KeithR's "Dream Speaker" Search

tobiasrankin

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I’m only reporting on amps with YG (with possible applicability to other sealed box speakers) - I don’t pretend to know about amp universality. I didn’t find much break in on the Pass.

Ya thats fine. I was just reporting my own findings so anyone reading there doesn't automatically conclude 'oh pass labs sucks'. I fucking love my pass amp. But I am not disagreeing that they may not sound good with a tube pre + YG hailey 2.2. I have no right to as I have not heard this combination. On the NS5000 they are magic.
 

jeffrey_t

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Ya thats fine. I was just reporting my own findings so anyone reading there doesn't automatically conclude 'oh pass labs sucks'. I fucking love my pass amp. But I am not disagreeing that they may not sound good with a tube pre + YG hailey 2.2. I have no right to as I have not heard this combination. On the NS5000 they are magic.
I'd love to hear the new NS 5000. What Pass amps are you using?
 

jeffrey_t

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No, you don't need 500W in 4 ohms. That's nice to have of course, to crank that Tron soundtrack at 105dB. I have played that same soundtrack in our big, big room, and the D'Agostino Momentum M400 barely go past the 400W mark. And that's at absurdly crazy loud levels.
So, no, for usual volumes levels, you need half of that.
I would love to listen to the Lamms on YG. Like Keith found out, it's not all about QUANTITY, but QUALITY, and I think the Lamm would deliver that. A certain well known brand that he tried, with lots of power on tap, came dead last. It wasn't for lack of power, but simply the QUALITY just wasn't there (like I told him it wouldn't be).
I'm glad Keith took the plunge on a different preamp, after much suggesting on my part. The problem there was that he DID have a great preamp (in the Music First), but it was just not what his system needed at that point. I remembered Keith likes tubes, and at that point, he had none, so, enter the tube preamp!
Personally that's where I like some tubes in a system as well, in the preamp, and again, I'm glad he found a piece that works for him and complements the Ampzilla well.
You are calling Pass "low quality?" Seriously?
 

tobiasrankin

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You are calling Pass "low quality?" Seriously?

Ya that seems to be the implication. Kind of surprised by the comments on this thread. My personal experience has been amazing. And I have friends who also really are blown away by the magic of the pass sound. Also doesn't hurt they have incredible service and reputation of being incredibly reliable. To anyone considering pass, please audition them, they are amazing!!!!!
 
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dan31

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There might be a reason the Pass didn’t live up to expectations. If you go back and review previous posts you may gleam some ideas.
 

christoph

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christoph

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There might be a reason the Pass didn’t live up to expectations. If you go back and review previous posts you may gleam some ideas.
Can you please elaborate?
 

KeithR

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What other tubes did you actually try besides the mediocre sounding ARC REf 160s? Any hybrids, like the Lamm M1.2 ref? Can't remember everything you tried...

I love the ARC 160ms (have heard them several times at the store), just not a match on YG.

Here's a recap of all the amps I've had on the Haileys:

ARC Ref 75SE (existing amp)
ARC Ref 160m
Luxman m900
m2tech Crosby monos (Class D)
Ampzilla, 2nd Edition
BHK 300 monos (hybrid)
JRDG Model 625s2
Pass Labs X350.8

I've also thought about the Hegel H30, Parasound JC1+, and Lamm M2.2. I was close to picking up the Hegel, decided against the Parasound, and haven't seen a used pair of M2.2s. Others have recommended Sim, but I'm concerned its a little cool for my tastes. Its all personal preference at this level.

The reason I haven't tried a BAT 655SE is mainly because it's a ginormous, unwieldy amp. I've liked BAT tubes in the past (and owned them for several years on Wilson), feel their SS isn't quite in the same league but haven't tried one at home.
 
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RdW

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I love the ARC 160ms (have heard them several times at the store), just not a match on YG.

Here's a recap of all the amps I've had on the Haileys:

ARC Ref 75SE (existing amp)
ARC Ref 160m
Luxman m900
m2tech Crosby monos (Class D)
Ampzilla, 2nd Edition
BHK 300 monos (hybrid)
JRDG Model 625s2
Pass Labs X350.8

I've also thought about the Hegel H30, and Parasound JC1+, and Lamm M2.2. I was close to picking up the Hegel, decided against the Parasound, and haven't seen a used pair of M2.2s. Others have recommended Sim, but I'm concerned its a little cool for my tastes. Its all personal preference at this level.

