Author Topic: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated  (Read 904 times)

Offline Nick B

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thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« on: December 03, 2019, 04:10:43 PM »
As Iíve mentioned in another thread, Iím very happy with the new Fritz Carraras.
These ďtiny totsĒ are mighty fine... I now have a more holographic presentation and itís more fun to listen to. Iím getting very good sound nowadays using the ICE stereo power amp 1200as2 along with the Border Patrol SE nos dac and the somewhat quirky, but excellent sounding Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp. That beryllium tweeter retrieves detail beautifully and without harshness. Itís especially and surprisingly nice on older and somewhat poorly recorded material.

There are two issues, though, that Iíd like to improve. One is some remaining harshness on vocals and some instruments that I think might be the ICE amp and the other is some boominess in the bass that is room related. Maybe theyíre both room related. Iíve never, ever used room treatments, but Iím trying to learn as much as I can. Iíve previously mentioned here that I sent Dave...Mr Uber  :thumb: and Greg Rael who does the PI Audio room treatments, some pics of my room. They both expressed their sadness as to my room parameters and choice of speaker placement 😢 Doug s also has looked at the room pics and offered a suggestion.

So there are a few ways to proceed. One is to try another amp, or even an integrated, and see if I can get rid of that bit of harshness. Very likely it would be tube or at least a solid state that has a reputation for a tubelike presentation. As I live alone nowadays, I could dramatically change speaker placement so they would fire into the horizontal or short side of the room layout rather than the long side of the room. By changing to the short side/horizontal placement, both Fritzes would not have a close boundary wall on either side. So altering the placement is doable, but not preferable.

Based on some research on my part and some helpful suggestions from members here, there are a few companies that quite interest me as to amps, preamps and integrateds.  Those would be Audio Hungary, Microzotl, Don Sachs and NAT. Iíve also had a couple of offers to send me amps for evaluation which I very much appreciate.

So Iím open to suggestions on equipment and any other thoughts you may have.
By the way, room dimensions are about
17íW x 26íL x 11íH open floor plan room
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 04:16:19 PM by Nick B »
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline Guy 13

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thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 06:19:35 PM »
As Iíve mentioned in another thread, Iím very happy with the new Fritz Carraras.
These ďtiny totsĒ are mighty fine... I now have a more holographic presentation and itís more fun to listen to. Iím getting very good sound nowadays using the ICE stereo power amp 1200as2 along with the Border Patrol SE nos dac and the somewhat quirky, but excellent sounding Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp. That beryllium tweeter retrieves detail beautifully and without harshness. Itís especially and surprisingly nice on older and somewhat poorly recorded material.

There are two issues, though, that Iíd like to improve. One is some remaining harshness on vocals and some instruments that I think might be the ICE amp and the other is some boominess in the bass that is room related. Maybe theyíre both room related. Iíve never, ever used room treatments, but Iím trying to learn as much as I can. Iíve previously mentioned here that I sent Dave...Mr Uber  :thumb: and Greg Rael who does the PI Audio room treatments, some pics of my room. They both expressed their sadness as to my room parameters and choice of speaker placement 😢 Doug s also has looked at the room pics and offered a suggestion.

So there are a few ways to proceed. One is to try another amp, or even an integrated, and see if I can get rid of that bit of harshness. Very likely it would be tube or at least a solid state that has a reputation for a tubelike presentation. As I live alone nowadays, I could dramatically change speaker placement so they would fire into the horizontal or short side of the room layout rather than the long side of the room. By changing to the short side/horizontal placement, both Fritzes would not have a close boundary wall on either side. So altering the placement is doable, but not preferable.

Based on some research on my part and some helpful suggestions from members here, there are a few companies that quite interest me as to amps, preamps and integrateds.  Those would be Audio Hungary, Microzotl, Don Sachs and NAT. Iíve also had a couple of offers to send me amps for evaluation which I very much appreciate.

So Iím open to suggestions on equipment and any other thoughts you may have.
By the way, room dimensions are about
17íW x 26íL x 11íH open floor plan room

Hi,
that's quite a large room you have.
Just saying.
My dedicated listening room is :
15' wide X 23' long and 9.5' high.

Guy 13
Grace Digital Mondo RIT
Cambridge Mini sub 2.1
Schiit Fulla 2 DAC
Schiit SYS PCC
Sony Passive Bookshelf speakers
Lot more stuff on storage
prior to moving back to Canada.

Offline mresseguie

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 07:09:08 PM »
Nick,

Call the folks at GIK Acoustics and supply them some information about your listening room. I'll bet they can suggest some treatment that will be considerably less expensive than trying different amplifiers. [Make sure you buy the diffusor from Greg and Dave.]

