Symphonic Line Kraft - Caesar's amps vs Burmester 911 on Magico, B&W

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caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
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#21
Problem is also exposure you need to listen to make an opinion , Lamm sells a great hybrid never heard it , dartzeel heard it only once in a odd system, not good to make an opinion , hell i should try going to shows again ;)
Nothing beats what Bonzo does - go to people's homes and listen to their systems
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,970
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#22
I think we all have, to a certain degree, a reference in our aural memories which guides us toward our own sonic nirvana.

and so with amplifiers there is simply no one vision we all agree on.

for me that reference is my recollection (now 14 years old) of the 'good parts' of the Tenor 75 watt OTL's......which morphed into the dart 108's, and then morphed into the dart 458's. all other amplifiers have to compete in my head with my idealized viewpoint of this amp. "why can't you all hear what I hear?"

for some it's the big Boulders, for others maybe the Burmester 911's.

or particular SET's, or whatever.

we don't always understand how others don't 'get' what we 'get' with our preference. and that's ok.

amplifiers, above other pieces of the reproduction chain, are like that. it's the type of blood in our listening veins.
Mike, out of curiosity, do you happen to know what year were Dartzeels designed? I wonder if the genius behind them conceived the design many years prior to the amps actually being produced...
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#23
Mike, out of curiosity, do you happen to know what year were Dartzeels designed? I wonder if the genius behind them conceived the design many years prior to the amps actually being produced...
from my conversations with Herve Deletraz (Mr. darTZeel) my understanding is that he was working on the NHB-108 for possibly at least 10 years (maybe 15 years or since he graduated from Engineering school, can't recall exactly as this conversation was some years ago) prior to it's commercial introduction in 2002-2003. I think the number '108' refers to the number of versions it took to get to that point. not sure whether it was '8' or '108'. :)

it is amazing and remarkable that Herve's first commercial product, now 14-15 years young, is still a standard setting and totally current product. not many others out there like that. that is true value for customers.

if you read his owners manual for the NHB-108 there are nuggets in there regarding his view of circuit purity and the type of distortion that humans prefer and abhor. and of course, his views on interfaces between line level components.
 
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caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,970
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#24
Is this the Kraft that has been discontinued for many years, w reviews from the mid-'00s?
They can still make it for you, if you contact the factory (If you do, brush up on your German, as the designer/ owner doesn't speak much English.) It's $75K, or so, depending on the fluctuations in the exchange rate.

As I mentioned, they fixed the problems that caused the amps to shut down at times. The newer versions also come with Toshiba transistors, which make it sound more Soulution-like in terms of transparency (vs. the less-detailed, even more rich-sounding Sanken transistors that older models have)...
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#25
They can still make it for you, if you contact the factory (If you do, brush up on your German, as the designer/ owner doesn't speak much English.) It's $75K, or so, depending on the fluctuations in the exchange rate.

As I mentioned, they fixed the problems that caused the amps to shut down at times. The newer versions also come with Toshiba transistors, which make it sound more Soulution-like in terms of transparency (vs. the less-detailed, even more rich-sounding Sanken transistors that older models have)...
The Kraft 250 is nowhere near that price. I also think there is no consistent price. One person was stored 32k for the 250 (which is actually 300 watts I think).

I wanted to bring this to people's attention because the Kraft 300 was on sale on audiomarkt and the Gon at like 6k GBP.
 
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caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,970
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#27
The Kraft 250 is nowhere near that price. I also think there is no consistent price. One person was stored 32k for the 250 (which is actually 300 watts I think).

I wanted to bring this to people's attention because the Kraft 300 was on sale on audiomarkt and the Gon at like 6k GBP.
Yes, some of the used prices for Kraft 250s and 300s are ridiculously low, as it could be the very last amplifier many people will ever own. The power of marketing! (or lack thereof!!!!!!)

And the mighty Kraft 400 can still be special-ordered for 50,000 Euros for guys who want to have the ultimate musical muscle amplifier.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,330
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#28
for those in the states, Symphonic Line circuit design was brought over by Klaus @ Odyssey Audio at very affordable prices. My first separate amp was a Stratos :)
I think Odyssey used to make their own amps similar to SLs (with Klaus' permission, kind of what Linear Tube audio does for Berning) which were much cheaper
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,970
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#29
I think Odyssey used to make their own amps similar to SLs (with Klaus' permission, kind of what Linear Tube audio does for Berning) which were much cheaper
The Odyssey amps are a great value. It is amazing how great of sound one can get at a decent price. But there is a huge chasm in performance of a top Odyssey product and a Kraft 250.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
2,808
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48
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#30
from my conversations with Herve Deletraz (Mr. darTZeel) my understanding is that he was working on the NHB-108 for possibly at least 10 years (maybe 15 years or since he graduated from Engineering school, can't recall exactly as this conversation was some years ago) prior to it's commercial introduction in 2002-2003. I think the number '108' refers to the number of versions it took to get to that point. not sure whether it was '8' or '108'. :)

it is amazing and remarkable that Herve's first commercial product, now 14-15 years young, is still a standard setting and totally current product. not many others out there like that. that is true value for customers.

