Bespoke Audio TVC Passive Preamp - An Unassuming Star

Jpspock

New Member
Dec 26, 2018
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#21
Dear ckkeung, I just bought mine to replace m’y ref5se. I saw you have neutrik and furutech xlr connectors. Do you hear a difference between both ?
 

CKKeung

Active Member
Jun 18, 2011
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#22
Dear ckkeung, I just bought mine to replace m’y ref5se. I saw you have neutrik and furutech xlr connectors. Do you hear a difference between both ?
Hello Jpspock,
Congratulations!
You have ordered a Bespoke or have actually got it in the audio system?

The original xlr connectors on Bespoke Silver are Neutrik silver connectors (Neutrik NC3MD-LX-M3 & Neutrik NC3FD-LX-M3).
I ordered one Furutech FT-786F- R, one FFT-786F-G, one Furutech FT-786M- R and one FFT-786M-G.

I like the Neutrik silver xlr male and female connectors more on my Silver Bespoke.
The Furutech gold is warmer and Furutech rhodium is more hifi.

However, I know that after Harry has raised the prices in Feb 2019, Furutech xlr connectors will be the standard xlr connectors on Bespoke preamp.
 
Likes: bazelio

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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#24
Paul, a friend of mine in Hong Kong just "caught the last several trains" because Bespoke prices will be raised starting from Feb 2019.
Paul placed order for a Bespoke Ultimate Silver model which is similar to the one owned by Mr. Matej Isak, chief editor of monoandstereo.com :

Bespoke Ultimate Silver of matej_isak_2018_2017_mono_and_stereo.jpg

Usually the two transformers of the other Bespoke models are housed first inside Mu metal to isolate interference, then put inside aluminum enclosures and filled up with natural bee-wax to counteract vibration.

For the Ultimate Silver version, the transformer external enclosures are made of copper and then plated with gold. The copper enclosure is bigger than the usual aluminum enclosure too.
Harry said that as a result the sound will become quieter and more free/effortless.

I am eager to listen to this Ultimate Silver version.
Will update all of you here soon.
;)
 
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Jpspock

New Member
Dec 26, 2018
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#25
Very interesting. Which preamp shall thé Bespoke replace, and with which amp Will he play ?
I will have Transformer plated with gold too, i never observed they are bigger...
 

CKKeung

Active Member
Jun 18, 2011
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#26
Very interesting. Which preamp shall thé Bespoke replace, and with which amp Will he play ?
I will have Transformer plated with gold too, i never observed they are bigger...
Actually there is a special option of asking the gold-plated transformer enclosures to be exposed throught 2 openings on the top-plate.
The gold-plating is very beautiful.
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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#28
If you can, top have a good idea, what was his previous preamp?
My frd has several preamps to play with : His basic amp set up is the ZANDEN Chouku, Choukoh and Jinpu. He also has a Wadax Atlantis preamp/phono/dac set, a Lampizator Pacific dac with internal volume option and this coming Bespoke Silver Ultimate.
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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#31
What's the advantage of gold plated transformer covers?
The main diff is that this optional enclosure is made of copper, not aluminum of the standard version. Copper shall give better emi isolation. Also copper has vibration property diff from aluminum and will affect the final sonic character.

Harry also said that the bigger size of the copper enclosure gives a more open sound.

I guess gold-plating is only for aesthetic purpose.
 
Likes: bazelio
Jun 9, 2013
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#32
This combination of diff connectors has facilitated me to mix & match the preamp with diff components and cables easily :



During my 20+ years of audiophile journey, I owned/used many top active preamps : Spectrals, Gryphons, the past ARCs, ML 26S, ML 32 and the last one was ARC 40th Anniversary Preamp.
The latter is definitely no slouch. I had also upgraded its tubes with very good NOS : 1950s blackplate 6550 and Russian military 6H30-DR.
However when I home-trialed a Bespoke copper transformer version, I found that my ARC 40 could not surpass it in all aspects.

I then took the plunge and bought the Bespoke silver transformer version. After a period of burn-in, I compared it with the ARC 40 in more details.
The Bespoke Silver won easily in most areas, particularly in transparency, agility, micro-dynamics & resolution.
The only slightly inferior aspect is in soundastage depth/layering which has been remedied by adding a Taiko Audio Setchi D3 active groundbox.
After being sure of the comparison result, my ARC 40 was sold.
Hi CK.
I had an Ypsilon passive preamp time ago on my home and it sounded on the way you describe.... Not for me. Too much transparency and lack of soundstage and bass foundation. Very thin sound. It sounded aseptic....
I don’t like AR too.... You have moved from a pole to another one. Different tastes....
Are you using Göbel XLR to have more energy on bass and bigger soundstage?
Don’t you think Vertere is too much resolving for a passive preamp?
King Regards.
 

