Strictly for fans of Audio Note UK (all things Audio Note UK) PART TWO

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 29, 2022.

  1. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    You are correct that the Dac2.1x Sig is a very rewarding sweet spot in the range and being capacitor coupled output as opposed to the 3.1 being transformer coupled, will have a different character to the overall sound. The 2.1 is a lot more forgiving of lesser quality feeds, either streaming or transport and that could lead to a happier end result.
    As for amplification, it simply comes down to a number of factors, total expenditure over a possible timeframe, room and space, you think the Tonmeister is big, go have a look at a Jinro, the sound you actually like, 300b vs 211. I would recommend you try to listen to the complete competing options and any decisions based on what you hear will be valid.
    jonwoody, JanJ, audio archon and 5 others like this.
  2. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    The Meishu and Jinro are both level 3 amps (as is M3, Empress monoblocks, etc) - do not assume the Jinro is a "better amp" just because it's more expensive - it is more expensive because it has to use much beefier transformers due to the power requirements and it simply costs considerably more money to make the amp.

    If you LIKE the sound of the Jinro more than the Meishu then by all means get it but you may very well like the sound of the Meishu more. 300B SET versus 211 SET or 2a3 or 45. Personally, I like both the Meishu Tonmeister and the Jinro - and to me they're both absolutely amazing sounding amplifiers.

    I look at it a bit differently in terms of budget. I would prefer to go with a higher end source and the Meishu than a lower end source and the Jinro.

    Example - If I had to choose between the following:
    TT2 Deluxe
    M2 Phono stage

    Meishu Phono Tonmeister (includes Phono Stage)
    TT3 turntable PSU1 Power Supply

    I'll choose the latter.

    I auditioned the Meishu Tonmeister yet again yesterday with the CD 4.1x one box player with the AN E/SPE HE speakers and it's just so good and not too crazy expensive - it justifies the price.

    I was thinking about separate Transport and DAC but the one box CD player does have its advantages and is a complete CD solution. I was thinking of trading in my DAC but then I figure I could just keep it for computer playback and the CD4.1 is dedicated to CD.

    I like the sound of the Meishu Tonmeister and in the future I will be comparing it to the P3 Tonmeister and M6 Phono. I am somewhat tempted to go with a Meishu Tonmesiter and use the extra money for better source - CD 4.1 or perhaps a PSU 3 for the table and perhaps get into MC. That's how good I think the Meishu Tonmeister is.
  3. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    Last year in June we did a HiFi show in Melbourne using a Tonmeister Silver, CD 4.1, TT3/PSU3/ E-SPe HE setup and it worked fantastic, no complaints and lots of holy sheet, that’s a 9 watt amp.

    This October spins around and another show to contemplate what we will use. This time we will go for the throat, 4242’s all the way, a killer 22 watts.

    Over the years I’ve used P4 Balanced, Vindicator Sil Sig, Conquer Sil Sig, Meishu Sil Sig, Ongaku Kensei, Oto SE Sig, Quest Silvers, Tonmeister Silver and maybe this year a Jinro. The Ongaku kept the punters firmly in their seats the longest so no surprise there.

    It would be nice if the field coils were available and maybe the belt drive CD transport. Yes I know I’m dreaming but it would be fun.
    jonwoody, NaturesDub, klonk and 2 others like this.
  4. J.Uotila

    J.Uotila Forum Resident

    Espoo, Finland
    Tonmeister and P4 Bal are both 300b amps. If you forget the effect of the pre amp on the sound, how do the P4 Bal and the Tonmeister differ in sound? And on the other hand, what kind of similarities do they have?

