Bakoon Amp-41R and 51R integrated amps using SATRI circuit

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
4,199
861
198
Switzerland
#21
The single ended transistor amp E2se looks interesting...

I had a NAT single ended hybrid, the Symbiosis SE, that was a tube front end coupled to one large MOSFET per channel on the output. It was huge (75Kg!) and ran oh so very hot. It also took about 2 hours to warm up properly (before that it sounded ok but not amazing) and then, after that it got almost psychadelically good! I just couldn't wait that long for it to warm up!

I haven't tried a fully transistor single ended amp...yet.
 
Oct 28, 2017
30
3
13
#22
I own a Bakoon Satri AMP 5521 which is a 35 watt integrated.Prior to purchasing that I had on loan a pair of 5515M 50 watt monoblocks from my sister which got me hooked and which sounded superb in combination with my Supratek Cabernet 300b preamp.I also trialed the base model 15 watt 7511Mk3 which also sounds superb and has to be the biggest bargain in audio-$2000 for something that sounds more high end than most $20,000 amplifiers!There is definite Bakoon house sound.
It is a bit hard to describe the sound .I think they sound like a Bakoon more than anything else but yes probably closer to really good clean sounding SET than other alternatives. They have very good articulation and clarity so it is very easy to follow little rhythmical changes .Piano sounds fantastic which is where most amplifiers fail.They are extremely musically communicative.Imaging and soundstage is also first rate .
As one friend said you can't unhear that sound.He then went off and bought both a Bakoon preamp and power amp.And he has owned a ridiculous amount of equipment[ including really good SETs ] and is of the opinion that the Bakoon amplifier [and it is only the base 15 watt 7511 Japanese model] is clearly the best sounding amplifier he has owned.
Yes they prefer 8 ohm speakers although I have heard mine sounding superb with a pair of Dynaudio C1 speakers which are 4 ohm and only 86db sensitivity [first order crossovers though].They also sound beautiful with vintage Tannoys.

As a footnote-I first heard an all Bakoon system at the Melbourne Audio Show about 5 years.It was exhibited by WAR Audio who are the Australian distributor using a pair of their own speakers.It was clearly the best sounding room at that show and there was some seriously high end gear there.Most remarkable was that people were sitting down and listening to some music and at the end of a listening session they were standing up and clapping.I have been to quite a few shows and I have never seen that happen before or since.
 
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spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,022
2,009
433
E. England
#23
Jono, I love reports like yours. It can't be a coincidence that the best horns demo I've had by far used Bakoon as the amplification.

My Nat 70W triodes are a tough act to follow re tonal density, texture and natural warmth, but fall just short of the best on absolute transparency, speed and lack of noise.

In the high end, it's all about the balance of attributes, and if I was to seriously consider moving from tubes to SS re a positive Bakoon demo, I'd need to weigh up the whole spectrum of attributes we recognise in music reproduction.

Eg, LTA are another go-to re alternative to my Nats, but reading btwn the lines in many reviews now, the LTA Berning-derived ZOTL circuit seems to trade tone density for speed, and music can be sparse and skeletal, yet w great speed and reflexes for tube gear.

Can Bakoon get that speed, possess low/zero noise, and yet keep the "juciness" of tubes?
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
11,595
565
390
Manila, Philippines
#24
I haven
The single ended transistor amp E2se looks interesting...

I had a NAT single ended hybrid, the Symbiosis SE, that was a tube front end coupled to one large MOSFET per channel on the output. It was huge (75Kg!) and ran oh so very hot. It also took about 2 hours to warm up properly (before that it sounded ok but not amazing) and then, after that it got almost psychadelically good! I just couldn't wait that long for it to warm up!

