LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour

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tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #40 on: 16 Nov 2020, 01:07 pm »
Hi All,

Lockup Issue - Something to be aware of is the possibility that the tour preamp may lockup and become non-responsive. This is one of those bugs that got by us during development but showed up in production because of the variations in performance from one microcontroller chip to the next. Took us quite a while to get to the bottom of this behavior but it was due to an improper clock setting on the microcontroller. Some units were fine with this and others not so much. This has been corrected going forward through a simple change in the firmware. Just a heads up in case anyone on the tour observes this behavior with the tour unit - just reboot and carry on.

Cheers,
Morten

Delta77

Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #41 on: 19 Nov 2020, 01:57 pm »
Giving this preamp a work out , day 3 listening to some very familiar tracks from Hirie..





tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #42 on: 19 Nov 2020, 02:27 pm »
Giving this preamp a work out , day 3 listening to some very familiar tracks from Hirie..



Noticed that the preamp was in Mono mode as indicated by the "Mono" message in upper right hand corner of the display. We sometimes get calls from owners asking about this. You can toggle between  stereo and mono mode by pressing the center button on the remote 2 times in a row (not too fast, not too slow). In normal stereo mode the "Mono" message will disappear - it won't say "Stereo".

Thought I'd mention this just in case you weren't aware of it.

Cheers,
Morten

Mollydog

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #43 on: 20 Nov 2020, 04:46 am »
Not sure if I can still get on the list.  I would like to.  Regards,  Rich

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #44 on: 20 Nov 2020, 01:40 pm »
A quick update on the status of the tour.

1) uncola - HI
2) MttBsh - WA
3) Delta77 - CA  (has it now)

4) LarryD56 - ID (up next)
5) Emiel - AZ
6) jriggy - IN
7) Bob2 - MI
8') sruffle - NJ
9) krustykat - NC
10) GentleBender - FL

Standby List
1) Mollydog

Delta77

Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #45 on: 23 Nov 2020, 02:14 pm »
Hello all,
I removed the LDR300xV3 yesterday, and have the mailing info for Emiel..
I will mail today after work..

I listened to the Tortuga just the way it came, without trying to change it to the passive state.. I didn’t want to make any changes over the 5-6 days I had to audition the unit..

The first day was great the second day was kinda IDK (maybe my ears) not so good.. The third day the Tortuga was playing great again which lasted until I took it out..

So I will give some description of some of the things I noticed.. As you can see I’m not much of a writer, but I will give it a shot..

Smooth , is the first word on my notes.. I also wrote that the soundstage seems to have been taken under the wings of the Tortuga (not exactly sure how to describe it)..
Everything was in the right place and the db levels seem to also be under control..

Control was second on my notes.. The Tortuga LDR300xV3 has Lots of adjustable volume control..Also very easy to adjust little increments.. No funky noises, pops, or clicks, Nice...

No listening fatigue was noticed while in my system.. I listened to the Tortuga about 4-6 hours a day for 5-6 days.. I didn’t experience any strong feelings of wanting to remove it (which is what usually happens when a product doesn’t work for me)..

Lastly I didn’t feel as though my system out classed the Tortuga preamp, but I would probably be more interested in their higher end models..

Thanks Morten for sending it my way,
Burt...

My system for reference...

InnuOS, Zen - Streamer
Modwright/OPPO, 205 - DAC /CDP
Decware, Zrock2- Bass restoration (bypassed)
Aric Audio, passive- Preamp ( replaced with Tortuga LDR300xV3 )
Aric Audio, Super 300B - Amp
Tekton, Double Impact SE- Speakers
Tekton, Enzo - Subs x2
PI Audio Group, UberBUSS- conditioner
Zenwave, RCA & SC
TWL & Cullencable, power cables



Delta77

Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #46 on: 24 Nov 2020, 12:15 am »
Morten messaged me the address info for Emiel in Az., so that is where I shipped it..
Here is the tracking info..




LarryD56

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #47 on: 25 Nov 2020, 01:01 am »
Hoping the preamp makes it's way to me next (I thought it was heading my way this week). This actually works out better for me since I'd like to pair it up with my new Cherry STM MkII that should be arriving any time now. I've got five people ready to take a listen when the preamp shows up.

Larry D.

