Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp

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Big Red Machine

Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« on: 14 Aug 2021, 02:15 pm »
Tommy had a 2 Cherry available and I purchased one recently to give it a run for its money. I have only owned 2 of his conventional amplifiers in the past and never got to auditioning his Class D amps. I am glad I finally got off my butt to do so even after so many here had recommended them previously.

My present system is:
Wilson Audio Sasha
Digital Audio Company 2 Cherry
Bricasti Design M1 dac
Don Sachs Model 2 pre
Puritan Audio Labs PSM156
Hollis Audio Labs MS-2 Server
Shunyata Research Sigma Series USB
Stealth Audio Cables PGS v8 IC
Gabriel Gold Rapture version 1 IC
Silversmith Audio Fidelium Speaker Cables
DCCA Passion Pro XXL AC cable
Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature AC cable
GIK Acoustics D1's and Impression Series diffusers
RealTraps Diffusers & traps
Adona Corporation AV45

And for fun, I have tracked the amplifiers I have owned since 2006 in a word doc. I guess I need professional help :roll:

1.   Monarchy SM70 monos
2.   PS Audio GCC500 modified by Underwood
3.   Moscode 401HR
4.   Wyred SX1000 monos
5.   Wyred SX500 monos
6.   Wyred ST250
7.   Dodd 120 monos
8.   BAT VK500
9.   Pass Labs X350.5
10.   Sunfire 600
11.   Rowland 201 monos
12.   Belles 150A Refs as monos
13.   TAD Hibachi monos
14.   Dared VP-20 monos
15.   Cherry 4800A
16.   Cherry Plus
17.   ATI 602
18.   PS Audio Delta 250 monos
19.   Hafler 9130
20.   Hafler SE240
21.   Hafler XL280
22.   Electrocompaniet AW220
23.   Jolida JD202A
24.   AVA something?
25.   Xindak ? 200 wpc
26.   Tube Research Labs Samson monos
27.   AVA Synergy 300
28.   Electrocompaniet AW180 monos
29.   Wells Inamorata
30.   Atmasphere MA-1 Mk II OTL Tube Monoblock Amp Pair with 6C33 Output Tubes
31.   Quicksilver V4 monos
32.   Plinius SB301
33.   Maker NL14+
34.   Luxman M800A
35.   LTA UL with mircoZOTL pre
36.   VTV AMPLIFIER Stereo Purifi Audio 1ET400A Amplifier w/ PR Sonic Imagery Labs 995FET Pro Opamp, WBT-0702.01 TopLine Posts
37.   Digital Amplifier Company 2-Cherry

I basically cashed out of the Luxman which was a Class A amp and very smooth. It was also 105 lbs in the rack.
I tried the Spatials and the LTA gear and that was a disaster.
The VTV is a gorgeous amp; rock solid and extremely quiet. Plenty of balls when tapped on the shoulder.

I had the Cherry for a week or more and never got to inserting it. Finally I got on my hands and knees and basically just replaced all the connections with the existing connections as the form factors are about the same from VTV to Cherry. I turned it on and was quite surprised how different it sounded. I could tell it wasn't broken in but listening past that the sound was so full and engaging I knew this thing needed to run in so I could take it around the block a few times.

So I left it running for 24 hours and went back up there on a Friday night (decided to stay in!) and starting running through my playlists with JRiver. I have varied tastes from folk rock, jazz, classical, to some contemporary and I do not fret about redbook level versus DSD when I build my playlists. The Bricasti does such a stellar job with all that redbook is equally enjoyable.

I have never been so relaxed in listening as the sound is so smooth. Nothing is missing and in fact, the sound is more real, more full, and more detailed all the while delivering a wider soundstage than I had experienced in years (amps 26 and beyond).

I'm kicking myself for not listening to Tom and others for waiting so long to try one of these. I was not interested in the mult-box solutions and wanted a cleaner look one-box. Tommy had a 2 channel unit in a single box and I think it has Dayton posts versus the Toplines I ordered for the VTV. I like the smaller form factor and neat clean assembly (I popped the top to check out the layout - [spent plenty of years doing electronics packaging]). Top notch build quality.

Now that I have premium cabling and power conditioning I may have to spring for that MDx upgrade for my Bricasti. That dac is a stable piece of gear and has never given me any hiccups in the 5+ years I have owned it.

