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Apex Peak/Volcano Review - Page 5

post #61 of 412

Excellent.  I am going to be getting the loaner unit sent to me soon - very much looking forward to trying it out.

post #62 of 412

Sky, do you have a Russian 1578 to plop in? Would love to hear your impressions with that one, and the LCD-2

Edited by tunarat - 8/27/10 at 9:49am
post #63 of 412

I do have one of those, yes.

post #64 of 412

My Peak arrived this morning. The new silent Volcano, I believe, will be shipping sometime this week.

post #65 of 412

Are these the 'real thing' or a later version of the good 1578s?

post #66 of 412

Hey Skylab,


Did you ever got a chance to review this amp?



Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Excellent.  I am going to be getting the loaner unit sent to me soon - very much looking forward to trying it out.

post #67 of 412

I should be receiving the updated review system in a week or so

post #68 of 412
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I should be receiving the updated review system in a week or so

It will ship first thing tomorrow morning. I had every intention of shipping it today but the day has been a mess so tomorrow.

post #69 of 412

Nice.  Like tunarat, I'll be curious to hear what you think about it with the LCD-2.

Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I should be receiving the updated review system in a week or so


post #70 of 412

For those interested: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/498865/apex-peak-and-volcano-loaner-program/15#post_7035840

post #71 of 412

I had forgotten about this useful thread.  I suppose it's good to consolidate most of the feedback....


My recent (amateur) impressions of the Peak/Volcano with LCD-2 here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/498865/apex-peak-and-volcano-loaner-program/30#post_7087540



post #72 of 412


Well I went out and bought this thing from Todd - serial #4. I can't believe he hasn't sold any more of these (assuming the serial # is reflective of the number of items sold). The Peak/Volcano with the Shuguang tube is amazing. I put on Mozart's Requiem (Hogwood / Academy of Ancient Music) and let my wife have a listen (she doesn't really care about all this hi-fi stuff). She started kicking and screaming like she had a seizure or something. I asked her what was wrong and replied "OMG, I can't believe how good this sounds!" I surely understood - this amp still has the ability, even after repeated listens, to on occasional provide a "wow."  
Now I can't write awesome reviews like the guys at 6moons, but the here some quick impressions are below. I used the Shuguang bottle, PS1000s, and two DACS (AMB Gamma 2, and DCX2496 modified running x3 AKM chips with passive output). Some comparisons with my modified Melos will be offered.
  • It sounds more solid-state than tube, sort of like SS with a sprinkle of tube. Definitely less tubey than Melos. Melos midrange is definitely fuzzier with all sorts of pleasant (or unpleasant depending upon your POV) 2nd order harmonic distortion, not so with Peak/Volcano.
  • Scary treble extension - no perceivable roll off. Very smooth and refined. It's like listening to those 45 RPM (not 33) classical LPs specially issued by EMI/Angel.
  • The amp really gets out of the way and clearly presents differences in source, DACs, recordings. The amp doesn't seem to impart much (or anything) on its own, e.g. its very obvious that the modified DCX2496 reproduces low level information, inner detail, decay, etc. much better than Gamma2, Gamma2 has better controlled and more impactful bass. This characteristic has actually caused me to more frequently switch between DACs depending upon what recording I'm listening to.
  • Changes in tubes are very noticeable. Bass control and impact seem dependent upon the tube used rather than being inherent in the amp. Whereas on the Melos, the bass always retains some characteristics of being a slightly soft, uncontrolled, and very slamming regardless of tube (or source). The Shuguang bottle is a little bit light on the bass, but has excellent control and presentation of texture. I've only got < 20 hours on it so far. But recommendations of a tube that has similar or close treble extension, clarity, and detail retrieval with a little bit more bass impact would be most welcome. 
  • Something I've never heard before: the ability to sustain bass notes. When I hear low bass, the fundamental usually kind of fizzles out, leaving only the higher harmonics. This amp has this spooky ability to keep that sustain and keep that fundamental note going. I suspect it's capable of very low bass extension (none of my current DACs or headphones are capable of this so I can't say for sure.)
  • Melos seems to have an emphasis in the upper midrange / lower treble. Comparatively, the Peak/Volcano has a slight emphasis on the middle-midrange.


Other little things:


  • LED over headphone jack lights up when the relay/timer goes off. This is a nice touch.
  • 3 inputs, very useful when comparing sources.
  • Smallish footprint. Light weight - maybe too light weight since the Shuguang bottle is very microphonic (ping, ping, rattle, rattle, etc. from kids stomping outside my listening room.) This amp is worthy of a heavy nice honkin' chassis.
  • Only one tube to roll. Won't break your bank account by multiples.

Edited by purrin - 1/7/11 at 10:48am
post #73 of 412
Originally Posted by BIG POPPA View Post

Ken now worries. After your gear is warmed up and ready to go I will give a good audition to the amps. I do have some good music to audition gear with, ask Sachu from Portland? Looking forward to it.

You're right, it's wonderful, It'very convenient.
post #74 of 412

Does Volcano improve the sound by much ?

post #75 of 412

I don't know if people have really tried the Peak without the Volcano. Though I remember reading someone saying the Volcano makes all aspects of sound reproduction a little better. I got the Peak/Volcano combo which did not ship with the external switching power supply brick, otherwise I would tell you.


I opened up the power supply to see what was inside. Looks like a choke, rectifier diodes, transformer, and a bank of big caps (22000uF x14). That's a lot of capacitance - almost like a little battery.




If you are into DIY, there's no reason you can't construct something similar. I was thinking of doing that, but I'm just too lazy these days for projects, especially with kids running around the house.

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