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Very short Munich show report

160.62.7.250

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 05:57:43
morricab
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This is a very short report about the recent Munich High End 2014.

Best sound at the show:

There was only one real competitor and it was so superior that it left the other overpriced wannabes drowning in the wake of its Tsunami of realism. That system was.....

Living Voice Vox Olympian/Elyssian + Kondo KSL M-77 + Kondo KSL DAC + Kondo Gaku Oh monoblocks + all Kondo cables + CEC TL0X cd transport.

It was shockingly and laughably better than any super or non-super system at the show. The margin was so huge that it was lightyears ahead. I have never heard sheer realism like this from a reproduction system...it simply redefines what is possible.

There were some other very good HIFI systems but the Living Voice + Kondo was the real deal...what everyone else CLAIMS to be striving for but at the moment there is only one. Sorry to the Wilsons, Martens, Kharmas, DarTZeels, Constellations, Vitus, Audio Research etc. of the world...you are not even close.

Was that system very expensive??? Hell yes! Was it the only one that gave you REAL music and REAL transparency and REAL truth? Yes!...if you can afford that then there should be only one choice for you...replicate that system at home...including the extreme power supply they brought for the whole system. Can other brands reach this level? It remains to be seen but at the moment the answer is clearly NO!

End of report.

 

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Shouldn't this be posted over on General Asylum?, posted on May 20, 2014 at 07:03:48
Ivan303
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I thought this place was just for trolling writers/reviewer and editors of audio magazines.

OK, make that 'magazine'. We're down to one now, right?





 

I'll bet it sounds wonderful, posted on May 20, 2014 at 07:21:06
Des
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Yes I've heard the reports that it was superb--it'd surely get my vote over those Magico

abominations.

In my world the only bits I've owned are the TLO and the Cables

Ah well we can but dream!

Des

 

But was it a fair comparison ?, posted on May 20, 2014 at 09:31:38
AbeCollins
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From some of the show photos I've seen many of the vendors are in open areas with foot traffic and noise. I can't say for sure because I wasn't there.

Also, at some shows like RMAF, I found that the larger rooms are better suited for quality audio vs the standard cramped sleeping rooms.

So was it a fair comparison between the vendors?


 

RE: But was it a fair comparison ?, posted on May 20, 2014 at 12:45:27
morricab
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For the heavy hitters it was more than fair, the rooms were similar size and construction and as near as I could tell they could put in them what they wanted.

One of the other "very good sounding" rooms was in a little box on the ground floor hall from a Cyprus company of all places called Ares Cerat! Very ugly speakers and huge electronics (tube of course) but the sound was truly superb.

Most just failed...period.

 

RE: Shouldn't this be posted over on General Asylum?, posted on May 20, 2014 at 12:46:58
morricab
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Its ok, but I thought it was supposed to be about being a critic and I was giving my most critical assessment of the High End Show. Whatever, it's all good...

 

RE: I'll bet it sounds wonderful, posted on May 20, 2014 at 12:49:18
morricab
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It was really beyond that...if you have ever sat in the front row of a piano concert or quartet or some other live event without amplifiers then you would recognize immediately what is profoundly better about this system than anything else out there. Like live, it made you want to listen to music that you previously didn't think you would like.

It also did electronic music with effortless ease.

 

RE: Wow..., posted on May 20, 2014 at 16:24:04
rick_m
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You are not, in my estimation, a man easily wowed and yet you were. This is the first time that I have ever wished that I could hear something solely based on another's burbling superlatives!

I wonder what the technical deltas are between what you heard and more typical systems. I have never heard one that would elicit that response from me, especially at a show, but I've heard several that I thought 'did the job' pretty well considering the conditions.

Thanks for the report,

Rick

 

RE: Shouldn't this be posted over on General Asylum?, posted on May 20, 2014 at 20:58:16
"I thought this place was just for trolling writers/reviewer and editors of audio magazines."

Props to AA for keeping those guys segregated from the rest of us.

 

Interesting, posted on May 20, 2014 at 21:10:49
Thanks for the review but I'm surprised by your claims.

As if the room and source materials played no part in the equation.

