PDA

View Full Version : As a matter of interest or perhaps not



Ken Pachkowsky
12-21-2005, 02:41 PM
As several of you know I had purchased a Adcom GFP-750 last year and used it for several months before trying a Tad 150 Signature Tube pre-amp.



At the time of the switch I was confident the Tad sounded better, specifically in terms of bass extension and imaging. I recently purchased 2 more of the Adcom preamps, one of which has arrived and is virtually brand new 6 months ago.



Naturally curious, I hooked it up to see if I had been truly objective or just had my head up my butt wanting the Tad to sound better.



I know several of us have these Adcom pre-amps. Trust me guys, you will never look back if you switch them out. The difference is more substantial now that the tubes have burned in. I am dead serious; grab one of these before the prices go up. He is selling a lot of them for a good reason. Get the Signature Model.



http://www.angelfire.com/biz/bizzyb/TAD-150.html (http://www.angelfire.com/biz/bizzyb/TAD-150.html)



Ken

Mr. Widget
12-21-2005, 02:51 PM
Won't do me no good... I am not currently running a preamp. I do wonder what you're hearing that makes you say that the tube job is giving you an extended bottom end....:spin:


Widget

norealtalent
12-21-2005, 02:57 PM
Won't do me no good... I am not currently running a preamp. I do wonder what you're hearing that makes you say that the tube job is giving you an extended bottom end....:spin:


Widget

"the tube job is giving you an extended bottom end....http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/spin.gif"

Sounds deep. Is that for pleasure or pain? :D

Mr. Widget
12-21-2005, 02:58 PM
Mr. Talent... you are thinking of an entirely different discussion forum.:D


Widget

edgewound
12-21-2005, 02:59 PM
Won't do me no good... I am not currently running a preamp. I do wonder what you're hearing that makes you say that the tube job is giving you an extended bottom end....:spin:


Widget

It's probably the sound:D

Ken Pachkowsky
12-21-2005, 03:08 PM
Won't do me no good... I am not currently running a preamp. I do wonder what you're hearing that makes you say that the tube job is giving you an evtended bottom end....:spin:


Widget


By bass extension I mean a deeper more controlled low end. The imaging is more 3 dimensional and yes, you read that right. It's not my imagination. I know your a serious skeptic.....but...

Ken

norealtalent
12-21-2005, 03:08 PM
Mr. Talent... you are thinking of an entirely different discussion forum.:D


Widget

OOOOps:blink:

norealtalent
12-21-2005, 03:10 PM
It's probably the sound:D

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Mr. Widget
12-21-2005, 03:36 PM
By bass extension I mean a deeper more controlled low end. The imaging is more 3 dimensional and yes, you read that right. It's not my imagination. I know your a serious skeptic.....but...What my wording was... I wonder what you are hearing that makes you think there is deeper bass.... I am not skeptical that you are hearing a difference... I am skeptical that preamp amp A would add bass extension over preamp B. Especially between these two preamps...


Widget

Ken Pachkowsky
12-21-2005, 03:46 PM
The wife agrees after a blind test. Quote " That sounds much better (smoother and clearer) to be exact". That being the Tad.

PS: The Adcom was used in passive and active modes.

For what its worth....

Let me know if any of you get one and post your impressions.

Ken

Ken Pachkowsky
12-21-2005, 03:52 PM
What my wording was... I wonder what you are hearing that makes you think there is deeper bass.... I am not skeptical that you are hearing a difference... I am skeptical that preamp amp A would add bass extension over preamp B. Especially between these two preamps...


Widget

Well, I think "add" is the wrong word. Perhaps its producing something that was already there but doing it much better or more accurately?

Ken

JuniorJBL
12-21-2005, 04:35 PM
I do like my 750 but after doing a side by side comparison with my Musical Fidelity KW500 I found a few things that I did not care for with the adcom.

1) The adcom does not have great output(very low).

2) soundstage is "farther back" in the speakers.

3) low frequency is lacking extension.

4) even with my sumiko phono pre, output from the adcom was less than ideal.

When I did my test I only used the KW500's preamp to power a pair of Proceed HPA-2's and then powered the proceed's with the adcom.

The adcom is a decent pre but there are better.

It did serve as a very faithfull pre and I was very happy for the time.;)

Ken Pachkowsky
12-21-2005, 04:53 PM
I do like my 750 but

2) soundstage is "farther back" in the speakers.

