Eastern Electric Mini Max
Well, leaving it to preamps I've listened to:
Deja Vu Audio Custom Tube Preamps- various
Manley 300B Preamp
Air Tight ATC-1
I can only do a top five and they're not all linestages, sorry.
Conrad Johson PV-11
Conrad Johson PV-9a Especially sweet
Conrad Johson PV-5
CAT Signature SL1
Jadis (cant remember the model but all sound incredible)
Audio Research Ref3
I have and is Excellent
Audio Horizons TP 2.0 nB version.Dollar for dollar it will trump anything out there.Check out their 30 day free home audition.Believe in what your ears say not hearsay.
Melody SHW1688 has a massive 50 lb active pre amp. I just looked over the 6 Moons review but really couldn't translate some parts, abit over my understanding. Silversurfer has a post of it few weeks ago and waiting on stereophile to posta review of his new purchase.
Anyone heard it?
I had the original version of the Melody 1688- very rich, organic; full sounding preamp.
Thansk Sutts, I can understand your pert comment better than 6 moons wind-y and winded review. The photos that 6 Moons provides of the guts looks pretty clean and neato. I always like to see the innerards of a unit.
I second the Melody - absolutely delighted with it - lush, musical, good detail. Excellent.
The Audio Horizons 2.0nb mentioned above is very nice
Dodd Reference (and his new battery)
Thor (I think it was the 2000)
and the one I bought - VAC Renaissance Sig MKII
those a re a few of the ones I've heard that I really liked...
CAT, Jadis JPL, Audio Research Ref, Manley Wave, Audible Illusions Mod3, Atmasphere, Joule Elektra, Supratek, Aesthetix Callipso.
CAT Sl-1, First Sound Presence Deluxe, Emotive Audio, Herron, Ayre K1x, Wyetech Opal and Dartzeel NHB-18NS are seven must-listen choices if you are looking to buy the best for your needs and tastes.
Really interesting unit is Lamm
lamm is better in the amp dept,CAT is the way to go un less you have twice the budget and can really move up the up the line...
Audio Research Ref 1
Audio Research Ref2 Mk2
Audio Research Ref3
Audio Note M10
Audio Note M8
Audio Note M6
Audio Note M3
Conrad Johnson ART
Mcintosh C22 (discontinued)
Audio Research SP11
Audio Research REF 3
Audio Research LS26
Select any 10 ARC Ref 3's and they all will be in the top 10... (:-)
UK built masterpeice.
Wyetech Opal now, Hovland HP-100, C-J PF-R then.
Dodd audio latest battery power with amperex pinchwaist usa 1950's is WORLD CLASS.....
I cannot believe that I am the only one to list the VAC Renaissance as the all-round BEST SOUNDING tube pre I have ever used. Top that sound quality off with an included remote, cinema by-pass, dual RCA outputs AND XLR out, 100k Ohm input impedence and 96 ohm output impedence, and an optional phono stage to die for, even with very low output MC cartridges. Oh yeah - one more thing - VAC utilizes the tubes so effectively that the casework of the pre-amp does not need to have vent holes in it and tube life is incredibly long.
ConradJohson/art/16LS/17LS/Premer10 All Audio Research REF & LS26/LS25 only MK1 & the SP-10
ALL VAC Renaissance/CAT/Jadis.
I have owned more than 5 preamps in the $5-7k range ,and the Dodd Audio -DC powered preamplifier is for sure the quietest with the best microdynamics I have heard at under 10k.The 6922 vacuum tubes used I installed mid 60s Phillips mini watts.Very natural sounding with layering side to side and front to back that is spooky .for the record .No preamp in the world even comes close at the very low price of $3300, and for overall musicality will easilly compete with any preamp in the 10k catagory ,it is that good -Yes even in the mid and lower bass.
All new units are running 4 Gel batterys in series for unlimited current on demand.
p.s The solid wood cabinet puts to shame any 10k preamp on the market the workmanship is superb!
Atma-Sphere MP-1 differentially balanced line stage/phono stage. The 6SN7-based LS is fantastic. The 12AT7-based phono section beats my BAT P10, but is too noisy for cartridges with less than .5mv gain. When taken together as an integrated preamp the unit is great value at $10K.