I haven't tried a fully transistor single ended amp...yet.
I haven't tried the e2 SE yet but I did enjoy the 10 watter A2 mono "bricks" which are no longer in production. They were purchased by Air Tight's distributor here who uses them on the Decca tweeters of his personal stacked quad system (The panels are powered by Airtight 211 monoblocks - the SE ones, not the paralleled ones). A pair of the precursor of the A4 I recommended were bought on the spot by an AG Trio owner who replaced 300B monos which curiously didn't quite provide enough oomph. Historically, Valvet manufactured their own horns too but Knut decided to concentrate on electronics. They are designed and voiced primarily with horns but also do well with OB, FR and most mid lower to mid 90db conventional box speakers. Knut uses simple, classic circuits (tube for his preamps and SS for amps) and premium parts with a penchant for silver hook up wire. His competitive advantage has always been his power supplies. Before going into Audio, his career was designing supplies for medical equipment. A4s will play distortion free for at least 5 seconds after you turn them off. It takes up to a minute to drain the supply where the pilot led will eventually go off. I would really like to know what Marc thinks about them should he try them.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,022
2,009
433
E. England
#25
Jack, you keep me posted on the new Eera stuff, I can return the favour re Valvet. However, no UK distrib, so you may have to show a lot of patience.

My main issue atm re Bakoon is whether to try the 25W entry amp, or the 50W one. My Zus are a cinch re load on amps, 8 Ohms nominally, never dropping below 6, and 99-101dB eff, w Class D sub amps sorting the 40Hz and below zone. But my room is a challenging size at 800 sq ft/5000 cub ft.

Additionally my Sablon spkr cbls are terminated w Bocchinos spades which are too bulky for the Bakoon terminals, any demo would be w spkr cbls I'm unfamiliar with.
 
Oct 28, 2017
30
3
13
#26
Jono, I love reports like yours. It can't be a coincidence that the best horns demo I've had by far used Bakoon as the amplification.

My Nat 70W triodes are a tough act to follow re tonal density, texture and natural warmth, but fall just short of the best on absolute transparency, speed and lack of noise.

In the high end, it's all about the balance of attributes, and if I was to seriously consider moving from tubes to SS re a positive Bakoon demo, I'd need to weigh up the whole spectrum of attributes we recognise in music reproduction.

Eg, LTA are another go-to re alternative to my Nats, but reading btwn the lines in many reviews now, the LTA Berning-derived ZOTL circuit seems to trade tone density for speed, and music can be sparse and skeletal, yet w great speed and reflexes for tube gear.

Can Bakoon get that speed, possess low/zero noise, and yet keep the "juciness" of tubes?

Well the "juiciness" of tubes can be obtained with a DHT preamp.That is what my Supratek 300B preamp does extremely well.As long as the power amp is transparent enough.The Bakoons probably do have a bit of that juiciness but it is subtle compared to say a good 300B SET running meshplatte tubes.Some SET fans might find they do not have enough of it I suppose but I suspect most SET lovers wiould like the sound of the Bakoons just as they are.Not exactly like a SET but enough like them to be appreciated.And probably over time even preferred.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,022
2,009
433
E. England
#27
Jono, one of the attractions of the Bakoon is that it's an integrated amp. So DHT preamp is surplus to requirements, yes?
 
Oct 28, 2017
30
3
13
#28
Jono, one of the attractions of the Bakoon is that it's an integrated amp. So DHT preamp is surplus to requirements, yes?
Perhaps.I really enjoyed the Bakoon 5515M monoblocks when used with my DHT preamp.The Supratek is an extremely good sounding preamp.
The AMP 5521 is an integrated and is configured to work best without one.
I have two different systems so the 5521 was bought to use in that second system and to replace a modified Almarro 318B SET integrated in that system.I also use it exclusively in summer .Horses for courses I suppose.I do not miss the Almarro although it sounded very good-especially once modified by having a variable negative feedback control installed.I just enjoy the music more with the Bakoon because it sounds more pure and you can hear right into the recording.
 
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wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
233
93
58
#29
I just finished a two week trial of the LTA Ultralinear and Bakoon 13r (to replace my Luxman mq300 set).

