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Preamp upgrade?


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Before I hit the hey, I figured I would put it to the brains trust…

I’m running the Audible Illusions Modulus, which replaced the PSE Studio 1 in 1998... I acquired it from the ballet studio in Santa Monica, Ca.
(The PSE was part of the original electronics stack from ~84)
I just looked at the retail pride for the AI Modulus now, and it seems like more than I would have spent in ‘99.
I am pretty satisfied with it in general, but I would like something could allow me to get off of a 230–>120v transformer.

Would moving to, say, a Nagra Jazz be a sideways, backwards, or upwards move?

I know that a lot about the Nagra that I like is solely the look and ergonomics, but it would fit on a shelf easier.
However  those are not great sonic reasons to consider going to one.

The has found one in Europe, but started to feel like it could be dicey with no guarantee that it might arrive, so that one is out of the picture.
(Amd I know know one over there that could work as a third party to get it and hold it until payment cleared adn then forwarded it on.)

Now that I have some time to think unemotionally, I am putting it out as a question.
Consider the Nagra, or stay with the AI and be happy?

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2 hours ago, Holmz said:

Before I hit the hey, I figured I would put it to the brains trust…

I’m running the Audible Illusions Modulus, which replaced the PSE Studio 1 in 1998... I acquired it from the ballet studio in Santa Monica, Ca.
(The PSE was part of the original electronics stack from ~84)
I just looked at the retail pride for the AI Modulus now, and it seems like more than I would have spent in ‘99.
I am pretty satisfied with it in general, but I would like something could allow me to get off of a 230–>120v transformer.

Would moving to, say, a Nagra Jazz be a sideways, backwards, or upwards move?

I know that a lot about the Nagra that I like is solely the look and ergonomics, but it would fit on a shelf easier.
However  those are not great sonic reasons to consider going to one.

The has found one in Europe, but started to feel like it could be dicey with no guarantee that it might arrive, so that one is out of the picture.
(Amd I know know one over there that could work as a third party to get it and hold it until payment cleared adn then forwarded it on.)

Now that I have some time to think unemotionally, I am putting it out as a question.
Consider the Nagra, or stay with the AI and be happy?

The Audible Illusions pre-amp going into a high impedance amp (50K or more) is very hard to improve on especially if you amp is single ended.  What is the obsession with getting rid of the step down transformer?  A pre-amp normally run class A (constant current) so the step-down transformer offers another layer of primary to secondary isolation (good) so there is no sonic compromise using one.  That Audible is good enough that you don't want to replace it on someone's recommendation so you need to do the comparison yourself or do nothing.  RV

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Thanks RV - I’ll stick to being happy with the AI.

 

I think of my system as sort of mid range with predominantly the mid 80s gear.
(But in reality, it is a pretty system.)
The phono stage is being upgraded, but the rest does seems pretty solid. 

I’ll probably be more well served to start doing some focus on room treatment.
(Which will have to pass a WAF committee. SWMBO/Her/Honey )

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The problems began before the war.

Keep in mind that audiophiles are mere minnows in the sea of the tube user base.  Guitar amplifier manufacturers consume more tubes each week than audiophile gear manufacturers do in a year.  Maybe less than a week.

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1 hour ago, BKDad said:

The problems began before the war.

Keep in mind that audiophiles are mere minnows in the sea of the tube user base.  Guitar amplifier manufacturers consume more tubes each week than audiophile gear manufacturers do in a year.  Maybe less than a week.

Great share BK.  Thanks for that. I assumed we were a fraction of tube use. I know the military still uses some too.  I remember a resurgence when the Cold War started to thaw and the Eastern European countries opened up their factories etc..  That's how I remember it, although I may be wrong, lol. 

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On 3/24/2022 at 9:32 AM, Richard Vandersteen said:

The Audible Illusions pre-amp going into a high impedance amp (50K or more) is very hard to improve on especially if you amp is single ended.  What is the obsession with getting rid of the step down transformer?  A pre-amp normally run class A (constant current) so the step-down transformer offers another layer of primary to secondary isolation (good) so there is no sonic compromise using one.  That Audible is good enough that you don't want to replace it on someone's recommendation so you need to do the comparison yourself or do nothing.  RV

How do you know so much!!

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...
2 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

Those are some handsome looking pieces of equipment. I hope they sound as nice.

The Nagra does sound a bit better, but not many times better.
And it might be somewhat psychological.
But the phono amp does give me the ability to do LOMC, and the preamp at least looks good.

 

2 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

BTW- Are there any other small audio designers in Australia/SE Asia/Japan that don't get much press here in the US?

Bob


March Audio is about 15 miles away.
He does a Class-D Purifi based amps… and some bookshelf speakers that sound amazing enough as to having want to own a set.
The speakers are not time and phase correct, so I was thinking about an active XO project, but that does not look like it will happen.
Sointuva is what they are called.

There is also Mark Dohmann making the TurnTables in Victoria.
I spoke with him a few months ago when looking for a part for a Schroder tonearm… and he said it was “David’s arm from  MSP.”  He apparently was flown over to set up the TT. 
So that goes on the TT when I put on the upgrade motor parts from Donna and Christian.
I felt like a rockstar knowing I bought a used tonearm that deemed not good enough that Dohmann needed to fly over to fix a TT.😎

There is a group doing active speakers in Adelaide, with mostly open baffle drivers. I forget the name, but they look interesting and costly.
And some other DEXQ or something group… doing DSP active XOs…
Dunlavy was in Adelaide (SA) for a long time.

The Supratek valve gear has a lifetime, transferable warranty, so I would rate that as them believing in their gear.|They are in Margaret River WA.
It is probably like Atmasphere.
And it is Zero feedback stuff.
I am interested in it.

There is probably more Rob, but nothing that sticks out in my mind.

We were l trying to book the trip to Margaret River, and some golf tournament is on that days we were planning on going, so we will need to adjust our schedule.

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2 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

….

So, as @Holmz is our Down Under Authority, I thought he might know more than I can find here in the US.

B

More like an authority on “down and out”… 😃

I think they have the same problems here, but maybe consumers have a lower amount of snake oil tolerance.
Korea and Japan have a different mix of passion from what I have seen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

He (Supratech Mick) is fine, he just said they are playing it safe and keeping the riff-raff at least 1.5 meters away.
There is a new COVID strain running through WA (Western Australia), so it makes sense.

At least I do not have to pack a couple of LPs. 😪
But I would like to get a listen at some point.

I am also giving up on listening to the locally assembled Purifi based Class-D amp (and speakers), as I have somehow rubbed them wrong.

Edited by Holmz
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