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Are you using a preamp? (Read 10315 times)
Gopher
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Are you using a preamp?
07/06/11 at 15:55:34
 
My original intention was to use a Tubeguru.hu preamplifier to drive my Torii 3, but truth be told the expensive pre brought very little to the table in a brief demo this past weekend.

The Torii already has the low end impach, harmonic richmess, transparancy, texture and staging ability I would want aa pre to bring.  The only thing I'm wanting for is a splash morre emotion, which is the one area my prior rig (Shindo pre/845 set) had the edge over  the Torii.

That said, I suspect I can coax it out with tube rolling, but I am curious as to whether this is why some adopted pres or if the majority prefer to use it as an integrated.
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Lon
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #1 - 07/06/11 at 17:05:51
 
Well. . . I use a CSP2 for two of my sources with the Torii. The CSP2 is a very dynamic beast, and the adjustable output for each channel is a very good tool to coax the best out of a component, or tame or spice up a recording.

I agree that the Torii alone is absolutely fine on its own, and I think with tube rolling you can add a bit of romance to the Torii by itself. There are two main reasons I use the CSP2 with the Torii. One is that one of my sources has a very low output and the boost I can add from the CSP2 brings it up to par with my other two sources. The other reason is that I listen to many many recordings and I don't select recordings on their recording quality but on the music within. The CSP2 allows me to adjust and tailor the sound of the playback somewhat, livelying up some, taming down others, etc. It's a very versatile component that I've spent years both learning to use and enjoying the use of.

I've really not tried any other preamp with the Torii other than an 'eighties Hafler preamp with two phono inputs that I plug in every now and then for a turntable. I have a sesne that with the Torii, only the best preamps need apply for use. Certainly I consider the CSP2 a worthy candidate.
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« Last Edit: 07/06/11 at 17:06:51 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Gopher
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #2 - 09/24/11 at 19:07:52
 
Does anyone have any further feedback on preamplifiers which may be a good match for the Torii?

I enjoy it a lot solo, but I'd love to have a remote and also, preamps generally (until now) have improved my SQ.  So far though, Shindo, Tubeguru, Dodd and YS have been right for me though...  

Maybe I should just have Steve add the stepped attenuator and get used to getting off my butt to change it as mating it to a pre has been more difficult then I expected.
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datman
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #3 - 09/24/11 at 20:31:29
 
I don't know if this will help, but I am using a Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE preamp with great success. In addition to great sound, I had to have remote functionality as I sit about 10 feet from my electronics and none of my sources have actual volume controls.

The STP-SE is transparent to a fault and is essentially noiseless. I really like how the volume control works.  

Up until now I have been using a Squeezebox Touch with a Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2 as a front end. Next week I will be replacing the Touch with a Sonore Music Server. I expect this will be a quantum improvement in sound quality over the Touch. For $2000, it should be.
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Troii III; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE; Sonore Signature Series Music Server; Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2; ExactPower EP15A; Musical Affairs Grand Crescendo SAG Speakers
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Lon
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #4 - 09/24/11 at 21:51:22
 
Gopher, if you want a remote, and are using digital sources, I'd consider the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC. It puts out quite a bit of voltage, adjustable via digital volume control. If you keep the volume above 50 percent, certainly 65 and above, you don't lose any "resolution" and it's plenty output for the Torii. It matches up with the Torii very well and it gives a very good sound straight into the Torii. It is an excellent DAC, when broken in it's the most analog sounding DAC I've ever heard. And it would offer you remote switching of digital sources, switching between various over-sampling choices or non-oversampling, and six different filters and phase inversion.

Otherwise I personally feel the CSP2 is superb with the Torii. In the future I may buy a new Mapleshade rack which would allow me rack space to add the CSP2 back into the system, and shell out the money for the excellent cabling it deserves. I sort of miss it in the system, it's the ultimate "futzing" tool with its output gain controls (and the new model has input gain controls). And it definitely adds magic to the sound. I'm very impressed with the CSP2. I may end up selling mine because it may be long time before I could use it again, and it really needs to be used. But I'd really miss if I did. This is a fantastic preamp.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Gopher
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #5 - 09/25/11 at 04:17:35
 
The Wyred is an interesting preamp I may look into more closely.  I know it received a number of awards and was on my radar at one point.  Maybe I'll buy one if a good price comes up and re-sell it if it doesn't work out.

Lon,

Thanks for the suggestion, but I've got no desire to leave my digital front end.  I'm using a Bolder modified Eastern Electric DAC w/ a 1950s Mullard Longplate 12au7, Bolder SB Touch and Bolder PSU.  I have my doubts that the PS audio would be able to hang with what I've got going.

I have no doubt the CSP2 is a great match and enhances the SQ, and I am curious about it, but it doesn't satisfy my want for a remote...  but more magic is always nice.



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Lon
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #6 - 09/25/11 at 04:24:15
 
I bet the PS Audio would surprise you. It surprises me. Excellent sound.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Pale Rider
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #7 - 09/25/11 at 05:04:29
 
Yeah, Gopher, I have to agree with Lon. Nothing wrong with what you are running, and what Bolder does for the EE DAC is quite impressive, but the technology behind PSA's Digital Lens is in another league. The EE DAC unmodded is very good, and modded, maybe one of the better DACs in the sub-2k range, arguably a much better value than the superficially similar Wavelength Cosecant. I believe the EE uses the same chipset as my Oppo BDP-95, and it is indeed very, very good. But the chip is not the endgame of DAC design.

