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I have now experienced the 250s (excellent) and now the 400s with network player and now the AMP150 (Anniversary edition). I think the 400s is excellent and is the AMP150 better? I think there is more definition and air, but I also have the Auralic Vega DAC, whereas the 400S was doing everything (incredibly well). The AMP150 is great and has plenty of power, but early days.

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Okay the Gato 400s rocks, and the Gato 150 is stellar. Lots of detail, clear and precise and ‘air’ I.e. there is quiet and presence to the music. Thoroughly recommended and thanks to Mark at Elite for the recommendation

E99D49C1-C92E-48DC-BFD9-E6BD8BC75D24.jpeg

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On 28/02/2019 at 10:26, Aikidoka said:

I have now experienced the 250s (excellent) and now the 400s with network player and now the AMP150 (Anniversary edition). I think the 400s is excellent and is the AMP150 better? I think there is more definition and air, but I also have the Auralic Vega DAC, whereas the 400S was doing everything (incredibly well). The AMP150 is great and has plenty of power, but early days.

Do you get anything more with the 400s vs 250s...other than extra power?

Thanks

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Intresting question and I believe their architecture is the roughly same, but there is a review out there which said there is a difference between the 250 and 400 and my own experience is there is more to it than just power and the Six Moons explains it thus:

https://6moons.com/audioreviews/gato3/2.html

https://6moons.com/audioreviews/gato3/7.html

http://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/gato-audio-dia-250s-integrated-amplifier-dac

Is the 400snpm better? It is different and I prefer it, but could you tell in a blind test possibly. Here is the main difference explained in the Six Moons review:

Volume control is by mechanical encoder of a TI PGA2320 chip-based resistor matrix which is quiet and very smooth. The converter's output is balanced which we later convert to single-ended. This is the same for the balanced inputs. They are true balanced and only later converted to single ended. That's how we like it for the DIA and AMP-150. For the SMPS and PWM amp modules we went to Pascal for a good International Rectifier-based* solution. Pascal is practically our neighbor. We modify their modules to achieve even higher performance. Compared to ICEpower modules which are more swamp and loudness soft, Pascal deliver a more lifelike dynamic foundation. The DIA400 is based on a modified M-PRO module as the smoothest and most coherent of our two models. The DIA250 is based on a modified S-PRO module and delivers a more open but less coherent performance so there is something for each taste. The input stage is fully active. We really don't like passive non-impedance compensated 'stages' which in our opinion don't work well. As Pascal's spec sheet shows, output impedance is 6mΩ for good damping factor."

The Anniversay Edition Amp150 is different in that it is class A:B and uses A at lower volumes and coupled with the Vega DAC it is impressive, more “air”. I like air and I like music to breathe. 

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Posted (edited)

@Aikidoka Thank you, Sir.

It's on my radar, as an Amp...along with MF Nu Vista/Arcam A49 or its replacement, when it appears.

I sold my treasured MF AMS35i to fund my Harbeths (and it wasn't ideal for my Harbeths).

Edited by CnoEvil

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Posted (edited)

Interesting details from 6moons, the article talked about 250/400 non S versions. For me switching from 250 to 250S (thank you Elite Audio for great trade-in offer) was an upgrade worth every penny. Never had a chance to listen to 400S but would like to know what the differences are. But 400S slowly approaches the price of Luxman 550II AX - I’d think really hard about that one. 

What is also worth experimenting with are power cables. I’ve WireWorld Status, Electra and Silver Electra - all from 7 series together with Matrix 2 block. My setup is rather strange as block and cables are Schuko and from the block one single Stratus with UK plug goes to the wall. 

These experiments are based on some comments (audiogon?) where somebody mentioned that somebody from Gato recommended them WireWorld cables.

Each cable produces different result, would like to try Shunyata Delta NR one day. 

Edited by hexx
autocorrect not being my friend

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If you are thinking of Luxman then it may be better to compare to the Gato AMP150, which is also class A initially transferring into class B later. My power and speaker cables are HiDiamond, which seem pretty good (don't have anything to compare them with)

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Super Wammer
On 17/03/2019 at 21:21, Aikidoka said:

Intresting question and I believe their architecture is the roughly same, but there is a review out there which said there is a difference between the 250 and 400 and my own experience is there is more to it than just power and the Six Moons explains it thus:

https://6moons.com/audioreviews/gato3/2.html

https://6moons.com/audioreviews/gato3/7.html

http://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/gato-audio-dia-250s-integrated-amplifier-dac

Is the 400snpm better? It is different and I prefer it, but could you tell in a blind test possibly. Here is the main difference explained in the Six Moons review:

Volume control is by mechanical encoder of a TI PGA2320 chip-based resistor matrix which is quiet and very smooth. The converter's output is balanced which we later convert to single-ended. This is the same for the balanced inputs. They are true balanced and only later converted to single ended. That's how we like it for the DIA and AMP-150. For the SMPS and PWM amp modules we went to Pascal for a good International Rectifier-based* solution. Pascal is practically our neighbor. We modify their modules to achieve even higher performance. Compared to ICEpower modules which are more swamp and loudness soft, Pascal deliver a more lifelike dynamic foundation. The DIA400 is based on a modified M-PRO module as the smoothest and most coherent of our two models. The DIA250 is based on a modified S-PRO module and delivers a more open but less coherent performance so there is something for each taste. The input stage is fully active. We really don't like passive non-impedance compensated 'stages' which in our opinion don't work well. As Pascal's spec sheet shows, output impedance is 6mΩ for good damping factor."

The Anniversay Edition Amp150 is different in that it is class A:B and uses A at lower volumes and coupled with the Vega DAC it is impressive, more “air”. I like air and I like music to breathe. 

So is your personal order of preference 150 > 400 > 250?

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Super Wammer
9 hours ago, TheFlash said:

So is your personal order of preference 150 > 400 > 250?

I'll take that "like" as a Yes!

Thank you sir.

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Having run all three, yes the Amp150 creates more “air”, if that makes sense and the Gato 400 is superb and I prefer it to the 250 (I currently have the 150 anniversary and the latest 400 and there is a discernible difference). I always recommend blind testing (I use my children who have no pre conceptions). Whether that difference is worth the money..... but then that is why we are audiophiles.

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Super Wammer
22 minutes ago, Aikidoka said:

Having run all three, yes the Amp150 creates more “air”, if that makes sense and the Gato 400 is superb and I prefer it to the 250 (I currently have the 150 anniversary and the latest 400 and there is a discernible difference). I always recommend blind testing (I use my children who have no pre conceptions). Whether that difference is worth the money..... but then that is why we are audiophiles.

Never mind whether the difference is worth the money, is it also an improvement? To your ears, clearly yes, and I suspect most others here will share the same view.

Nice one. Thanks.

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, Aikidoka said:

If you are ever down in London let me know and you are welcome for a coffee and a listen to the two.

🤗👍

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