i recently got the the tad-60, and i use it without a preamp. it's awesome with axiom m3ti monitors. my first tube amp, and i am thrilled with the sound.
5 responses Add your response
Thank you for chiming in. It sounds like you are really enjoying the sound of your system. Did you have your Axiom m3ti monitors before you purchased the TAD-60? If so, can you tell me what the most notable difference in sound was for you? Is the volume control fairly easy to operate? Where does the dial adjust to when listening at a normal volume? Do you notice any noise in the speakers when the volume is low?
ok, some details. before the tad-60, i was using a yamaha rx777 receiver with the axioms. i am also using an external non-oversampling dac (lite dac-ah).
the upgrade to the tad-60 really improved the sound in every way possible. soundstaging is better. details are better. bass is very good ... on m.i.a.'s awesome "arular", there is some pretty heavy bass. it sounds tighter on the tad-60 than on my yamaha. there's nice vertical layering, which i had never experienced before. i should also say that the reason i started amp hunting in the first place was that the rx777 was very fatiguing... the tad-60 nipped that problem right in the bud. so it sounds great, but all i can say with absolute certainty is that is better than a yamaha rx777, as that is all i really have experience with.
the volume control is very easy to operate... you just turn the knob. ;) comfortable listening levels put the knob between 9 and 10 o'clock. 11 - 12 is very loud... i don't think i have ever pushed it past 12. my room is small, however, and i am basically set up for near-field listening (i.e. i sit about 6 feet away).
there is a very small amount of hum from the woofers and hiss from the tweeters. this is only noticeable if my ear is less than 4-5 inches from the speaker and no music is playing. it is not an issue ... i'm surprised it is not worse considering the tangled mess of cords behind my setup!
my one nit-pick about the tad-60 is that the front panel led is way too bright. however, the amp is essentially at my eye-level when i'm sitting and listening... it's probably not as bad if you don't stare right at it. :) i happen to that think leds, especially blue ones, should be banned from use in audio equipment. anyway, a small piece of electrical tape fixed this right away. i'm sure that i could disconnect the led lead if i relly wanted to, but covering it up works just fine for me at this point.
i definitely recommend the tad-60 for use as a single source integrated amp, especially if you can get it at the sale price ($899) for which it was being offered a while ago. though my experience is limited, others who have heard more equipment are also giving it high marks, so i would say it is a pretty solid bet.