    ...and yes, I am kind of interested in P4 Balanced amplifiers, replacing the current Jinro Shochu:)
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2023
    jonwoody and NaturesDub like this.
  5. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Always a pleasure never a chore


    Was led to believe that speaker wire upgrades the speakers were supposed to be sent back to Austria?
  6. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    ‍Ben Jacoby has been an authorized AN technician for a long time, and I trust him.
  7. whaaat

    whaaat LT Fanatic

    Toronto, ON
    This seems to be the direction I’m heading in as well. Darn this AN Oto-to-Jinro pipeline! ;)
    BettisDad, dunkyboy and audio archon like this.
  8. ghasley

    ghasley Forum Resident

    Carbondale, CO
    My Audio Note evolution: Oto phono se sig to Tonmeister silver to my current Jinro…they are all exceptional in their own way. The move to Jinro…mic drop.
  9. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    I’d love a succinct description of the differences in sound going Tonmeister to Jinro, or is that a big ask? Is it “more of the same” or is there a significant change in character?

  10. klonk

    klonk Forum Resident


    You forgot their new DAC ;-)
    finn likes this.
  11. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    I think it would be a sideways step at best. Until you push the performance of the Jinro by using the Sootto mains and higher spec interconnects, you really don’t know the sound of what you have already.
    I have P4’s and they were a custom build with UHiB output transformers so a considerable step up over standard so I know the sound quite well. By all means audition the P4’s and hear what they bring to the party.
  12. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    As long as they name it the “Lambert“, in honour of the worlds largest glacier, I’ll be happy.
    NaturesDub and klonk like this.
  13. SetANE

    SetANE Forum Resident

    Sydney NSW
    Jinro quite different to Meishu if you ask me. it is the scale of the whole affair. i guess that is what the 211 delivers. enough power and control to actually have a crack at making a band sound like a band in your lounge room. i had a quite optimised pre Ton Meishu Silver. exquisite. lovely. golden tone. pretty. apparently Tonmeister is less pretty/tone-ish and more just great. i did briefly hear a Tonmeister. Really good. But didn't have Jinro scale to my ears. Also extra power very welcome! suddenly would hear other stuff happening in background to foreground stuff which my Meishu didn't do. big improvement to my ears. jinro not at all coarse and 4242 valves made massive difference compared to stock psvanes. also the pre-tubes make a huge difference. once tubes are done and it is warmed up it is formidable! meishu Ton SS with phono is an incredible money saver though compared to a 211 integrated with silver Tx plus a good phono stage. save your self $10k (US) in ICs alone!
    NaturesDub, R.T.Firefly, finn and 3 others like this.
  14. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    I concur with this way of termination.
    If going single wired with jumpers - as opposed to go bi-wired (which I prefer - more later), I believe this precise way to hook up is the most sonically rewarding.
    (As opposed to go hot in to the bass/mid driver with negative out from the tweeter)
    As I hear a better leading edge/ best sound balance that way. With leading edge being more universal and sound balance perhaps little more systen dependant.
    Single vs bi-wire:
    I fully see what the single wire community talks about, when mentioning more solidity/coherence to voices and instruments.
    But for me this comes at a price.
    The soundstage will suffer immensely to the point of sounding almost lifeless in comparison. Gone are the air and space around and in between musicians. Compromised as well is the rendition of the hall where you (on a sympathetic systen) are able to clearly hear the walls and type of room/ concert hall.
    It's as if sound stays far more inside the two boxes or around them - diminishing the entire size of the listening window.
    This whole discussuons outcome bares a kind of resemblances with choosing different stylus profiles. Where I see people opting for cartridges that sport spherical stylus profiles over the more sharply contured for precisely the same reasons of coherence, meat on the bones/ flesh and blood substance. But missing out on a lot of "air" and spatial clues.
    So you cannot eat and have you cake too.
    One must choose what one feel brings him or her closer to the real venue.
    As always YMMV
  15. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    In correlation with "To bi-wire or not to..."
    A little anecdote.
    I've known PQ since 1978, to become his customer in '80, then close friend to quickly work together with him - first in DK - later in Hove, UK
    Peter back in '81 being the importer of Snell Acoustic speaker line up, firstly received the Snell Type E and J with just a single pair of binding posts. To suddenly and without notice, being changed to having 2 pairs of binding posts with the next batch of speakers we received.
    This was entirely new to us, never seen before. It seems Peter Snell was the first company to incorporate bi-wiring option on his speakers - perhaps even it's inventor.
    After unpacking the first bi-wire pair Type Js we hooked them up as usual one single run of (then) Supra speaker with the little wire "jumpers" intact, and had a listen.
    I then proposed (after a little head scratching) (remember it was the very first seeing this) we both write differences - if any - down after having had a listen to the J's with the new fangled set of running two speaker wires to the same speaker jumpers removed.
    We both penned down about 10 differences between the two - with as much as 8 being conclusive. We both agreed on how much of an upgrade going bi-wire brought to the table. And the rest as they say is history...
  16. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

