CH Precision Amp

moby2004

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
140
130
113
Hi all,

Ch Precision is a brand which is attracting me for several months now but I did not jump the wagon yet.
I am particularly interested in their power amps. I have listened to their gear several times now and yesterday i compared the A1.5 with the M1.1 ( both on stereo mode) on Alexia 2 speakers. Both are great amps but once you make the direct comparison there is no way back : M1.1!
So now my questions are:
1) which speakers are you using with your CH P amps ? All my demos were done with Wilson Audio speakers . The amp is supposed to be extremely versatile so all speakers should be a match but is it a bit more appropriate for “warmish” speakers than ultra revealing ones ?

2) I know about system synergy of course but preamp wise, are you all using the L1 or do you have any experience with other preamp brands?

Thanks
Alex
 

ashandger

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2013
236
36
258
Hello Alex, very interest in your post as I am also considering CH amps. Could you please expand on the major sonic differences you heard between the A1.5 and M1.1 other than bass weight? Did you use same settings on both? Would appreciate any feedback you could share. Many thanks
 

arnies

Well-Known Member
May 10, 2010
88
11
413
Austin, TX
Hi Moby2004,
I use the CH M1.1 mono block amps in active bi amplification mode with my Rockport Arrakis speakers. The M1.1's replaced the wonderful VTL Siegfried Series 2 amps in my system and my system has never sounded better. I do use the CH Precision L1 preamp. I have heard the M1.1's with other speakers as well. I have heard it with the Rockport Cygnus and Lyra speakers, the Magico M3 speaker, the Stenheim Illumine 5 and Reference Statement and the Goebel Divin Majestic.
 

moby2004

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
140
130
113
Hello Alex, very interest in your post as I am also considering CH amps. Could you please expand on the major sonic differences you heard between the A1.5 and M1.1 other than bass weight? Did you use same settings on both? Would appreciate any feedback you could share. Many thanks

Main difference was more density, exceptional fluidity including with difficult music,more 3D ( A1.5 seems flat in comparison) ,better instruments separation. To be honest after 40mins I decided to stop comparison and focus on the M1.1 !
 

moby2004

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
140
130
113
Hi Moby2004,
I use the CH M1.1 mono block amps in active bi amplification mode with my Rockport Arrakis speakers. The M1.1's replaced the wonderful VTL Siegfried Series 2 amps in my system and my system has never sounded better. I do use the CH Precision L1 preamp. I have heard the M1.1's with other speakers as well. I have heard it with the Rockport Cygnus and Lyra speakers, the Magico M3 speaker, the Stenheim Illumine 5 and Reference Statement and the Goebel Divin Majestic.

Thanks for sharing. I am not familiar with Goebel speakers but except Magico , the other speakers are slightly more on the “warm” side ?
How did it sound with the M3? My forthcoming speakers are the YG Sonja 2.2.
 

ashandger

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2013
236
36
258
Hello Alex, many thanks for the feedback. Seems like bigger difference than I was expecting. Just FYI, CH Precision have M3s at their factory so could be worth having a chat with them as well....they also have Goebel speakers there. I believe Magico also use CH amps in their listening room. Enjoy your new amps.
 

han_n

Active Member
Sep 6, 2019
52
117
35
63
Surabaya, Indonesia.
Hi Alex, I'm using the CH Precision M1.1 mono blocks to feed the mid/high towers (=ribbon/AMT) of my Gryphon Pendragon speakers. They replace the Gryphon Mephisto stereo amp I was using before. The fact that I have no regrets when compared to the Mephisto means really something, the Mephisto being amongst the very best power amps out there... Indeed I'm using a complete CH Precision set-up, so including a L1 pre-amp. To my ears the M1.1 mono-blocks are simply the best I have ever heard. (and I have heard a few)
 
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sthekepat

Well-Known Member
Dec 4, 2012
6
0
231
Hi Han,
Could you please elucidate the differences that come to your mind between the M1.1 mono's vs. Gryphon Mephisto?
Specially related to resolution and transparency.
Thanks a heap!
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,833
689
658
Hi Alex, I'm using the CH Precision M1.1 mono blocks to feed the mid/high towers (=ribbon/AMT) of my Gryphon Pendragon speakers. They replace the Gryphon Mephisto stereo amp I was using before. The fact that I have no regrets when compared to the Mephisto means really something, the Mephisto being amongst the very best power amps out there... Indeed I'm using a complete CH Precision set-up, so including a L1 pre-amp. To my ears the M1.1 mono-blocks are simply the best I have ever heard. (and I have heard a few)
Fantastic reading. I agree with sthekepat...would love to hear more about how you compare with the CH 1.1 and the Mephisto. Much more! Thank you for any insights!

