Dayens Ampino - A Mini Review

msgmsg Posts: 4,197
edited March 2016 in 2 Channel Audio
In consideration of the well reviewed Dayens Menuetto, one of the integrated pieces in the Dayens line that Skip carries, I piggybacked on F1's demo of the Dayens Ampino for a gathering he attended some time ago. My understanding is that the Menuetto works nicely with the Polk LSiM703's (as detailed in a shootout here, some time ago), a speaker I thoroughly enjoy, and so I was curious about the Dayens sound, and Skip was gracious enough to offer me an opportunity to audition the Dayens Ampino, the next model down from the Menuetto in the Dayens integrated lineup.

Here are a couple of links if you'd like to read further outside of this post
http://www.dayens.rs/eng_ampino.html
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/dayens/ampino.html

From 6moons
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From 6moons
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Setup for this is as follows:
  • Squeezebox Touch, Spotify, reference playlist at 320k CBR
  • Bobo Digital Coax; shielded (sheepish, ducks and dodges rotten tomatoes)
  • Parasound D/AC-800
  • MIT AVT1 IC's
  • Dayens Ampino
  • Douglas Connection/Furez 12awg DIY SC's
  • Polk Monitor 10's; oe w/RD0-194 tweeters

Admittedly, out of the box, I wasn't particularly impressed, generally speaking. The Ampino feels relatively lightweight - 3.7Kg, about 8lbs - but pretty solid feeling; it doesn't feel tinny. The chassis dimensions seem odd if you're used to the standard 17" - 19" width on gear. I noticed that the volume knob felt loose and spinny, which struck me as feeling a bit cheap at first. Some may raise an eyebrow at the selector/control switches, but I didn't give much thought to them other than that they're different than what I'm used to, and seemed a little retro-ey.

Then I hooked it up and threw some music at it. That's where my complaints and doubts began to subside a bit. I was intrigued.

I can't really believe the quality of sound that comes out of this thing. I really didn't expect this, but am I'm finding that the Ampino performs *surprisingly* nicely at the initial modest to moderate listening levels in this setup. Specifically, I noticed some greater detail in some parts of tracks I'm familiar with. It sounded somehow sweeter, smoother, and slightly more detailed and articulate in some areas than I'm used to hearing with some of these familiar pieces I test with. Luna's Teenage Lightning, or 'Til Tuesday's Coming Up Close (Aimee Mann), sound particularly good, as examples. On Teenage Lightning, I was hearing some guitar notes outside of the speaker width on the left side. I was also surprised at how the unit is able to pass some lower frequency notes, and especially at the presence of these notes given its relatively low power specifications.
9xcrjtn6cvtv.png
I use a couple of these lower frequency producing tracks in testing because some systems aren't able to output them at all, or sometimes, they can't produce them with much presence, so it's a good test for me, for what I look for in system performance. I get that most of you guys don't listen to this kind of stuff, but a couple of those tracks, if you're interested, are Spiritualized's Sway (2:45 forward) and The Dreadful Yawns' We Go Up. You'll know the bass notes I'm speaking of when you hear them. I will say that the presence was sliiiiiiiightly lesser on the Spiritualized piece, but not by too much. The Ampino drives Monitor 10's nicely in the 11x11 test space (spare bedroom), with my bass and other 2ch quality test tracks/passages performing very nicely.

I will also say that the best experience is recognized by sitting in the sweet spot (as usual), and speaker placement and room tricks can make this unit especially capable. Some of the performance fell away noticeably if I was outside of this listening position, eg, too close; It was still clean, but got kind of thin. Again, the same is true with my experience with other components and systems, so this is not specific to the Ampino. It just seems particularly capable when set up in a good space with listening position conducive to 2ch. If I were using this in a larger space, or for background listening outside of the sweet spot, I may consider leaving something in the budget for a sub, depending on the speaker performance, but I can't say at this point.

