I have updated my fantastic Model 8tihc, which I play, for info, preamps

gustavo

New Member
Oct 1, 2018
23
1
3
Italia
#1
good morning everyone, I just updated my 8tihc model with all the Cardas connectors and its 48 TSmicroeletronics tda 7294hs final circuits
very well is better than before very refined and dynamic now I sold the pre Gryphon Pandora and I would like to combine a good tube or solid state preamp with a warm tone and a little 'veiled as I like it. I bought another pre Audio research ref 6 nice but fast but I do not like it very much, do you have any advice to give me about a good pre-amplifier for Jeff Rowland?
thank you
Gustavo
IMG_4825.jpg
 

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Jun 5, 2010
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#2
The first time I encountered a Rowland amplifier was when I visited David Wilson in his home in Novato. He had tri-amped a pair of WAMM, using four Rowland mono bloc amplifiers for the mid and high; and two Krell mono bloc amplifiers for the bass towers. The sound was truly impressive. At that time David Wilson was using a John Curl designed preamp as the control.

I myself was able to acquire the Consonance (I can not remember if it was a line stage or preamp) and a pair of Rowland model 1 mono amplifiers. Over the long term, I was not satisfied so I traded them in. I was disappointed since I admired the Rowland Coherence 1 preamplifier.

For a solid state preamp, my suggestion would be the John Curl unit I heard in David Wilson’s place or a Rowland Reesarch Coherence 1.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#4
Gustavo, did you do the mods yourself?? If so, you are a brave man indeed.
I had my model 8 modded by Jeff..and it took him weeks to do it, although I suspect he had other things on his mind too, lol.

As to a preamp...I would suggest the model that I have used for many years...a CAT. Many versions of this preamp are available, although as you get towards the current model, the resolution does tend to increase. None of the models from any era are in any way veiled....but why would you want that?
Can you describe in more detail the mods that you did...or had done.
BTW , what’s the rest of your system?
 

gustavo

New Member
Oct 1, 2018
23
1
3
Italia
#5
ciao DaveyF
at the beginning I wanted to send it to Jeff in Colorado, then I thought the shipping was very expensive and I asked a very precise and scrupulous technician to make some changes. I have always had Pass Labs in class xa 100.5 / 160.5 / 200.5 and then returned to 160.5 for 8/9 years, sold the Pass and bought the JR model 8 then the model 8T with an upgrade to 8Tihc and the latter did not did miss the mono Pass Labs because they are soo musical, very refined and very currents built really well. before I had spectral 30 ss was not good too fast as the jeff and I bought the grypphon Pandora pre this was just synergy because 'had a gain not very high for which I put the jeff 32 db and then was not very open but slightly veiled and was a fair compromise. now the jeff I have replaced all the final circuits with the new current ST microeletronics (tda7294hs) and is more 'more powerful' crystalline instruments almost touched with your hands and really a good feeling and replaced all the connectors behind with Cardas. Now with the pre audioresearch okay just that I do not like the valves much and the audioresearch ref 6 gains more than the gryphon.the rest of the system cables all Purist Dominus digital, interconnection and speaker power cables are unencumbered JPS - cd sacd Sony sacd 1 with upgrade - dac pro Metric Halo - with player Amarra Luxe - speaker Triangle magellan sw2 Concert - analo Thorens td 125 LB model 2000 - carteridge Shelter Harmony - prepone phono drive and separate supply The mod squad with Luxman stepup.