3) low frequency is lacking extension.

It did serve as a very faithfull pre and I was very happy for the time.;)

Heh Widget! there is that damned extension word again.....hmmmmm.

Lets get serious here! Ok...^%$% it. Let's not. This is more fun:nutz:.

Your Buddy

Ken

JuniorJBL
12-21-2005, 04:58 PM
Heh Widget! there is that damned extension word again.....hmmmmm.

Lets get serious here! Ok...^%$% it. Let's not. This is more fun:nutz:.

Your Buddy

Ken

I would say that the "extension" is due to the lack of output from the pre!:duck:

Ken Pachkowsky
12-21-2005, 05:01 PM
I would say that the "extension" is due to the lack of output from the pre!:duck:

NO NO....Edit that before he see's it!:bouncy:

Mr. Widget
12-21-2005, 05:42 PM
Hey Ken,

:blah: :blah: :blah:


Widget

JuniorJBL
12-21-2005, 06:01 PM
Uhhhh :blink:

Mr. Widget
12-21-2005, 06:25 PM
Uhhhh :blink:Ditto...:)


Widget

mikebake
12-21-2005, 06:53 PM
Okay, well, I'll buy one of those Adcoms if anyone here is parting with one.

boputnam
12-21-2005, 06:56 PM
1) The adcom does not have great output(very low).

2) soundstage is "farther back" in the speakers.

3) low frequency is lacking extension.

5) The adcom is a decent pre but there are better.
1) Complete opposite of my findings. I have to cut the output from the EQ's due to the gain coming out of both the Adcom's I have in routine service. Both are new.

2) Move the speakers closer...? :applaud:

3) Complete opposite of my findings.

5) That is true, but not in this price range.

Oh, and:


I know several of us have these Adcom pre-amps. Trust me guys, you will never look back if you switch them out. I've found fabulous fortune (unintended alliteration...) in your cast-offs, dood! If I weren't flush with these babies I'd be all over it ! :rotfl:

JuniorJBL
12-21-2005, 06:57 PM
:rotfl:



Mike
Sorry I just sold one
http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=8313

boputnam
12-21-2005, 06:59 PM
The wifey agrees after a blind test. I trust you bypassed the EQ's for this? Or, did you re-EQ for each preamp run?

JuniorJBL
12-21-2005, 07:08 PM
1) Complete opposite of my findings. I have to cut the output from the EQ's due to the gain coming out of both the Adcom's I have in routine service. Both are new.

2) Move the speakers closer...? :applaud:

3) Complete opposite of my findings.

5) That is true, but not in this price range.



I am not saying that the adcom is bad.:no: Remember I still have one and I will not sell it. It is a very good pre at it's price point. One of the best. This is why I have one. But I am now comparing it to a $7000 integrated amp with a great pre section.
http://www.musicalfidelity.com/mf/en/Products/kW

I am just saying that, if given a chance to get the best pre you possibly can that should be very high on the "Audio Chain" IMO;)

John
12-21-2005, 07:53 PM
Hey Ken was that a blind test or did the wife see you swap the pre-amps before the taste test???:hmm:

Ian Mackenzie
12-21-2005, 08:04 PM
I wonder if a blind test with the "preamp bypassed" completely would yield the same subjective outcome.

:hmm:

I dont doubt they are different but what is better and what is just different or more appealing to your ears.

Ian

Ken Pachkowsky
12-21-2005, 10:25 PM
I trust you bypassed the EQ's for this? Or, did you re-EQ for each preamp run?


You will be pleased to know I did.

ken

Ken Pachkowsky
12-21-2005, 10:27 PM
Hey Ken was that a blind test or did the wife see you swap the pre-amps before the taste test???:hmm:

It was blind. She left the room for 10 minutes while I changed pre's and ran a quick Paa2 rta check.

Ken

Steve Schell
12-21-2005, 11:09 PM
I have heard Ken's system with both solid scrape and tube preamps, and I did find the tube job to be a big improvement. Of course my bias is for tube equipment anyway, after many years of trying lots of stuff.

Ken, one of these days I would love to hear your pair of big Westlakes with single ended 300B amps on mids and highs, and maybe a push pull 6B4G amp on the low end. Whaddya say?