Specifically, do you think you would still say this about the M1.1 IF you had to run your Pendragons FULL RANGE? I remember someone had the prior Gryphon reference 4-tower speakers, the Poseidens...and he ran them with [Wavac?] but also only on the mids and uppers since the sub towers are self-powered. When asked about what would happen if the Wavacs had to drive the entire speaker (ie, no self-powered bass towers), I think he did say he was not sure about the Wavac's bass power.
 
Last edited:

han_n

Active Member
Sep 6, 2019
52
117
35
63
Surabaya, Indonesia.
Fantastic reading. I agree with sthekepat...would love to hear more about how you compare with the CH 1.1 and the Mephisto. Much more! Thank you for any insights!

Specifically, do you think you would still say this about the M1.1 IF you had to run your Pendragons FULL RANGE? I remember someone had the prior Gryphon reference 4-tower speakers, the Poseidens...and he ran them with [Wavac?] but also only on the mids and uppers since the sub towers are self-powered. When asked about what would happen if the Wavacs had to drive the entire speaker (ie, no self-powered bass towers), I think he did say he was not sure about the Wavac's bass power.
Ok, first of all I need to elaborate a little bit on the reason why I went from the Mephisto to CH P, as otherwise things may be pulled out of their context. I had started with a complete Gryphon set-up, except for CD Player/DAC for which I choose the CH P CD/DAC combination, which I already had prior to the Gryphon purchase. One day for some reason the fuse in the power supply of the Gryphon Pandora pre-amp blew, and as I had no spare fuses at home, I had to order. Now, where I live (Surabaya/Indonesia) certain items may not be as easy to get as where you guys live, so I had to wait for the new fuses to arrive. That initiated me to connect the C1 DAC directly to the Mephisto, as I thought that would be a good temporary solution. Indeed it was...in fact it was the start of the big change to come after that. It did sound so much more open, crisp, transparent that I couldn't believe my ears... Not that the Pandora isn't a good pre-amp, but only at that time I realized that it wasn't the best possible with a decent margin. That made me decide to inquire about the L1/X1 combination. My dealer made me an offer, in fact made me two offers, one for the L1/X1 combination, and one for a L1/X1/M1 combination, he would take back the Pandora and the Mephisto, so the investment was not that extreme. I wasn't that sure about changing the Mephisto, as I was actually deeply impressed by the abilities of that amp, however...due to the very interesting offer on hand, I bit the bullet and went for the complete CH P set-up. Of course, upon arrival of the CH P equipment (the Pandora/Mephisto had gone by that time already) I couldn't wait to install and listen.... I did sound really good...but...it did sound different in a way I was sometimes longing for the previous sound. Again, difficult to say exactly what it was, may be the Mephisto was a tiny bit more "musical", may be the CH P was a tiny bit "darker", I don't know, all in all...I had doubts...not 100% sure I had made the right decision. That was the main reason for me to implement the upgrade from the M1 to M1.1. In fact, I again bit -another- bullet, and decided to go mono, so I ordered the upgrade set, and a second new M1.1 as well. The upgrade set came in first, so the M1 was changed to M1.1 This does make a real audible change indeed, the differences have been described in many reviews online. In general I do agree with what others hear, the main difference for me however is that the transparency (To my ears, with my speakers, in my room) did improve significantly. Dynamics became a bit better as well. Now, how does this compare to the Mephisto, well, again to my ears etc it convinced me that even though different, it was now at a comparably level of satisfaction. I could live at peace with this change. Not too long after that I received the new M1.1 so I could go mono, that did improve just another tiny bit, adding to better dynamics. Specially when playing at somewhat elevated loudness, the ease to maintain the dynamics is almost frightening, making me smile time after time. So, this is how I came to the change from Mephisto to CH P M1.1 It clearly did not originate from the fact I didn't like the Mephisto or so. It's more the result of circumstances and other factors. I know I could happily live with the Mephisto. I did read that other members felt that the CH P was a little darker...I kind of disagreed, however, later I realized that I have my mid/high adjusted +1 Db (possible to do at the backside of the Pendragon ribbon tower, and also I have the Bass towers at - 1,5 Db. Other people may not have the ability to adjust, and that may be why they are hearing the somewhat "darker" CH P. I will also never know how well the CH P M1.1 would do it's job when replacing the build in Gryphon Power Amps, I also have no intension to find out. I'm really satisfied with how the Gryphon Power Amps perform in the Bass Towers. So based on my experience I can summarize that changing a Mephisto (stereo) to a CH P M1, I would not recommend, changing a Mephisto stereo to CH P M1.1 Stereo is a "maybe", depending on personal preferences and hearing. Changing a Mephisto stereo to two CH P M1.1 mono's yes definitely. I have not heard the Mephisto mono's, but I'm quite sure that that would again become a very close match. All I'm saying here is that both the M1.1 and the Mephisto are very good amps, there are differences, but you need to hear those yourself. Don't depend on others' opinion. I sometime hear people saying that one is 'much better' that the other...it only makes me smile....I have had both the Mephisto as the M1.1 for an extended period of time, and believe me even though slightly different none of them is "much better". It will depend on your hearing, personal preferences, other equipment in the chain, room acoustics and so on. Speakers may also play a huge role, as not all speakers will be able to reveal the often tiny differences... I'm sorry that I can't really indicated on a scale from 1-100 where these two amps would be positioned, it would also not make any sense to do so... Even if I range one at 97, and the other at 98, other listeners could rate exactly the other way around. I hope that where you live, you can have an opportunity to hear both amps extensively, and only after that you can make up your mind. other factors may also come into play, such as dealership nearby and so on... (sorry, this became a long story, but as several people have asked about my motivation regarding the change from Mephisto to M1.1, I felt the need to elaborate a bit further)

