MARASCHINO REVIEWS

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AmpDesigner333

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First (!) In-Line MARASCHINO REVIEW
« Reply #20 on: 6 Feb 2015, 12:35 am »
Here:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=131931.0#lastPost

"....a single plucked string will almost make me jump with its immediacy and presence."

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #21 on: 6 Mar 2015, 06:54 pm »
This just in:

"I'm really thrilled to have finally taken the plunge and tried the Marashino's.  Revelatory. People need to hear what these amps can do.  It's that simple. Especially on speakers like my ZuAudio Messages employing a full range driver without any crossover to result in system wide perfect time and phase coherence.  At least to my ears.  I have already told Sean Casey he needs to include yours as a must listen amplifier for these speakers.  It's a perfect match.  If more people could hear this combo, it only leaves source selection as the variable.  No further amp or speaker shopping or matching will be required.  The speaker wire is now a non-issue with short runs.  And XLR interconnects aren't nearly so fussy as RCAs.  You have made an audiophiles life so much easier.  We just have to get the word out.

I have found considerable benefit to using my Nordost Brahma power cords on the 60v supplies, over say a BeldenShielded 3x14awg.   And then feeding everything thru an AdeptResponse Ar2pT filter smoothes things out and sorts the imaging and layering much nicer than regular power bar.   The 60v supplies do enjoy some benefits of simple power line housekeeping."

Steve M
Port Huron MI

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #22 on: 6 Mar 2015, 06:59 pm »



AmpDesigner333

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #23 on: 7 Mar 2015, 08:53 pm »
Another great one....

"The authority by which they command the speakers is unbelievable. My swans are small units with a cut off at 45hz, but the bass is impressive. It is absolutely not excessive; there is more than enough and well executed. I would not even consider adding a subwoofer to cover the lower frequencies. Now I am not even sure I want to change to full range speakers in due time.

The realistic reproduction is great! Completely uncanning is the chiming of the clocks on Pink Floyd's dark side of the moon. The individual sound signature of the instruments is becoming more noticeable with every hour. With sound signature I mean, if a number of drummers hit the same note you'll hear the difference, because they use different drum kits and every drummer just strikes a drum a bit differently. 

The "live experience" is waiting around the corner.

This initial experience with the standard 48v's  promises a lot for the Kings performance. Oh yeah, the King's American trilogy was an experience. Impressive."

Matthijs B
Netherlands

SteveMiller

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #24 on: 17 Mar 2015, 04:01 pm »
Inviting a new piece of gear into our system can be tricky. It seems so many products grab us with whatever we notice as different between the new product and the one we already own.  Or sometimes we listen to our systems and wish it was...something more.  So when we find that next new product and have it installed, we listen to it.  We aren't listening to the system as a whole, but instead focus on the traits of the new item.  If you are nodding your head now, please read on.

When I opened up the new Maraschino Desktop Amplifier by the Digital Amplifier Company, I of course was excited to get these little treasures into my system.  Tommy O and I enjoyed a previous phone conversation wherein he discussed the merits of the power supply choices and cabling differences available. Ultimately we felt my needs best served by the 60v supplies and standard leashes for DC. This netted 4 small boxes and their interconnecting DC cables. Each amplifier is mounted mono, in its own shielded enclosure with very solid stabilizing bases made of thick black granite slabs on my examples.  The dual power supplies live in a slightly larger footprint, but are still quite compact by anyone's standards. Each item is supported by 4 extremely absorbent bumper type feet. The items grip the shelf securely and stay where placed once cabled in.  By design the fully dual mono amplification and power supply is intended to be placed near each respective loudspeaker. In doing so, the cabling to the speaker can remain very short. This layout is key.  It saves money obviously, as speaker cable has risen to higher prices than the boxes it's connected to in some systems. But more importantly, it minimizes the resistance, capacitance, and rf interference that the long wires feeding speakers can be subject to. In short, it's one less thing between you and your music.  Better sound for free.

Desktop Maraschino amps are wired for balanced XLR cables but accommodate common RCA cabling via included adapters.  Due to design a balanced cable is naturally immune to RF interference.  This convention is the very starting point of our recorded music, used for microphones in recording studios. It's the trusted method to get the most fragile signal produced in the music chain through extremely long runs back to recording consoles.  In our home systems today, many of which have modern DAC driven sources, a balanced cable can be used over greater distance and not be subject to signal loss, distortion, or interference.

