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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:33 pm 
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Location: Montréal, QC, CA
noiliew wrote:
I have the LM-219IA thanks to Richard and his review. I purchased the amp from China off Aliexpress. The transaction was smooth.
The seller asked if I wanted to convert to 120V but said no. I remember what Richard said about the transformer being one of the most important aspect of a tube amp. I didn't want them to replace the OEM with some cheap one. I asked him to send a step down transformer instead.
One thing I would recommend is that if you gonna buy from China, make sure you add the cost of running a dedicated 220V line. This is a must for this amp to see its full potential.
The difference is night and day. The bass is huge and tight. I am still amaze of the bass from this amp even after 2 years of ownership. The high and the midrange opens up.
This is one amazing tube amp.
As for the heat. Yes, it runs hot. I am Northern Sask. and in the summer time, some days I just can't run it even with the windows open. Would I sell it because of the heat? NO way.


I was looking to buy the LM-219IA from China, but was'nt sur about power. Does it work well on 220v 60hz ?


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:45 pm 
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Location: La Loche, SK, CA
Louis Brunet wrote:
noiliew wrote:
I have the LM-219IA thanks to Richard and his review. I purchased the amp from China off Aliexpress. The transaction was smooth.
The seller asked if I wanted to convert to 120V but said no. I remember what Richard said about the transformer being one of the most important aspect of a tube amp. I didn't want them to replace the OEM with some cheap one. I asked him to send a step down transformer instead.
One thing I would recommend is that if you gonna buy from China, make sure you add the cost of running a dedicated 220V line. This is a must for this amp to see its full potential.
The difference is night and day. The bass is huge and tight. I am still amaze of the bass from this amp even after 2 years of ownership. The high and the midrange opens up.
This is one amazing tube amp.
As for the heat. Yes, it runs hot. I am Northern Sask. and in the summer time, some days I just can't run it even with the windows open. Would I sell it because of the heat? NO way.


I was looking to buy the LM-219IA from China, but was'nt sur about power. Does it work well on 220v 60hz ?

Louis, I have no problem using it with 208v in my house. I have a 3 phase power coming into my house. On a single phase power, you would get 220v.
I was using a step up transformer before running a dedicated line. Don't use a step up transformer!! You will not hear what the LM219 is capable of. With a dedicated 208v line, the bass took a huge jump. The background is darker and the instrument separation way better. Everything improved with the dedicated line.

Sent from my SM-N920W8 using Tapatalk


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:25 am 
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Location: Rockwood, ON, CA
There is a warning on the Line Magnetic website about unauthorized sales of their products which are of dubious origin and possibly counterfeit. They list sellers to avoid. One should check it out before making a direct purchase from China.

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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:38 am 
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
I really want to try out this amp in my setup but the only dealers are way out east.

Is there anything more mainstream that is similar to this amp?


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:28 am 
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Location: St. John's, NL, CA
Integrated amps based on the 845 tube? Sure, there's lots, including this Canadian beauty:
http://www.enjoythemusic.com/superiorau ... _845se.htm

Melody makes a good one too, as does Sophia. If you want to spend a lot there's a beauty by MasterSound. That's off the top of my head before I rush out the door. I'm sure others will be able to fill in the gaps.


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:08 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Similar to LM is Opera Consonance. You can get through Grant Fidelity - I believe they are authorised distributor. They distribute PSVANE tubes. Based in Calgary.

The Opera Consonance Cyber 211/845 looks very interesting. You can order it as either 211 or 845 tubes. Massive build quality and highly reviewed by several reviewers. Opera Consonance is a very reputable Chinese Audio manufacturer. If is less risky than buying LM from China/HK on grey market and much cheaper than buying retail in NA. Added bonus is they ship NA 110V. But that LM-503 sure is a beauty...decision decision!!

http://shop.grantfidelity.com/consonanc ... -pair.html


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:50 pm 
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There is no warranty on Opera through Grant Fidelity - they basically just order it from you. Read the fine print.

LM in Canada you get a warranty. Yes you pay a premium for buying LM or other Chinese amps with a warranty.

There are other brands that are good too like Prima Luna, Audio Space, Triode Labs and Antique Sound Labs that are not too expensive and have long solid reputations.

And Audio Note (just for Mod Beat) is coming out with a 27 watt $2,000 integrated amp and later several other versions including 65 watt versions. They have DACs and remotes and use better C-Core transformers. They have sold out their entire first batch so it might be a few months away. The amp is called the Cobra.

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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:54 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Richard Austen wrote:
The Line Magnetic amps have little trouble driving the ATC SCM 100s which is generally known to be a difficult to drive speaker (so is the KEF LS-50 for that matter). You can read my review of the LM 219IA here http://www.dagogo.com/line-magnetic-219 ... ier-review


Richard,

A very well-written review. Thank you for it.

One point about which I'm unclear: what exactly do you mean by "have little trouble driving the ATC SCM100s"?

