Taiko Tana/Herzan under dart 458 amps

Mike Lavigne

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This is extremely interesting to me. I don't want to derail this thread or go off topic, so Mike, could you discuss this change and the resulting sonics somewhere and point me in that direction? Thanks.

how do you improve a world class amplifier?

you provide unique world class resonance attenuation.

these last 6 months i've made zero changes, and you may have noticed i've been a bit low profile. just been listening to music and enjoying my system. no coincidence that in mid June i moved 2 of the Taiko Tana-Herzan units from under my SGM server and NVS tt to under each darTZeel 458 mono block. i had been thinking about doing that for quite a while; but once the development process for the Taiko Tana/Herzan was complete, i knew i had to try it.

all the comparisons i had done last spring with the 3 sets of amplifiers did not consider what the Taiko Tana/Herzan might translate to if used with those amplifiers.

Jazdoc's comments on that other thread..........

Spent some time hanging out at the barn last night. Only change of significance since the last visit was having the Herzans under the amps instead of the sources which resulted in a nice little improvement in liquidity. We played tape, digital and vinyl.

.................were similar to other recent visitors. as good as things had been before, some sort of distortion reducing threshold had been crossed. you take a world class amplifier and improve the performance you get into a realm of musicality where our preconceived notions about what is possible from a solid state amp get scrambled. what i hear with the Taiko Tana underneath the big dart 458's is a finer musical focus, reducing smear and improving naturalness and expressiveness. bass is more real and dimensional. tonality is more delicately rendered. timbre and textures are sexier. Jazdoc's comment to me was the change reminded him of the Lamm ML3's. coming from him that is pretty strong.

in any case, this change in my system has pretty much brought me system contentment. i just don't want to change anything.

T+ D-1.jpg T+ D-3.jpg
 

marty

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Mike
Do I understand correctly that you moved two Tana/Herzans from NVS and SGM to each monobloc? Or that you added 2 more and kept the originals under the NVS and SGM? If the former, it sounds like you gained something but lost nothing. Do I have that right? if the Herzan's provided benefit under the source gear, is there now a performance gap there that might be recovered with 2 more Tano/Herzan's on the way to replenish those transferred from the source gear?
Marty
PS How's your son's journey going? Hopefully still on track to be home for Xmas.
 
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PeterA

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Thanks Mike. That is an excellent question from Marty about the source components. On the one hand, I remember you describing big gains with proper isolation under the turntable. On the other, there are skeptics out there who suggest that a rotating object above an active servo based isolation platform can cause a feedback loop and degrade sonics.

Do you think the gains you now hear are more from the removal of the active platforms from the sources or the addition of the isolation under your amps? Did you listen with no isolation under the sources or the amps before you inserted them under the amps?

As you may recall, I have noticed positive results with passive air isolation under my SS amps, so I am not at all surprised that you are getting positive results under the Darts. Could you describe a bit more the difference in sound? Congratulations on yet another improvement.
 
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Audiophile Bill

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I thought it was always clear that Mike preferred both sources (including his TT) WITH the active isolation? Therefore I can’t see how one can interpret his findings as written above as being a result of removing the active isolation, instead it surely is that the Dart has improved more so. Thus one would presumably assume that adding Herzan/Tana to sources AND amps would be final destination and pretty sure he hasn’t done that as written above.
 
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PeterA

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I thought it was always clear that Mike preferred both sources (including his TT) WITH the active isolation? Therefore I can’t see how one can interpret his findings as written above as being a result of removing the active isolation, instead it surely is that the Dart has improved more so. Thus one would presumably assume that adding Herzan/Tana to sources AND amps would be final destination and pretty sure he hasn’t done that as written above.

Yes, so it would seem. I just thought I'd ask in case he did the experiment again and found a different result. I have changed my opinion quite a few times about decisions I've made regarding my system. Mike is more experienced, but there is always the possibility that he has changed his mind, so that is why I ask.
 

Ron Resnick

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Mike, I am very happy for you that you have found equipment stasis and musical contentment!

But I am confused too. You like the Tanas under the sources, but the improvements from placing the amplifiers on the Tanas exceeds the detriment from removing the sources from the Tanas?
 