Upon unpacking, inspection, connection and power up everything went without drama.  The real drama began upon pressing Play.  The immediate impression was of a newly energized sound.  My system just found new jump, pop, power and clarity. No special provisions, no tweaking. Just music.   No break in, no fettering about with settings. Just music.  And in a rare way it was thus on every type of material I played.  Sure, track quality and media type all have their influences but this sense that no matter what type, genre, age or depth of music I played, the new amplification prowess gave me something new to appreciate.  The tracks that were recorded too hot and too flat for highfi had new things to appreciate. The cymbals and high hats that just hissed incessantly before were now distinguished by their individual metallic sounds. The bass that plodded before was fleet footed and delineated now.  Better amplification gave way to rediscover those old recordings that we all set aside because they in some way expose flaws or weakness in our audio reproduction. The better recordings I have acquired now rewarded me with more insight, more inflection from the vocals on through to individual instruments. When everything seems improved the only explanation can be that the errors and compromises of other circuits have been omitted here.  High bandwidth, phase coherence, extremely short signal paths and clean high current power all contribute. Tommy's 4" square amplifier circuit board has about a quarter of the circuit length than the component it replaces in my system.  So it seems the electrical impulses have a shorter distance to travel, and thus less distractions whilst doing so.

Some context for credibility.  My amplifier trials and ownership in my systems to date have included various SimAudio, Chord, Croft, Modwright, BelCanto, Wyred4Sound, NAD, and I'm sure others. What TommyO has built is different.  The Maraschino's are at once Faster, Quieter, more Open, Deeper, better Sizzle, more Energized.  These are the standout features that appeal to me.  Sonically, I simply can't find a downside to what these little amps can do.  The Maraschino's secret weapon seems to be bandwidth.  That's not something you hear, it's something that happens.  With extended frequency response like this, the tension in the music relaxes and just flows.  It's seems the power on tap comes from a source much larger than expected. That power comes faster, and cleaner than should be possible.  The music plays from a rock solid foundation that I think can only follow amps possessing a very high damping ratio.  This is all at normal listening levels. Yet turn the volume down, way down. Just before invoking the auto power saving.  Way down here, the sound is the same.  Excellent imaging, depth and layering. Emotional content is still communicated at whisper levels.  I say this thanks to such quiet circuits and outboard power supplies.

All my listening was through the very good Zu Audio Message speaker system. The Zu's pride themselves on an extremely high sensitivity and can provide the powerful responses required to give you back what the recording studios intended.  There is no electrical crossover circuit between the Zu full range drivers and the amplifier, so I enjoyed the all the directness that the designers intended.  What occurs here is a phase correctness that respects the timing and tone in your music.  The Maraschino's and the Zu's are an excellent pairing.

I found some eventual fine tuning available via power cord and conditioning choices. Everyone's system responds differently but I found better results with Nordost Brahma power cords over a shielded version of Belden computer cords.  Don't be afraid to experiment here.  I plugged amps and source DAC into the same Audience Adept ar2p conditioner via six way AC tap augmented with a Nordost Qv2 harmonizer.  The stock type computer type cords were a little dryer, and direct to wall dryer still.  With the AC cabled and conditioned as described the sound is more natural and neutral. More liquid but not restrained or attenuated in any way.

My conversations and email with TommyO of Digital Amplifier Company illustrate that the man truly makes the company. Tommy's design and philosophy seem less about profits and marketing and instead focus on what we are trying to find here. The focus is all about better sound.  The shortest path to it. And Tommy wants to sell amplifiers for sure, but he is heavily invested in doing it properly. The Maraschino eschews extra flair. You aren't buying anything more than you need here.  There is enough power on tap to cause serious system or hearing damage if you desire either. There is higher return on the dollar for sound quality than I have heard anywhere else.  You can really live with these amps in your system by hiding them behind the speakers, or they are attractive on a shelf with fancy cables and connections. When you close your eyes, and think about what your system needs to be in order to be personally satisfying, consider the Maraschino's. They let you stop listening to your system and instead you'll just hear the music.

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #25 on: 17 Mar 2015, 07:17 pm »
Inviting a new piece of gear into our system can be tricky. It seems so many products grab us with whatever we notice as different between the new product and the one we already own.........

Thanks, Steve. Beautifully written (:

virtue

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #26 on: 24 Mar 2015, 02:57 am »
I'm soooo sad that it took me soooo long to fire up my in-line Maraschinos.

And the fact is that I would never use them "in-line" (because my kids would grab them) and there's nothing red about these stunners.

But DAMN are they clean, fast, and powerful!

I've been running them all day on a range of speakers (WaveTouch, Thiel 2x, Marimba, Gallo Strada, Audience ONE) using Sensation pre-out.  The amp is as clean or better than my ONE.3 and on the Thiels where the power is really important, they just smoked.  They hold that heavy bass driver in mid-air.

Still, there was no hiding from these amps.  Do yourself a favor and use the best speaker you can buy.

I put them head-to-head with my ICEpower ASX2-50 amps.  Slightly more musical in the high end.  Same low-end punch.

