darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks in my system

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,020
2,936
770
#21
Congratulations Mike. Yes, just as you begin to get used to a new turntable drive type or LT tonearm, these new amps come in and elevate the overall sound to a new level. Your system now seems less stable than mine does (joking).

Two questions: Could you please elaborate on how these sound more "tube like" than your previous amps? And, I don't see lights on the active isolation platforms under the amps. Is that normal for in use operation? I thought they always had lights indicating the corrections taking place.

I look forward to reading your thoughts as these break in and you get a better handle on their sound. I suspect they will also let you appreciate differences between your sources that much more than your old amps did.

I'm happy for you.
thank you Peter.

it was not by design to have new amps right now. honestly i'm somewhat unstuck with so many changes; 2 new turntables, 2 new cartridges, a new Durand Tosca tonearm plus the new CS Port linear tracker, new CS Port phono pre, the double Daiza addition to my digital, an upgraded King Cello phono repro, and a new Extreme server and digital network approach. that is the last 5 months.

and now new amps. that was not on the plan.

i'm enjoying it all, but am just started investigating most of it. and no idea when i'll get farther down the road.

i admire your very well thought out sane methods. i'm now going to have to focus on one thing at a time to find the source and system synergy. especially the tt/arm/cart/phono balancing act. that is chaos mostly.

back to the amps; obviously they are the kingpin to the whole system. i'm going to sidestep your 'how these sound more 'tube-like'?' question for now. maybe remind me in a week or so and i will try to elaborate. i'm working that out in my mind and need more music listening first. as far as the 'dark' lights on the TS-140 Tana platforms; you never miss a trick. two of my Tana power supplies are back at Taiko in the Netherlands for an upgrade; they should arrive back mid week. i can tell you that after those being under the 458's for a year, now that they are not doing their thing it's a big deal regarding how the music is affected. the smear and lack of focus and delicacy is profound. bass textures are diminished. nothing like removing something to make it clear what was going on. i'm not complaining that the music is not captivating, but my ears are aware of what could be. i'm very anxious to hear those Tana platforms added to the 468 equation. should be epic.

and agree on break-in and it's significance. it will be fun to enjoy the progress.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,020
2,936
770
#22
spent the last 2 hours listening to the 468's and the CS Port + string quartets and Chamber Orchestra. what an absolutely delightful combination! i suppose the GFS, the CS Port linear tracker, and the CS Port phono pre should be added to that mix.

the 468's rich tonal palette, delicate nuanced textures and timbre, and overall refinement, ease and micro-dynamic energy really deliver the musical connection and flow. beautiful mid-range fire and sparkle. this type of music with solid state is many times riding the edge of brightness or glare with all the stings and higher frequency energy. the 468' take the beauty and ultra detail and ease of the CS Port and take things to a whole different 'tubes only' dimension, while retaining the low noise and linearity of solid state. this just grabs me and holds my attention.

never heard this music like this. i did listen to this with the ML3's, which had the beauty, but not quite the life and energy of what i am hearing. my mind is thinking i need to go find more of this music, even though i have quite a bit, as i will have a steady diet of it.

1575174210402.png

1575174369212.png
 
Last edited:
Likes: jeffrey_t
Jun 3, 2018
99
26
23
#23
So if I get you well the 468s don‘t sound like tubes. They sound like it‘s own signature, but don‘t have the weakness in some points a normal solid state amp has. Strength of tube + SS = 468 without the weakness, correct?

Sounds like the holy grail. :)
 
Likes: Mike Lavigne

analyzer

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2016
184
54
115
Torino - Italy
#25
Mike... I'm Happy to hear your satisfaction.
You have certainly noted that the community of WBF has looked with attention and enthusiasm all the process of your decision.
We all are very interested to understand which kind the improvements you've reached since 458's were already among the holy grails (that most of us can't afford).
Happy listening with new amps!
Marco
 
Likes: joeinid

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,965
4,309
840
London
#26
"it's almost impossible to fairly compare 'uber' amplifiers. i tried a year ago and over 1000 posts could not agree that i did it."