Ian Mackenzie
12-21-2005, 11:55 PM
Ken,

Does this valve pre have a loudness button or contour at low levels?

Michael Smith
12-22-2005, 12:01 AM
Hi Ken
I follow your audio fest with interest and something comes to mind.
What power amps were you using at the time cos you change em like underpants.
Are all the Boulders together or do we have a Heinz combo?
I'm bemused and confused
Michael

Mr. Widget
12-22-2005, 12:18 AM
I follow your audio fest with interest and something comes to mind.
What power amps were you using at the time cos you change em like underpants. :rotfl:


Widget

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 12:58 AM
I have heard Ken's system with both solid scrape and tube preamps, and I did find the tube job to be a big improvement. Of course my bias is for tube equipment anyway, after many years of trying lots of stuff.

Ken, one of these days I would love to hear your pair of big Westlakes with single ended 300B amps on mids and highs, and maybe a push pull 6B4G amp on the low end. Whaddya say?


Sounds like fun for sure and I would be happy to do it. And yes, you did hear the system using an Adcom 750 and the Tad just a week or two apart, I forgot about that. I am sure the others would agree had they had the opportunity.

Bottom line is, having had both I know the Tad is superior in many ways and I hope someone else gets a chance to experience it. I wish I could afford to buy a couple for some of you to try out.

That being said, I can't expect anyone else to agree without hearing the difference. I enjoy sharing what I believe are progressive changes in my system. Touch wood, other than screwing around with inferior crossovers (Ashly XR and Klark Teknik) every change has been for the better.

Enough said on this subject.

Mr. Widget
12-22-2005, 01:19 AM
Enough said on this subject.Any word on when you will be getting the Boulder amps back?


Widget

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 01:36 AM
Hi Ken
I follow your audio fest with interest and something comes to mind.
What power amps were you using at the time cos you change em like underpants.
Are all the Boulders together or do we have a Heinz combo?
I'm bemused and confused
Michael

Don't be confused, just read more carefully. I buy and sell a ton of stuff but have only used AB amps and Boulders on this speaker system. The Perreaux's and Brystons were all for resale. For this test a Boulder 500 was used on the bottoms and 2 Boulder 102's on the two horns. One AB was used on the 10" mid bass. Unfortunately 2 of the Boulders are at the factory getting new electrolyticís so could not be used.



My initial impression of the 750 was very positive last year. I suppose I could have settled for that. But like Widget rebuilding his cabs to get them "just right" I too suffer from this crazy affliction and am always searching for an affordable upgrade, or to perfect a weak link in the chain. The buying and selling of gear gives me the means for improving what I have without using family funds.



I merely wanted to confirm what I thought a year ago and discovered I was right. There are alternatives to the Adcom 750 that are without a doubt superior for less money. Until you try it, you won't know it. I have stated a fact based on real listening experience's, not a guess. Take it or leave it.

No hard feelings though.....:) . If you don't believe the Adcom can be improved on by all means keep using it, its your business. I have done my part by sharing the experience.

Ken

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 01:37 AM
Any word on when you will be getting the Boulder amps back?


Widget

Well, I should have got them this week. I will call tomorrow.

Night All.

boputnam
12-22-2005, 07:49 AM
No hard feelings though.....:) :bs:

Don't get pissy, dood - the rest of your post belies that remark!

As Michael Smith noted, you make the effort and take the chance to swap-out more gear than most of us ever thought of doing. Some of your reports are complete; in others we just want to understand the conditions and test parameters. It helps increased the validity of the opinions.

Now, no resting for you - back to the testing! :p

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 12:28 PM
:bs:

Don't get pissy, dood - the rest of your post belies that remark!

As Michael Smith noted, you make the effort and take the chance to swap-out more gear than most of us ever thought of doing. Some of your reports are complete; in others we just want to understand the conditions and test parameters. It helps increased the validity of the opinions.

:p

In reading back over the post, perhaps I was a bit "Pissy" as it was late which of course, is no excuse. I meant no offense.



However the statement "What power amps were you using at the time cos you change em like underpants." is simply not true and demanded clarification. I have only used AB's and Boulders. No other type of amplifier has been hooked up to the Westlakes in the 2 years I have had them. The only components that have gone through extensive swapping are my eq's (3 x); crossovers (3x) and preamp (4x). I have obtained some great insight by reading others opinions including a few of yours. I am just trying to "pay it forward". It was someone on this forum that convinced me to go the Boulder route based on his experience with the combination. He pushed hard and I am grateful because he was absolutely right.



