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Item: FS: StereoKnight Magnetic Enigma Pre-amp and Matching StereoKnight M100 Monobloc Valve Amps Location: Melbourne - Endeavour Hills Price: $6,000 $6,500 for the lot (Preamp $2,750 $3K, Monoblocs $3,750 $4K - will only split if confirmed buyers for both) Item Condition: Excellent - see below for more details Reason for selling: Moving house - smaller room means I need to combine stereo and HT systems Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Bank transfer, Paypal (+3%) Extra Info: I don't have the original boxes - buyer can arrange shipping at their own expense and risk (see below for more info) I thought these would be my forever system, but we've decided to move to a smaller property. In the new house I don't have room to run separate stereo and HT systems so need a set-up with HT bypass. I'd be open to a trade for an Elektra Pnyx and HD300 or a Parasound P5 and A21 - probably not interested in much else but feel welcome to test the waters if it's got decent grunt and HT bypass. Some background - after trialing a number of options to drive my Osborn Reference Eclipse Towers, Greg Osborn persuaded me to try his StereoKnight pre and monobloc combo. I had absolutely no intention of spending so far over my budget, but listening to these loosened the purse strings - even Mrs Q was mightily impressed and gave me no grief for overspending - and that's saying something. The really outstanding aspect of the StereoKnight gear in my opinion is that it sounds so good at low to middling volumes, but is also crankable. Also, these are very quiet, especially for valve gear - I've heard a lot of solid state gear that's produced more background hiss. If you have a search on SNA I think you'll find that the StereoKnight Enigma and M100s are highly regarded and very few have come up for sale. The Enigma pre-amp is built like a tank and weighs as much (22Kg) as many power amps. The balanced and unbalanced outputs are both active at any time so you can output to the monoblocs and a sub (as I do). The monoblocs are similarly built like a couple of brick outhouses. The pre has had the standard ElectroHarmonix 6922 valves replaced with equivalent UK IEC Mullards - these provided a huge improvement across the board - better bass, sweeter treble and mids. The monoblocs have had the ElectroHarmonix 6922 valves replaced with Tesla gold pin / gold grid valves for improved reliability (EH went through a period of truly woeful reliability). The original power valves were initially replaced with some SED Winged C KT88s (great sound, but no longer in production) and more recently I've used Tung-Sol KT120s which have given further improvement in tightening the bass. In the interests of full disclosure, one of the SED Winged C KT88s lived up to their reputation of going out with a bang and took out one of the sacrificial resistors on one monobloc. I had the monobloc fixed by Greg's usual repairer, who replaced the resistor and gave the amp a clean bill of health. It's been rock solid since then. Also, these are early production M100s and are labelled as M75s (I understand the only significant change was a modest upgrade to the output transformers). The pre and monoblocs are one owner and have always been kept in a non-smoking environment. Both the Enigma and the M100s are in good cosmetic condition but have a few minor scuffs and fine scratches - I've tried to show these in the photos but they're not easy to capture. The Enigma also has some burring around one screw on the top where I had trouble loosening and overtightened screw - see photo. As you may know, StereoKnight didn't survive the GFC and the two partners went their separate ways. The partner responsible for the engineering design has since founded AM Audio and some of their products draw on the same principles as StereoKnight, albeit at higher price points. Greg Osborn sells AM Audio and the RT-1 pre that is based on the Enigma pre costs $5890 (ouch!) and misses out on a remote. Serious buyers are welcome to an audition, but please don't waste both our time by expecting a low-ball offer will be accepted. For interstate buyers, as mentioned above I don't have the original boxes. I am OK with you arranging shipping and insurance at your expense, but would ask that you have a trusted contact inspect the gear first and confirm that it's cosmetically as described and in full working order. I could also deliver to a local shipper like Pack and