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About zek4u

  • Rank
  • Birthday 01/04/1972

Personal Info

  • Location
    Dallas, TX
  • Real Name

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Rega RP3/RB808/GT
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Ortofon Black 2M
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Croft RIAA R
  • Digital Source 1
  • DAC
    Benchmark DAC2 HGC
  • Pre-Amp
    Croft Micro 25R Line
  • Power Amp/s
    Croft 7R
  • My Speakers
    Harbeth C7 ES3
  • Headphones
    AKG 550
  1. I have silver ones on the same stands also pulled out from the wall. I’m shocked! Do have two REL S2 subs running with them in stereo and feel I now have a huge slice of the big Wilson sound. Harbeths are for sale :). Holographic, super tight fast bass, refinement. There is a certain sweetness too. Wow!
  2. Trying to figure out my Croft 7R tube compliment. Is it two (matched) ecc83s for the power regulator or is it one ECC83 as a driver tube and the second as a power regulator? Just want to know if I need matched ECC83s in the 7R. Assume the 85A2 is used as a valve regulator like the 25R. Thanks, Adam
  3. Switched from NACA 5 to LFD Hybrid speaker cable. Wow! Also back to all stock tubes accept the one NOS in the RIAA R phono. Much more dynamic with the ECC99 in the pre instead of the 12BH7A. You might think I'm strange but I also have my video going through this 2 channel system. Amazing! Always read you don't want to do A/V with tubes but weren't the theaters of the past run off of tube amps? Was going to get a very good soundbar but starting to rethink that decision until I can get a bigger place. I have a little hearing loss in one ear and have always had an issue making out dialog. If you have to resort to 2 channel A/V, I don't think it gets much better then a pair of P3ESRs powered off of a Croft system.
  4. zek4u

    DAC upgrade?

