Tube amps with TAD CR-1's ? Recommendations ?

KRichards

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Dec 31, 2019
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While SS amp shopping for my TAD E1, ended picking up a pair of Convergent Audio Technology JL7. Still have the ARC REF250SE ... triode vs push pull, different sound and very enjoyable. Both high current amps should be able to drive new speakers when I upgrade .
I just heard a pair of the latest JL7s and was blown away. Apparently CAT now has a website too, catamps.com. Welcome to the 21st century lol
 

knghifi

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Dec 7, 2014
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I just heard a pair of the latest JL7s and was blown away. Apparently CAT now has a website too, catamps.com. Welcome to the 21st century lol
JL7 is a special amp. Recently replaced stock driver tubes with 60's Siemen e88cc and with KT150s, SQ is amazing.

Had family over the holidays and my brother want me to sell all my other amps and just keep JL7. His analogy ... have a Ferrari, why keep Honda, Toyota around. WOW! I never thought my amps are Honda and Toyota.

This is my 1st CAT. Besides SQ, I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality and packaging. I think fit and finish is superior to my VACs and ARCs?

I hope website will bring in new customers and increase sales. Anyone looking for high power tube amp, demo JL7 before writing the check.
 
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RdW

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Apr 8, 2018
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JL7 is a special amp. Recently replaced stock driver tubes with 60's Siemen e88cc and with KT150s, SQ is amazing.

Had family over the holidays and my brother want me to sell all my other amps and just keep JL7. His analogy ... have a Ferrari, why keep Honda, Toyota around. WOW! I never thought my amps are Honda and Toyota.

This is my 1st CAT. Besides SQ, I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality and packaging. I think fit and finish is superior to my VACs and ARCs?

I hope website will bring in new customers and increase sales. Anyone looking for high power tube amp, demo JL7 before writing the check.

It has been a few month, but wondering if you have tried to bi-amp with ARC 250 and the CAT JL 7?
 

knghifi

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Dec 7, 2014
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It has been a few month, but wondering if you have tried to bi-amp with ARC 250 and the CAT JL 7?
No, never considered bi-amping. System in family room (33 ft x 25 ft x 15 ft) on 25 ft wall and amps have no problem filling the big room. Had Hegel H30, sounds different but don't remember any memorable advantages with SS. Your CR-1 is bit less efficient so results may differ.

I see another thread you're exploring new amps ... your list of amps looks great except Dartzeel 108 might be under power. I really like Agostino Momentum M400 ... Was planning picking up a pair this summer but ended up wasting the funds on loom of Enklein PC, IC and SC. I always believe cable is a component but Enklein completely changed my priories. What's good with a healthy heart, liver, kidney ... if arteries are clotted??

BTW, rotated ARC in system for summer. Just as enjoyable as CAT but different. My brother still prefers the CAT and rotating back in next week.
 

RdW

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Apr 8, 2018
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No, never considered bi-amping. System in family room (33 ft x 25 ft x 15 ft) on 25 ft wall and amps have no problem filling the big room. Had Hegel H30, sounds different but don't remember any memorable advantages with SS. Your CR-1 is bit less efficient so results may differ.

I see another thread you're exploring new amps ... your list of amps looks great except Dartzeel 108 might be under power. I really like Agostino Momentum M400 ... Was planning picking up a pair this summer but ended up wasting the funds on loom of Enklein PC, IC and SC. I always believe cable is a component but Enklein completely changed my priories. What's good with a healthy heart, liver, kidney ... if arteries are clotted??

BTW, rotated ARC in system for summer. Just as enjoyable as CAT but different. My brother still prefers the CAT and rotating back in next week.

One can only spent the $$$ once’s. That’s the whole thing about this hobby. For me it needs to make a real difference, and preferably comes with a wow-factor.

Cables are an essential part of the “system”. Swapping an amp might force you to reconsider the interlinks used. Currently running with Kharma Enigma Signature IC and AQ Redwood SC and AQ Niagara 5000 with PC. Works well with my current set-up.

Finally going to audition D‘Agostino Progression Stereo next week @home in my 23ft*13ft listening room (sloping ceiling up to 14ft which is a challenge...). I guess no need for mono blocks for this size. Still, against the advise of others, still looking for auditioning Aries Cerat Forte and/or CAT JL7. I like the idea of rotating amps.
 
