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Thread: My kit and a possible purchase of Tom Evans The Vibe or Tom Evan Groove+ SRX

  1. #1
    Join Date: Aug 2014

    Location: Aarhus, Denmark

    Posts: 285
    I'm Peter.

    Default My kit and a possible purchase of Tom Evans The Vibe or Tom Evan Groove+ SRX

    As some of you know by now, I like to listen to kit in my set-up to hear what the black or silver boxes are all about, which means that quite a lot of small and large boxes have been through my small study. Some of the components were here because I traded for them, other components because I decided to buy them, often because I simply had to listen to what they could do in my set-up. However, I am sure that some of the kit I had here were not given the opportunity to shine the way they could have if they had been matched better than they were here. In the past my kit changed so often that I never really had a stable starting point. Unlike other audio freaks I never had the money to own two or three expensive amps at the same time. So perhaps I let some kit go I would have kept if I had had my present set-up.

    Thankfully, I have found four items now that I trust will remain here indefinitely:

    (1) Empire 698 - I saw it advertised, liked it and was able to snap it up as the first responder last month. It ended 35 years' Thorens TD160 Super/TD 147 Jubilee supremacy. My only brief detour was an Amazon Audio Reference TT.



    (2) B&O Beocord 6500 Cassette Deck - not the very best that Bang & Olufsen produced but its unique drawer design and great playback quality makes this Danish-made cassette deck a keeper.





    (3) EAR 516 power amp - which Tim De Paravicini said is perfect with my current speakers. He serviced it for 7-8 hours in 2018 and I talked with him on the phone about the EAR 516 and Quad ESL 57s. I may decide to buy a Leak Stereo 20 as a spare power amp. I already have a Leak Stereo 60 (solid state) and a Leak Stereofetic FM Tuner with JBL LX310 speakers in my separate tuner system.



    The Leaks:


    (4) Quad ESL 57 - with One Thing bass panels - which I bought from the UK (courtesy of iansr). Ian bought boxes for me (I paid) and packed the pair of speakers extremely well for shipment to me in Denmark. These are the true jewels in my set-up, placed up high on shelves and strapped to the side-walls of my study, leaning out so they allow me to sit in the sweet spot.



    ---------------------
    Other kit:

    I have a Line Magnetic 502CA Dac that sounds very lush and detailed here with its valve output "euphonizer". It will take a lot to replace this sweet component but if I ever find a very good cd player with COAX and/or usb input(s) I may decide to sell this on.



    I have a DIY DCB1 preamp with a nice mm phono stage onboard (built by disarmamant). This sounds very sweet and transparent in my set-up and may very well be the preamp to end all other preamps. It has gain on the low side but 2 o'clock makes any vinyl record or computer music file sound as loud as I can stand. So lacking gain is not a real problem, I know.



    ----------------------

    After the phono stage sells I can choose to buy a nice (last?) preamp that would relegate my Diy DCB1 to mm phono stage duty, or I can choose to buy another excellent phono stage and keep my Diy DCB1 as my permanent preamp.

    (1) I have set my eyes on Tom Evans The Vibe as my first choice for a preamp on the basis of a few reviews on-line. However much I would love to try it before buying, this is not an option as I live in Denmark.

    So are there any good people here who can say a bit about Tom Evans the Vibe in the context of their own set-ups - why its a keeper or why they decided to sell it on?

    (2) The other option is his phono stage, the Tom Evans Groove+ SRX. Are there anyone here who currently own this or has owned this and would care to comment on it?
    Last edited by Rosewind; 11-11-2019 at 12:08.
    DIY DCB1 buffer (Rod Elliott MM stage) / EAR 516 power / Quad ESL 57 (One Thing bass panels)
    Vinyl: SME 10 - SME V or ? / Paradise phono stage (perhaps coming in February/March 2020) / Ortofon 2M Silver (mm) / Benz Micro Gullwing SLR or ?
    Digital: Synology NAS / JRiver on Win 10 PC / Nuforce S192U USB to spdif/ Line Magnetic 502CA DAC
    Tuner: Leak Stereo 70 / Leak Stereofetic FM Tuner / Dynaudio Contour 1 mk. ii

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 4,594

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    I owned both the Vibe and the Groove for about ten years. They worked very well as a combination, and Tom Evans was very helpful if any problems arose (which they rarely did). I used them with both SS and valve power amps, and with a range of different cartridges, always with excellent results. I'd probably still be using them now had I not decided to go down the 'one box' route.

