Shindo and synergistic components

I know many Shindo enthusiasts are in for the whole system - pre/amp/speakers. But for those with just a preamp from Shindo, what amps are you using with it? I'm particularly interested in higher power amplifiers (ie 60wpc +).

Or if there are owners of the Shindo Sinhonias (40wpc I think) - what speakers are you using?

I'm considering their pre amps, but their power amps may be a touch short of the power I'd like to have, so I'm exploring synergistic high power amp matches with the Shindos. The preamps being considered are the Monbrison or the Masseto.

It's probably not general knowledge yet but Shindo has a new high power amp coming out(could already be out). I've seen pictures of it and I think Jonathan Halpern at Tone Imports has one in New York. The amp is based on a KT88. Try contacting Jonathan for details.
I have a Monbrisson with the following components:
Manley Mahi Mahi Monoblocks and Living Voice Avatar IBX speakers. I am very pleased with the Monbrisson and think it is the best bang for the buck in the Shindo line up. The real value is in the wonderful phono stage it has and if you can live without a remote, I highly reccomend it. Besides the normal concerns with matching amps and preamps, I think Shindo pres would play nicely with most amps.
I'm guessing your Mahi Mahi are not balanced (or have both). Any thoughts as to how they would mate with a balanced design?

Lokie: did you have the chance to try the Shindo on your system, or did you do it on spec?

How do you like the Living Voice speakers and how do you have them set up{ ie positioning?}
I've got my Monbrison with a Leak Stereo 20 power amp and Quad ESLs. Totally synergistic.
The Mahis are not balanced and I have never tried to mix the two. My suspicion is that they would work fine with other balanced components.

I bought the Shindo purely on spec.

I really like the LV IBX speakers. One word I would describe them as, is "fun". They are very lively and dynamic. They have the great quality of being both detailed/revealing and very listenable. I have had some trouble placing them but I have room that is problematic. My placement is a triangle of 12' and 2' off the side and back wall.

This is a relatively new system and room and completely different than my last system which consisted of a 600 watt Mac and Eggleston speakers. I like the direction I'm going, especially, the Shindo. Depending on if I can get the LV's tweaked out exactly the way I want them, I will probably get a Shindo amp (Cortese??). I think the two brands are a good synergistic match.

If I eventually decide on a different kind of speaker which would be a better fit for my room, for ex. a non-efficient monitor, I will definitely keep the Monbrison and match with an appropriate amp/speaker combo.
I have the Shindo Aurieges (line stage only) connected to MA6500 driving the B&W 803D speakers. Didnt go for the version of the preamp with phono stage as I have the Audio Research PH5. The Shindo totally outclassed the builtin preamp on the MAC.
Recently acquired a pair of Quicksilver v4 monoblocs (120W) from a fellow Audiogon member to replace the MA6500. Really like the Shindo/Quicksilver combination...the system now sings, very it.
I have the Monbrsion matched with Quicksilver (6C33C) Triodes that are 50 watts per channel and Merlin VSM-MX speakers. The Monbrison is a tremendous preamp. Extremely musical and accurate. Art Dudley is right on. The phono section is also stellar. I was fortunate enough to try a number of top amp/preamp combinations in my home. The Shindo gear is just exemplary (you just have to remember you cannot drive more than a 3 meter IC with them). The Quickies have both sweetness and drive. I am having a very good time.........
Aronsss/Patrickamory/Lokie: did you try the Masetto or Vosne Romanee? Just curious if you thought the step up (ignoring price points for the time being) was warranted in the performance of the line and phono stages, respectively?

Thanks all for the input.
Too expensive for my blood. I do hear that with each step up there is a discernable improvement.
For me to warrant that kind of additional expense I would have to have a first class listening room and a world class analogue rig for which I have neither. I also think you would want to match all that with one of the higher end Shindo amps. That's just not the kind of money I want to spend on a system. But you may be an oil baron and if the Shindo sound is your cup of tea, I would say, go for it.
I'm on the wrong side of the oil trade - being a consumer of barrels, not an owner of barrels!

Thanks, I agree. I am considering the Masetto and the new 75wpc amp they have coming out. A new TT is in the cards, but the Shindo/Garrard is definitely not (@20k, yikes).
I'd like an Aurieges L or Monbrison with a good SS power amp. Class A - Pass Labs XA30.5, Clayton - or maybe with the Audio Sector Patek.
Anyone tried these or other Class A or Gainclones with Shindo pre-amps?
Can't help you on the mentioned amps.

