Shootout at audiojerry's place

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Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #20 on: 21 Sep 2004, 11:40 pm »
Could someone shed a little light on the price differences between these choices?

What, roughly, does each option cost, to run, as auditioned?

Mark in Canada


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Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #21 on: 22 Sep 2004, 12:36 am »
A stock Carver ZR-1600 amplifier on the used market ranges from about $400.00 to $800.00. New is from about $900.00 to $1100.00. The RAM mod is currently $1600.00 and the EA mod is $1500.00. The ARC VT200 ranges from about $3500.00 to $7000.00 used. New is from about $9000 to $12,000. These are rough estimates based on what I have seen.


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Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #22 on: 22 Sep 2004, 12:48 am »
Just took a look on Agon concerning the ARC VT-200. Wow !!!....there's a lot of  tubes inside !!! Sixteen 6550's.. :o


Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #23 on: 22 Sep 2004, 01:14 am »
I bet if Jerry replaced his ARCs with one of these digital offerings he could afford another 5 or 6 CDs a month in energy savings.


Evaluation Order
« Reply #24 on: 22 Sep 2004, 03:56 pm »
Hi Guys,

     Well, looks like most, if not all, want to evaluate the 10A. Earlmarc already has one (minus the newly incorporated switch in back which this one will have). I thought the fairest way was to go in order of notification.

1) JCC was first to notify me.

2) AudioJerry was second.

3) Hibuckhobby was third.

4) Eric just notified me.

If anyone wants or needs to change the order, no problem.

As far as time limit per person, would 2-3 weeks be ok? No problem if one needs less or more time, but just let us know.

Take care and let me know if ok. If no adjustments, will need JCC to PM me with his address. Should have a 10A ready in a few days, or week, as I started breaking in a new 10A today.

Thanks guys.


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Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #25 on: 22 Sep 2004, 06:03 pm »
That's great, Steve - thanks for following through on your offer, but don't be surprised if you get a lot more inquiries.

I'm anxious to spend some intimate time with the 10a. I'm beginning to doubt what I heard last Sunday - the transformation was too unbelievable. I thought I was already listening to a fabulous preamp in my Minimax with vintage tubes, and it's hard to comprehend how replacing it with the 10a could have caused such a dramatic improvement in all 3 amps.


Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #26 on: 23 Sep 2004, 12:16 pm »
This is a great shoot out with much interest in the 10a preamp.

Steve, I would recommend you moving your preamp tour to the Market Square-commercial posts as it will be easier to track and keep facilitators off your tail :wink:


Shoot-off - Additional Comments
« Reply #27 on: 25 Sep 2004, 05:30 pm »
When I started to listen, I was impressed with a few points. The CD player that Jerry had left a lot to be desired. Thank goodness that Marcus brought his Philips SACD 1000. This provided significant improvement. Even with this, I noticed considerable problems in musical resolution. Even when I used my RAM ZR, I still noticed problems in musical resolution. Isolating components I felt that the problem must be in the preamp, When Steve Sammit from SAS brought in his 10A preamp, I noticed a huge difference. Suddenly the system started to remind me of home, where I get that great sound and great soundstage.

I read Marcus’s rating with some interest. Sure it’s very different from mine. But the point that I want to make relates to sound stage. During the shootoff Steve used the old Stereophile cut where some walks the sound stage. You are supposed to use this cut to measure your sound stage. I have had this recording for years and used to believe in it. What I have found is that most systems (even poor ones) do pretty well on this cut. Surprisingly, however, most do not do well on live music, particularly a symphony orchestra. Most do OK with small ensembles, but not with large presentations.

As I have gradually upgraded my system through the years, I have finally reached the point where my sound system really handles an orchestral soundstage very well. I have talked to others and thought about this change for some time, and have come to a few conclusions:

1.   There are very subtle differences in sound that enable this sound stage to be portrayed. If your system does not have the appropriate resolution you will not be able to portray this sound stage.
2.   If your system compresses dynamics, this obviously prevents resolution of the sound stage. Furthermore, it causes muddled sound on complex passages.

By the way I noticed muddled sound on complex passages (Pink Floyd) with both the ARC and the EA ZR1600.