Send after inspection by your trusted contact. StereoKnight was always about engineering and production - marketing wasn't their strong point, so there's not a whole lot of information about on the web and what does exist isn't the slick, polished stuff you get from professional marketing. Some extracts from Greg Osborn's then website below. Magnetic Enigma-1.0R Pre-amp The unique design of this all new tube preamp, the "Magnetic Enigma-1.0R" can be implied from the term "magnetic", which indicates its direct origin from the StereoKnight magnetic passive preamp. Not only does the Enigma-1.0R use 4 transformers for volume attenuation, but also another 2 transformers for signal output, and two more for power supplies. The remarkable performance of this Preamp has been achieved with an all new audio and power supply circuit design. The circuit is pure tube, Class-A, with zero feedback, utilising a total of four long-life tubes (2 6H30 as the drivers and 2 6922 as the amplifiers); and further, it is a true balance circuit design in both the input and output stage, with the support of 4 volume control transformers. For balanced input signal, each channel has two opposite signals, a positive and a negative one. Theoretically, it needs 4 transformers to attenuate 4 separate input signals for a two channel source. StereoKnight had implemented this theory into the design of the magnetic passive preamp, resulting in exceptional performance. The Magnetic Enigma-1.0R is a direct upgrade from StereoKnight's reference version of the magnetic passive preamp. By utilising both tube amplifiers and output transformers. One great advantage of this magnetic feature, is its capability for optimal matching with any amps and interconnects, while accepting any sources input at various impedance levels. In the interests of achieving the least possible interference to the audio signal, the power supply is divided into two separate parts: The main power transformer, which is used to power the audio circuit, and a smaller power transformer, which is designed to support the remote control, and LED display functions. MOSFETS are used for both voltage stabilisation and supplying a constant current, which enhances the reliability and makes the tube amplification as linear as possible. With its great build quality, audiophile grade components, versatility and the ability to musically transform every system, the result is, that not only does the Enigma-1.0R deliver striking clarity and detail, that presents instrumental timbres and textures in an amazingly lifelike way, and also represents great value and reliability. Feature summary of the Magnetic Enigma-1.0R line stage preamplifier. * Fully differential circuit with balanced in and out. * 4 transformers for volume attenuation with 33 steps. * Transformer output. * Pure tube, Class-A, with a Zero feedback audio circuit. * The Versatility to match all kinds of amplifiers and interconnects, based on full magnetic or transformer implement designs. * The capable to drive two amplifiers or one amp + one subwoofer at same time either through the two balanced or RCA outputs. * Full remote control on volume, source selection, output selection, balance adjustment, dimmer, etc. * MOSFETS for voltage stabilisation, and supplying constant a current. * Hovland musicap capacitors in the signal path. * Detachable IEC power cord. High quality gold-plated StereoKnight custom binding posts and RCA jacks, TEFLON insulated wire and Japanese made POCC rectangular solid core copper wire throughout. * Full machined aluminium alloy chassis and remote control for best possible build quality and appearance. Specifications: Tube complement: Two 6H30 as the drivers, two 6922 as the amplifiers. Frequency response: 8 Hz ~ 80 KHz , -1 ~ +1 dB. Input Impedance: 20k ~ 300k ohms, a great feature favoured by the Magnetic Enigma volume control function. Volume control: 4 transformers at balance input, 2 transformers at RCA input, used to attenuate, with 33 steps which are connected to 33 digital relays. The relays are controlled by a CPU that receives the signal from a digital stepper, which is either the consequence of turning the volume knob or by instruction from the remote control. Output Impedance: 600 ohms balanced. The Enigma is of pure balanced circuit design, so the 2 RCA output is converted from the balanced output. Gain: 20 dB Output voltage: 20v RMS balanced at 2v RMS input at less than 1% THD at 1kHz S / N: > 100 dB at 1KHz Input selections: 