My take on silver TX 103

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Walter

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My take on silver TX 103
« on: 5 Jun 2003, 05:12 am »
Hi guys,
I think it is about time for me to post my impression on Silver 103. First of all, it is hard to evaluate a stepup without talking about my phono stage. My tube phono is K&K audio's kit, same as John Chapman's current phono stage except it has a beef up power supply. Dual choke and dual power supply board. For those who interest to know more about this kit, go to Audio Asylum home page and you will find K&K audio. It is a wonderful sounding phono.
I am sure many of you have read about John's initial review of the copper and silver 103. My impression is slightly different from John's.
First of all, about my system. I don't have an active preamp, I use TX102 TVC, copper version, tube power amp. The silver step-up winding is 10:1 which gives me 20db gain. K&K's mm stage has 45 db gain, so I am getting about 65 db gain. I use Denon 103, my arm is SME and TT is Orbe SE. All interconnect is 32 ga silver, speaker wire is home brew type silver foil. So you can say I have lots of silver in my system. My speaker is 88 db floor standing Royd RR2 (www.roydaudio.com). The other preamp on hand is YBA 1 alpha, SS pre comes with its own MM phono stage.
Last weekend, me and my audio buddy had spent whole day, swapping copper and silver, in and out my tube phono and YBA. The result is quite interesting. We both find silver work extremely with all tube system; Excellent transparency and very good microdynamic. Music is simply more palpable and smoother than copper. We both feel the lower frequency from silver is just as good as copper but simply cleaner. When we have the YBA with silver, then it is a different story, it still very clean but music becomes quite fatigue to listen. It simply just too "sharp". Once we switch back to copper, well, this combination becomes magic again. Good sounding and still maintain very nice transparency. It is very similar to the K&K phono and silver combo again. this is one area that really puzzle us. We just don't understand why the sound of tube phono and silver sound so close to YBA and copper stepup. May be this is what people says synergy. Next week, I am going to try the silver stepup on a Jadis tube pre and see what happen. John, can I borrow your copper stepup one more time?
I think the application of silver stepup is very system depending (which piece of equipment doesn't??) Copper is more forgiving in term of system matching. Like John Chapman says, it is safer to use and kind of like "plug and use", it will generate very good sound. If silver work in your system, you will be rewarded with extreme clarity and smooth sound.
My take, I bought the silver.

John Chapman

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My take on silver TX 103
« Reply #1 on: 5 Jun 2003, 08:09 pm »
Hello!

First - Thanks to Walter and his friend who I know spent quite a bit of time comparing the units.

I don't know what I'd add to Walter's description as I agree with his comments.  See my earlier post for a description of how my own testing went. In a nutshell I really liked what the silver was doing but I think it would fit only some systems and some tastes. If you like natural detail and your system is quite full sounding and a bit forgiving (not etched at all) then the silver TX103  might be a perfect fit  If the system has a tendency to be a bit lean or a bit overly detailed then the silver will put it over the top and not fit so well. In my current system and in a local fellows system I prefered copper. In both those systems the silver lacked a bit of body that the copper had - which was too bad because othewise the silvers were great! The silver does have in all cases a really great detail, clarity and definition that is quite addictive.

I had the oportunity to try the silver vs. copper TX103 in yet another system last weekend and in that system it was a very close call between silver and copper. They did not sound as different as they had in other testing and so again the copper (for less $) would have been my choice for that system. We did not have too much time to compare that day - too busy listenning and having fun!

We'll keep playing to get more of a database of how different systems compare with silver and copper TX103's and report back as we get more info!

Many Thanks!

John Chapman
www.bentaudio.com

Walter

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Quick follow up
« Reply #2 on: 12 Jun 2003, 06:55 pm »
This morning, I hook up my friend's Jadis DP60 preamp with my phono and silver stepup, plus tube power amp. The result is similar to what my friend and I anticipate. Silver does work very well with tube equipment. The midrange is very romantic and warm sounding, I think big part of it attribute to Jadis sound. It doesn't sound thin or harsh at all. Bass is a tad soft but the midrange is like honey. The transparency via the YBA 1/copper 103 combo or K&K phono/silver 103 straight to TVC simply more superior.
My next step is to try it on my horn/SET system.

John Chapman

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My take on silver TX 103
« Reply #3 on: 12 Jun 2003, 08:30 pm »
Hello!

Thanks again Walter for the continued testing and posting your findings. Jadis makes nice stuff. A local friend has some Jadis amps that sound great but I have not ever had a chance to listen to any of their pre-amps.

Thansk!

John