 

You do not exagerate..., posted on May 20, 2014 at 21:19:29
PAR
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...I heard it last year and it remains indelibly in my memory. A system that made me well up to mid 20th century leider ( not my bag at all)has a rare quality. So uncannily close to the singer and pianist being directly in front of me in reality.

Cost? They quoted me for the speakers alone in GBP in 2013 so around 425K for the main units plus 160K for the subwoofers. Add in the Kondo and CEC gear and the cables and we are looking at $1M plus.

Here's a picture of it from last year. Your description indicates that this year is much the same.

 

RE: Interesting, posted on May 20, 2014 at 21:27:25
Bill the K
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At that price, it automatically takes care of mundane problems like room and source.

Cheers
Bill

 

RE: Very short Munich show report, posted on May 21, 2014 at 00:03:09
Todd Krieger
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"Was it the only one that gave you REAL music and REAL transparency and REAL truth? Yes!"

I'd be interested to hear how FAKE transparency and FAKE truth sounds like.... .... ... ;-D
   

 

I disagree, posted on May 21, 2014 at 00:26:52
Donald North
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To me, the best sounding room was with the Wolf Von Lange full range, field coil, dipole speakers. I think they were powered by some amps from Thomas Mayer.

 

RE: I disagree, posted on May 21, 2014 at 02:47:01
morricab
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I was in that room and it was good but only "hifi" good...the LV system was far far superior in just about every meaningful way...IMO of course. It failed to shock and amaze in the same way a real concert can.

 

RE: Very short Munich show report, posted on May 21, 2014 at 02:48:25
morricab
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It is about how people define these things and I would argue that most people haven't ever heard real transparency from a hifi system... unless they were sitting in that demo room.

 

RE: You do not exagerate..., posted on May 21, 2014 at 02:49:41
morricab
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It was exactly the same as last year...how to make it better?? I cannot imagine at this point.

 

RE: Interesting, posted on May 21, 2014 at 02:51:28
morricab
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Room was less treated than many but not completely ignored, source materials were diverse but pretty much irrelevant.

 

RE: Wow..., posted on May 21, 2014 at 03:00:17
morricab
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Well, it had that effect on all my friends who heard it as well. One of my friend's wife said after an extended excerpt of Don Giovanni..."That makes me want to go to the Opera!" Piece after piece we sat there and bathed in the realism of the what we heard.

The illusion of SENSING the emergence of sound from a virtual instrument was truly there. The impact, the sustain, the decay and then the silence and the sensation that these virtual instruments would never, ever run over one another that they were there, in space and sounding damn near absolutely correct in tone, weight, dynamics whatever.

I think the fact that they were basically generating their own power helped remove a lot of electronic grunge that afflicts a lot of rooms at the show.

I had this experience once in 2009 at the show when I was in the KR Audio/Cessaro room (or maybe it was 2008...no matter). The sound was OK but a bit flat and a bit harsh. I was in a discussion with a guy and then around quarter after 6 PM (the show officially shut down at 6PM) the sound got suddenly amazing! I stopped the conversation and sat amazed at the improvement. What changed? Most rooms had shut off their systems by that time and I suspect the power got a lot cleaner and so did hte sound...harshness gone and soundstage developed.

Still, nothing I have heard before...except a lot of live concerts, can prepare you for what the LV+Kondo devlivered. What is disconcerting is the realism when there is nothing visual...that is what amazes.

 

Absolutely insane!, posted on May 21, 2014 at 07:32:10
Mr. Dick Hertz
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Their beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder and the price is stratospheric, tipping the scales at about $1,000,000 with all the options. Love the DC adaptors and amps to play your favorite CD while you round Cape Horn in your mega-yacht! But what a tour-de-force, design-wise. Now if only the technology would trickle down to the $3K or under level, maybe I could afford a pair!






"That was some weird shit".- George Bush

 

RE: Absolutely insane!, posted on May 21, 2014 at 08:32:06
b.l.zeebub
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"But what a tour-de-farce, design-wise."

Fixed it for ya!