4 pairs RCA single-ended ; 3 pairs balanced / XLR Output selections: 2 pairs balanced / XLR ; 2 pairs RCA ( two amplifiers or one amplifier and one subwoofer can be connected same time, either by balanced output, or RCA output ) Remote control functions: Source select, output select, volume up /down, mute, dimmer, balance adjust +/- Power consumption: 45 watts Dimensions: (W x D x H) 430 x 400 x 140mm or 17 x 15.5 x 5.5 inches Weight: 48 lbs (22 Kg) net weight, 61 lbs (28 Kg) shipping weight StereoKnight M-100 Monobloc Amplifiers The fully balanced design M-100 These are astonishing. Fantastic power, control, detail, transparency, openness and sheer musicality. I have never heard a KT88 amp, or in fact any amplifier short of the CAT that even goes close to these amps. Specifications * Tubes: 1 X 6H30, 2 X 6922 4 X KT88 * Power output: 2×100W (8ohms ULTRALINEAR); 2x 140W (4ohms ULTRALINEAR) * Input: 1 x RCA, 1 x XLR * Frequency response: 10Hz~60kHz * THD: 1%(1kHz) * Input sensitivity: 2 V * Input impedance: 50 Kohms * Output impedance: 8ohms, 4ohms * S/N ratio: > 90 dB * Dimensions: 500×330×240mm * Net weight: 35Kg x 2 * Power consumption: 550W maximum The M-100 paired monobloc amplifiers are designed for those who seek superb performance based on high power and a fully balance design, where the reliability and easy maintenance are assured for years to come. The M-75 is mainly designed for full balance input, thus gaining the ultimate performance possible, supported by the transformer assembly, including power, input, output, and balance, newly designed and manufactured by StereoKnight. Two 6922 tubes are used for amplification when XLR input is selected. A 600 ohm input transformer was designed to split phase for balanced amplification when RCA input is used. High power with excellent drive & control: transformer and KT88 Four matched pairs of KT88s, driven by a 600W ultra wide bandwidth, C-core type output transformer, conservatively designed for an output of 100WPC at 8 ohms, or 140W at 4 ohms, where two important factors were concerned: * Power is not the single bench mark of performance. The ability to drive and control the most difficult loads, in any situation is more critical; * Achieving exceptionally high power output, by pushing the tubes to their maximum capabilities will easily damage them in the short term, and can affect the stability and reliability of the unit. At 100WPC output the M-100 provides excellent drive and control, as well as plenty of power, which easily makes it a winner in any situation. With four KT88s, we could easily achieve an output of over 125WPC, which may look impressive, but we care more about the reliability of our products, as well as our customer's long term satisfaction. Sacrificing some power does not mean we compromise the performance. KT88s or 6550s are used for power amplifying, which are the power tubes preferred by StereoKnight. We value the KT88 based on the following considerations: * Properly designed and engineered, and assisted by high quality transformers, KT88s can produce all typical 'tube sound' usually associated with 300Bs, 2A3s or 845s. * KT88s are stable, reliable and have a long tube life. * They are easily obtainable, and reasonably priced. Two ZEROs As for the noise, which has annoyed tube equipment for decades, it will never be a conern any more. ZERO noise concern will be the basic promise that StereoKnight brings to your musical enjoyment. Another ZERO is about negative feedback: ZERO-NEGATIVE-FEEDBACK concept and technology are fully applied in both the preamp and poweramp stages in the S-40's design and engineering. This unique feature brings single ended class A sonic characteristics to the S-40's push-pull based design. MOSFET technology is used to stabilize voltage most precisely, which offers faster rectification, and has the ability to address a much higher capacitance than the older tube rectifiers. Tube rectifiers are designed to handle only 50 microfarads (mf) at maximum, while MOSFET rectifiers can handle capacitances greater than 4000 mf. MOSFET also offer far better reliability and don't age as quickly as tube rectifiers. Tube rectifiers age and eventually short out the power supply cap, which is an expensive repair. It can also help to reduce electro-magnetic noise (dead silent background?) and operate unit more stably and reliably. Technology & parts MOSFET technology is used to stabilize the voltage precisely, which offers faster rectification, and