CKKeung

Active Member
Jun 18, 2011
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#33
Hello Stereophonic,
Have you auditioned a Bespoke in details?
If not, please do so and your view may have some changes.
Bespoke is diff and much more musical than most other passive preamps.

Yes, I have a Goebel xlr ic between preamp & poweramp.
My Vertere HB xlr is for digital to preamp.
IMHO Vertere is never voiced to be analytical, unlike brands such as Nordost ...etc.

I guess you and me have quite diff tastes.
But of course this is not a problem.
I embrace diversity and fully agree that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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#34
The main diff is that this optional enclosure is made of copper, not aluminum of the standard version. Copper shall give better emi isolation. Also copper has vibration property diff from aluminum and will affect the final sonic character.

Harry also said that the bigger size of the copper enclosure gives a more open sound.

I guess gold-plating is only for aesthetic purpose.
Shielding could be important, but I wonder why they wouldn't use Mu-metal instead at lower cost. Aluminum is pointless.

We should probably isolate the entire chassis of a passive component with something like Sorbothane footers to avoid external vibration. Tuning the character of the vibration with copper seems odd to me.
 

CKKeung

Active Member
Jun 18, 2011
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#35
Shielding could be important, but I wonder why they wouldn't use Mu-metal instead at lower cost. Aluminum is pointless.
We should probably isolate the entire chassis of a passive component with something like Sorbothane footers to avoid external vibration. Tuning the character of the vibration with copper seems odd to me.
Pls read my post #24 again.
I have already mentioned that the transformer of Bespoke is first contained in Mu metal, then put inside the aluminum or optional copper enclosures and filled up with bee-wax.
So there is double isolation.
Mu-metal is soft and ugly so Bespoke decides for a second/external enclosure.

Diff footers made with diff materials give diff sonic characters.
I personally don't like the sound of Sorbothane.
The original footers of Bespoke is thick wool felts. Quite unigue and interesting. Effect not bad.
But I like putting Center Stage2 0.8 under my Bespoke even more.
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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California
#36
Interesting about your experience with different footers under a Bespoke passive. I also normally find Sorbothane undesirable under active components. Intuitively though I was thinking passive TVCs could benefit, similar to isolating output transformers on amps with isolating mounts.
 

CKKeung

Active Member
Jun 18, 2011
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Hong Kong
#37
Interesting about your experience with different footers under a Bespoke passive. I also normally find Sorbothane undesirable under active components. Intuitively though I was thinking passive TVCs could benefit, similar to isolating output transformers on amps with isolating mounts.
Let me share with you another interesting finding :
Active anti-vibration platforms seem to be universally beneficial for audio components.
However Bespoke is an exception.
I once put my Bespoke on a Herzan (TableStable) TS-150 but the TS150 robbed the dynamics and airliness of the Bespoke.
Anyway it's easy and fun to try diff footers for the Bespoke.
 

Jpspock

New Member
Dec 26, 2018
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#38
What is very interesting is that Bespoke audio gives the possibility to listen it at home for a couple of weeks. So I try it 3 times, I was already convinced after thé first one, but I wanted to test the +6db version.

I find it has a very wide stage, and bass was more articulate than my ref5se, with 6h30dr and 6550 tong sol. That preamp is so transparent, that you hear what your source does or not. The same for your amp.

So, if with that preamp you have the feeling something is missing, search to your, source, amps or cables. Otherwise, this is only my point of view, it means that your preamp needs to compensate. But why not ?
 
Likes: CKKeung

CKKeung

Active Member
Jun 18, 2011
865
42
28
Hong Kong
#39
What is very interesting is that Bespoke audio gives the possibility to listen it at home for a couple of weeks. So I try it 3 times, I was already convinced after thé first one, but I wanted to test the +6db version.

I find it has a very wide stage, and bass was more articulate than my ref5se, with 6h30dr and 6550 tong sol. That preamp is so transparent, that you hear what your source does or not. The same for your amp.
So, if with that preamp you have the feeling something is missing, search to your, source, amps or cables. Otherwise, this is only my point of view, it means that your preamp needs to compensate. But why not ?
Hello Jpspock,

Would gou please tell us more about the notmal Bespoke vs. +6db Bespoke?

There isn't a +6db version for demo at the HK dealer.

Many thanks!
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
460
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28
California
#40
Hello Jpspock,

Would gou please tell us more about the notmal Bespoke vs. +6db Bespoke?

There isn't a +6db version for demo at the HK dealer.

Many thanks!
It just means they're wiring the transformer for some gain. If you don't need it or don't know if you need it, then I wouldn't do it. It would be expected to measure worse, with higher distortion. Stick with the regular transformer 99% of the time.
 
Likes: CKKeung

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