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Thread: Tube Guru Tube Man vs. Tube Guru Tube Man, world's greatest phono stage? Shoot out!

  1. #1

    Tube Guru Tube Man vs. Tube Guru Tube Man, world's greatest phono stage? Shoot out!

    Major shoot out last night.

    We brought home the Tube Guru Tube Man phono stage last September and we were immediately taken back by its huge sound stage and accurate tonality. It was the best Phono stage our system has ever experienced. The problem was... there was a hmmmm, that amplified as we turned the volume up. Moving the unit away from other component transformers helped but no matter where we placed it a slight hmmmmm, came through the system. The unit did not hmmmm at the several audio shows and at the importer's studio. We chalked it up to reviewer demons and our bad (read noisy) power grid.

    The manufacturer in Budapest, Janos Binder, was contacted and he said that many improvements have been made since this unit was build, in fact, Robert Fuchs, swears these units are the best available phono stages on the market today. We were assured the new models would not hmmmm and we purchased one site unseen with a money back guarantee. That's how high our confidence is with this unit and with the designer Janos Binder.

    Fast forward to yesterday. Bill Demars of Beauty of Sound, the importer not only brought over the current production unit but also a secret new version with Russian tubes that the manufacturer claims is even better than the current model, let's call this the concept unit. The concept unit was just shipped and has less than 10 hours on it.

    We wired in the new unit and had no hmmmm issues so we were off to a great start. We tried it into the Audio Note M10 Sig linestage and the sound was transparent, realistic and holographic. We were all smiles. Then we wired it direct into the power amp since all the units have a built in linestage and volume pot. Better yet! More truth, more detail, more space. Thanks to Tom Kleinbeck of EnKlein for a 3m run of David level cable we were able to direct wire the Tube Man outputs into the amplifiers' XLR inputs. Wow. Layers of grit were removed, the window opened to a clear day. Hog heaven.

    Albums included Sade, Lovers Rock, Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman and Sonus Sings Songs.

    The table is the Kronos LTD, Edition, Black Beauty arm and Triangle Art Zeus cart. All the phono stages have tremendous gain for the low output .3 mV Zeus. They sell for an introductory $8,900 each. First and foremost, these are the most dynamic phono stages I've ever heard. Layered and room melting soundscapes, spot on tonalities and "you are there" realisms.

    Next we installed the concept unit... The soundstage narrowed and the images flattened a little bit, but the clarity exploded and the bass became subterranean. I'm talking Journey to the Center of the Earth bass. The sound now launched from the front of the room and was somewhat less enveloping. But holy cow, the bass and the tone and clarity was extraordinary. I stayed up an extra hour after Bill left to experience this phenomenon.

    This morning.

    Today I'm playing DCD Spiritchaser, (with the Tube Guru concept unit) and the opening bass line on Song of the Stars is startling. This LP is a little muddy compared to the CD, but not now. I am wagering the new unit needs break in and a proper shelf, not a rug with older version still points.

    So, what we will do is keep both units for two weeks and fully break in the "concept" unit. Reports will be on-going so stay tuned if you are into the most cutting edge phono stages on the market today.

    Components at this level make reviewing a joy, Thank you Bill Demars of Beauty of Sound, thank you Janos Binder of Tube Guru, thank you Tom Kleinbeck of EnKlein cables. And a big shout out to Audio Note UK for what is perhaps the best system in the world today.


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    Founder: AVShowrooms- over 15,000,000 video views! featuring video reports of audio shows, company tours and reviews. Resume' includes; the absolute sound, Stereophile, Listener Magazine, founder Philadelphia Audio Society. Top articles: Lamm ML3- TAS, YG Anat III Signatures- TAS, Ayon- TAS, Kronos Ltd. video review- AVS, Audionet- AVS, Single Ended Survey- TAS, Fisher 500c- Stereophile, Bozak CGs- Stereophile, Box Sets- Listener, Dynaco ST70-Listener. Best catch phrase: Bugatti of Audio.