Michael

P.S. We will fly directly from ATL to Taiwan this Sunday, so my offer will have to wait until next April. Start lifting weights.  :thumb:
Daedalus Audio Apollos; Fritz Loudspeakers LS/5-R
SW1X DAC III STD
dB Audio Labs Tranquility SE DAC w/Jupiter Caps
Don Sachs Model 2
Don Sachs Kootenay 120 KT88; Nuprime ST-10
TWL loom
PI Audio UberBUSS, DigiBUSS, Uber-MiniBUSS
PI Audio USB cable
Mac Mini

Offline Folsom

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 07:13:42 PM »
Well Nick the number one thing I still suggest is trying that little tiny amp just to diagnose where you're woes come from. It can rule out the amp or preamp.

What metallurgy are your cables? Can you talk about them? Do you have enough regular IEC cables that aren't audiophile ones to swap in and check?

Are you more about 3D sound, holographic type sound, soundstage, or more about timbre, dynamics, resolution? 

IME I've never heard a stereo that sounded fatiguing or bad due to the room. The room can be changes to improve a stereo, as well know, but it won't radically remake a stereo.

Offline Nick B

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 09:06:59 PM »
As Iíve mentioned in another thread, Iím very happy with the new Fritz Carraras.
These ďtiny totsĒ are mighty fine... I now have a more holographic presentation and itís more fun to listen to. Iím getting very good sound nowadays using the ICE stereo power amp 1200as2 along with the Border Patrol SE nos dac and the somewhat quirky, but excellent sounding Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp. That beryllium tweeter retrieves detail beautifully and without harshness. Itís especially and surprisingly nice on older and somewhat poorly recorded material.

There are two issues, though, that Iíd like to improve. One is some remaining harshness on vocals and some instruments that I think might be the ICE amp and the other is some boominess in the bass that is room related. Maybe theyíre both room related. Iíve never, ever used room treatments, but Iím trying to learn as much as I can. Iíve previously mentioned here that I sent Dave...Mr Uber  :thumb: and Greg Rael who does the PI Audio room treatments, some pics of my room. They both expressed their sadness as to my room parameters and choice of speaker placement 😢 Doug s also has looked at the room pics and offered a suggestion.

So there are a few ways to proceed. One is to try another amp, or even an integrated, and see if I can get rid of that bit of harshness. Very likely it would be tube or at least a solid state that has a reputation for a tubelike presentation. As I live alone nowadays, I could dramatically change speaker placement so they would fire into the horizontal or short side of the room layout rather than the long side of the room. By changing to the short side/horizontal placement, both Fritzes would not have a close boundary wall on either side. So altering the placement is doable, but not preferable.

Based on some research on my part and some helpful suggestions from members here, there are a few companies that quite interest me as to amps, preamps and integrateds.  Those would be Audio Hungary, Microzotl, Don Sachs and NAT. Iíve also had a couple of offers to send me amps for evaluation which I very much appreciate.

So Iím open to suggestions on equipment and any other thoughts you may have.
By the way, room dimensions are about
17íW x 26íL x 11íH open floor plan room

Hi,
that's quite a large room you have.
Just saying.
My dedicated listening room is :
15' wide X 23' long and 9.5' high.

Guy 13

Yes, Guy. A bit bigger than Iíd like, but the other rooms are quite small. It has worked for me since 2003 🎶🎶
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline Nick B

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 09:14:01 PM »
Nick,

Call the folks at GIK Acoustics and supply them some information about your listening room. I'll bet they can suggest some treatment that will be considerably less expensive than trying different amplifiers. [Make sure you buy the diffusor from Greg and Dave.]

Michael

P.S. We will fly directly from ATL to Taiwan this Sunday, so my offer will have to wait until next April. Start lifting weights.  :thumb:

Michael,
Have a good trip! I am mentally lifting weights as I write this 😃🏋️  Iíll look into GIK and revisit this issue with PI. My hunch is itís room acoustics and the amp... As to that Kootenay, Iím sure it would sound great, but am quite concerned about the weight. The Audio Hungary APX 200 amp weighs mid 60s or more. Ugh
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline Nick B

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 09:49:42 PM »
Well Nick the number one thing I still suggest is trying that little tiny amp just to diagnose where you're woes come from. It can rule out the amp or preamp.

What metallurgy are your cables? Can you talk about them? Do you have enough regular IEC cables that aren't audiophile ones to swap in and check?

Are you more about 3D sound, holographic type sound, soundstage, or more about timbre, dynamics, resolution? 

IME I've never heard a stereo that sounded fatiguing or bad due to the room. The room can be changes to improve a stereo, as well know, but it won't radically remake a stereo.