With my track record of amp swapping with other revolving door gear changes the pieces I have now seem to be singing together pretty well. There is nothing like well-engineered hardware to inspire confidence and reliably operate solidly (and quietly). This 2 Cherry has not changed my black background and is a solid performer. Go get one.

Thanks Tommy! Stellar work.

dwmaggie

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Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #1 on: 14 Aug 2021, 03:42 pm »
I purchased a used 4800a about two years ago.  The toroidal power supply seemed to have a vibration problem.  I sent it back to Tommy for repair, he offered a Mega upgrade along with the repair.  It came back and all I could say was wow, fantastic, it was everything an amp was supposed to be.  Purchased 2 Maraschinos and a Desk Top.  His amps just seem better than the many I have tried.  Try to find a used Cherry for sale, very rare....that speaks volumes to me.  Glad you found an amp that satisfies your need to upgrade.  You have some very, very nice equipment.

newzooreview

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Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #2 on: 14 Aug 2021, 05:19 pm »
Quote
I tried the Spatials and the LTA gear and that was a disaster.

In order to provide a frame of reference for your opinion of the Cherry amps, could you clarify in what way you felt that "the Spatials and LTA gear" were a disaster? Which Spatial Audio Labs speakers with which LTA amp or preamp, and what were the disastrous aspects?

I don't have Spatial loudspeakers or an LTA amp, but I spent an afternoon listening to the M3 Sapphires and three LTA amps, and I didn't pick up on anything disastrous. Perhaps I wasn't listening for something to which I should have been paying attention.

sunnydaze

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #3 on: 14 Aug 2021, 05:25 pm »
I tried the Spatials and the LTA gear and that was a disaster.


Hmmm...that sounds weird.    :scratch:

Hasn't the combo received numerous accolades by both owners and at shows as being sublimely synergistic?  Or am I mistaken?

Tomy2Tone

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #4 on: 14 Aug 2021, 05:29 pm »
“ I was not interested in the mult-box solutions and wanted a cleaner look one-box. Tommy had a 2 channel unit in a single box and I think it has Dayton posts versus the Toplines I ordered for the VTV.”

So you got the standard version I’m assuming?


https://www.cherryamp.com/2-to-5-channel-amp

Tyson

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #5 on: 14 Aug 2021, 05:40 pm »
I've been saying it for years - the DAC amps are the best digital amps I've ever heard.  Very nice work, Tommy.

RPM123

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Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #6 on: 14 Aug 2021, 06:22 pm »
In order to provide a frame of reference for your opinion of the Cherry amps, could you clarify in what way you felt that "the Spatials and LTA gear" were a disaster? Which Spatial Audio Labs speakers with which LTA amp or preamp, and what were the disastrous aspects?

I don't have Spatial loudspeakers or an LTA amp, but I spent an afternoon listening to the M3 Sapphires and three LTA amps, and I didn't pick up on anything disastrous. Perhaps I wasn't listening for something to which I should have been paying attention.

+1.

I listened to Spatial speakers and a LTA amp (can't recall which ones) a couple of years ago at a HiFi show in Oakland, CA and I came away very impressed!

mr_bill

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #7 on: 14 Aug 2021, 07:15 pm »
BRM

Is the 2 cherry different than number 15 and 16 on your list?

You have a really nice system with the Alexas.

Big Red Machine

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #8 on: 14 Aug 2021, 08:23 pm »
BRM

Is the 2 cherry different than number 15 and 16 on your list?

You have a really nice system with the Alexas.

The 2 Cherry is a Class D. The previous Cherries were conventional amps. Heavy iron. :wink:

Big Red Machine

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #9 on: 14 Aug 2021, 08:25 pm »
“ I was not interested in the mult-box solutions and wanted a cleaner look one-box. Tommy had a 2 channel unit in a single box and I think it has Dayton posts versus the Toplines I ordered for the VTV.”

So you got the standard version I’m assuming?


https://www.cherryamp.com/2-to-5-channel-amp

Yes. It does have his solid copper rods inside. Something I would do.

Big Red Machine

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #10 on: 14 Aug 2021, 08:29 pm »

Hmmm...that sounds weird.    :scratch:

Hasn't the combo received numerous accolades by both owners and at shows as being sublimely synergistic?  Or am I mistaken?