 

Did they have any tweaks in the room? Nt, posted on May 21, 2014 at 09:35:15
geoffkait
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Nt

 

Western Electric, posted on May 21, 2014 at 09:53:52
Ralph
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-horns from 1928 were featured in a very large room on floor 1 (sektor F). The drivers were field coil units made by a Koren firm.

The recording was a live opera- the sound was spectacular. I mentioned this to several people who responded that when they heard the room it was dreadful.

When I heard the Living Voice room (it was just down the hall from us) it was nothing like described by morricab. I think a lot depended on what recording was being played at the time.

That was certainly true in our room, which worked OK as long as the volume was not run up too high (which it occasionally was- I had to leave the room several times). Being my first time at this show there was the usual learning curve regarding the room behavior. I sorted out that we really needed to change the toe-in, which we did on the second day; things were more spacious after that.

I heard several rooms that were quite impressive (Tannoy, also the rooms with the Lars 36-watt amplifier). It was nice having most of the rooms be the same size and shape- made comparisons much easier.

 

NO turntable?, posted on May 21, 2014 at 11:47:08
kuma
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CEC transport means that they played CDs?

Or high resolution files?

I am curious what demo software were used.

Thanks.

 

You mean they didn't call..., posted on May 21, 2014 at 12:12:17
Mr. Dick Hertz
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...for the Teleportation tweak? I thought everyone at these shows did that.






"That was some weird shit".- George Bush

 

RE: Absolutely insane!, posted on May 21, 2014 at 12:12:54
Mr. Dick Hertz
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Bada bing! You no lika de speakers?






"That was some weird shit".- George Bush

 

RE: Absolutely insane!, posted on May 21, 2014 at 12:55:31
b.l.zeebub
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Outdated and sub-optimal horn flares, too many sharp edges leading to unwanted diffraction (read: distortion) and the high-mid trumpet thing is just plain stupid.

What's not to like?

 

RE: Absolutely insane!, posted on May 21, 2014 at 13:23:15
Mr. Dick Hertz
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Theoretically I can't disagree, but it doesn't seem to be an audible problem with these loudspeakers.






"That was some weird shit".- George Bush

 

And you heard them when?, posted on May 21, 2014 at 14:29:06
PAR
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Sharp edges. Of course, how stupid of me! Next time I audition speakers I will take a protractor.

 

RE: Western Electric, posted on May 21, 2014 at 14:59:40
morricab
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I think that the old Western electric speakers had their strengths but the limitations and colorations were also pretty obvious.

Now, I am hoping that you didn't really think your room this year at the show was better sounding than the LV room...sorry but it wasn't and it also fell below a number of other rooms with horns and tubes. I don't think your gear was responsible in this case though...it sounded more like a speaker/room issue to me.

I liked the Tannoy Westminsters with the Straussmann gear (crazy priced though for what it delivered). The Wolf and something or other was also nice. For me the 2nd best room was the big Blumenhofer speakers and Allnic electronics...that delivered big fairly realistic sound...not LV realistic but not bad either.

Interestingly, the LV room was one of the only rooms where the audience showed the respect one would expect at a real live opera or classical concert...only the forced demos were as quiet and LV had an open access unlike some pretentious others. Are you sure you didn't go in there when they were playing their small speakers?

I heard well recorded Opera in both the Silbatone/Westrex and LV/kondo rooms (opera in other rooms would likely have just been painful) and the only one that sounded like I hear when I go to the Zurich Opera house or the Royal Opera house in London was the LV/Kondo room. The only one that sounds like a real grand piano at close range was the LV/kondo.




 

RE: NO turntable?, posted on May 21, 2014 at 15:03:53
morricab
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No, and the Kondo DAC made a strong case for the NOS all out DAC designs.

 

did they play red book CDs or high res. files?, posted on May 21, 2014 at 16:03:28
kuma
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if it's CD, would love to know which ones.

thanks.

