Roy Gregory: Preamps: VTL 7.5 Series III, ARC Ref 10 & CJ GAT Series 2

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#21
Fantastic feedback BigDogRJ! Thank you. One of the few who has really heard GAT v1 vs GAT v2. Really appreciate that, and having spoken with a reviewer who also has heard both...i can say you both agree. he said the Series 2 was 'embarrassed' the already great CJ GAT v1, it was that much of an improvement. A definite 'must do', he said.
 
Feb 3, 2012
608
3
18
Melbourne
#22
You're welcome Lloyd!

Infact, when the GAT was introduced, I had more or less already settled with my ACT2 and was enjoying it very much. Also changed several amps during that time, and still the ACT2 remained as good. When I actually brought in the GAT, it looked quite fancy but it didn't make me so overjoyed. The improvement was definitely there no doubt but for the price, it was a huge expense, especially in $AUD, the standard GAT is over 20 grand! and the S2 version is nearly 30 plus! So with that in mind, I carefully selected what I was going to upgrade with the ACT2 and they did a mighty superb job of it. Such that, it actually was somewhat equal to the GAT in overall performance except in name. And so I was very happy with this until...

The GATS2- wow! What an outstanding SOTA musical instrument!

BTW- I just noticed for the 100th time that you actually have a Gryphon ss amp, oh boy! with that combination of a GATS2, I don't think you have experienced the quality of music reproduction from a system like that. I think your combination of the Gryphon amp and a GATS2 will be one hec of SOTA at its best!
I can only think of how wonderful a nice Pass Labs XA30.8 partnered with a GATS2 and ML CLX's would sound like... let alone your Wilsons!

Now that would be very very special indeed!
Cheers mate and go for it, as I have said many times over and over again- you folks in the US of A are dam lucky, your pricing is right, nearly all of the best top notch gear is actually still made there of some sorts... and all of the great music is from there in any case. So, what's the big delay? I would have done the S2 switch long time ago... and been in audio heaven a long time ago, and in fact a long time ago I actually lived in the US! Should have stayed back in IL, great place indeed.

Now my life and home is here in Koala/Kangaroo/Redback country- no! it's not that bad at all, just majorly different! All in all, Aus is a great place mate! and the high-end does cost a fortune! Affordable though if you work really hard, no need to deal in drugs or anything that grows green but does require an awful lot of "hard yakka" to afford such luxuries.

Cheers Lloyd, you won't be disappointed! I know that for a fact.
RJ
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#23
You're welcome Lloyd!

Infact, when the GAT was introduced, I had more or less already settled with my ACT2 and was enjoying it very much. Also changed several amps during that time, and still the ACT2 remained as good. When I actually brought in the GAT, it looked quite fancy but it didn't make me so overjoyed. The improvement was definitely there no doubt but for the price, it was a huge expense, especially in $AUD, the standard GAT is over 20 grand! and the S2 version is nearly 30 plus! So with that in mind, I carefully selected what I was going to upgrade with the ACT2 and they did a mighty superb job of it. Such that, it actually was somewhat equal to the GAT in overall performance except in name. And so I was very happy with this until...

The GATS2- wow! What an outstanding SOTA musical instrument!

BTW- I just noticed for the 100th time that you actually have a Gryphon ss amp, oh boy! with that combination of a GATS2, I don't think you have experienced the quality of music reproduction from a system like that. I think your combination of the Gryphon amp and a GATS2 will be one hec of SOTA at its best!
I can only think of how wonderful a nice Pass Labs XA30.8 partnered with a GATS2 and ML CLX's would sound like... let alone your Wilsons!

Now that would be very very special indeed!
Cheers mate and go for it, as I have said many times over and over again- you folks in the US of A are dam lucky, your pricing is right, nearly all of the best top notch gear is actually still made there of some sorts... and all of the great music is from there in any case. So, what's the big delay? I would have done the S2 switch long time ago... and been in audio heaven a long time ago, and in fact a long time ago I actually lived in the US! Should have stayed back in IL, great place indeed.

Now my life and home is here in Koala/Kangaroo/Redback country- no! it's not that bad at all, just majorly different! All in all, Aus is a great place mate! and the high-end does cost a fortune! Affordable though if you work really hard, no need to deal in drugs or anything that grows green but does require an awful lot of "hard yakka" to afford such luxuries.

Cheers Lloyd, you won't be disappointed! I know that for a fact.
RJ
Thanks, RJ! Money is still money, and every budget has its limits. The sound here is more determined by setup/room at this stage which is where i am focusing these days...knowing that at some point i probably will consider doing this very expensive upgrade. So its more about stillpoints apertures, placement, isolation, etc which is very rewarding, far more cost effective and frankly doing a lot of intrinsic room-related acoustics which have a big impact.

That said, it is always nice to know the basic DNA of the system is sound...and I agree with you on my set up. I feel especially blessed not just in their quality, but in the way the work together...Zanden 4-Box Digital and CJ GAT/Gryphon Colosseum is a great voice for me...and driving the big Wilsons/Velodyne DD18+ allows me to hear 'much' of what the electronics are producing. The key again is then getting it into the room where that quality is maintained. More to come!
 

