May I show-off my new website, for those who know (and know of) me? Audio Note at The Audio Home..

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Warren Jarrett, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. triple

    triple Forum Resident

    Zagreb, Croatia
    Let's have a look at some SS amps with those terrible torroid transformers.

    Pass XA25:
    Pass Laboratories XA25

    Accuphase A 70:

    Ypsilon Phaethon:
    Mono and Stereo High-End Audio Magazine: Ypsilon Phaethon Integrated Amplifier review

    D'Agostino Momentum:
    A Factory Tour In The Enchanting Foothills Of Arizona - D'Agostino Master Audio Systems

    Bakoon AMP12-R:
    Bakoon AMP-12R - HIFi Time Review

    In a word - disgusting.
  2. Peter Qvortrup

    Peter Qvortrup Forum Resident

    Dear Billi,

    Good and fair comments, yes the web site is somewhat lacking and that is being addressed, although slowly as it falls on me mainly and I am rather busy doing other things (not the best excuse, but hey what can I say?), but just keeping the . You will never find prices of our products anywhere, we ban all authorized distributors and dealers from showing prices for two reasons, one, because it encourages price comparisons between markets and we actively discourage discounting, but mainly because it puts distributors in markets where the import tariffs are high at a massive disadvantage, because their retail prices will invariably be much higher due to a say 20% - 30% import duty and high local taxes when compared to say Hong Kong where there are hardly any taxes and customers do not consider when they compare prices. Secondly, in some (read here most) high tariff markets customs use a system which searches the internet for prices of products to see whether the invoices accompanying the shipment are artificially low to avoid the high tariffs and if they find price divergence then they charge duty on the highest price they can find, so having no official price lists available removes this problem, as does lodging official export prices with customs in each country via their embassies here in the UK.

    Sorry about the long winded reply to the pricing issue.

    You suggestion of a generic list of products and valves (tubes used in each is an excellent idea, I shall get to work on that asap :edthumbs: one problem with improving information on the web site is the fact that we generally run a more than full order book, if you look at the two pictures below taken from Rafe Arnott visiting article, Audio Note UK factory tours and Life in the fast lane with Peter Qvortrup you can see part assemblies of products everywhere in the factory, every single product is sold, we make almost nothing for stock, so it is not orders we are lacking quite the opposite, on some more specialized products the delivery time is approaching a year or more.

    The above picture shows the assembly floor, the one below shows products awaiting test in the test/QC department.

    I decided many years ago that advertising in the specialist audio press is a complete waste of money, words are cheap and there are lots of manufacturers that are far better at writing good script than designing good products, so we have focused on attending as many shows as man power allows and spend as much as possible on research and development as possible, on everything from resistors and capacitors, to core materials and solder, this strategy has yielded enormous improvements in the sound of all sorts of parts and material choices.

    Review lastly, we imagine this scenario and this happens quite often, we get asked for a product for review, everything we have is pre-sold, as always, so would you release a product for review or ship it to a customer/dealer who has waited for weeks or months' for it, and get paid in the process, I think most of us can guess the answer to that?

    Just in case you need information about our products email me directly, I generally answer my emails within a day unless I am traveling.

    Hope this helps (a little).
    Encore, EricMack, beowulf and 16 others like this.
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Thanks for your thoughts, Peter! Always nice to see you here.
  4. John Mee

    John Mee Active Member

    One alternative site is the Hungarian distributor:
    Audio Note Hungary
  5. John Mee

    John Mee Active Member

    Warren, after many years of listening to Audio Note systems at all levels, including others besides my own systems, I think my wife described it best- “Audio Note does such a good job of letting the music out”.
    marka and Warren Jarrett like this.
  6. marka

    marka Forum Resident

    Thanks for posting on the forum, and THANK YOU for your focus on the sound.

    I LOVE my Audio Note UK integrated OTO, and have enjoyed listening to setups at some of the audio shows, at Warren's Audio Home, and at Steve's place.