    I'm really liking my Benchmark DAC2 HGC with the Croft separates and 7s. Has just the right amount of punch/drive without being fatiguing. Not harsh like many people thought of the DAC1. Also being able to play DSD files is fantastic. My vinyl setup only just now passed up what I'm hearing out of the DSD files. I think it is also critical you pay attention to the media side. I built a CAPs server with a SoTM USB card. I heard big gains between cheap motherboard USBs, USB/power/IC cords, running the CAPs media server with a Teddy Pardo PSU, etc. It's just like vinyl, every part matters.
  5. Have had my heavily modified Rega RP3 going for a few days now. My digital was amazing but now I really see the Croft's magic is at. Listening to Stacey Kent and I'm so relaxed in sonic bliss. Amazing! I put the one pair of GE NOS JG 5751 triple mica blackplates in the RIAA R and couldn't believe it when I counted 7 tubes! It has one Sylvania 12BH7A. Left the 85A2 Mullards and JJs on the power side. Think I'm set now. Maybe just stock up on some GE 5751s. Still using my NACA 5 and Atlas Hyper interconnects. Considering some Tellurium Q Black or skip it for some Auditorium 23 speaker cables. Any recommendations for speaker cables and ICs? Thanks, Adam
  6. I took the GE NOS JG 5751 triple mica blackplates out of my amp and put in the GE 5751 GL 3 Mica Black Plates. I put all the stock JJs back in the Pre. Bass tightened up, more resolution and seems like things are much more dynamic. Not sure if I'm going to leave the stock JJs in the RIAA R phono pre. Every time I try to remove the pre running the amp directly from my Benchmark DAC, things fall apart. The best way I can put it is that the pre is shaping the sound beautifully. I'll do some more comparisons against the LFD NCSE II I picked up soon. First impressions were very good. Maybe not as full as the Croft separates. Any other winning tube combos for my Croft separates? edit: must have been the reason I subconsciously wanted to try the tube change, just read this, what I saved in my notes "Elephantears - I use a GE 5751 triple mica red tip in the Series 7. I used this in the pre-amp for a while but then I tried it in the Series 7 and it was a wow moment; everything snapped together." *** From what I'm hearing right now, I agree !!! Oh, I'm putting my Ortofon Black 2M on an RP3 that has been upgraded to an RP8 (Rega RB808 Tonearm, Groovetracer Derlin platter, etc.) Bye Bye Kenwood KD-750. Vintage is cool and all but I want my vinyl to match what I'm hearing out of my digital, especially my SACDs
  7. You are right andreweast, if it wasn't for the threads I read from you and my fellow wammers, I probably wouldn't have taken the risk on the Croft separates. Being in the US, of course I had to buy blind. Tube hybrids rock. As they say, all the benefits of both SS and tubes without the heat and biasing. Like the bass control. I hate to say it but I hear a some Naim like prat in there. In NYC right now and heard the Devialat and Rogue Cronus Magnum paired with some Totem Forest speakers. The Magnum is completely unreal for the money. I just wonder about longevity and boy, it sure was hot to the touch. Oh, heard iFi will be coming out with another killer DSD dac soon.
  8. They say the croft pre is the sweet spot. If I wanted to try a different component, it would be an amp although the 7R sounded excellent with the Benchmark DAC2 HGC acting as a pre. That combo was better then the Simaudio Neo 250i, Hegel H80 and Arcam A19 with the P3esr's. I would say the Croft pre improved everything. More alive, tonally rich, better leading edges, soundstage more defined, etc. Is it worth not having a remote, yes. I still want to try a Luxman and LFD NCSE but think I'm done. Just a few cable changes and get into the music. Adam
  9. Totally agree with you Tarzan. I'm absolutely blown away. Feel like I discovered a secret recipe that I'm not sure I want to share. Well guess I did in these posts.
  10. Well my Croft RIAA R arrived today. Played my Melody Gardot album on a barely broken in Ortofon Black 2M and it sounds terrific. Interconnects between the phono pre and pre are not great and I probably need to replace the phono DIN cable attached to my Kenwood. Might try a AQ phono DIN. I will have all Atlas Hyper interconnects in just a few more days. Might also play around with alternatives to my NACA 5 but I need long runs. I want to try some Auditorium 23 speaker cables but runs that long wound be expensive. Also need some more NOS tubes for the RIAA R. It never stops ))
  11. Bought the Croft combo used from a guy who didn't play vinyl. He chose the upgraded line stage version that includes 2 ECC99 (12BH7A) tubes. This is supposed to get you closer to the performance of Glenn's top of the line preamp, the RS. That's why I'm wondering if I should just buy a seperate RIAA R phono stage. So many boxes but it's what Glenn suggested I do. The line version of my preamp truly sounds excellent with my Benchmark DAC2 HGC. I just don't want to lose quality. Edit: I've decided. Keeping the better line pre as-is and ordering a Croft RIAA R. Going all in. Well guess all in would be 7R mono amps, a RIAA RS MM phono stage , and 25RS pre but that's 6 boxes and a lot more money. Ouch. I'll stick with 3 boxes . Think I'm getting the best bang for my U.S. buck with this combo.
  12. Hummer. That is great news about the Ortofon Black working well with the Croft combo. The Rega FONO MM really isn't doing it for me with the Croft. Black is another league compared to the Blue. My 25 micro R line pre was giving me some popping issues so I just sent it back to Glenn to look over. Might take out one of the tubes and oil cap to add the phono stage. Supposed to hurt the performance a little not keeping the two tubes on the line stage but think I would rather just have the normal micro 25 R pre with the phono and special edition upgrades. Am sure it will be great with my 7R. Anyone compare the line versus the phono pre with a DAC? Compared my combo to a Hegel H80 and Simaudio 250i. Crofts just work too well with the Harbeths. I was bad and picked up pair of C7 ES3s today in rosewood. I'm sort of blown away with the combo with my REL T7 I also added. Even when using the Benchmark HGC as a pre into the 7R, it is great. The Croft pre really did make the P3ESRs magical. Just hope taking that tube out and going away from the line version of the 25 R won't kill the magic. Going to sell the P3ESRs. Sad but their big brothers just work for me. Tannoy Man, I'm trying to put Shunyatta Venom 3s throughout my entire system. They are all feeding into a CablePro Nana. Still thinking about another Teddy Pardo Psu to feed the SOtM card. It didn't give that big of a performance boost last time I compared with and without. Powering my CAPs server with a Teddy PSU made a huge difference.
  13. Got an Ortofon 2m black on the way. As of tonight, all my tubes are officially NOS. Unreal! Put the 2nd pair of GE 5751s in the pre. I'll probably see how the 2m black does on my Rega Fono MM but I don't think it will be long until it's replaced with a Croft RIAA R. What Glenn recommended so I'm sticking with it. . Should have looked into the iFi iDSD before I bought the Benchmark but I always get it confused with the Schiit Loki thinking it only plays DSD files. I moved from the Arcam irDAC to the Benchmark DAC2 HGC and that is when my special edition of the micro 25 R line pre really came alive. The DAC2 HGC seems to be a beautiful fit with the Crofts. The DAC2 HGC is not supposed to be as edgy as the older Benchmarks but is more alive which is what the Croft pre really needed with my Harbeths. Resolution is perfect. DSDs play natively and sound devine. AKG 550 headphones sound the best I've ever heard them play. One interesting thing I found out is that even a 128 Kbps Radiohead track sounds beautiful. I can not recommend this system enough! It has the grip and PRAT of the Nait XS 2/hicap I use to own but with the realistic fluidity that tubes offer. I wonder about LFD and Sonneteer but just don't know if it would sound this alive.
  14. I use to get goosebumps on a few select songs and now it is a common occurrence. Drives me crazy In the 25 R line only (SE) pre, I've replaced the two JJ ECC99s with NOS RCA 12BH7As, replaced the Raytheon Jan5651WA with a Amperex 85A2 (OG3). Have two GE 5751 GL 3 Mica Black Plates arriving today to replace the two JJ ECC83S. In the 7R (SE) amp, I've replaced the two JJ ECC83s with GE triple mica black plate 5751s, also replaced the Raytheon Jan5651WA with an Amperex 85A2. If I do stick with the Croft 7r/25r combo, I'll be on the hunt for a Croft RIAA R to replace the Rega Fono. Have a feeling these RIAA Rs don't come up often on the used market. Just purchased an Ortofon Black for my KD-750. Adam
  15. Thanks Chris. Since I've had this setup, I can't wait to get home! It even makes me want to blow off all these crazy woman I've been dating. Ha ha You are right, the vinyl side of my system is the one area I see myself wanting to improve. Take my time and get it right. RCM, an Ortofon Black and maybe a Croft RIAA R. Could also try some other phono pre-amps. Still part of me would like to also try out an Auralic Vega or a Chord Hugo. Also need 3 more Shunyata Venom 3s for my Cablepro Nana, since I now have so many components. Gee. Lucky me, I don't have enough space to upgrade my P3ESRs to 30.1s Adam oh, getting some RCA 12BH7A and Mullard 85A2 tubes to try.