Convergent Audio Technology SL1 Renaissance Black Path Edition

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Tullman, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    While your new CAT is undoubtedly superb, you might want to consider upgrading your LP12...at least to a Radikal D and Cirkus bearing. I did exactly this...the increase in SQ is almost mind boggling!
     
    now25 likes this.
  2. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston MA
    My tubes are chosen and tested by Ken Stevens Himself for ultimate performance with his design. It’s not like I got them at GC.

    I don’t have an LP 12. My Avenger is tricked out.
     
    macster, SandAndGlass and Done A Ton like this.
  3. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Lol, that is what is stopping you from rolling in some NOS!
    The stock tubes are tested by Ken, and I am sure they are fine tubes...for stock units that are anticipated to be under warranty etc. That is exactly what I thought with my stock tubes...until I rolled in NOS...and never looked back. Unless you try, you will never know:wave:

    As to the Linn, that was responding to now25.
     
  4. Done A Ton

    Done A Ton Birdbrain

    Location:
    Rural Kansas
    Put that Linn Radikal D and Cirkus bearing on your Avenger, then it will be tricked out!

    I'm pretty sure Ken Stevens isn't getting his tubes at GC either. I think he used to source from Roger Modjeski, who probably forgets more about tubes by 8am than Kevin Deal will know in a lifetime.
     
  5. Done A Ton

    Done A Ton Birdbrain

    Location:
    Rural Kansas
    BTW, just from watching his You Tube videos, Kevin Deal seems like a straight shooter, with good ears, and a hell of a salesman.
     
  6. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I might try those tubes in the phono section some day.

    You might want to try a Vahalla 2 Phono cable for vast Improvement.
     
    DaveyF likes this.
  7. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I am not familiar with the tube compliment in your phono section, but I can say that my preamp is roughly the same value/price/category. I changed my phono section tubes (2 of them) to NOS tubes that were recommended by a quite knowledgeable AN owner . The difference was a noticeable improvement in almost all phases of sound. The best improvements for me were an increase in warmth and tone and also added texture to the sound of instruments and voices, resulting in a more lifelike reproduction.
     
    Tullman likes this.
  8. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Right now I am using a Nordost Tyr phono cable, it was a major upgrade over my prior Cardas phono cable. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Valhalla 2 would also be a nice upgrade...at a price.
     
  9. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Just like expensive NOS tubes come at a price. At least the cable will last for years..
     
    tmsorosk likes this.
  10. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Right, but I don’t doubt that the Nordost would make a difference and be beneficial, whereas you seem to doubt that the NOS tubes would.
     
  11. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Actually, I believe you. I have tried NOS Teles before. I have talked to Ken Stevens at length on this subject and have come to the same conclusion that the EH 6922 are great in the CAT
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. Done A Ton

    Done A Ton Birdbrain

    Location:
    Rural Kansas
    If the amp is voiced by the manufacturer using EH 6922 tubes, I don't see how substituting boutique NOS tubes would guarantee better sound. It might, it might not, right?
     
    Tullman and SandAndGlass like this.
  13. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston MA
    This quote is from the Upscale Audio Website written by Kevin Deal. Remember Upscale is one of the few reputable dealers that also sell the mega expensive NOS types.
    "ELECTRO HARMONIX 6922
    This was boxed a number of ways. They currently come in Electro Harmonix boxes, but we've also had them branded Sovtek, or with the original military markings calling them a 6H23. What counts is the sound, which is excellent. They are slightly relaxed... just a smidge warmer than the Type 3. If you have a Sonic Frontiers or ARC they will help you have a more palpable midrange. Will also alleviate some of that harshness found in some of those 90's vintage Sovteks with the silverish plates.

    This tube and the 6922 / 6H23 Type 3 are the only 6922 tubes we recommend using in Audible Illusions, CAT, and other troublesome preamps. Except the Matsushita 7DJ8 / PCC88 on our website. While I have them I suggest the Matsushita. So organic you'll want to grow pot. Do a search under PCC88 or look in the 6922 category and it comes up. The Matsushita PCC88 is the greatest find I have made in years.

    So, let's see what we've learned. Russian 6922 Type 2 are warm, Type 3 are more vivid, and Matsushita PCC88 make you want to break out a bong pipe. You decide."
     
  14. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Kevin Deal suggested a few NOS tubes to use in my CAT. Among them were the Mullard CV4003's and the NOS GE 12AX7 long plates ( unobtanium these days). Both were excellent recommendations and easily superior to the stock tubes. Today, I utilize Siemens NOS tubes in the line section...again, easily superior to the stock tubes.
    Generally, I have found EH tubes to be a little veiled and shut down compared to the various NOS tubes out there, YMMV.


    @Done A Ton Unless Tullman tries some NOS tubes, he will never know what he is missing. IME, the results are easily heard and totally beneficial.
     