    I can't tell you how appreciative I am for these opportunities, as it caused me to abandon my previous long-planned audio route, in favor of Audio Note UK.

    I look forward to welcoming Audio Note speakers into my home in the not-too-distant (hopefully) future.
    Warren Jarrett likes this.
  7. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    You're not really proving your point to me. In the amps I have heard from your list I find better sound from amplifiers using EI transformers for half the price. The Momentum didn't at all impress me and the price IMO is a total laugh. Even the Pass amp is around $5k for around that you can get the Audio Note Empress monoblocks and that is no contest at all. I can't totally blame the transformers that is true - it is just one part but SETs and Tubes seem to use EI or C-Core transformers and well - tubes - as the two main differences I see. I would be curious to hear what a class A solid State amp like the Sugden A21a or the Pass Labs XA25 might sound like with an EI transformer.
    I like the Sugden and it uses a torroid so my comments are more general that absolute. But still - I wonder if an EI A21a would sound better than their current amp. EI takes up more space and costs more to do right - so that may explain the aversion.

    I kind of wish Audio Note would come out with a SE no feedback SS amp with a C-Core and those premium silver wires and Black Gates or Kassei caps. I suspect that Audio Note would run into the same problem - they'd make a SS amp they would have to charge $10k for at least to recoup some money and it would probably get slaughtered by their tube amps for half. The dealers are groaning at the thought of yet another product. Still I've waited 15 years to see a level minus 1 product :)
    Warren Jarrett likes this.
  8. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Fullerton, CA
    I have never heard anyone say that torroids don't sound as good in a power supply compared to EI. But it is interesting, and every system I have heard (so far) at shows using amps on your list did not keep my sonic interest at all. So, I tend to believe you, even though your list is full of VERY respected names.

    Mostly, what I have heard through these particular amplifiers was dynamically dead (simply not lively) compared to, well, Audio Note anyway. But I thought what accounted for this was the single-ended tube designs and the truly special transformers in AN equipment, both in the power supply and in the signal path.

    Torroids definitely save cost, so that has been a big motivating factor for their proliferation. And I suppose the hype about having less electromagnetic radiation is not significant?

    I wish either Pass or Ypsilon would make one prototype amplifier using transformers obtained from AN, and let me hear for myself how much difference just that change makes. I don't wish this enough to actually pay for the upgrade myself, but I would be willing to negotiate an agreement between the two companies to try it -- doubting, of course, that they would be interested.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  9. Salectric

    Salectric Forum Resident

    You can't judge transformer quality simply by comparing products from different companies. Too many variables. The only way to do it is to swap transformers in the same component making sure each one is fully bedded in before reaching conclusions. I have done that several times and for me it was no contest. The EI simply sounded better than the toroid. This was over 10 years ago so I don't recall the specific points of advantage and disadvantage, but suffice it to say it wasn't even close. By the way, this was not the result I wanted. Toroids are compact, run cool and don't have the mechanical buzzing that many EI units have. But sonics trump the other factors.

    Peter, good to see you here. Although I don't own any of your electronics I love my SPx speaker cable and Sogon interconnect. And I have your Silver Tantalum resistors throughout my system. They are the best sounding resistors I have ever tried.
    Warren Jarrett likes this.
  10. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Fullerton, CA
    Thank you for bringing-up this topic, of toroidal transformers vs. EI transformers. I am glad to know, now, to avoid toroids.
  11. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    I know Peter doesn't like torroids - if he did he'd be using them. But I am no engineer by any stretch so I sort of have to look for correlations - reviewer Sue Kraft (formerly of TAS) was on audio asylum and noted that she felt a vintage amp sounded better than current amps - and then I remembered that many vintage amps used EI transformers. I've read articles that claim EI is superior and others that say Toroidal is superior.

    I am not even sure it has to take up that much space. I have a Marantz slim receiver NR1504 that uses an EI transformer that offers 50 watts per channel for 5 channels and is really quiet - and Cheap. It's actually very respectable sound for such a thing at $350.