The reason I haven't tried a BAT 655SE is mainly because it's a ginormous, unwieldy amp. I've liked BAT tubes in the past (and owned them for several years on Wilson), feel their SS isn't quite in the same league but haven't tried one at home.


Seems KeithR you the person to go to if it comes to listening experiences. Impressive and extensive audition list, also in your other posts.

I’m a sort of doing a research what could be the next amp driving my TAD CR-1, replacing my ARC Ref 150 SE. Although a fine amp, and after reading about the CR-1 here, I’m not sure if the Ref 150 gets the full potential out of these TAD’s.

it seems ARC’s Ref 160M’s have different characteristics than we used to hear from an ARC amp, so on my to audition list, like d’Agostino Progression. Dartzeel seems to be a good fit but out of range.

Any thoughts ?

Thanks.
 

GSOphile

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Sep 4, 2017
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I love the ARC 160ms (have heard them several times at the store), just not a match on YG.

Here's a recap of all the amps I've had on the Haileys:

ARC Ref 75SE (existing amp)
ARC Ref 160m
Luxman m900
m2tech Crosby monos (Class D)
Ampzilla, 2nd Edition
BHK 300 monos (hybrid)
JRDG Model 625s2
Pass Labs X350.8

I've also thought about the Hegel H30, and Parasound JC1+, and Lamm M2.2. I was close to picking up the Hegel, decided against the Parasound, and haven't seen a used pair of M2.2s. Others have recommended Sim, but I'm concerned its a little cool for my tastes. Its all personal preference at this level.

The reason I haven't tried a BAT 655SE is mainly because it's a ginormous, unwieldy amp. I've liked BAT tubes in the past (and owned them for several years on Wilson), feel their SS isn't quite in the same league but haven't tried one at home.
Keith, any thoughts about the Gryphon Essence? (https://www.soundstageultra.com/ind...ryphon-audio-designs-essence-stereo-amplifier)
 

KeithR

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KeithR

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Seems KeithR you the person to go to if it comes to listening experiences. Impressive and extensive audition list, also in your other posts.

I’m a sort of doing a research what could be the next amp driving my TAD CR-1, replacing my ARC Ref 150 SE. Although a fine amp, and after reading about the CR-1 here, I’m not sure if the Ref 150 gets the full potential out of these TAD’s.

it seems ARC’s Ref 160M’s have different characteristics than we used to hear from an ARC amp, so on my to audition list, like d’Agostino Progression. Dartzeel seems to be a good fit but out of range.

Any thoughts ?

Thanks.

Looks to measure 87.5db/4ohms although 4ohms just in the bass. This is probably easier to drive than my speakers. I think the Luxman might be a very interesting pairing - and match the CR1 tweeter which some have commented to being a big bright on occasion.
 

GSOphile

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it looks like a nice, Class A amp - but 100 watts into 4 ohms won't get the YG's motor started. I've always wanted to try a Gryphon, but the price of entry is just too high. I"m sure this amp will be very successful on more efficient speakers.
Keith, as a Diablo 300 owner this was my initial reaction too. But Gryphon apparently believes Essence, a high current design with a ton of capacitance, will be a good upgrade path for many Diablo owners. Early users have remarked on its understated power. If you have any interest in Gryphon, you might want to give Philip or Mike B a call.
 

DaveC

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Seems KeithR you the person to go to if it comes to listening experiences. Impressive and extensive audition list, also in your other posts.

I’m a sort of doing a research what could be the next amp driving my TAD CR-1, replacing my ARC Ref 150 SE. Although a fine amp, and after reading about the CR-1 here, I’m not sure if the Ref 150 gets the full potential out of these TAD’s.

it seems ARC’s Ref 160M’s have different characteristics than we used to hear from an ARC amp, so on my to audition list, like d’Agostino Progression. Dartzeel seems to be a good fit but out of range.

Any thoughts ?

Thanks.

A bit late... but it's hard to beat TAD electronics with TAD speakers.

