Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?

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Mondie

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Hi,

l am very close to purchasing one of John's Bent NOH passive pre's.

One concern l have is the potential loss of dynamics when switching form my Audio Research SP9. While this is a common downside of resistor based passives and transformers are meant to be much better in this regard, has anyone noticed any loss of dynamics?

Would appreciate any feedback.

Cheers Simon

JoshK

Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #1 on: 24 Jun 2004, 02:58 am »
I had John's Bent "passive" in my system, among many other preamps and no, they were no loss of dynamics.  You'll be fine there.  It is a truely great preamp, very transparent and lacks color.  If the rest of your system is great, this will let it be great.   I don't own the Bent, but I did hear it and it is among the best of the 'preamps' I have had in my system.

zybar

Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #2 on: 24 Jun 2004, 03:07 am »
As I have been working the NOH has been coming into its own more and more.

At first the extremes were a little lacking and the midrange a little grainy.

After 4 days of non-stop music I am happy to report some very nice changes...

Midrange is crystal clear and allowing me to easily little details that I had to strain to hear with my other preamps or didn't actually hear at all.  By hear I don't necessarily mean "hear", but that it is a cleaner, easier to identify sound.  

At the extremes, the NOH really opened up in the last hour or so.  I am finally getting some sparkle and air on the top.

In terms of the bottom, it is dynamic, punchy, and articulate.  I just listened to a few cd's with an upright bass and it was so right sounding.  Very natural and artifically emphasized or enhanced.  A snare drum has snap and the intial whack grabs you.  It did help to do a little tuning on the 40's PR as well.

Overall, I think this is a very good product and will work very well assuming the rest of the gear is up to the challange and mates well.

George

doug s.

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Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jun 2004, 01:06 pm »
i wouldn't swap my melos pre for a passive.  in your case, i think it would be a big improvement.  i tried an arc sp9 mkll several years back, & was extremely underwhelmed.  lack of dynamics & plodding pace made me grateful that the shop was willing to take it back after a week...  even the gritty adcom gfp-1a i was looking to replace was better...

ymmv,

doug s.

Doc Jr 8156

Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jun 2004, 11:38 pm »
Nope! No loss in dynamics when using the NOH.  In my experience the NOH made my system more dynamic at lower listening levels.  Purer, crisper, and a see-through transparency awaits.  Godspeed.

ABEX

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Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #5 on: 26 Jun 2004, 03:33 am »
I used an FT Audio Passive Controller for a year. While the presentation was improved by many times in transparency the only fault I found was being able to distinguish between recordings. If you have a bad recording that you like it will show up just how bad they did when making it while good recordings will be even more desirable to listen to.

They are great for design work and knowing how good your other components are in synergy. Another words you'll know more about the components you are using and testing up stream.

I want to build one now. The problem is I want to be sure about what Vol. Pot I want before investing a few $100 in one.

Good luck!

gonefishin

Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #6 on: 26 Jun 2004, 04:57 pm »
Hi Mondie,


   I noticed no loss of dynamics when switching from my tubed preamps to the Bent NOH (I have the older version, I think the second???).  I also tried a couple other passives in my system and was underwhelmed by the results.  

   Because of this I was extremely reluctant to order a passive preamp for my system.  but, after more reading and talking with various people...I had finally decided to start asking John a few questions.  Don't think of the NOH as a passive preamp...just think of it as a preamp...and a darn good one ;)

    You really can't ask for better customer service than what John (Bent Audio) provides.  A great product, top notch service with excellent communication (I wish all companies had this type of communication!).  

   Where do you live?  You may have a NOH owner in your area who wouldn't mind bringing their preamp to your home for a listen.  Or perhaps you can bring your speakers over to their house for the audition  :P (just kiddin')

      have fun!
dan

Mondie

  • Jr. Member
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Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #7 on: 27 Jun 2004, 04:05 am »
Quote from: gonefishin
Hi Mondie,
 Where do you live? You may have a NOH owner in your area who wouldn't mind bringing their preamp to your home for a listen. Or perhaps you can bring your speakers over to their house for the audition  (just kiddin')



Thanks for all the replys.

The decison has been made, a NOH it is  :)

l live in Australia Dan, hence my question. l have spoken to John and he thought maybe one or two of his units had made there way down here but thats all, there is really no chance at all of hearing the unit in my system. My system is completely non portable, moving my speakers alone is a back breaking exercise. l have spoken to John and he has agreed that l can return the unit if it doesnt work in my system, but from all l have read l dont think that is gong to happen. l am very eager to get my hands one of these units!

John is going to report soon on the differences between the copper and silver transformers in mk 3 guise, once he has a good handle on the differences it time to decide between the two and place an order.

Cheers Simon

joe3rp

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  • Posts: 1
Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #8 on: 30 Jun 2004, 01:24 am »
I have had my Bent Pre-amp for over a year now and have been more than satisfied in my listening and comparison to othet pre-amps passive, tubed or solid state.

IMHO the greatest strength of this pre-amp is the delicacy in handling low level detail of music.  The fantastic dynamics when  listening to music at low (realistic/live volumes) results in a large sounstage. I think the strength of the transformer volume control is its ability enhance the contrast of the low-low level with the hi-hi level without any the loss of low level detail (something like an expander????). This pre-amp is also fantastically transparent.

When I listen to simple guitar or violins or even drums, the notes seem to jump out without any problem. The harmonic detail is also very "silky" sounding.  In my experience with active pre-amp, you can only get this if the volume is increase to bigger than life proportion.

Now if you want to listen loud to big band jazz or amplified rock concert/jazz, I would recommend that you stick with an active line pre-amp.  When my local audio group would do the equipment rounds and swaps...that seem to be the consensus.

My listening preference is to adjust the volume to recreate realistic performer size (estimate only).

zybar

Were your systems dynamics maintained with a passive pre?
« Reply #9 on: 30 Jun 2004, 01:28 am »
I listen loud to rock, jazz, and classical with my NOH and it is still better sounding than any active preamp I have had in the system.

Not sure what active out there is better sounding (assuming you can use a passive in your system), but I am confident it will cost an awful lot.

George