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StevenZ

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  1. I always post videos of my systems with new components as a "test" for myself. I'm glad others think they're good sounding. Truth is, those speakers I used in the video aren't really all that good at all. But the Benchmark amp and the Gieseler gear up-stream really helped open them up to something much more. I believe by the end of this week I'll have a new video up showing my latest speakers that I'm building which should be a LOT better. -Steven
  2. Boy oh boy you are going to be in for a real treat! What amplifier will you be using?
  3. Anyone interested in reading my updated review of Clay's latest and greatest Preamplifier should click on this link! It's pretty awesome! http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php/topic/103617-new-preamplifier-ugrade/?p=1627894
  4. Alright, now to report on the stuff you've all been waiting for. My preamp arrived early last week and even though Clay said my preamp had been run in for a bit, I decided to put another 150hrs on it before I did any real critical listening. This weekend I had a bit of time to sit down and what I heard was just ridiculous. I'm thrilled to announce that Clay has hit this one WAY out of the park. By removing the actual potentiometer he's gone to a remote only control which is smooth as butter in operation with no audible clicks or clacks throughout it's range. Couple this with the adjustable gain setting that he's now including on the rear of the pre and you have a VERY versatile preamplifier that should mate well with virtually any power amp. The new display is also pretty awesome and with the option to turn it "off" you'll be happy to listen in low light settings and not be hindered by any bright lights. That's not to say the display is bright at all or intruding in the least, it's not. I usually listen in near pitch black with my eyes closed and if any component has one of those flash light LEDs on the front panel I find it hard to concentrate. This pre with the display on is just fine for me and lets me just drift away into audio nirvana. If you guys are on the fence, fear not, this thing is awesome. I'm using this preamp with a Benchmark AHB2 amplifier which is known for it's downright honest presentation and virtually zero noise floor. I don't feel that the preamp adds any of it's own flavor to the signal and keeps the noise floor at such low levels that I'd describe the background as inky black. This allows for incredible instrument separation and air between sounds in the recording with no smearing or overhang. Everything stays right in it's appropriate soundstage placement with no drift. Depth is also quite good, extending far beyond my speakers and also well into the room. This preamp fits right in with what I consider to be a world class amplifier so that said I can't recommend it high enough. Not only is it a stellar product but you also have the full support of Clay which is invaluable these days when it seems like most companies only see you as a paycheck. Clay is able to custom tailor the gain settings of the preamp to match whatever amplifier you'll be using with it and I feel that seemingly small customization is just the cherry on top in Clay's devotion to his customers and their satisfaction with his products. Buy this preamp if you need one. Hell, even if you don't need one, you need this preamp in your life. Bravo, Clay. Job well done! Sincerely, Steven Z.
  5. I'm looking forward to receiving mine. Should be here by end of the week, I hope. Will report back when it arrives and thankfully my unit is fully burned in according to Clay. Excited is an understatement. Hahah!
  6. Looks great, Clay! I think in this case the toggle is a necessary requirement for ease of service and build. Perhaps another option for those who dont like it would be to move the toggle to the rear panel and use some sort of standby mode instead? I personally like the engaging feeling of a solid toggle. One must be careful when moving all controls to a remote especially if the user/owner happens to misplace the remote it renders the gear completely inoperable until a replacement is sourced.
  7. Which Audioquest cable did you compare it to? I've got a 1m evergreen I'd like to replace.
  8. A little late to the party here, but thought it would be worthwhile to share my opinion of the Gieseler preamp I recently purchased. By now I've got about 200hrs on it and feel I can give a decent write-up of it's performance. I purchased the preamp and DAC at the same time from Clay and both were delivered in mid February. Since then I've put them through the ringer with all the different music I've got ranging from classical to hip hop. I can say without doubt that this is the most pure sounding preamp that I've had the pleasure of owning. I've previously owned a few passive preamps such as Electra-Print PVA, Tortuga Audio LDR3 and most recently a "Lighter Note" by Uriah Dailey. For a short time I used an Audio-GD DAC/Pre and found it to be nice having gain adjustments for the output. But through all of that, I kept finding something missing in the presentation with all the previous preamps. The passives lacked drive, the Audio-GD seemed to lack detail so as many of you know, we are constantly pushing for that happy medium. A place where we get extreme musicality that brings chills to our spine and makes us want to listen more. This is what you'll get with the Gieseler preamp. I feel this preamp may be in my system for a very long time as it's very versatile with it's multiple inputs and remote volume control. I do have a few critiques though. As I explained to Clay it seems there needs to be a bit more fine tuning on the lower settings of the volume control. At the minimum setting the volume sits at about a 7 o'clock position. On this setting there is no audio (as it should be), but instead of slowly becoming linear throughout the motion it seems there is a dead zone where basically no audio comes out, and that zone is from 7 to about 9:30. As Clay has explained this was due to programming and will be addressed shortly after the new DAC/Pre combo unit comes out. I feel that dead zone can be much better used to very slowly ramp up the volume and jive better with the rest of the volume range. Speaking of which, it seems the remainder of the volume control rotation is quite good. I feel that is kinda mimics what most logarithmic potentiometers do, but not exactly. On one of the smaller class D chip amps I've got it seems that I can easily dial in basically any volume setting I'd like, with the remote and with the manual adjustment. The remote has coarse and fine adjustments which come in handy. But with my ATI 1502 amplifier it seems that the preamp's output and the input on the amp just don't jive well. Directly after the dead zone it seems that it starts driving my amp with a bit too much signal, resulting in a very limited range of volume before it becomes too loud. This said, I do wish the preamp had some sort of high and low gain switch for those of us who might like to swap out amplifiers from time to time. On that same note, I was told by Clay that when they're finished with the dac/pre he will begin working on preamp code again and send me a swappable chip that will fix this. Perhaps that code/chip can be custom tailored to mesh exactly with my amp? I'll let Clay answer that one. One other very small quirk' while the volume pot is moving it's a bit loud mechanically. I'm not sure if this is normal as the only other remote volume control / preamp I've got is in my Sony STR-DB930 which uses a motorized Alps "Black Beauty" potentiometer and is dead quiet throughout it's movement. So who knows. As for me, I'm quite happy with the preamp and I do think that once the coding gets fine tuned on the preamp I believe it'll be a mainstay in my system for years to come. For those of you who are interested in this preamp rest assured that Clay is is a world class guy offering world class audio equipment at very competitive pricing. He works hard to produce mega value packed gear and it's clearly audible when you listen to them. Well done, Clay. Will definitely buy from you again as I hear you're working on a power amp. Would love to have an all Gieseler rig and will buy it from you the moment it comes out. Cheers, Steven
  9. Hey folks, just wanted to drop in and say hello. I was pointed here by looking for information about Gieseler Audio products which prompted me to buy a few. I'm hoping to connect with a few customers of Gieseler audio as well as learn a few things from the rest of you fine folks. I look forward to spending more time here. Cheers, Steven
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