 

RE: But was it a fair comparison ?, posted on May 21, 2014 at 18:19:35
RGA
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Sometimes it's the luck of the draw - while rooms may be the same or similar it doesn't necessarily mean that room is ideal for the given product - it could be more ideal for one system less so for another. I disliked the KEF LS-50 every time I heard them until I got them home. And I should imagine the reverse could also be the case. And like most things it's still one man's opinion (see above for those who liked something else better). Though Starting with Audio Note anything IMO is always a good place to start IME and it's not the first time WAAAAY over the top exclamation about AN (UK OR KONDO) have impressed at a show.

"Forget best sound of show, for sheer emotional delivery, timbral clarity, dynamic agility, and, yes, the highest fidelity, the Audio Note system may have been the best hi-fi I have ever heard. It was one of those magical moments that we audiophiles put up with all of the hassles for.

After the Audio Note demo. the rest was noise, so I quit on a winner. Not many people who come to Vegas can say that." Wes Philips http://www.stereophile.com/ces2009/ongaku_means_ecstasy/index.html

In a larger room and price not a consideration I would want the horns. But that's why MOST of this is never truly a fair comparison. Most stuff just isn't in the same class as AN SET amps and no times oversampling CD replay. So there may be very good speakers in a number of other rooms NOT having the benefit of a very good NOS no filter DA converter and balls to the wall no feedback SE amplification. IMO they are hampered right at the start and speakers can't fix what they don't get.

Bigger rooms also aid stereo separation, bass, dynamics, the treble is generally more open and doesn't thicken up so a good big room will probably trounce a good small room. Especially if the room is made out of wood.

The trick now is to try and get as close to the great sounding rooms as possible for 1/10 or 1/20 or 1/50 the price. Retain as many elements as possible.

The best horns have been my favorites and it would be nice to make it more apples to apples by bringing the Audio Note amps over to some of the other rooms to "fix" what may have ailed them. The "Real" sound and "Real" life like presentation starts at the SET/NOS end of things - putting a highly processed amplifier and oversampling mincing the meat CD player on the LV would likely completely destroy the effect. Source first.

 

RE: Very short Munich show report, posted on May 21, 2014 at 18:41:10
Utley1
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While you are at it PBS described a 27 foot 'horn' speaker system built in the 1930's that is on exhibit in London last month that is supposed have them all beat.. This is not a joke. I am trying to research it for a pictureand am waiting for several replies

 

RE: And you heard them when?, posted on May 21, 2014 at 20:03:23
Mr. Dick Hertz
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Sharp edges can certainly pose a problem due to diffraction. For the most part they are undesirable in a speaker cabinet. I would like to hear the designer's explanation of why they didn't seem to be concerned with multiple right angle edges on their cabinets.






"That was some weird shit".- George Bush

 

RE: And you heard them when?, posted on May 21, 2014 at 23:12:24
PAR
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In a direct radiator speaker the souce is mounted on a baffle and the baffle edges are of a large acoustic size compared to the wavelength of the sound especially in relation to higher frequencies.Diffraction is a problem.

The LV Olympians are multi way horns and there is no baffle. The sound wave has expanded along the length of the horn and when it reaches the edge of the horn the acoustic size of the horm mouth edge is small compared to the sound wave so diffraction is not significant.

 

RE: And you heard them when?, posted on May 22, 2014 at 00:39:56
b.l.zeebub
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Dr Earl Geddes begs to differ with you on that one and frankly I trust him a lot more than you.

 

RE: did they play red book CDs or high res. files?, posted on May 22, 2014 at 00:56:43
morricab
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Well, since they had that really expensive cd spinner I was assuming that mostly it was redbook cds.

 

RE: And you heard them when?, posted on May 22, 2014 at 01:00:16
morricab
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Except I doubt Geddes has ever built a speaker that sounds that good! So, while it might be a minor issue I think there are other, more important things that were nailed with the LV speaker and are probably lacking in nearly everyone else's speakers.

BTW, I have heard the same Kondo gear at Black Forest Audio in Germany, M-77 preamp, Kondo KSL DAC and Gaku Oh monos on different speakers and it was quite impressive as well but still nowhere near the realism that it had with the LV speakers.

 

RE: And you heard them when?, posted on May 22, 2014 at 01:13:56
b.l.zeebub
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So you are saying that the diffraction artefacts are clearly audible in a 'lesser' speaker but not in an allegedly better one?