In the review you say that the 219IA driving the ATCs to high levels is so satisfying that it leads one wonder why anyone would need more than the 24 Wpc the LM amp delivers. Not sure if you compared it at that time to an amp that ATC might use, but in any case it was, for me, an arresting comment.

I'm thinking of two things, roughly quality and quantity: how well the amp helps the system reproduce the recording, and what output it can achieve in what sized room without compromising that quality.

So any idea of what you mean by "having little trouble driving" and "high levels" would be most helpful!

My speakers are well over 100 dB sensitivity, but, so far, the more power the better they sound—even at low levels—and I have 18,000 cu.ft. to fill with sound.

Cheers,

Joel.


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:33 am 
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Your idea of high level and mine may be different.

So here is my quick and dirty on this. Some systems perform well at moderate levels meaning you can listen to music and hear everything that is on offer. Other systems at the same levels require you to turn the volume UP to make things out. I am sure most people have experienced systems where people say something like the following "this speaker needs power to come alive."

And Peter Qvortrup and Jack Roberts and I would say - that's because the system lacks a helluva lot of resolution. If it needs to be cranked to make things out - you have a problem. Either the speaker or the amp - usually the amp - usually SS amps and usually SS amps that have high negative feedback.

The advantage of SET amplifiers is that they have the lowest distortion at the lowest levels - which is why IME A good SET amplifier even on rather terribly matched on paper speakers have sounded far clearer and cleaner at normal listening levels. And since this is the case they don't need to be played as loud as the SS A/B lack of resolution amplifiers.

I live in Hong Kong and the dealer room isn't massive so it doesn't take a lot of effort for the 219IA to output high levels in a relatively small space. The amplifier can also double it's output power for extended duration. SET amps are also linear and exhibit soft clipping second harmonic distortion which is easier on the ears. This is why SET amps (and PP tube amps) are often said to sound like SS amps at three times the power. Of course they are NOT equal to a SS amp at three times the power - they are just "perceived" to equal SS at 3 times the power.

You still can't get away from power - in a bigger room the 219IA isn't going to work - big power is more likely to be necessary. Their active models for example - though I have not been impressed with them as much - it depends on the sound you're after - crushing bass slam that has not reality in real music - guuush guush gussh bass - well fine - buy a 1000 watt SS amp.

My argument on this has always been - SS watts are dirt cheap - you can buy a Rotel RB 1090 second hand for maybe $1000CAD and it is capable of 2825 watts into 1 ohm. Buy two and run them as monoblocks.

My bet is though that the 219IA or something like it when you play the likes of Eva Cassidy is going to sound a lot better - whether it's the ATC 100 or Quad 2905s, or Magnepans, or B&W 801s. I've tried low watt tubes and high watt SS on all of them. Why not just buy both - you can have your cake and eat it too. The 219IA will play to high levels - but if you want "extreme" levels or "ridiculous" levels (as in Spaceballs) then get the kilowatter. :lol: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:54 am 
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Location: St-Leonard, QC, CA
Richard,

since you're in Hong Kong, got any experience with YS Audio? Their low cost preamp got good review long time ago, but I more interested by their new amplifier with Hashimoto irons, specially 2A3 and 300B.

http://www.ys-audio.com/ys-audio_eng.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:02 am 
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Just to be a little more precise about the warranty on Opera Consonance products. If you order them drop shipped, according to the Grant Fidelity web site, they come with a one year warranty on parts, a 90 day warranty on tubes, but no warranty on any labour required. Here's the way the web site puts it:

"All amps are thoroughly tested before shipping and Consonance factory one year parts warranty (not including tubes which is 90 days warranty) in place for original owner. No labor warranty in North America included in the drop shipping price. Schematics will be provided to buyer for future service with your own choice of tube amp repair technician."


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Shogun wrote:
Richard,

since you're in Hong Kong, got any experience with YS Audio? Their low cost preamp got good review long time ago, but I more interested by their new amplifier with Hashimoto irons, specially 2A3 and 300B.

http://www.ys-audio.com/ys-audio_eng.htm


No I have experience with a SS amp maker going by the same or very similar name and one of the finest SS systems I have heard, but at ungodly prices. $500kUS power amps that sort of thing.

-- 15 Jan 2017 23:26 --

EL34 wrote:
Just to be a little more precise about the warranty on Opera Consonance products. If you order them drop shipped, according to the Grant Fidelity web site, they come with a one year warranty on parts, a 90 day warranty on tubes, but no warranty on any labour required. Here's the way the web site puts it:

"All amps are thoroughly tested before shipping and Consonance factory one year parts warranty (not including tubes which is 90 days warranty) in place for original owner. No labor warranty in North America included in the drop shipping price. Schematics will be provided to buyer for future service with your own choice of tube amp repair technician."


That's a bit better but labour is the most expensive part of the repair. It's tough to buy from a company that basically pulled out of North America - even GF is sort of only a quasi-dealer basically only serving as an order taker. And how does one audition before they buy?