Made in the USA never felt so good.  Tommy thank you and good luck with the new Kickstarter campaign.
« Last Edit: 30 Mar 2015, 06:16 pm by virtue »

Herwet

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KING 60V Maraschinos just ordered
« Reply #27 on: 28 Mar 2015, 07:11 pm »
I just ordered KING 60V Maraschinos after having realized that my 8 year old 1000W ICE Power mono blocks do not reproduce the tone and body of instrument and voices that makes music come alive. I have compared the ICE amps with NAD M22 and NAD C390DD so it will be interesting to compare them all with the Maraschinos. I have highly sensitive semi open baffle speakers by Sperrling, that has so far "stood up" to most speakers I have heard in down town "flashy" Hifi stores ... in Sweden Gothenburg.

I have promised to write a review and look forward to this. I will try to be as objective as possible and not fall in the trap to "defend" my choice.

I am not a gear "junkie" with loads of HiFi gear at home. If I can´t listen to the gear, I usually take my time and read between the review lines to filter out a picture that is hopefully pretty close to reality. Maraschinos came out as a trustworthy and promising buy. Will soon be back with the review after having received the amps, probably in a week or two.

finaxe

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #28 on: 7 Apr 2015, 02:01 am »
My equipment : Computer (Windows 7 + Fidelizer + Foobar2000), Audiophilleo 1 + PurePower, modified Yamamoto YDA-01 DAC, modified Neilson Pass B1 preamp, KING 60V In-line Maraschino amplifiers and Thiel CS2.2 speakers.

Once the amplifiers were connected, I gave them a good burn-in time.

The first thing I noticed is a total control. They've brought my speakers to life. The basses are deeper and clean. The highs are smooth. I can easily pinpoint every instruments in the 3d soundstage. I can heard the slightest sound in a quieted dark background.

To conclude, I'm very pleased with my new amps.

Thanks Tommy!

imassarano

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #29 on: 9 Apr 2015, 02:17 pm »
My system is entirely new for me, and consists of:

Speakers: Golden Ear Triton7
Amplification: Ex dem Maraschinos (48V dual supply) with upgraded WBT speaker posts.
Music Streamer: Cocktail Audio X40
Cabling: Speaker Cables: QED XT350 (left over from my previous system)
            Interconnect: AudioQuest King Cobra (left over from my previous system)
            Power Cables are all stock.

I was immediately impressed on receiving the Maraschinos after unpacking them to find how good they look and their substantial weight for their size.

Since this is an essentially new system and in a new setting and a large step-up from my previous system, I can only give a broad subjective impression of their sound quality. The system has had a period couple of weeks of regular burn-in.

On purchasing the Maraschinos I had slight concerns that, given their noted speed and dynamics, that they may be a little thin and/or edgy sounding, but how wrong I was; they give a very natural and realistic sound, bringing the music to life, with nothing exaggerated or out of place, and free from any digital artefacts or background noise that I can hear.

When I heard the Triton7 speakers at the dealers, I was very impressed, but the bass was a touch loose; the Maraschinos hooked up in my room keep them in tight control, maintaining a near perfect balance across the frequency spectrum. I particularly like the way I can now hear the "twang" of a plucked double bass.

I am struck by how voices sound so clean and real, both male and female, and free of any distracting sibilance. The voice of Eric Clapton (in his earlier works) for instance often sounds either thin or shut in, I can now hear as rich and live sounding, and the words can be heard clearly enunciated. Indeed all the instruments are such that the harmonic structures are clearly rendered and the imaging is arrayed in front of me with everything in their correct position and size rendered in a most solid and convincing manner, easily discernible across the sound-stage, their sounds blending together to form a very pleasing musical experience with accurate micro and macro dynamics.

The sound-stage I find to range from a little outside the speakers, from usually the plane of the speakers to, in some recordings, many feet behind, and to a natural height. Cymbals that are reproduced on many systems often detract from the realism, but here they have a nice metallic "ting" to them and are correctly rooted to their position in both width and depth, aiding to the overall impression of real sounding.

These amps are certainly smooth sounding, and I can listen them in my system all day without fatigue, yet with their speed, detail,  impact, and dynamic abilities lend them to all musical genres, and their essentially neutral presentation to a wide range of systems as long as they are of decent quality, free from any "nasties" as their accuracy will show them up. Having said that, I really like listening to classical music with this system as the very natural timbre that is reproduced is particularly well served.

I am indeed very pleased with these amplifiers, and in this system offers me a substantial leap up the audiophile ladder, providing a very satisfying listening experience, although I'm sure that further worthwhile rewards can be gained with cable and mains upgrades, which I intend doing in the coming months.

I am grateful to Tommy for being very helpful and forthcoming.

Yitzhak
Israel

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #30 on: 9 Apr 2015, 03:22 pm »
6Moon’s Srajan Ebaen, in the conclusion of his February 2014’s review of the 48V Maraschinos driving the Mythology 1s—in his opinion, the Olympian gold champions in the exact discipline of high frequency reproduction---he stated: “…from power to noise, from resolving power to exploiting the speakers' bandwidth—the baby cherries were fully up to the task.”