One amp that I would like to hear with a Shindo Pre is the 200 watt Moscode 401.
Lokie: that Moscode sounds like a great option to try out. No retail markup and the ability to home audition - sounds perfect.

The new Shindo Corton Charlemagne is an expensive amp ($14k) and puts out 75wpc. I just wonder whether there's an amp that works with the Masetto (single ended output only) that costs ($5-$10k). I've spent a great deal of time auditioning, but have also been reading those studies that under controlled conditions high quality amps are generally indistinguishable. I think this is increasingly the case as SS and tubes seem to converge in sound.

I'm not opening a discussion on that point - it's just background to my question and thread.

I tend to agree with the notion that amps are not the best value when trying to improve your system. I do allot of project management with my work and we use the term "critical path." What is the most important task that needs to get done. That concept is the same when building a system. Personally, my critical path are things like speaker placement, room tweaking, power delivery, cabling, and shelving. I think alot of audiophiles think amps are the critical path when there are so many other cheaper and more effective "tasks" than buying an expensive amp.

One of the qualities of the LV, as with most effecicient speakers with benign loads, is the flexibility it gives you in the amp department. The Mahis are $1500 used and seem to be a good match. Would music on an $8,000 amp sound 4 times or even twice as good on the LV’s... no, not in my opinion. I frankly think I would have to concentrate pretty hard to tell the difference.

I'm not trying to plug the Mahi's or LV but just making the point that I like to think of the speakers and amp almost as one component. For example, because of the qualities of Theil speakers being very revealing and requiring lots of power, I think you would need a pretty expensive amp to mate with them. So the "package" of amp and speaker would be relatively expensive.

BTW, Hatari what speakers do you have?
Verity Parsifals - not an easy load (not difficult either), but need, in my experience, 50W as a minimum. So far they sound better with even more power. They are 89db efficient, and drop to 4ohms as far as I know. With power, they become more energetic, even at similar listening levels.

I've been tweaking a great deal lately: speaker placement, isolation, dedicated AC lines. All have been incrementally superb improvements. If I'm doing pre-amp, then might as well do amp and get move on from my Levinson integrated (which is pretty good).
I thought the Corton-Charlemagne was a 25wpc design. Is it being changed?
Corton-Charlemagne 80 is a different amp and new, so I've heard and is 75 or 80 wpc. Best to confirm details with a dealer.
Thanks Hatari. I hope this isn't too much of a diversion, but has anyone had the opportunity to hear the Shindo Richebourg 300B PP amp? I don't belive it's produced anymore, but I've been curious about it for a while and haven't seen much written about it.
Nice speakers. Have you considered Nagra?
I have, but don't want the new pyramids. Would do VPA + PMA, but that adds up to about $6k more than the Shindo option... not sure it's worth it.

I'm also interested in something off the beaten track, as Nagra is the easy match I think. Great review of the Class D MPAs in TAS this month - but I'm just not loving them, would prefer an easy maintenance tube setup instead.

You may want to put the Dodd 120 on your list. I have never heard it but alot of Eggleston owners like this amp. Like the Verity's, Eggleston's are very revealing and I think they have a more difficult load. Just a thought.

Oh, the problems of the rich and famous... good luck and happy listening.
How much do you toe in your living voices? I have heard they liked to be spaced out very wide. There is a relatively inexpensive Shindo amp called the Montille that would work really well with the LV's if you wanted to have an all Shindo setup.
I'd encourge you to listen to a Shindo pre and power amp connected with a Shindo interconnect as the most synergistic combo and if the speakers you have don't work out, replace them.
LOL Timothy. I think you'll find Verity owners as being pretty satisfied and building their systems around the speakers... but hey, Shindo seems to have it's own addictive personalities. Too bad you need to fork out min $20k to get shindos to work with the Parsifals.

Streetdaddy... I'll email you directly to further discuss my room problems.

Hatari... We're getting back the point I made earlier about the speaker/amp package. The fact that Verity goes to shows with 200 watt solid state mono amps should be an indication of how the speaker is designed and tuned. I'm sure I’m not telling you anything you don't already know, but, you shouldn't criticize Shindo for not offering high powered amps considering the nature of their product line. I personally think Shindo has some nice valued components in their lower and middle range. The catch is, you have to have effecient speakers to use it. It is what it is.

