever heard is the Atma-sphere MP1, but I admit to bias, since I have owned mine for about 15 years and have no intention of parting with it. Is fully balanced, too. On the bargain side, I am very pleased with my vintage Quicksilver preamplifier. It has no model number or fancy name. I bought mine off AA, sorted it out a bit, upgraded capacitors, and inserted Telefunken ECC83s, and I am shocked at how good it is. It is DEAD quiet, too. It has a massive transformer, choke-loaded PS, tube rectifiers: really high end stuff built before the current megabuck era.
Can you confirm my notion that the Klyne 7 has balanced inputs and output?