MttBsh

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #48 on: 25 Nov 2020, 01:44 am »
Hoping the preamp makes it's way to me next (I thought it was heading my way this week). This actually works out better for me since I'd like to pair it up with my new Cherry STM MkII that should be arriving any time now. I've got five people ready to take a listen when the preamp shows up.

Larry D.

Hi Larry, I too hooked the LDR300x.V3 to my relatively new Cherry STM MKII amp and I think you’ll find it makes an amazing pairing. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #49 on: 25 Nov 2020, 04:27 pm »
Hoping the preamp makes it's way to me next (I thought it was heading my way this week). This actually works out better for me since I'd like to pair it up with my new Cherry STM MkII that should be arriving any time now. I've got five people ready to take a listen when the preamp shows up.

Larry D.

My apologies to LarryD56 for not following the published order. It was purely accidental. I've updated the tour list to reflect where we are.

1) uncola - HI
2) MttBsh - WA
3) Delta77 - CA

4) Emiel - AZ (has it now)
5) LarryD56 - ID (up next)
6) jriggy - IN
7) Bob2 - MI
8') sruffle - NJ
9) krustykat - NC
10) GentleBender - FL

Standby List
1) Mollydog

Emiel

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #50 on: 27 Nov 2020, 12:35 am »
Sorry for not checking in earlier, I just saw that it was shipped to me. I looked at the UPS tracking code and looks like something went wrong with my unit number and UPS had to correct it and are delivering it tomorrow. Looking forward to getting it hooked up tomorrow!

Emiel

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #51 on: 27 Nov 2020, 08:47 pm »







The preamp just made it to my door, safe and sound! Plugged it into the system and have been listening for the last hour. Initial impressions is that it sounds very controlled compared to my Schiit Saga, especially in the bass department of which I have plenty on tap. Cranking the volume for a quick stress test revealed that the bass stays very controlled and clean even at very high volumes. This is not something that sounds entirely pleasant when I try it with my Schiit Saga, but with LDR300x I feel like I will be pushing the volume up a little bit over the next few days because it sounds very good at high volume, sorry neighbours!

The system is fully open-baffle and consists of:

DAC: Parasound D/AC 1100 HD
Amplifier: Dayens Menuetto
Subwoofer Amplifier: Dayton SA1000
Speakers: Caintuck Audio Betsy baffle with 8 inch Alnico Wild Burro drivers
Subwoofer: Dayton Audio PSS555-8 21" Subwoofer, naked/no-baffle

LarryD56

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #52 on: 29 Nov 2020, 07:57 pm »
Hi Larry, I too hooked the LDR300x.V3 to my relatively new Cherry STM MKII amp and I think you’ll find it makes an amazing pairing. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

MttBsh,

   I'm supposed to get my King STM MkII by Wednesday. Had the double rail caps added. The delayed schedule works out the best so that I can hear the new amp and Tortuga preamp together. I already have a Megaschino, but I wanted to have a new amp for the upstairs system. Also purchased a DAC DAC 3, but they're not quite through production yet. Looking forward to hearing what the Tortuga can do in my system.

Larry D.

MttBsh

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #53 on: 29 Nov 2020, 10:14 pm »
MttBsh,

   I'm supposed to get my King STM MkII by Wednesday. Had the double rail caps added. The delayed schedule works out the best so that I can hear the new amp and Tortuga preamp together. I already have a Megaschino, but I wanted to have a new amp for the upstairs system. Also purchased a DAC DAC 3, but they're not quite through production yet. Looking forward to hearing what the Tortuga can do in my system.

Larry D.

Larry - that's great that you will hear the two together, I have no doubt you will love the Tortuga/Cherry combination. I would also be very interested in hearing your impression of how the King STM MkII compares to the Megashino, which I have never heard but would love to some day down the road.

Matt

Emiel

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #54 on: 4 Dec 2020, 07:30 pm »
The preamp is on its way to LarryD56! I really enjoyed my time with it and will write up a review in the next couple of days.

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #55 on: 7 Dec 2020, 02:51 pm »
Hi All,

LarryD56 has the tour unit for the next week (from when he receives it) with jriggy in Indiana up next after him. We are waiting on feedback from Emiel. Have a nice week everyone!