My goal: to find a more transparent sound without descending into solid state sterility or thinness. My Avantgarde Horns (Duo Mezzo's, 107 db sensitive) will ruthlessly punish your soul if you use the wrong ss amp!

My Luxman, with stock Takatsuki 300b's, is a very fine amp and exudes all the expected set "magic", but I've always had a nagging feeling that the auditory part of my brain is having to expend a little extra effort to sift through a prevalent haze of distortion. This should be no surprise of course, as tube amps are, by nature, swimming in harmonic distortion.

I've actually always wanted a ss amp if for no other reason than the absence of concern for tube wear, tube blows, etc .... But the overwhelming status-quo cultural wisdom from AvantGarde owners has been "Go Set and only Sets, or you will Regret." So I've relented until now.

The LTA Ultralinear and Bakoon 13r are both known to be transparent and exude tube presence, but they are very different creatures. To continue the metaphor: the LTA is an athletic mammal tearing through the woods. The Bakoon is a sleek fish speedily gliding through a pristine coral reef. The experiential difference: The LTA is like hearing a band whose been on the road for 6 months and the bassist and drummer had a couple of bourbons on ice at the club bar before going on stage. The Bakoon musicians all had a good nights sleep, at home, and maybe a latte before the set.

From what I've read from Akira Nagai, the Bakoon Satri circuit designer, his focus is on speed and low distortion. He found the Satri circuit allowed him to reduce distortion without using pace-damping negative feedback. This is very apparent upon listening.

The Bakoon sound is exceeding fast, pure, transparent, rich and layered with a soundstage to die for. The LTA does sometimes convey a more visceral and gritty experience but at the cost all that harmonic distortion inherent in tubes that frankly I'm tired of wading through. Give me purity, please.

Btw, the 13r chassis is beautifully solid and compact. Easy to demo.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,022
2,009
433
E. England
#30
wil, I would just love these companies' copywriters to use your turn of phrase in their marketing Lol.

A drive followed by bourbon and ice, a sleep followed by a latte. Both sound good to me!
 

pdubya

Well-Known Member
Oct 30, 2012
31
9
85
Audiophile wasteland
#31
"I've actually always wanted a ss amp if for no other reason than the absence of concern for tube wear, tube blows, etc .... But the overwhelming status-quo cultural wisdom from AvantGarde owners has been "Go Set and only Sets, or you will Regret." So I've relented until now."
Hey Wil
Some questions:
Have you tried the FirstWatts (particularly the SIT3) or Valvets?
I've had the SIT3 and Valvet A4 with my Duo Mezzo XDs, as well as an Absolare hybrid integrated and Luxman m900u, but, frankly, the VIVA Classico 300B seems to be the winner to my ears. It's dead quiet, and whatever 2nd harmonic hash that may be happening hasn't irritated my subconscious yet. However, like you I'd really like to find a good SS alternative for the AGs.
Parker
 

wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
233
93
58
#33
"I've actually always wanted a ss amp if for no other reason than the absence of concern for tube wear, tube blows, etc .... But the overwhelming status-quo cultural wisdom from AvantGarde owners has been "Go Set and only Sets, or you will Regret." So I've relented until now."
Hey Wil
Some questions:
Have you tried the FirstWatts (particularly the SIT3) or Valvets?
I've had the SIT3 and Valvet A4 with my Duo Mezzo XDs, as well as an Absolare hybrid integrated and Luxman m900u, but, frankly, the VIVA Classico 300B seems to be the winner to my ears. It's dead quiet, and whatever 2nd harmonic hash that may be happening hasn't irritated my subconscious yet. However, like you I'd really like to find a good SS alternative for the AGs.
Parker
I have not tried the above amps. I wanted to listen to the SiT 3, but they are not available anymore. I have been told the Viva is very good with AG.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,022
2,009
433
E. England
#34
wil, if my wholly positive experience of Bakoon 15W/ch w Cessaro Liszts horns is consistent, I'm not at all suprised by yr positive result.