Cheers, Han
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
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Bangkok
Lesson learned is don't blow any fuses or always have spare fuses ready. :)
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
2,671
1,826
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Principality of Liechtenstein
Lesson learned is don't blow any fuses or always have spare fuses ready. :)
The most expensive fuse blow in the history of high end audio :D
 
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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,833
689
658
Han,

Thank you. That is an exceptionally detailed, considered and thorough answer. Plus, you also gave a solid recommendation with conviction, while adding all of the appropriate caveats of personal opinion/taste. I could not have hoped for a better answer! BTW, we are expecting our Gryphon Mephisto to be back this coming week...and look forward to it.. When we have not had the chance to compare directly, it is also always fun to hear how it has fared in such other exalted company as the widely regarded CH M1.1 and 1.1 monos.

In fact, I particularly enjoyed reading about your very methodical journey! Rare enough to be able to compare Pandora to a variety of options with the CH preamp. Even more rare (i suppose due to both size and cost)...to be able to experience the evolution from M1 to M1.1 to M1.1 monos. Congrats and enjoy!!!
Ok, first of all I need to elaborate a little bit on the reason why I went from the Mephisto to CH P, as otherwise things may be pulled out of their context. I had started with a complete Gryphon set-up, except for CD Player/DAC for which I choose the CH P CD/DAC combination, which I already had prior to the Gryphon purchase. One day for some reason the fuse in the power supply of the Gryphon Pandora pre-amp blew, and as I had no spare fuses at home, I had to order. Now, where I live (Surabaya/Indonesia) certain items may not be as easy to get as where you guys live, so I had to wait for the new fuses to arrive. That initiated me to connect the C1 DAC directly to the Mephisto, as I thought that would be a good temporary solution. Indeed it was...in fact it was the start of the big change to come after that. It did sound so much more open, crisp, transparent that I couldn't believe my ears... Not that the Pandora isn't a good pre-amp, but only at that time I realized that it wasn't the best possible with a decent margin. That made me decide to inquire about the L1/X1 combination. My dealer made me an offer, in fact made me two offers, one for the L1/X1 combination, and one for a L1/X1/M1 combination, he would take back the Pandora and the Mephisto, so the investment was not that extreme. I wasn't that sure about changing the Mephisto, as I was actually deeply impressed by the abilities of that amp, however...due to the very interesting offer on hand, I bit the bullet and went for the complete CH P set-up. Of course, upon arrival of the CH P equipment (the Pandora/Mephisto had gone by that time already) I couldn't wait to install and listen.... I did sound really good...but...it did sound different in a way I was sometimes longing for the previous sound. Again, difficult to say exactly what it was, may be the Mephisto was a tiny bit more "musical", may be the CH P was a tiny bit "darker", I don't know, all in all...I had doubts...not 100% sure I had made the right decision. That was the main reason for me to implement the upgrade from the M1 to M1.1. In fact, I again bit -another- bullet, and decided to go mono, so I ordered the upgrade set, and a second new M1.1 as well. The upgrade set came in first, so the M1 was changed to M1.1 This does make a real audible change indeed, the differences have been described in many reviews online. In general I do agree with what others hear, the main difference for me however is that the transparency (To my ears, with my speakers, in my room) did improve significantly. Dynamics became a bit better as well. Now, how does this compare to the Mephisto, well, again to my ears etc it convinced me that even though different, it was now at a comparably level of satisfaction. I could live at peace with this change. Not too long after that I received the new M1.1 so I could go mono, that did improve just another tiny