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Mike Lavigne

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sorry for the delay in response, was very busy yesterday. all your questions are all along the same lines of 'what did you do about where you removed the Tana/Herzan platforms? what was the net result for the vinyl and digital?

i will answer Marty's questions first and then try to answer the other one's that this first answer does not address.

Mike
Do I understand correctly that you moved two Tana/Herzans from NVS and SGM to each monobloc? Or that you added 2 more and kept the originals under the NVS and SGM? If the former, it sounds like you gained something but lost nothing. Do I have that right? if the Herzan's provided benefit under the source gear, is there now a performance gap there that might be recovered with 2 more Tano/Herzan's on the way to replenish those transferred from the source gear?
Marty

yes, i did remove the larger TS-140 versions of the Tana/Herzan shelf systems from both the NVS tt and SGM server and transfer them both to under the dart 458 amps. the NVS tt is now using it's 'stock' passive anti resonance platform, and the SGM server uses the Hardpoint Trinia footers.

in both cases, to my ears and those of visitors to my room over these last months there is a net gain both with vinyl and digital. a rising tide raises all ships. in my particular system, when the amplifiers take a step forward, the fundamental musical connection and overall flow and nuance take the whole to another level. yes; it's an objectively subtle positive net difference, but with significant experiential consequences. the sound is more addictive and inviting. jazdoc made the point that the sound is now more similar to the Lamm ML3's sound i had last spring......it's more tube like. i've always felt like the dart amps possessed a degree of what i call 'breath of life', a tube amp characteristic related to the absence of any mechanical artifacts. i think this is what has become more prominent in my system.

also; the natural texture and timbre of the music is more finely rendered and the leading edge of transients is more delicate and real. hard to describe but easy to hear. a combination of the low distortion of the best solid state with the nuance and refined touch of tubes.

in both cases of removing the Tana's from under the sources, i know from my own previous efforts, that there are gains to be made by investing in two more Tana/Herzan systems to restore the performance gap that now exists between the present source anti-resonance devices in place and the Tana/Herzan alternatives. i still have 2 of the Tana/Herzan devices under sources; both my dart preamp and MSB Select II dac box still have those Tana/Herzan platforms.

but honestly i feel almost zero motivation to push this issue further and replace those Tana's. i'm at a place where it's just such a pleasure to listen, and my mind is not really thinking about gear these days. i don't want to make any life long pledges of what i'm not going to do going forward.

i guess if i were to predict the future; it is more likely than not that at some point i will add another Tana/Herzan under the NVS. OTOH unlikely i would consider it for the SGM. but it won't surprise me if i never do that. right now it's not in the plans.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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Did you listen with no isolation under the sources or the amps before you inserted them under the amps?

good question.

no; i never listened to the amps sitting directly on the floor. they went from being on the Box Furniture stands to on the Tana/Herzan platforms. i do want to try them on the floor at some point; but as they weigh 160 pounds each that will have to wait for when i have the appropriate assistance to try it.

my mind is open to what might happen with that.

it's hard to stay linear in our progress and it takes discipline to use a comprehensive approach and realize what you don't know. i respect that some of us do that better than some others of us. when i get around to it, it will be a useful data point which i will share.

again; my feeling of comfort currently means i'm not compelled to be in investigative mode.
 

PeterA

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good question.

no; i never listened to the amps sitting directly on the floor. they went from being on the Box Furniture stands to on the Tana/Herzan platforms. i do want to try them on the floor at some point; but as they weigh 160 pounds each that will have to wait for when i have the appropriate assistance to try it.

my mind is open to what might happen with that.

it's hard to stay linear in our progress and it takes discipline to use a comprehensive approach and realize what you don't know. i respect that some of us do that better than some others of us. when i get around to it, it will be a useful data point which i will share.

again; my feeling of comfort currently means i'm not compelled to be in investigative mode.

Thanks Mike. I had forgotten what the amps were sitting on before the Herzan. My question was really trying to get at the effect of the active isolation under the NVS. After living with it for a long time and then removing it, I was simply wondering if you made a note of the sound before then changing it again with the Herzans under the amps.

I understand full well that once one has arrived at a very satisfying sound he may be less compelled to experiment further, but here is one suggestion. Before committing to another Herzan under your turntable, you could simply remove one from under a digital source and place it under the analog. That way you could test it before buying. I know you did this before and you reported very positive results, but some things have changed since then, and perhaps even your reference sound and preferences.