has the ability to address a much higher capacitance than the older tube rectifiers. Tube rectifiers are designed to handle only 50 microfarads (mf) at maximum, while MOSFET rectifiers can handle capacitances greater than 4000 mf. MOSFETs also offer far better reliability, and don't age as quickly as tube rectifiers. Tube rectifiers age, and eventually short out the power supply cap, which is an expensive repair. It can also help to reduce electro-magnetic noise ( dead silent background) and allow the unit to operate with more stability and reliably. All components and each measurement which may improve sound performance or enhance the reliability of the unit have been carefully considered. StereoKnight designs and manufactures their units in a way to satisfy the most picky and ambitious audiophiles. For example, most wires connecting parts inside chassis are covered by TEFLON insulation --- (Teflon insulated wires are more suited to the higher working voltages. High voltages run on separate wires to avoid copper crystallization (whiskers, due to high voltage) --- between layers of fiberglass when high voltage is run on PC board traces. Teflon wire also has better thermic stability and can withstand higher current for a short time). In addition, critical wires are hand made by compositing several kinds of selected enamelled wires in optimal proportions. We also use Japanese made POCC rectangular solid core copper wire as the wire in the signal path. This type of wire which is often used by the big brands to make high cost interconnect cables. Features: * Full balance design. * High grade 600W EI type power transformer, extra wide band C-core output transformers (StereoKnight signature). * High end components (Nichicon and Hovland capacitors), parts (StereoKnight designed heavy duty gold-plated binding post) and wire (TEFLON insulated wire and Japanese made POCC rectangular solid core copper wire) through the signal path. * ZERO-NEGATIVE-FEEDBACK technology. * ZERO noise: dead silence background. * MOSFET voltage stabilisation. * High control power (100WPC or 140W at 4 ohms), capable of driving a wide range of loudspeakers. * Easily accessible individual output tube bias measurement, and adjustment points on the side of the chassis. * Detachable IEC power cord, high quality gold-plated StereoKnight custom binding posts and RCA jacks. * Full high quality aluminium alloy body construction, power meter in faceplate and acrylic enclosure cover design: sturdily and artistically built. Pictures:
Item: Stereoknight M-100 (100watt+ per side into 8ohms, or 200+watt per side into 4ohms - your choice) fully balanced design valve monoblocks WITH octet PrimaLuna KT-88s Location: Melbourne, Australia (inner northern suburbs) Price: $4200 ONO Item Condition: Almost perfect Reason for selling: Sidegrading (very reluctant sale) Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, bank transfer. Pickup preferred (thus a buyer picking up will be given preference). Extra Info: Here are a very hard to come by matching pair (sequential serials) of StereoKnight M-100 valve (tube) monoblocks. I had originally purchased them off a gentleman here in Victoria, and since then they have been lovingly and sparingly used, as well as upgraded and some expense. They are in near perfect condition. They have solid aluminium cases (I've never seen a build quality like them - really!), and there are only the odd tiny marks. I have tried my best to photograph all aspects of them. Information can be somewhat difficult to track down, however for those in the know, these are built by the man now responsible for Audio Music (AM AUDIO) - Mr.Fang. I am very happy to say that he is easy to contact and will provide any information and support needed. He stands by his products, and they are massively over-engineered, so should last a lifetime! Here are some links to have a look at. Note that the StereoKnight site is no longer active, as the company is now Audio Music (AM), and most reviews and spec's are relating to the M-75 monoblocks. Advertised here are the much upgraded M-100's, which as I understand it were produced only towards the end of StereoKnight's reign. Some of you will likely be aware that these all were (and AM still are) distributed in Australia via Greg Osborn here in Melbourne. http://www.osbornloudspeakers.com.au/ http://www.audioreference.co.nz/brand/am-audio http://www.am-hiend.com/index.html And here is a review of the (lesser) M-75's (please note the spec's