2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)

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AmpDesigner333

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2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« on: 10 Mar 2020, 04:16 pm »
We have been asked so many times recently about the STM versus the new 2-CHerry amplifier, so here's a quick note on the differences....

STM has an input select (front/back) and volume control.  The 2-CHerry is a "plain amp" without any preamp features.  The STM also has a selectable sleep mode (on/auto/off).  The 2-CHerry is set to auto-sleep unless the no-sleep option is selected at the time of purchase.

The 2-CHerry has several advantages over the STM.  One is the power supply to amplifier path.  All x-CHerry amps (2-CHerry, 3-CHerry, 4-CHerry, 5-CHerry) have Power Pipes™ to connect the power supply to the amp channels.  This is in an effort to reach the lowest resistance possible to the amplifier channels.  The STM has an external power supply, so the power goes through several connectors and a DC Cable (DC_SNAKE is standard with the KING STM, 3-ft or 6-in length available).  The 2-CHerry also has triple rail capacitance, now even with the standard version.  This is not possible with the STM, which can have double rail capacitance at most.  The 2-CHerry also features lower THD+N across most of the power band.  Both have that "sweet Cherry sound" !!

Another aspect is price.  The STM is priced significantly lower than the 2-CHerry.  Current list prices (in USD):
  Standard STM: $1200 (MK1) -- MK2 upgrade is $290
  KING STM: $1700 (MK1) -- MK2 upgrade is $290
  Standard 2-CHerry: $2490
  KING 2-CHerry: $2990

AvsFan

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #1 on: 10 Mar 2020, 06:20 pm »
We have been asked so many times recently about the STM versus the new 2-CHerry amplifier, so here's a quick note on the differences....

STM has an input select (front/back) and volume control.  The 2-CHerry is a "plain amp" without any preamp features.  The STM also has a selectable sleep mode (on/auto/off).  The 2-CHerry is set to auto-sleep unless the no-sleep option is selected at the time of purchase.

The 2-CHerry has several advantages over the STM.  One is the power supply to amplifier path.  All x-CHerry amps (2-CHerry, 3-CHerry, 4-CHerry, 5-CHerry) have Power Pipes™ to connect the power supply to the amp channels.  This is in an effort to reach the lowest resistance possible to the amplifier channels.  The STM has an external power supply, so the power goes through several connectors and a DC Cable (DC_SNAKE is standard with the KING STM, 3-ft or 6-in length available).  The 2-CHerry also has triple rail capacitance, now even with the standard version.  This is not possible with the STM, which can have double rail capacitance at most.  The 2-CHerry also features lower THD+N across most of the power band.  Both have that "sweet Cherry sound" !!

Another aspect is price.  The STM is priced significantly lower than the 2-CHerry.  Current list prices (in USD):
  Standard STM: $1200 (MK1) -- MK2 upgrade is $290
  KING STM: $1700 (MK1) -- MK2 upgrade is $290
  Standard 2-CHerry: $2490
  KING 2-CHerry: $2990

All of the things listed above are topics we have discussed. Thank you for making this thread though, I like to read things over and over again, plus this will be an ongoing thread moving forward. Who better to discuss the differences between the STM and 2-CHerry than a customer that has experience with both amps? Well other than you, the one who designs and builds them.  :D

I have used the STM for almost a year now and am very familiar with it's sound and limits. I have used two totally completely different speakers with the STM. Magnepan LRS's and ZU Audio Omen MKII Dirty Weekends. Both sounded spectacular with the STM. The STM transformed the ZU's the way no other amp I have used has. It took control of the ZU's. That's expected due to the 97db efficiency of the ZU's. Easy speaker to drive but they do sound a lot better with more power. Now on to the Maggie's.
As you already know, I love the STM! It's a really good amp and the sound is beautiful. However, the Magnepan LRS's, they are VERY demanding and I am getting the STM to go into protection mode on some material at higher volumes. Also, the sound, once again is beautiful. Everything is there. The lush rich sound, details and resolution and deep wide sound stage, all there. The only this is, it sounds like the music is just being conveyed through the Maggie's, not really taking control of the Maggie's the way it did with the ZU's. I guess there is a limit for what 125 watts will do with a 4ohm 86db speaker. And Mag's have always been known to make lesser amps cry. Not that the STM is a lesser amp, just needed a little more juice. For some time now, we have been discussing the move to upgrade to the King version with the 60v power supply. However, after even more discussions with you, we decided on a completely different approach and amp. And this 2-Cherry seems like a PERFECT match for my situation. I have a feeling that the 2-CHerry will do to the Maggie's, what the 48v STM did to the ZU's. I think it will be a revelation. Like a wow moment. This is REALLY what these speaker can do?!?!?!?! I remember a conversation I had with Sean, owner of ZU Audio a few years back, he said "Of course our speakers sound good on a 2 watt per channel SET amp, but feed them some power and they respond well." He basically told me that he likes power. I have a feeling the Maggie's are going to respond VERY well to the 2-CHerry and I will really get to see what the LRS's are capable of. Will report back with my impressions. 

morganc

Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #2 on: 10 Mar 2020, 07:11 pm »
What are the benefits of triple rail capacitance?