For Rock, I was listening specifically to determine whether it would go thin and crunchy in general, and at volume, as is the case sometimes with heavy rock tracks laden with higher frequencies in guitar solos, crashes and such. I used Jane's Addiction's Three Days for this. It's a 10+ minute track, with essentially a few different songs in one. Listening from the sweet spot, again, solid performer, but with slight edge, thought I wouldn't necessarily call it fatiguing at all. Still very listenable. And a good measure of that edge is probably due to my source, media quality, and digital coax cable quality. This is a tough test track for me. I would imagine this could be bettered with proper source media and a better digital coax, as I notice this on any of my other systems, as well. My reference for bright and crunchy is RTi10's for music on an underpowered AVR. Anything approaching that miserable experience is a get-this-crap-away-from-me deal breaker for me. It's easy to get there with underpowered speakers, and I really felt that the Ampino was going to fall on its face here with rock in general, and specifically at higher listening levels, certainly. I pushed the volume to 10 o'clock, and it was WAY louder than I'd ever want for that space, quite uncomfortable, actually, during the guitar solo on Three Days at around the 4:40 minute mark. I couldn't really keep it at 10 o'clock long enough to hear whether it was breaking up. 9 o'clock was much more comfortable, and sounded better, and rockin' enough. My regular listening with the Ampino is with the volume knob at around 7 to 8 o'clock.

Overall in my time with the unit, I'm relatively impressed. I really can't get over how fat and full it can perform with the Monitor 10's. The volume knob spinniness is the only thing I would see addressed, and I'd maybe Dynamat a portion of the chassis for a little extra heft and damping, but not sure it's required. And, essentially, the volume knob "issue" simply goes away once you get it set up and start listening, which, I think, is something we all have to remind ourselves to do sometimes. After all, while the gear chase is neat and fun and a huge part of the enjoyment of the experience, a greater part of that is, or should be, the music, right? I don't even particularly care that there's no remote for it. This is something I'd cue up a good playlist with and just let it roll.
Post edited by KennethSwauger on

Comments

  • msgmsg Posts: 4,197
    edited March 2016
    I was originally going to say that the Ampino would be a great little piece for a smaller space, where the refinements of a stereo experience are preferred over output, but then after hearing what it can do at 10 o'clock, I'm not sure I can put that limiter on it. This unit is surprisingly listenable and continues to surprise me as I listen to more and more different kinds of music on it, especially given that my first impression coming out of the box kinda had me withdrawing and slightly **** up the left side of my face for a brief wtf moment there. The chassis design doesn't seem odd to me anymore, and I can see using this unit at the heart of a sublime little 2ch system with some efficient speakers, possibly even hi-level outs to a small sub, but frankly it does great with Monitor 10's, and gets as loud and full as I'd ever want for the space I'd tested it in. I think running it with properly placed Monitor 10's would do very nicely even in a larger space for background listening.

    I even kind of like the minimalist design and chassis presentation. Would make a neat lifestyle piece.

    So I can say I'm impressed with Dayens, and my curiosity is piqued again on the Menuetto where the LSiM703's are concerned. I might try some 703's with the Ampino briefly before sending it back to Skip, just for reference, and/or possibly getting a turntable in the mix, just to see how it does.
  • indyhawgindyhawg Posts: 923
    Very nice review. I have been researching the Ampino ever since I bought my Ushers a few months back. My curiosity is perked.
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 4,948
    Nice review, I got to hear it at Skips and it was impressive! I'd consider owning one except I already have to much gear.
    2 ch- Polk CRS+ * Vincent SA-31MK Preamp * Vincent Sp-331 Amp * Marantz SA8005 SACD * Project Xperience Classic TT * Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cartridge

    HT - Polk 703's * NAD T-758 * Adcom 5503 * Oppo 103 * Samsung 60" series 8 LCD
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,668
    Great write up bud. My experience was similar when I was first offered the opportunity. The sound speaks for itself though.
    indyhawg wrote: »
    Very nice review. I have been researching the Ampino ever since I bought my Ushers a few months back. My curiosity is perked.

    The Ampino and usher is a stellar match... Even better than Polk and Parasound. They complement each other so well. With the mini x, my 845 monos set to the side for months because I couldn't find a reason to put them back in the mix.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    It's amazing how small that is for a non class D amp!

    What's that have in there? Two 10K mf caps and a decent sized toroid? Trying to figure out WHERE it gets its ooomph from?

    Nice review msg!
    Currently orbiting Bowie's Blackstar.!

    Polk Lsi-7s, Def Tech 8" sub, HK 3490, HK HD 990 (CDP/DAC), AKG Q701s
    [sig. changed on a monthly basis as I rotate in and out of my stash]
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,127
    Great review. Sounds like a winner!
    Lumin D1, KEF LS50 Wireless, Cayin scd-50T, LH Labs VI Dac, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9, HP I7 Laptop, Wireworld Eclipse 7, Wireworld Aurora, Wireworld Electra 7, Signal Magic Digital, Cardas Quadralink 5C, Velodyne SPL1200
    USB helpers: w4s Recovery

    HT: Elite SC27, Full Polk RTI setup.

