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Thread: La Assoluta

  1. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audiocrack View Post
    A major modification in my La Assoluta set up that I have not yet commented on is the following: I replaced my Kondo Gakuoh se 300b amps with the Kondo Kagura se 211 amps. Furthermore I replaced my (fantastic) Kondo m1000 mk i preamp (including phonostage) with the Kondo g-1000 linestage. The reason for the latter change is the fact that the Kagura and G-1000 bring the best out of each other.

    The breaking in of both the g-1000 linestage and the Kagura poweramps took (quite) a long time. I am nearly at 1000 hours with the latter and only now I am getting the feeling that the Kagura’s are really showing what they are capable of.

    Will post my musical findings of this combo in combination with my LA’s and Tripoint Emperor mk ii later. But I can already conclude the following: the real quality of the Kagura amps will only show if the stock Kondo tubes are replaced by higher quality (nos) tubes (9 per mono amp). The same applies to the stock fuses (two per mono amp).

    Those who have experienced the Kagura amps with their stock Kondo tubes and stock fuses - for example on various audio shows - have not heard the real quality and finesse of these wonderful amps.
    Amazing! Fantastic! Congrats!
    Speaker: Wilson X1 + Velodyne DD18+
    Source: Zanden 4-Box Digital
    Amp: CJ GAT2 + Gryphon Colosseum
    Cable: TA Opus Gen5&MM2 + PAD 25th Sablon GCUber
    Isolation Sandwiches: Under: HRS.Stillpoints.Auralex Top: HRS.Artesania.Entreq.EAT.90kg Mass Damping
    Power/Ground&Shield: 7 x 16A Furutech . Burmester948 . NordostQX4 / Tripoint Troy Sig+Thor . Entreq Atlantis/Receivus/Everest/Wrap
    Room/Tube: Stillpoints Apertures / Amperex.Mullard
    Headphone: Sennheiser 650 . Arcam rHead . ApogeeGroove

  2. #452
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audiocrack View Post
    Thanks for your kind words, Microstrip, appreciated.

    Btw, is it possible for you to supply us with a link to the pictures you are referring to? Not sure I have seen these pictures although you are maybe referring to the photo’s on the Kondo/Audio Note Japan website.

    And yes, although the Kondo prices are crazy the built quality of the Kagura’s (as well as of the g-1000) is impeccable casu quo very impressive indeed. For example, yesterday we adjusted the bias when I replaced the last Kondo Kagura stock tubes - the (Chinese built) 211 valves - by a matched quad (vintage) 211 tubes dating from the year 1942. This rebiassing is far from an easy task because you need to lift these 62kg ‘beasts’, put them on their side, remove the bottom plate (quite a lot of tiny bottom plate screws need to be removed and replaced again) and a very long screwdriver/pin is needed to reach the bias control. However, according to the specialist that helped me out in this regard even the bias control is of very high quality.
    Yes, I was referring to the pictures in the Kondo site. Impeccable built quality. BTW, Do you know how many hours are the 211 tubes expected to last?
    DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack, Soundlab A1 Px's while waiting for the XLF successor, EMT927, SME3012R, ARC Phono 3, Lamm ML1.2 Ref, Lamm L2ref, Stealth Dream speaker , Crystal Dreamline ICs, TA XL digital, TA XL gen V power cables, CenterStage footers and Nordost Qkore8's!

  3. #453
    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    Yes, I was referring to the pictures in the Kondo site. Impeccable built quality. BTW, Do you know how many hours are the 211 tubes expected to last?
    As regards your question, I am not sure. Nothing is said about ‘tube life’ in the Kondo manual (the manuals of both the Kagura’s and the G-1000 linestage are rather flimsy in all honesty).

    The voltage to which the 211 valves are exposed is very high: 1250 volts. So I suppose this will shorten their lifespan.

    Finding top of the line nos tubes is rather difficult. Top notch 211 tubes are particular hard to find, let alone two matched pairs or a matched quod. The same applies to the gz 34 rectifiers being used: each Kagura amp needs four of them. Employing 8 metal base gz34 valves at the moment but collecting such a quantity was quite difficult.

    As regards the 2x2 211 tubes: currently I am employing four RCA 211 valves that were manufacturored in 1942. As spare 211 valves I have a quod United Electronics and General Electric 211 tubes available. Hopefully that is sufficient for many, many years of (playing) fun although I do realize that the GE 211 valves are considered to be of (considerable) les quality than the UE and RCA 211 tubes.

  4. #454
    Quote Originally Posted by LL21 View Post
    Amazing! Fantastic! Congrats!
    Thanks much Lloyd. Once everything has completely settled and two of Miguel’s Emperor grounding cables have become available to ground my La Assoluta loudspeakers, maybe you would like to cross the Channel and have a listen again?

  5. #455
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    Wow fantastic congrats.
    Audition recordings: Zero Distortion Link; Reference Components: Zero Distortion Link; Own: Lampi GG One-day-to-get: Apogee Scintilla, or a horn (with Tenor 75 OTL ), Preamp to be fit in to suit the gain and drive the power amp. Analog: TBD

  6. #456
    Quote Originally Posted by bonzo75 View Post
    Wow fantastic congrats.
    Thanks Kedar.