if you read his owners manual for the NHB-108 there are nuggets in there regarding his view of circuit purity and the type of distortion that humans prefer and abhor. and of course, his views on interfaces between line level components.
I've also had this conversation with Hervé :) He actually started his project for an amp in school, trying to get Class D to sound right. 20+ years later, he gave up, and just decided to do the best A/B he could. And then we got the 108 :) He actually wrote a three-part article for Stereophile (while he was still just a reader) that chronicled the development of the 108! It is dated August 2000, so 17 years now!

http://www.stereophile.com/news/10825/#QVseY7BMk5ermVzB.97
http://www.stereophile.com/news/10832/#bjTG86TqiBX1DL5g.97
http://www.stereophile.com/news/10839/#WmXwQuVjPQy7rMBD.97

And I agree that very few amps can touch the 108, even with this much water under the bridge now... Oh, and that 108 user manual is a fun read!

cheers,
alex

PS: ah, "108" means 100W in 8 ohms... That's all :)
 

awsmone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,107
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Canberra Australia
#31
Yes, some of the used prices for Kraft 250s and 300s are ridiculously low, as it could be the very last amplifier many people will ever own. The power of marketing! (or lack thereof!!!!!!)

And the mighty Kraft 400 can still be special-ordered for 50,000 Euros for guys who want to have the ultimate musical muscle amplifier.
review of kraft 400 aka 250 in Stereophile http://www.stereophile.com/content/symphonic-line-kraft-400-monoblock-power-amplifier#kXYB2y18Azp3DjM6.97
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,970
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#33
Tastes aside, even the most modest model, Symphonic Line Kraft 250, will drive any speaker on the planet, including MBL 101, bitchiest Magicos, and the fussiest Apogees. Sure, they will get warm with tough loads. (I am an honest guy, and not a slimy, lying reviewer.)

But for the money one can find these on the used market for, it is safe to say there is no other amplifier out there that will meet the needs of someone whose speakers are a tough load or who wants a "tube-like" sound from their SS.
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#34
Tastes aside, even the most modest model, Symphonic Line Kraft 250, will drive any speaker on the planet, including MBL 101, bitchiest Magicos, and the fussiest Apogees. Sure, they will get warm with tough loads. (I am an honest guy, and not a slimy, lying reviewer.)

But for the money one can find these on the used market for, it is safe to say there is no other speaker out there that will meet the needs of someone whose speakers are a tough load or who wants a "tube-like" sound from their SS.
There is a guy who is very happy with these and the scintilla, so they can drive anything
 

p59teitel

New Member
Mar 11, 2015
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0
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#35
My Revel Salon2s are happy campers too, with my Symphonic Line Kraft 250 monos, tube pre and Belcanto CDP/DAC feeding them.

Stereo March 12, 2017.jpg
 
May 9, 2012
405
5
18
Italia
#36
And I agree that very few amps can touch the 108, even with this much water under the bridge now...

cheers,
alex

)
Sorry but with due respect I disagree with you.
Is not a great amplifier if is able to drive few speakers only.
Compared it with my Spectral DMA 260, the 108 was clipping during an orchestral piece of music.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
2,808
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San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#38
Sorry but with due respect I disagree with you.
Is not a great amplifier if is able to drive few speakers only.
Compared it with my Spectral DMA 260, the 108 was clipping during an orchestral piece of music.
So a "great amplifier" must drive all speakers without clipping? Is that it? By that same token, no SET amp will ever be "great".
For me, a great amplifier is one that amplifies *my* speakers. Not *all* speakers.
Amp compatibility is one thing, its intrinsic quality is another. My comment was that the darTZeel is still one of the finest amps out there. And of course, that assumes you're using it with the right speakers.
And, for the record, there are quite a little bit more than "few speakers" that the 108 will drive well.
 
May 9, 2012
405
5
18
Italia
#39
So a "great amplifier" must drive all speakers without clipping? Is that it? By that same token, no SET amp will ever be "great".
For me, a great amplifier is one that amplifies *my* speakers. Not *all* speakers.
Amp compatibility is one thing, its intrinsic quality is another. My comment was that the darTZeel is still one of the finest amps out there. And of course, that assumes you're using it with the right speakers.
And, for the record, there are quite a little bit more than "few speakers" that the 108 will drive well.
dear asiufy, I would not want to bore readers here, but, yes, a great amplifier has to drive the main part of speakers without clipping, in addition to have its own "intrinsic quality", contrary is not a great amplifier, is an honest and well build amplifier but not great, even considering the price.
We are not talking of "compatibility". I may accept for SET amp not to be compatible with main part of speakers, but not SS amplifier which has to have its own intrinsic quality respect tube amplifiers (which I do not like at all).
Finally, with all my due respect, may be there are quite a little bit more speakers which the 108 will drive, but not "well", if it loses dynamics and bass energy.
 
May 19, 2014
716
3
18
Round Rock, TX
#40
Nothing beats what Bonzo does - go to people's homes and listen to their systems
Sorry can't agree. While listening to other systems does open your perspective and data set, all those spurious reviews with mixed components in different rooms are just that - fleeting examples of a few hours per listening session. Noone's aural memory is good enough to absorb, digest and assess all the variables with any meaningful result. Your fooling yourself (and seems like some others) if you think you can. It is what it is...
 

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