  • msgmsg Posts: 4,197
    Thanks guys, and thanks Skip for the audition. This was fun, and insightful.
    Getting ready to send it back and feeling a little separation anxiety (ha). Gonna miss it.

    Just wanted to convey a couple of final notes. I took some time to see how it performs with 703's and LSi7's. The Ampino can actually respectably drive 703's to uncomfortably loud and fat levels without breaking up in an approximately 11x11 space. That one really surprised me. Again, not my usual listening level, but capable of it. A touch crisp, but not too bad. Would be worse with some crunchy rock passages.

    LSi7's, similar performance, though not quite as full and fat sounding as 703's and perhaps just a touch veiled, but I've always felt that about LSi7's until I settle in with them, and then that sound becomes my current norm for a while.

    Both required more volume than the Monitor 10's

    Ampino - thumbs up to this budget integrated, or a minimalist/lifestyle system. I can easily see using just the Ampino, 703's, your favorite source, maybe a DAC, and needing nothing else if all you want is to do is play music in a clean setup.
  • verbverb Posts: 2,732
    Hey @msg I know this thread is old, but I think you answered my initial impression about the volume knob. Loose and spinny. Thanks! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA 1C's, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, Rotel 1580 Pre, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Carver TX8 Tuner, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Cables
    Office: PC, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, Polk PSWi225 wireless sub, MIT AVt2 cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Auris BluMe, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,197
    You're welcome! A really enjoyable little piece, in spite of a promiscuous volume knob!
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,224
    Loose and spinny isn't something I would expect from a Dayens product. Is there any adjustment possible? Is it the knob itself that is loose, or is it the actual volume pot inside that's loose?
    verb wrote: »
    Hey @msg I know this thread is old, but I think you answered my initial impression about the volume knob. Loose and spinny. Thanks! :smile:

    Got Dayens?
  • verbverb Posts: 2,732
    Looks like it's inherent in the design. The volume pot is way in the rear, with a long shaft to the front. No bushings on the shaft to help stabilize it. Only clearance holes in the heat sink and front panel.

    5wu408w7o6mi.png
    Basement: Polk SDA 1C's, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, Rotel 1580 Pre, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Carver TX8 Tuner, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Cables
    Office: PC, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, Polk PSWi225 wireless sub, MIT AVt2 cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Auris BluMe, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,668
    verb wrote: »
    Hey @msg I know this thread is old, but I think you answered my initial impression about the volume knob. Loose and spinny. Thanks! :smile:

    Did you purchase one?
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,224
    He bought it from @AsSiMiLaTeD.
    DSkip wrote: »
    Did you purchase one?

    Got Dayens?
  • verbverb Posts: 2,732
    Clipdat wrote: »
    He bought it from @AsSiMiLaTeD.
    DSkip wrote: »
    Did you purchase one?

    Yeah back in April! Finally got the BluMe as my streaming device, ahem, firestarter, ahem monoprice amp is in better hands now! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA 1C's, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, Rotel 1580 Pre, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Carver TX8 Tuner, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Cables
    Office: PC, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, Polk PSWi225 wireless sub, MIT AVt2 cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Auris BluMe, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • verbverb Posts: 2,732
    DSkip wrote: »
    verb wrote: »
    Hey @msg I know this thread is old, but I think you answered my initial impression about the volume knob. Loose and spinny. Thanks! :smile:

    Did you purchase one?

    Yep way back in April. Question for you - is that a common concerns with these guys? A lot of stress can be applied on the volume pot and those soldered joints back there, IMO.
    Basement: Polk SDA 1C's, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, Rotel 1580 Pre, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Carver TX8 Tuner, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Cables
    Office: PC, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, Polk PSWi225 wireless sub, MIT AVt2 cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Auris BluMe, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • indyhawgindyhawg Posts: 923
    msg wrote: »
    You're welcome! A really enjoyable little piece, in spite of a promiscuous volume knob!

    I never had any issues with the volume knob with the amp I owned. I always thought it was a very well made product.
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 9,667
    indyhawg wrote: »
    msg wrote: »
    You're welcome! A really enjoyable little piece, in spite of a promiscuous volume knob!