AmpDesigner333

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #3 on: 25 Apr 2020, 05:20 pm »
What are the benefits of triple rail capacitance?
Stronger bass and better transient response.

morganc

Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #4 on: 8 May 2020, 05:12 pm »
Can anyone comment on the differences between the 2-Cherry and the Maraschino Monoblocks?   Specifically in regards to Bass, Tone and Harmonics.   To my ears the 2-Cherry has much better bass and more tube like tone as harmonics than does the STM.  Is that also the case with the Maraschino Monoblocks?


rockn

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #5 on: 9 May 2020, 12:04 am »
Can anyone comment on the differences between the 2-Cherry and the Maraschino Monoblocks?   Specifically in regards to Bass, Tone and Harmonics.   To my ears the 2-Cherry has much better bass and more tube like tone as harmonics than does the STM.  Is that also the case with the Maraschino Monoblocks?
So is this the nice bump up in performance you were hoping for...sounds like it👍

AmpDesigner333

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #6 on: 9 May 2020, 07:34 am »
Can anyone comment on the differences between the 2-Cherry and the Maraschino Monoblocks?   Specifically in regards to Bass, Tone and Harmonics.   To my ears the 2-Cherry has much better bass and more tube like tone as harmonics than does the STM.  Is that also the case with the Maraschino Monoblocks?
Here's a thread called "2-CHerry vs 48V Desktop Maraschinos":
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=167273.0

This sums up the difference in topology....
  DTM (Desktop Maraschino) / GCM (Golden Cherry Maraschino):
    • one power supply per channel (true "monoblocks")
    • power supplies are external/upgrade-able
    • triple rail caps on GCMs and optional for DTMs
    • soldered Gold WBT binding posts on KING DTMs and GCMs
    • GCM has an additional modulator tweak
  2-CHerry:
    • one power supply for both channels
    • power supply is internal
    • Power Pipes™ to connect the supply to the channels
    • all versions have triple rail caps
    • all versions have soldered binding posts, standard version has Gold Dayton posts and KING version has Gold WBTs

DTM/GCM and 2-CHerry use the same board to start (Maraschino Monoblock board), and they are modified according to which amp they are used in.  Some of the mods are mechanical, like the 2-CHerry uses electrically isolated brackets on the boards for mounting to the chassis.  The number of rail caps varies on the DTM.

The STM is similar to the 2-CHerry in that they both use one power supply to feed both channels.  However, with both channels on one board, and some other design differences (preamp section, etc.), the STM is a "different animal".  Measured performance wise, the 2-CHerry and Maraschino Monoblocks are very similar, and they perform better than the STM THD+N wise.  Our newest monoblock boards beat published specifications.  The STM MK2 is closer performance-wise to the 2-CHerry, but the 2-CHerry has amazing channel isolation.  The 2-CHerry's lower impedance to the power supply and triple rail capacitance give it "stump pulling bass" capability, although the KING STM amazes listeners with much of the same.

Sound wise, I'll wait for others to comment....

morganc

Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #7 on: 9 May 2020, 08:23 am »
Thanks Tommy for the specs and would love for you to comment on the sound quality difference as well.  :popcorn:

AmpDesigner333

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #8 on: 12 May 2020, 10:30 pm »
Thanks Tommy for the specs and would love for you to comment on the sound quality difference as well.  :popcorn:
They have a "pecking order" as far as sound quality: STM, then 2-CHerry, then KING DTM, then GCM

They all have DC coupling in common, but the 2-CHerry and GCM have triple rail capacitance for slightly stronger bass capability and transient "punch".  The true monoblocks, with double the power supplies, have the benefit of greater refinement through perfect channel separation and the ability to use shorter speaker wires for higher effective damping factor.  Actually, the KING ILM (In-Line Maraschino, aka "Hanging Cherry") does the short-speaker-cable thing the best, but can't fit triple rail caps (double caps max).

If someone reminds me, I'll attached a photo or two and a link to our damping factor versus speaker cable thread....

Anyway, raw measured performance wise, the Golden Cherry wins "best in show", but all Maraschinos and x-CHerry amps are very high performance by the numbers with 118dB SNR or better, so backgrounds are black, and hiss/hum are nowhere to be found.  Distortion is lowest on the monoblocks and x-CHerry amps -- they use the same boards.  The same type of modulator design is used in all these amps as well as the MEGAschino series, but refinements have been made along the way.  We used what we learned from the Cherry MEGA MK2 to make the STM MK2, which brings the STM closer to the sound of the 2-CHerry, our newest 2-channel amp.

