I hope you are going to get this response a lot: Don't mess with it! Ken Shindo builds his equipment very specifically and I can say from experience you will be able to change the sound but it ultimately won't be for the better. I've tried different footers, different power cords, varying amp stands and various interconnects with my Shindo equipment. Not until I put the preamp and amp on maple stands and used the Shindo power cords did the sound start to sound "right." Further improvements come with Shindo's upgraded power cords and Shindo interconnects. Shindo dealers will tell you the samething and the reviewers (no matter what publication they are from) seem to agree. Its not just marketing hype. The last thing is don't start tube rolling. The whole circuit, and therefore much of what you paid for, was designed by Ken Shindo for the specific tube he decided to use in that piece. If you need backups get the exact same type tube. I have not changed the fuses in my Shindo but I firmly believe Ken Shindo has tried different fuses and decided on the specific fuse that is there. I know that is what he does with EVERYTHING that goes into his equipment - over the years I have finally learned to trust his judgment.
Sbayne - don't think YG Lim means any disrespect - he's just exploring. I have not tried anything on my Masseto, but am curious about the various things you have tried...the footers/pc's/ICs. If you can, what did you try and what was the effect - clearly you went back to the start.
I will give my humble input that changing KT88s on my Corton Charlemagne 80s (by necessity - blown tube during Christmas break) to Gold Lion re-issues worked for me. I also found that the Auditorium speaker cables didn't work for me (though I may try again with a new speaker). Again, just my experience.
YG - sorry, as I said I have not played with anything. I am not interested in changing the tubes (I agree that the entire unit is based on these tubes), but if you find pc's/footers are helpful- it would be good to know.
I own a Giscours that I use with Sinhonia F2a amps. I used to own a Masseto.
No disrespect to the OP, but if you just bought a Masseto and immediately feel the need to experiment with different tubes, fuses, and power cords, you have ENTIRELY missed the point of Shindo. You have a world-class piece of electronics designed by someone who understands better about what works best with his equipment than you or I will ever hope to know. Leave your Masseto alone, and just enjoy the music. If you want to fiddle, buy a Cary and have at it.
Hatari, I used the Gold Lion reissues and Hi-Fi Tuning fuses in a pair of Dynaco MKIIIs. I thought they made significant improvements to those amps. On my Shindo gear I've used pretty much every footer/tube dampener offered by Mapleshade and Herbie and various powercords from Nordost, Cardas, PS Audio and a few others. What I think happens is the balance of the Shindo sound starts to change. The bass my sound more solid which then makes the treble sound more recessed. The midrange my be spotlighted which makes the bass sound too soft. Things get out of wack so then you start fiddling more - change the interconnects, move the speakers, go back to that other footer, etc, etc, etc. I finally decided to just get off that merry-go-around and listen to the music...
Thanks to everyone for the feedback.
I truly love what I am hearing and enjoying every minute with this preamplifier. At the same time, like to hear the views of others who may have added some tweaks like cables and footers that will improve its performance but again I am in no rush to start tube rolling or getting new footers etc.
As for the tube, I actually want to get the tubes as a spare set. Would definitely hate to not even have a spare set on standby. From what I can make out, it seems to be Telefunken 12AT7 but really noobie when it comes to these.
YG---For the info you seek contact Jonathan Halpern at Tone Audio.
Jonathan is the US Importer for Shindo.He is a straight shooter and wont steer you wrong.
If you are on the west coast you might want to contact Matthew Rotunda at Pitch Perfect Audio also a great resource for all things Shindo.
Now relax,turn your system on and enjoy
I've tried a few tweaks (footers, power cords) and found that Shindo gear either sounds worse or is non-responsive to tweaking. Since I'm basically lazy, Shindo gear suits me fine since its essentially a plug and play system with a holistic philosophy.
I've also tried tweaks to a certain degree with my Aurieges (brass cones, sorbothane feet, maple block), always came back to the default settings -- even the funky little power cord sounds better then the few aftermarket ones i've tried. Leave it on it's own feet preferably on a wood rack (I read Shindo voices his gear on Maple) and use the orig power cord.
I bought mine used here on the gon and it came with a HiFi fuse, I've only heard it with that in it. Curious now if any perceivable improvement would be had with the original fuse!
YG, NEVER replace a fast blow fuse with a slow blow fuse. This is a sure-fire recipe for...fire, if something goes wrong.
Also, I believe Telefunken 12AT7/Ecc81 tubes will throw your Shindo preamp off-balance. Tele 12AT7s sound very detailed and crisp. These are great to improve the sound of low-resolution tube gear, not so good if your preamp is voiced with other tubes.
I hope this helps
I would suggest you to better use the stock power cable than the Virtual Dynamics Master. This power cord acts like a filter bringing the middle frequencies in front, cutting a lot of high frequencies and boosting the bass. IMHO
YG, as you can see most guys think that you shouldn't mess with Shindo gear. But you prolly need to get it out of your system, (no pun intended) so why not try a few tweaks for yourself? Swapping the power cables and using footers are pretty easy, give it a shot, listen for a while and judge for yourself. Be sure to report back to us though, we're all curious to see how it works out.
Thanks very much input. After listening a while, I do agree with you completely. Somehow there is just too much bass and midrange, overshadowing everything else.
I have not tried any tweaks on the Masseto actually. Just wanted to know if anyone has improved the performance of this preamp.
btw, how does get the replacement tubes in case one blows. Does shindo sells the tubes for this preamp?
No problem YG, as a matter of fact I took out of my system 5000$ worth of power cords and I am now using the cheap stock ones. They were all filtering the sound of my system.
Shindo has replacement tubes for all of their products.
When every model is sold, a fraction of the parts are used for production and another fraction is set aside for spares. When the parts for production are used up, the model production ends and something new is put out.
So don't worry about the tubes. If you want some backups to have on hand, you can find them on eBay or just contact Jonathan Halpern the distributor or Matt Rotunda at Pitch Perfect Audio.
Also, Shindo runs the tubes in their gear very conservatively so they should have a long life.
You should consider repositioning your speakers. Often times, the addition of a new component in a system will require current loudspeaker position to be re-evaluated. This is especially true of a component that is capable of recreating the extraordinary amounts of musical energy in your recordings - just like the real event.
Enjoy the Masseto, it's fantastic.
pitch perfect audio