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Thread: Rexton's Valve System - Upgrade Blog

  1. #61
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

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    I'm James.

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    Andy, I have heard many of the amps you have including the Paradise, EAR and Croft Epoch although not modified to the same degree. The Sondex is unfamiliar to me.

    I would say the Neurochrome modulus 686 and the pre amp should be on your list of amps to listen too. It is an extraordinary sounding amp which may make you question the use of valve amplification. It is the most exciting and significant amp I have heard in the last 10 years and I would strongly recommend you try one.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  2. #62
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 4,164
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Andy, I have heard many of the amps you have including the Paradise, EAR and Croft Epoch although not modified to the same degree. The Sondex is unfamiliar to me.

    I would say the Neurochrome modulus 686 and the pre amp should be on your list of amps to listen too. It is an extraordinary sounding amp which may make you question the use of valve amplification. It is the most exciting and significant amp I have heard in the last 10 years and I would strongly recommend you try one.
    Not that I'm very technical but it seems it runs several op amps in parallel, somehow 'error-corrected' (negative feedback I assume?). Is that a new idea or a new implementation of an old one? I like chip amps/Gainclones generally and the six op amps appear to be LM3886es which is a common gainclone chip, so lots of potential to sound good, given adequate PSUs etc. It's Class AB as well which is good in my view. But can you explain what makes it special from other amps out there to be the most sigificant new product in 10 years?
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers with Tannoy ST50 supertweeters; Amp - Silvercore 833C monoblocks; preamp TBA watch this space; Vinyl: Schopper'd Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 9 inch and Ikeda IT-407 12 inch tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Takumi, Ikeda 9TT, vintage Ortofon SPU GM and SPU Gold; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Miyajima/Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage Allnic H7000V used with Miyajima ETR-Mono and ETR-Stereo SUTs; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily enhanced AN DAC based on kit but aspiring to DAC5 spec.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Marantz PM-4; Digital: CDP Sony CDP-X3000ES & Arcam rBlink; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT 1503 MkI broadcast arm, Ortofon SPU Classic GM, Ortofon 2-15k SUT and Puresound Tenuto platter mat

  3. #63
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,560
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by montesquieu View Post
    Not that I'm very technical but it seems it runs several op amps in parallel, somehow 'error-corrected' (negative feedback I assume?). Is that a new idea or a new implementation of an old one? I like chip amps/Gainclones generally and the six op amps appear to be LM3886es which is a common gainclone chip, so lots of potential to sound good, given adequate PSUs etc. It's Class AB as well which is good in my view. But can you explain what makes it special from other amps out there to be the most sigificant new product in 10 years?
    It's the ultra low distortion coupled with the ability to sound "natural" with it.

    Bags of clean power (340w) with grip and dynamic delivery.

    It's "right" to my ears and like Jim, I haven't heard anything like it. Anywhere.

  4. #64
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 4,164
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    It's the ultra low distortion coupled with the ability to sound "natural" with it.

    Bags of clean power (340w) with grip and dynamic delivery.

    It's "right" to my ears and like Jim, I haven't heard anything like it. Anywhere.
    Yes but why is it different?

    I'm genuinely interested. He doesn't make any grand claims to have invented a new topology on the web site - has he? Are there other amps like this?

    If it's genuinely game-changing then it's presumably a new engineering solution and I'm keen to know what the specific improvements are over previous solutions.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers with Tannoy ST50 supertweeters; Amp - Silvercore 833C monoblocks; preamp TBA watch this space; Vinyl: Schopper'd Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 9 inch and Ikeda IT-407 12 inch tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Takumi, Ikeda 9TT, vintage Ortofon SPU GM and SPU Gold; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Miyajima/Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage Allnic H7000V used with Miyajima ETR-Mono and ETR-Stereo SUTs; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily enhanced AN DAC based on kit but aspiring to DAC5 spec.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Marantz PM-4; Digital: CDP Sony CDP-X3000ES & Arcam rBlink; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT 1503 MkI broadcast arm, Ortofon SPU Classic GM, Ortofon 2-15k SUT and Puresound Tenuto platter mat

  5. #65
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,560
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by montesquieu View Post
    Yes but why is it different?
    In all honesty Tom,

    It just has this way of removing any barrier between the ear and the performance. There's no constraints to the sound. It's like you are 'there', not in an imaginary way or by creating a false image, but in a way that puts you in recording, within the walls of the studio, almost like witnessing it first hand.

    There's no embellishment, just access.

    I'm at a loss to pinpoint the reason other than that.

    I haven't heard anything that does it as well as the 686, and no, I'm not saying it's the ONLY way to get there but it's how I got there.

    4 people have heard this amplifier at my house, and 4 have been ordered. Radfords, Crofts and god knows what other brand of amplification have been dislodged from incredibly settled systems.

    It's a thing of beauty.

  6. #66
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 4,164
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    In all honesty Tom,

    It just has this way of removing any barrier between the ear and the performance. There's no constraints to the sound. It's like you are 'there', not in an imaginary way or by creating a false image, but in a way that puts you in recording, within the walls of the studio, almost like witnessing it first hand.

    There's no embellishment, just access.

    I'm at a loss to pinpoint the reason other than that.

    I haven't heard anything that does it as well as the 686, and no, I'm saying it's the ONLY way to get there but it's how I got there.

    4 people have heard this amplifier at my house, and 4 have been ordered. Radfords, Crofts and god knows what other brand of amplification have been dislodged from incredibly settled systems.

