Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!

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2bigears

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #80 on: 19 Jun 2014, 12:39 pm »
 :D.  There is an old RM-9 on the gon for 2 grand. Would this be worth
            pursuing ?   :D

sunnydaze

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #81 on: 19 Jun 2014, 12:47 pm »
:D.  There is an old RM-9 on the gon for 2 grand. Would this be worth
            pursuing ?   :D

Definitely not!  Too expensive!

Six months ago I sold my RM9 mk2 for $1500.  I got a good price when I bought it, so I passed it along.  I typically see mk2 versions in the 1700 to 2000 range, used.  On occasion a "distress" sale will appear for a coupla hundred less.

$2k is way too much for a mk1.    :nono:

nnck

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Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #82 on: 19 Jun 2014, 01:18 pm »
:D.  There is an old RM-9 on the gon for 2 grand. Would this be worth
            pursuing ?   :D

More recently, I had been watching used RM-9 MkII's for a little while as well. And to be honest with you, I think some of them were going for that price and more. I came across 2 a few months ago that looked interesting- one sold for $2000 and the other (which was in impeccable shape) sold for $2400 + shipping! I wasn't willing to pay that price, but I know this to be true as I contacted the seller afterwards and talked to him for a while. I dont think that he would have a reason to lie about. I've seen MkI's for sale for around $1600 - 1900, but not sure what the actual selling prices were.

I'm no longer looking for one as I found a newer RM200II-T instead which was a little more in line with what I was looking for.

sunnydaze

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #83 on: 19 Jun 2014, 01:37 pm »
Used asking prices do vary widely, and some listings are pricey, but I stand by my previous comment.  If you are patient you can get a mk2 in the 1700 to 2000 range.

Here are three recent examples:

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-music-reference-rm9-mkll-2013-08-07-amplifiers-93601

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-music-reference-rm9-mk-2-more-please-read-text-2013-11-22-amplifiers-14304

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-music-reference-rm9-mkii-w-new-set-of-eh-el34-tubes-2012-12-09-amplifiers-55912

Keep in mind these are asking prices.  Actual txn price could well be less.

On top of this, in past 18 mos I bought and sold my mk2 for $1500.  So add these two transactions to the list.

nnck

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Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #84 on: 19 Jun 2014, 02:46 pm »
Used asking prices do vary widely, and some listings are pricey, but I stand by my previous comment. 

No argument there. There are many factors to take into account for used equipment. Especially used equipment such as the RM-9, since many of them tend to be a bit older. Besides age and overall condition, you have the number of owners, possible modifications, hours of use on the tubes (perhaps additional sets of tubes). My point to the OP is that the used model he is looking at may not be as far off from the norm as you were leading on. Even some of your own examples are right there in the same range.

BTW, I have no affiliation with the owner of that current RM-9 for sale whatsoever.

sunnydaze

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #85 on: 19 Jun 2014, 02:57 pm »
No argument there. There are many factors to take into account for used equipment. Especially used equipment such as the RM-9, since many of them tend to be a bit older. Besides age and overall condition, you have the number of owners, possible modifications, hours of use on the tubes (perhaps additional sets of tubes). My point to the OP is that the used model he is looking at may not be as far off from the norm as you were leading on. Even some of your own examples are right there in the same range.

BTW, I have no affiliation with the owner of that current RM-9 for sale whatsoever.

There's a bit of confusion here.

The RM9 amp on AG now that OP is inquiring about is a mk1.  My point is that mk2's can often be had for the same price, even cheaper.

All my examples are for the mk2 version, VG condition, some with extra tube sets, all priced 1700 to 2000.  Hence my conclusion that the current mk1 at almost 1900 is priced a bit high.

nnck

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  • Music Collector, Audiophile, in that order :)
Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #86 on: 19 Jun 2014, 03:04 pm »
There's a bit of confusion here.

The RM9 amp on AG now that OP is inquiring about is a mk1.  My point is that mk2's can often be had for the same price, even cheaper.