bit, adding to better dynamics. Specially when playing at somewhat elevated loudness, the ease to maintain the dynamics is almost frightening, making me smile time after time. So, this is how I came to the change from Mephisto to CH P M1.1 It clearly did not originate from the fact I didn't like the Mephisto or so. It's more the result of circumstances and other factors. I know I could happily live with the Mephisto. I did read that other members felt that the CH P was a little darker...I kind of disagreed, however, later I realized that I have my mid/high adjusted +1 Db (possible to do at the backside of the Pendragon ribbon tower, and also I have the Bass towers at - 1,5 Db. Other people may not have the ability to adjust, and that may be why they are hearing the somewhat "darker" CH P. I will also never know how well the CH P M1.1 would do it's job when replacing the build in Gryphon Power Amps, I also have no intension to find out. I'm really satisfied with how the Gryphon Power Amps perform in the Bass Towers. So based on my experience I can summarize that changing a Mephisto (stereo) to a CH P M1, I would not recommend, changing a Mephisto stereo to CH P M1.1 Stereo is a "maybe", depending on personal preferences and hearing. Changing a Mephisto stereo to two CH P M1.1 mono's yes definitely. I have not heard the Mephisto mono's, but I'm quite sure that that would again become a very close match. All I'm saying here is that both the M1.1 and the Mephisto are very good amps, there are differences, but you need to hear those yourself. Don't depend on others' opinion. I sometime hear people saying that one is 'much better' that the other...it only makes me smile....I have had both the Mephisto as the M1.1 for an extended period of time, and believe me even though slightly different none of them is "much better". It will depend on your hearing, personal preferences, other equipment in the chain, room acoustics and so on. Speakers may also play a huge role, as not all speakers will be able to reveal the often tiny differences... I'm sorry that I can't really indicated on a scale from 1-100 where these two amps would be positioned, it would also not make any sense to do so... Even if I range one at 97, and the other at 98, other listeners could rate exactly the other way around. I hope that where you live, you can have an opportunity to hear both amps extensively, and only after that you can make up your mind. other factors may also come into play, such as dealership nearby and so on... (sorry, this became a long story, but as several people have asked about my motivation regarding the change from Mephisto to M1.1, I felt the need to elaborate a bit further)

Cheers, Han
 

han_n

Active Member
Sep 6, 2019
52
117
35
63
Surabaya, Indonesia.
Han,

Thank you. That is an exceptionally detailed, considered and thorough answer. Plus, you also gave a solid recommendation with conviction, while adding all of the appropriate caveats of personal opinion/taste. I could not have hoped for a better answer! BTW, we are expecting our Gryphon Mephisto to be back this coming week...and look forward to it.. When we have not had the chance to compare directly, it is also always fun to hear how it has fared in such other exalted company as the widely regarded CH M1.1 and 1.1 monos.

In fact, I particularly enjoyed reading about your very methodical journey! Rare enough to be able to compare Pandora to a variety of options with the CH preamp. Even more rare (i suppose due to both size and cost)...to be able to experience the evolution from M1 to M1.1 to M1.1 monos. Congrats and enjoy!!!
Thank you and I'm glad my clarification did provide some insight into my move/motivation from Mephisto stereo to CH P M1.1 mono. I have no doubt you will enjoy the Mephisto, sit back, and smile....
 
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LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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689
658
Indeed! BTW, i have to say, I thought our rack at around 275kg-300kg was heavy! Wow! While we are getting off-track, I would love to hear how you designed and come to the 650kg self-made granite equipment rack!
 

han_n

Active Member
Sep 6, 2019
52
117
35
63
Surabaya, Indonesia.
Ok, let me try to sum it up, however –again- this will not be a 3 line answer…