Maybe for you guys, but not for me. Pretty much my takeaway was the stand-up bass is the best I ever heard. Other than that the amp was too wimpy to provide a fulfilling sound and the speakers were not my cup of tea. It's all personal preference and so many have stated what you did that this is a great combo, so I tried it. An expensive lesson.

newzooreview

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Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #11 on: 14 Aug 2021, 09:41 pm »
Maybe for you guys, but not for me. Pretty much my takeaway was the stand-up bass is the best I ever heard. Other than that the amp was too wimpy to provide a fulfilling sound and the speakers were not my cup of tea. It's all personal preference and so many have stated what you did that this is a great combo, so I tried it. An expensive lesson.

Fair enough.

I own a pair of Harbeth 30.1 Anniversary speakers with REL T9i subwoofers. I listened to the M3 Sapphires at LTA, so it's likely that they had the Sapphires dialed in. Their listening room has a few panels propped up and a throw rug, but it's a make-do space at the front of their workspace.

I expected that in comparison to the Harbeths that I'm familiar with, the Sapphires + LTA (Ultralinear amp was my preference) would sound lacking in the palpable midrange that I'm used to but better in the bass. However, the combination sounded open and natural with excellent timbre and resolution. Bass was even and correct and integrated, and midrange and treble were not lacking at all compared to the Harbeths. In fact, the Hareths now sound boxy and colored in ways I hadn't previously recognized.

It sounds like smooth and "more real, more full, and more detailed" are the things you liked about the Cherry amp, which is interesting because those are things I liked about the Sapphires + LTA. There's no right answer, I suppose.

It seems from the Cherry website that they have demos they can loan out, so I suppose I could give them a try.

seikosha

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Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #12 on: 14 Aug 2021, 11:45 pm »
I too had heard the LTA and Spatials at LTA in Takoma Park.  It was a nice sounding setup.

TomS

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #13 on: 15 Aug 2021, 12:29 am »
The 2 Cherry is a Class D. The previous Cherries were conventional amps. Heavy iron. :wink:
The previous ones are also class D, they just have linear power supply in them. Ya, I told ya they would be good 8)

Oh, and the Bricasti MDx upgrade (with Cat5 ethernet input) is worth every penny too. I run ethernet right in, using Roon, and don't need anything else. Just do it. I've had a Cambridge CXN V2 with Modwright tube mod here for the past few weeks and while it is VERY good at its price point, it still doesn't have the magic of the M1SE. Great DAC!

jtwrace

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Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #14 on: 15 Aug 2021, 12:53 am »
Is this the amp you're referring to? 


https://www.cherryamp.com/cherry-megaschino-mk2


or


https://www.cherryamp.com/2-to-5-channel-amp


Very confusing nomenclature IMO.

TomS

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #15 on: 15 Aug 2021, 01:03 am »
Is this the amp you're referring to? 


https://www.cherryamp.com/cherry-megaschino-mk2


or


https://www.cherryamp.com/2-to-5-channel-amp


Very confusing nomenclature IMO.
2-cherry not mega

Rocket

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #16 on: 15 Aug 2021, 01:31 am »
Hey Pete,

Your one sick audiophile  :duh:.

I thought I was bad but your on another level more committed than me. I bet this will not be the last amplifier you buy lol.

Thanks for the post.

Btw its all personal preference. I seem to like above all else good quality bass, transparency and a clean and dynamic sound in my system.

Cheers Rod

Big Red Machine

Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #17 on: 15 Aug 2021, 11:32 am »
The website nomenclature is a little confusing and there are more pages in the website you have to dig around to find. Eventually I became familiar and understood that the box I purchased would contain the amp boards and power supply board in the one package. As opposed to the multiple boxes which works for some folks.

Rod, I am firmly a box speaker aficionado although my run with electro-stats lasted from about 1990 to 1996. (Acoustat 3300's)

Whatever Tommy is continually doing to refine his designs is working for sure. Something has to be said for someone who endeavors to make something better instead of resting on his laurels and just repackaging circuits.

Here is a picture of what I bought btw:




Doublej

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Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #18 on: 15 Aug 2021, 12:27 pm »
Give it a year and you'll be itching to try a GaN based amplifier.

sumoking

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Re: Run, don't walk, to a Cherry amp
« Reply #19 on: 15 Aug 2021, 01:29 pm »
Give it a year and you'll be itching to try a GaN based amplifier.
Can you ground that?
What is that?