One thing I have noticed is we all have strong opinions and in some cases will defend them with great vigor.



If I take the time to try and plant a curiosity seed on this forum, itís with good intensions. I also understand that some may not give a damn what I think, hence the thread title " As a matter of interest or perhaps not".



I hope that clears the air...?



Have a great Christmas everyone.

Ken

edgewound
12-22-2005, 12:48 PM
Hi Ken...


I'd like to say that you're posts are of great insight and value. Your sharing of your experiences with your Westlakes and electronics is pretty cool reading. You seem to know what you're doing without being arrogant, and usually put your gentlemanly foot forward first. A nice give and take with the forum.

Are you going to tour Westlake Audio after CES? If so, when? I'd be interested in going along if it's okay...I'd even drive.

Please let me know

Merry Christmas to you too.

The "other" Ken

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 12:57 PM
Hi Ken...

Are you going to tour Westlake Audio after CES? If so, when? I'd be interested in going along if it's okay...I'd even drive.

The "other" Ken

I appreciate the kind words.

Yes we are, and in order to keep things fair (just in case more than a couple of extra people want to come) we should figure out a way of choosing who that may be. Any suggestions?

Ian Mackenzie
12-22-2005, 01:01 PM
Along similar lines good friend of mine Gary knows a local dealer and has the opportunity to change out a lot of stuff.

He previously owner a AR SP9Mk11 and a Cary 35 + 35 Push Pull Triode, a Sota TT and McCormick line drive DAC, Teac transport and so on.

The SP9Mk11 is a hyprid valve preamp with Fets and he upgraded the PS with SCR capacitors. We regulary taste tested his stuff and he had a system with a nice synergy.

One day he heard a Cary SP90 preamp at the dealers shop and it looked stunning...gold front panel and bought it home...a pure valve preamp worth over $4K. I heard it and thought hmm that sure is valve (trad valve sound)..warm, lots of harmonics and a wow bass end and sound stage. It was different although I felt the SP9mk11 was more accurate but Gary insisted it sounded more convincing.

A week later the SP9Mk11 was traded in. I bit my tongue.

Gary then upgrade his speakers and changed (traded) a few other components in his system to pay for the SP90.

It was then he realised he had lost the magic and laments selling the SP9Mk11 was a mistake.

He found the guy with his SP9Mk11 but he refuses to sell it...hard luck.

The morel of the story is you may think what you now have is better than before and maybe that is true in your system.

But that does not mean to say it will be better for everyone else and nor may it be good when you decide to change something else.

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 01:05 PM
Along similar lines good friend of mine Gary knows a local dealer and has the opportunity to change out a lot of stuff.

The morel of the story is you may think what you now have is better than before and maybe that is true in your system.

But that does not mean to say it will be better for everyone else and nor may it be good when you decide to change something else.

A good example and a point well taken.

Ken

edgewound
12-22-2005, 01:25 PM
I appreciate the kind words.

Yes we are, and in order to keep things fair (just in case more than a couple of extra people want to come) we should figure out a way of choosing who that may be. Any suggestions?

That's a tough one...although how many others are firmly committed to go?

Maybe it will work itself out (?)

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 01:39 PM
That's a tough one...although how many others are firmly committed to go?

Maybe it will work itself out (?)

I'll get back to you and others on this in a seperate post.

Ken

Titanium Dome
12-22-2005, 02:18 PM
I appreciate the kind words.

Yes we are, and in order to keep things fair (just in case more than a couple of extra people want to come) we should figure out a way of choosing who that may be. Any suggestions?

Well, I'm not going if more than one "Ken" is involved. One at a time, please.

OTOH, Ken I've never enjoyed a pair of speakers more than your Westies.* In fact, I even started a thread in their honor as you'll recall. At least once a week I have a dream that Julie tells you to give them to me because they just won't fit in the moving van. The dream ends with the Westies in the van and Julie on the curb. :shock:

*Okay, perhaps a bit of an exaggeration as a sucking up tactic. ;) and actually, I don't think I'm in town that weekend.

