Croft Epoch / Charisma
I hope this is the right place to post a few general questions relating to these pre-amps.
Can anyone enlighten me as to the difference(s), if any, between these two pre-amps, please ?
Would either of these be equally good additions to a system or would I be better advised looking specifically for one of them: And what should I expect to pay for either/or the better of the two, in reasonable un-modified condition ?
Thanks in advance and I hope you don't mind the dumb questions.
In the case of the Epoch, you need to be aware that there are a few different "generations" of pre-amp going under that name. In some cases I think that one example might only be a development of the one that went before, whilst in others the differences may be greater, representing a partial redesign or similar. The famously reclusive - but always helpful - Glenn Croft seems to be always able to recall and define where individual models fit into the Croft evolutionary scheme, but you would need to email him a photo of the innards.
I don't know if this is also true of the Charisma models.
In general, I would say that Croft pre-amps are a safe buy. You are very unlikely to be disappointed with the sound quality on offer - especially for the money. Also they are pretty-much infinitely tweakable by Glenn Croft himself. He seems to be very amenable to owners' requests for upgrades and modifications to their kit. In the case of my Epoch, I never asked him to do any mods, but when the (internal) power supply stopped working, he was obliged to do a mini redesign of that part of the pre-amp, because of non-availability of like-for-like replacement components. This he did quickly and cheaply. It's a very good service.
Perhaps your heart is set on a Croft, but if not, there are other electrical engineers on this very forum who design and build high quality, low volume (in the production sense) amplification equipment, including both active and passive pre-amps. If you are interested, I would email Arkless Electronics, Rothwell Audio or Alan Kendal (Firebottle) to see what they can do for you. (I personally own and use some Arkless Electronics kit and can vouch for its very high quality; the others are also very well thought-of, but I don't own anything of theirs, so can't offer a view)
Good luck in your quest!
Last edited by Infinitely Baffled; Yesterday at 13:34.
What you say has certainly given me food for thought as well as plenty of options.
I guess you are right - I had set my heart on a Croft pre, but by doing so I may just be missing some other equally wonderful kit.
I did read numerous threads relating to these guys 'loan' units which seems a very reasonable service to offer and allows us to test them within our own system.
Having taken so long to get where I have I guess a few more months investigating won't do any harm and I might just end up with the sound I have been hoping for.