Abbas phono

jespera

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Jan 12, 2018
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Ive owned one for 3 years. It’s a great product. Very clear and punchy sound with a dose of natural warmth. Smooth musical big bottle presentation.

A bit like his dac 3.2se. In fact, it was the phonostage that persuaded me that i needed the 3.2.

I also own one of his vintage copper and iron step ups which i use with a denon dl 103. Best sut ive heard with the 103. And we know its picky.

My phono is the standard version. He has now done an even better signature version:

 
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jespera

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Pictures:

4650BD5A-8843-4AF8-B28D-39F430D2A703.jpeg

Abbas EF86/EL84 phono.

Abbas, ikeda, and cinemag step ups, luxman switch box, and snake pit of shielded duelund tinned copper cables. The latter are made by a guy in detroit, very decent sounding and price reasonable.

Im using the switchbox for phono switching. It may not be righteous but its convenient and i dont hear any sound sq degradation.
 

jespera

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Jan 12, 2018
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I like the standard gm classic mk ii spu conical, the denon 103, pa few robust shure mm’s, and not much else.

However, recently an ortofon sl15ell turned up locally for very reasonable money. So I bought it. It was launched in the late 60s. Its modern in the sense that it tracks at 1.5-2g but electrically it is closer related to the spu than to the modern ortofons.
It sounds wonderful. A bit like my spu but more detailed and resolved. But still full fat sound. Not at all skeletal thin phasy like many/most modern cartridges.

Makes me think that some of the vintage spu could be really phenomenal. To be investigated.

The sl15ell was launched together with the, imo, under rated rs212 arm.

4A1DC754-53D5-4A40-BB2A-A1C5715C2211.jpeg

But i actually use it in the 3012r on my ptp:

A81D11F4-A550-4D84-9A13-1005422A581E.jpeg
 
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Walter66

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Aug 22, 2022
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Sorry, but all PCB based tube amps are just second best. They most often sound two dimensional, it's just a kind of production cost saver, because it could be automated produced by machines instead of high percentage of labour cost. Don't know why such a small company has to use PCB based production of their amps, it's no big advantage since they don't produce big numbers of amps. And it's a sound killer. Not my cup of tea, sorry.
 

jespera

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Jan 12, 2018
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Sorry, but all PCB based tube amps are just second best. They most often sound two dimensional, it's just a kind of production cost saver, because it could be automated produced by machines instead of high percentage of labour cost. Don't know why such a small company has to use PCB based production of their amps, it's no big advantage since they don't produce big numbers of amps. And it's a sound killer. Not my cup of tea, sorry.

Thanks for that professor. I’ll write it on a yellow sticker and stick it on my forehead so i dont forget it while listening to my abbas phono.
 

charles1dad

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Sorry, but all PCB based tube amps are just second best. They most often sound two dimensional, it's just a kind of production cost saver, because it could be automated produced by machines instead of high percentage of labour cost. Don't know why such a small company has to use PCB based production of their amps, it's no big advantage since they don't produce big numbers of amps. And it's a sound killer. Not my cup of tea, sorry.
You speak in an expansive generalized manner and paint with a humongous paintbrush. Your comments about PCB could certainly apply to some situations, but hardly all.

Are you familiar with this particular PCB construction, implementation and specific preparation? Or more importantly, have you actually listened to one of his Audio products? You are critiquing a product you know little/nothing about and have not even heard.

How can you conclude that the Abbas PCBs are “sound killers” ? The antithesis of what many listeners of Abbas products have reported.



Charles
 
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Walter66

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Aug 22, 2022
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Because I've made my own studies. They showed this result in general. Not one amp, where a PCB has benefited the sound, all degraded it.
Thats the hard truth, hardwiring always sounds better and with those small parts count, it's a no brainer to build the complete pre in a hard wired fashion for me. But I understand, that people who don't have that experience and own this kind of gear ALWAYS can't accept those facts.

What should they do, they purchased the gear and now they have to defend it against all criticism.
Btw, I've nowhere in my comment written that I know this special kind of component from Abbas.
And even that argument, you don't know what you are writing about, doesn't devalue my studies. They are universal applicable, not only working and valuable with two or three amps and not with others.

It's a universal rule, PCB sound sh*tty compared to the same gear, build completely hard wired.
Well, this is just my own personal experience and a hint for others to make a comparison, too.
We all give out own personal views in audio forums, no exception here.
You can say it's worth nothing, but that would be stupid.
Every criticism is a chance to improve on the base where one stands and to broaden it's audio knowledge.
 
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charles1dad

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"Every criticism is a chance to improve on the base where one stands and to broaden it's audio knowledge."

You'd be wise to heed your own advice. Broaden your insight and awareness of products of which you're unfamiliar with. If you have not heard a specific audio product, your preconceived beliefs and assumptions mean very little. There is no way you can form a definitive opinion about Abbas PCB based components without having heard one. Superficial generalizations have very little credibility.

