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Amp/Preamp Asylum: REVIEW: Doge Doge 8 Preamplifier (Tube) by rccc@wildblue.net

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REVIEW: Doge Doge 8 Preamplifier (Tube)

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Model: Doge 8
Category: Preamplifier (Tube)
Suggested Retail Price: $1350
Description: Tube preamp with phono
Manufacturer URL: Doge
Model Picture: View

Review by rccc@wildblue.net on September 28, 2010 at 12:30:25
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for the Doge 8

I have owned this pre for about 8 mos. There are not many user reviews for this unit so I thought Id add mine. The Doge 8 is a full function remote controlled tube pre using 12ax7's for the phono and 12at7's for the line stage. There is an FET mc step up. The importer is Pacific Valve. The 8 has 5 line inputs and a phono input that can be switched from mm to mc with a 2 position load switch. There are 2 rca line out and 1 balanced (xlr) out. The unit is supplied with chinese tubes and it is recommended by the importer to switch them out immediately. I can vouch that they sound horrible and cant understand why they would even sell it with such poor sounding tubes. Fortunately the amp responds well to tube rolling. Ive tried mullards,tele ecc 801s and tele nos 12at7 for the line stage and sylvania,tele,mullard,hitachi,beckman and amperex for the phono. all those tubes sounded good and choice would come down to personal preference. Teles were the quietest for phono. I listen to vinyl mainly so the majority of listening is based on that. I was able (thanks to friends) to try the amp with several power amps including Channel Island Audio 500w mono blocks, McIntosh mc300, HC Citation II (fully McShaned) and 2 custom tube amps by Dan Steele based on ST 70 and Cit II respectively. I compared it with several pres including Mapletree 4a, HC Cit I fully McShaned and Carvered, Adcom gfp 750 (passive and active), Crown sl 2 and passive volume only. In short it was as good as any of them and to my ears the line stage is as good as anything Ive heard excepting $10k+ pre's. Very quiet with great soundstage and tonality. Definitely not tubey sounding but with that tube holography. Imaging was immediately noticeable and allowed the speakers and cartridge to sound their full potential. CD's sounded especially good. With the phono I tried several cartridges including Shure V15 V and CA Virtuoso wood with Sound Smith CL stylus for MM and CA Stradivari, Denon 103D SS CL and Denon 103d SS OCL for MC. First the mc stepup is an fet and unacceptably noisy so for MC I used sut's (peerless,ludahl and silk) The sound with the suts is excellent and I would say about as good as it gets for 12ax7's. Compared to my Cit I its a touch brighter but not to much so and very transparent with a sweet top end. At any listening level I could stay in the room with there was no audible noise. The same goes for the MM carts and in fact I think I like the Shure sound better than any Ive tried with that cart. I have been switching between my Cit I and find them very comparable (the cit i is completely rebuilt with McShane parts and further modified by Bob Carver.) I find the Doge to be a remarkable value and have not heard anything at its price that can top it,others have compared to pres costing over $5k. There is an interesting review at Arthur Salvatore's High End Audio website. Hope you find this helpful, bear in mind your mileage may vary.
Good Listening, Rick

Product Weakness: Comes with lousy tubes<br>No tape loop
Product Strengths: Great sound,robust output,nice remote,good input output flexibility.Excellent value

Associated Equipment for this Review:

Amplifier: Cit II (modded) ST 70 (modded)others
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Cit I
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Sota Cosmos IV/SME V
Speakers: Raven Ebbs
Cables/Interconnects: Tara,Audioquest,custom
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Classical, Jazz, Pop
Room Size (LxWxH): 30 x 20 x 12-18
Time Period/Length of Audition: 8mos
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Dedicated circuit
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Doge Doge 8 Preamplifier (Tube) - rccc@wildblue.net 12:30:24 09/28/10 ( 6)