- That was funny
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,020
2,936
770
#27
So if I get you well the 468s don‘t sound like tubes. They sound like it‘s own signature, but don‘t have the weakness in some points a normal solid state amp has. Strength of tube + SS = 468 without the weakness, correct?

Sounds like the holy grail. :)
yes, when i step back and read what i have written it can be distilled down to that......based on 36 hours in my room so far.

the 468's don't sound like the darker, rounder part of tubes, or the closed in highs of tubes, or the slightly opaque rendering of tubes, or the sameness coloration of tubes, or the higher noise floor of tubes (not that all tubes are equally like those descriptors.......but most all have at least a touch of that in comparison with better solid state). but the 468's do have the 'breath of life' and textures and timbre of tubes, the rich tonal pallet of tubes, and the human touch, delicacy and ease of tubes. but without the constantly changing life cycle or cost of replacement of tubes. and of course, all the low noise, slam, authority and explosiveness of an uber solid state mega amp.

i've heard 45 tubes and 2a3's that did not sound like tubes either in those more colored references. so i know not all tubes are something that you hear through. but those tubes have other limitations. if you hook up the right horn's to those very pure low power tubes you can get a fantastic result. so there is that extreme and i've not really experienced that.

but i don't think tubes can fully connect the dots and put the whole package together like the 468's. just my opinion.

holy grail? mine for sure.:cool:

i guess i answered Peter's question too.
 
Last edited:

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,519
496
628
#28
...the 468's do have the 'breath of life' and textures and timbre of tubes, the rich tonal pallet of tubes, and the human touch, delicacy and ease of tubes. but without the constantly changing life cycle or cost of replacement of tubes. and of course, all the low noise, slam, authority and explosiveness of an uber solid state mega amp...
holy grail? mine for sure.:cool:...
Awesome feedback, Mike. For [some] of us who love tubes and have migrated over to SS, I think that description sums up the goal perfectly. Well said. For my own budget and ears, the Mephisto has gotten me there. I know it may/may not have the elements you describe above for other tube lovers or for other SS lovers...nothing is perfect. But it works for me...and your stated goal is surely a very eloquent way to describe why. And great to hear how well the 468s have delivered this for you. Congrats.
 
Last edited:

Holli82

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2010
166
93
435
#29
Nothing more satisfying than upgrading your system and realizing that you have a whole bunch of "new" music to listen to. Congrats and enjoy!
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,020
2,936
770
#30
Nothing more satisfying than upgrading your system and realizing that you have a whole bunch of "new" music to listen to. Congrats and enjoy!
+1

this morning i was listening to a number of classical digital pieces which i liked before and visit often; i realized how significantly better i was enjoying them now, and your comment is exactly what went through my mind.

this is the payoff, of course. it's cool when you are not consciously thinking about it and then it just hits you.
 

manjy

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2011
33
12
348
#31
Congratulations Mike!
 
Likes: Mike Lavigne

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
2,131
489
540
Sydney
#32
I thought the 468's sounded wonderful at the Philippines hifi show last weekend.
 
Jan 29, 2012
1,826
1,068
520
#34
spent the last 2 hours listening to the 468's and the CS Port + string quartets and Chamber Orchestra. what an absolutely delightful combination! i suppose the GFS, the CS Port linear tracker, and the CS Port phono pre should be added to that mix.

the 468's rich tonal palette, delicate nuanced textures and timbre, and overall refinement, ease and micro-dynamic energy really deliver the musical connection and flow. beautiful mid-range fire and sparkle. this type of music with solid state is many times riding the edge of brightness or glare with all the stings and higher frequency energy. the 468' take the beauty and ultra detail and ease of the CS Port and take things to a whole different 'tubes only' dimension, while retaining the low noise and linearity of solid state. this just grabs me and holds my attention.

never heard this music like this. i did listen to this with the ML3's, which had the beauty, but not quite the life and energy of what i am hearing. my mind is thinking i need to go find more of this music, even though i have quite a bit, as i will have a steady diet of it.

View attachment 59491

View attachment 59493
I listened to Marriner's Bach all day yesterday. These Philips recordings bring me a lot joy.
 