That makes no sense whatsoever because if anything they would be more obvious.

 

Me Too..., posted on May 22, 2014 at 02:41:58
PAR
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... Earl Geddes is very trustworthy indeed on waveguides and directivity. This is about horns and diffraction though.

 

RE: And you heard them when?, posted on May 22, 2014 at 04:13:34
morricab
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I don't know how you got that out of what I said because that is NOT what I am saying. I am saying that I think you are overplaying the importance of diffraction artifacts with a horn design where the dispersion is clearly controlled how they want it to be. Normal diffraction issues like imaging problems were simply not evident with that system that had AWESOME imaging. Say what you think is right or wrong in theory but it is only that...theory and not the practical reality.

 

RE: Western Electric, posted on May 22, 2014 at 08:23:21
Ralph
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What I liked about the 'Western Electric' room was the spacious presentation/huge soundstage, making it easier to see real-life sized musicians.

What it lacked was bandwidth, and I think the system would have had more resolution/less coloration if the speaker cables had been kept short, with more neutral electronics. There was a nostalgic appeal, if you know what I mean :)

I bet if those Living Voice speakers had been in there it would have sounded even better, rooms being so important in any system... I would have used different electronics too :)



 

RE: Me Too..., posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:35:33
b.l.zeebub
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All horns are waveguides but not all waveguides are horns.
Diffraction is bad in any of them.

 

RE: And you heard them when?, posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:39:51
b.l.zeebub
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Diffraction = distortion. That is all there is to it.

 

Nice Post.., posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:58:37
PAR
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..I admire your concision.

 

RE: Western Electric, posted on May 22, 2014 at 13:35:02
morricab
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yes the presentation was huge but larger than life and not so well focused overall.

I am not so sure the electronics are as "colored" as you claim and depending on the cables themselves it may or may not be a big issue. Probably with the power they were required to deliver and with the bandwidth limitations of the speakers the distortion was probably very low indeed.

You are probably right about the room although I have never had the kinds of problems with rooms that people claim...when a system works I have found they tend to work in a wide range of rooms but of course this is an area where nice improvements can be realized.

As for the gear...well I have heard the Kondo stuff do some pretty special things in other systems besides this one...maybe it is the seriously expensive silver output trannies and the hand wound silver foil caps because the circuits themselves are not really so novel.

I like OTLs but I am sure I would like them better if they were also SET.

 

FWIW, posted on May 22, 2014 at 13:45:10
Ralph
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Once you get rid of the transformer the argument for SET sort of goes away. Just like an SET, as the power level on our amps is decreased, the distortion decreases to unmeasurable. That with a good noise floor makes them an excellent choice for horn loudspeakers.

 

RE: FWIW, posted on May 23, 2014 at 01:44:13
morricab
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Well that is true for an OTL as long as you are not using negative feedback. You can get the same drop in distortion also with SS devices if you don't use feedback.

As for not needing single ended...I disagree with you on this one because push/pull is inherently not perfect and as such creates distortion just on the mismatch between the two pushing and pulling devices will generate additional and unnatural distortions. Also, the cancellation of even order harmonics results in a less natural harmonic progression that is not seen in nature...nature is single ended.

With phase/time coherent speakers one can hear these trait differences regardless of how good the amps are. It was particularly obvious when I was using Acoustat full range electrostats and nearly as obvious with my current Reference 3a speakers.

MOST OTLs use a fair amount of negative feedback (even your small one the S30 does if I am not mistaken), which pushes them even further from the ideal distortion pattern, so while the benefits of greater transparency and usually tighter bass are there the tonal balance is shifted sadly more towards a typical "solid state" kind of leanness. If you read the reviews of your M60 OTLs, many of the reviewers note a slight leannes to the sound. For sure much of the warmth of the SET amps is derived from the output transformer distorting; however, I think that the best ones keep a natural sounding tone without undue warmth or leanness and they are almost always without negative feedback.