  17. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    My reply last - mixed up with OP's post
  18. ghasley

    ghasley Forum Resident

    Carbondale, CO
    Hi Duncan,

    First of all, I feel that I lack the proper skill or context to fairly describe the differences between the Tonmeister and the Jinro. With that said, it is highly likely that I did not have an optimal setup to fairly evaluate the Tonmeister. To begin this heretical post, I have Devore Orangutan speakers. I tried the E SPE-HE but they just didn’t do it for me in my room. Only two corners in the room, one drywall (boomy, tonally weird) the other corner drywall over poured concrete (quite dead in comparison). Never could get a balanced bass response….not the E’s fault but pulled out of the corner they sounded…like box speakers without much low end. Not the E’s fault, it’s my room.

    I ownd the Tonmeister Silver…. twice…I kept thinking I was doing something wrong (based on all the positive buzz) but I just never felt drawn into the music. To those seeking “that 300b sound” the Tonmeister is not that to my ears. Not by a longshot. Its not that I didn’t like it, it just didn’t float my boat. It didn’t sound special. I actually prefer the tone and texture of OTO SE Signature to the Tonmeister. I’m probably the only person ever to say that and I’m fully aware that I’m in the minority. Had the stock the 300b’s in one of my Tonmeisters and the Audio Note 300b’s in my second unit. I felt disappointed and as we all do from time to time, I began to question whether it was me, my room and whether or not I was capable of appreciating what I was hearing. But I had heard better sound in this room, with these speakers….with the OTO SE Signature. I came VERY close several times to just ordering an OTO SE Silver Signature and call it a day. But then, a dealer (Mike Kay-Audio Archon) who has become a friend made it possible for me to acquite a Jinro….

    The Jinro, to my ears, is in another zip code from the Tonmeister. Everyone is seeking something different, I get that…but if they are both Level 3 then they are like siblings in a normal family….my parents may have said they loved all three of us equally but it was clear to any objective person that they loved me more! I enjoyed the Jinro with its stock tubes, the upgraded Audio Note 4242’s are a clear improvement but I have had the good fortune to accumulate a nice collection of both GE and RCA NOS 211’s so I am presently running my Jinro with GE’s. There is this effortless tone and texture present. As we all know, Audio Note doesn’t sound “tubey” in the sense that most who haven’t experienced Audio Note think of when they think of tube amplification. The Jinro, in my opinion, sounds illuminated and alive. The tone and texture is remarkable, the dynamics sound natural in the way that live music sounds natural. Of course, everyone wants and desires different musical experiences, that’s why Peter Q and company make more than one amp. I dislike that the entry into this wonderful musical experience for me is a $30k plus retail ticket…but I hate it even more knowing there is the Tomei and the Ongaku offering more LOL.