    Just to add: the Vibe is very basic; no remote, no controls other than source and volume.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Aug 2014

    Location: Aarhus, Denmark

    Posts: 285
    I'm Peter.

    Default

    Thanks Joe.
    I sit 4 feet away from the component stack so a remote is not strictly necessary.

    What did you buy as a one one box solution and is there anything in particular that your new box doesn't get you?
    DIY DCB1 buffer (Rod Elliott MM stage) / EAR 516 power / Quad ESL 57 (One Thing bass panels)
    Vinyl: SME 10 - SME V or ? / Paradise phono stage (perhaps coming in February/March 2020) / Ortofon 2M Silver (mm) / Benz Micro Gullwing SLR or ?
    Digital: Synology NAS / JRiver on Win 10 PC / Nuforce S192U USB to spdif/ Line Magnetic 502CA DAC
    Tuner: Leak Stereo 70 / Leak Stereofetic FM Tuner / Dynaudio Contour 1 mk. ii

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 4,594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosewind View Post
    Thanks Joe.
    I sit 4 feet away from the component stack so a remote is not strictly necessary.

    What did you buy as a one one box solution and is there anything in particular that your new box doesn't get you?
    I bought a Devialet Premier in 2013 with part of my early retirement pay-off. I don't actually miss anything compared to the previous system; the Devialet has an excellent built-in DAC, and a phono stage that's as good as that on the Groove and which is user-adjustable if I change cartridges (though I've actually kept the same cartridge for ten years or so!). Remote control is a boon as I'm sat about ten feet away from the system.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2014

    Location: Aarhus, Denmark

    Posts: 285
    I'm Peter.

    Default

    Good choice for a one-box solution. I listened to a Devialet Chrome box way back when they were introduced and while it sounded clear and delightful, I was not sure that it sounded more to my liking than the set-up I had back then: Naim Nac 252/SC + 2 x Naim Nap 200 in an active set-up with a Linn Tunebox and Linn Ninka speakers.

    When we eventually move into a smaller house or apartment, Devialet will be on the one-box solution list, no doubt. That won't be for another ... 15-20 years, I hope. I just turned 57 today and still have 10 years to go until retirement.

    For now I am looking at Tom Evans "The Vibe" with "the Pulse" psu and the Tom Evans Groove+ SRX phono stage. So would love to hear a bit more about those two units from present and past owners.
    DIY DCB1 buffer (Rod Elliott MM stage) / EAR 516 power / Quad ESL 57 (One Thing bass panels)
    Vinyl: SME 10 - SME V or ? / Paradise phono stage (perhaps coming in February/March 2020) / Ortofon 2M Silver (mm) / Benz Micro Gullwing SLR or ?
    Digital: Synology NAS / JRiver on Win 10 PC / Nuforce S192U USB to spdif/ Line Magnetic 502CA DAC
    Tuner: Leak Stereo 70 / Leak Stereofetic FM Tuner / Dynaudio Contour 1 mk. ii

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 618
    I'm James.

    Default

    The Vibe is as everyone says, silent and neutral, as close to a straight wire with gain as you'll get. If that's what you want then fill your boots, you won't get much better IMHO.

    Downsides? Tom's sense of style is a little challenging to many, and the pots which are made much of feel a bit cheap although they are apparently mil. Spec and excellent. And the Vibe itself weight almost nothing so you can't use stiff or silly jumbo interconnects without them dictating where the pre it going to sit as they will just push it around.
    Mine worked flawlessly FWIW. I sold on when an Arcadia arrived, as I like what that does in my system.

    Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date: Aug 2014

    Location: Aarhus, Denmark

    Posts: 285
    I'm Peter.

