Originally Posted by montepilot
When you listened to F-117 was there any diminishing of dynamic weight in the bass due to battery power? How would you compare F-117 to your Einstein in dynamic ability?
The F-117 was a huge surprise for me. First some background. In my system, the Einstein has held its ground over some pretty good phono stages and remained part of my system. Since getting into vinyl about 6 or 7 months ago, I've gone through a whole bunch of Phono stages. The Einstein has held its roost over the following in MY system:
FM Acoustics FM 122 MKII
Audio Research PH-7
The Nighthawk was NECK TO NECK in my system
with the Einstein and that alone is an amazing feet. The Einstein had a touch warmer presentation that I preferred for my listening tastes, but that presentation can easily be controlled through power cord choices. The Nighthawk with its battery supply was just neutral and pure pure pure. It was just as resolving as the Einstein and reproduced timbres just as accurately...that in and of itself is unheard of at this price point. Too say that I'm shocked would be an understatement.
This is only through a few hours of listening. I will have to live with the phonostage for a while to really understand what is going on here, but to even see this phono hang with the Einstein and play ball just as hard is a commendable feat in and of itself. The Einstein is about 8 times more expensive!
Bass reproduction of the Nighhawk was spot on. Mids were wet and voluptuous while highs were detailed and textured. Did I mention that I can't believe this unit sounds so close to the Einstein? My Clearaudio cartridge is a detail monster and can make a system sound tipped up a bit, so the Einstein works a magical number with me. The Nighthawk is more neutral so it might actually just be revealing the nature of my cartridge. Clearaudio's are known to be detail and transparency monsters not letting anything hide in the grooves.
Everything said and done, Ray is going to make a small change to the phonostage and make it just a smidgen warmer. That just might do the trick and really give my Einstein a run for its money. Horrendous I tell you!
If the final production model actually gives me equal pleasure, the Einstein will be on its way out with more money coming into my pocket. However, I'm just inclined to keep both phonostages as the Nighthawk is very portable! Take it to my friend system and give them a little shock therapy with a healthy dose of a reality check.
Ray, you've really done well for yourself with these new releases. I was so impressed with the Protector AND this phono stage as well. Good for you sir! You really do good work.