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I have Don's preamp and got a chance to compare his Kootenay KT88-based tube amp to my McCormack DNA .05 (Platinum Version) amp last week in an extensive listening session with my Spatial Audio M4 Triode Master open baffle speakers. Personally, I hasten to say that the upgraded McCormack is easily the finest amp I have ever heard among the dozen or so I have had over the past 20 years, which include several CJ amps, Modwright, upgraded HK C-II and C-V, Moscode, Plinius, several class-D amps (forget about them!) and a few other decent amps that I now forget that I owned. I have talked to Don a lot about his amp and have thought that in comparison to a potent SS such as the McCormack, it would suffer in the control of the LF response. Well, I am delighted to say that Kootenay suffers not a bit in the LF response compared to the much more powerful McCormack, which was completely unexpected. And the HF was as brilliant as with the McCormack. The most notable sonic aspect of this amp is the fleshed-out spaciousness of the vocals and instruments, a dimensionality of the sound that clearly exceeded that of the McCormack.Don did the full-monty upgrades on my HK CII and CV amps years ago and so far as my recollection allows, his Kootenay 120 amp is much better. The amp appears on my volume pot to have the same SPL at 9:00 as does my McCormack amp, which totally surprised me. It is a very potent amp, but then my speakers present a 12 ohm load so they are easy to drive with a tube amp.As lovely as the McCormack clearly is, it frankly sounds rather two-dimensional in comparison to Don's amp. Yeah, you buy a tube amp to get that luscious 3-D sound with a roundness to the instruments playing, and the inviting mid-range, and I find, which surprised me, a firm control of the LF response with Don's amp that blew me away -- I have never heard that sonic attribute with any tube amp. It has all the control of a SS amp, but a vastly better holographic presentation of the music. Perhaps it is cliche to say it, but it sounds so completely analogue in its performance with all the speed and accuracy of a SS amp. I was enthralled with it in my system.
DS2 Preamp – In an open Wood Salamander Shelf. How much space in inches do you give for heat dissipation in regards to the shelf above?Moving some things around, want to be safe.Thanks,Aguaazul
I'm also thinking about getting Don's preamp with all the bells and whistles.. I actually contacted him about 6 months ago, as I wanted to try tube gear, and he told me it was going to take 16 weeks before it would ship.. So I passed on bought a Parasound JC2 BP.. Its really good but I still have that curiosity about what tubes bring to the table……… You think if we ordered it at the same time we'd get it quicker ? : ) Can anyone compare the JC2 and Don's ? And results Don's driving a SS amp (Classe CA2200 to Salk's Song 3A) -- I think the combination of the three would sound real good..
....Can anyone compare the JC2 and Don's ? And results Don's driving a SS amp (Classe CA2200 to Salk's Song 3A) -- I think the combination of the three would sound real good..
Thanks Rusty.. input Impedance on my amp is 100k.. It (manual) doesn't split the measurement between the unbalanced and balanced so I assume its the same on both....
Rusty, I bet that price is for his standard .47uF sizing. That would probably be about right for Don's cost for those Duelund caps - he doesn't tend to charge much markup on the components themselves in my experience....
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