roxy54 thanks for a very straightforward and informative post that proves as always, you just gotta listen! And "the salesman was tired of lifting" love that!
I was very impressed, BUT, before I would buy it, I would bring in the Audio Note to hear them side by side.
By the way, the Nordost Odin interconnects and speaker cable didn't make the earth move. I was really glad that I heard the Devore 0/96 speakers though. I always lusted after them, and they were very good, but I like mine better. The music was somewhat living in the box at times.
Thanks for your comments. Glad you like it. There is a shortage of comparative information about these 2 amps and I wanted members to know that these is a big difference between them. I know it isn't a new idea, but after hearing the 219ia, I think that putting a 300b in front of the 845 is really brilliant.
You comments about the Devore Orangutan O/96 are astute. I heard this speaker at RMAF in 2011. I thought overall it was pretty good but the sound did seem to remain in the speaker vicinity somewhat. Granted this was under show conditions and may have been room related. To be fair I’d need to hear it under different circumstances.
I could be spoiled as my speakers seem to disappear with nearly every recording. Roxy a direct comparison of the Audio Note and the Line Magnetic 219ia would be very interesting. High quality 300b versus high quality 845 SET.
roxy in the for what it is worth catgeory,
I haven't heard the 219 but do have the 518ia and therefore can only offer that in my case swapping in NOS - GE 6L6GCs, Mullard 5AR4 rectifier and Tungsol 5751s took the 518 to a different level (have it driving Daedalus Argos V2s). Not saying that doing this would place the 518 ahead of the 219, just that the amp offers more with better tubes, as I expect the 219 likely would.
I don’t doubt that at all. Some amplifiers can dramatically be improved with the substitution of better quality tubes. I suspect that the LM 219ia upgrades the parts quality, transformers and power supply in addition to the 300b as the driver tube. The 219ia compared to the Coincident Turbo 845 SET would be another very interesting listen. It also uses the 300b as the driver tube.
I agree completely. Having tube rolled every tube in my Audio Note, I understand the profound difference it can make. I was only commenting on the amps in their stock form.
The 518is is a solid design by all the comments from those who know and I'm certain that its very good perfomance can be elevated to excellent.
Yes, the outrageous weight of The 219is is due to the dual mono design. It took 2 of us to move it into place. I know these are many heavier amps, but few ...you wouldn't want to drop that amp on your toe!
Roxy, let us know your opinion after hearing the 508ia.
I already auditioned those 3 amps in the same room, same day, same speakers. Immediately out of my equation was the 518ia and then it was a difficult choice between the 219ia and the 508ia.
I love the 219ia, it is a marvelous piece of HiFi! But I think I do prefer the 508ia, it fulfills me - matching my system and the music I usually play.
But let us know your opinion.
The truth is that I was really dying for him to hook it up but I had been there for several hours (no other customers came in during my visit) and I knew that he just wasn't up for it. In addition, I'm not ready to buy for a couple of months, so I didn't need to hear it now, but I was so damned curious! Mostly because the topology was similar to the 219ia. I don't really need that much power. And let me say that this is a beautiful piece of equipment! Between Melody and Line Magnetic, I think the page has turned and it can no longer necessarily be considered second best to be from China. These pieces are built to a standard that puts some other brands to shame. When I get to hear it, I will report back.
I use a Kit One Tenth Anniversary form Audio Note Kits which I had professionally built. Check out their website for details.
When I first heard the 219ia, it was driving a pair of bookshelf Aurum Cantus - gorgeous mellow sound. Later (about a year ago) I heard the 518ia and the 219ia connected to a pair of big ATC speakers (maybe the SCM100). The sound was powerful! More recently I auditioned the 3 amplifiers connected to a pair of Zu Souls. Very dynamic, very alive.
I keep going there to listen to these amps while waiting for the right timing to bring one home. It will be soon, I guess. Maybe Christmas gift to myself :)
Roxy mentioned that he has a 2nd pair of speakers that are less efficient so the higher powered LM amplifier would be an advantage. In terms of more efficient and sensitive speakers the comparison of LM 845 and AN Kit 300b becomes very compelling. You can not lose with either of these choices.
Yes Charles, I have a pair of Celestion sl6si and a pair of Ceslestion Kingston, and who knows, there may well be others in the future . I want to be able to hook them up occasionally, and they are sealed box 86db efficiency. I've already tried the Audio Note with them, and it just doesn't cut it. They need more power.
Yes, the Audio Note has proved to be all that I hoped for and more. Like Charles, I still shake my head as I read comments about "wimpy" 300b amps. It really is not the case if you use the right speakers. Everything about the presentation is so far superior to any solid state I have ever heard that it makes them sound like the equivalent of a pixilated photograph.
@roxy54 I totally agree with you and always agree with Charles lol, I find a good tube amp with a beefy power supply can drive far more speakers than people realize. My own speakers are either 89 or 90 db, I forget exactly, and I drive them spectacularly well with my 17 watt amp. I’ve thrown a variety of amps on them over the years, various loaners from Deja Vu including a PP 45 amp that was pushing maybe 5 watts and drove my speakers just fine! As always its quality not quantity and the first watt is always the best watt.