Stock Voyager GaN amp (350/600) Contrasted with my EVS1200 (600/1200)

The Voyager (V) I received is well broken in, and as the title says, it is stock. An upgraded version will come later.

I let the V warm up for ~ 24 hours while I listened to my beloved EVS 1200 (~$2300) playing a wide variety of Redbook CDs; The Judds, Chris Issak Heart Shaped World, Leonard Cohen remastered collection, Willie Nelson Across the Borderline, the Eagles Hell Freezes Over, and Jennifer Nettles Playing with Fire (love the music, but the mastering has a few ear bleed cuts- or does it???). I capped the session off with Roger Waters Amused to Death SACD, a huge, occasionally very dynamic, and intentionally phasey recording. While I enjoyed the hell out this listening session, but afixed in my mind was reading others reporting on their not fully broken in V amps frequently mentioning detail/clarity, the music via the EVS 1200 wasn't as focused as I felt it should, but have accepted for 2 years, as it easily outperformed my PS Audio M700s (MSRP $4000), FYI, their M1200s are based on the same IceEdge AS1200 modules as my EVS 1200, but untouched. They simply added their own tube input stage (MSRP $7000), and Audio Alchemys DPA-1 ($2000), wish I could have tried the monos ($4000), but...

Could  the lack of focus be elsewhere, like the Wire World Electra 7 Power Conditioning cord ($240), connected to my Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5, which is IMO, my weakest PC, all the others are $700+, or my $150 Pangea XL coax cable? How would the V stack up?  Im thinking it can't be THAT much better, and what about the huge power disparity in my ~ 26 x 38 X 12 lively room with lots of glass and open beam ceilings, which adds up to brightness?

I connected the V, but didn't want to start with any of the same discs, just in case the V needed to see some signal before being ready for the comparison, so I chose Getz/Gilberto Jobim and Astrud Gilberto SACD as a nice way to ease into the Voyager. I haven't listened to this disc in months, so no recent memory to taint hearing it now. Did I say 'ease'. Silly me.

I'll cut to the chase hear/here, from the first note, it was obvious that this is a special amp, but at $3500 MSRP? OMG: What a steal!!! The focus reminds me of how much sharper and with greater depth of field pictures taken with Leica camera lens are, compared to all other cameras and lenses. GaNs magic is the equivalent of Tesla EV motor speed- immediate: The V grabbed me from the first note.

More  to come after I go through the Redbook CDs that I started with, but I already know it's a moot point. And wilder, still, LSA has already made a few tweaks, like the internal wiring for an additional $175.

Ric Schultz was right when he said expensive amps will be boat anchors

IMO, the manual SUCKS, but DAMN, it’s ability to extract data from red book is amazing at this price point

It is sturdy, and it seems to have a tribe of happy users, so, Im confident it will last. I think the problem with all my previous players when used as transports, is that I watch sports while listening and often hit pause, and forget to unpause, eventually falling asleep, leaving the disc spinning all night- many nights, so the auto standby is a HUGE plus for me. It really has taken redbook playback to a whole new level for me. Obviously the power cord (custom from TekLine $795, which I already owned), coax cable (AudioQuest Premier XL @ $169/2m from Audio Advisor) and iso devices (Nob Sound @ ~ 25/4) will help to extract its capabilities.

My dac is in a Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5.

The review I posted is spot on (link below). I have played a wide variety of music, all revealed musical ques previously hidden to me, none more jaw dropping then listening to an oldie Chet Atkins and Mark Knoffler Neck and Neck. So much more everything to make me wonder about SACDs, though I have ~ 80, currently I use my Oppo 105 for them, but looking to get a Technics SL-G700 (see link below).


That's one of the reason probably 11-12 years back I finally went to file playback.  Different disc formats and I think at one point I had 4 or 5 transports in the main system at one point at the same time.  Then it was universal players (still have my Modwright solid state modded BDP-83 (which only sees use if someone brings over a disc at this point) and a few other Oppos (sold my 203 and have a couple of 103Ds but they are all barely used except in secondary systems for file playback from my NAS as the Panasonic players are better at video).  Had the Modwright full tube mod to my Sony XA-777ES in the late 1990s.  My Lumin U1 network file transport just goes to sleep after 15 minutes of no use and the files are on my NAS in another room.  All my audio discs are in Can Am ( storage cabinets in a closet.

There are audiophiles who have taken apart the Voyager GAN amp and have been critical of its construction. I don’t know if they listened to it or not. I have a modded (by EVS) and can say unequivocally that for just under 3K invested, including mods, that this amp is phenomenal. And has some excellent amps sitting on the bench. This amp has my Spatial X5s producing an unbelievable sonic soundscape. And, I don’t herniate a disc or get a hernia when I move it.


Thanks for chiming in. Never have I appreciated more the sentiment "what's upstream makes a huge difference". When I first installed the Voyager I was using a Marantz HD CD-1 as a transport. Fortunately (seems odd to say) it developed issues in the spinning mechanism. Marantz no longer carries parts, but, they were kind enough to provide the part number. I searched and found ONE in Asia for $150 + shipping. I decided to look for a transport. Being retired with limited funds, I am forced to be frugal. After reading an amazing review, I located a barely used Audiolab CDT6000. Immediately I was transported (NPI) to a multidimensional  sonic world, which has only gotten better over 100+ hours.

Case in point: last night I decided to spin Annie Lennox Medusa, which I owned for a decade++, but no matter my kit, it had always been a tough disc with only a couple listenable songs. Well, last night, the entire disc sounded really good. Ditto lots of other discs that sounded similarly meh until the 6000. Best of all MSRP is a ridiculous $599, but mine (including shipping) was considerably less

"I don’t know if they listened to it or not. "  Of course not.  They just don't get that they don't have the requisite knowledge and/or experience (and there's no sense in engaging someone who is at best at novice level in the hobby) to offer anything of value.  The definition of audio (from the dictionary) is "sound, especially when recorded, transmitted, or reproduced."  The key word being sound. They're entitled to any opinion from the actual experience of dismantling anything as long as it's from first hand experience (vs. just parroting a website that's known to be there to prop up their own sponsors and which they've foolishly constributed their own money to - no different than an audiophile who buys something silly expensive for the bragging rights vs. how it may actually sounds and just wants to justify what they spent as equating to something that's worth it).

Audio is a funny hobby in that way.  When my friend worked at a high end shop for about a 6 year period, I did virtually every set-up and install with him.  I'm also going back about 20 years in time or a drop more (when I was 8 years old of course 😀).  I started off as more of a home theater guy and when one is hearing systems in excess of $100k (back then) or close to it and then goes home to their very nice home theater and it does music passably vs. anywhere in the league of a nice 2-channel system which they just heard, it is an eye opening experience.  All of the components in my home theater system producing the 2-channel audio I heard in the expensive systems measured around the same (as done by labs and magazines - just pick your favorite audio entry level brand and then something silly expensive and look at the graphs).  If one just wants to look at the measuremetns, then just go ahead and buy the cheapest thing you can find that measures to your liking and enjoy.  Some music has complex structure (not to mention soundstage height and width) to it and unless one compares how it sounds vs. something else (whether that is more or less money is irrelevant) in a particular system (as all things don't necessarily work well together) you have no knowledge of what it sounds like.  We all have different tastes and preferences as well in both music and what that should sound like in an audio system (and of course there's nothing wrong with that).