Anyway, it is fascinating to read about someone's progress. Congratulations again.
 

Mike Lavigne

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Thanks Mike. I had forgotten what the amps were sitting on before the Herzan. My question was really trying to get at the effect of the active isolation under the NVS. After living with it for a long time and then removing it, I was simply wondering if you made a note of the sound before then changing it again with the Herzans under the amps.

I understand full well that once one has arrived at a very satisfying sound he may be less compelled to experiment further, but here is one suggestion. Before committing to another Herzan under your turntable, you could simply remove one from under a digital source and place it under the analog. That way you could test it before buying. I know you did this before and you reported very positive results, but some things have changed since then, and perhaps even your reference sound and preferences.

Anyway, it is fascinating to read about someone's progress. Congratulations again.

thanks Peter.

i can't switch the Tana's from the MSB or dart pre to the NVS tt since they are the smaller TS-150 size, and the NVS needs the larger TS-140 size under the dart amps. i need a 3rd TS-140 size to be able to have them under both the amps and tt at the same time.

as far as quantifying the difference between the NVS standard anti-resonance platform and the current Tana/Herzan i can only guess. it's been too long since i did that change back in 2013, and then the stock Herzan, and my system and it's level of refinement, was much different. it's an obvious step to take when i decide it's a sufficient priority.
 

jeff1225

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Congrats on further refinement to the system Mike. It's logical now that you've settled on the Darts at the clear amp winner in your system to refine them and make them perfect to your ears.

I'd love to understand the science behind why the these platforms improve solid state electronics.
 
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Ron Resnick

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Thank you, Mike. Everything is clear now.
 

microstrip

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(...) I'd love to understand the science behind why the these platforms improve solid state electronics.

I think that we will have to wait for long ...

But I am also curious, particularly as Mike wrote that (I quote him) "jazdoc made the point that the sound is now more similar to the Lamm ML3's sound i had last spring......it's more tube like" . I had the Dartzeels NH18/458 in my system and it was not similar at all with the Lamm sound. Making a device that was built to be intrinsically vibration immune - the NHB458 - sound like a device that has intrinsic microphonie due to its tubes using an isolation device needs a lot more than current audio science!

IMHO an interesting start to research would be comparing directly the action of passive versus active isolation devices in the ML458.
 

Mike Lavigne

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I think that we will have to wait for long ...

But I am also curious, particularly as Mike wrote that (I quote him) "jazdoc made the point that the sound is now more similar to the Lamm ML3's sound i had last spring......it's more tube like" . I had the Dartzeels NH18/458 in my system and it was not similar at all with the Lamm sound. Making a device that was built to be intrinsically vibration immune - the NHB458 - sound like a device that has intrinsic microphonie due to its tubes using an isolation device needs a lot more than current audio science!

IMHO an interesting start to research would be comparing directly the action of passive versus active isolation devices in the (NHB) ML458.

jazdoc used the word 'liquid' to describe what he heard. my mind was searching for a different word and it finally came into my head....density. just trying to put words to what i was hearing. how much 'more' density of the music is enough to matter? maybe not much.

i'm not trying to answer your technical question. i'm only trying to relate what i'm hearing.

and this is not 'thickness' or 'opacity' where detail is covered or veiled, this is tonal saturation and tonal weight, maintaining the textures and timbres in a more real way.
 

tima

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Thanks for an interesting report.

Going from Box Furniture amp stands to your Taiko Tana / Herzan stands - from furniture to vibration abatement platforms would change your sound and likely yield audible improvement. It's great you and your fellow listeners had positive reactions. Had you previously heard the Dartzeel 458 amps on any other platforms (or even footers) designed for vibration control?

Don't know if its a fair question, but do you have a sense of the relative improvement, where this stands in significance in terms of any other improvements you've made?

Btw it's a happiness knowing you've reached a point of contentment with your sound.
 
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tima

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Making a device that was built to be intrinsically vibration immune - the NHB458 - sound like a device that has intrinsic microphonie due to its tubes using an isolation device needs a lot more than current audio science!

Pardon me, but no device is intrinsically vibration immune. :)
 

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