While the TAD speakers aren't power hungry like some, they are very sensitive and many report issues with harshness or brightness. I have heard lots of TAD demos and I would definitely NOT use tubes. OTOH many SS amps will be deficient in some ways as well. Some of the best demos I heard were AJ himself setting them up with TAD amps.

I have the Pioneer S-1EX which use the same drivers as the TAD Evolution tower speakers and use an Odyssey amp with many mods, these are the "little brother" to the Kraft amps. These amps work very well with my speakers. I've tried quite a few and it's not an easy speaker to match, but in a different way vs the YGs I think.
 

RdW

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A bit late... but it's hard to beat TAD electronics with TAD speakers.

While the TAD speakers aren't power hungry like some, they are very sensitive and many report issues with harshness or brightness. I have heard lots of TAD demos and I would definitely NOT use tubes. OTOH many SS amps will be deficient in some ways as well. Some of the best demos I heard were AJ himself setting them up with TAD amps.

I have the Pioneer S-1EX which use the same drivers as the TAD Evolution tower speakers and use an Odyssey amp with many mods, these are the "little brother" to the Kraft amps. These amps work very well with my speakers. I've tried quite a few and it's not an easy speaker to match, but in a different way vs the YGs I think.

Thanks. Although tubes might indeed not be the first choice, it is difficult to move away from it once you are used to ARC amps for a long time..... but will give it a try ;)

Keith talked about Luxman which was not my first thought but might give it a chance. Others on my list are still a Dan d’Agostino Progression/S250, an Alieno and still a pair of ARC 160m.

But here we go. I’m currently auditioning a MSB Reference DAC directly connected to the ARC. I will eventually and most likely go first for the MSB Reference DAC directly to my ARC Ref 150 SE which really surprised and impressed me compared to MSB’s premier DAC that own now. It was actually confusing... :rolleyes:

One reason or the other, my Soulution 520 is not a match in this set up (the TADs and the MSB Reference are here to stay, that is to say when I can agree with my dealer on purchasing the latter trading in my Premier DAC). The Soulution 520 is a fine pre-amp, but not in this set-up.

Then I will take my time to find the perfect amp match, with or without a matching pre-amp.
 

AMR / iFi audio

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I could have used a better word than outrage. My point is I wish "we", the audiophile community would stop being so critical about individual component preference in such a subjective hobby.

It is hard to disagree with your statement. We can definitely compare the objective measurements, but ultimately the reception of sound is by default very subjective in its nature.
 
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KeithR

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Have heard a few speakers recently and thought I would sum up a few thoughts for folks. I just love auditioning speakers :)

first, Zu Druid VI:

Zu has come a long way with this speaker. The IV had a rolled off top end that never was my cup of tea and the V, while significantly better, still had a more intimate soundstage. The VI I'm pleased to share is a different animal. The first half hour, had to recalibrate my brain almost as when you hear a speaker without crossover, its quite a different experience. There is a raw, almost brashness to the sound when you remove it and they just sound different. This recalibration also happened with the Gamut, incidentally, albeit it in a different way. The setup was a Melody preamp and Quad II Jubilee amplification (I love these Quads, always have). I would say the Zu hallmark sound is still there - coherent, tone dense, and dynamic. However, the cabinet improvements have led to much more resolute sound. I prefer the Druid VI to the Definition now. Also, the sound stage is much bigger and it wasn't an "in between the speakers" type sound as before. Bass is a much bigger strength on this speaker as well - for a quasi-ported speaker, very taut and down into the low 30s.

As to other parts of the sound, I still feel Zu will be a polarizing speaker. I really enjoy them, but if you are a flat frequency, Harman method kind of person there are things that will bother you. For instance, I still feel Johnny Cash sounds more like a bass on them and there is some rising top end. But I'd also say that Revels and the like sound dead. You pick your poison at super high efficiency. I did play some classical on them, never a Zu strength, and it sounded much better than prior speakers with the higher resolution. When I owned the Definition, classical wasn't often in my rotation. What I'd like to see Sean Casey do is design his own FRD...I believe he's taken the Eminence path as far as it will go (and really, hardly anything from the original driver is left outside the paper).
 

spiritofmusic

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You should try and hear the Defs 6 when Covid finally permits it's release.
Three FRDs w three concentric supertweeters and the same lighter/stiffer cabinet from the Druid 6.
 

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