Geshi

New Member
Feb 20, 2013
28
0
0
#24
LL21, how do you connect your Gat to your Colosseum? Do you use an rca/xlr adapter or do you make a special rca to xlr cable?
Thanks in advance.
 
Jun 17, 2014
366
0
16
USA
#25
I have to agree with Harlequin earlier in the thread. While already an excellent preamp, the ARC REF10 preamp jumps another level when you sub in the GE 6550A's. Great upgrade! Works for the REF10 Phono too.

The REF10 and Pass Xs preamp were close in my system with a slight nod going to the REF10. But after the GE 6550s were inserted, the REF10 was clearly the choice.
Hi Frank,

I'll have to give this rectifier tube upgrade a try with my Ref 10. The synergy with my Vandersteen M7-HPA mono amps is already off the charts great, definitely as good as any of the ARC amplifiers. I can only imagine what this tube upgrade will add to the sound quality.

Best,
Ken
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#26
LL21, how do you connect your Gat to your Colosseum? Do you use an rca/xlr adapter or do you make a special rca to xlr cable?
Thanks in advance.
Hi Geshi,

I have used the Neutrik adaptors that Gryphon supplies. I have spoken with them about better adaptors, but they said the alloy of the neutrik is very good, very neutral. meanwhile, i have already discussed with the TA distributor having my SE interconnects reterminated on onside with XLR.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,009
105
63
London
#27
I have to agree with Harlequin earlier in the thread. While already an excellent preamp, the ARC REF10 preamp jumps another level when you sub in the GE 6550A's. Great upgrade! Works for the REF10 Phono too.

The REF10 and Pass Xs preamp were close in my system with a slight nod going to the REF10. But after the GE 6550s were inserted, the REF10 was clearly the choice.
Hi having compared the Ref 10 with the older Dartzeel model and Ypsilon PST mk 1, into the constellation insipid amp, the Ref 10 was clearly ahead. The Ypsilon and Dart were equal into the dart amp and Ypsilon edged ahead on the constellation, but the ARC was another league. With the external power supply and whatever they have done, it is now more resolving unlike the lower models. And like Roy Gregory says on his review, it is muscle, loud, big. The orchestra expands and rises and falls much better. Speakers were Alexias and source was the Lampi.

So now this is my favorite pre even with the stock tubes. I can imagine it will only get better with Harlequin's tube rolls.

The one thing was that some vocals were sounding hard, no idea why, and maybe that can be treated by cables etc or amp matching.

Bottom end and slam was fantastic. Soundstage was way larger.

So AR ref 40 used is the way to go

Based on Roy Gregory's report will like to compare to VTL
 
Jan 23, 2013
50
0
6
#28
Hi Geshi,

I have used the Neutrik adaptors that Gryphon supplies. I have spoken with them about better adaptors, but they said the alloy of the neutrik is very good, very neutral. meanwhile, i have already discussed with the TA distributor having my SE interconnects reterminated on onside with XLR.
Regardless of quality on any adaptor, it is a not-wanted extra set of contacts, inferior to a dedicated cable. Gryphons website offers instructions of how to make such a cable. You system deserves it.
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,586
13
38
Sydney
#29
Hi Geshi,

I have used the Neutrik adaptors that Gryphon supplies. I have spoken with them about better adaptors, but they said the alloy of the neutrik is very good, very neutral. meanwhile, i have already discussed with the TA distributor having my SE interconnects reterminated on onside with XLR.
Plus 2. I have tried several xlr adaptors and Neutrik are the best sounding into my Dag amp - that is letting more of the signal through untouched. They are about 1/3 the price of Cardas. The absolute worst is Cardas - like putting a wet blanket over the music.
 
Last edited:

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,009
105
63
London
#30
Plus 2. I have tried several xlr adaptors and Neutrik are the best sounding into my Dag amp - that is letting more of the signal through untouched. The absolute worst is Cardas - like putting a wet blanket over the music.
Good feedback, thanks
 
May 30, 2010
14,130
79
48
Portugal
#31
Plus 2. I have tried several xlr adaptors and Neutrik are the best sounding into my Dag amp - that is letting more of the signal through untouched. They are about 1/3 the price of Cardas. The absolute worst is Cardas - like putting a wet blanket over the music.
Not all XLR adapters are created equal - some have shorts on pins that do not carry signals, others have resistors emulating the input/output resistance of the amplifier/preamplifier and some just leave the (-) pin unconnected. This can easily explain such large difference. I wire my own adapters (curiously using Neutrik and XLR connectors) according to my needs. Can I ask where are you placing the adapter and what type of cable you are using?
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,586
13
38
Sydney
#32
Not all XLR adapters are created equal - some have shorts on pins that do not carry signals, others have resistors emulating the input/output resistance of the amplifier/preamplifier and some just leave the (-) pin unconnected. This can easily explain such large difference. I wire my own adapters (curiously using Neutrik and XLR connectors) according to my needs. Can I ask where are you placing the adapter and what type of cable you are using?
Nordost Tyr interconnect. adaptor goes into the Dag amp.

cheers
 

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