Cheers,
Morten

1) uncola - HI
2) MttBsh - WA
3) Delta77 - CA
4) Emiel - AZ
5) LarryD56 - ID (has it now)

6) jriggy - IN (up next)
7) Bob2 - MI
8') sruffle - NJ
9) krustykat - NC
10) GentleBender - FL

Standby List
1) Mollydog

Emiel

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #56 on: 9 Dec 2020, 09:01 pm »
Ok, here’s my review of the LDR300x.V3! Quick disclaimer, I was an idiot and forgot about the included hex wrench, so I only ran it in active mode. I wanted to open it up to change up the settings but realized none of my metric hex wrenches fit and I didn’t have time to go to the hardware store to pick up another set that would work. Only when I packed it up to ship it out again, I realized you included the correct hex wrench. So for anybody receiving it next, keep that in mind!

I’ll preface this by being honest, I was very sceptical this would do anything positive for my system. The current preamp I am using is a Schiit Saga which tested incredibly well in terms of distortion figures on audio science review:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-schiit-saga-tube-pre-amp.6520/


The only issue that it has is that the impedance changes quite a bit throughout the volume range, but it is very low from about 75-100% volume. In tube mode, on the lower volume section, this impedance issue changes the frequency of the sound a lot, predominantly by rolling off the low end. This causes the sound to be very bright and unbalanced in my system which is why I only run it in passive mode where this should not be an issue. Bass is very important to me as my partner is an upright bass player, so I often have the opportunity to compare live upright bass playing and great recordings of upright bass players in my system and in the same room. The upright bass is such a fascinating instrument because it produces very low and visceral bass without ever being boomy. This led me down the path of chasing down the best bass possible in my room which led me to an open baffle 21 inch subwoofer. This produces a very realistic sounding bass response in my regular system with the Schiit saga.

The moment I hooked up the LDR300x.v3 though, I immediately noticed that the bass became more full yet with more control. This was a very pleasant surprise and totally not expected, so for the first day or two, I listened to a bunch of electronic music. Some albums I listened to were Aphex Twin - Ambient Selected works 85-92, Haruomi Hosono - Medicine Compilation From the Quiet Lodge and Surgeon - Europa Code. They all sounded much more controlled, fuller and smoother than with my Schiit saga. Strangely enough, I was turning up the volume to very loud levels without realizing it because everything sounded so smooth. I would try to talk to my partner, thinking the volume was low enough to do so, but then realized we couldn’t understand each other because the volume was up quite high. Switching back to my Schiit saga this week, the opposite happens, I have the feeling that the music is a lot louder but then when I try to talk to my partner, I realize the volume is not up very loud because we can easily hold a short conversation. My thoughts are that with the LDR300x.v3, content below 500 hz is being beefed up a little bit more in comparison to the Schiit saga. On the audio science review analysis, amirm found that the Schiit Saga in tube mode with a low impedance load of 600 ohm, started to droop at 500 hz. In passive mode he did not find this, however, we have to remember that the analysis is only slightly representative of a real-world listening situation. Perhaps even in passive mode, the Schiit saga is taking out some content below 500 hz in my system. This would explain to a certain degree why the LDR300x.v3 sounded fuller, smoother and more balanced, likely because it has better linearity.

Now in terms of the harder to quantify stuff like soundstage and imaging, I felt like the LDR300x.v3 produced a slightly larger soundstage that made the music sound more engaging but at the expense of imaging. I use my system for both movies and music, and I feel like movies are a great way to test imagining as I should be able to clearly correlate somebody's mouth moving with speech. This is where the LDR300x.V3 fell a bit short when compared to the Schiit Saga. The Schiit Saga produces pinpoint imaging, making it really easy to correlate a mouth moving with speech, but the LDR300x.V3 felt a bit more “diffuse” making it harder to pinpoint where sounds are coming from. Switching back to music, I noticed the same, the LDR300x.V3 sounds much more diffuse and I noticed less instrument separation. I believe this is another reason why the LDR300x.V3 sounds smoother, the overall presentation of music sounded more “gelled together” at the expense of some detail and imaging. There are two ways to look at this, and in my opinion pinpoint imaging is not exactly the most natural sounding presentation of music. I thought the sound of the LDR300x.V3 was more natural and pleasant sounding. As Delta77 mentioned, this results in very little listening fatigue. I wanted to listen to music for hours and hours on the LDR300x.V3 whereas with the Schiit saga I can get some listening fatigue at some points, especially when listening to more complex music.

