Are there more differences than similarities between CH Precision and other top Swiss brands?

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#1
Are there more similarities than differences between CH Precision and other top Swiss brands?

I’m not likely to be a potential customer, but I do find it fascinating that a growing number of discerning audiophiles are switching their top tube amps for CH Precision, incl Gian and RCottin.

And other Swiss brands like Dartzeel are famed for tube-like illumination of the music.

I’m very soon to hear an all-Soulution chain on Maxonic field coil speakers.

So curious as to whether there is any generic similarity between these top Swiss brands, incl Goldmund, or are they very different, and how does CH Precision manage to convince 100% tube guys to go SS?
 
Last edited:

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#2
I also note that The Audio Beat did an article on Arnie's system in Dallas TX which (for years) was the mighty Arrakis system driven by VTL electronics (dual Siegfried II monos)...and now is ENTIRELY CH Precision electronics. That was a big big data point for me, as I have long listened, read and communicated with Arnie about audio, specific components and also particularly his system.

Great reading as well. Here it is for those who might wish to read it...

http://www.theaudiobeat.com/visits/austin_system.htm
 
May 30, 2010
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#3
I’m not likely to be a potential customer, but I do find it fascinating that a growing number of discerning audiophiles are switching their top tube amps for CH Precision, incl Gian and RCottin.

And other Swiss brands like Dartzeel are famed for tube-like illumination of the music.

I’m very soon to hear an all-Soulution chain on Maxonic field coil speakers.

So curious as to whether there is any generic similarity between these top Swiss brands, incl Goldmund, or are they very different, and how does CH Precision manage to convince 100% tube guys to go SS?
IMHO the only similarity is the luxury metalwork finish and country of manufacture. They sound quite different.

And sorry Dartzeel is an excellent SS amplifier, not an illuminator.
 

adyc

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Jan 6, 2013
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#4
I also note that The Audio Beat did an article on Arnie's system in Dallas TX which (for years) was the mighty Arrakis system driven by VTL electronics (dual Siegfried II monos)...and now is ENTIRELY CH Precision electronics. That was a big big data point for me, as I have long listened, read and communicated with Arnie about audio, specific components and also particularly his system.

Great reading as well. Here it is for those who might wish to read it...

http://www.theaudiobeat.com/visits/austin_system.htm
Great read. Thanks very much.
 
Jul 18, 2014
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#6
Very much agreed that all these Swiss sound quite different. Have heard the 500 and 700 series Soulution in a few different setups and the Ch precision gear as well as then trying the 5 series Soulution preamp in my system and also the Ch Precision dac auditioned in at home. I’d happily live with the Ch Precision gear, not the Soulution though... as always everyone’s mileage will vary on what works best for them but imo these two set up quite different experiences in listening.
 

GMKF

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Aug 15, 2017
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#7
Soulution sounds different to CH in my findings. Cant speak for the DarTZeels. (Only heard their integrated and I dont remember all that much)
Soulution has a bit more "attack" than the CH. I prefer the tonality of the CH-Chain.
A good tube pre with a Soulution amp might be a good combo.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#8
Sure, I have a chance to hear a potentially fascinating pair of speakers, the Maxonic Field Coils.

However, no tubes or analog at this demo, Soulution cdp and amps.

Intriguing because I’m an analog/tubes man first and foremost, and w the Maxonics at 106dB efficient, the Soulution SS seems an “interesting” choice to match to these spkrs.
 

GMKF

VIP/Donor
Aug 15, 2017
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#9
Sure, I have a chance to hear a potentially fascinating pair of speakers, the Maxonic Field Coils.

However, no tubes or analog at this demo, Soulution cdp and amps.

Intriguing because I’m an analog/tubes man first and foremost, and w the Maxonics at 106dB efficient, the Soulution SS seems an “interesting” choice to match to these spkrs.
With that kind of efficiency you have to go very high quality SS amps. Most SS amps have high-ish distorion at low power output. When you have higher power output the distortion levels go down, not like some tubes which gradualy increase with output power.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#10
We’ll see how this demo checks out.

I suspect I may really like the Maxonics taking my predeliction for efficient full range drivers, horns, maybe creating a unique outcome w none of the reservations I still hold re horns in the final analysis.

Powering them w high quality high power SS will certainly challenge my expectation bias, so this could be a truly fascinating demo.

The last time I truly got the hairs on the back of my neck stand up w that thrill of pure delight was Cessaro Liszts horns on 15W/ch Bakoon SS.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#12
Tang, my friend, you’re also a fan of the audio demo that feels like the kick of well-heeled beauty?

I know I am .
 

Elliot G.

[Industry Expert]
Jul 22, 2010
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#13
I’m not likely to be a potential customer, but I do find it fascinating that a growing number of discerning audiophiles are switching their top tube amps for CH Precision, incl Gian and RCottin.

And other Swiss brands like Dartzeel are famed for tube-like illumination of the music.

I’m very soon to hear an all-Soulution chain on Maxonic field coil speakers.

