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Steve M

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Steve M last won the day on April 29 2016

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  1. Steve M

    Quad II amps and 22 preamp fair price

    Plus, the Quad II + 22 combo doesn’t sound very good. Sounds mushy and soft around the edges to me and lacks any real world power output.
  2. On looks alone, it’s been done before by Shanling with the CDT-300 in 2004 ...is this the first time the French have copied the Chinese instead of the other way around??😝
  3. Steve M

    The job of a pre amp

    G’day George, I am not referring to anything you said, all good as your input is always valuable. Just referring to the overall tone of the thread, I guess there will always be a difference of opinion between active and passives. As Zaphod has suggested, there will always be a better chance of a good match-up with power amps and active preamps, which equals good sound. That said, my experience is that actives sound more lifelike and less compressed. Steve.
  4. Steve M

    The job of a pre amp

    This thread has veered from “the job of a preamp” active or passive, to using a passive volume controller for hifi use as something superior? The two are very different in my experience, the passive controllers doing the job of switching and volume attenuation adequately, while the active preamplifiers lifting the game somewhat in terms of maintaining extreme clarity and the life in the music. With passive devices, I have tried the Audio Synthesis UK Elna 24 step ladders with Vishay resistors, Music First Sowter transformer preamp, the Prometheus Silver transformer passive, DACT smd passive control from Denmark, Alps and Noble volume pots direct to source and the Sonic Euphoria passive from the USA. All have squashed and compressed the music to some degree, compared to the good active preamplifiers that I have owned. Granted, I have not tried the LDR passive types discussed in this thread? Steve.
  5. Good move ...I’ve had quite a few of those vintage solid state amps from Sansui, Lux, Marantz, Accuphase and others and while quite nice if you need the high power output, almost all of them do not keep up with a ‘good’ valve amp for sweetness and musicality. Especially on the type of loudspeakers you mention which are good at giving an emotional response. If you want to dip your toes in the valve amp world, try any of the good s/h $500-$1500 Chinese amps out there ...good ones like Mingda, Cayin, Audiospace, Consonance, Line Magnetic and the like. I would look out for push-pull designs that are rated 30-50w/ch and above, they will drive the speakers you mention. Steve.
  6. Steve M

    The job of a pre amp

    JD, you’re on the ball here. Yes, if the preamp is not a good one it will not reveal the virtues of what an excellent preamp can do to lift the whole game - so chose carefully or just go direct from your Oppo. Not sure what your other components are, especially the speakers which need to be of sufficient high quality. Steve.
  7. Steve M

    The job of a pre amp

    Anyone in Perth got one of these Stereo Coffee LDR passive preamps for me to hear? Really keen to audition one ...been lurking at the side about these and I should just build one, they’re cheap enough. Steve.
  8. Steve M

    The job of a pre amp

    Actually, Con’s second explanation of what an active preamp might be doing for him, is a good one. Steve.
  9. Steve M

    The job of a pre amp

    A bit like Groundhog Day this question ... The first thing I would ask the OP is do you have more than one source component? If so, you probably need a preamp to switch and control volume between them. Secondly, it is a complete Lottery out there in terms how power amps perform on their own, when connected directly to a source component. My experience is that sometimes you can fluke it and it can sound very good that way, but more often than not a good preamplifier will bring something extra to the party ...a sense of realism, vivacity and a forward projection to the music (as different from a flat lifeless sound that makes you think the music is contrived by electronics). I don’t agree with Ittaku/Con that preamps necessarily introduce coloration. This is an assumption rather than fact. With my own Supratek Cortese valve preamp (the latest circuit), it brings greater accuracy to the situation. Why do I say that it is more accurate, it’s because I can hear more fine details in the recording, better timing in the music, a real sense of the venue and a bigger soundstage. How can all of this be put down to coloration or distortion - when you are actually hearing more detail and music as the musicians originally intended? Consider also that if you choose carefully, the preamp can be a pivotal component that passes on its goodness to the rest of the chain. It can often start and stop right there and influence the whole system. This positive affect that good preamplifiers can impart, is not limited to valve preamps like the Supratek. Many of the world’s most expensive sound systems inevitably have an active preamp at the helm, so I think plenty of experienced people have heard what they can do. Steve.
  10. All of these comments just further cements in my mind that modern dacs are not the weak point in our systems, and cost is not a determining factor either especially up to about the $2K mark. Yes it does get better after that , but even then it’s not chalk and cheese as all good sounding dacs (regardless of cost) are more similar than not.
  11. Steve M

    I let go of Foxtel

    Foxtel content is crap compared to Netflix, Stan etc (except for live sport) ...I get the feeling Foxtel programming is repetitive and they just can’t afford to purchase what we modern consumers expect in this day and age of streaming. My prediction is Foxtel will be dead in the water within 5yrs.
  12. Steve M

    Help me buy a DAC

    Yes, bought on your recommendation ...amazing value and sound. 👍
  13. Steve M

    Help me buy a DAC

    Topping D-10 DAC @ $120 delivered from China ...best bang for buck I have experienced in a dac, Sabre 9018 chip that will play all formats seamlessly up to 8 x SACD - DSD512. Steve.
  14. Steve M

    Spendor A1 vs other sealed little guys

    ...my suggestion not sealed.