I recently had on hand the very nice sounding VAC Renaissance 30/30 MKIII, which has a nice tone and very high resolution. However, I could hear that it was push/pull because some things just didn't have the coherence one gets from my SET amps. It took quite some listening to nail it down but once I did I couldn't keep the VAC. I also tried an Einstein hybrid...it sounded relatively dead compared to a good SET.

You might be interested to read about my current amplifier, the NAT Symbiosis SE

http://www.nataudio.ch/cms/index.php?page=symbiosis-se-single-ended-integrated-amplifie

It is rather unique in that it is truly single ended (only one output device per channel) but that output device is a big industrial MOSFET. THe input and driver are 9 pin small signal tubes. It is all direct coupled and zero negative feedback. There are also 2 other industrial MOSFETS acting as regulators for the output ones (that is why there are 4 big heatsink towers).

What does it sound like? A big SET without any fluff around the notes...it is very precise and very dynamic but the tone is quite natural. When it fully warms up (over 1 hour of playing) it also has that otherworldly transparency of OTL. Until then it has the transparency of a good SET. Bass is very well controlled and powerful but natural as well. It is there that one can tell the output is a transistor.

That said, I think that a true SET OTL could be even better but it would be tough to do without adding a fairly significant amount of negative feedback...or would it?? I put it to you as a challenge. I know of only one on the market from Transcendent Sound but I would have to buy monos to get a reasonable 12 watts. Still I am considering...

 

RE: FWIW, posted on May 23, 2014 at 08:26:51
Ralph
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The primary distortion component we see in our amps is the 3rd harmonic. A lot depends on setup, but that is pretty much what we see. There was one test that showed something else, but the reviewer mistakenly grounded a speaker terminal with resulted in uneven drive of the power tubes and a lot more distortion as a result.

The contention that nature is single-ended seems peculiar to me- I don't know how such a statement can be justified. In that regard its not push-pull either- the whole things seems a Red Herring.

The leanness you comment on is not universal with all reviewers by any means. Certainly our amps are not as lush as an SET because they lack the 2nd harmonic, which the ear translates into tonality (in fact seems to weight the effects of distortion to a greater degree than actual frequency response errors). We have lots of access to live microphone feeds as we run a recording studio; in working with various amps in the control room its pretty obvious that the SETs are simply less neutral.

IMO if you really want to hear what an SET does, it should be on a speaker that is efficient enough that the amp never goes above about 20% of full power. In this way you get to experience greater detail and less coloration as the higher ordered harmonics tend to stay out of the picture, and of course at lower levels the distortion is absent entirely.

This makes them very similar to the sound of our amps, except that we have more bandwidth and power. BTW, the S-30 uses 4 db of feedback and is the most of any of our amps (the Novacron, MA-1, MA-2 and MA-3 have zero feedback). We have installed switches for customers to shut off the feedback entirely as the amp does not need it to be low in distortion. Typically we only get about 1% THD at full power if the tubes are set up right. So while there appears to be an argument against push-pull with respect to higher distortion, in practice it does not seem to manifest.

When doing AB comparisons, this difference of lower distortion in our amps is easily audible. As a result our S-30, provided it is installed on a loudspeaker that both amps can drive, has taken on some pretty heavy hitters in the SET world, ones that often cost many times more.

 

last year it was this, posted on May 23, 2014 at 19:37:15
Des
Audiophile

Posts: 1832
Location: Great Barrier Reef
Joined: August 3, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
August 2, 2000






Des

 

RE: Western Electric, posted on May 24, 2014 at 03:27:59
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
The Silbatone 300B SE amp used on the WE horns has a current feedback driver stage with .01% distortion at 160V p-p output. Bandwidth of the silver foil output transformers is 10-75k with no resonant peaks. Any distortion is the product of the WE 300B tube (actually we used 30s vintage 300As) which runs open loop.

Electronically, the amp is quite "neutral," unless by "neutral" you mean "colorless," which is rather easy to arrange but essential to avoid.

In any event, it is sppropriate to recognize that the WE 12A/13A were the FIRST high quality speakers and are 90 years old. Then compare the 2014 crop! ;op

Incidentally, many of the rooms at Munich MOC are terrible. The worst I have seen at any show and sometimes impossible to tame. So, any performances and evaluations are contingent on conditions and have limited appeal to universality.

