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@dodgealum Congrats on a very well written review and your "new" preamp you sound very happy indeed and sounds like Keith is a pleasure to deal with. One thing I would be curious to know, what was the RO3 upgrade? What changes or improvements were made to your unit? Thanks and I wish you many hours of happy listening!
Thanks so much. I don't know specifically what upgrades are performed to bring the unit from "RO2" to "RO3" status. First off, I'm not at all technical so if Keith told me I wouldn't understand much of what he was saying. I can tell you this:
1. Unlike many manufacturers who frequently come out with new model designations that render prior models "obsolete" and diminish their market value, Keith has a very client focused business model in which he retains model designations and provides his customers with cost effective upgrades so they can retain their equipment for many years while enhancing the sound quality as he develops design improvements. (Lou Hinkley does the same at Daedalus Audio, maker of my speakers).
2. I know from conversations that Keith is always tinkering with his designs, swapping in different parts, trying different approaches, all to see what kind of sonic improvements might be wrought. I suspect that once he obtains enough of a performance gain from a collective series of tweaks and he feels confident in terms of reliability and the ability to replicate in production he announces a revision. It may be that changes to the model number designation attest to the significance of the changes--for example, the linestage is VTSP-3A with updates signified as "RO2" then "RO3" and so on until the cumulative effect is large enough to warrant a VTSP-3B. (I'm just guessing here so don't quote me).
In any event I just appreciate this kind of ongoing product support. There is a level of confidence at the moment of purchase that you are not in danger of having to sell your gear at a loss to upgrade to the (often more expensive) new model in order to enjoy the fruits of progress. I know I will have my VTSP-3 for a good long while and will simply be able to send it back for upgrades as Keith continues to refine his art.
@dodgealum , nice review, congrats!
For references sake, you mention:
Many of the linestages I had used prior were useful tools for evaluating the rest of the gear in my system.
Could you tell me what some of the other line stages were, and how the Herron stood out from them?
A Herron VTSP-3A -r03, just popped up on the 'Gon, and I am considering it. I have no experience with any of Keith's products.
They seem to have a good following, and from what I've read are on the more transparent side of the fence when it comes to tonality, versus the musical camp.
Say more comparable to the VAC or ARC sound then the CJ, BAT, or Cary sound? I've owned preamps from all of the above, and am trying to get a feel as to what tonality to expect from a Herron preamp.
I'm on vacation so can't really give you a proper response. That said, the unit which just came on is very well priced and I cannot imagine a better value line stage for that money. If you would like to discuss my path and experience with the Herron just send me a pm with your phone and ill ring you when I get back on Monday.
I'm looking forward to getting my pre amp and amps back from Keith. I have done a couple of upgrades over the years and each time it's a welcome change. These are the only electronics I haven't changed over the years. Besides being a great guy, Keith continues to squeeze performance improvements out of his products and passes them on to his customers at a reasonable upgrade price. It sure beats buying new equipment all the time.