Shindo preamps

I heard the Masseto last week at a dealers, and was very impressed. I will be taking the next step soon, to hear it with my amp at that point. I have heard from another source that the Shindo's are designed to sound close to an older Marantz preamp design, can't remember the model though. I am trying to get opinions on the following. Does this mean that the Shindo has a somewhat forgiving character to it, as compared to the more modern designs such as Cat or ARC. I know this may be a generalization, but am curious as to what the thoughts may be on this. FWIW, I have no plans to do Shindo amps, because I will be sticking with mid-efficiency speakers. I did not feel when hearing the Masseto, that it was not detailed enough. In fact, it was a strong point. I heard a very low noise floor, allowing the detail to come through. It just sounded right to me, simply got right out of the way.
Great preamp but I have only heard it with shindo amps and it is a marriage made in heaven. My next upgrade will be shindo amp/preamp or Ayre Mxr/Kxr. The Shindos are magical. Try it in your system and see what you get.
Hello Fjn04,

Designed to sound like a Marantz is definitely not correct. If modern means high resolution and a low noise floor, I think Shindo has you covered. If modern means bright, thin and a spotlit treble, Shindo will not sound modern. From your description, it seems like your ears told you everything you need to know.
Fjn: yes I agree with Vinyljh, Shindo does NOT sound like Marantz. I believe you may be confusing it with Cayin, as they have some amps that are supposed to sound like the vintage Marantz and some like McIntosh. Cayin makes good value products, but its not in the same league as Shindo.

When you say mid-efficiency speakers, what sensitivity are you talking about?
Hi, the quote on the Shindo was stated to me as follows. "Assuming that it's the Shindo Masseto that you're considering,you should be aware that it's basically a reworking of the Marantz 7 circuit. The Wavestream phono stage is also the same basic circuit. When properly executed, it's a very pleasant sounding design that can make alot of recordings sound better than they really are".
I am presently driving Vandersteen 5A's with a Vac Phi 300.1 stereo amp. I can't say at the moment if I will stay with the 5A's, but I am not planning changing speakers. When I do, all I know is my price range will be around the cost of the 5A's. So, no more than 15-16K new or used. If the Masseto was sweetening things up a bit, I did not notice. I could not detect any loss in detail in the system I was listening to. I think of mid-efficiency speakers as 87-90db. IMO, I would be reluctant to use a 40 wpc amp on a speaker in that efficiency range. I would try a 40WPC amp with a 90db speaker, but would have to hear it before I subscribe that it would work for my tastes.
Fjn- Despite what was erroneously stated to you (obviously to me, not by someone who knows what they are talking about), ALL Shindo preamp and amp circuits are designed from the ground up by Ken Shindo and are entirely of his own design and not meant to sound like Marantz products whatsoever. There is no 're-working' of Marantz circuits..

Sounds like you really liked the Masseto. It's a wonderful preamp.
Indeed. Sounds like you received the info from someone completely misinformed. Technically they're completely unrelated.. From tubes to circuit to power supply- not a similarity to be found.
The Marantz 7C's phono section is based on the 12AX7, while the Shindo's is based on the 12AT7. Although the two tubes share the same pin-outs, their application data differs somewhat, making them cousins, rather than twins.

While the schematics probably differ (I haven't seen the Shindo's), there's a philosophical relationship in that the Shindo is using a classic tube (along with vintage caps and other parts) to create a (presumably) classic type of sound.

Plenty of other phonos use the 12AT7, including conrad-johnson, VTL, and Atma-Sphere. The 12AX7 is pretty ubiquitous, too. There are just so many ways to implement either one in a phono circuit, so you could say there's an abstract relationship between them, even though the construction and sound may not be the same.

Short of having the schematic on hand, who's to say that the Shindo was literally designed from the ground up, rather than being a reinterpretation of a classic concept.

for your information: here is the schematic of a 1990 Shindo preamp:

But be aware, that a lot of Shindo sound comes from component choice. The schematic tells not the whole story.

best regards, Hartmut
Thank you for the link.