At the show, we probably got 80-85% of what the WE 12A/13A can do in a properly set-up hall with 30 ft ceilings. I usually listen to it in such a setting, so I know what is lost.

Last year, we had one of the best speaker systems on the planet, WE Mirrophonic M2, and I could barely stand to listen to it due to flutter echo and congestion in that nasty 3rd floor room. Sometimes you get lucky, or set-up chops can beat room problems, but when you don't it can be tragic.

Also, exhibitors have ONE DAY before the doors open to set up and tune systems. It can take months or years to get a big system really dialed in, in a strange, lousy and inappropriate room. Some of those rooms have as much glass as a greenhouse, such as the Mayer/von Langa solarium upstairs.

The view of the Munich show enterprise from the exhibitor's stance is much different from that of the visitor. If a decent number of visitors like what you are doing, it can be considered success under the circumstances.



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

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: FWIW, posted on May 24, 2014 at 05:02:55
sk
Distributor or Rep

Posts: 522
Joined: April 22, 2000
morricab I see you are selling your NAT Symbiosis SE amp.......Why and what will you be getting in it's place? Maybe a Novacron? :-)

 

RE: Western Electric, posted on May 24, 2014 at 19:30:37
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 10130
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
Okay Joe - can you make a Horn that will work in a 700 square foot Hong Kong Apartment? That's the impossible task but what are the good domestically sensible horns INYO that can be listened to in the near field. There is a WE dealer in Central(Hong Kong) who sells WE original drivers and Line Magnetic (for those without the deep pockets).

I heard the Aporia full range at CES in 2010 and it made my top 5 rooms list and even that room I bet didn't do it nearly enough justice. But the Aporia is probably 3-4 times too big for apartments here.

Can't they just make a "mini-mi" version of the big horns. Downscale everything 80%

 

RE: Western Electric, posted on May 24, 2014 at 20:02:02
Joe Roberts
Manufacturer

Posts: 332
Location: Virginia
Joined: January 25, 2004
Look into an Altec 32A and 414 maybe. This is a variant of the WE 753C (713B with 32A and 15" Jensen woof) and related to the 757A which is one of the best speakers I know (728B and 713C and small KS horn).

You'll need a woofer that can play to at least 1500-2000hz very cleanly. A 414 is a pretty good candidate for low $$.

This is a classic monitor approach: from WE through Altec, JBL, Westlake, etc. One or two 12" with a horn crossed fairly high.

Or you could just get rid of the furniture and put in Altec A5s, Japanese style.

But if you want full range horns, there ain't no tiny way to get there. WE 555 and a big horn is the shortest path to the goal.


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

Free your mind and your ass will follow -- Parliament/Funkadelic

 

RE: FWIW, posted on May 26, 2014 at 02:16:33
morricab
Reviewer

Posts: 8442
Location: switzerland
Joined: April 1, 2005
Yes, I know your amp gives predominantly 3rd harmonic as it is push/pull that cancels out even harmonics. Nature tends to have monotonic harmonic decay (2nd bigger than 3rd bigger than 4th etc.) unless it is completely anharmonic (like a cymbal crash). This is what Jean Hiraga was going on about 30 years ago and Cheever much more recently that the PATTERN has to be monotonic and in line with ear/brain distortion mechanisms (aural harmonics as Cheever puts it I think). A push/pull amp cannot do this correctly...by design.

Your OTLs do not sound overly lean, IMO, but I can see where that comment could come from. THe OTLs I had were incredibly transparent and powerful sounding but not as fluid and coherent as I get from SET. No OTL I have heard does that even as they are doing some things far better than all but the best SETs. For correct tonality I have to give the nod to really good SETs...those that don't have significant issues with their output transformers.

"IMO if you really want to hear what an SET does, it should be on a speaker that is efficient enough that the amp never goes above about 20% of full power."

This is probably true of any amplifier that is not using any negative feedback as the distortion is rising with increasing power. An amp with heavy negative feedback almost has to be played hard just to "wake up" a bit. I don't think it is a SET or PP thing, more of a feedback or not thing.