C32D3F35-7DDC-495C-911A-95EFF22D2D6C.JPG
 
Likes: WeatherB

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#6
ciao DaveyF
at the beginning I wanted to send it to Jeff in Colorado, then I thought the shipping was very expensive and I asked a very precise and scrupulous technician to make some changes. I have always had Pass Labs in class xa 100.5 / 160.5 / 200.5 and then returned to 160.5 for 8/9 years, sold the Pass and bought the JR model 8 then the model 8T with an upgrade to 8Tihc and the latter did not did miss the mono Pass Labs because they are soo musical, very refined and very currents built really well. before I had spectral 30 ss was not good too fast as the jeff and I bought the grypphon Pandora pre this was just synergy because 'had a gain not very high for which I put the jeff 32 db and then was not very open but slightly veiled and was a fair compromise. now the jeff I have replaced all the final circuits with the new current ST microeletronics (tda7294hs) and is more 'more powerful' crystalline instruments almost touched with your hands and really a good feeling and replaced all the connectors behind with Cardas. Now with the pre audioresearch okay just that I do not like the valves much and the audioresearch ref 6 gains more than the gryphon.the rest of the system cables all Purist Dominus digital, interconnection and speaker power cables are unencumbered JPS - cd sacd Sony sacd 1 with upgrade - dac pro Metric Halo - with player Amarra Luxe - speaker Triangle magellan sw2 Concert - analo Thorens td 125 LB model 2000 - carteridge Shelter Harmony - prepone phono drive and separate supply The mod squad with Luxman stepup.

View attachment 43988
Gustavo,

Nice looking system.
I am a little surprised that you don't like the ARC Ref 6, although perhaps there is some synergy issue with it and the model 8. How old are your tubes in the Ref 6, sometimes that can make a big difference. Also, I have found that the model 8 likes a very quick cable...like Nordost, to sound its best. The power cord is also a factor...although I'm still experimenting to come up with the best one here. Nonetheless, the amp does respond differently to power cords. Oh, and here's the biggest thing I noticed, the amp really needs a good dedicated 20 amp line..and should definitely not be plugged into any kind of power conditioner.
Do see if you can source a CAT preamp, I think you would like the sound....:D

One other thought, are you using the high impedance setting with the ARC? I have found that with tube preamps, this amp sounds best in that setting.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
63
#7
Fantastic Gustavo...impressive! Regarding amps, I cannot say I know your amp well as I have heard Rowland only many years ago, and obviously not upgraded the way you have done. Regarding preamps, given that you have Rowland, used to own Gryphon and have inquired about tubes as well as SS, and also have tried ARC Ref 6...i wonder: have you ever considered the CJ GAT 2? It is a tube based preamp obviously, but since the ACT 2 Series 2/ART III, the CJ preamps have redefined themselves around a much lower noise floor, greater detail retrieval...which allowed them to unearth the nuances, cues and organic qualities from the original signal without having to 'sugar coat' it. As a result, it has a low noise floor, excellent detail retrieval and a natural unforced quality which I really enjoy. Due to the upgrades in the power supply side, it also provides significantly greater macrodynamics and bass power.

Look forward to reading more about your search for a great preamp to match your great customized amp.
 

gustavo

New Member
Oct 1, 2018
23
1
3
Italia
#8
dear DaveyF , of course I have a very nice environment in terms of acoustics and treated, I have a dedicated system for audio only, the pre ref is only 200 hours and 'new but it' sa question of taste perhaps too modern wants to look like a solid state. before I had everything wired vahalala nordost too light too open for my taste, as I tried a pre cat Legend but honestly I preferred the ref 6, nobody is good and nobody is bad depends a lot on the interfaces. I use the high input impedance behind the jeff. however 2 different characters but together they were fine Jeff / Gryphon Pandora, as a stupid I sold it ......
 
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gustavo

New Member
Oct 1, 2018
23
1
3
Italia
#9
Dear LL21,
i pre CJ t I like a lot and have a sound like conrad Jhonson really hot tube nice once I had a good Seven B preamp, the Gat is nice and good but it costs a lot and now I can not spend more money and I'm sorry to sell now the ref 6 does not even have a year just 150/160 hours of work
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#10
Fantastic Gustavo...impressive! Regarding amps, I cannot say I know your amp well as I have heard Rowland only many years ago, and obviously not upgraded the way you have done. Regarding preamps, given that you have Rowland, used to own Gryphon and have inquired about tubes as well as SS, and also have tried ARC Ref 6...i wonder: have you ever considered the CJ GAT 2? It is a tube based preamp obviously, but since the ACT 2 Series 2/ART III, the CJ preamps have redefined themselves around a much lower noise floor, greater detail retrieval...which allowed them to unearth the nuances, cues and organic qualities from the original signal without having to 'sugar coat' it. As a result, it has a low noise floor, excellent detail retrieval and a natural unforced quality which I really enjoy. Due to the upgrades in the power supply side, it also provides significantly greater macrodynamics and bass power.