Besides the fact that I really like the appearance of the granite, which is absolutely maintenance free, and will last longer than I will, I can describe as follows;
  • This is a “composite” rack/table, it will be build up, with only one piece (Top Table plinth) weighing a little over 200Kg (440 pound) for which you would need 4 healthy men to carry. The next 3 heaviest pieces weigh about 85 Kg (187 pound) each whilst the main 4 legs weigh about 50 kg (110 pound) each. The remaining parts add another 60 Kg (132 pounds) so the total assembled weight reaches about 715 Kg (1.575 pounds) This is a little more than what I mentioned before, but that is due to some little modifications I made recently.
  • None of the pieces are interconnected with hard fasteners or so, but gravity will ensure nothing moves. It needs to be said that in between the components a strip of damping material has been used, also in order to ensure perfect coupling between all the pieces.
  • I’m living in a quiet residential area, where no heavy traffic passes, so no ground vibrations from external forces such as traffic or industry. Therefore I have chosen to couple the table/rack to the ceramic tiled floor by using soft materials under the main legs of the table. For those who have wooden flooring, this table may not work. Please note that table + equipment will weigh around 1.050 Kg (2.310 pounds) The speakers weigh another 600 Kg (1.320 pounds) or so for the set, and the bass traps in the corners weigh another 200 Kg (440 pounds each). Therefore the total weight over a limited number of square meters is at least around 2.050 Kg (4.500 pounds) Of course when you get visitors, they all want to gather around the equipment, so you can imagine what happens if the floor is not designed to carry all that weight.
  • Another reason I chose for this heavy solid granite table/rack is that mass lowers the natural frequency of the system. The soft material used at intersections acts as damping material for the sole purpose of dissipating the energy of the vibrating system over time. In addition, we understand as well that the energy required to make the system vibrate due to forged vibrations (not the natural vibrations of the system) will be higher when mass is higher.
I hope the above provides the information you were looking for. I’ll try to attach some pictures later on.

Han
 
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han_n

Active Member
Sep 6, 2019
52
117
35
63
Surabaya, Indonesia.
IMG_4919.jpg
Daytime lighting. The granite slab just above the M1.1 is hardly visible, but is there related to future plans. (little more equipment will be added, however this Covid virus has delayed many plans now).
 

han_n

Active Member
Sep 6, 2019
52
117
35
63
Surabaya, Indonesia.
IMG_4921.jpg
This is how I usually listen to music, I like it darker, so no distractions.
 

han_n

Active Member
Sep 6, 2019
52
117
35
63
Surabaya, Indonesia.
IMG_4922.jpg
Overview
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,833
689
658
Ok, let me try to sum it up, however –again- this will not be a 3 line answer…

Besides the fact that I really like the appearance of the granite, which is absolutely maintenance free, and will last longer than I will, I can describe as follows;
  • This is a “composite” rack/table, it will be build up, with only one piece (Top Table plinth) weighing a little over 200Kg (440 pound) for which you would need 4 healthy men to carry. The next 3 heaviest pieces weigh about 85 Kg (187 pound) each whilst the main 4 legs weigh about 50 kg (110 pound) each. The remaining parts add another 60 Kg (132 pounds) so the total assembled weight reaches about 715 Kg (1.575 pounds) This is a little more than what I mentioned before, but that is due to some little modifications I made recently.
  • None of the pieces are interconnected with hard fasteners or so, but gravity will ensure nothing moves. It needs to be said that in between the components a strip of damping material has been used, also in order to ensure perfect coupling between all the pieces.
  • I’m living in a quiet residential area, where no heavy traffic passes, so no ground vibrations from external forces such as traffic or industry. Therefore I have chosen to couple the table/rack to the ceramic tiled floor by using soft materials under the main legs of the table. For those who have wooden flooring, this table may not work. Please note that table + equipment will weigh around 1.050 Kg (2.310 pounds) The speakers weigh another 600 Kg (1.320 pounds) or so for the set, and the bass traps in the corners weigh another 200 Kg (440 pounds each). Therefore the total weight over a limited number of square meters is at least around 2.050 Kg (4.500 pounds) Of course when you get visitors, they all want to gather around the equipment, so you can imagine what happens if the floor is not designed to carry all that weight.
  • Another reason I chose for this heavy solid granite table/rack is that mass lowers the natural frequency of the system. The soft material used at intersections acts as damping material for the sole purpose of dissipating the energy of the vibrating system over time. In addition, we understand as well that the energy required to make the system vibrate due to forged vibrations (not the natural vibrations of the system) will be higher when mass is higher.
I hope the above provides the information you were looking for. I’ll try to attach some pictures later on.

Han
W-O-W...that is inspirationally awesome! Thank you for explaining. As we say here, that is 'the business'! Serious piece of work! And beautiful as well. It looks like you also have enough room for some more CH equipment with dual X1 power supplies too! ;)
 
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