"This makes them very similar to the sound of our amps, except that we have more bandwidth and power"

Well, my NAT makes 100 watts of SE(T) power so it is right up there with your MA-1 in terms of speaker compatibility...probably better because of the damping factor. Bass is superb, deep tight and yet natural in a way that feedback bass is not.

I have no doubt that the S30 is a price/performance champ, but if you have the budget for better then it and the M60s do have competition from both the SET and hybrid worlds.

Again, make a 10-20 watt SEOTL and you will have a customer ;-).

If I get the really high sensitivity horns I am looking into I will probably be trying one the Transcendent Sound SEOTL models

 

RE: FWIW, posted on May 26, 2014 at 02:18:05
morricab
Reviewer

Posts: 8442
Location: switzerland
Joined: April 1, 2005
Looking at some very high sensitivity horns and don't need the power. I would look into SEOTL amps like the Transcendent sound kits.

 

RE: FWIW, posted on May 27, 2014 at 14:02:25
Ralph
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Posts: 3279
Location: Minnesota
Joined: April 24, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
April 1, 2002
I think you will find that even with high efficiency loudspeakers that if the amplifier is clean enough you will find yourself using more power than expected.

I've not seen an SEOTL that really makes an appreciable amount of power. Plus the ones I have seen have been really inefficient- using several high power tubes in parallel to achieve what can be done with just 2 6AS7Gs. I can pretty well guarantee that the 2 6AS7Gs will be audibly lower in distortion as well. Food for thought.

 

RE: Very short Munich show report, posted on June 6, 2014 at 07:04:21
Roy Gregory
Reviewer

Posts: 4
Joined: September 17, 2012
Just a few points about the Munich Show and the MOC venue:

Most of the rooms are almost identical in dimensions and construction. There are a few exceptions with larger dimensions (eg the Silbatone room) but for the most part, all second floor rooms are the same and all the third floor rooms likewise, although these are slightly shorter than those on the second floor and have a sloping ceiling down to the far end. The Vox Olympian/Vox Elysian system was actually in one of these smaller, third floor rooms - along with a smaller LV system firing across the room.

Unlike most shows, Munich allows two days for set-up and tuning. Access is generally excellent (although traffic control is less than Germanically efficient). What's more, the MOC will fit/build almost anything that you provide - or allow you to do so. That makes serious acoustic treatment a very real possibility if you want to take that road.

The VO/VE set up used a dedicated, battery powered supply brought to the show by the exhibitor. This, along with the care and attention that went into set-up, the all Kondo chain (including cables) and the fact that the speakers were developed alongside the electronics, very much as a system, all contributed to the results.

CD was indeed the only source(although the smaller system also offered a Kuzma Stabi XL turntable with two different arms). This seems to be yet more proof that there's life in the Red Book format yet. Even better was the willingness to play anything presented.

While the MOC rooms present a challenge, it's one that is far from insuperable. My conclusion is that many exhibitors either can't meet that challenge or don't bother to try - and we wonder why people are losing interest in high-performance audio...

I say kudos to Living Voice for having the cojones to bring this system to Munich not once but twice - and producing sensational sounds both times. The OP is correct but if anything, it's brevity understates the case.

 

RE: Western Electric, posted on June 6, 2014 at 07:35:33
Tubegroover
Audiophile

Posts: 237
Joined: May 18, 2000

"I like OTLs but I am sure I would like them better if they were also SET."

Then you might like this one and it's considerably less than the Kondo gear.

http://www.davidberning.com/products/zh_211_845

 

RE: Me Too..., posted on June 6, 2014 at 09:09:19
Disbeliever
Audiophile

Posts: 1575
Joined: June 1, 2012
It was hearing the then fabulous Voigt Domestic Corner Horn as a youngster that got me into hi-fi so many years ago. However I find all Horn speakers I have auditioned including Voigts are colored and whilst they can give a very impressive sound they are IMO not accurate, or completely realistic, I could not live with any Horn speaker. So do not waste a $1m.

 

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