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knghifi

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2014
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One can only spent the $$$ once’s. That’s the whole thing about this hobby. For me it needs to make a real difference, and preferably comes with a wow-factor.
Definitely a WOW after adding each Enklein "David" cable.. PC -> SC -> IC.

I'm one of 99% that has a budget. Pretty much done this year. Probably revisit M400 next year. Only allow myself waste so much $$ each year on this hobby. :)

Cables are an essential part of the “system”. Swapping an amp might force you to reconsider the interlinks used. Currently running with Kharma Enigma Signature IC and AQ Redwood SC and AQ Niagara 5000 with PC. Works well with my current set-up.
What's remarkable with Enkein is improvement in my lower end components. For example sold my VAC SigMKIIa SE pre and using ultimate boutique SS H-CAT Pre built by Roger Paul. Got no specs and bought with my ears. With Enkeins, it's as enjoyable as the VAC.

Finally going to audition D‘Agostino Progression Stereo next week @home in my 23ft*13ft listening room (sloping ceiling up to 14ft which is a challenge...). I guess no need for mono blocks for this size. Still, against the advise of others, still looking for auditioning Aries Cerat Forte and/or CAT JL7. I like the idea of rotating amps.
Progression should be excellent. Update us with your results. Enjoy!
 

RdW

Member
Apr 8, 2018
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Definitely a WOW after adding each Enklein "David" cable.. PC -> SC -> IC.

I'm one of 99% that has a budget. Pretty much done this year. Probably revisit M400 next year. Only allow myself waste so much $$ each year on this hobby. :)

What's remarkable with Enkein is improvement in my lower end components. For example sold my VAC SigMKIIa SE pre and using ultimate boutique SS H-CAT Pre built by Roger Paul. Got no specs and bought with my ears. With Enkeins, it's as enjoyable as the VAC.

Progression should be excellent. Update us with your results. Enjoy!

Unfortunately, the audition with the Progression didn’t result in the expected outcome:( One way or the other, and in combination with my Soulution 520 preamp, we got a nasty digital distortion. So, it went back same day with my local dealer.

Being disappointed, we simple did not end up in connecting it directly to a MSB Reference DAC I am auditioning right now. It is now directly connected to my ARC Ref150SE. I’m in the mids of trying to understand this; there are so much more details coming from HiRes files, where at the same time the sounds differs so much compared to adding the Soulution pre in between, I need to absorb this. Confusing..... I would expect a direct connection much less in terms of quality than with a preamp in between. But this is not the case. Just am not in the position right now to understand it and to judge what I like more.

Yes, I have read the 200 pages on the subject analogue verses digital, MSB versus dCS and what would be better, a preamp or a direct connection with an MSB preamp module or not... But I tell you, you must hear it and judge for yourself, at least that is what I learned ;).
 

knghifi

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Dec 7, 2014
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Unfortunately, the audition with the Progression didn’t result in the expected outcome:( One way or the other, and in combination with my Soulution 520 preamp, we got a nasty digital distortion. So, it went back same day with my local dealer.
Interesting! Does dealer have any insight if common compatibility issues between the brands or just an anomaly? What's next amp?

Being disappointed, we simple did not end up in connecting it directly to a MSB Reference DAC I am auditioning right now. It is now directly connected to my ARC Ref150SE. I’m in the mids of trying to understand this; there are so much more details coming from HiRes files, where at the same time the sounds differs so much compared to adding the Soulution pre in between, I need to absorb this. Confusing..... I would expect a direct connection much less in terms of quality than with a preamp in between. But this is not the case. Just am not in the position right now to understand it and to judge what I like more.

Yes, I have read the 200 pages on the subject analogue verses digital, MSB versus dCS and what would be better, a preamp or a direct connection with an MSB preamp module or not... But I tell you, you must hear it and judge for yourself, at least that is what I learned ;).
It's not surprising you prefer going direct from MSB to amp. Just accept it and write the check :)

I'm going direct from latest Soulution 560 DAC with Leedh Processing to my CAT JL7. I haven't demo MSB in my system but 560 is 1st DAC I prefer going direct. I heard MSB using something similar to Leedh.

BTW, I sold my ARC Ref250SE. I love the amp but tough living with 2 tube amps rolling 8 KT150s each. Like you I'll be in market for SS amp next year.
 

RdW

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Apr 8, 2018
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Interesting! Does dealer have any insight if common compatibility issues between the brands or just an anomaly? What's next amp?

