Zero Distortion: The General's System - Pnoe, Thomas Mayer, Vyger, Original LPs

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Beverly Hills, CA
#21
I think he has Dan D’Agostino amplifiers as well.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#22
I think he has Dan D’Agostino amplifiers as well.
Ok, so you don't have a data point until you personally know from them what they think of each amp.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,490
926
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Beverly Hills, CA
#23
:rolleyes:

From the number of amps commercially available in the world, and from the fact that David had only two amps in his system, I deduce that he liked both the VTLs and the D’Agostinos.

Sincerely,

Sherlock Holmes
 
Likes: Lagonda

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#24
Many manufacturers have something purely for voicing experiments. Not because they use it for playback from a listener perspective. In fact at the manufacturers I have visited, their gear was randomly set up not to enjoy playback but to help them in their trials.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
462
223
43
Cologne, Germany
#25
Readers should know there is another Pnoe, made in Greece, which is different sounding. This one is from Germany.
Just to bring some light into this.

All! Pnoe are manufactured in Greece from Arcadian Audio

http://www.arcadianaudio.com

They do manufacture as main business boats and can use the same tooling to produce the Pnoe.

They sell the Pnoe only with the AER drivers.

Filip Keller, the owner of AER, buys the Pnoe from Arcadian Audio and fits the BD 3 or BD 4 or BD 5 chassis into the Pnoe, further he adds the acrylic excenter horns (around the AER driver) , which are (to my knowledge) not available from Arcadian Audio.

https://aer-loudspeakers.com/aer-pnoe/
 

VinylSavor

Active Member
May 15, 2018
81
146
33
Lindau, Germany
www.vinylsavor.com
#26
Hi Bonzo75,

thanks for the great report! I myself did not have the privilege yet to listen to the generals system.

If you don't mind I would like to add some information about my amplifiers which the general has.

The phono stage is a D3a based unit, completely transformer coupled employing a 600 Ohm LCR RIAA EQ. His unit is a partial silver unit which is at the lower end of my phono stage offering, there are 3 steps above that, the D3a differential phono, D3a all silver differential phono and the ultimate EC8010 differential all silver.

The generals linestage is the 10Y differential all silver which is currently my best linestage.

He has two versions of 46 amplifiers. Both employ 46 as driver tubes. One is single ended and the other differential (push pull) producing 1.25W and 3.5W respectively. Both use copper transformers. In the mean time I have the single ended 46 also with silver transformers which is yet a notch up in performance. The differential 46 has not been built in all silver yet. You mentioned that the design is somewhat extreme due to the tubes not being produced beyond the 40ies. I'd say the extreme part is more in the all transformer coupled design utilising a second 46 as driver (or another pair in the differential version). Actually the 46 was made well into the 50ies. Although it is a bit scarce I accumulated a stock of several hundred to ensure availability of replacement tubes for all 46 amps I built. The general has not tried the extremely rare and beautiful globe version of the 46 yet. More info about the 46 here:

https://vinylsavor.blogspot.com/2016/12/tube-of-month-46-revisited.html

Regarding the 211 amps: The 2 chassis one is my entry level 211 amp and the generals 4 chassis 211 is from my mid level offering. There is another 4 chassis 211 amp above that using a second 211 as driver and the silver version of that one is my top of the line 211 amp. You mentioned silver wiring in the 4 chassis 211. I use internal silver wiring in all my amplifiers and also silver transformers in the top versions. All the power amps which the general has use copper transformers.

I also want to address the comments regarding high power SETs vs low power SETs. In order to maintain the same sound quality, size, weight and cost go up with the maximum output power in an almost linear relationship. So a fair comparison would be if the higher power SET was built with similar effort per Watt as the low power one. In fact I have a customer who compared both, my all silver transformer 46 drive 46 single ended amp agains the all silver transformer 211 drive 211 amp. He uses 105dB speakers so power was sufficient also with the 46. He actually prefers the 211 in his system. I personally would have preferred the 46 but the performance was close and the difference a matter of taste.

For me it is important that equipment is able to also bring out the best out of average quality recordings rather than make them sound even worse. i believe my amplifiers and preamplifiers are able to do that. I also have many customers who only use digital sources and the amps work extremely well with those too.

I hope this adds some useful information. I am happy to answer any questions.

Best regards

Thomas
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,208
1,248
113
London
#27
Just to bring some light into this.

All! Pnoe are manufactured in Greece from Arcadian Audio

http://www.arcadianaudio.com

They do manufacture as main business boats and can use the same tooling to produce the Pnoe.

They sell the Pnoe only with the AER drivers.

Filip Keller, the owner of AER, buys the Pnoe from Arcadian Audio and fits the BD 3 or BD 4 or BD 5 chassis into the Pnoe, further he adds the acrylic excenter horns (around the AER driver) , which are (to my knowledge) not available from Arcadian Audio.

https://aer-loudspeakers.com/aer-pnoe/
Yes that is more accurate, thanks, he has the Keller version
 
Likes: shakti

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,208
1,248
113
London
#28
Hi Bonzo75,

thanks for the great report! I myself did not have the privilege yet to listen to the generals system.

