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Ken Pachkowsky
02-25-2006, 03:46 PM
I spoke on the phone this morning with Norealtalent. I was following up on his purchase of a TAD Signature 150 Tube Preamp. To my surprise he did not think much of it and in fact was extremely disappointed in all aspects.

You can imagine how I felt after touting it's quality's. He stated his Perreaux SM1 was far superior. I was inclined to think something was wrong with the TAD but he did not think so.

I thought this was something that should be mentioned on the site after promoting its virtues with great vigor. I still believe this is a hell of a good preamp but have had my curiosity peaked by Norealtalents experience. Sometimes when your searching for confirmation you get surprised by the answer. Just goes to show one never really knows what another listener may think. I appreciated Norealtalents opinion and thought is was important to pass on. I hope your OK with this bud?

Can you believe it! It's snowing! I miss California....:blah:

Earl K
02-25-2006, 04:23 PM
Can you believe it! It's snowing! I miss California....

Hi Ken ,

- Where was it you ended up ? The island somewhere ? And it's snowing ?

- About the preamp ; I figure all this stuff is completely system dependant . I take most of these online recommendations with a grain of salt because of just this . Of course, I'd like to hear the Adcom & the TAD Signature. I assume they must both be great and a significant step up from my 1202 ( Mackie ) . OTOH,, I've done so much capacitor tweaking with that 1202 inline, I'm sure I'd need to go back to square one ( not going to happen ) . It's all about creating a system synergy that one digs . ( I've got that now ).

- Sometimes I feel people are mostly just trading one set of onboard capacitors ( with their specific nuances & characteristics ) for a "different" set of caps. This is a big "change" when swapping out the electronics . ( All the reports I read seem to vindicate this viewpoint ).

:p

Ken Pachkowsky
02-25-2006, 05:18 PM
Hi Ken ,

- Where was it you ended up ? The island somewhere ? And it's snowing ?

- About the preamp ; I figure all this stuff is completely system dependant .
:p

Yes, we are in Nanaimo. It snowed here this afternoon.

Kudos on the preamp/electronics comparisons. Makes one nervous about recommending anything.

Ken

Earl K
02-25-2006, 05:25 PM
Makes one nervous about recommending anything.

- Well, don't be nervous . I always enjoy reading yours and other peoples opinions on how this or that improved with "this & that" .


:)

norealtalent
02-26-2006, 04:54 AM
Ken, you're being too hard on yourself and the TAD. I don't think the TAD is a "bad" piece. I think that I am spoiled by a piece of solid state gear, of exquisite quality and craftmanship, that will require a tube piece of equitable quality and engineering to exceed what the Perreaux SM-1/SM-6 offers in sonic reproduction. The TAD is a wonderful piece but cannot do better for me than what I already have. IMO, it would make a wonderful upgrade over most SS pre's (as I believe was your experience) and would most certainly compliment any SS powered system. I would recommend it to anyone for a SS system or an upgrade on a tube system but it is simply not in the same league with my Perreaux as clearly evidenced by the $2000 difference in price tags. The bottom line is that the TAD is a great piece but I am spoiled rotten by "greater" pieces. I do not find fault with the TAD itself. I think it is an exceptional piece of equipment in the $1000 range. I know better than to pre-judge pieces on price alone so I purchased one based on recommendations. For most people, it would knock their socks off. For me, it was disappointing, not because it is a bad piece but because I deluded myself to think it could exceed the sound of a $3000 Perreaux. I do not feel bad at all. As a matter of fact, I'm tickled that I tried it. This is how I have learned about audio. Experiential knowledge is priceless. I will give someone a great deal on the TAD and they will be very happy with it I'm sure. I will keep my Perreaux and will have learned an even greater appreciation for what I already have.
Happiness is in wanting what you have...always content, never satisfied...:bouncy:

Ken Pachkowsky
02-26-2006, 12:23 PM
Ken, you're being too hard on yourself and the TAD. I don't think the TAD is a "bad" piece. I think that I am spoiled by a piece of solid state gear, of exquisite quality and craftsmanship, that will require a tube piece of equitable quality and engineering to exceed what the Perreaux SM-1/SM-6 offers in sonic reproduction. :bouncy:

Fair enough Dave. I am aware that Perreaux makes outstanding gear but have not had the privilege of using it with my setup. I just wanted to follow up after taking a hard line in my comparison of the Adcom 750 to the Tad 150. After all, I think most of us are pretty gung ho on sharing positive/negative experiences when it comes to gear and would hate to influence another member without sharing relative opinions from those that have personally used the gear.

Ken

norealtalent
02-26-2006, 02:31 PM
Your input is appreciated Ken. I know you and TD gave the TAD a BIG thumbs up. I would expect the TAD to seriously out perform the Adcom. Happyface was here and gave the TAD an all clear too (he didn't hear the Perreaux though.)The TAD is a great pre, I just didn't realize how great the Perreaux really is. I also think a tube pre on top of my tube top end may be more soft than I want. Anybody interested in the TAD can have it for just what I paid ($700 w/ box + remote) and I'll throw in some spare tubes for you to roll with...I am moving the rest of my response to marketplace for any body interested...
I know this isn't market place etc, etc, etc. If a moderator feels the need to move this post or ask me to modify it, I will understand and respond accordingly. Thanks, Dave:bouncy:

jim campbell
02-26-2006, 06:38 PM
beyond a certain baseline expectation of quality in higher end audio components individual taste is always going to spark debate.one mans macintosh is going to sound like radio shack to some.i wouldnt feel bad about recommending quality equipment.

Ken Pachkowsky
02-26-2006, 06:46 PM
I also think a tube pre on top of my tube top end may be more soft than I want. Dave:bouncy:

Yes, that could very well be the case. You have me searching for a Perreaux... I hear the Boulder pre's are something else as well.

Damned you anyway!:)

Ken

Ken Pachkowsky
02-26-2006, 06:48 PM
beyond a certain baseline expectation of quality in higher end audio components individual taste is always going to spark debate.one mans macintosh is going to sound like radio shack to some.i wouldnt feel bad about recommending quality equipment.

Very true Jim. I come from the Pine Falls area and lived in the Peg for several years.

Ken

Ian Mackenzie
02-26-2006, 06:57 PM
Fair enough Dave. I am aware that Perreaux makes outstanding gear but have not had the privilege of using it with my setup. I just wanted to follow up after taking a hard line in my comparison of the Adcom 750 to the Tad 150. After all, I think most of us are pretty gung ho on sharing positive/negative experiences when it comes to gear and would hate to influence another member without sharing relative opinions from those that have personally used the gear.

Ken

Ken,

The moral of the story is you don't get anything for nothing!

Perhaps when you get settled yourself and Norealtalent can arrange a pre amp shoot out by attempting comparions of a range of pre amps over a give price range...I think that would make more sense.

boputnam
02-26-2006, 07:01 PM
I assume they must both be great and a significant step up from my 1202 ( Mackie ) . Hi, Earl...

Do I understand you're using the Mackie 1202VLZ as a preamp? Interesting... I agree with the idea of mods, and maybe thereby you've obviated my view (since it really no longer is a Mackie... :applaud: ). But, their strip EQ filters are still in the path - no? I would need to consult the block diagram(s) and see if at unity they are out of the path. Regardless, I was not fond of them. :no:

As you know the front-end of the signal path is all important. I long thought products of that grade were suitable. Then I moved to Soundcraft's marketing "equivalent", which is far superior, and then their higher lines, and was astonished at the improvement - all things otherwise being unchanged. Then, I tried a Midas. It is simply an amazing, and quite audible improvement. FOH engineers are not simply making this up - it's real. As well, the headroom is unmatched. I now have three and a half - two Venice (160 and 240), one Verona (240), and am part owner of a Siena 320.

Granted, I'm not using these consoles in the home, but on the road. I imagine anything I noticed would be more appreciated in the home. If you know anyone with a Venice 160, maybe they'd let you slide it in for a trial....? If I were nearby I would, not to impress, but to hear your impressions of it.

boputnam
02-26-2006, 07:03 PM
I know this isn't market place etc, etc, etc. If a moderator feels the need to move this post or ask me to modify it, I will understand and respond accordingly.Not needed. Merely post an advert in the Marketplace Forum if that's your intent. :)

norealtalent
02-26-2006, 07:11 PM
Yes, that could very well be the case. You have me searching for a Perreaux... I hear the Boulder pre's are something else as well.

Damned you anyway!:)

Ken

I'm sure they;re not the only game in town but I love mine!

http://www.perreaux.com/files/SM6_manual.pdf

http://www.perreaux.com/dealerenquiry.php

:applaud: :D :applaud: :bouncy:

Ken Pachkowsky
02-26-2006, 07:32 PM
Ken,

The moral of the story is you don't get anything for nothing!



Yep, thats for sure. Did anything show up yet?

Ken

Ian Mackenzie
02-26-2006, 08:48 PM
Yep, thats for sure. Did anything show up yet?

Ken

No...not yet sorry.

Ian

Ian Mackenzie
02-26-2006, 08:57 PM
Not needed. Merely post an advert in the Marketplace Forum if that's your intent. :)

Bo are you kinda telling Earl to step up to the plate?

We have Midas desks in every room at my local. The engineers love them and will have nothin else.:D

Are you still playing with Mike in your other band?
(that was a very funny night we had on the Mexican rocket fuel!)

Ian

Earl K
02-27-2006, 09:09 AM
FOH engineers are not simply making this up - it's real. As well, the headroom is unmatched. I now have three and a half - two Venice (160 and 240), one Verona (240), and am part owner of a Siena 320.

- Bo, I first mixed on Midas boards back in 1980 ( & SoundCraft in 1978 ) . I'm well aware of their inherent signal quality . I like the little Venice 320 and think it's quite cute ( & usable ) . I haven't used a Verona / but it "looks" nice . Anyways, I'm glad that Midas saw fit to compete "head to head" with Mackie / Behringer / & A&H in the lower end of the market ( sub $ 6000.00 price point )

- My simple Line Level HiPass Filter ( dc-biased with 6 volts, using no-name polystyrene capacitors ) "trumps" the builtin sonic definciencies of the 1202. It's a very interesting "experiment" to focus on "fixing" one specific area of the signal flow. It pays big dividends but that success can unfortunately lead to lethargy for more improvement ( diminishing returns & all that ). If you get into cleaning up some other areas of your own signal path ( ie; Charge-Coupling some passive crossovers &/or tossing the Ashly ) / you'll understand what I'm going on about .

- As I said to Ken / Dave; the Adcom or the TAD will no doubt allow for even greater resolution than what presently exists in my playback signal chain / but truthfully / these days I don't want a preamp that doesn't employ dc-biased caps . This one iconoclastic preference leaves me with a budding DIY project sometime in the future .

:)

Ian Mackenzie
03-12-2006, 12:05 PM
Earl,

I have a very interesting article from TAA by Paul Stammer on high performance mixing consoles if you are interested.

It covers opamp selection, noise, class A biasing of chip opamps, supply regulators and dc coupling.

Ian

boputnam
03-12-2006, 02:31 PM
It's a very interesting "experiment" to focus on "fixing" one specific area of the signal flow. It pays big dividends but that success can unfortunately lead to lethargy for more improvement ( diminishing returns & all that ). (Sorry I somehow missed this... :o: ) Great point, Earl. Improvements on even one area can be quite profound, and the revelry in that improvement can inadvertantly delay the noticing of where other improvements might/need be made.


If you get into cleaning up some other areas of your own signal path ( ie; Charge-Coupling some passive crossovers &/or tossing the Ashly ) / you'll understand what I'm going on about . I believe that is true. On charge coupling, I don't have the gumption to tear into the 3145's on my own, nor the desire to gut the beauties and try something I've no experience in. I might and should try it on smaller siblings (my 4313B's as Giskard has so often encouraged), first. Right now, though I'm just too busy.

