Please excuse this response since it does not really benefit your inquiry. I can comment on the Jade in comparison to a Shindo Aurieges. I preferred the Jade in my system. It presented an expansive soundstage while maintaining a SS signature. It relays a very neutral, precise representation of the source. The Shindo was amazing in its own right, but representative of tubed equipment in overall signature. Not bad by any means...after all, it would be my recommendation for any other pre when leaning towards a slightly less neutral impression. Read the 6moons review on the Jade and Opal...some really good information on these.
Thanks, this is helpful (and i did read the review). I am trying to place these (absolutely and relatively) along the neutrality scale, so this helps. i tend to like the less neutral.
Gary, I have come to strictly accept neutrality in audio. Coloration is acceptable only for coloring books.
You will be hard pressed to find one who has heard both in the same system to be frank. I can say the Dude is vastly superior to every single top rated preamp I have heard in my system. Please read my review of it. I list the many preamps I have gone through. I was most conservative in that review holding back the wide margin in which the Dude out-classed those other preamps. I mean a very wide margin.
It just sounds more like music compared to any other piece of gear I have heard. That good to my ears, mind and senses.
I just finished listening to Van The Man and was once again lost in the music. Great fun.
The Dude must be heard to be believed. No words will ever quite get the whole of it.
Thanks Grannyring. I thought it was a long shot, but does not hurt to ask, and i still learn things from posts like yours
I am a Dude owner as well and will add my two cents.
Vandermeulen, your comments are helpful and stimulating IMO. It is an argument you hear about audio in general. Distortion is a part of audio whether we like it or not. Bob Smith at SpTech (now Aether Audio) told me at length about the levels of distortion in speaker drivers and that no one really likes to measure it since it is so horrific. I have personally battled some level of distortion via cables, the room, digital sources, etc. As far as preamps are concerned, the question is how quiet is it, what is the nature of the power supply (how stable, etc), and do you like first order harmonic distortion via tubes. I confess that I like tubes and have always had a tubed pre in the rig. A lot of older recordings used tubed microphones, etc and smoke a lot of digital offerings of today. As far as the Dude is concerned, it is dead quiet, dynamic, with jumbo sound staging, etc. The power supply is a proprietary tube regulated affair that is very stable. You can alter the sound of the Dude by tube rolling. I have landed in NOS RCAs currently.
Gary, it sounds like you already have a tube bias. Depending on where you are, you could potentially demo a Dude. If you live in NC, you most certainly can.....Charlotte.
I certainly can agree with having a tube pre as a mandatory alternate requirement when a change of heart (sound) is warranted. Lately I have been enjoying my Audible Illusions L2 pre. It still amazes me how inexpensive this little gem is when $ VS. :) ratio is concerned. My Wyetech, on the other hand, just boggles my mind. You cannot even begin to define its signature. It is just...there. The absolute best of every single nuance of sound reproduction possible (IMHO). Silly good.
That's kool. I used to own the AI L1. Very nice little linestage. I liquidated my previous system and thus the L1 went away. The "just thereness" is a good thing to shoot for IMO as well. The Dude does that (I think) and more in other ways that are hard to describe.
At the end of the day, its about system synergy. If you need tubes in the preamp, so be it. If not, so be it. I know TRL had at one time made a battery powered SS pre-amp which I have not heard.
The hard part about this game is that you need to be able to A+B things in your own rig. I know in Minneapolis there used to be a hi end store that would let you take things home! How ideal and how far we have come from that era of real community. The internet age has its drawbacks....
Gary, keep us posted on your journey.
Thanks for the responses and the offer for audition (i am in Wash DC area). I ordered the TRL, although with no firm conviction that one is better than the other (i considered the used jade that is listed but it was gone by the time i inquiried). There do not think that there is a bad choice here -- we shall see.
Agear, i recently got some NOS Sylvania 6sn7 Wgt for my amps (description here about 1/3 way down http://www.audiotubes.com/6sn7.htm). They are a military tube i think. Just tremendous dynamics and nice base. FWIIW. My dealer likes the RCAs and i have some of them as well; find the sylvania's a little sweeter, but all is a matter of taste.
Where can a Dude be auditioned in Charlotte? That's where I am and I've been looking at them...
I have been lucky that a local dealer i have bought things from has let me demo most things in my home, from cables to preamps and amps. a couple of weeks ago i home-demoed a pre-amp he built from all vintage parts old using western electric 311 tubes. unreal, but also real expensive. but it is a pleasure to have a place where you can hear that kind of stuff and someone you can rely on
Gary, I missed your post above. Congrats on purchasing the Dude. I don't think you will be disappointed. It is hard to know if it is better than the Jade in an absolute sense. If the Dude does not float your boat, you can always snag a Jade in the future. I will have to check out the Sylvanias. I tried the Raytheons initially and they did not do it for me. It is conceivable I did not have the optimal Raytheon as they come in different flavors. There is an "organ grade" tube that is supposedly optimal. All that being said, it is better to buy from a reputable tube dealer. I tried buying a few Raytheons on Ebay and regretted it. I know the Weitzels would be interested your tube rolling experiences. You should mention this to them.
I own a Dude Preamp -- though I can't make comments on the Jade, I do know that the Dude is the real deal. I had high expectations after speaking with Andrew and Pat about The Dude and there was not a single moment where I wasn't enthralled with the performance.
I spent the evening at Andrews place last weekend demoing his Intuitive Design Summits and Dude preamp... the Dude is a performer everywhere no question about it. I'll be posting my review in the coming weeks.
For what it's worth I'm a huge fan of Audio Horizons pre amps and I correspond with a couple of guys that used to own them and have the same opinion.Both have moved on to the Dude,one has had one for awhile the other will be taking delivery shortly.
Both are seasoned audiophiles,the Dude must be something special.