SuperDave

Well-Known Member
May 12, 2017
229
41
93
Texas
#35
Congrats Mike, what a great Thanksgiving! Your description certainly raises an eyebrow, I need to check these out.

Dave
 
Likes: Mike Lavigne

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,020
2,936
770
#36
Congrats, Mike. The perfection of the combination of many attributes clearly advances another major step.

- speed
- transparency
- detail
- ability to handle complex, multi-instrument easily

- dynamics (macro and micro, decay)
- extension
- effortlessness
- effortlessness at high volumes/low impedances

- sweetness
- liquidity

it appears these last two are really doing it for you with the 468s. We have all seen designers prioritize when ultimately, no component can be perfect, and so those priorities became the 'signature' of the sound. And yet, as designs advance, ultimately being able to excel in ALL areas must remain the goal. Sounds like Herve continues to be a leader in this regard. Enjoy.
agree no amp is perfect, the concept of perfect is just is not appropriate for hifi.

yet; an amp can perfectly (maybe fully is a better word) fit our expectations. and when i've spent more time getting to know the 468's they might just check all my boxes perfectly for me. it's looking like that. the liquidity and sweetness.....or whatever words you use.....it is a game changer.

Herve does seem to be ahead on this at this point. what he has done here has really touched me. and it does not matter the source or the music, what i'm hearing is profoundly special.
 
Last edited:

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
7,034
2,183
660
North Shore of Boston
#37
agree no amp is perfect, the concept of perfect is just is not appropriate for hifi.

yet; an amp can perfectly (maybe fully is a better word) fit our expectations. and when i've spent more time getting to know the 468's they might just check all my boxes perfectly for me. it's looking like that. the liquidity and sweetness.....or whatever words you use.....it is a game changer.

Herve does seem to be ahead on this at this point. what he has done here has really touched me. and it does not matter the source or the music, what i'm hearing is profoundly special.
Mike, what do you think the active platforms will add further to your experience? You are describing the sound as more glorious than ever before, and this is without the active isolation. The impression I have is that the 458 + active < 468 w/o active. In other words, you have been comparing your new amps to the old ones with active isolation. I wonder what if anything that has to do with the more liquid "shouting tubes" sound signature you are now getting. From your past descriptions, the active had a dramatic effect on the amps' overall sound. I'd be very curious to read what you think after they return. When do you get them back?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,020
2,936
770
#38
Mike, what do you think the active platforms will add further to your experience? You are describing the sound as more glorious than ever before, and this is without the active isolation. The impression I have is that the 458 + active < 468 w/o active. In other words, you have been comparing your new amps to the old ones with active isolation. I wonder what if anything that has to do with the more liquid "shouting tubes" sound signature you are now getting. From your past descriptions, the active had a dramatic effect on the amps' overall sound. I'd be very curious to read what you think after they return. When do you get them back?
what they do is to 'clean up' textures and nuances that you never realized needing fixing and add focus. also, as the music gets intense and complicated they improve the ease and flow as everything stays coherent and organized. where this could get crazy good is all that extra texture, timbre, richness and weight that the 468's have added are going to be further expressed to some degree. and this should be immediately evident as there is no break-in time for this. i can turn it on and off and it hits you in the nose.

where will all that go? the active will have more information to work with.

yes....it could be a big deal......i expect it to be epic.:)

i'm anxious to hear that. they should arrive tomorrow......so tomorrow night hopefully if US Customs and fedex cooperate (they don't always :( as we know).
 
Last edited:

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,519
496
628
#39
agree no amp is perfect, the concept of perfect is just is not appropriate for hifi.

yet; an amp can perfectly (maybe fully is a better word) fit our expectations. and when i've spent more time getting to know the 468's they might just check all my boxes perfectly for me. it's looking like that. the liquidity and sweetness.....or whatever words you use.....it is a game changer.

Herve does seem to be ahead on this at this point. what he has done here has really touched me. and it does not matter the source or the music, what i'm hearing is profoundly special.
Fantastic. Put another way...magic. That's what its all about. Thats what MUSIC is all about. Nice one and look forward to reading more about the outer edge of the universe of high end audio!
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing