HT preamp Bent Tap-X

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anwar1965

HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« on: 2 Nov 2014, 06:04 am »
This is my first post.  I am a happy owner of Bent Tap-X configured as a 5-channel HT preamp, plus input select functionality for the front 2 stereo channels (fully balanced for inputs 5 & 6).  The center and rear channels are single-ended.  There are 7 copper slagleformers altogether inside the deep chassis.





For HT, I am using Oppo 95.  The main FL + FR channels are from Oppo XLR output, the C, SL, SR from Oppo RCA output.  Since there is no switching for C, SL and SR channels, I need to switch off my 3-channel HT power amp when not in HT mode.  There is no need for subwoofer channel since I am running the front speakers as large.  The XLR output from Tap-X goes into Bryston 10B-SUB which manages the crossover for the bookshelf speakers and subwoofer.





Originally intended for use as HT preamp only, my Tap-X has become the preamp of my stereo + HT system.  My original stereo preamp is the AR Ref 5 SE used with Rotel RSP-1570 processor.  Now, there is no more need to waste tube life in HT processor (bypass) mode.  The other stereo sources are AR Ref 2 SE phono stage (balanced) and Ayon CD-07 (single-ended).



What a different experience I have now with almost no background noise and high resolution sound I am getting.  The Auric OHNO wires need time to break in as initially it does not sound that good, but now it performing very well.  It was a very nice experience working with John Chapman in building this unit.
« Last Edit: 2 Nov 2014, 11:55 pm by anwar1965 »

poseidonsvoice

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Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #1 on: 2 Nov 2014, 01:16 pm »
GRRRRRRRRREAT Build! I have had similar thoughts as well. Some may think that you are crazy for using TAPX technology/autoformers with HT, but NO! You are absolutely right on! Thank you so much for sharing.


Best,
Anand.

TomS

Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #2 on: 2 Nov 2014, 01:50 pm »
Very cool build!

Now I know what all that extra space is for in my double deep Tap-X enclosure  :thumb:

WireNut

Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #3 on: 2 Nov 2014, 02:14 pm »
Awesome preamp, you did good  :thumb:. John is a great guy to talk with, very knowledgeable and always helpful.

If I had the money to start over I'd sell off all my stuff and get a Tap-X with a tube amp and some high efficiency loudspeakers, I can always dream.




WireNut

Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #4 on: 2 Nov 2014, 02:37 pm »
Do you like the Tap-X better than your ARC REF 2?
I have a Sonic Frontiers SFL-2. It's 20 years old with a butt load of old caps in it.



anwar1965

Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #5 on: 2 Nov 2014, 02:53 pm »
I am still using AR Ref 2 SE phono stage.  Compared to AR Ref 5 SE preamp which has bigger soundstage, the Tap-X sounds more refined (higher resolution) at the expense of soundstage size.  Low frequency sounds better with Tap-X, maybe due to impedance mismatch between my Ref 5 SE with Bryston 10B (15k vs > 20k required).  What impressed me the most is non-existence background noise with Tap-X.  When Ref 2 SE is used an input with Tap-X, the MC gain noise is very faint compared to much louder noise with Ref 5 SE.

WireNut

Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #6 on: 2 Nov 2014, 03:07 pm »

What impressed me the most is non-existence background noise with Tap-X. 


I hear ya. That's what I don't like about my SFL-2 is tube noise. Someday I hope to own a Tap-X.



jtwrace

Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #7 on: 2 Nov 2014, 03:12 pm »
Compared to AR Ref 5 SE preamp which has bigger soundstage, the Tap-X sounds more refined (higher resolution) at the expense of soundstage size. 
Interesting.  I found the opposite compared to my previous tube pre.  In fact, I think the TAP did everything better. 

Quote

What impressed me the most is non-existence background noise with Tap-X.  When Ref 2 SE is used an input with Tap-X, the MC gain noise is very faint compared to much louder noise with Ref 5 SE.

Yes, people do not believe me when I say there is ZERO noise from it.  Nothing.  Zilch. 

John Chapman

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Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #8 on: 5 Nov 2014, 05:05 pm »
Hello!

Thanks so much for posting pictures of your build - first one like it!  Have fun with it and also with your future projects!

John

Early B.

Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #9 on: 5 Nov 2014, 07:05 pm »
Off topic, but did you build those awesome audio stands yourself?

anwar1965

Re: HT preamp Bent Tap-X
« Reply #10 on: 6 Nov 2014, 11:19 pm »
The stands were purchased.  I live in Penang, Malaysia.  Each stand platform was made by gluing a few types of local woods together.