The OP @jespera began this thread to discuss specifically the Abbas Signature phono stage. You chime in with your PCB utilization comments with zero exposure to this component, yet critical and skeptical with no foundational basis. Being close minded and dogmatic does not lead to enlightenment and knowledge attainment.
Charles
 
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analogsa

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Sorry, but all PCB based tube amps are just second best. They most often sound two dimensional

There is some truth to this. Of course Abbas is also aware of the dangers and has still chosen to use a pcb.

I can only speculate about his motives, but making assembly faster and easier does not appear to be among them. Using hand made wirewound capacitors and painstakingly maintaining correct direction of all wires does not point towards a rushed assembly job. The boards also lack solder mask, a chief culprit for poor pcb sound, and have been treated with some kind of violin varnish.
 
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charles1dad

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There is some truth to this. Of course Abbas is also aware of the dangers and has still chosen to use a pcb.

I can only speculate about his motives, but making assembly faster and easier does not appear to be among them. Using hand made wirewound capacitors and painstakingly maintaining correct direction of all wires does not point towards a rushed assembly job. The boards also lack solder mask, a chief culprit for poor pcb sound, and have been treated with some kind of violin varnish.
Painstaking and methodical is his component construction approach for certain. I respect that snd am willing to accept the relatively long wait for component completion.

I ordered an Abbas 3.2SE DAC and he said it is at minimum a 3 month build. I’m anticipating a longer period of time. I want him to do his thing, when it’s done, it’s done.

If it is as good as many listeners have touted, then it will be well worth the wait.
Charles
 
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jespera

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Abbas puts pquite a lot of effort into board layout and component orientation. The boards are gilded and covered in special varnish.

His choices are often unconventional: he mixes vintage and new components, valves and solid state. He trains components etc.

My ears tell me that he knows what hes doing.
 
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Walter66

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Aug 22, 2022
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Compared to a completely hard wired unit I have no better term to describe it. And many others do it using this term.

Of course, you can design good or bad PCB. But after all, it only makes sense for a high parts count in gear, and it makes sense where costs should be cut down in the production process. Labour is expensive, those boards aren't. Today, the asians produce them individual, computer based factoring for cheap money. I don't know if Abbas Audio is a cheap gear company, but I suspect it's not. So why do they have to use those cheap production methods like many other high end audio companies today?

Because it's a thing of profit maximization. Cut production costs, even when it costs you parts of the good sound qualies. If a company is truly about parts and the sound of their gear to the highest standards, they will avoid using those PCB's. Look at a Shindo amp, do those people use PCB? I don't say Shindo is the best of the best, but at least they managed to hardwire their amps in the highest grade of quality that is established today. Of course, even that could be bettered, maybe for the NASA or military, but then we don't talk anymore about consumer electronics. I know what I'm talking from, I'm electronics veteran. I'm not a novice in this field of electronics applications and production methods.
 

charles1dad

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Abbas puts pquite a lot of effort into board layout and component orientation. The boards are gilded and covered in special varnish.

His choices are often unconventional: he mixes vintage and new components, valves and solid state. He trains components etc.

My ears tell me that he knows what hes doing.
Your ears and those of quite a few others who’ve had direct listening experiences with Abbas products. I’ll decide for myself once I receive his DAC.

I give far more weight, consideration and regard to people who have heard an audio product than someone pontificating who hasn’t even heard the product in question.
Charles
 

charles1dad

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In case anyone is interested, a few comments from Abbas with regard to his PCBs.

" The PCB should contain most of the connections on the bottom, the bottom of the board should be freed from the mask and covered with a special music varnish. Track coverage is extremely important.

I have developed a special varnish, similar to the violin, which is used in the production of boards. I keep the composition of the varnish a secret and have never published a genuine recipe.

2. Coating with a thin layer of gold noticeably ennobles the sound of the PCB, as well as varnish. All boards of special series have such a coating (the intermediate layer is nickel, also a very musical material).

3. The wiring of the earth is the basis of a good sounding board, especially if you are going to use OPPV (one half wave rectifier) rectifiers. Bad ground will immediately give interference and hum. We have changed the pattern of the board many times in search of the most optimal path for the signal to pass and the connections of the earth."
 

Walter66

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I give far more weight, consideration and regard to people who have heard an audio product than someone pontificating who hasn’t even heard the product in question.
Charles
To each his own. I don't buy his arguments.
 
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charles1dad

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“To each his own”
On this we can agree. Take care.
Charles
 

Walter66

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Like Groucho says.
 

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wart

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Despite PCB it can sound good.
Despite point to point wiring it can sound bad.
If only point to point sounds good in your creations you have to change your principles - start learning, one day it might change.
 

charles1dad

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Despite PCB it can sound good.
Despite point to point wiring it can sound bad.
If only point to point sounds good in your creations you have to change your principles - start learning, one day it might change.
So very well put.
Charles
 

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