    I never had any issues with the volume knob with the amp I owned. I always thought it was a very well made product.

    I like it... ;)
  • indyhawgindyhawg Posts: 923
    lightman1 wrote: »
    indyhawg wrote: »
    msg wrote: »
    You're welcome! A really enjoyable little piece, in spite of a promiscuous volume knob!

    I never had any issues with the volume knob with the amp I owned. I always thought it was a very well made product.

    I like it... ;)

    Knew you would. Very nice amp.
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,197
    That "promiscuous" comment was a play on "loose". Hence, Russ liking it.

    In all seriousness, it doesn't affect performance. Not like the knob freefalls to zero or anything due to low spinning resistance. It's a nice piece of gear. I would enjoy one.
  • verbverb Posts: 2,732
    Here's my test setup. In the office now but eventually will go up into a guest room upstairs. Polk TSi200's, Auris BluMe streamer, and my latest pride and joy, the Ampino! Thanks @AsSiMiLaTeD !
    mqendnc4i7a4.jpg
    Basement: Polk SDA 1C's, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, Rotel 1580 Pre, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Carver TX8 Tuner, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Cables
    Office: PC, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, Polk PSWi225 wireless sub, MIT AVt2 cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Auris BluMe, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,776
    Man those are low ceilings
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,197
    V works with John Cusack on Floor 7-1/2

    l5tx939om457.jpg
  • verbverb Posts: 2,732
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    Man those are low ceilings

    Funny! Top of the bookshelves, for testing purposes only! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA 1C's, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, Rotel 1580 Pre, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Carver TX8 Tuner, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Cables
    Office: PC, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, Polk PSWi225 wireless sub, MIT AVt2 cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Auris BluMe, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,668
    The unit in this thread suffered a cracked faceplate during its short demo run. I got a couple of replacement faces and installed one and noticed the issue. I think it might have had a slightly larger hole to allow more freedom in moving it. The potentiometer itself is fine and the rod for the knob runs the entirety of the unit so the slack you feel is nothing on the actual board - see the pics above.

    When Danny bought this unit I completely forgot about the issue because I was used to it and also it hadn't been in rotation much recently. Fixing this one to get rid of that wobble might be an easy fix and If you want to give it a shot I can reach directly out to Dayens to find a solution.

    It is possible that this was an older generation unit as the Preamp I run has a much more solid feel to it than this particular unit ever did. It might be an improved lot specific for the preamp itself.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,776
    verb wrote: »
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    Man those are low ceilings

    Funny! Top of the bookshelves, for testing purposes only! :smile:

    For a quest room I wouldn't care
    Shlt if you like it in any room...again I wouldn't care

    Just as long as you don't say "It's the best system I've ever heard" ;)

    Just bustin'sumBalls :)

    Disclosure:
    I've tried to set the wife up with a decent little system and set it for her
    Go in her office and she fudged it all up :# :# :# :# ....don't ask for pics
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • verbverb Posts: 2,732
    Thanks Skip. Now that I know about it, I can deal with it. No worries. Just a bit a surprise to me. Streaming for a couple of hours now, Howard Jones Engage, lovin it! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA 1C's, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, Rotel 1580 Pre, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Carver TX8 Tuner, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Cables
    Office: PC, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, Polk PSWi225 wireless sub, MIT AVt2 cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Auris BluMe, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,668
    One other caveat is that the Dayens preamp has remote volume so I'm sure it's a completely different pot. If you like this unit and want to try something different, the separated are much improved across the board and still not exaggerated in pricing.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • mpitogompitogo Posts: 263
    Speaking of volume knobs, I have both a preamp and and integrated from the same manufacturer. The preamp has a moderately dampened knob, while the integrated is loose and spinny. The knobs are in the same position on both chassis and I assume they both do the same thing. The preamp is slightly older but I wouldn’t think that is the cause. The input knobs on both feel the same. Other than the feel the volume turns also increment in a similar fashion. And I haven’t gone out to compare to other units. I just find it odd.
    Music-2.0 Raidho D-3.1 | Audio Research Ref 40 | Jeff Roland 925 | Esoteric Grandioso K1 | Transparent Reference, IC, Speaker and Power | HRS SXR Rack
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,668
    You generally get a step up in quality in separates.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
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