Indeed, if I was starting my journey over, the little Bakoon would be top of my list.
 

wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
233
93
58
#35
So... you liked the 13R more :D ?
I did.

It came down to finally valuing the undistorted purity of the Bakoon over the occasionally more textural and life like presentation of the LTA.

A good example of this, from a track I sometimes use for reference to violin: Bach Sonata for solo violin #1, played by Christian Tetzlaff.

With the LTA, there is more a sense of a real vibrating violin in the room-- which is great!

With the Bakoon, the violin comes out of deep silence and soars with a refined tone that the LTA can't match.

Yet another odd metaphor: the LTA sounds earthbound. With the Bakoon, the violin lines sound like they could be floating through empty space. (I know, space is a soundless vacuum, but you know what I mean if you ever saw Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey!)
 
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the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,866
1,444
215
#36
I just finished a two week trial of the LTA Ultralinear and Bakoon 13r (to replace my Luxman mq300 set).

My goal: to find a more transparent sound without descending into solid state sterility or thinness. My Avantgarde Horns (Duo Mezzo's, 107 db sensitive) will ruthlessly punish your soul if you use the wrong ss amp!

My Luxman, with stock Takatsuki 300b's, is a very fine amp and exudes all the expected set "magic", but I've always had a nagging feeling that the auditory part of my brain is having to expend a little extra effort to sift through a prevalent haze of distortion. This should be no surprise of course, as tube amps are, by nature, swimming in harmonic distortion.

I've actually always wanted a ss amp if for no other reason than the absence of concern for tube wear, tube blows, etc .... But the overwhelming status-quo cultural wisdom from AvantGarde owners has been "Go Set and only Sets, or you will Regret." So I've relented until now.

The LTA Ultralinear and Bakoon 13r are both known to be transparent and exude tube presence, but they are very different creatures. To continue the metaphor: the LTA is an athletic mammal tearing through the woods. The Bakoon is a sleek fish speedily gliding through a pristine coral reef. The experiential difference: The LTA is like hearing a band whose been on the road for 6 months and the bassist and drummer had a couple of bourbons on ice at the club bar before going on stage. The Bakoon musicians all had a good nights sleep, at home, and maybe a latte before the set.

From what I've read from Akira Nagai, the Bakoon Satri circuit designer, his focus is on speed and low distortion. He found the Satri circuit allowed him to reduce distortion without using pace-damping negative feedback. This is very apparent upon listening.

The Bakoon sound is exceeding fast, pure, transparent, rich and layered with a soundstage to die for. The LTA does sometimes convey a more visceral and gritty experience but at the cost all that harmonic distortion inherent in tubes that frankly I'm tired of wading through. Give me purity, please.

Btw, the 13r chassis is beautifully solid and compact. Easy to demo.
Lovely stuff Wil, awesome imagery. Have you tried running a LTA pre into the Bakoon? Think then you’ll get the band just a few drinks in and totally in the groove, alive and going completely with the flow.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,022
2,009
433
E. England
#37
A few drinks in and totally in the groove? Don't drink and cue up a stylus Lol.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,866
1,444
215
#38
A few drinks in and totally in the groove? Don't drink and cue up a stylus Lol.
Roon completely factors out responsible service of alcohol - thank heavens.
 
Likes: christoph

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,022
2,009
433
E. England
#39
Yep, streaming is in the thrall of the totally humourless and risk averse "health and safety" industry. Even w cd, there was always the risk of dropping discs on the floor Lol.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,866
1,444
215
#40
Yep, streaming is in the thrall of the totally humourless and risk averse "health and safety" industry. Even w cd, there was always the risk of dropping discs on the floor Lol.
Dropping discs on the floor is the audio equivalent of dropping soap in the shower... and btw they sound much better with a green plastic ring around them apparently. Though I found the green stabilising rings just stuffed up the mechanism on me meridian transport... happily recklessly streaming while decanting a 2001 St Henri shiraz ;) ymmv :eek:
 

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