    Default

    Thnks Jazid!
    I think that many of our choices are dictated by what the amp or source component does in our systems. For instance I am pretty sure that I will never ever have a McIntosh pre in my system again as did not like the sound signature of that C48. I suppose that this might have changed now that I have the EAR 516 with ESL 57s.

    As straight wires go, I already have a straight wire without gain, I feel, in my DIY DCB1 ... so I know that kind of sound. I just hope that the "vibe" from the Tom Evans The Vibe will improve a great deal on the already good Diy DC B1 I have here. If I do go down that route.
    DIY DCB1 buffer (Rod Elliott MM stage) / EAR 516 power / Quad ESL 57 (One Thing bass panels)
    Vinyl: SME 10 - SME V or ? / Paradise phono stage (perhaps coming in February/March 2020) / Ortofon 2M Silver (mm) / Benz Micro Gullwing SLR or ?
    Digital: Synology NAS / JRiver on Win 10 PC / Nuforce S192U USB to spdif/ Line Magnetic 502CA DAC
    Tuner: Leak Stereo 70 / Leak Stereofetic FM Tuner / Dynaudio Contour 1 mk. ii

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 1,021
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Just a thought, Peter. Re. Tom Evans, he worked in conjunction with John Michell on some products (Alectos, e.g.). One such was the ISO m/c stage with sep. power supply (Hera?). I had this with Naim, Roksan and Briks etc., and it was edging toward paint-stripping. Not sure whether that was compatibility issues (in the '90s) but Tom Evans' stuff is known to be very revealing but not necessarily comforting. With valves, and assuming cart. compatibility, it could work, I s'pose

  9. #9
    Join Date: Aug 2014

    Location: Aarhus, Denmark

    Posts: 285
    I'm Peter.

    Default

    Thanks Mike.
    I was already worried that the DIY DCB1 (a Pass B1 derivative) would be like listening to the act of stripping paint off whatever, but the only things it has been stripping in my system are the veils that hid the smallest details in the music. As I write this I am listening to the best rendition I have ever heard of "In My Life" by an aging Johnny Cash. It is simply asounding how much detail I can hear thorugh my current preamp. I experienced the same with extremely familiar The Beatles tracks. It doesn't remove my music pleasure but adds to it. I even enjoyed "Sexy Sadie" where the guitars always tended to sound too metallic in my system.

    If I go with the Tom Evans "The Vibe", I will see if I can buy the Tom Evans "The Vibe" with a right to return it if it doesn't work in my system. That would make a lot of sense.

    EDIT: This clarity also means that bad recordings, or recordings that are brightly lit, will tend to sound a little strained. But right now Leonard Cohen's "Songs from the Road" album sounds just like he sounded live in Aalborg, Denmark: detailed and rich.
    Last edited by Rosewind; 11-11-2019 at 19:23.
    DIY DCB1 buffer (Rod Elliott MM stage) / EAR 516 power / Quad ESL 57 (One Thing bass panels)
    Vinyl: SME 10 - SME V or ? / Paradise phono stage (perhaps coming in February/March 2020) / Ortofon 2M Silver (mm) / Benz Micro Gullwing SLR or ?
    Digital: Synology NAS / JRiver on Win 10 PC / Nuforce S192U USB to spdif/ Line Magnetic 502CA DAC
    Tuner: Leak Stereo 70 / Leak Stereofetic FM Tuner / Dynaudio Contour 1 mk. ii

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 618
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosewind View Post
    Thnks Jazid!
    I think that many of our choices are dictated by what the amp or source component does in our systems. For instance I am pretty sure that I will never ever have a McIntosh pre in my system again as did not like the sound signature of that C48. I suppose that this might have changed now that I have the EAR 516 with ESL 57s.

    As straight wires go, I already have a straight wire without gain, I feel, in my DIY DCB1 ... so I know that kind of sound. I just hope that the "vibe" from the Tom Evans The Vibe will improve a great deal on the already good Diy DC B1 I have here. If I do go down that route.
    Well in my system the dcb1 was a forgettable bottleneck. Not in other folks systems I accept, but actually, in mine, the second worst pre I've owned since my teens (beaten by a nose by a Quad 34). Grey grey grey, it made everything dull. TEADs Vibe won't do that!

    Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

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