    It's a thing of beauty.

    I get that but I’m asking what makes it special ? If you think Radford it’s the transformer design and execution and the way they work in tandem with an innovative (for the time) splitter circuit ... for Kondo the designs are simple but the materials ver special - ancient annealed silver wire, capacitors hand rolled on the thighs of Japanese virgins ... ok I made that bit up but the fact remains where something stands out, there’s usually a reason that can be articulated, either innovative design or special materials (occasionally both) ... the web site simply talks about careful layout etc, the chips and PSU principles in place have beed around at least a decade if not much longer ... so why the dramatic results?
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers with Tannoy ST50 supertweeters; Amp - Silvercore 833C monoblocks; preamp TBA watch this space; Vinyl: Schopper'd Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 9 inch and Ikeda IT-407 12 inch tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Takumi, Ikeda 9TT, vintage Ortofon SPU GM and SPU Gold; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Miyajima/Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage Allnic H7000V used with Miyajima ETR-Mono and ETR-Stereo SUTs; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily enhanced AN DAC based on kit but aspiring to DAC5 spec.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Marantz PM-4; Digital: CDP Sony CDP-X3000ES & Arcam rBlink; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT 1503 MkI broadcast arm, Ortofon SPU Classic GM, Ortofon 2-15k SUT and Puresound Tenuto platter mat

  7. #67
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,560
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by montesquieu View Post
    I get that but Iím asking what makes it special ? If you think Radford itís the transformer design and execution and the way they work in tandem with an innovative (for the time) splitter circuit ... for Kondo the designs are simple but the materials ver special - ancient annealed silver wire, capacitors hand rolled on the thighs of Japanese virgins ... ok I made that bit up but the fact remains where something stands out, thereís usually a reason that can be articulated, either innovative design or special materials (occasionally both) ... the web site simply talks about careful layout etc, the chips and PSU principles in place have beed around at least a decade if not much longer ... so why the dramatic results?
    I don't know Tom,

    I wish I did!

    The 686 has, what I suppose is ultimate transparency. Tom Christiansen has managed to create an amplifier, which is quite simply brilliant.

    Maybe one of the more techie guys can explain what's special about his work but I'll be honest, it don't matter to me lol

  8. #68
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,943
    I'm James.

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    Unfortunately Tom I have limited technical knowledge regarding amps and although I know the difference between a valve and a transistor, that is about it!

    Regarding the Neurochrome amplifier I would just say you have to listen to one to understand how good it is. We all have a set of reference amps in our minds that once heard we can never forget and they set our benchmark for all the aspects of audio we strive to achieve. To be honest the last time I heard an amp that made me feel this excited was probably longer the 10 years ago, more like 20 and that was the Croft OTL Cypher mono blocks. These had unbelievable grip and total transparency.

    The Neurochrome Modulus 686 goes down this route, great effortless dynamics, total authority and grip and the most Transparent sounding amplifier I have heard. You can forget the electronics are there.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  9. #69
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 4,164
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Unfortunately Tom I have limited technical knowledge regarding amps and although I know the difference between a valve and a transistor, that is about it!

    Regarding the Neurochrome amplifier I would just say you have to listen to one to understand how good it is. We all have a set of reference amps in our minds that once heard we can never forget and they set our benchmark for all the aspects of audio we strive to achieve. To be honest the last time I heard an amp that made me feel this excited was probably longer the 10 years ago, more like 20 and that was the Croft OTL Cypher mono blocks. These had unbelievable grip and total transparency.

    The Neurochrome Modulus 686 goes down this route, great effortless dynamics, total authority and grip and the most Transparent sounding amplifier I have heard. You can forget the electronics are there.
    I remain curious to hear one but without evidence it's doing anything spectacularly new and innovative that might explain its magical powers, I'm afraid I'm not the only one that will file this under 'latest forum fad' aka 'the best thing since sliced bread since the last thing that was the best thing since sliced bread'.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers with Tannoy ST50 supertweeters; Amp - Silvercore 833C monoblocks; preamp TBA watch this space; Vinyl: Schopper'd Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 9 inch and Ikeda IT-407 12 inch tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Takumi, Ikeda 9TT, vintage Ortofon SPU GM and SPU Gold; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Miyajima/Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage Allnic H7000V used with Miyajima ETR-Mono and ETR-Stereo SUTs; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily enhanced AN DAC based on kit but aspiring to DAC5 spec.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Marantz PM-4; Digital: CDP Sony CDP-X3000ES & Arcam rBlink; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT 1503 MkI broadcast arm, Ortofon SPU Classic GM, Ortofon 2-15k SUT and Puresound Tenuto platter mat

  10. #70
    Join Date: Apr 2010

    Location: Bristol, since 1978. Current house since 1996!

    Posts: 633
    I'm Chris.

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    The ears have it? I share Tom's scepticism a bit, having read many 'lifting of veils' comments over many years; ....how many veils ARE there?
    But ever optimistic.....
    am open to possibility of unknown folk coming up with lateral thinking-e.g Berning amps (though that isn't a good example as he used a novel cencept.!)
    Crayon might be a better example?
    There are hundreds of makers out there-surely some are going to hit bullseye on sound, either in design or in syncronicity with speakers etc..
    When ones ears hear quality (over a longer time.....immediacy can deceive)then accept?
    Or else, as I often think, running my 40 year old Hafler amp, things haven't changed THAT much in years-except new concepts like chip/Class D.
    Chris.

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