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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:33 pm 
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Does anyone have any an idea why Opera Consonance stopped using distributors in NA for their product? Was it solely a money issue, or something else? I can't imagine they'll make much money from the NA market without a more robust support system. They make good products, and should be better represented.


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:54 am 
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The only point is if somebody was contemplating ordering a LM from oversea on the gray market - which would also carry no warranty or ANY after sale support plus the high risk of ordering from somewhat questionable vendors who want wire payment not PayPal, than they may consider purchase from Grant Fidelity for similar type amp. Obviously, one can purchase LM from authorized NA dealer/distributor network and be assured of full after sale warranty support. I am sure LM dealer/distributor will not touch gray market 220v LM products w a ten foot pole.


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 Post subject: Re: Line Magnetic 518-IA
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:37 am 
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EL34 wrote:
Does anyone have any an idea why Opera Consonance stopped using distributors in NA for their product? Was it solely a money issue, or something else? I can't imagine they'll make much money from the NA market without a more robust support system. They make good products, and should be better represented.


Before I bought my Line Magnetic amp I e-mailed Opera for a review of their 845 separates. If I liked them I was going to buy them. I wanted separates not an integrated - even though I liked the 219IA.

But I was told that they were no longer pursuing the North American market and thus an English review was not something they were interested in. I've liked some of the products I've heard from them including the droplet way back in the day. it's a bit of a shame since I get the sense that it is one of the best Chinese brands. I circled back to the 219IA when I found it could be used as a power amp. So separates! LM now has monoblock 845s too but considerably more expensive than Opera.

I get a lot of e-mails about products and I have to say that people really should consider not just sound - sound is important but let's face it most of these GOOD tube amp makers sound good. You really should look into how you will get it serviced - LM breaks down and so does consonance and Einstein and Shindo and Bryston and Audio Note and Nagra and ARC etc.

So you really should be looking into - what happens when it breaks. Dealing with companies in China - with suspect grey market issues - means they won't service the stuff. Do you live near a dealer that will or has the ability to fix things properly?

I live in HK where tube amps are everywhere and people can fix them. Soundhounds in Victoria near where I lived in Canada can literally fix "everything" from every maker. But I advised people when they are considering buying LM or ARC blind - sure I may like the sound of LM better - but if your ONLY dealer anywhere near you carries ARC - you should probably go with ARC. First if it breaks they can fix it. If LM breaks you are shipping 50kg amps across the country. And if you have not heard the product (buying blind) then chances are ARC will sound fine since you're not comparing it to anything. Further - factor in resale value - if you don;t like ARC - it has a big name you can re-sell it.

Obscure brands like Opera Consonance or Line Magnetic or whatever - well it's probably going to be tougher to get rid of it and you will probably lose more money on it being Chinese made. (unfair as that may be). Further, established companies are less likely to leave. Look at Opera and Cayin - they were fairly big in North America and largely gone now.

So if you buy something today - will it be around in 10 years? ARC and Rogue Audio probably will be - but wha about Raven Audio? Maybe maybe not. Some stuff is the talk of the town for a few months and then disappears. nOrh speakers anyone?

And while I am sort of in the hyperbole business - I could happily live with a whole slew of amplifiers. I prefer SET and tubes but I could be quite happy with 2A3s and 211s and 845s and 45s and parallel 300Bs from a a whole host of manufacturers. But I follow my own advice - I want to be sure the **** can be serviced, I want something that if I sell - I can actually sell it and not lose 4/5ths of the value. I want it to sound good too of course - ideally I'd also like it to look great.

I want the Droplet CD player but when I look at all the "surrounding factors" I will probably wind up paying double for the British CD player that uses the same/better transport mechanism. It looks dull and costs double - but 5 years from now I'll be able to sell it for double (over the Chinese transport) and if I need parts - I will be able to get them (because the Brit maker I know bought a whole slew of back-ups - most companies do not buy or build replacements beyond the warranty) and get it repaired. Can I be sure of this buying from Opera or other Chinese companies given their overall track record in the west? Maybe but then why take a maybe versus a sure thing?

It's why I wasn't a big fan of car brands with less representations. My Friend's dad had a Volvo and needed to replace the plastic that goes around a headlight - $800 for the part that on a Honda would probably be $35. And Honda could replace it that day. The Volvo had a 2 month wait list. Sure the Volvo might be a better car (though the Lemon_Aid might have something to say about that) but some things are just not worth the hassle. Going with the second choice is not a sin - maybe it will cause you less aggravation.

I can tell you if I were going to go SS - I would REALLY want to like the Brystons - I would really be giving the best opportunity to shine that I possibly could. The first choice REALLY has to sound leagues better - if it's only slightly better - thanks I will take the 20 year warranty - solid resale and GREAT customer service over the PIA esoteric brand that might be belly up in two years.

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