  15. tmsorosk

    tmsorosk MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Thats the way I look at good cables too, and they can be moved to a new component when ready.
     
    Tullman likes this.
  16. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Ok, I believe you are getting excellent results with those tubes and thanks for the suggestions. I think you should try ESP II power cable with your CAT and power amp. Also put a Symposium Ultra Platform under the CAT power supply and Roller Blocks under the preamp itself. I already mentioned Nordost Vahalla cabling. You don’t know what you’re missing.
     
    DaveyF likes this.
  17. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    LOL. all good suggestions. I actually have a set of Harmonix footers under the preamp, they replaced a set of Roller Blocks that a friend had lent to me. The Harmonix improve the sound even further. Under the power supply, I think either a Ultra platform or again Harmonix would be good. As to power cords, funny you say ESP 11, as i tried that cord on my power amp...and it just didn't gel like the Art Audio SE-1's with the Furutech's. All of your suggestions are worthy, have you done any of this yourself? Nonetheless, until you roll some NOS tubes...it's actually you who doesn't really know what you are missing..:idea:
     
  18. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston MA
    ESP Reference II cable comes with Furutech plugs. I have tried NOS tubes (telefunkens) sounded great but didn’t last too long and costly. I don’t think they sounded better than what I have now. So, I do know what I’m missing. You need to look into a set of Triphazer X500,s between your amp and preamp. Strange product for sure but the results are stunning.
     
  19. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Wonder why your Tele’s didn’t last that long? My NOS tubes have had no problem with tube life...and certainly no worse than the stock tubes. Maybe the Teles you were using were down on their life cycle when you acquired them, this is not an uncommon thing unfortunately with NOS tubes. Depending on the vendor, but some are selling tubes that really shouldn’t be on the market.
    Usually a conversation with Kevin Deal can result in a very good choice for your preamp....and one that should last for several years.
     
    Tullman likes this.
  20. now25

    now25 Active Member

    Location:
    Brunei
    I had the Cirkus bearing installed too. I'm sure the Radikal will be a big improvement. Perhaps later....
     
    DaveyF likes this.
  21. daveswayze

    daveswayze Active Member

    Location:
    FRANCE
    hi , i am new on this forum. Maybe you could help me . i live in Europe and it s more difficult to find CAT 's retailer.
    I owned a cat preamp ultimate which i sold 3 years ago . I would like a buy a more recent preamp , probably a black path legend . Do you think the old CAT with black path 's upgrade have same sound of original black path preamps?
    i need for my new preamp an AV bypass , ideally with symmetric connection to avoid hum noise . I had this problem with an old HT krell preamp and it was very annoying Do you think it is possible to get it from CAT on a 2nd hand unit.
    Do you know how to convert a 110v unit to 220v? switch inside? How to contact CAT or Ken Stevens , they don't have website.
    Last question , do you think on this model the AV by pass is on the xlr tape in and out on the xlr out?
    Regards
    [​IMG][/url][/IMG] [​IMG]
     
    now25 likes this.
  22. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I think you will experience a big sonic improvement with the all black path Legend. I would think that CAT could customize the preamp to your needs. Contact Ken Stevens CATamps@aol.com
     
    DaveyF and now25 like this.
  23. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    So that there is no confusion, I believe that the latest models of the CAT preamp are called the CAT Legend BPX and the CAT Renaissance BPX...the prior models were called BPA.
     
  24. now25

    now25 Active Member

    Location:
    Brunei
    I would suggest buying from the UK or German distributor fro your CAT pre amp as there no switch for 110v to 220V. I believe the UK dealer is

    CAT Legend BPX Pre amplifier

    The German dealer was Bold High End but the website does not work now.

    If your humming comes from ground loop issues then the problem can be solved using this

    https://www.thomann.de/gb/ebtech_by_morley_hum_eliminator_2.htm

    I had humming problems when I connected both XLR (from AV pre amp) and RCA from my previous CAT pre amp to my Bryston 7B3 power amps at the same time. This device eliminated the hum.
    My SL-1 Renaissance BPX is 240V/50hz from CAT themselves. With the BPX the 46 step volume (instead of 23 step) comes as standard which is a lot more practical. As DaveyF mentioned currently there are only 2 models of CAT pre amps, SL-1 Renaissance BPX or Legend BPX.
    For AV bypass and XLR connectors you can get them installed from CAT as advised by Tullman.
     
    DaveyF and Tullman like this.
  25. daveswayze

    daveswayze Active Member

    Location:
    FRANCE
    it isn't Renaissance BPA et legend BPX? this is what i saw on audio reference website
    the price of the new models are very high... i didn't compare the models but don't you think a 2nd hand black path legend preamp could be better than a renaissance BPA?
     

Share This Page