I am quite interested in Gary's preamp and he is currently offering them for a sales price on his website. Recently, I purchased the ModWright Transporter because of the overwhelming reviews of the product here on AC. Some members here have probably used a Dodd Preamp for sometime and I would really appreciate your comments. I really like the concept of the battery power but does it translate into performance?
I can honesly say that I was in your shoes not to long ago. Until early 2008 I didn't even heard of Dodd Audio. Never the less hear what the buzz is all about. After few conversations with Walter of Underwood about trading in my Granite Audio 770 fp preamp for Dodd , I have decided to take the bait.......risky, ....yes - worry - yes. Now.........- it is probably one of my better, blind, spontaneous decisions that I have ever made. It was such a relieve when I plugged Dodd in and listen to it for the first time expecting to find characteristics of my past four preamps ( that I bought this year alone ). Jas Array 1.1, Granite Audio 770 fp, Supratek Chardonnay, Consonance Cyber 222 MK II (I won't mention TacT 2.0SS since its quality as a dedicated preamp is.........crappy - please excuse my language. It is a OK dac, and interesting room correction features are nice but that is all it has to offer - sorry if I offend some owners but it is only my opinion and should be taken as such )which
were all nice.........exception maybe the Supratek which was excellent but $500 spend on rare NOS tubes was silly prospect in the long run. They all had their signature sound and if someone is interested , here they are:
Consonance Cyber 222MK II - very nice tube preamp with separate power supply. Sound was sweet but nothing like Jas or Supratek , natural with good balance for the money. However its somewhat analytical presentation and lock of speed, air , definition made it my last choice at least in my system. Definitely not the last word on transparency and not a good choice for detail freaks - like myself.
Granite Audio 770fp - this preamp is very difficult to describe since it is very natural, with very little coloration of its own. Basically, I liked it and giving it up wasn't easy that is for sure. Don of Granite Audio ( I should mentioned that I have spend 3 days with Don during 2008 CES but have no relations to the man of any kind - just that we both like wine and we both like to goof around. Cool guy I may add. ) put a lot a thought and energy making sure those problematic issues that are all so common with fillthy power lines won't degrade his design. Implementation of some really interesting ideas in isolation and filtration were very appealing and made a lot of sense. Back to its sonic evaluation. In my system it felt quite at home with very good air, soundstage - which was the best and giving up only in width and depth to Supratek. Bass was very good , well controled and definitely there to enjoy by bass fans out there. To sum it up in few short words - very good , natural preamp with phono stage that is very capable on its own.
Jas Array 1.1 - this relatively new preamp from Asia is build like a tank with German oversize power supply for left and right channel and two 2A3 rectifying tubes. At about 40 pounds it is a good exercise with provided two handles on both sides. I am not exactly sure why but I believe those 2A3s are responsible for its enormous sweetness and pleasure to listen to. It is also quiet , very quiet. It throws big soundstage with very liquid voices. String instruments are very articulated and you can feel the vibrations just hanging in the air......nice. Gives up only on transparency and detail. Sold it to the friend of mine. He took my advice and is experimenting with different tubes and reports very noticeable improvements over cheap stock tube that I wasn't willing to invest in. Overall very good pre for someone who would like to put some honey in his system , that is to sterile and lifeless.
Supratek Chardonnay was my favorite as you may noticed and I don't want to describe what was beaten to the ground by so many allready. The only thing that bother me personally is small edginess on the very top of frequency extrimes. I guess it might be due to Mike's choice of internal wiring which I believe is either silver or silver coated. Talking to few Supratek owners confirmed this and their efforts to replace the wiring and few caps did not eliminate the problem completely.
About my system:
Speakers - Vandersteen Quatro
Amps - Consonance Cyber 800 mono tube 78wpc , modify by B.Backert ( genius )
Cdp - Consonance Droplet 5.0 tube
Phono preamp - Consonance Reference 40 tube with separate power supply
Turntables - Lenco modify, MMF 7 modify, Red Devil (my own table on the pic.) with dedicated isolation base and stand (200 pounds total ).
rest - carts, Ortofon MC 2000 MK II , Denon 103R, = arms - Origin live , Moarch up4.
Wiring by Morrow Audio and Granite Audio.
Dodd is temporally in my second system for break- in period. System's components are: AAD 2001 speakers, RWA Sig. 30, Droplet cdp, Sonos system and Ipod.
My first impressions of Dodd is very positive. I am not sure if it is the best preamp for the money or like some claimed , the best of all - since I have not heard everything that is out there and it would be irresponsible on my part to suggest that. What it is then ??? well....it is the best preamp that I have heard in my system and definitely better then some of my friends preamps as well as some mega bucks gear that I have audition from dealers or heard at trade shows. It is unbelievably transparent and with speed that everone can appreciate ....I know that I do. Soundstage is secend to non. Instruments articulation and body is very well define. Bass is great, and I don't agree with some that point that out as the weakness of Dodd. It is very natural, and the edginess that bother me with some designs vanished. On top of everything , it is dead quiet with pitch black backgrounds , that fact is probably guilty of its clarity, definition and air - even while listening at lower volumes. I tested its silence by turning the knob on Dodd and RWA to the max and guess what......at 1inch away from the speaker driver I heard absolutely nothing......non _ black hole of silence if you will. That is exactly what I was looking for and I think that Dodd is here to stay...for very long time.
I would like to experiment with verity of 6922s and 7308s but my resources are empty or on silly diet of copy cat~ing others on the web...so sad.
I am sure that some Apx 6922 or 7308 would greatly improve the sound over JJs that Dodd came with. I will also try few other isolation components as well as dedicated stand for Dodd. I love Morrow Cables for their value and performence but I am open for suggestions from other users as well on that matter.
As to shootout between the Dodd vs ModWright
Please Mark, keep us posted. You are probably right that neither camp will voluntarily wave white flags over their heads and throw their weapons in the form of Modwright preamps to your feet but you never know. I have heard Modwright stuff in Vegas and was impressed but not to the point of financial commitment. It could have been the room or other things that did not do it for me. However his gear is very well received within the audiophiles circles and positively reviewed by press. It should be fun.
Take care Mark
Ali, yes I have read that review as well.
Thank you for support and enjoy the weekend.