After my first day with electronic music, I switched over to some acoustic music (Ketama - Songhai, Joe Pass - Virtuoso) again everything sounded natural and smooth albeit a bit diffuse. I think for more critical listening, the Schiit saga does a better job with acoustic music, especially with something like Ketama - Songhai because it does a better job at separating the instruments from each other. However, for more enjoyable listening and a more natural presentation, the LDR300x.V3 does a much better job.

Next up was some Jazz and I went through this playlist:

https://www.whathifi.com/us/features/12-great-jazz-recordings-to-test-your-hi-fi-system

All fantastic albums and good recordings. This really put the LDR300x.V3 to the test. We turned off all the lights and settled in for a serious listening session. Overall it was very enjoyable, albeit maybe slightly too laid back for my tastes. The Schiit Saga has a bit more bite which especially for the highly dynamic jazz recordings like those from Rahsaan Roland Kirk, makes things sound a bit more exciting. This however does come at the trade-off of faster listening fatigue.

Alright, now some more practical stuff. The volume control is super smooth and I loved the added flexibility in volume adjustment over the Schiit saga. The preamp looks fine, just a simple black box and it feels nice too. That being said, I prefer the visual appearance of the Schiit saga, but who the hell cares about visuals, sound is what matters here! One of the things I really did not like about the LDR300x.V3 is the apple remote. At first, everything worked fine for an hour but then I started having issues with the LDR300x.V3 locking up every time I used the remote to turn the volume up or down. I quickly realized it was because the remote was also interacting with my apple TV which I use for watching movies. This basically rendered the remote useless for me, so for the rest of my time with the preamp, I just manually turned the volume up and down, which is totally ok, although a remote is nice. Especially when it is pitch black and I’m on my second beer, making the mistake not to check the ABV (13%...ouch!). Stumbling around to turn the volume down in the dark is not a whole lot of fun, and I love having a remote for this purpose. At first, I thought this was just a minor issue for me, but switching back to the Schiit saga, with its custom remote I realized that for me at least, the apple remote is not ideal, at least not when it produces locking up issues. When the apple remote did work, however, it was very nice to use.

One more issue I was having was that the LDR300x.V3 was putting out a very low level but audible bleep sound every two minutes or so. This was super annoying when my system was on but with no music playing. Probably just a firmware thing, but annoying nonetheless. Now if I have to be super nitpicky, I also am not a huge fan of the turtle swimming around on the screen which drew a lot of attention to itself in the dark. It would be nice if there is an option to turn this off.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the LDR300x.V3 and to me, it is a worthy upgrade over the Schiit saga!

jriggy

Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #57 on: 10 Dec 2020, 01:43 am »
I’ve had a last min scheduling/life conflict arise and I am going to have bail of my turn with the preamp. So sorry guys.


LarryD56

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #58 on: 10 Dec 2020, 02:30 am »
I got the LDR300x.v3 today and have it playing in my main system. My current preamp is a Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE and my initial impression is that the 300 (let's call it that, for briefness) is more natural and has a wider soundstage. The 300 sure doesn't fix harsh recordings. That's good. You're getting what was recorded and not something that was altered (even though you would like to alter some annoying tracks). I've only played a couple CDs so far, but I'm limited with what I can do with this preamp since all of my system is connected with XLRs. I can't play anything through my DAC since it's only outputs are XLRs. I did have adapters for my amp and RCA outputs on my CD player, so I can get some good listening in. I like what I've heard so far. Will report more later.

Larry D.

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x.V3 Preamp Tour
« Reply #59 on: 10 Dec 2020, 03:45 pm »
Hi All,

A slight change in the lineup as one drops out and another comes on. Bob2 you are up next after LarryD56.

1) uncola - HI
2) MttBsh - WA
3) Delta77 - CA
4) Emiel - AZ

5) LarryD56 - ID (has it now)
6) Bob2 - MI (up next)
7) sruffle - NJ
8') krustykat - NC
9) GentleBender - FL
10) Mollydog

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