It is not the most important thing by any means, but the description of the NOS Mullard 12AU7's long plate square getters, square was left out. I just put in back in, so it will make sense now.
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I had a chance to hear this preamp, as well as the entire line of Concert Fidelity products at CES. I was very impressed with the sound and thought it was one of the best rooms at the show. For those on a lower budget the new Si2 micro integration line that has some trickle down technology from the Concert Fidelity designs is also very good. I have the Si2 DAC in my system right now (a gift from Mr. Tsuda) and have been very pleased with the sound.
This is a company to watch. The products are well designed. They now have expanded presence in the US so hopefully more people will learn about the products.
ClioO9, thanks for sharing your experience concerning the CF-080 and other Concert Fidelity gear. This is a great company with a terrific musical house sound through out its preamp, DAC, and amps. Not well known yet here in the states or widly discussed among audiophiles, but hopefully that will change in the future. I recently had the pleasure of having over to my house a rather well known and respected professional reviewer who thought that the CF-080 was beautful in its performance and one of the best preamps he has ever heard.
If the new and very inexpensive Si2 preamp or DAC offers any were close the sonic performance of the reference line that would truly be staggering in prespective.
ClioO9, I'm just curious, how did you met Mr.Tsuda and how did it come about that he gave you such a wonderful gift? If I'm asking questions for some reason that are to personnal, I understand why you might not share, just curious, that's all. Hope to hear from you.
Last week I had one those "you got to be kidding me" moments regarding the CF-080.
I was aware that Mr. Tsuda highly recommended tube rolling and experimenting with footers or isolation devices to get the maximum performance out of the CF-080 preamp. Well, I had done the tube rolling with great results, still love the NOS Mullard long plate square getters, but the Mazda's and short plate 50's Amperex Bugle Boys are great sounding in my system too.
So, I finally got around to running the experiment regarding isolation from vibrations. The clear winner is the Townshend Seismic Sink air bladder isolation platform. Everything got better, a bigger more airy sound stage, more liquidity, more image density, and even more natural timbres. I was truely amazed at the difference this isolation platform had on the CF-080, taking it to an even higher level.
This proves that the designer, Mr. Tsuda, knows how to get the best performance out of his gear, and if anyone is considering the CF-080, or owns it already, experiment in this area or go get the Seismic Sink and be ready to be shocked that this already wonderful sounding linestage can go to even a higher of sonic performance.
Just discovered another wonderful sounding tube for the CF-080 based on a Brent Jessee suggestion.
This 12AU7 is a 1960's Amperex Medical Grade, which were very highly tested and graded for use in medical applications. They have the speed/punch/transparency like the great Telefunkens/Seimens with a touch of that Bugle Boy warmth in the lower midrange/upper bass region. Another "taste" that sounds great in my system.
I'm no engineer, but my understanding is that from input to output, in the the CF-080 preamp, is only four inches total. Seems pretty short to me.
I just completed another round of listening to very highly regarded tube and SS linestages and still have not found a better sounding piece then this preamp. Not the "BEST" in the world, but ranks in the top ordering of great linestages.