  2. #2
    Peter:

    How do you adjust the load?

    Have you heard the balanced version?

    Ken
    Ken Golden
    The Laser's Edge
    www.lasercd.com
    www.lasersedgegroup.com

  3. #3
    TENOR AUDIO,Tops them all

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by lasercd View Post
    Peter:

    How do you adjust the load?

    Have you heard the balanced version?

    Ken
    I have the "Concept" in the system now. It is XLR in and out. It's dead quiet. I will pop the lid and look for loading options. Worse case, jumpers may be in order. I'm running the Zeus straight in and it's spectacular.
    Founder: AVShowrooms- over 15,000,000 video views! featuring video reports of audio shows, company tours and reviews. Resume' includes; the absolute sound, Stereophile, Listener Magazine, founder Philadelphia Audio Society. Top articles: Lamm ML3- TAS, YG Anat III Signatures- TAS, Ayon- TAS, Kronos Ltd. video review- AVS, Audionet- AVS, Single Ended Survey- TAS, Fisher 500c- Stereophile, Bozak CGs- Stereophile, Box Sets- Listener, Dynaco ST70-Listener. Best catch phrase: Bugatti of Audio.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by peteravshow View Post
    I have the "Concept" in the system now. It is XLR in and out. It's dead quiet. I will pop the lid and look for loading options. Worse case, jumpers may be in order. I'm running the Zeus straight in and it's spectacular.

    It's on the left side of the amp farm. Gotta love the EnKlein cables.Name:  amp farm.jpg
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    Founder: AVShowrooms- over 15,000,000 video views! featuring video reports of audio shows, company tours and reviews. Resume' includes; the absolute sound, Stereophile, Listener Magazine, founder Philadelphia Audio Society. Top articles: Lamm ML3- TAS, YG Anat III Signatures- TAS, Ayon- TAS, Kronos Ltd. video review- AVS, Audionet- AVS, Single Ended Survey- TAS, Fisher 500c- Stereophile, Bozak CGs- Stereophile, Box Sets- Listener, Dynaco ST70-Listener. Best catch phrase: Bugatti of Audio.

  6. #6
    Here is the Power Supply, handsome little devil!

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    Founder: AVShowrooms- over 15,000,000 video views! featuring video reports of audio shows, company tours and reviews. Resume' includes; the absolute sound, Stereophile, Listener Magazine, founder Philadelphia Audio Society. Top articles: Lamm ML3- TAS, YG Anat III Signatures- TAS, Ayon- TAS, Kronos Ltd. video review- AVS, Audionet- AVS, Single Ended Survey- TAS, Fisher 500c- Stereophile, Bozak CGs- Stereophile, Box Sets- Listener, Dynaco ST70-Listener. Best catch phrase: Bugatti of Audio.

  7. #7
    It has to be really good to be playing Madonna at 7:30 am at over 100 dB. The spatial ques are off the charts and the bass is KILLER! Tube Guru Phono Man/line stage from Beauty of Sound. Yes, this is my day job.

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    Founder: AVShowrooms- over 15,000,000 video views! featuring video reports of audio shows, company tours and reviews. Resume' includes; the absolute sound, Stereophile, Listener Magazine, founder Philadelphia Audio Society. Top articles: Lamm ML3- TAS, YG Anat III Signatures- TAS, Ayon- TAS, Kronos Ltd. video review- AVS, Audionet- AVS, Single Ended Survey- TAS, Fisher 500c- Stereophile, Bozak CGs- Stereophile, Box Sets- Listener, Dynaco ST70-Listener. Best catch phrase: Bugatti of Audio.

  8. #8
    Sr. Equipment Reviewer and Executive Technical Director, AVShowrooms
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteravshow View Post
    It has to be really good to be playing Madonna at 7:30 am at over 100 dB. The spatial ques are off the charts and the bass is KILLER! Tube Guru Phono Man/line stage from Beauty of Sound. Yes, this is my day job.

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    Big time fun, Peter. Now when do I start the review? (ha ha)

    Kevin

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