It's not surprising you prefer going direct from MSB to amp. Just accept it and write the check :)

I'm going direct from latest Soulution 560 DAC with Leedh Processing to my CAT JL7. I haven't demo MSB in my system but 560 is 1st DAC I prefer going direct. I heard MSB using something similar to Leedh.

BTW, I sold my ARC Ref250SE. I love the amp but tough living with 2 tube amps rolling 8 KT150s each. Like you I'll be in market for SS amp next year.

I have no feedback from the dealer or importer yet. Will ask but actually was thinking if this might not be a interlink issue. I’m using Kharma Enigma interlinks which are serving me well but am not sure if they were designed to connect a DAC directly to a Amp.

You have actually a nice DAC there. The Soulution 560 is a wonderful DAC as well. I might want to bring in the Soulution 511 Amp to connect it to the MSB Reference DAC to see if this is a match. Wondering also what the MSB’s 202 might do and the to come Aries Cerat Ianus Essentia. As you can see, I’m not in a hurry.

I’m more and more impressed by the MSB Reference DAC and might indeed write the check soon ;) and most likely sacrifice my Soulution 520 to go for the double power supply, maybe with a femto 77 clock.

Good luck with your search to the perfect matching amp.
 

asiufy

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If you go amp-direct, the 2 power supplies will make a nice difference. Otherwise, a higher clock would be my first choice!
 

knghifi

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Dec 7, 2014
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You have actually a nice DAC there. The Soulution 560 is a wonderful DAC as well. I might want to bring in the Soulution 511 Amp to connect it to the MSB Reference DAC to see if this is a match. Wondering also what the MSB’s 202 might do and the to come Aries Cerat Ianus Essentia. As you can see, I’m not in a hurry.

I’m more and more impressed by the MSB Reference DAC and might indeed write the check soon ;) and most likely sacrifice my Soulution 520 to go for the double power supply, maybe with a femto 77 clock.

Good luck with your search to the perfect matching amp.
Soulution 511 would be fantastic. Heard MSB 202 at Wilson and MSB event and found sound bit dark on the Alexx. I much prefer Agostino Momentum on the Wilson.

If only digital, get MSB Reference DAC and sacrifice the Soulution 520 :)

Good Luck!
 

RdW

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If you go amp-direct, the 2 power supplies will make a nice difference. Otherwise, a higher clock would be my first choice!

I still try to figure out what the MSB “trade-in” policy is exactly. The export tax an cost to Europe are ridiculously high and if you order the 2 mono powerbases immediately with the DAC, you save 15%. That is a considerable amount...

I’m not sure yet what the policy is when one want to upgrade from femto 77 to femto 33 but am sure MSB can tell me. My assumption is that you pay the difference in the purchase amount.

I simply cannot afford both in one go.
 

RdW

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Apr 8, 2018
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If you go amp-direct, the 2 power supplies will make a nice difference. Otherwise, a higher clock would be my first choice!

I had the luxury to do a weekend auditioning of the MSB Reference DAC @home with the three clocks and with the “standard” power supply. I’m not a reviewer or brilliant editor but in short, this is my personal observation ( MSB Reference DAC, Soulution 520, Audio Research Ref 150SE, TAD CR-1

- Femto 140 directly to Ref 150 via pre-amp module: no improvement compared to my Premier DAC with double power supply connected to the 520

- Femto 140 through the 520 to Ref 150 via standard output module : slight but noticeable improvement compared to my Premier DAC with double power supply connected to the 520

- Femto 77 directly to Ref 150 via pre-amp module: couldn’t judge in term of quality compared to my Premier DAC with double power supply connected to the 520. Although there were definitely more details, the soundstage didn’t appeal to me. Also some harshness made this a short session.

- Femto 77 through the 520 to Ref 150 via standard output module : very noticeable improvement compared to my Premier DAC with double power supply connected to the 520. Very good soundstage, more depth and definition, although still some harsh sound in the mid-upper and upper frequencies.

- Femto 33 directly to Ref 150 via pre-amp module: Mind blowing !!:eek: Definite the best I have auditioned so far. This combo beats every possible combi with the components I had in the house. The amount of information is incredible, there is more definition and articulation in the lower frequencies, more air, precision and space. Mid and upper frequencies are practically without harshness ( maybe this one touch on the piano).

The frustration is that I need to get over the ridiculous high EUR prices in Europe vs the USD prices. MSB need to do something about that.
 
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knghifi

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2014
158
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Looks like you had a good time. Interesting results. Surprise preamp module performance until Femto 33. Now the BIG decision. :)
 

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