Todd loaned me his Pinnacle for 1 wk in mid-December. He was incredibly gracious and supportive all the way through. I am still totally enthralled by the memories of the Pinnacle's sound quality.
I hooked it up to the XLR i/c output from my Meridian 808.2i. I listened with my balanced, low impedance LA7000 primarily, as well as HD800, T1, LCD-2, and 880/600, balanced and unbalanced. I didn't get around to testing it with my IEMs.
It's hard to find words that add to what 4N6 and others have said here - this is one sweet ride, simply the best headphone amplifier I've ever heard. And it makes every headphone sound the best it can.
The music comes through clear and clean, with every subtle micro-detail of emotion and presence, with no emphasis anywhere, and with nothing missing. The real truth. With every kind of music.
I invited two local enthusiasts over to listen on a Saturday afternoon, they are known here as mikela and eaglejo. They both listen at home using a Balancing Act with KR PX4s, wired with SAA Endorphin all 'round, using LCD-2s. Both like jazz and rock, whereas I like classical, chamber and vocal. They brought some very nice tubes and other such.
We had a great time. They were both immediately impressed with the clean, crystal clear sound quality of the Pinnacle. We swapped their KR PX4s in, and we all thought the sound was very similar to their rigs, perhaps cleaner, but without an ABA test a critical judgement was not possible. I thought the Pinnacle sounded best with its original Sophia PX4s, but both of my friends are very attached to sound of their current setups, with good reason. When we swapped the single driver tube out for mikela's black base 6SN7W, the SQ was almost as wonderful as the unobtainium metal base Sylvania 6SN7W that Todd sent, and with eaglejo's Mullard ECC83, I heard a truly gorgeous richness, though it didn't seem quite as spacious and holographic (I immediately declared that it sounded "flat" and watched his jaw drop - LOL). As they left, we were merrily discussing the chances of getting a discount on a group order of 3 Pinnacles!
I miss it terribly. The special quality of my modded Sonett is presence with clarity. The clarity it provides is very similar to the clarity of the Pinnacle, but the deep emotional presence of the Pinnacle is missing.
And I'm saving up now.
Thank you, Todd. And a special thank you to Pete Millett.
Edited by budx3385 - 4/15/12 at 12:26pm