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Thread: Upgrade options for a Croft Micro 25R?

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Greece

    Posts: 155
    I'm Panos.

    Default Upgrade options for a Croft Micro 25R?

    I have to admit that I have been and still am a loyal Croft customer.

    Recently I had my Series7R monoblocks upgraded by Glenn (Croft) from the standard 55W to 110W. It has helped them to sound more composed and precise in the lower frequency range, taking better control of the speakers, although the latter are supposed to be easy loads (Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniversary). Mids and highs sound as they used to, so all is fine.

    I have recently added a NOS (non-oversampling) DAC (LAB12 DAC1 SE+) to the system and it sounds sublime with the Micro 25R and the monos. However, Iíve come to realize that now the systemís performance with digital files is better than with the analog chain, consisting of a Roksan Xerxes - Audiomods Series 5 - The Cartridge Man Music Maker III. I remember the same turntable used to sound great in my other hi-fi system, with Croft SuperMicro IIR and Series 7, but in the primary system the turntable sounds comparatively congested, shut-in and rolled-of with the Micro 25R, although the preamp has a couple of great NOS Tesla E83CC in the phono stage. Iím scratching my headÖ

    I think itís about time I considered an upgrade of the Micro 25R preamp to RS spec. I am wondering though, whether at the same time it would make sense to separate the phono stage and so end up with a Micro 25RS line only + RIAA RS.

    Thoughts/suggestions, please?

    I thank everyone in advance for their contribution.
    System1: Roksan Xerxes original (HiFi Inspire plinth) with OriginLive DC motor + Audiomods Series5 + MusicMaker III, Marantz CD6005, LAB12 DAC1 SE+, Croft Micro25R + Series7R monoblocks (110W/ea), Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniv., KEF LS50, LAB12 Gordian, Mark Grant HDX1, Black Cat Red Level Triode, LAB12 Knack MkII

    System 2: Marantz CD6003, Croft SuperMicroII ('R' spec by Croft, Tesla E83CC in phono)+ Series7, Snell Type EII (with bypass caps, new internal wiring, WBT nextgen 0703Cu), Mark Grant HDX1, Atlas Hyper 3.0

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,688
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pankon View Post
    I have to admit that I have been and still am a loyal Croft customer.

    Recently I had my Series7R monoblocks upgraded by Glenn (Croft) from the standard 55W to 110W. It has helped them to sound more composed and precise in the lower frequency range, taking better control of the speakers, although the latter are supposed to be easy loads (Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniversary). Mids and highs sound as they used to, so all is fine.

    I have recently added a NOS (non-oversampling) DAC (LAB12 DAC1 SE+) to the system and it sounds sublime with the Micro 25R and the monos. However, Iíve come to realize that now the systemís performance with digital files is better than with the analog chain, consisting of a Roksan Xerxes - Audiomods Series 5 - The Cartridge Man Music Maker III. I remember the same turntable used to sound great in my other hi-fi system, with Croft SuperMicro IIR and Series 7, but in the primary system the turntable sounds comparatively congested, shut-in and rolled-of with the Micro 25R, although the preamp has a couple of great NOS Tesla E83CC in the phono stage. Iím scratching my headÖ

    I think itís about time I considered an upgrade of the Micro 25R preamp to RS spec. I am wondering though, whether at the same time it would make sense to separate the phono stage and so end up with a Micro 25RS line only + RIAA RS.

    Thoughts/suggestions, please?

    I thank everyone in advance for their contribution.
    If it were me, I'd go the whole 9 yards and have the phonostage in a separate box to the PSU. Some will say it makes no difference, personally, I think it does. The long term plan for my DIY phonostage is to do just that.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,831
    I'm James.

    Default

    Yes I would agree go the whole way with an upgrade to the 25RS linestage only and have a RIAA RS Phono stage. The RIAA RS would be a whole lot better than the 25R or 25RS phono stage as Glenn can do more work on the RIAA phono stage and if you have the RS (separate power supply) it will sound stunning. It is a different phono stage to both the 25R and 25RS as it has three valves in the phono stage.

    This is what I intend to do when I have the cash!

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Greece

    Posts: 155
    I'm Panos.

    Talking

    Oh, yes, cash. I tend to forget that...
    System1: Roksan Xerxes original (HiFi Inspire plinth) with OriginLive DC motor + Audiomods Series5 + MusicMaker III, Marantz CD6005, LAB12 DAC1 SE+, Croft Micro25R + Series7R monoblocks (110W/ea), Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniv., KEF LS50, LAB12 Gordian, Mark Grant HDX1, Black Cat Red Level Triode, LAB12 Knack MkII

    System 2: Marantz CD6003, Croft SuperMicroII ('R' spec by Croft, Tesla E83CC in phono)+ Series7, Snell Type EII (with bypass caps, new internal wiring, WBT nextgen 0703Cu), Mark Grant HDX1, Atlas Hyper 3.0

  5. #5
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,222
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    You could always go for a Firebottle Vivant phono stage and you are sorted forever.

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 208
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    I listened to the vivant and it sounds sublime, head and shoulders above anything I've listened to before.
    A big thumbs up

    Steve
    Project 2experience sb dc, Deneo HA 500 headamp, Cartidge: At33ptg
    Rega Brio: 2017
    CD Player: Cyrus cd8se
    Dynaudio Emit M20
    Audioquest Diamondback rca - xt40 speaker cable.

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Greece

    Posts: 155
    I'm Panos.

    Default

    To be honest, I am not considering any other phono stage than Croft, because I would like to capitalize on my investment in the Micro 25R, which already contains a photo stage. So I would like to investigate what the upgrade options of the Micro 25R are. Perhaps, as mentioned, even splitting the Micro 25R in different, dedicated phono and line stage boxes of the RS spec.

    Although I do not have any experience with the Vivant, I guess that the Croft RIAA RS would be comparable.

    Thanks for the suggestion anyway.
    Last edited by pankon; 15-04-2018 at 07:22. Reason: clarification
    System1: Roksan Xerxes original (HiFi Inspire plinth) with OriginLive DC motor + Audiomods Series5 + MusicMaker III, Marantz CD6005, LAB12 DAC1 SE+, Croft Micro25R + Series7R monoblocks (110W/ea), Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniv., KEF LS50, LAB12 Gordian, Mark Grant HDX1, Black Cat Red Level Triode, LAB12 Knack MkII

    System 2: Marantz CD6003, Croft SuperMicroII ('R' spec by Croft, Tesla E83CC in phono)+ Series7, Snell Type EII (with bypass caps, new internal wiring, WBT nextgen 0703Cu), Mark Grant HDX1, Atlas Hyper 3.0

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