on the ones I have for sale here are different): http://www.dagogo.com/stereoknight-m75-mono-block-amplifier-review Also note that I have added a full octet of select PrimaLuna KT-88 power tubes (4 per side). These retail at $175 each (thus full set = $1400). http://magentaaudio.com.au/product/primaluna-kt88-tube-silver-label/ I bought these tubes off a fellow member, at which time they had very little use (he changed to KT-120's as I recall). Note that, having discussed with Mr.Fang, you could use KT-120's in these beasts, making over 120 watts per side. Wow. Not that you'll need more power........Note that the newer Tung-sol KT-150's won't work in these according to Mr Fang (but now we're just getting greedy!). These beasts, irrespective, will most certainly lend themselves to tube rolling, given how madly revealing they are! At night, they look like two small cities all lit up. Really cool. NOTE: I am also happy to do a deal on the full set of KT88's (and some other spares) I replaced which could be used as spares (Electron Tube KT94). Just ask! Here are the specs from the web (for the lesser M-75's): http://www.stereoknight.com/M-75.html Specifications (note that these have much upgraded spec's. Please contact Mr.Fang via AM Audio for specifics). Tubes: 1 X 6H30, 2 X 6922 4 X KT88 Power output: 2×75W (8? ULTRALINEAR); 2x 140W (4? ULTRALINEAR) Input: 1 x RCA, 1 x XLR Frequency response: 10Hz?60kHz THD: 1%(1kHz) Input sensitivity: 2 V Input impedance: 50 K? Output impedance: 8?, 4? S/N ratio: > 90 dB Dimensions: 500×330×240mm Net weight: 29Kg x 2 Power consumption: 550W maximum Full balance design. High grade 600W EI type power transformer, extra wide band C-core output transformer (StereoKnight signature). High end components (Nichicon and Hovland capacitor), parts (StereoKnight designed heavy duty gold-plated binding post) and wire (TEFLON insulated wire and Japan made POCC rectangular solid core copper wire) all the way. ZERO-NEGATIVE-FEEDBACK technology. ZERO noise: dead silence background. MOSFET voltage stabilization. High control power (75WPC or 140W at 4?), capable of driving a wide range of loudspeakers. Easily accessible individual output tube bias measurement and adjustment points on side chassis. Detachable IEC power cord, high quality gold-plated StereoKnight custom binding posts and RCA jacks. Full high quality aluminum alloy body construction, power meter in faceplate and acrylic enclosure cover design: sturdy built with art. I have been using these amps as follows: Pre - Wyred4Sound STP-SE Power - Stereoknight M-100 valve monoblocks (via XLR in true balanced configuration) - I preferred ~100+W into 8ohms compared to ~200+W into 4ohms, but other systems will vary. speakers - Osborn Epitome (approx 90dB efficiency) sources - various, including hi-res digital and vinyl I must say these amps are truly extraordinary. I've never heard more beautiful bass. They simply don't suffer from slow or muddy bass. They are glorious in this sense. Clarity is superb, and separation and soundstage blows me away. If you're a jazz fan, I'd look no further (your favourite female vocal will make you shiver. Start with a quality vinyl pressing of "What's New?" by Helen Merrill and you'll melt. Having said that, I have a very eclectic taste in music (from jazz to classical to indie rock to heavy metal to 60's rock and back again....) and these amps produce it all with aplomb! Anyone looking for high-powered (and yes, we're talking up to over 200wpc fully balanced into 4ohms if preferred!!), these are hard to pass up. They'll drive almost anything easily. For those in the know, any audiophile tube amps producing this sort of drive usually cost well over the price of these! They really do respond to a truly balanced end-to-end setup, so fire up that balanced Preamp and invest in some quality XLR cables (I preferred a copper/silver mix to all silver, however (as always) each system and ear is different)!! I have all the original boxing and packaging. I worry about posting, even with proper factory packaging, but can do if needed. Tubes may need to be removed and padded up). You will need to get your own power cords (although I can throw in some cheapies, however I'd recommend something to match their quality). I have been very loving of them. They have always been allowed to warm up prior to use (they really come on song after about an hour ideally). They will definitely benefit from a couple of heavy & solid isolation platforms to sit on. They