If you don't mind I would like to add some information about my amplifiers which the general has.

The phono stage is a D3a based unit, completely transformer coupled employing a 600 Ohm LCR RIAA EQ. His unit is a partial silver unit which is at the lower end of my phono stage offering, there are 3 steps above that, the D3a differential phono, D3a all silver differential phono and the ultimate EC8010 differential all silver.

The generals linestage is the 10Y differential all silver which is currently my best linestage.

He has two versions of 46 amplifiers. Both employ 46 as driver tubes. One is single ended and the other differential (push pull) producing 1.25W and 3.5W respectively. Both use copper transformers. In the mean time I have the single ended 46 also with silver transformers which is yet a notch up in performance. The differential 46 has not been built in all silver yet. You mentioned that the design is somewhat extreme due to the tubes not being produced beyond the 40ies. I'd say the extreme part is more in the all transformer coupled design utilising a second 46 as driver (or another pair in the differential version). Actually the 46 was made well into the 50ies. Although it is a bit scarce I accumulated a stock of several hundred to ensure availability of replacement tubes for all 46 amps I built. The general has not tried the extremely rare and beautiful globe version of the 46 yet. More info about the 46 here:

https://vinylsavor.blogspot.com/2016/12/tube-of-month-46-revisited.html

Regarding the 211 amps: The 2 chassis one is my entry level 211 amp and the generals 4 chassis 211 is from my mid level offering. There is another 4 chassis 211 amp above that using a second 211 as driver and the silver version of that one is my top of the line 211 amp. You mentioned silver wiring in the 4 chassis 211. I use internal silver wiring in all my amplifiers and also silver transformers in the top versions. All the power amps which the general has use copper transformers.

I also want to address the comments regarding high power SETs vs low power SETs. In order to maintain the same sound quality, size, weight and cost go up with the maximum output power in an almost linear relationship. So a fair comparison would be if the higher power SET was built with similar effort per Watt as the low power one. In fact I have a customer who compared both, my all silver transformer 46 drive 46 single ended amp agains the all silver transformer 211 drive 211 amp. He uses 105dB speakers so power was sufficient also with the 46. He actually prefers the 211 in his system. I personally would have preferred the 46 but the performance was close and the difference a matter of taste.

For me it is important that equipment is able to also bring out the best out of average quality recordings rather than make them sound even worse. i believe my amplifiers and preamplifiers are able to do that. I also have many customers who only use digital sources and the amps work extremely well with those too.

I hope this adds some useful information. I am happy to answer any questions.

Best regards

Thomas
Thomas can you please also add this as a comment to the blog so people can read it with the article? Thanks
 
Last edited:

Blue58

Active Member
Jan 20, 2013
437
97
28
London, UK
#29
Great read Ked and pleasantly surprised to see Sami is also a Terry Callier fan too. I’m lucky to have seen him at The Union Chapel and it was surely memorable. He left a wonderful legacy and influenced so many singer songwriters including John Martyn. Now let’s get some Todd Rundgren on those Pnoes.
Cheers
 
Apr 14, 2018
205
117
43
#31
Dear all,

Firstly, Shakti is correct in saying that Arcadian make the cabinets and AER (Filip Keller) make the drivers.

Secondly, Thomas is correct in stating that all of his products are noteworthy and great sounding from the most basic. I am able to say this based on my first purchase being the 46 power amp acquired from Ivan at Cool Gales. This amp at 6000 euro retail is a true gem.

Subsequently I have purchased further up the ladder so to speak but am yet to reach the top. Whether I need to reach the top I can not know without further investment. My cavalier nature will allow me to be persuaded more often than not.

Thank you Kedar for your extremely kind words, do you charge by the stanza, syllable or letter?

Kindest regards, G.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,208
1,248
113
London
#32
Dear all,

Firstly, Shakti is correct in saying that Arcadian make the cabinets and AER (Filip Keller) make the drivers.

Secondly, Thomas is correct in stating that all of his products are noteworthy and great sounding from the most basic. I am able to say this based on my first purchase being the 46 power amp acquired from Ivan at Cool Gales. This amp at 6000 euro retail is a true gem.

Subsequently I have purchased further up the ladder so to speak but am yet to reach the top. Whether I need to reach the top I can not know without further investment. My cavalier nature will allow me to be persuaded more often than not.

Thank you Kedar for your extremely kind words, do you charge by the stanza, syllable or letter?

Kindest regards, G.
One LP for each letter.

To reach the top, you need to keep your current system, add the yamamura, and Henk's grands at the other end of the room. There is no point being only half way there, you might as well give it all away
 
Likes: Lagonda

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,779
1,455
113
Bangkok
#33
Not distortions at all, Tang! Thank you for your thoughts.

But I’m not sure what you (and now, I see, Kedar) are talking about?

Aren’t you both doing the same kind of speculative theorizing that Kedar sometimes criticizes me for?

I think the proposition that lower power SET is good and high-power solid-state is good but high-power tube is in the middle and this bad is ideological and not obviously logically or sonically valid.