I had my cake and ate it too!

Didn't realize you have Parsifals.

I have Verity Fidelio Encores with a 20W Shindo and it's a wonderful combination. Have you heard Shindo amps with your speakers? If not, you might be pleasantly surprised. The Fidelio’s and a Shindo 10W sounded mighty good too. I have a largish room and needed a wee bit more juice for some music. Also, you may want to correspond with John Quick US Sales for Verity on this subject. I did when I was upgrading amplifiers and he was open minded, honest, very helpful, and quite smitten with Shindo/Verity combinations. Drop Jonathan Halpern a line as well. He know's the Shindo/Verity combination well and can provide insight.

I know the Shinhonia monoblocks are expensive, but they are incredible sounding amps. Some of the best.
Lokie: wasn't meant to be a criticism, just include a "sigh" in front - a statement of fact indeed.

I think Verity showed their product with the pyramids b/c it's new and sounds decent. They still have 50w VPAs in their own listening room (along with Wavac) - all lower "power" options. They showed their Lohengrin with Artemis SETs I believe (15-20wpc?).

Timothy_m: Fidelios are certainly easier to drive, but still good to see 20W doing it for you. I've been spending time with Julien on ideas, tweaks, room placement - a true (and patient) gentleman; and I've certainly been in touch with Jonathan (another gentleman). Now, what pre and amp did you get? What did it replace?

Hatari, I went for the Monbrison and Haut-Brion w/Auditorium 23 speaker cables. This combo drives the Fidelios with ease. While my room is "largish" in volume, it is lively. I've been careful to acoustically treat it with the help of ASC without sucking the life out of it. I believe Verity folks tend to like a livelier room versus an over damped one too.

What amp does Jonathan recommended for you? Have you heard your speakers with any of the Shino amps?

If you really need more power, you may want to hear the CJ LP70. Sounds excellent with a Shindo preamp.
Hatari, San Francisco is home to a dealer who represents both Verity and Shindo. Contact Matt at Pitch Perfect Audio. While you've already received some excellent suggestions in this thread, I am sure Matt's experience will really help you determine the best fit for the Verity's.

Plus, I think he'll be receiving the Corton Charlemagne 80 mono blocks some time soon (he may already have them).
Timothy: where did you try the CJ LP70 with Shindo... which pre was used? Very interesting combo. The LP70 is roughly same power as the Corton Charlemagne 80, at half the price point. A very interesting, but risky, proposition (in that I can't hear it unless I've bought it).

Bwhite: I"m in touch with Matt, but can't go down there in the near future unfortunately.

It is the Corton Charlemagne that are under consideration for the Verity. There are three dealers carrying Shindo and Verity in the US it seems.
CSA Audio in Montclair, NJ. The combo was a Giscours/LP70 I believe with Wilsons. So, CSA has some interesting combinations and then across the river in the city is In Living Stereo where you can hear all Shindo with Verity.
hey hatari... i agree with you that the parsifals really open up and sound much much better w/ more power. i had 42w/ch and the sound was just too flat. it sounded gorgeous, but didn't have that energy and pop. the canary 160s in triode provide plenty of pop, energy, excitement along w/ that magic. i owned a cj prem 140, and thought it was really an average sounding amp. i sort of have written off cj gear as just not for me. to dry, recessed midrange, which i think wouldn't sound so great w/ the parsifals, which already tend to sound laid back to me. i personally think you want an amp w/ a pronounced, front row presentation vs. the full landscape...
Timothy -

I am thnking about the Haut Brion although I am quite satisfied with my Quicksilver Triodes. What is the sonic character of the Haut Brion? And did you try out any other speaker cable (i.e. Kubala Sosna)?
Whew! Describe the character of the Haut-Brion. What vintage? This is tough because I just listen and enjoy music without the burden of analysis. It is what drew me to Shindo.

I could not do it justice, so sorry. Go have a lsiten for yourself.

No, I didn't try Kunala Sosna.