  7. #457
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audiocrack View Post
    Thanks much Lloyd. Once everything has completely settled and two of Miguel’s Emperor grounding cables have become available to ground my La Assoluta loudspeakers, maybe you would like to cross the Channel and have a listen again?
    I thought this day would never come! You have been working so incredibly hard on your LA, i could see you were still planning ahead for more and more...and more refinements. Congrats on no doubt reaching yet another remarkable milestone. Absolutely, we'd love to make the trip again...would be particularly great to see you and your family again. Just let us know offline when you think might work.
    Speaker: Wilson X1 + Velodyne DD18+
    Source: Zanden 4-Box Digital
    Amp: CJ GAT2 + Gryphon Colosseum
    Cable: TA Opus Gen5&MM2 + PAD 25th Sablon GCUber
    Isolation Sandwiches: Under: HRS.Stillpoints.Auralex Top: HRS.Artesania.Entreq.EAT.90kg Mass Damping
    Power/Ground&Shield: 7 x 16A Furutech . Burmester948 . NordostQX4 / Tripoint Troy Sig+Thor . Entreq Atlantis/Receivus/Everest/Wrap
    Room/Tube: Stillpoints Apertures / Amperex.Mullard
    Headphone: Sennheiser 650 . Arcam rHead . ApogeeGroove

  8. #458
    Quote Originally Posted by LL21 View Post
    I thought this day would never come! You have been working so incredibly hard on your LA, i could see you were still planning ahead for more and more...and more refinements. Congrats on no doubt reaching yet another remarkable milestone. Absolutely, we'd love to make the trip again...would be particularly great to see you and your family again. Just let us know offline when you think might work.
    Will do, Lloyd.

  9. #459
    Breaking in the Kondo G-1000 and particularly the Kondo Kagura’s was a rather unpleasant experience. Not only because it took an awful lot of time - the Kagura amps apparently need approximately (a little less of) 1000 hours to fully settle in - but also because these power amps sounded quite often during long periods of time pretty horrible: nasty tonality, no solidity, an awful low end, no soundstage depth, etc. During this long and unpleasant breaking in process I now and then got (somewhat) desperate in the sense that you really start wondering whether these ‘damn’ devices will ever start behaving themselves.

    In addition, due to the very high voltage to which the 2 x 2 211 tubes are being exposed and using 9 valves per amp - 4 x gz34 rectifiers, 2 x 6sn7, 1 x 12au7 and 2 x 211 amps - I could not play the Kagura amps (more or less) continuously. In stead I played them in shifts of around 5 hours, turned them off for about 1,5-2 hours and started playing them again for about 5 hours, etc. I am really relieved that this burning in period lies behind me.

    As regards the Kagura’s: I initially played them with the stock Kondo tubes. After around 400-500 hours burning in I started to replace the stock tubes with high quality nos valves. And only a week ago I finally replaced the four stock 211 tubes with nos 211 valves. Btw, the Kagura amps do not employ automatic biassing, apparently because the Kondo factory is of the opinion that such a feature degrades the sound quality (the Kondo Gakuoh single ended amps also require (re)biassing by hand). This rebiassing process demands the following: removing the (62 kg) Kagura amps from their platforms, putting these amps on their side, removing the two bottom plates (each of them with 6 footers (in all honesty I had not seen more than four footers on any bottom plate before): in this case four footers on all the sides and two more or less in the middle, apparently to support the heavy transformers), connecting the Kagura’s to the loudspeakers, putting the amps on power and adjusting the bias manually with long pins. While doing so you realize all the time the 1250 voltage that is being employed. When this (re)biassing process had ended I was (again) quite relieved and as a simple customer you start wondering: is it not possible for the Kondo factory to make audio life in this regard somewhat easier?

    Anyway, before you start thinking that this lucky ‘bastard’ is only complaining about (in stead of enjoying) his Kondo g-1000/Kagura combination: that is not my intention at all. I just want to make clear what is needed in order to get these devices perform at their best by using top quality nos tubes and how much time they need to settle.

    Additionally I replaced the four stock fuses in the two Kagura amps - btw, each amp is employing two powercords (one for the power and one for the heater) and two fuses - as well as in the G-1000 linestage and I am using four Tidal pc’s.

    Lastly, my Kagura amps are one of the first i-versions that the Kondo factory has produced. If I am informed correctly, the i-version differs (somewhat) from the ‘regular’ or Japanese version that was manufacturored in the past and the i-version sounds in the view of Kondo factory (in an important way) better than these older versions of the Kagura, inter alia due to its selected matching capacitors. I have not compared the two versions so I cannot comment on the differences between these two based on my own experiences.
    Last edited by Audiocrack; 12-10-2017 at 06:03 AM.

  10. #460
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    Absolutely brutal...not just the hours, but the fact that you actually have to listen to those hours...AND you cannot just put it on infinite repeat and go to bed...because they are amps, you end up playing music all night. When i burned in the CJ GAT...i just let it run on infinite repeat all night with the amp off. I dont know if it was 'full burn in'...but it should sure did help each time i did turn on the system to listen.

    Maintenance in this hobby is varied from torturous to [almost] maintenance free. But even an audiophile's maintenance free is usually torturous by most other people's standards.

    Well done once again for your commitment!
    Speaker: Wilson X1 + Velodyne DD18+
    Source: Zanden 4-Box Digital
    Amp: CJ GAT2 + Gryphon Colosseum
    Cable: TA Opus Gen5&MM2 + PAD 25th Sablon GCUber
    Isolation Sandwiches: Under: HRS.Stillpoints.Auralex Top: HRS.Artesania.Entreq.EAT.90kg Mass Damping
    Power/Ground&Shield: 7 x 16A Furutech . Burmester948 . NordostQX4 / Tripoint Troy Sig+Thor . Entreq Atlantis/Receivus/Everest/Wrap
    Room/Tube: Stillpoints Apertures / Amperex.Mullard
    Headphone: Sennheiser 650 . Arcam rHead . ApogeeGroove

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