David Wilson (now the Wilson family) still has high-power push-pull (VTL Siegfrieds) in the main listening room with the Master Chronosonics. By so doing was David compromising in the middle?

Was Andy Payor comprising in the middle when he used high-power push-pull on the Arrakis?

I really don’t understand on what you’re basing your proposition.

I would argue that high-power tube is a fine and cosmopolitan compromise: some of the magic of tubes combined with some of the oomph of solid-state.

In any event you know how I feel for myself in my own system about solid-state. Show me a solid-state amp you like, and I will show you a hybrid amp or an all-tube amp I like the sound of better.
I do think purest sound from tubes come with lower wattage. Designers of high wattage tube amps (60 watts+) would like to keep the good traits of tubes, while "pushing" them to do high watts to meet comsumers demand of using them with lower efficiency speakers like yours, so they choose different tubes that still carry these traits but not all, and build the best amps they could with these premises. The pureness of sound from these high watt tube amps is then compromised but they achieve their objectives of being able to drive the less efficient speakers with "just enough" oomphs and "beautiful" but not purest of tone. Some mentioned the Siegfried playing the WAMM at Wilson's wonderfully because they have them there. I dont doubt that. They might even used the VTL during the WAMM's development process because I believe they have been having these amps in the house since forever. (I doubt Gryphon used the VTL during the development process of your speakers though.) But wonderful and better than wonderful is a different thing. I am talking top of the elites. Ones with opportunity should compare playing the Siegfried vs. Relentless to hear oomphs, and Siegfried vs Lamm to hear tone on the new WAMM, to see if my midway observation hold true. I think MikeL (sorry for keep referring you sir) did scratch his itches doing that with comparable amps and even with his far from less efficient speakers. We already read his impression of the three amps and his final decision to keep just the Ironman.

I form my opinion using data points from people who have been reliable to me, info from two designer/owner of tube amp manufacturers , and my personal experiences.

kind regards,
Tang ;)
 
Last edited:

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,208
1,248
113
London
#34
Ron, Gryphon did not use VTL for the development of the Pendragons

Sincerely,

Sherlock Holmes
 

kodomo

Active Member
Apr 26, 2017
333
248
43
#35
I do think purest sound from tubes come with lower wattage. Designers of high wattage tube amps (60 watts+) would like to keep the good traits of tubes, while "pushing" them to do high watts to meet comsumers demand of using them with lower efficiency speakers like yours, so they choose different tubes that still carry these traits but not all, and build the best amps they could with these premises. The pureness of sound from these high watt tube amps is then compromised but they achieve their objectives of being able to drive the less efficient speakers with "just enough" oomphs and "beautiful" but not purest of tone. Some mentioned the Siegfried playing the WAMM at Wilson's wonderfully because they have them there. I dont doubt that. They might even used the VTL during the WAMM's development process because I believe they have been having these amps in the house since forever. (I doubt Gryphon used the VTL during the development process of your speakers though.) But wonderful and better than wonderful is a different thing. I am talking top of the elites. Ones with opportunity should compare playing the Siegfried vs. Relentless to hear oomphs, and Siegfried vs Lamm to hear tone on the new WAMM, to see if my midway observation hold true. I think MikeL (sorry for keep referring you sir) did scratch his itches doing that with comparable amps and even with his far from less efficient speakers. We already read his impression of the three amps and his final decision to keep just the Ironman.

I form my opinion using data points from people who have been reliable to me, info from two designer/owner of tube amp manufacturers , and my personal experiences.

kind regards,
Tang ;)
I really hope the new acme 845 would carry the traits of low power tubes (high resolution, great timbre) to relatively high power with its new mesh type topology. I will be away for a few days for my operation and will be resting for a week after that. But by then, the new acme845s would have arrived at my place waiting for me. I will let people know how they sound in set topology and if it really does what they claim. I will drive them with 310a->300b>845 with my modified line magnetic 503pa.
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
993
374
63
Principality of Liechtenstein
#36
Dear Kedar
Wavac and NATs and KR are to be used for for applications where you want to drive cones with SETs
As much as I like you, but sometimes when I read your "Fortune Cookie" like wisdoms and gross generalizations, I really have to shake my head in disbelief :rolleyes:
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,208
1,248
113
London
#38
Dear Kedar


As much as I like you, but sometimes when I read your "Fortune Cookie" like wisdoms and gross generalizations, I really have to shake my head in disbelief :rolleyes:
Let me know when you compared your KR to a 2a3 like low watt amp on horns, or otherwise? Btw I had the VA 200 in mind when I wrote that, should have specified, not the kronzilla which is fine for uni like horns
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
993
374
63
Principality of Liechtenstein
#39
May 30, 2010
15,192
552
113
Portugal
#40
Ron, is the VTL the only amp in the Wilson room or is this one of many?
Pictures show the D'Agostino Monomemtum's, the VTL Siegfried II and the Nagra HD in the Wilson room. I have read reports of listening sessions with the D'Agostiono and the VTL, but never with Nagra HD.
 

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