Audio Note UK Ongaku Kensei 211 valve Single Ended Triode balanced amplifier now up & running!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. showtaper

    showtaper Concert Hoarding Bastard

    I'm sure there are plenty of forum members in the area that would be happy to help with
    the bedding process....... :D
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Claus Cheng sent me this German review of both the Ongaku and the Jinro integrated (which I still have here and still love; my Copper Baby). Even with Google translating, I can relate! Fidelity magazine says:

    "Audio Note UK Ongaku also subtly represents the smallest information fantastically and integrates with a perfect, fearless dynamism. Good God, this is actually the richest soundstage that I have on this side of live ever experienced."

    https://www.fidelity-magazin.de/2015/06/19/audio-note-ongakujinro/
     
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  3. triple

    triple Forum Resident

    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Wonderful description. Claus himself couldn't have written it better. ;)
     
  4. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Dang...that's really nice!!
    What are you noticing most/different coming out of the AN speakers?
     
  5. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC In Memoriam

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I think a whole new thread could me started about this topic. Of course, arguments would ensue, because there are three camps: 1) "Break-in cannot possibly make a difference", or 2) "Play a FM tuner or CD on repeat, to break in equipment ASAP", or 3) "Just enjoy the equipment, let it break in naturally, listening over time, and experience the gradual process of sounding better-and-better".

    Camp 2 particularly doesn't make sense to me with cartridges and tube equipment, because I don't want to use-up some life span just because I am in a hurry to hear my equipment sound its best. That is like being in a hurry to experience the climax, before enjoying the development (I am referring to enjoyment of a movie, book or symphony). Or, "Wham-bam-thank-you-Ma'am", as David Bowie sang.

    But I know some people put their automatic turntable on repeat, for days, to break in their new cartridge or phono stage.
     
  6. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC In Memoriam

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I visited with Steve on Friday to hear the Ongaku Kensai. I felt it is a little unfair (or better said, not constructive) to make sonic comments yet, because it presents some sonic characteristics that suggest it is not broken-in yet, such as a forward and flat soundstage, and more aggressive upper mid-range than I would expect (possibly due to the GE 211's). And we need to let it play for at least a few hours continuous on-time, before making any decisions or statements. During just 3 hours of playing music, we could hear it improving, getting more dynamic and providing smoother highs. Already, it has remarkably extended and defined bass, and provides subtle details galore across the entire frequency range. For example, there are some very quiet bongos in the Gerry Rafferty song that Steve played, I mean very low level compared to everything else going on in the song, but, wow, they sounded just like natural bongos. They were barely there, but they were obviously there at the same time, and very real sounding.

    We only played music for about 3 hours, and then it was time to have a late lunch and talk about other things. So the amps went off, and we went off to the rest of our day. I want to know how the amp sounds after 6 or 8 hours of continuous on time, an then again after 200 hours of total music play. Then, Steve will be ready to fully describe it.
     
  7. klonk

    klonk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Switzerland
    Thank you for your reply, your David Bowie quote made me laugh and I certainly a appreciate your point. Enjoy the music.
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    image.jpeg RCA Radiotron 211's from 1934 set to be installed tomorrow. Will take the edge off and make the top end sweeter. Looking forward to seeing those giant 83 year old tubes light up. Meanwhile, for my kids the best part of my listening room is the Lava Lamp.
     
  9. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    And with all those valves, you can even turn the central heating off!

    Great gear, enjoy!
     
    Steve Hoffman likes this.
  10. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Did you have those in your tube stash? Very nice.
     
  11. Otlset

    Otlset under western skies

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Those tubes were made the year Laurel and Hardy's "The Live Ghost" was made!

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    elrog.jpg Also will try the Elrog 211s. An amplifier of this sensitivity is greatly influenced by the sound of the tubes. Certain brands of 211 transmitting tubes have well known sonic characteristics.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  13. VinylRob

    VinylRob Forum Resident

    Those are a beautiful thing Steve.

    I imagine only in listening could they be even better...

    Nice to have the stash! A sound investment. :thumbsup:
     
  14. JCRW

    JCRW Forum Resident

    That amplifier looks amazing! I would imagine it was a two person job to lift and put into place. I'm snickering a bit at the Sgt. Pepper record in the background. ;) :D All the best with the new setup!
     
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    It was put there to make you snicker, yes!
     
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  16. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Seems like you have a good impression of what it sounds like already......
    Thanks
     
  17. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Two vastly different tube manufacturers - should be fun.
     
  18. shaizada

    shaizada Forum Resident

    That Audionote demo at Warrens place still makes me smile when I think about it.
    I am sure these new monoblocks will reach new sonic heights @Steve Hoffman.

    Warren is actually coming over to my house in 15 minutes or so with the Audio Note Ginrei 45 watt monoblocks. We will listen to them in my system.
    I am running EAR 890 as monoblocks (140 watts, Class A, Eight KT90 Tubes per monoblock). Speakers are the Marten Coltrane Tenors:

    [​IMG]

    Marten Coltrane Tenor at Sight+Sound Gallery | an Audiophile's Paradise

    Preamp is the EAR 912. Choice of 5 actively running turntables (Garrard 301, EAR Discmaster, Redpoint Model D, Luxman PD444) with 10 tonearm choices and 10 cartridges loaded :) Cartridges varying from $80 to $14,000....so a wide choice!!

    Should be a fun listening session! I bought a Kuzma Airline linear tracking tonearm that Warren has been meaning to listen to.
    We have some nice scotch lined up for the evening as well as well as a choice selection of vinyl.
     
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  19. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    It will be fascinating to see if 45 watts of Audio Note goodness can drive your Coltranes. Lovely speakers.
     
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Make sure he can drive home. Enjoy my babies!
     
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  21. Rob Hume

    Rob Hume Forum Resident

    Location:
    England.
    I agree with Warren and Steve regarding the GE 211's. PQ sold me a pair as an upgrade to the stock Psvane's that came with my Jinro. The GE's resolve a lot of detail and have a nice open sound but after extended listening proved to be less enjoyable to listen to due to a perceived 'thinner' sound, somewhat 'shrill'. The Pallas and Sootto IC's being less 'thick' than ISIS exposed this even more. I will be interested to find out how the Jinro performs feeding the SEC/Sig's arriving at the end of next week!
     
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Yes, slightly shrill, magnified by the total purity of the signal. Some people swear by the GE 211s but I'm not one of them. I do enjoy them though. They have a unique sound and look and are trustworthy.

    Sadly the RCA version is like quadruple the price if you can even find a pair.
     
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  23. Rob Hume

    Rob Hume Forum Resident

    Location:
    England.
    PQ has a huge stock of old new stock valves. It's his personal stash rather than AN owned. He'll have a few pairs locked away I'm sure :)
     
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I'm sure he has a wall full of them. I have 8 new old stock Radiotrons. Got them from Dennis Had at Cary Audio. Ringo Starr has two as well!
     
    Rob Hume likes this.
  25. shaizada

    shaizada Forum Resident

    Plugged them in last night before I went to bed for a quick listen.

    [​IMG]
     

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