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Thread: Einstein Silver Bullet OTL Mk. II Driving Wilson Audio Alexx

  1. #1
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    Einstein Silver Bullet OTL Mk. II Driving Wilson Audio Alexx

    I heard this afternoon the system of Danny Kaey, a Reviewer for Positive Feedback, which I think displays the fastest rise time in terms of dynamics, and the most instantaneous “jump factor,” I have ever heard (meaning ever). I visited Danny only for a couple of hours but from just a few seconds after the first needle-drop I knew his system was something special -- and I was pretty much dumbfounded for the rest of the listening session.

    In this system a suite of all Einstein electronics -- including the Einstein Silver Bullet OTL Mk. IIs (65 wpc into 8 ohms; 50 wpc into 4 ohms) drove Wilson Audio Alexx loudspeakers (91 dB sensitivity).

    I stipulate that I can't prove any of this with comparative listening sessions -- this was the first time I heard Einstein electronics and Alexx speakers in a leisurely environment (and the turntable and tonearm and cartrige were new to me, too) -- but I'm pretty sure about a few of things:


    1) The Wilson Audio Alexx is without any doubt (on my part) the best speaker the company has ever made (WAMM Chronosonic excluded, which I have never seen or heard).


    2) I think there is some jump factor and dynamics and crystalline transparency “magic” in eliminating the output transformers from the power amplifiers. Now I am not sure whether I am more interested in experimenting on the Pendragon ribbon panels with the NAT Audio Magma New SEs or the Einstein Silver Bullet OTL Mk. IIs. (The 89 dB sensitivity of the Pendragon ribbon panel is significantly less sensitive than the 91 dB sensitive Alexx, and that probably disqualifies the Einstein OTLs right there, but I still want to try OTL (even though I am a big believer in the merit of “excess” amplifier power for electrostatic and ribbon drivers).


    3) Danny's system sounded breathtaking without:

    A) fancy audiophile fuses,
    B) any major acoustic treatment (just three diffusors behind the listening chair which is four feet from the rear wall)
    C) $10,000 interconnect network boxes,
    D) heroically heavy stands,
    E) active or pneumatic isolation platforms,
    F) special footers,
    G) sympathetic resonators,
    H) balanced power,
    I) isolation transformers,
    J) NCF outlets,
    K) expensive power cables or connectors
    L) power conditioners
    M) cable elevators,
    N) special stones or weights
    O) after-market titanium headshells, etc.

    This system simply was dialed-in perfectly. Danny said he aligns the cartridges himself, a feat of black magic I never will be able to accomplish.


    4) I never thought I would say this, and certainly not about Wilson Audio speakers, but the Einstein electronics embued the Alexxes with -- please sit down lest you fall over when you read this -- electrostatic-like transparency of which I did not think any dynamic driver system was capable.


    5) I did not hear from the Einstein OTLs the slight tube warmth (which I like) I hear from VTL and NAT Audio mplifiers. When I was talking earlier this year with people who owned Atma-Sphere OTLs there was a consistent refrain: that the Atma-Sphere OTLs, while incredibly transparent and crystalline and clear, have a slightly leaner presentation than conventional tube designs. I think I heard that today with the Einsteins.


    6) Part of the “secret sauce” of this system is that the speakers are about 15 feet in front of the front wall. This allowed great depth of sound to develop.


    Danny has not one but two Telefunken M15 tape decks. Tape sounded amazing, as always!

    Thanks very much to Danny for a fun afternoon and for a great introduction to OTL amplifiers and to the Wilson Alexx!
    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

    turntable: American Sound AS-2000; tonearms: SME 3012R, Schröder LT; cartridges: ZYX UNIverse Premium X-SB2, Air Tight Opus-1; tape: Studer A820 Mk II; phono stage: Aesthetix Io Eclipse; line stage: VTL TL-7.5 Series III; amplifier: VTL Siegfried Series II; loudspeaker: Gryphon Pendragon; cables: MasterBuilt Ultra; stands: Vintage Audio Nothing racks, Herzan TS-140/Taiko Tana for Io, Stacore Basic+ for amps; power: Torus AVR60BAL; room: 19' wide X 24' long X 14' tall; acoustic treatment: ASC IsoThermal Tube Traps, Lumitex drapes

  2. #2
    Ron, I would recommend you seek out the Berning Quadratures for an audition. They display many of the qualities you appear to have enjoyed here and sound sensational.
    Owner www.sablonaudio.com, PF & 6M award winning custom audio cables

    Dealer for SGM Music Server

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    Addicted to Best! DaveyF's Avatar
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    Ron, I agree with you, the Alexx's are the best Wilsons that I have heard. No top end sibilance, no bottom end bloat, and an ability to define images that needs to be heard. Far better than any other Wilson I have heard, although, like you, I have not heard the Wamm's.
    While you say that no other treatments were in the room, I am sure that the room you heard them in was a superb room from an acoustic perspective.

