Ian

Croft Micro 25 pre-amp, first impressions.

Recommended Posts

Croft gear appeared on my radar, as things do, and I found the philosophy of 'no frills' boxes, barely no marketing and everything going into the product to be very intriguing.

Whatever, picked one up s/h, minty and blind , it's the best way ! I must say that the build quality is absolutely fine, I like the utilitarian functionality of the box. All is very well screwed together and inside is beautifully assembled.

Alas I can't really review as such as I only have experience of one other pre-amp, an Eastern Electric BBA. On listening for a couple of hours though I'd say this is a wonderfully balanced and natural sounding bit of kit, the qualities of which seduce your ears rather than try and impress them.

Perhaps natural detail is traded for warmth and I find this really appeals to me. All seems to be wonderfully open and soundstaging is a dream in my fairly small, 12 x 12ft room.

More listening required but I'm happy to say that this speculative buy leaves me very, very happy indeed. I still remain curious about the power amps !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

Hi Ian

didn't you have a dead channel problem? I take it it was an easy fix

I'm the opposite of you, got the series 7 power amp and the RIAA phonostage. I love them both, fab for the money (and I bought them new!!). I demo the power amp while my Art Audio diavolo was having a long service. Didn't miss the diavolo at all and still listen to it despite the diavolo is back. Similar sonic signature to your description, doesn't try to thrill or impress, wonderfully balanced. I actually feels it has a great deal of details, infact it's good at highlighting various instruments in the soundstage and at times can be a bit distracting; I found myself darting around "looking" for them rather than listening to the music as a whole.

i love the build as well, solid and small and light. So easy to swap and change amp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Leon,

The dead channel problem was a complete mystery, all sorted with no action required ! I must say this amp is growing and growing, I just love this box, and your comments seem on the money even though we're talking about different units pre and power wise. Might see what I can sell and have a think about the power !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

how you finding the two volume controls thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Might see what I can sell and have a think about the power !

If you could find a pair of Quad II's that you don't care about Glenn used to offer a rebuild of these to his own design. Perhaps he still does ? I have a pair and I have to say that personally I prefer the originals. But as always it's 'each to his own' ...

Valvebloke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

The Croft 7 power is a great amp, it has the smooth grainfree spacious sound of valves, but with the punch, grip & pace of very good solid state. I love mine to bits, you owe it to yourself to have a listen.

Simon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

Hi Simon how did you find the standard when compared to your R version?

Regards

Leon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
how you finding the two volume controls thing?

I've seen it suggested that a rubber band around the two works - in my experience it doesn't; you want the controls to move at the same time and by (exactly) the same amount, there's always going to be give in the elastic which means this doesn't happen.

However - a piece of cord can be anchored at the grub screw holes and tied off at the right length; this then gives right control for vol up and left for vol down. Any balance off-set in the room can also be taken care of this way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Simon how did you find the standard when compared to your R version?

Regards

Leon

Hi, I found the R versions were slightly smoother, though the standard ones are very good in this respect anyway, the main difference was in the soundstage, much bigger with added air & space.

I know when Tim at Divine Audio asked Glen what the difference was he said the R versions are heavier:)

Simon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, I found the R versions were slightly smoother, though the standard ones are very good in this respect anyway, the main difference was in the soundstage, much bigger with added air & space.

I know when Tim at Divine Audio asked Glen what the difference was he said the R versions are heavier:)

Simon.

Did you stick with the stock valves and if not what did you swap in?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leon,

Really don't mind about the two volume controls at all. Thought it might take some getting used to but not at all.

Valvebloke,

I don't think I can find a pair of Quad IIs I don't care about ;-) (I know what you meant though !). I'm very much looking forward to dropping the Quads onto the Croft and will do so later this week.

Ridley,

The Series 7 will definitely happen at some point. One will crop up soon enough I hope.

Cheers all, Ian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you could find a pair of Quad II's that you don't care about Glenn used to offer a rebuild of these to his own design. Perhaps he still does ? I have a pair and I have to say that personally I prefer the originals. But as always it's 'each to his own' ...

Valvebloke

I'd also add that the Croft combination with the Leak 20 seems to be a bit of a match made in heaven. The Leak is no slouch anyway but with the Croft the sound is transformed to a very punchy and pacey one, words used by Ridley to describe the 7 !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you stick with the stock valves and if not what did you swap in?

Thanks

I use the stock JJ that it comes with, I did try some TJ full music in the phono position but they sounded to lean & it lost some of it's get up & go. I think as Glenn built & voiced them around the JJ's there may be no real gain in swapping them, but you never know!

Simon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use the stock JJ that it comes with, I did try some TJ full music in the phono position but they sounded to lean & it lost some of it's get up & go. I think as Glenn built & voiced them around the JJ's there may be no real gain in swapping them, but you never know!

Simon.

I stuck a Mullard in this afternoon, tiny bit warmer is my initial impression (it replaced a GE).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

since the 7 power has a bit too much gain for my system, Glenn told me to change the valve to a ecc82 or ecc81 to lower the gain. so mine has a mullard ecc82 box plate, amperex ecc82 or Brimar 13d5. They all change the sound a bit with the Mullard being warmer, Brimar a bit too warm and closed in and the amperex working out well for me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.