I only got a quick glimpse of the "newest" version vs. the previous one (I assume the "newest version" was the MK IV). These latest amps were probably NOT fully broken in...
As Symphonic Line products have a long life-cycle, but this IS a "new" version, there MUST be differences... Well, they didn't sound so earth-shattering to me.
The quick subjective results were:
*the new sound was slightly more extended in the upper highs & less full bodied..
*the typical S-Line sound was there (i.e. dynamics, transient attack, sense of "speed" etc) but the old sounded a tad "slower" and a tad more refined: as "speed" is a nonsense per se, maybe a matter of higher biasing towards class A in the newer version?
*overall, between the two, I wouldn't be hard-pressed to exchange one version for the other: if I had the earlier version, I'd stay with it -- OTOH if I were on the market for a pair of amps, I'd go for the current version...
The pre was an RG3+ turbo PS & speakers were Triangle Magellan. Again, this was just a quick listening session at a dealer's, no measurements taken, equip probably not broken in, etc.
I haven't heard the latest Mk IV amps but when I got the Mk III version (That I still have), I was told by a long-time Symphonic Line dealer that the midrange on the Mk II version was better than on the Mk III 'cuz the Toshiba output transistors in Mk II were better than the Sanken transistors in the Mk III.
Looks like something similar has happened bwtn Mk III & Mk IV.
Seems like one gets the extension at the cost of richness. There is a person here who claims that he can modify my RG4 Mk III to have even better sound. Maybe I will take him up on his offer. The modified sound might approach the Mk IV sound???
I saw the RG4 IV, but not sound or music from it.
from your comparsion, maybe I will prefer the MKIII sound. A local dealer told me, SL is changing its sound due to change of designer? is this true? thanks
I wouldn't be surprised if the designing engineer changed, it happens quite often apparently!
I WOULD be surprised however, if the sound were drastically changed by the engineer as the equipment voicing is done by the owner (Mr Gemein) as far as I know. (BTW, allegedly one of the better known, past engineers was Mr Lindemann of exotic cd/sacd player fame)
Bombay: It would be interesting to know what the mod entails? Last time a guy I know tried to mod old rg4's, he never got the transistor biasing right & stable for some strange reason -- & promptly blew the output stages (but SL sent him new circuits, so it all turned out OK). Cheers
i did own Rg1 MKII which used Toshiba output transistors in Mk II and also owned a RG1 III which use the Sanken transistors in the Mk III. I feel MKIII has slightly better bass and sound stage is better but did not notice the midrange? However, they always sound the flavor of symphonic Line.
I can share w/ you what this person told me over the phone re. modifying the RG4 Mk 3.
He told me that most of the work would go into the power supply mod. Swap out the present rectifier diodes for Fairchild HEXFRED diodes. These rectifier were "soft recovery" (that's what I remember, I think!). Replace the power supply electrolytic caps w/ computer grade Panasonic caps. He felt that the present p.s. caps had done their time w/ several on/off cycles. Then, he was going to change all the signal path caps w/ Blackgate caps, which he felt were the best. He said that he was not going to touch the power amp electronics as that was biased the way the designer intended. Neither was he going to touch the internal cabling.
So, w/ all these mods he felt that the amp would be more transparent, music would flow more easily & bass response would improve. However, he told me that this was a double-edged sword in that once I heard the "truth", it was possible that I "could not handle the truth!".
Tell me what your opinion is.
Overall, the mod sounds reasonable & careful.
As to changing the electrolytics -- of course: electrolytics *do* have a shelf life after all, and heat, etc, don't help them much... I've read good things about the Panasonics.
OTOH, b-gates in the signal path would/should alter the voicing somewhat; where I've used b-gates (cdp, tube amp) the sound is less "punchy" but very detailed at the same time. It's a matter of taste -- why not go for it (you can always get the modders to change to another brand if you like)!
I'd be KEENLY interested in your opinion of the sonic results -- if you go ahead!
Thanks for your feedback.
Right now I'm dragging my feet on the mod, big time! I'm apprehensive that I might lose a good thing. I like the sound of the amp the way it is (it's not the be-all & end-all of amps but it's very, very good as-is). I have a feeling that a call to Klaus might be in order if I decide to go ahead w/ the modification.
I'll keep you posted.
Can you please tell me where did you hear the Magellans? Do you know a dealer who has them?
By the way, my friend, who owns Kraft 400 with Toshibas thinks that they are more musical then the newer ones with Sunkens .
Yes, the Toshibas are reputed to have a better midrange than the Sanken equivalents. I understand from a long-time & Symphonic Line experienced dealer that the RG 4 Mk 2 (used Toshibas) had a better midrange than the Mk 3. Oh well....
Hi George -- the Magellan i listened to were privately owned; I happened to drop in while an audition for electronics was taking place, was kindly asked to stay a bit -- and... I ended up leaving hours later! It's amazing that the guy actually moved the speakers. I would have thought that moving a few amps to his *house* would have been more practical solution...
Unfortunately, I don't know who, if anyone, has Magellans on display. Cheers
A few clarifications from a German audiogoner: The amp you are talking about is not called RG4, but RG14. Older versions can be upgraded to the newest version MkIV. The engineer of Symphonic Line always was, and still is, Rolf Gemein. Mr. Lindemann was, and is, the engineer of his equally successful full line of high end audio amps, CD-players, and speakers. Symphonic Line has its own website, which so far is in German only, but the pages of which you can easily translate with the help of http://www.babelfish.altavista.com/
Last but not least, German high end magazine Stereo compared the new version to the older ones in its new May-issue and found the MkIV being noticably better, rating him as "excellent".
klaus at odyssey can answer questions also-he is the usa dealer
Hassel, the thread refers to the RG4 -- mono power amps. The 14 is an integrated.
As to the rest, I must have been misinformed! Cheers
Gregm, I indeed missed that one about the mono amp. Always a good thing if the clarifier gets clarified. Cheers too!
can you provide info on where to get(read)the review on the comparsion on RG4 III vs IV monos?
or can you talk about it here? thanks