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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Location: GTA, ON, CA
rus1980 wrote:
Is anyone out there using their "Au Pre" preamplifier? I'm considering purchasing one... They've offered to let me trial one in my home if I pay for shiping. Sounds pretty reasonable to me! Again, cusrious if anyone else out there is using one...



I stopped by Triode Labs last week and dropped some tubes back off that Frank let me borrow.
He gave me an Au Pre to demo and I've had it hooked up to the 2A3 all weekend.

Nice build quality, very solid volume and selector controls. Has a built in phono stage (MM only). I had been running the 2A3 through my Wyred4Sound DAC 2 so there was a noticeable improvement with the Au Pre.

Take Frank up on the Au Pre trial. I'm leaning towards a purchase, I have to swap in my Dennis Had LP -1 pre amp in tomorrow and give each a listen.

As long as you don't mind the shipping hassle give it a try. I don't know what you're currently running, but for me it's a step up, and the customer service is second to none.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:11 pm 
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gascho wrote:
airdronian wrote:
gascho wrote:
Would love to know if an integrated like this would power my totem embers? Looking for a good Canadian match to get all the potential out of them I can. Very new to tube amps, sorry


I skimmed a 6 Moons review of this speaker, which was favourable but did not include any measurements. Checked the Totem site, which informs of an "easy" 8 ohms nominal impedance, with 88 db sensitivity. They also listed a minimum recommended power of 30 watts. This latter recommendation may not mean much; often manufacturers who are not catering to tube guys will list a figure like that because most every thing IS 30 watts or above.

A speaker does not necessarily require high sensitivity to perform well with a low powered tube amp, but it's impedance needs to be an easy load, the more consistent the better. That's one thing you do get with a Stereophile review, measurements. It will illustrate the impedance over the frequency spectrum and show you if there's any nasty dips. That's helpful.

Nothing beats an audition of course. I have no direct experience with Totem speakers, but comments I read on this site lead me to think an SS amp that delivers good current may be a better choice.

Any Totem owners with this (or similar model of speaker) have any hands on with low powered tube amps ? Personally I would be quite cautious with a Triode Lab amp paired with the Totems. Not due to a lack on either side, it's a compatibility concern.


Thank you for the insight! A demo would be a must. I've been poking around for information and found a good article on 'the first watt' which argued low powered tubes will bring out full sound from the first watt rather than having to turn the dial further and further in order to hear all the details. But then right after that I read an article about the 10 lies in hi fi which called it all bs along with bi wiring and break in time. A lot of strong opinions so its nice to hear from sources who aren't selling anything.

Here are those articles, interesting read

http://www.decware.com/newsite/paper110.htm

http://www.theaudiocritic.com/downloads/article_1.pdf


I think the "first watt" kind of outlook stems from a couple of things. That if the first watt isn't good (ie good sounding) then more of the same isn't going to give you an increase in quality. Louder yes.

And then if you are dealing with an amp like a single ended 2A3 you only have 2.5 or 3 watts commonly, then that first watt will be good, but you obviously have a real limit on the wattage available. So the speakers need to be able to manage reasonable levels with this amount of power. It's not for everyone. I don't consider this first watt concept a "lie".. The articles about so-called "lies" are just about attention getting.

So much listening can be done at 1 watt or less. But it totally depends on what you like and how you want to listen. One of our membership is Marc Mc, and in other posts he's mentioned that one of the things he likes in music reproduction is a sense of "scale", and if memory serves he will sometimes listen to symphonic works (correct me if I'm wrong). In this scenario, one of these amps is not going to serve the purpose. I am generalizing here. But I understand what he was saying about scale.

My single ended 6BQ5 hasn't been measured for power output. I think technically it can do 10 watts, but that is at 10% distortion according to tube specs. I consider it to have about 4 watts available reasonably cleanly. I'm totally subjective on this; it's not a commercially produced amp. I don't worry about the specs. It is what it is. I would not try a Totem with this. The Decware's and Triode Labs have better transformers installed which can make all the difference however.

So back to the Totem Element Embers... and Triode Labs amps... from what I see these are a very high quality speaker and my suggestion would be to get the amp that lets you realize all the quality... be it tube or SS. If you can do a trial of a Triode Labs, go for it, or another similar amp. I would be all over a Triode Labs amp if I were in the market, but am not at this time.