Jeremy,
Your amp idea is good..and cheap. The amp you linked this time is different than the first one which I prefer. Iíve saved that link somewhere.
All cabling is copper and diy that a friend did for me. No ofc or occ stuff. Very, very thin gauge copper on the digital and icís all using rcaís. The power cords are mostly thick gauge solid copper and the speaker cable braided copper. Nothing is shielded. Itís probably very good, but Iíd like to compare it to a couple of companies. I may have some inexpensive power cords somewhere, but I tend not to keep extra cables or equipment.
As to what type of musical presentation I prefer, itís actually a combination of 3D holographic with timbre and resolution. What Iím getting now is certainly on the right track. The timbre is better now than anything Iíve experienced in 30+ years in this hobby. As to slam, I actually have more than I need or want. Iíve been startled more than a few times with the leading edge of transients. Itís certainly something Iím not used to and I donít know if itís an accurate portrayal or not.
As to your thoughts about amplification and listener fatigue due to room acoustics, I really donít know. Iím sure you have much more experience than I do.
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline Folsom

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 12:05:47 AM »
Well, they're all the same, the little amps, to me. They're all ok for a toy background system or computer, but have an universality of sounding very easy.

You can have 3D with timbre and resolution but it's hard to enhance 3D without destroying the other ones at some point. You might greatly prefer some tinned copper interconnects and speaker wire (you don't have to terminate them). I personally prefer it over basically everything but my own made stuff.

Your speakers can play well with surprisingly low amounts of power, so something like a fairly powerful SET isn't out of the question. But also a Firstwatt J2 might be an option.

I wish I could help more on the digital front end. I'm all TT because I haven't made a DAC yet.

Offline Nick B

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 12:30:03 AM »
Well, they're all the same, the little amps, to me. They're all ok for a toy background system or computer, but have an universality of sounding very easy.

You can have 3D with timbre and resolution but it's hard to enhance 3D without destroying the other ones at some point. You might greatly prefer some tinned copper interconnects and speaker wire (you don't have to terminate them). I personally prefer it over basically everything but my own made stuff.

Your speakers can play well with surprisingly low amounts of power, so something like a fairly powerful SET isn't out of the question. But also a Firstwatt J2 might be an option.

I wish I could help more on the digital front end. I'm all TT because I haven't made a DAC yet.

Thanks for the links. The prices are right. Iím not sure what Iíll do about wires and in what sequence of trying things. Youíre right about the Fritzes not needing much power. Fritz tells me heís run them with as little as 8 watts. Iíve never had a SET amp and it sounds quite appealing. I believe that Firstwatt J2 is a Nelson Pass creation. $4,000 retail and sold usually for $2,000 per HiFi Shark.
May I suggest you start designing that dac. It would be great fun to hear your amps and dac.
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline Folsom

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 12:50:41 AM »
I don't think I'd even start unless I had at least $10k min to put towards it. A DAC is a whole other thing... because I don't think they're even good, not really. It's a lot of work to unpack that mess.

Decware has some awfully pretty triode amps for not a ton of money. I was listening to the Qualition on YouTube, it's a nice sound if that's what you like. For me it's too airy, floaty, candy type sound.

Offline Guy 13

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thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 02:17:59 AM »
I don't think I'd even start unless I had at least $10k min to put towards it. A DAC is a whole other thing... because I don't think they're even good, not really. It's a lot of work to unpack that mess.

Decware has some awfully pretty triode amps for not a ton of money. I was listening to the Qualition on YouTube, it's a nice sound if that's what you like. For me it's too airy, floaty, candy type sound.


Hi,
I also think that the music in the video is :
'' ....is too airy, floaty, candy type sound. ''
I have the Decware SE84C+ but only 2wpc,
need at least 95db speakers.

Guy 13
Grace Digital Mondo RIT
Cambridge Mini sub 2.1
Schiit Fulla 2 DAC
Schiit SYS PCC
Sony Passive Bookshelf speakers
Lot more stuff on storage
prior to moving back to Canada.

Offline rollo

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 06:56:27 AM »
  Nick. You are lucky. That room size is close to perfect. Change it all around. That will change the memory of before as well as drastically improving your presentation. Speaker position, toe in etc can affect HF.
  I would let the speakers get 350 hours on them first. Change the room layout. Do not rush this. Time is on your side.

charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm - Aqua Acoustic Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm Speakers - PI Audio Uberbuss - Triode Wire Labs- Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungry Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt-Arion-Vinnie Rossi

Offline Nick B

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 09:36:34 AM »
I agree a bit about this Qualiton YouTube video. If I go the AH Qualiton route, it would be because of the tonality and nice midrange.
I took a look at Decware. Nicely done website and it appears well respected products.
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline Nick B

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 10:33:06 AM »
  Nick. You are lucky. That room size is close to perfect. Change it all around. That will change the memory of before as well as drastically improving your presentation. Speaker position, toe in etc can affect HF.
  I would let the speakers get 350 hours on them first. Change the room layout. Do not rush this. Time is on your side.

charles

Charles,
Am slowly putting the hours on them. Will try and post a couple of pics. Its interesting that we both enjoy the Fritzes and Audio Hungary. Would be fun to hear some of your other products. Maybe at one of the shows if I can get adventurous and afford it.
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline Folsom

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Re: thinking about new amp and pre or integrated
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2019, 11:51:40 AM »
Nick you aren't near any shows! Hmm.