Good point. I didnt catch that.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #87 on: 19 Jun 2014, 03:15 pm »
Prices for RM-9s are going up from what we see. If we made that amplifier today it would sell for $9,000+. We made almost 1000 of them and they are still going strong with original caps that never seem to fail. Out of 3000 transformers we made here we have replaced only 3 some years ago and I have not replaced any in the last 15 years. The main concern it the condition of the PC board. Some are nice and green and some have browned out due to poor ventilation. Tube rollers have also loosened sockets on the PC board but we have a cure for that. We are now rebuilding and improving the driver by handwiring it on an aluminum plate so there is no more circuit board and the balance is now self adjusting. This runs $1500 but makes a great improvement and extends the life of the amp so far into the future I cannot say.

The RM-9 is so easy on tubes that we have seen tube sets go past 15,000 hours. That's 15-20 years for some owners. We have installed Cardas binding posts on many units when the come through for a tune up. For an amp that is almost 30 years old its pretty amazing. I can honestly say, other than the driver upgrade we are doing there is nothing else I would change given what I have learned about amplifiers in the past 30 years.

For those of you who want the best RM-9 ever made we do have a limited number of the SE edition. There are several owners of that amp on this forum, rbwalt being very active. The SE has a 3 tube driver which allows it to provide extra current for difficult loads.  The SE is completely hand wired, has test points for every tube including the drivers. All tubes can be tested in place. Each output tube is separately fused with fuse indicators. Bias and output balance pots are top chassis mounted and easy to adjust.

All RM-9's are Ultralinear and allow the use of almost every power tube. We even have users with KT-120s who use just 4 output tubes as that is all you need with the larger tube to obtain the same power.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #88 on: 19 Jun 2014, 03:28 pm »
Used asking prices do vary widely, and some listings are pricey, but I stand by my previous comment.  If you are patient you can get a mk2 in the 1700 to 2000 range.

Here are three recent examples:

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-music-reference-rm9-mkll-2013-08-07-amplifiers-93601

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-music-reference-rm9-mk-2-more-please-read-text-2013-11-22-amplifiers-14304

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-music-reference-rm9-mkii-w-new-set-of-eh-el34-tubes-2012-12-09-amplifiers-55912

Keep in mind these are asking prices.  Actual txn price could well be less.

On top of this, in past 18 mos I bought and sold my mk2 for $1500.  So add these two transactions to the list.

In looking at those listings I see they are rather old and prices change rapidly when something gets recognized. Look at what happened to the Marantz amps and they were lots more of them.

The last listing given was a great deal but it was in late 2012. Sorry we can't go back in time.

As to the range of prices, anyone who watches used gear on AG or eBay knows that something  can go for a song sometimes and another time fetch twice the price. In my tape playback preamp project we are watching Studer machines of similar condition sell for $600-$3000, go figure. Revox A77s go for $100-$1000 and they made 350,000 of those. We made just 930 RM-9s and only 19 SE amps, one of which I am keeping.

Here are some recent comments on the RM-9.  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=124084.msg1307677#msg1307677

One comment to correct. The power is not lower with EL-34s. It is the same with all the power tubes because they are not pushed to their limits. I purposely did this and made the amplifier useful with all the popular output tubes so making this an amplifier that is useful in comparing output tubes. At the time, and even more now, people are commenting on the difference in sound in output tubes but they are often comparing those differences in different amps which is not the proper way to do such a comparison. The amp needs to be the same amp otherwise how does one know how much the different amps are causing the difference in sound. How many amps can we name that allow that.

For those of you who are new to this hobby the first review of the RM-9 by Dick Olsher brought strong objection from David Manley who insisted that amplifiers must be tube specific due to the nature of tubes. He gave many reasons, most of which were simply not true. This resulted in an open discussion in the manufacturers comments of Stereophile, something that rarely, if every has happened before. But the editor and the public must have liked the interchange and its often what people remember when I meet them at shows. These became known as the Manley-Modjeski letters. In them we were the first, I believe, to coin the term "tube rolling" and joke about cotton gloves (which are absolutely silly). There were five long letters, the last two being published simultaneously with a further letter from Kevin Hayes at VAC. If there is interest I will try to dig them up.