On the Ashly, I realize there are alternatives worth considering. Got a referal? :hmm: In my home setup, I prefer a rack mounted but could go a different way.

Earl K
03-12-2006, 03:34 PM
Hi Ian


Earl,

I have a very interesting article from TAA by Paul Stammer on high performance mixing consoles if you are interested.

It covers opamp selection, noise, class A biasing of chip opamps, supply regulators and dc coupling.

- Yes, I am interested . If it's in pdf form can you email it to me ? I'll need to PM you a different email address for my high speed account .

- I "need" to make a small 2 channel preamp with minimal features to accomplish what I need to take as a stepping stone ( in DIY electronics ) .

Thanks ! <.

Earl K
03-12-2006, 04:07 PM
Hi Bo,




(Sorry I somehow missed this... ) Great point, Earl. Improvements on even one area can be quite profound, and the revelry in that improvement can inadvertantly delay the noticing of where other improvements might/need be made.

On charge coupling, I don't have the gumption to tear into the 3145's on my own, nor the desire to gut the beauties and try something I've no experience in. I might and should try it on smaller siblings (my 4313B's as Giskard has so often encouraged), first. Right now, though I'm just too busy.

- Well, in a very real way you're preaching to the choir and I'm not much of an evangelist. Though I will restate that Charge-Coupling is the best thing I've heard come along for a long time / originally I had "sliced-bread" mixed into my statement of enthuisiasm . I'm well versed at reaching a balance of satisfaction vs "ripping the rip it all apart syndrome".
- It is worth repeating that using better components within passive networks, ultimately does offer better resolution . Though I'm no fan of Mylar capacitors whatso ever, I will say that they are never offensive ( which is a good thing ). Their signature translucent-opacity is at least always equally applied across the spectrum ( unlike polypropylene which is all over the map in which frequency areas get favoured - hence the boutique nature of their followers ).

- Going to a Passive Line Level Device allowed me to avoid a lot of unnecessary electronic stages ( and their attendant grunge interjection ) . Until that grunge leaves, one is usually not aware of its' presence. This is all "Ian-Speak" and I am really but a closet disciple .


On the Ashly, I realize there are alternatives worth considering. Got a referal? In my home setup, I prefer a rack mounted but could go a different way.

- Sorry, no referral for a store bought unit that I've tried ( I've owned BSS 320s, 340s & 360s, & had a couple of TDM units of the analog variety ) . I'd say when you get the notion and energy, build a PLLHP filter for just the topend of your 4345s . Run the amp servicing the 2245(s) with a tunable crossover of your choice ( such as your Ashly ).

- Using a passive filter as the hipass for the amp feeding the everything but the woofers will most likely require some tinkering with cap values to accomplish the best fit in the crossover area. The F3 on a single pole filter doesn't tell the whole story. These "sloppy" filters start their roll-off a good octave & a half above their actual F3 point . That means the 2122 might be prematurely rolled-off ( I don't know since I don't have one of these setups to measure ). In this case, I would choose a larger valued capacitor to give a F3 about an octave below the stated crossover area .
- The PowerLight series I own have input impedances of 20K balanced ( 10K unbalanced ). This means for a 140 hz F3 point one wants to place .114 uF caps inline on each leg of a balanced cable. ( This approach doesn't use any load resistors and doesn't take into account any existing DC blocking caps that may be in the front end of the amplifier ; therefore , the value of capacitors may need to be increased slightly ) . Since .10uF caps are usually available, I would try them first. They'll offer a calculated value for a F3 of around 160 hz ( obviously cap tolerances are important in circuits like this ) . I prefer to dc bias caps in the position ( with 6 volts ) and also really prefer to use Polystyrene Film & Foil in this . A 63 volt rating in this position is more than enough IME . Now finding these values in Polystyrene , at decent prices can be a challenge, though not impossible . Ian once posted a link to either DigiKey or Mouser if I remember correctly. Regis used these links as a resource when he bypassed the networks in his L300s .
:p