PS - How's the 103R working out with the Monbrison? A good match?
The 103R is an very good match with the Monbrison and outstanding when you add the Auditorium 23 transformer ---just like the boys at 6 moons said. And I don't worry about it with my 9 and 6 year olds.
What exactly does the Auditorium 23 transformer do? Is this the same as the Shindo transformer?
The A23 transformer is a phono step-up transformer. In this case, the one Aronsss uses is the one optimized for a Denon or EMT cartridge. The stock transformers in Shindo preamps are optimized for use with the Shindo modified SPU or other really low impedance cartridges. I owned the A23 transformer for a about a month and it was fantastic with an EMT JSD5 cartridge.

Shindo makes an outboard step up transformer called the Arome. Similar concept but also optimized for an SPU.
Anyone know the price of the Shindo modified SPU? It would be cool if you could put this cartridge on a resonable priced arm and table (say sub $4,000 all in) which would have similar sonic qualities of the Shindo Garrard 301. Anyone try to build a poor mans SG 301?
The Shindo SPU is $3250 and a rebuild from an existing SPU-A s $2850.

The Shindo SPU uses a standard Ortofon mount so any arm with an Ortofon bayonet should be able to mount the cartridge. You must bear in mind that the SPU-A mount is shorter than the SPU-G. You may have to modify the arm mounting to get the right overhang on mnay set-ups.

Also, Shindo is probably going to stop selling complete Shindo SPUs without a Shindo 301 table. The SPU-A bodies are getting scarce. Ortofon will stop making SPU-A pretty soon. I have my order in for the last run. You can however acquire a SPU-A body and have Shindo rebuild them into a Shindo SPU.
I started this post b/c I was looking for a higher powered amp than Shindo makes. As Rchau correctly pointed out, the new Corton Charlemagne 80 (75wpc) solves the problem.

I bought the Masseto and the Corton Charlemagne 80! Delivery in a few weeks. I do believe in synergy, so it was only to address the "power" issue that I sought alternatives. I decided against the Shindo/Garrard 301 - and went with a Raven AC. I will have two arms set up on that in time - one more modern (Phantom etc.), one with a more "Shindo-esque" feel to it (Mersault, EMT 997), both with appropriate carts.

Cheers and thanks for the discussion.
That's awesome Hatari. I hear the Masseto is incredible. Maybe one day i will upgrade my Aurieges. Let us know the new amp sounds. .
Congratulations on your purchase.

I've heard the Masseto and its awesome. Let us know how it goes when you receive your stuff from Ken. I'm always interested in the choice of tubes Ken uses for each piece.

The EMT 997 arm is pretty good. It has the advantage that you can use a larger variety of cartridges than the Shindo arm that needs a SPU A. For a more Shindo feel, you could mount a Shindo SPU in the G body.
Congrats Hatari. You made great choices. Did you order the Masseto with a mono switch? dual MC inputs? if you still have the MM input, i strongly recommend trying the A23 step up (matched to your cart, of course). it really makes a big difference, IMO.
Jeffrey: yes on the mono, no on the dual MC (not possible). The step up will definitely be in the cards when the second arm is set up. Thanks for your help and input on this.

I hope this isn't off topic, but has anyone heard or heard of the Shindo Apetite, integrated amp? It's not on the Shindo website and there seems to be very little info about it. Thanks.
The Apetite was a 13 watt integrated discontinued about 2-3 years ago. Was about $4000-5000 then.
I wrote to several people who had it. They said:
The Apetite doesn't have the
harmonic complexity of the upper models but is really excellent.

4 pieces of small 6072 as preamp and driver tubes,and 4 pieces of CV-428 ( on tubes noted 256M made in England ).The E80CC's can be found in various tube shops and generally sell for $50 each and their are two. The CV428 can be had from Parts Connection at $10 each. The CV428 is not common but inexpensive when
found. All these tubes should last many years since Shindo runs his circuits conservatively.
I really enjoyed the Apetite, it's very energetic and lively with incredible punch and articulation.

Hope this helps
Eril, your reply was very helpful, thanks.
Folks....I have some Ayre MX-R monoblocks...which of course are balanced...and in looking at improving the analog side of my system it has been suggested that I consider a Shindo preamp....the would be driving Rockport Meraks/Sheritan II and Wilson Watch Dog 2 sub....anyone have some experience or thoughts on this set up...the other pre amps I might consider are the VTL 7.5, Ref 3 and the upcoming Ayre KX-R...??

thanks in advance