Captainhemo

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #89 on: 19 Jun 2014, 04:13 pm »
Hey Pat
Not sure if you've seen this little review by GT Audio over in the Critics Circle.   It's a  review wrintten back in Feb,  he had been suing a Bryston 4B and had the opportunity to   use an RM9 MKII for a while.  I thouht it was a good read
Thought it may interest you.
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=124084.msg1307723#msg1307723

Also, besides the Audiogon u nits given fo prece ref, I beleive I've seen  a couple RM9 MKII's sold here within the past year or so for  < $2K.

Edit: Can only find the  1  MK recently sold here  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=118857.msg1249521#msg1249521
Sure there were a coupl emore.... :scratch:
-jay

sunnydaze

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #90 on: 19 Jun 2014, 04:43 pm »
In looking at those listings I see they are rather old ......

rather old??    :scratch:

they date back to 7 mos, 10 mos and 18 mos.  I guess the reader will determine what "old" is.

The RM9 does not pop up used very often, so that historical data is all one has to go on.

2bigears

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #91 on: 19 Jun 2014, 04:49 pm »
 :D. Would it be cool to scoop this 9 and send it for updates ?  Seems logical ?  :D
            My old buddy Mike bought one ?  Interesting ! He told me about the 38's ,,,, ha 

sunnydaze

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #92 on: 19 Jun 2014, 04:55 pm »
:D. Would it be cool to scoop this 9 and send it for updates ?  Seems logical ?  :D
            My old buddy Mike bought one ?  Interesting ! He told me about the 38's ,,,, ha

Do you refer to user Topround in NJ?  I know him well.  He bought my RM9 mk2.  He sent it off somewhere for some massive mods / upgrades.  Don't know the details, but you can check with him.  I think he's very happy with the result.

2bigears

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #93 on: 19 Jun 2014, 05:04 pm »
 :D.  Yes,, that's my old buddy .. Ha. He's good people.
            One step ahead of me it seems !  Ha who the heck did his mods ?  :D

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #94 on: 19 Jun 2014, 05:19 pm »
:D. Would it be cool to scoop this 9 and send it for updates ?  Seems logical ?  :D
            My old buddy Mike bought one ?  Interesting ! He told me about the 38's ,,,, ha

If you want it updated I suggest you send it here. I have had to re-do many non-factory updates. In the last one we had here someone substituted some rather small main filters in order to use "audiophile"grade caps. That certainly didn't help the sound of the amp.

What I mostly see in "up-grades" is blind part switching where the up-grader pays no attention to the function of the part often putting an expensive part where it does no good and missing a place where an expensive part might do some good. The most amusing upgrade I see is rectifiers. People have been convinced that there is something great about HEXFREDS or fast rectifiers. "Fast" is better than slow, right? What amuses me is when they bother to change all eight bias rectifiers who are conducting so little current that their speed is of no consequence.  Of course anyone who shells out bucks for upgrades will be pleased with the results, he has to be for what he spent.

We only use "audiophile" parts on special request. Most of our up-grades are to add the power supply chokes and additional filters and Cardas binding posts to the MK-Is. There are no upgrades to the MK-II at this time.  Perhaps I should invent some.

Many upgraders will admit that they are not circuit designers and do not understand circuits. Oddly they feel qualified to substitute parts in circuits they don't  understand. Wouldn't you rather have someone who knows the circuit work on it?

One last recommendation. Stay away from "audiophile" caps made of exotic materials. It takes many years of experience, trial and some error to make reliable capacitors. I have seen too many silver and oil caps short out, burn up tubes and resistors. I wouldn't buy a cap from anyone but a large maker with years of experience. One other point for the technically minded. There is a lot of talk about dielectric absorption (DA) and materials. So here is the science. Dielectric absorption is only a factor if there is a changing voltage across a capacitor such as in a speaker crossover. In an amplifier there is no changing voltage across the capacitor. So what does DA matter? The capacitor sellers are surely not going to mention that little problem with their claims.

jtwrace

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #95 on: 19 Jun 2014, 05:24 pm »
Is there any sonic improvement with your hand wound transformers?  Really worth the $1k expense?