To expand the context of your comment, the schematic mentioned is a version of the Shindo Claret preamp, as built by Thorsten Loesch. Interestingly enough, he comments, "The Claret copy, while not able to match my 'reference', the modified Arthur Loesch Preamp (called Toccata) for transparency and detail ... comes close enough for me not feel any major loss. The Phonostage is MM only, mostly the classic dual ECC83 with negative Feedback Equaliser."

Like the Marantz 7C, it uses 12AX7's, and like the Shindo Masseto, it uses 12AT7's.

However, this article in 6moons mentions that the Claret was discontinued when the schematics were leaked and that to this day Shindo does not allow schematics, or even photos of the insides of his units, to be published.

So, while the Claret may offer a glimpse into Shindo's earlier thinking, we still don't know exactly how the Masseto uses this classic tube. And, yes, given the endless tales of upgrades and mods found on so many sites, one can clearly change the character of any component by appropriate parts selection.
Hello Solitare,

I thank you for getting a new moniker just to chat about Shindo. I checked your website but couldn't figure out which tube is used in your brands phono.

The Claret was the entry level kit pre about 20 years ago. It has little to do with the Masseto's circuit. Either way the tube used for phono has no bearing on whether or not it was designed to sound like a Marantz. The question has already been answered a few weeks ago. Thanks for your intetrest in my products.


I have no idea who you are, don't have another moniker, don't have a website, and have no particular interest in your products, whatever they may be. I'm simply musing on the use of classic tubes in a modern phono circuit.


I have no idea who you are, don't have another moniker, don't have a website, and have no particular interest in your products, whatever they may be. I'm simply musing on the use of classic tubes in a modern phono circuit.

Hmmm. Mr. Loesch would be disappointed.
Arthur Loesch has nothing to do with Shindo, if that's what you meant. Vinyljh is Jonathan Halpern of Tone Imports, US distributor of Shindo.

Arthur Loesch has nothing to do with Shindo, if that's what you meant. Vinyljh is Jonathan Halpern of Tone Imports, US distributor of Shindo.

uhh, no. that's not what i meant. i am well aware of who Jonathan is, and I have the greatest respect for him and Shindo.

the reference to Loesch is in relation to the mysterious "Solitaire." Perhaps he would care to elaborate?
Hifidaddy (above) included a link to a Shindo schematic that's on Thorsten Loesch's website. The quote is a comment written by Thorsten, not Arthur.

I'm no more mysterious than Skipjames or anyone else here. However, you guys are free to continue chasing your tails.
After several phone calls to Shindo and dealers. I get the feeling that getting Shindo service can be a problem especially if you buy on the used market or are not the original owner. Has anyone had any experience with a preowned Shindo piece and service. I'm sure they don't break often but just buying tubes can be a problem. They don't even sell tube sets at all. you must send the unit in for that right??
Carey1110, e-mail Matt at Pitch Perfect Audio. Great guy and will answer all your questions. I own Shindo equipment and I will tell you that service is not a problem and is in fact fantastic.

Web page.

You just bought an ARC REF 5 according to your other recent thread which is probably the right move for your particular bi-amped system. Shindo is very likely not the right pre-amp for your particular system as a few of my dealers and myself have explained. I'm glad you're so interested in Shindo products but I just don't think they fit the bill for you at this time. Maybe in a future system.
Thanks for your response. But just to set the record straight you and you dealers have been giving mixed messages on wheather or not this would be a good preamp for me, If I recall you said I could have custom Biamp outputs installed at no extra charge. This is why I posted my question to other Shindo owners instead of calling your or other dealers, Nothing personel but as the US distributor you might be a little biased. BTW my question was about service on used Shindo products , not weather or not it was right for my current system.
How is the situation with service of used and second-hand Shindo gears in the US?
I presume that it would be attentive and helpful (as Jonathan has always been extremely reputable with me). It would be good to hear from him to confirm this.