So curious as to whether there is any generic similarity between these top Swiss brands, incl Goldmund, or are they very different, and how does CH Precision manage to convince 100% tube guys to go SS?
I was a long time ARC and vacuum tube listener. I want to state that I am not in love with tube gear just because it glows in the dark. I also don't believe in superiority of any type of audio product and keep an open mind towards pieces I have not heard.
I did however as both a listener and in my past a dealer experience a lot issues with reliability of tube products and dealing with disappointed clients.
When I decided to import the Gobel High End line of speakers and cables I began looking for amps that would work well with them. Oliver uses CH in his system. I listened with Priaptor to quite a few different SS amps in hope that I could find something that I loved.
I bought an M1 on Oliver's and Priaptor's suggestion as he also had read many great reports about it. I figured if I didn't like it I could sell it and not loose too much. I was not able to borrow one since they are not that readily available in my area.
After listening to it in his system and compared to both the ARC he owned, and three other widely praised other amplifiers, there really was no contest. The M-1 bettered all of them in every catagory including the most important midrange . It had it all! Speed, power, clarity, dynamics, space, sound stage, super quiet and limitless power. We tried hard to find flaws, the result he bought the amp and I became a dealer and ordered my own.
I don't know Dartzeel and have never had a chance to hear one however I have heard Soulution and my one thought about that is which one is the one to own. They make a lot of product and seemed to change to frequently for my taste and budget.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#14
Elliott, it seems to be a common theme that one buys a loudspeaker that lends itself twds a certain kind of amp.

Going Goebel bending wave spkrs by definition necessitates SS, high current, low damping factor, w Watts to spare.

My decision to go 101dB eff Zu was w half a mind to be able to investigate SETs in a room that would normally preclude medium power tubes, ie 27x22x13, 800 sq ft/10,000 cub ft.

Hence my decision to go 70W 211s NATs.

But I fully get the CH Precision selling points and would no doubt be v impressed.

As things stand in the U.K., Soulution easier to hear, and that’s what is powering these 106dB Maxonics.

Whether I like it or not, I’m sure it’ll be memorable.
 

ddk

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May 19, 2013
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#15
Jul 24, 2017
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#16
I've heard Dartzeel pre / power a few times and didn't like it - my wife referred to it as throwing shards of glass.

I've had both Soulution 5-series and L1 / 2x A1 / C1 on home demo, and it's not as easy as better / worse. If I start with tonality, the Soulution is slightly darker, and built up from a very solid bass whereas the CH is more neutral.

Breaking the component parts down, the star of the Soulution is the DAC - very detailed but still musical, and the first DAC I've found that gets close to (and perhaps is better in some areas) than my Lampi Golden Gate. By contrast, I thought the C1 poor in comparison.
The star of the CH stack is the L1 - it's simply a stunning pre and easily betters the Soulution, although is more expensive. It imparts a level of poise and control to the music that is very impressive. It has all the detail you need, but still a fullness to the sound which some could interpret as tube-like, and a great level of attack which imparts great rhythm to music.
Power-amp wise, both are good rather than standout, with perhaps the Soulution edging it. For example my Berning Quadratures are better in terms of tonality and speed, and Audionet MAX would better both at a similar price.
 
#17

Elliot G.

[Industry Expert]
Jul 22, 2010
662
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#18
Elliott, it seems to be a common theme that one buys a loudspeaker that lends itself twds a certain kind of amp.

Going Goebel bending wave spkrs by definition necessitates SS, high current, low damping factor, w Watts to spare.

My decision to go 101dB eff Zu was w half a mind to be able to investigate SETs in a room that would normally preclude medium power tubes, ie 27x22x13, 800 sq ft/10,000 cub ft.

Hence my decision to go 70W 211s NATs.

But I fully get the CH Precision selling points and would no doubt be v impressed.

As things stand in the U.K., Soulution easier to hear, and that’s what is powering these 106dB Maxonics.

Whether I like it or not, I’m sure it’ll be memorable.
Actually we did all the auditioning on Priaptors Nola Grand Reference that were designed with tubes and I don't think the Designer ever tried a SS amp on them. The M-1 beat the tubes on every count, it wasn't close.
OLiver has designed a line of speakers that are in the High 90's efficiency called Divin and perhaps a SET or other Tubes device might be great on them. THe Aeon Line could be driven by tubes amps particularly if vertically Bi-Amped.
Eventually I will try some other options once my showroom is finally completed but for me personally I am very happy with the CH M-1. IN your case it might not be the right piece for you but it is worth listening too. I will say that after ts running for a few days it is a tough to beat.
One last thing. I find that SS amps need to stay on and take a lot longer to stabilize than a tube amp. So if you are going to listen keep that in mind.
Enjoy
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#19
Actually we did all the auditioning on Priaptors Nola Grand Reference that were designed with tubes and I don't think the Designer ever tried a SS amp on them. The M-1 beat the tubes on every count, it wasn't close.
OLiver has designed a line of speakers that are in the High 90's efficiency called Divin and perhaps a SET or other Tubes device might be great on them. THe Aeon Line could be driven by tubes amps particularly if vertically Bi-Amped.
Eventually I will try some other options once my showroom is finally completed but for me personally I am very happy with the CH M-1. IN your case it might not be the right piece for you but it is worth listening too. I will say that after ts running for a few days it is a tough to beat.
One last thing. I find that SS amps need to stay on and take a lot longer to stabilize than a tube amp. So if you are going to listen keep that in mind.
Enjoy
+1.

on moderately efficient speakers such as the Nola Grand Reference the best solid state will do most things better than tubes in my experience. of course not all would agree.

OTOH when you get into over 95db efficient speakers then you introduce low to moderate power tube amplifiers which have their special things they can do uniquely well so it's not quite as clear a complete advantage depending on the room, music and personal tastes.

I also agree on the 'staying on' part. switching back and forth from my tube amps to the darts; the tubes are 95-98% after 45 minutes to an hour, the darts take a day or two to settle and really breathe.
 

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