Notice that this was using the off the shelf medical grade 48V SMPS power supply, not the high grade 60V 1000W SMPS power supply that was available at a later time.  That's what I use in my system with great results.

-Dr Larkos


-------------------------------
With Dr Larkos' permission....
-Tommy O

w_billowitch

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #31 on: 24 May 2015, 06:30 pm »
I recently purchased a pair of hanging Maraschino amps each with their own 60V power supply to replace a pair of Adcom GFA-565 monoblocks used on my tri-amped system. Philips CD-80 audiophile grade player, optical to Proceed PAV, Rane AC23-S 3-way crossover, RANE ME60S Equalizer and custom designed speakers, 8 12" subs wired for 2 ohms per channel, eight Dynaudio mids and four Dynaudio 1" dome tweeters.

I ran thru a test of using the Maraschino to replace the Adcom GFA-865. While I've enjoyed the Adcom monoblocks for many years, the Maraschino was clearly tighter, delivering flawless punch to the low end with no difficulty driving about 1 kw of power to the subs (which have a unique dual voice coil design with an LC aircore toroid driving the second of the two voice coils resulting in a -3db point of 16hz...just what's needed for the Cannon shots of the 1812 overture.) The Maraschino was flawless in every respect.

Give that I bought a pair of them, I decided to add the second one as my mid range amp, causing the system to open right up with the distortionless sheen comparable to the best class-A amps I've ever heard. The unique aspect of the Maraschino design is the transparency achieved by a ruler flat distortion and driving impedance graph from 0hz-20khz and at all power levels.

I then put the Adcom GFA-865 back on the bottom end and moved the pair of Maraschinos to drive the mids and tweeters. Superb combination.

Once some additional funds came available, I plan to replace my mids and tweeter amps with the Maraschinos as well so I can have a fully rounded system.

If this amp was Stereophile rated, I would expect to see it in the "A" category and comparable if not superior to the best class-A amps in that category.

Highly Recommended.

AmpDesigner333

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Infrasonics
« Reply #32 on: 25 May 2015, 01:28 pm »
"These amps do infrasonics like nothing I've every used. Deep, powerful and accurate."

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=134714.msg1430509#msg1430509

imassarano

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #33 on: 25 May 2015, 07:31 pm »
Hi Tommy,

Good to see you back on the 'circle. Please check you e-mails.

Yitzhak

jseipp

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #34 on: 26 May 2015, 10:50 pm »
Still loving the sound of the Inline Maraschinos here -- I have yet to play a piece with a sound that hasn't come through clear and true.  It's fun just to play through everything I've collected just to hear it in a whole new way.

The 48V supplies have treated me well, but any idea when the 60V supplies / AC snakes from the Kickstarter campaign will be available for shipping?  I need to do some traveling coming up, and I'd like to be here when they arrive to settle them into their new home :).

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #35 on: 9 Jun 2015, 02:03 am »
Still loving the sound of the Inline Maraschinos here -- I have yet to play a piece with a sound that hasn't come through clear and true.  It's fun just to play through everything I've collected just to hear it in a whole new way.

The 48V supplies have treated me well, but any idea when the 60V supplies / AC snakes from the Kickstarter campaign will be available for shipping?  I need to do some traveling coming up, and I'd like to be here when they arrive to settle them into their new home :).
Enclosures for the 60V power supply upgrades just arrived after a slight delay.  We plan to ship by the end of June.  Thanks.

jseipp

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #36 on: 9 Jun 2015, 04:40 am »
Sounds great -- thanks for the update.

imassarano

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #37 on: 9 Jun 2015, 06:06 am »
Tommy,

Please put me down for the 60V supplies/AC snakes upgrade please.

Yitzhak

Shear Bliss

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #38 on: 9 Jun 2015, 05:45 pm »
Tommy,

What I want to see and read from all these reviewers out there is a shoot-out between both your Maraschino Amps (60 volt) supplies and my Cherry Ultra big amp ..... verses the Merrills, CiAudio, Aluminati, etc etc etc. Yes I know the list is long and these very same reviewers have listened to others as well. Others getting kudos as well, lets bring them together for some serious comparisons in sound in their own rooms, side by side. No guts no glory as they say.

I do know this, my Cherry Ultra not leaving my system, so C"mon guys lets get it on, time to rumble!!

DW > Shear Bliss

steve f

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Re: MARASCHINO REVIEWS
« Reply #39 on: 11 Jun 2015, 10:32 pm »
I too would like to see a couple of comparisons now and then. I have no problem with naming names, as long as care is taken not to stack the deck. Let's find out what different design types bring to the table. Let's also split hairs and look into different types of Class D amps. Education is a powerful tool.

steve