    To those who love their Tonmeisters, its a certainty that I didn’t hear it at its best. There are far too many of you who have found happiness to make my opinion of the Tonmeister anything more than an anomoly, likely incorrect and an outlier. To those who haven’t heard the Jinro or the other 211 offerings from Audio Note, don’t do it…you will sell things you shouldn’t to make the purchase.
  19. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    On the subject of speaker positioning I can add a little advice on positioning the AN Type Ks (as well its forefather the Snell Type K)
    I've read complaints about them having perhaps not enough depth perspective.
    Their owners wanting for more.
    I'm of the opinion the K's are not to be toed in like the J and Es of crossing a few feet in front of the listener.
    If owning Ks try starting out with the speakers pointing straight ahead, then gradually toeing them in to you obtain the most transparent and deep soundstage.
    Beside experience how the speakers will disappear as sound sources - (given the rest of your system is up to the task)
    This without fear of creating the dreaded "hole in the middle".
    My Ks are toed in a little less that 10°.
    I'm a "midrangey guy" prioritizing clarity, cleanliness, tightness, coherence etc. over having the deepest bass rendition.
    Although having a 1996 pair of paper AN-E SPz SE Silvers as well I made while working building the AN speakers E, J and K in Hove, UK., I've always carried a torch for the humble Type K since Peter and I brought the very first ever Snell Type K mk.1s home to DK spring 1983, just after Peter Snell had launched this his last model (besides the original type Cs.)
    This first incarnation of the Type K had the superior uncoated pulp bass cones.
    Due to AN having for many years difficulty sourcing the uncoated Vifa bass/drivers, many years ago I opted to go with a very early pair of Snell K mk.1s which were then given the full "AN treatment" of SPx internal wiring and substituting all caps for AN Cu and Ag ones leaving only the two inductors original, as they are best left alone if not going with AN silver inductors - which I didn't.
    The Type K's have always been much of a favorit of mine on the grounds discussed - having them in our combined dining/ living room of 27m2 - and finally not being a "bass head".
    Finding perhaps the Ks unjustly overlooked in midst of all the talk of primarily the AN-E's, - and to a lesser extent the Js.
    Perhaps due to price - and what the eyes meet. The K's being almost as labor intensive as a pair of Es! - Dunno...
    Sorry for the long read - if you made it to the end.
    Cheers Henrik
  20. al2813

    al2813 Forum Resident

    Brussels, Belgium
    This is interesting. I got the K's because my current listening space is only 11 m2. I think I did manage to get to their ideal position but with doing the "one meter in front of the listener). I did try straight ahead and ended up toeing them to in and finally used the 1 meter trick which I thought gave me the best result. I did however move them away from the corner also because my right side does not have a real corner. i may try to revisit this. I adore the sound of the speakers (AN-K LX)
  21. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Look what I found

    Anybody running AN speakers with Accuphase amps? (I have a P-4200 class AB, but may get an A-48 class A too to try).

    If so, interested in observed good pairings.
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    I've had a JINRO since spring of 2014 (thanks, Warren!) and even after all these years, it's a lovely integrated amp, the sweet spot in the AN UK line.

    I can also say that no matter how much the thing is played, even after years, it still needs a good 1/2 hour warmup EVERY TIME. It can sound great on cold start-up, but the real magic seems to start around the half-hour.. Just a tip.
  23. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    I had Snell KII's back in the day. Great speaker, and they did something magical in the midrange, but they were actually bested by the Audio Concept speaker that the Audio Consult folks in Odense made in very small numbers, and which I owned for many years. Later (much later), I auditioned the AN K-SPe, and that was in totally different league from the Audio Concepts and thus also the Snell KII's.

    What amp are you using with your K's?
  24. Marchino

    Marchino Forum Resident

    Amsterdam, Holland
    I have this problem since a few day’s. My CD4.1 stops after 2 or 3 cd’s playing. When I insert a new disc it starts as normal but stops after a few second playing. By trying again same problem and after that only the message “No Disc” Discs are not the problem as I tried so many different discs. I cleaned the sensor but same story. Als electricity I took from different wall sockets connected to different groups. As the CD player plays the sound is wonderful as always. Anyone an idea what it can be or hat a similar problem before? I think something is heating up but have no clue what part the problem can cause. The player is 5 years old I think.
  25. Gjo

    Gjo Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Having had similar problems over the years on two CD players (not Audio Note brand), this sounds like a failed (or failing) laser pick-up assembly. Can you have it checked out by a technician?
    Don Parkhurst likes this.

Share This Page