darTZeel 18NS pre and 468 mono amp print review in Absolute Sound; by Jacob Heilbrunn

Mike Lavigne

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not yet on line. read it this weekend. he purchased both the pre and the amps, and has ordered a second set of amps for his subwoofers which maybe have already arrived.

it's a rave, i will leave it at that. as i live with the same electronics every day i have to admit i agree with him (no surprise there). for those who don't know, Jacob has quite the room and system, with a Techdas Zero tt and big Wilson WAMM speakers. heady gear list.

congrats to Jonathan Tinn, the importer, and Herve Delatraz, the manufacturer, for the wonderful review!!!

and i enjoyed Jonathan's comments at the back of the magazine. :cool:
 
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LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Stunning system(s)...yours and his!...and look forward to reading the review...
 
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ashandger

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Great review. Mike, do you know if Jacob used the Dartzeel BNC interconnects that Michael Fremer uses or did he use the Evolution Acoustics BNC interconnects? Many thanks
 

bonzo75

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not yet on line. read it this weekend. he purchased both the pre and the amps, and has ordered a second set of amps for his subwoofers which maybe have already arrived.

it's a rave, i will leave it at that. as i live with the same electronics every day i have to admit i agree with him (no surprise there). for those who don't know, Jacob has quite the room and system, with a Techdas Zero tt and big Wilson WAMM speakers. heady gear list.

congrats to Jonathan Tinn, the importer, and Herve Delatraz, the manufacturer, for the wonderful review!!!

and i enjoyed Jonathan's comments at the back of the magazine. :cool:

So what happens to the Ypsilon? wasn't that what he had?
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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Great review. Mike, do you know if Jacob used the Dartzeel BNC interconnects that Michael Fremer uses or did he use the Evolution Acoustics BNC interconnects? Many thanks.
he is using Herve's 50 ohm 'zeel' between the pre and amps.

my info is that the Evolution 50 ohm are still better than Herve's 'new' zeel. but i've not heard that compare myself.
 
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ashandger

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he is using Herve's 50 ohm 'zeel' between the pre and amps.

my info is that the Evolution 50 ohm are still better than Herve's 'new' zeel. but i've not heard that compare myself.
Many thanks for the feedback Mike...very helpful.
 

jtinn

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Apr 21, 2010
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yes. i think it's all sold off now. he still had the phono for at least part of the darTZeel review time.
He had all of his Ypsilon equipment during the darTZeel review.
 

jtinn

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he is using Herve's 50 ohm 'zeel' between the pre and amps.

my info is that the Evolution 50 ohm are still better than Herve's 'new' zeel. but i've not heard that compare myself.
Yes, they are but that comes at a price.
 

Kingrex

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I'm liking my 108 model 1. It never lets you down. It plays real and natural music. Sometimes I miss my tubes. But I don't have any sort of overwhelming feeling I need them back. I am more focused on my front end equipment now. Specifically my vinyl.
FWIW, I use the First Sound M3SI preamp with the 108. It pairs wonderful. Anyone wanting to step into Dartzeel can get a used amp and pair it with a good pre and it plays quite magical. I am thinking of finding a used Dartzeel preamp, but I am in no hurry. What I have does just fine as is.

I would be interested to know Mikes thoughts on the built in phono board. I think you use it along with other outside preamps. Is the built in a go to piece? Or do you like an external preamp?
 

gleeds

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I know the built-in phono stage very well and it's exceptional. It's one of the aspects of the darTZeel that makes it a favorite of vinyl fans! If you can find a pre-owned 18NS mk1 at a price that makes sense for you I suspect it will take your system to a whole new level. Mike, of course, has done more comparisons with other top-level phono stages so his experience is golden on the subject:)
 

Kingrex

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I have a friend also bought a 108MK1. He love it. I have another friend trying to get into one. I sent him a link for a combo of both for sale.

I have my eye open for a 18NS MK1. When one comes up, I will have hard choices to make. What I have now works fantastic, but I am sure the matching pre will make it voice much more clean and clear.
 
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dcathro

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so happy for the great Dart review. just wish the 18NS/108 combo wasn't $125k now :(

The way things are going with runaway inflation, that is going to appear cheap in a few years o_O
 

jtinn

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Apr 21, 2010
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so happy for the great Dart review. just wish the 18NS/108 combo wasn't $125k now :(
You are way off Keith, it is $122k :)
 

bazelio

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I have a friend also bought a 108MK1. He love it. I have another friend trying to get into one. I sent him a link for a combo of both for sale.

I have my eye open for a 18NS MK1. When one comes up, I will have hard choices to make. What I have now works fantastic, but I am sure the matching pre will make it voice much more clean and clear.
I'd highly recommend trying a silver AVC first. You're likely to not care about preamps after that. That is, assuming your source has adequate drive capability.
 
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Kingrex

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I'd highly recommend trying a silver AVC first. You're likely to not care about preamps after that. That is, assuming your source has adequate drive capability.
Do you have the pre as well as 108MK2.
Your talking about a passive potentiometer, correct. The ones I have tried in the past are amazing for a while. But I boore after a while and like the more filled sound an active preamp provides. Of course, I never heard it with the 108MK1. Have you?
 

bazelio

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Do you have the pre as well as 108MK2.
Your talking about a passive potentiometer, correct. The ones I have tried in the past are amazing for a while. But I boore after a while and like the more filled sound an active preamp provides. Of course, I never heard it with the 108MK1. Have you?
AVC, not a potentiometer. It's what I use with my Dart, yes. Mine is DIY. I bought the AVC from Dave an wired it up in a little box myself. But you can demo the Emia and go from there. I suggested it only because you said the words "clean and clear" and this is where it excels. A passive resistor ladder attenuator doesn't favorably compare. You'd have to try it to understand, I'd say.
 

Kingrex

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What does AVC stand for. Just out of curiosity.

I'm actually very happy with the First Sound/Dartzeel combo. I am not going to invest time and money in altering that. I don't think it can be bettered unless I had a Dart preamp. It could be different.

I am trying to find a new vinyl pre and cartridge setup. That does open the concept of a Dart preamp with phono card. I have tried 4 phono preamps in the last 6 months. I either find glorious sound and noise. Or uninvolving sound and a quiet background.

I don't have $14k for used to spend either. That makes thr Dart pre less attractive. A used one that is.
Rex
 

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