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Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #28 on: 25 Sep 2004, 06:10 pm »
My final thoughts about this comparison is that on one end (RAM) we experienced an explosive and dynamic amplifier with excellent inner resolution and extension, however, the agressive edge and fowardness of this amplifier was fatiguing. Thus, I felt the performance of this amplifier was exaggerated and lacked musicality and air. The SAS 10 preamp certainly improved some of these shortcomings. On the other end, the ARC floated with good dynamics and inner resolution that was smooth, airy, and musical. I wouldn't decribe the ARC as tubey sounding amplifier because it possessed some of the attributes we look for in solid-state amplifiers-dynamics and bass. In the middle, was the EA. The EA seemed to me to be the better balanced of these amplifiers because it had better dynamics and bass than the ARC but not quite as good as the RAM and the smooth and airy presentation of the ARC with just a tad less air and depth. Steve has improved the depth, air, and extension of his EA mod with a new inducter. Spectralman has this amplifier, and it was unfortunate that he didn't make the shoot-out.


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Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #29 on: 26 Sep 2004, 05:06 am »
Well, I asked for some lively debate, and I guess I'm beginning to get what I asked for - thanks Jesse!

Based on Jesse's enthusiasm for his amp, I was very grateful that he was willing to bring it all the way from Houston for us to audition. I've been following the digital amp revolution with great interest this past year. I'd love to replace my considerably large and costly to operate ARC with an efficient digital amp.  I was very impressed with the Solar I heard about a year ago, feeling it had great potential.  Marcus's EA digital has renewed my enthusiasm for this technology, and I'd enjoy doing a more serious evaluation of it. Spectalman, is there any chance we could get together?
PS: I hope your son is feeling better.  

I am glad that Jesse believes his RAM is perhaps the finest amp ever, capable of recreating live music realistically. But my experience with it left me with absolutely no desire to ever consider it at any point in time.
It is quite apparent that we hear things differently.

But it surprises me that Jesse found my Minimax and Modwright/Tritium modified P3A to be greatly disappointing also. For all you Minimax and Modwright owners out there, I'm sure you'd be surprised to learn that your components are so vastly inferior.


amplifier comparisons
« Reply #30 on: 26 Sep 2004, 10:20 am »
Hi Guys,

Thanks for a Really good comparison of the Ram/Carver amp, Ea/Carver amp and ARC.

I think that your comparisons and opinions highlight that we all have different tastes and hear music differently.  At this stage the only digital amplifier i have heard are the bel canto range of amplifiers, some say they sound lifeless but i have been really impressed by their sonic qualities.

I do note, however, that in the final end all of the participants preferred their own amplifiers.   Please don't think i'm critising you but i do find that interesting and think it is worth mentioning.

I think it would be interesting to throw the tour Aksa 100 nirvana plus in the mix and find out what everyone thinks.

Btw i do have a perpetual technologies p3a (modwright level 1), p1a and monolithic powersupply and think it sounds pretty good imo, it certainly doesn't sound bad.





Shootout at audiojerry's place
« Reply #31 on: 26 Sep 2004, 01:34 pm »
I found nothing in the shootout to be dissappointing. That is very strong language for me. I found there to be sonic differences, some that I liked and some that I did not. Jerry has a wonderful system that I could certainly live with. JCC's amp had some things I definitely liked. For me it was a great time


Not Everyone
« Reply #32 on: 26 Sep 2004, 06:23 pm »
Hello Rocket,

Not everyone - Steve Sammit from SAS Audio was independent, and he liked the RAM ZR. Outside of Steve, all of the participants who stayed to the end had their own amp, and were therefore prejudiced. Call him if you want to talk.


Come on Down to Houston
« Reply #33 on: 26 Sep 2004, 06:29 pm »
Hello All,

I can listen on my systems for hours and hours with no fatigue. An earlier comment talked about system synergy. As I have built my system, I have always opted for realism and detail, and the result has turned out tremendous. I have it all, and virtually no fatigue.

Anyway, shootout gang - You are welcome to come Texas and listen. Marcus - Bring your EA unit over.

We will have a super time!!