Look forward to reading more about your search for a great preamp to match your great customized amp.
Loyd,

The cj ACT2 series 2 and CT5 had an extremely low noise - much lower than ART's. They are real bargains in the used market and are great matches to SS amplifiers having input impedance over 50 or 100 kohm. Although GAT's sound more natural and show more cues, I would reserve the "sugar coat" designation to the previous generation of conrad johnson preamplifiers.
 

gustavo

New Member
Oct 1, 2018
23
1
3
Italia
#11
tks for yr replay,
which models of CJ ?, however a good typical tube sound is also an M7 Kondo or a good Shindo Labs pre-amplifier
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#12
tks for yr replay,
which models of CJ ?, however a good typical tube sound is also an M7 Kondo or a good Shindo Labs pre-amplifier
The Seven's , ART I and II , premier 14 and 16 - in fact probably those that did not have Teflon capacitors. BTW, I prefer a lot the type of sound of the REF40 to that of the REF6, but it is me! No experience with Kondo other than their great MSL DAC - it does not sound "sugar coated"! :)

I have used an ARC LS5 mk3 with a Jeff Rowland 8 (the original version, not T or TI) and really liked it. Great match with ESL63.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#13
dear DaveyF , of course I have a very nice environment in terms of acoustics and treated, I have a dedicated system for audio only, the pre ref is only 200 hours and 'new but it' sa question of taste perhaps too modern wants to look like a solid state. before I had everything wired vahalala nordost too light too open for my taste, as I tried a pre cat Legend but honestly I preferred the ref 6, nobody is good and nobody is bad depends a lot on the interfaces. I use the high input impedance behind the jeff. however 2 different characters but together they were fine Jeff / Gryphon Pandora, as a stupid I sold it ......
Interesting, IME, if you felt that the sound with Valhalla and the CAT Legend was too light ( and too open..although I cannot understand why that would be a bad thing??) I would consider replacing your speakers. The Ref 6 is a good preamp, although i much prefer the CAT, but either preamp should be able to get a great sound out of the model 8.
 

gustavo

New Member
Oct 1, 2018
23
1
3
Italia
#14
nooooo ,,,,, my Magellan triangle Concerto sw2 do not touch ,,,, I live with them for 10 years ,,,, they play a marvel correct linear sound stage top and before I had the Avalon Eidolon diamond. .. now the new audioreserch pre they sound like solid state.
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#16
I wonder how relevant is your impression of the 8. It is closer to model 7 than to the later chip amps.
The late 8 versions sounded quite different - it is why I was very clear and specific about the model.
 

gustavo

New Member
Oct 1, 2018
23
1
3
Italia
#17
however, the 8 8t 8ti 8tihc timbre is the same as the latest versions have more power and more control. I with this change that I did I find it very sweet with a nice detail and refinement in the medium-high range and in the low range very controlled so a colorless and neutral-free amplifier. the only problem for me and that the ref 6 earns too much with the jr m8 even if there are adjustments the jeff I prefer it. at 32 db and with input impedance on high
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#18
The modifications that Jeff did for me certainly increased the resolution of the amp. I also agree that the timbre is improved as well.
Overall, I think that the mods have brought the amp to be competitive with most of the current top ss amps that I have heard, and imo, better than almost all of ss amps from just a few years back.


Gustavo, you are right, the cost of shipping this Monster was extremely high, and that was just across a few states here in the US! I cannot imagine how expensive it must have been to freight it from Italy...and back, wow!
 

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