I have now heard the PSA up against the Weiss, Ayre, Cosecant, and Metric Halo units, all of which were on my list. I cannot say it was no contest, but the differences among the others were so close, I wasn't sure I could discern them, even with the MH running over FireWire and the Ayre and Wyred running asynchronous; the PWD is different, and I think it is the Lens that makes all the difference. And while I think the MSB Platinum DAC is a bit better, not enough to justify the price differential. My other combo of the Cullen-modded PSA DAL III, plus the Audiophileo M-1 (asynchronous) is extremely good, but there is simply no contest there in the combo of detail, air, and musicality.

You owe it to yourself to hear it.
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« Last Edit: 09/25/11 at 05:07:40 by Pale Rider »  

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Gopher
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #8 - 09/25/11 at 17:28:06
 
I don't mean to diss the gear or anything, I guess I just cary my own prejudices.  I haven't really cared for any PS gear I've owned or heard--be it their conditioners or their amps.  Probably not fair to judge their DACs unheard, but I just never considered them as a contender.

Yes, I'm very happy with my modified EE DAC/Bolder transport.  Apart from it being great digital and beating significantly more expensive DACs (even other modded units like the MW Transporter w/ EML tubes etc) in my own rig, I'm invested in it.

Mods don't hold value well and I'm the original owner of the DAC, so unless I got a screaming deal on something I liked more I wouldn't want to take the depreciation hit.  

I'll keep my eyes on their market though and if I deal pops up, I'm not opposed to buying and trying and selling it if it doesn't suit me.  Gotta love the used gear market!
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Lon
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #9 - 09/25/11 at 17:38:53
 
Alright, let your prejudices win. Smiley But I think you're missing a great opportunity, especially with the deals that are around now. Like the Torii and the ERRs, it's a component that makes me say "stick a fork in me, I'm done." Great sound and flexibility. If you can arrange an audition, do so.
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« Last Edit: 09/25/11 at 17:40:06 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Gopher
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #10 - 09/25/11 at 18:04:16
 
Lon--did you read my last paragraph?  

"I'll keep my eyes on their market though and if I deal pops up, I'm not opposed to buying and trying and selling it if it doesn't suit me."

BTW, how do you like the Mapleshade rack?  I was considering one of their custom plinth/base solutions for a Kuzma turntable, but I can't shake the feeling that they are expensive for what they offer.
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« Last Edit: 09/25/11 at 18:07:46 by Gopher »  
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #11 - 09/25/11 at 18:36:05
 
I thought you were just dismissing the DAC outright and shopping the used market in general. My apologies, I think it's worth auditioning indeed.

I have had a Mapleshade Rack for a number of years. . . and love it. I really believe that the racks, and the platforms, contribute to the excellent sound I get out of the system. I want in time, if I can get some income coming in, to buy the Version 3 which will allow me to place my TV on top and also house all my other components. But it's too expensive to consider for some time. It's sort of my last audio "wish list item."

Their stuff is expensive. But I've finally surrendered to the notion that audio is the center of my entertainment and I spend the bulk of my quality time alone with the system, and I swallow the costs associated when I have to. It is expensive, but they are definitely valuable and that's how I see it.  If I want it, and can eventually afford it, I get it. A lot of my audio buying has been possible because i don't own a car.
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« Last Edit: 09/25/11 at 19:00:36 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Pale Rider
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #12 - 09/25/11 at 21:02:27
 
Gopher wrote:
Quote:
Mods don't hold value well and I'm the original owner of the DAC, so unless I got a screaming deal on something I liked more I wouldn't want to take the depreciation hit.  

Spot on. It can be very difficult to recover mod value in the used market. I usually look at mods for things I expect to keep, repurpose into a second system, sell based on non-mod used value, or even give away. When I opted for V-caps and stepped attenuators in the Toriis, I assumed getting that extra $600 out of the amp was not likely. but I wanted them, so they were worth into me. However, ai have found hat the used market will often prefer these mods at the same price as the non-modded competition. So, one sometimes gains a selling advantage, if not a price ROI.

Shop carefully, though, and there is no reason to pay full retail for the PW items.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Gopher
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #13 - 09/26/11 at 20:27:10
 
Exactly, but it was something I was aware of before purchasing the mod package.  I had the opportunity to audition it in home for several days in advance and I bought it with the intention of holding it for at least a year or two--possibly longer.  Digital technology is advancing fast though--yesterdays $5k DACs are todays sub $1000s
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Pale Rider
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Re: Are you using a preamp?
Reply #14 - 09/28/11 at 16:56:12
 
Just to give you an illustration of the value the market places on the Digital Lens technology, take a look at this listing on AudioGon for the Genesis Digital Lens. This is two-decades-old technology, and it is still viewed by many as superior to the approaches of many DACs today. This is the same concept as in the PW Transport and DAC/Bridge, except in the case of the Transport, it is backed up by modern engineering and 64mb of memory, and the Bridge with 256mb of memory. If I hadn't already bought the PW DAC, this is what I would be getting. At $600, it is a bargain.
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« Last Edit: 09/28/11 at 17:00:34 by Pale Rider »  

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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