Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps

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John Chapman

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Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« on: 31 Oct 2007, 10:29 pm »
Hello!

I am still pounding away at both the revised TAP pre-amp and the Step-ups here. Making some headway on both - the pre-amp in RCA only form will be shipping again by year end. I will post an update soon about it's final config and features, etc....

I took some time a week back to build the final TAP pre-amps using the S&B TVC modules I had on hand. These are just like the ones reviewed on 6 moons - same transformers and features exactly. These are the 6 input models. They will be a fine option for those wanting to mix XLR and RCA inputs / outputs - the revised TAP won't have that ability until well into next year......

Several were sold to folks on my 'keep me posted list' and I now have 2 of them not spoken for. The price would be $2600 per unit. They are burning in now and so will be able to ship early next week.

I also have some of my original TAP controller systems - the one with all the blue light bars on top of the controller. Funky looking thing but near impossible to build and ship so never was practical as a product! These have 3 inputs (2 rca + 1 XLR) and RCA and XLR outputs. MK II S&B trannies. For local pick-up only - 2 of them with copper TVC's at $750 each and 1 with silver TVC's at $1000.

That's it.

Thanks and Happy Halloween!

John


denjo

Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #1 on: 1 Nov 2007, 09:35 am »
Hi John

I think many existing Bent Audio TAP owners and would-be owners will be very interested in how the revised TAP differs from current ones .... so that is something we anxiously wait with baited breath! Also of interest will be whether you have been able to produce your own trannies to replace the S & B trannies. Do I hear the whisper of some good news in the offing?  aa

Best Regards
Dennis

John Chapman

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Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #2 on: 2 Nov 2007, 06:06 pm »
Hello!

Thanks for the question! I am holding off posting all the info until I pin down exactly what the new TAP feature set will include. The first model of the new TAP with be RCA connections only (using a custom version of Dave Slagles autofomer or alternately resistor based modules) - a ballanced version will follow but not until next spring. I know exactly what to do to make the bal version - it's just I REALLY want to clean up and finish the stuff I am in the middle of before adding to the 'to do' list!

Sonically it will be a crap shoot. Actually for many years the pre-amps I have made have added more in the area of features than in sonics. I think the new one is definitely in the same ball park as the prior units but I won't be waxing poetic about how wonderful it is. It's just not my nature to ever compare the sonics of my stuff to other gear.......

It will offer some cool features. One fairly big addition is a separate isolated and buffered subwoofer output - that will totally remove the sub cables and amp from the signal path - lots of confusion over the years on how to best connect a sub and this will clean that up. It will be VERY easy to swap attenuator modules to experiment with resistor vs autoformer modules or to add additional channels. Also each input will be selectable to either be 100% passive or have an active buffer stage in-line. You can switch via remote while you listen to decide which you like best for each input - it will remember the setting for each input separately. This will get rid of the 'can my source work with it?' stress!   RCA versions will run from under $1K to about $2K - depending on attenuator types and number of inputs. I am really trying to keep the final price 'accessable'.   

Guess I have said quite a lot about it.......


Thanks!

John





Clio09

Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #3 on: 3 Nov 2007, 11:58 am »
Hi John,

I've read over on Audiogon that the switchbox and attenuator modules will be separate units. Will this require an extra set of cables in the chain?

John Chapman

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Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #4 on: 3 Nov 2007, 02:05 pm »
Hello!

I guess some news is out there..... Yes and No. Yes they are separate modules ( the 'Bent Unit' is back) and no you don't need an additional interconnect. The modules plug right into the amp input. For single source systems you actually need one less interconnect. Back to the original TAP concept from many years ago - although I have learned a lot along the way so this is the TAP system I wish I'd built back then.

Must get to work and finish this stuff!

Thanks!

John

enzo

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Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #5 on: 6 Dec 2007, 11:13 pm »
John:
How does the new TAP compare sonically with the model you put out three years ago, which I heard and liked?

enzo

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Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #6 on: 7 Dec 2007, 02:25 am »
To be more specific regarding the request above... I think the model I heard back then was an all-copper Bent NOH.

Also, do you still offer an audition period?

John Chapman

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Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #7 on: 7 Dec 2007, 04:36 am »
Hello!

The TAP and the NOH were very similar sonically - basically the same signal path. As far as a trial I would be offering a return if they don't work out (always done that) and will again when I start shipping the new pre-amp. I am completing the input section / buffer design on the new TAP tomorrow - finally. Will be shipping early Q1 next year. I am at this point all out of the original TAP pre-amps.......

Many Thanks!

John

enzo

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Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #8 on: 7 Dec 2007, 05:17 am »
Thank you sir:

Any recommendations for ICs that won't unduly restrict dynamics? Low capacitance? IOW, what do you specifically use btwn source and pre and amp(s)?

denjo

Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #9 on: 13 Dec 2007, 06:08 pm »
Enzo

I use Belden 8241F for my interconnects and they do the job pretty well! Here is a link of an article written by Bill Whitlock where he mentions the 8241F as an example of low capacitance cables ideal for ICs. For ICs between pre and power, I use Belden 1800F.

http://wiring.svconline.com/ar/avinstall_designer_cables_critical/index.htm

Best Regards
Dennis

denjo

Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #10 on: 13 Dec 2007, 06:15 pm »
Hello!
I think the new one is definitely in the same ball park as the prior units but I won't be waxing poetic about how wonderful it is...

It will offer some cool features. One fairly big addition is a separate isolated and buffered subwoofer output - that will totally remove the sub cables and amp from the signal path - lots of confusion over the years on how to best connect a sub and this will clean that up. It will be VERY easy to swap attenuator modules to experiment with resistor vs autoformer modules or to add additional channels. Also each input will be selectable to either be 100% passive or have an active buffer stage in-line. You can switch via remote while you listen to decide which you like best for each input - it will remember the setting for each input separately. This will get rid of the 'can my source work with it?' stress!

John

Will existing TAP owners (with S & B transformers) be able to use some of these new features as an add on or as a mod upgrade? I like the idea of switching between passive and active to see what sounds best!

Best Regards
Dennis

John Chapman

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Re: Final S&B TVC based TAP Pre-amps
« Reply #11 on: 15 Dec 2007, 03:47 pm »
Hello!

The new unit's parts although similar are new and so it would mean swapping all the guts to make the change. This makes the change not make sense. I have never really felt that customers should need to 'upgrade' to new models as they come out. The sonics have never been improving that much along the way to warrant a change. Mostly the new models have progressively added new features so unless one or more of the new features jumps out as a must have I'd just stick with the unit you have. Unless your source is struggling with the TVC (not likely) then I still think all passive is best. The buffer in the new unit is really there to be a helper for sources not up to the task. If your primary listenning source really needs a gain stage to be happy an active pre-amp is likely the better bet than any passive.......


Thanjsk!

John