2bigears

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #96 on: 19 Jun 2014, 05:33 pm »
 :D.  Roger ,,,, for God sakes ,, STOP MAKING SENSE !  Mods are not worth it unless you
         " hear " them and are " happy " with the outcome. So, the mod has to be benched
               and voiced and tried and trued.  So if I bought this amp , can I get the up-dates
                   done ? and the cost ?  Or is it cheaper and smarter to buy new ! A 200 ?  :D

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #97 on: 19 Jun 2014, 06:09 pm »
Is there any sonic improvement with your hand wound transformers?  Really worth the $1k expense?

Currently we are winding everything here, I have given up on outside winders who can't seem to follow my instructions. Outside winders have a variation in high frequency cutoff as bad as 2 to 1. In house we can get that down to 20% and I can do better than 10%.  Although I supervise the winding how can I take a new person and expect him to do what I have been practicing for over 30 years? Here's an important difference. Since I designed the transformer I know what variations make a difference and what do not. It's a little like baking, each cake turns out a little different but the differences are far less when the baker knows what is important and what is not. When winding each transformer there are often decisions that have to be made as it is happening. I have a "exemplar" output transformer with the highest frequency response I ever obtained and no one has been able to match or beat it... though some do come close.

Given the cost of most amplifiers today and that we are one of a very few companies that winds in house, I do think its a pretty good deal.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #98 on: 19 Jun 2014, 06:18 pm »
:D.  Roger ,,,, for God sakes ,, STOP MAKING SENSE !  Mods are not worth it unless you
         " hear " them and are " happy " with the outcome. So, the mod has to be benched
               and voiced and tried and trued.  So if I bought this amp , can I get the up-dates
                   done ? and the cost ?  Or is it cheaper and smarter to buy new ! A 200 ?  :D

Of course you can get the mods which we customize to the owners wishes. Typically people are spending $500-$1400. I don't push upgrades because I think both the MK-I and II are fine amps as they stand when properly serviced.

The RM-200 is a different beast. I wanted to make something with half as many tubes and keep the price reasonable. As I said to keep making RM-9s was getting very expensive mainly because of the potted transformers (who does that these days or even then).

All I can say is that people like how my amps sound, they are reliable and we give good service to our customers. Yesterday a guy called me wanting an RM-10 but because he has very sensitive speakers (102 dB/watt) he switched to the OTL-1 which is a very clean 3.5 watts vs 35 for the RM-10.  http://audioshark.org/music-reference-176/music-reference-rm-otl-1-a-5121.html#.U6MpCvldW3s

jtwrace

Re: Calling all gurus of this fine art !!!!
« Reply #99 on: 19 Jun 2014, 07:02 pm »
Currently we are winding everything here, I have given up on outside winders who can't seem to follow my instructions. Outside winders have a variation in high frequency cutoff as bad as 2 to 1. In house we can get that down to 20% and I can do better than 10%.  Although I supervise the winding how can I take a new person and expect him to do what I have been practicing for over 30 years? Here's an important difference. Since I designed the transformer I know what variations make a difference and what do not. It's a little like baking, each cake turns out a little different but the differences are far less when the baker knows what is important and what is not. When winding each transformer there are often decisions that have to be made as it is happening. I have a "exemplar" output transformer with the highest frequency response I ever obtained and no one has been able to match or beat it... though some do come close.

Given the cost of most amplifiers today and that we are one of a very few companies that winds in house, I do think its a pretty good deal.
OK, very cool.  So does this mean that all amps have the $1k premium applied since you wind them yourself or? 


So which price is paid?



[/size]RM-200 MK II 100 watt/channel Push-pull KT-88 [/font][/size][/font]$4,900
[/color]RM-200 MK II-T As above with transformers wound by Roger [/size][/size]$5,900[/font][/size][/font]