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 02:27 PM
Well, I'm not going if more than one "Ken" is involved. One at a time, please.

OTOH, Ken I've never enjoyed a pair of speakers more than your Westies.* In fact, I even started a thread in their honor as you'll recall. At least once a week I have a dream that Julie tells you to give them to me because they just won't fit in the moving van. The dream ends with the Westies in the van and Julie on the curb. :shock:

*Okay, perhaps a bit of an exaggeration as a sucking up tactic. ;) and actually, I don't think I'm in town that weekend.

Now thats funny, have a good Christmas and be safe.

Ken

Michael Smith
12-22-2005, 02:44 PM
Lighten up Ken and thank you for your clarification later in the thread,you told me exactly what I wanted to know.
May be I just should have asked "Were the Boulders at home at the time?''
Also I wouldn't dream of taking offence at your remarks as I enjoy your posts.
Regards
Michael
ps I don't own any Adcom

Ken Pachkowsky
12-22-2005, 02:51 PM
Lighten up Ken and thank you for your clarification later in the thread,you told me exactly what I wanted to know.
May be I just should have asked "Were the Boulders at home at the time?''
Also I wouldn't dream of taking offence at your remarks as I enjoy your posts.
Regards
Michael
ps I don't own any Adcom

Thanks for the post Michael, if I offended you I am truly sorry.

Have a great Christmas.

Ken

boputnam
12-22-2005, 03:02 PM
ps I don't own any Adcom:applaud:

JuniorJBL
12-22-2005, 03:39 PM
To all those who do not own Adcom

:xmas:

To all those who do
:happyh:


Thanks for this thread Ken and Enjoy!!:applaud:

glen
12-24-2005, 11:40 AM
I appreciate the kind words.

Yes we are, and in order to keep things fair (just in case more than a couple of extra people want to come) we should figure out a way of choosing who that may be. Any suggestions?

I think the fairest choice would be based on how many posts a candiate has made to this forum.
And maybe keep a standby list with phone numbers in case someone can't make it and you could use a last minute replacement.

Maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot here since I'd like to go too, but I'm pretty junior in the posting department.
However, I'm also local and would have a good chance of making it at the last minute if I was on the standby list.
And by the way, I've been accumulating parts for some sort of Westlake/4350 copies and would really appreciate seeing how those big monitors are put together.

Be looking forward to a post about your plans.

Merry Christmas!
Glen

Ian Mackenzie
12-24-2005, 11:48 AM
Why not arrange two trips....?

Space them out a bit..heck I doubt Westlake will mind double the PR....as long as we don't have too many Westie indoctrinated members it okay.....I mean one is bad enough.......

Ken Pachkowsky
12-24-2005, 12:27 PM
Why not arrange two trips....?

Space them out a bit..heck I doubt Westlake will mind double the PR....as long as we don't have too many Westie indoctrinated members it okay.....I mean one is bad enough.......

Ian, thatís an idea that could and will be explored.

I hear ya bud, can you imagine how obnoxious a few Westie owners would be! All kidding asideÖwithout JBL I suspect Westlake would have never succeeded in the monitor business? I know for me, without using JBLís I probably would have never been interested. They used far more JBL than TAD in the large systems. Might be an interesting avenue to explore with Glen Phoenix?

Although they could probably survive without JBL today, in the early years it was JBL that gave them the vehicle for becoming who they are / where. Westlakeís market share does not even register compared to 15 to 25 years ago. I do believe most of the small monitors they build use other brand drivers but the high end home audio and pro series reference models are almost pure JBL and that is a miniscule part of the market. They are showing at CES this year.

Ken

pioneer
12-24-2005, 12:45 PM
Hi Ken
Do you know where they will be showing at CES?
I would like to check put their products.
Gary

Ken Pachkowsky
12-24-2005, 01:00 PM
Hi Ken
Do you know where they will be showing at CES?
I would like to check put their products.
Gary

Sorry to say I forgot to ask Sherwood the other day. I am sure there is an exhibitor list/map on the CES wesite?

Ken

pioneer
12-24-2005, 03:42 PM
Sorry to say I forgot to ask Sherwood the other day. I am sure there is an exhibitor list/map on the CES wesite?

Ken
I will check that out. A lot of vendors take private suites off the show floor in the Hotels if Westlake does that than it can be tough to find them unless invited.