certainly sound a whole lot better (especially mid range) with the PrimaLuna (silver edition) tubes, compared to the set of KT94's that came with them. All my gear runs off a power conditioner. Please note that the power output needle on (I seem to recall the right channel) one amp does not work. It was not working when I got them (I am the second owner), and does not affect sound of course. I have not looked into getting it fixed, however I am sure this could easily be done. I may get the opportunity to have it looked at next week if time permits. You'll note the little doors on the sides of each amp. They come off with an allen key (supplied), and you need a basic multimeter (I'll throw in with the sale) in order to bias each tube. There is a bias screw next to each corresponding power tube (see pics). It's really easy, and according to Mr.Fang you can decide your output preferences. These amps can produce a lot more power, but it's up to the listener what their preferences are. Notably, the PrimaLunas went in and needed very little (if any) bias adjusting (ie. a matched Octet!). http://www.primaluna-usa.com/tube-rolling These amps go very easy on tubes (if standard biasing is applied), so they should last ages. These monsters are big and heavy and beautiful: - around 30kg each - packaging adds 2kg each - size (each in cm) is 46w, 22h, 30w - colour is silver aluminium with clear perspex lids I will happily arrange for an audition only for those truly intending to buy (amps are currently not in use). I live in inner-north of Melbourne. Price will be formalised before this happens (I don't want to spend ages working through critical listening, only for someone to try to lowball me. I am sure you all understand (and I will negotiate on price if required and reasonable), but it's happened too many times before). I am always very light-on for time (it took me 3 months after having stored the amps to get around to this ad!), so please do your own research. Price is negotiable, however it reflects age, condition, use, rarity and a $1400 tube set! Don't let them pass you by if you've been thinking of high powered tubes but the prices have held you back. Given this sort of quality and the bliss into which you will plunge, they represent tube heaven at this price range in my opinion. Happy listening! Mat
Item: StereoKnight Silverstone B&R passive preamp Location: StKilda, Melbourne Price: $1200 firm Item Condition: almost excellent. Bought Jan 2011 Reason for selling: already upgraded to a valve active preamp Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Direct Transfer, PayPal + 3% Extra Info: see below Pictures: see my thread here This is a great preamp, to my ears as good as a Music First Mk II and at a great price. It's extremely detailed, has good sound staging and 6dB of gain. Like all passives it doesn't quite have the dynamics of an active, but that is the trade off in return for the detail unless you want to pay x5 more in order to get both from an active preamp (I just have!) It's complete dual mono with independent volume adjustment (both channels controlled simultaneously from the remote). It's fully balanced and transformer coupled so contains 4 transformers. The transformer coupling allows it to be used with low impedance loads like active speakers without bandwidth constraints, or with long interconnects, unlike many passives. It has 3x RCA inputs and 3x Balanced XLR inputs, so a total of 6 sources can be accommodated, it's rare to get that many input options these days. You can use RCA inputs and XLR outputs so this is a very versatile preamp. It has 2x balanced XLR outputs so that you can run a powered sub with your 2 channel setup. There are 2x RCA outputs although these have never functioned from the day the amp arrived new. This may be simple problem to fix, I don't know, however I'll supply 2x XLR->RCA adaptors in case your cables are RCA only. I've only used the XLR outputs anyway so never bothered to get it fixed. The reviews claim that the XLR balanced outputs sound better than the RCA outputs. New price from Osbourne (the Aussie distributor) is $2700. The amp comes with a full function remote control that adjusts volume, mute, input and output selection and adjusts channel balance. The amp is quite heavy and very solidly constructed, it's made from solid aluminium plate and weighs more than my new valve preamp! Some reviews: 6moons review the non-remote control version - identical sound. Dagogo reviews the B&R