Second the Atma-Sphere MP-1. Detail, imaging, sound-staging, musicality are awesome. When matched with an AS amp, even better. Not cheap, but worth it.
1. Shindo Giscours
2. Shindo Masseto
3. Tron Syren (although phono stage is even better)
My favorites of the 30-40 preamps I have heard thus far are:
Kondo M1000 mk2 and I am sure the other two are nice as well
New Audio Frontiers Absolute mk2
ARC Reference 3
There are some others I have ehard that are really nice, but not quite my cup of tea.
Others I want to hear that I feel would become favorites once heard:
Shindo Giscours and the like
Allnic Audio L-4000
VTL 7.5 mk2
Einstein "The Tube"
CJ Art 3
TRON Syren - another vote for a top preamp from a top boutique UK tube designer, Graham Tricker.
My top pre-amps are in the order as follows:-
1. CAT SL-1 MKII (currently using)
2. Hovland HP-100 (also currently using)
3. Herron VTSP-1A/166
4. VAC CPA-1 MKII
5. Joule Electra LA-100 MKIII
1.Kondo M1000 (mkII)
3.Audio note M8
Anyone hear the Silbatone battery preamp?
1. Wavestream (Scott Franklin's latest design)
2t. Aesthetix Callisto Signature
2t. Audio Note M-8
Based on long time listening in my own system
If you have heard *both* the ARC Ref3 and the Atma-Sphere MP-1, would you kindly share your opinion. TIA
Hands down the Ref 3
Best preamp I have ever owned
My personal favorites are:
Audionote (uk) M-10 (silly expensive and WAY too many big boxes, no remote control, but magnificent in the right system. The M-7 sounded very good at a LOT less money, though it too is pricey.
Emotive Audio Epifania (with teflon caps). This is the unit I own. It has some odd quirks (some "pinging noise from the signal tube (12B4)), but it is fantastic at preserving acoustic cues for the recording venue without being analytical sounding.
Kondo M1000. Similar to Audionote (uk) but, perhaps a touch brighter than the Audionote stuff. But, that is not a bad thing in the right system.
I have heard other linestages in systems that I was not familiar with where the system sounded great (so how bad could the linestage be?). Among such impressive systems I liked a Shindo linestage (sorry I don't know the model). The top of the line LAMM is also promising for its beautiful and cohesive presentation of harmonic structure of the music. For solid state, I heard a system with the top of the line Connoisseur and it is promising too. At a FAR lower price point, I like the Ayre linestage (open and airy on top).
I have never been a fan of Audio Research gear (way too lean, harmonically bleached and brittle sounding for my taste). But, I've now heard several systems that sounded pretty decent that used the Ref. 3. In one of these systems, I also heard the VTL 7.5 and both have similar sound and a worth a look at, given that they are a lot cheaper than the four I recommend above.
CAT SL1, Joule LA-150MKII, and Placette Active. I also enjoyed the Lamm LL2 while I had it.
Shindo Giscours is for now the best thing I have heard, by far.
Tonality, naturalness, weight, quite the perfection.
Try to find somebody who have already heard (REALLY) a shindo giscours or vosne romanee and prefer an other : noboby.
I haven't found anyone yet, but I also haven't found someone that has heard them either.
I haven't found anyone yet, but I also haven't found someone that has heard them either
I have. I own a Giscours. Samuel is correct.
Well I will add one I think is pretty good. It isn't anywhere near as expensive as the others mentioned, but I think equipment should be a balance of price and performance. It is fully balanced and tubed, the Cary SLP-2002.
Does Shindo have any Northeast retailer?
Does Shindo have any Northeast retailer?
The US importer is Jonathan Halpern at Tone Imports. He is a great guy and will point you in the right direction.
I replace my accuphase c-2800 preamp with a lamm LL2 deluxe and the lamm lack in detail with high's/lows until I replace the stock tubes with mullards. The Lamm LL2 deluxe is an outstanding preamp when it consist of mullard tubes. The tube depot carries the black sable mullards that are truly the best tubes I have ever had in my preamps. It totally change the quality of the Lamm LL2 Deluxe.