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    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    The room was great naturally from an acoustic perspective -- about 30' long and about 17' wide.
    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

    turntable: American Sound AS-2000; tonearms: SME 3012R, Schröder LT; cartridges: ZYX UNIverse Premium X-SB2, Air Tight Opus-1; tape: Studer A820 Mk II; phono stage: Aesthetix Io Eclipse; line stage: VTL TL-7.5 Series III; amplifier: VTL Siegfried Series II; loudspeaker: Gryphon Pendragon; cables: MasterBuilt Ultra; stands: Vintage Audio Nothing racks, Herzan TS-140/Taiko Tana for Io, Stacore Basic+ for amps; power: Torus AVR60BAL; room: 19' wide X 24' long X 14' tall; acoustic treatment: ASC IsoThermal Tube Traps, Lumitex drapes

  5. #5
    Addicted to Best! DaveyF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Resnick View Post
    The room was great naturally from an acoustic perspective -- about 30' long and about 17' wide.
    With a room like that, you're half way home before you start.

  6. #6
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sablon Audio View Post
    Ron, I would recommend you seek out the Berning Quadratures for an audition. They display many of the qualities you appear to have enjoyed here and sound sensational.
    Thank you for the thought. Here is the thing: I love the transient response and crystalline clarity and transparency of the OTL, but I like (or maybe I am just used to and comfortable with) the warmth and body of the NAT Audio and VTL amps I have heard.

    microstrip feels the VTL MB-750s have a slightly muddy, out-dated, non-neutral sound. I don't know. I will have to spend a long time getting used to the new system (if the house is ever fixed), and then it will be extremely interesting for me to insert a new amplifier into the system for auditioning. The crystalline sound of the OTL on the ribbon panels makes me nervous I will find the sound too lean (for my comfort).
    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

    turntable: American Sound AS-2000; tonearms: SME 3012R, Schröder LT; cartridges: ZYX UNIverse Premium X-SB2, Air Tight Opus-1; tape: Studer A820 Mk II; phono stage: Aesthetix Io Eclipse; line stage: VTL TL-7.5 Series III; amplifier: VTL Siegfried Series II; loudspeaker: Gryphon Pendragon; cables: MasterBuilt Ultra; stands: Vintage Audio Nothing racks, Herzan TS-140/Taiko Tana for Io, Stacore Basic+ for amps; power: Torus AVR60BAL; room: 19' wide X 24' long X 14' tall; acoustic treatment: ASC IsoThermal Tube Traps, Lumitex drapes

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    Addicted to Best! XV-1's Avatar
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    https://positive-feedback.com/review...-loudspeakers/

    I really like the living mess in his room - a true music lover

    btw - his phono stage - Einstein The Turntable's Choice is the fastest most transparent phono stage I have ever heard.


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    Source:TW Raven AC-3 - Thales Simplicity II, Exclusive P3, Technics SP10mk3, Linn LP12 - Naim ARO
    Cartridges: Lyra Atlas SL, Etna SL, Delos, Dynavector XV-1s, Technics EPC100mk4, Ortofon A90, GM Royal, GM Classic, Denon DL-S1, ESC'd 103R, Audio Tech AT25, OC9II, Linn ESC'd Troika
    Phono Stage: TW Acustik/Thoress phono, Accuphase C-37 EQ: ​​DEQX HDP-4
    Preamp: cj GAT, Amps: cj teflon premier 8a's, D'Agostino Momentum Stereo, Speakers: Wilson Maxx3 -Townsend Supertweeters

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Resnick View Post
    Thank you for the thought. Here is the thing: I love the transient response and crystalline clarity and transparency of the OTL, but I like (or maybe I am just used to and comfortable with) the warmth and body of the NAT Audio and VTL amps I have heard.

    microstrip feels the VTL MB-750s have a slightly muddy, out-dated, non-neutral sound. I don't know. I will have to spend a long time getting used to the new system (if the house is ever fixed), and then it will be extremely interesting for me to insert a new amplifier into the system for auditioning. The crystalline sound of the OTL on the ribbon panels makes me nervous I will find the sound too lean (for my comfort).
    I agree with that assessment of VTL. OTL to me is much better but as always only on speakers they work on. If you want to drive TAD with valves, you need VTL.
    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

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveyF View Post
    With a room like that, you're half way home before you start.
    +1
    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

  10. #10
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    Ron, those items listed in your point 3 - none of my favorite rooms except Mike's have them, including the more smaller/small budget favorite rooms, but that does not mean they should not be added or played with as it is all part of the hobby. It could be argued that you could have been happy with a much lesser TT or cartridge but you will choose to upgrade. Heck, one of my favorite rooms has a Denon CD player and a Nottingham Dais with Schick arm. That does not mean his Caeles with Schroeder arm will not work better.

    As part of the hobby, one can choose to isolate their components, improve cabling and power supply, etc etc after the rest is in place, provided there are no negative effects. Of course ensuring there are no negative side effects is tough and expensive to do . If room and core components are finalized, cables, NCF outlets etc are fair game. Also, upgrading say, speakers, leads to a lot of cash outflow in one go while cash outflow for tweaks in many cases is easier to manage.
    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

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