Again it all boils down on what and how you want to listen. And where you listen... and all the other details.... :lol:


Last edited by airdronian on Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:12 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
airdronian wrote:
gascho wrote:
Would love to know if an integrated like this would power my totem embers? Looking for a good Canadian match to get all the potential out of them I can. Very new to tube amps, sorry


I skimmed a 6 Moons review of this speaker, which was favourable but did not include any measurements. Checked the Totem site, which informs of an "easy" 8 ohms nominal impedance, with 88 db sensitivity. They also listed a minimum recommended power of 30 watts. This latter recommendation may not mean much; often manufacturers who are not catering to tube guys will list a figure like that because most every thing IS 30 watts or above.

A speaker does not necessarily require high sensitivity to perform well with a low powered tube amp, but it's impedance needs to be an easy load, the more consistent the better. That's one thing you do get with a Stereophile review, measurements. It will illustrate the impedance over the frequency spectrum and show you if there's any nasty dips. That's helpful.

Nothing beats an audition of course. I have no direct experience with Totem speakers, but comments I read on this site lead me to think an SS amp that delivers good current may be a better choice.

Any Totem owners with this (or similar model of speaker) have any hands on with low powered tube amps ? Personally I would be quite cautious with a Triode Lab amp paired with the Totems. Not due to a lack on either side, it's a compatibility concern.



Well said! 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:42 pm 
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I emailed Triode Labs tonight and got an email back about two hours later (not bad for a Sunday evening). He was very thorough in explaining their values as a company and how that translates into their products. As their website states they are engineers AND music lovers. In the end it came down to a few suggestions and bottom line of come to Scarborough to take some home and try them out for free. Nothing better than that! As others noted, excellent company to deal with.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:00 pm 
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gascho wrote:
I emailed Triode Labs tonight and got an email back about two hours later (not bad for a Sunday evening). He was very thorough in explaining their values as a company and how that translates into their products. As their website states they are engineers AND music lovers. In the end it came down to a few suggestions and bottom line of come to Scarborough to take some home and try them out for free. Nothing better than that! As others noted, excellent company to deal with.


Sweet !


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:32 pm 
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Thanks for this post - I like reading about CDN products.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:40 pm 
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First of all congrats TL on the brilliant review in 6moons - thanks to the OP for the post.
I can only echo the positive experiences of others in their dealings with Frank. Over the past few years we have had a few email exchanges and he proved himself to be patient, informative and most passionate about his craft. I have also had the good fortune of hearing his 7591 amp at a friends and was equally impressed.
TL had a few of their new el84s at SSI this year and they looked spectacular - real eye candy in those primary coloured chassis.
There are some pretty decent deals on the Tube De Force of their hardware which likely will get snapped up in a hurry given the strenght of the review (and long before I get my tax refund ... sigh).


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:11 pm 
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I just wanted to add a few things here as well. I know its late coming into the thread but thanks to google placed 5th lol . Anyway back to Triode Labs/ Finale audio. I have been totally thrilled about my find of the 300b based integrated. I picked one up used, also mine is the prototype they built the productions off it was build to take to Trade shows and give to the press. the current version has a smaller chassis by 6 " shorter, other then that its the same. very nice supper quiet if not silent. detailed very musical foot taping'ly good and I get great fast deep musical base for my speakers in my room that is large by volume 18' ceilings will do that, Living Voice Avatar 2 speakers at 94db easier 6 omh load. Over all a very satisfying musical Amp. many good reviews online on their equipment. I've also emailed them about their Phono sage and other options and they have always replied quickly and friendly. Frank seems to be a very nice chap.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Location: Delta, BC, CA
One day I would love to own the 829B.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:16 pm 
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I was a proud owner of their modest EL84 based amp from the Finale line.

All that I can say is that they are certainly a class act and their product the "real deal"...
I only regret one thing, selling it.

I am sure, at some point, we'll deal again.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:00 am 
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Well 4 years later and I'm still a fan of Triode Labs and Franks work.
I did end up getting the pre amp and moved up to the 2A3SE-PSDM, which is a beast of an amp.
Weighs about 60 lbs. Frank let me take it home for a few weeks, so I had a chance to see how it meshed with my own equipment and my room. It was a noticeable step in the right direction.
I'm looking forward to chatting with Frank at Taves this year and seeing what he's showcasing at this years event. Still haven't had a single issue with Triode Labs equipment.
http://www.triodelab.com/2a3-set/


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