Most of what separates these models is form factor and features.  STM is the only Maraschino with a volume control and input select.  It's also the only Maraschino that is stackable with the DAC DAC, Cherry USB, our 60V 1kW power supply, and the upcoming Cherry DPA.

NICKTENN

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #9 on: 31 May 2020, 03:28 pm »
Tommy, while researching the X-CHerry line, I noticed this point about the multi channels, does this mean that the standard version does not have double rail caps?

“Double rail cap on King 3, 4, and 5-CHerry”

AmpDesigner333

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #10 on: 31 May 2020, 05:55 pm »
Tommy, while researching the X-CHerry line, I noticed this point about the multi channels, does this mean that the standard version does not have double rail caps?

“Double rail cap on King 3, 4, and 5-CHerry”
Currently all 2-CHerry and 3-CHerry have triple rail caps.
Currently all 4-CHerry and 5-CHerry have double rail caps.

This is true for KING and standard versions, so the KING versions have faceplates and Gold WBT binding posts, otherwise, they are the same as the standard versions.

NICKTENN

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #11 on: 31 May 2020, 06:16 pm »
Currently all 2-CHerry and 3-CHerry have triple rail caps.
Currently all 4-CHerry and 5-CHerry have double rail caps.

This is true for KING and standard versions, so the KING versions have faceplates and Gold WBT binding posts, otherwise, they are the same as the standard versions.

Got it, thanks!

sugbob21

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #12 on: 5 Aug 2020, 08:46 pm »
Can anyone comment on preamps that they use with the 2-Cherry amp or suggest what types would be the best type of match

morganc

Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #13 on: 5 Aug 2020, 08:56 pm »
I am running a 2 Cherry with a Don Sachs Pre-Amp and loving the combo! Previously was using a LTA Pre amp and loved it as well though I like the DS as it is a bit more warm and I have a very transparent system and a "bright" room. 

AvsFan

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #14 on: 6 Aug 2020, 03:43 am »
Can anyone comment on preamps that they use with the 2-Cherry amp or suggest what types would be the best type of match

I am using a Pine Tree Audio Balanced passive pre-amp. Seems to pass along the signal as intended. Very clean and pure pre-amp.

RonN5

Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #15 on: 6 Aug 2020, 02:50 pm »
There are a lot of great preamps to choose from and at some point, Tommy will bring out his own preamp.  And, there are a lot of people that believe that the preamp isn't needed if you have a great source that matches well with the power amp.  I've tried bypassing my preamp many times in numerous systems over the years, and at least for me, it never sounded as good as with the preamp in the system.

In the mean time, you might want to talk to Tommy about what critical output characteristics would go best with the 2Cherry such as the output voltage needs to be above 3.1volts in order to be able to drive the 2Cherry to full power.  And since the 2Cherry has incredible S/N...you probably also want a preamp that is at least 100db or better.

In my case I'm using a 6 year old Belles 22a which has 2 12au7 tubes that run pretty cool....100db S/N, 0.2-200k frequency response and 6.7 volts out. Although this preamp uses tubes on its input side, I wouldn't say that it has a "tube sound"...just that it has really good openness and tone.

Originally, I had the Belles teamed with a Parasound Halo...and I thought the sound was really good in almost any way you could describe what you are hearing.  Based on what I was reading about Cherry amplifiers, I decided to try a 2Cherry...which teamed with the Belles, took my sound to another whole level of realism that I was unprepared for...tone, clarity, soundstage, bass tightness, realism....all a major step up.

In the mean time, here are a couple of preamps that have a good reputation...but if you go this route, double check the voltage output spec.

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649630688-ayre-k5-xe-preamplifier/

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649630652-aric-audio-transcend-6sn7-preamp-with-remote-control-volume/

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649643271-parasound-halo-p5-21-channel-preamplifier-silver-w-remote-and-original-box/

https://avahifi.com/collections/preamplifiers/products/fet-valve-cf-slr-preamplifier







sugbob21

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #16 on: 6 Aug 2020, 09:33 pm »
Thanks for this info.  I actually own a STM with the 60 volt p/s and had the MKii mod installed by Tommy. It sounds flawless. Talking with him the next step up would appear to be the 2 Cherry. I have a Micro ZOTL headphone amp hanging around but not balanced, I guess could be used as a preamp. Just sitting around pondering that’s why I asked. Sometimes leaving well enough alone is best sometimes, I have too much time on my hands   

AmpDesigner333

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Re: 2-CHerry vs Stereo Maraschino (STM)
« Reply #17 on: 6 Aug 2020, 10:34 pm »
Can anyone comment on preamps that they use with the 2-Cherry amp or suggest what types would be the best type of match
Check out this list of related threads:
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=165036.msg1754524#msg1754524