Your door is a knockin'.
Your door is a knockin'.
We had someone recently with a Blackhawk delivered with bad tubes who wasn't happy. But then in spite of that he wound up buying one anyway, used, killer deal, and is quite happy now. I've been looking at a new integrated for about a year now and Raven is at the top of the list. In fact it pretty much is the list!
The only other contender would be Decware, and I hear he is a good 6 months out. What's the expected wait time on your Nighthawk?
Whatever they update is only making an already excellent value even better. What I know, mostly from Willgolf, its the familiar story of first we make something as good as we can and its great but costs a fortune and so then we figure out how to get most of that performance down to a price point. What Eric did with Moab, Dave has done with Raven's Avian series.
Then they come back from doing that and figure out how to make the top end one even better. That's where they are now, trying to make the Elite series even better. So at this point in time the Nighthawk you got is close to Elite and just crazy good value. Would love to hear one, see how much better it is than my Melody. On paper they all look pretty similar but the real black art is in the transformers, and the only way to know there is to listen.
i had a nighthawk and blackhawk for a while. they were both excellent sounding and quite similar. at that time they were shipping with nos svet winged c and nos rca, amperex tubes. tubes greatly affect the sound quality.
hard to beat with both low efficiency speakers in a smaller room or he speakers in a med large room.
transparent, colorful sound.
eventually i wanted more scale and moved on to kt 120 based tube amps and then solid state power amp with tube preamp driving large brit mons.
the first time i heard the nighthawk it was driving a set of kef ls 50s.
possibly the sweetest sound i have ever heard regardless of system cost.
I got my Blackhawk Mk 3.1 in November.
Sounds great with excellent bass and power.
Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers w/RAAL speakers
Custom built Roon Server
PS Audio PerfectWave Transport
PS Audio DirectStream DAC w/ Bridge II
PS Audio DirectStream Power Plant 12
Raven Audio Blackhawk Mk. 3.1 interegrated amp
* Raven audio, power and speaker cables
various upgraded interconnect and power cables
Read my Raven Blackhawk review.
You could have made worse choices.
My system https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/9143
Only other integrated I would consider is a Pathos Acoustics Classic One MKIII. I have one also and it is the best of both worlds Tubes and SS. Sonically it is right there with the Blackhawk MK3 and silent at idle, zero tube noise.
I've had a Raven Osprey MK 3.1 for the last month. Doing side-by-side comparison with McIntosh MA252, PrimaLuna EVO 300, and Octave V 40 SE. Raven Osprey is my choice of the four. Perfect blend of tube fullness and transparency.
I look forward to your further thoughts on the latest Osprey. I have the original version of the Blackhawk LE and have been considering the new Osprey.
It's a significant upgrade (~$3k delta if I sold the Blackhawk) so wondering if 3.1 Osprey is that much better than an original version Blackhawk LE.
i owned a nighthawk and blackhawk. listened long and seriously to the osprey when a local dealer carried them.
the osprey sounded better for sure, sweeter and more holographic.
i loved the sound.
since the amps had the same basic layout, specs and tube specifications, the differences in sound came from upgraded internal parts, caps, rectifier, etc. similar to upgrade packages some amplifier makers offer. the tube brands (NOS) were also upgraded and included some expensive amperex and mullards at that time.
consider this when you decide if it is worth the additional cost to you.
yes, i moved on from the raven amps to drive larger, less efficient speakers at more scale than it was comfortable with.
the ravens are actually more capable than people give them credit for. they can fill a medium room quite well driving the low efficiency kef ls 50s for example.
for larger rooms higher efficiency speakers are you friend as raven dave recommends.
Thanks avanti1960 for providing that explanation. Out of coincidence I am considering purchasing a pair of LS50 metas for a bedroom system. I have never heard a Ravens integrated, but have to say that to the questionable extent you can judge an amplifier from a you tube video they seem to stand out as having a pleasing sound, especially with the Raven speakers they are paired with.
I have known the company for practically it’s entire existence. It is a phenomenal achievement given the uncompromising quality and the price. You’re getting a Bugatti at a corvette price point with personal service that is unparalleled. As an aside, I hope we can have a review of their speakers which I think is. the most versatile in the industry for all kinds of music.