    So if this sort of device that is packed with a bunch of electronics in a tiny space doesn't have noise then I get the sense the noise issue is overstated.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. Kenneth73

    Kenneth73 Well-Known Member

    I recall clearly when I visited you the last time at the new factory. The amount of orders was insane. Walls upon walls was filled with gear.

    When im done with the last surgery next week and healed up. I will come over and harass you a bit. Mayeb even give you a hand with the website if you take me out for a STEAK dinner haha. Im not a rabbit Peter ;)
  13. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Fullerton, CA
    Another reminder to any member in Southern California, or visitor to the Los Angeles area. The Audio Home in Fullerton is OPEN HOUSE to anyone who would like to visit, and just listen. It is an easy 40 minute drive from downtown Los Angeles. The 60 freeway east to Fullerton Rd, and then south (Fullerton Rd. changes name to Harbor Blvd.) to my neighborhood.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
    marka likes this.
  14. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Fullerton, CA
    I think this thread has been as much about my personal life, as it is about my audio preferences and my business, The Audio Home. So for those who followed my history of medical challenges, I am back in the hospital for something totally new. Now I checked into emergency a few days ago, because over the past few months I have been getting very weak and unable to do much of anythimg but sleep and eat. It turns out that my red blood cell count got down to 4.4, with 10 to 15 being normal, 8 being minimum acceptable. I have a blood leak, somewhere in my GI tract, maybe not too serious to solve, or maybe something very serious. I'll know more by Tuesday. In the meantime, 2 blood transfusions a day have miraculously made all that weakness dissappear. I am feeling just fine now. So my challenge now is going to be a lot of tests, over the next few days, to determine why this problem.

    Here in the hospital, I am entertaining myself, just monitoring a few of my favorite forums, and expressing my opinions about audio, vintage Buicks, motorcycles, and SCUBA diving. for whoever cares to know what I think about my favorite hobbies.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Feel better, my friend. Keep us posted.
    SandAndGlass and marka like this.
  16. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Fullerton, CA
    Oh, I am sure I'll be fine. I am in good hands, and have at least 6 cat lives left to continue enjoying friends and music. Thanks.
    Sugar Man, Dubmart, IanL and 3 others like this.
  17. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Best wishes Warren. Please keep us updated.
  18. Monsieur Gadbois

    Monsieur Gadbois Forum Resident

    French Sûreté
    Hope it's nothing serious. All the best. :wave:
  19. marka

    marka Forum Resident

    Hang in there, Warren.

    We're sitting here listening to the great and great-sounding Lalo album that you recommended through my Oto in your honor.
  20. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I think even a healthy person feels like **** in a hospital- i know they are necessary, and I've had a few stints in those places myself, but man, it feels so good to get out of that atmosphere. Of course, I was sneaking out for smokes, and broke out of a few against doctor's orders, so I'm not exactly a model to follow on health care. Can they smuggle in live entertainment? :)
  21. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Fullerton, CA
    Well, there's the live, young and cute Filipina nurses to chat with. And luckily my cell phone is a Smart Phone. Plus my wife sneaks-in good food to me. So, I am reasonably entertained.
    Rolltide, SandAndGlass and marka like this.
  22. marka

    marka Forum Resident

    We *could* arrange for a hospital room jam session, ala Stan Getz in my friend's Uncle Murray's hospital room.
  23. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    Still, no one thinks that being in hospital is any sort of fun. All the best to you and I hope you get out of there immediately.
  24. lonelysea

    lonelysea Forum Crustacean

    Motorcycles? You never mentioned motorcycles before, Warren. Stay strong and we'll talk about them and other things.
  25. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Fullerton, CA
    I have 8 motorcycles, 7 are dirt/desert, 1 is a Kawasaki Concours 1400 - basically a big, comfortable, BUT FAST, touring bike, also used by the California Highway Patrol.
    timind likes this.

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