My main listening / home theater rig starts with audio sources from either ripped flac files on my HTPC, TV programs, or Oppo BDP-105 (modified by Joe Rasmussen). The digital inputs go through the awesome Lampizator Level 4 Dac, then on to the McIntosh C2300 preamp. From there I have a choice of amps: McIntosh MC302, McIntosh MC275, McIntosh MC225 (restored by Yves Beauvais), and most recently, Justin’s beautiful Casablanca mono tube amps. The amps then drive outstanding world class Harbeth M30.1 speakers.
Let me just say that if it was a horse race between the 4 amps, it would be a very tight finish, with the 50 watt Casablancas hanging in there with the excellent (and more expensive) McIntosh amps. The texture, quietness, musicality, dynamics, bass response, sweet mids, and crystal clear highs are just outstanding. I don’t have a clue how Justin does it, but there is something very special about these amps. I found myself forgetting the equipment, and just enjoying the music, with a lush, engaging, dynamic presentation.
I have a similar setup in my study. I use a PC with ripped flac music as a source, then on to the Peachtree integrated as an amp and/or a pre, then the choice of either a vintage McIntosh MC225 (also restored by Yves Beauvais) or the newly acquired Justin’s Stereo 15 Special Edition tube amp. My speakers in this smaller room are Harbeth’s wonderful P3ESR. This little 15 watt amp will rock the house……absolutely no problem driving the P3ESR’s with a lush, engaging, rich, dynamic stage full of music. Again, I really hate to say this, because I really love these vintage Mac amps, but in my opinion, the Stereo 15 gives the Mac a run for the money.
An amateur review from Scott………just a guy in Houston who loves good music.
Recommended for anyone looking for an endgame tube amp with some midrange magic and transient mojo.
AudioExpress RMAF 2016 – ampsandsound coverage Ampsandsound from Southern California (www.ampsandsound.com) teamed up with North California Sonic Studios to show their latest, hand-built hollow-state designs, the $3,600 Agartha and the $1,850 Leeloo combination amps. The former pairs a 6SL7 up front with an overspec’d power supply and 300b triode on output. The latter is both headphone and power amp,using a 12AX7 or equivalent for input (see Photo 8). With a pair of EL-84s out to deliver 2.6 W into an 8 Ω speaker, little Leeloo will also drive a 32 Ω headphone with a dead quiet 1 W of hollow-state […]