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Concerto or GS Ultra linear ?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am quite new to head-fi, been using an iPod with B&O phones until about 5 months ago, when I bought a set of ATH M-50s & a Graham Slee Voyager... a match made in head-fi heaven.... for me at least.



I have decided to Go the whole hog, and put together a system for home use. I Will be using my 27" iMac with nice big AIFF files as the source. I am a brit living in Denmark, I really love the Voyager, and would like to support British engineering, so would love to think the GS Ultra Linear would be the Best amp for my tastes & pocket. I will be purchasing a Beyer T1, which to me, sounds like a Bentley makeover of my M-50s.... On the otherhand, I Will also need a good DAC, originally looked at a dacmagic. Then I read loads of good things about the Meir Concerto & Stagedac.... & Jan has a great price on a package consisting of: T1, Concerto & Stagedac....



Please give me some thoughts & feedback







Thanks



Mike







Ps. My taste in Music is wide but mostly Blues, mostly earlier stuff, but also some good modern acoustic stuff, As well as Pink Floyd (of course !) etc.
PPs. After some friendly advice.... my budget is around 1800 euros for the complete setup.
Edited by MikeCD2020 - 9/28/10 at 3:06pm
post #2 of 17

Hi Mike,

 

I can't comment on the Concerto as I haven't listened to it yet.

 

But the Solo Ultra-Linear has been doing its stuff very nicely indeed. The extended bandwith does wonders for cymbals and things stay nicely focussed/unstressed when the music goes wild. Also there is a lot more air around notes and instruments.

 

I couldn't comment on it having tube like qualities earlier to its sound because I never heard a tube amp before. That has changed. After some quality time with a Cary Audio design lsi 80 intergated amp in triode mode with Triangle genese speakers. (very very very nice combo). Still no real comparison. But the Ultra-linear does do things a bit tube like. The air around instruments, the ease of instrument seperation and the near tube like sparkle of cymbals. It begs for a comparative test with an all tube (say woo 6se) and some esoteric class a SS amp.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Zoldar, thanks for the reply. I am certain that the GS is great, any ideas on which DAC might be a good match for it together with a set of Beyer T1 phones ?thanksMike 

 

 

 

post #4 of 17

Hi Mike,

 

I have the combo of Stagedac+Concerto+T1 and I can say it sounds fantastic!! I have also read a lot before buying this combo and at the end I came back to Meier Audio because I already have very good experiences with the Cantate.2 headamp and of course the nice conversations with Jan and a Pair of AKG's K701 which I am using now at my work because after the first time listening to the T1, there's now way back smily_headphones1.gif

 

phlipp

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Phlipp
I am really tempted by this setup. I had a chance to hear a set of HD800s today with a Burson amp. they where really great. My music tastes are mostly acoustic & live recordings, lots of blues, some rock and Pink Floyd. Am I correct in thinking the T1 is better for these types of Music than the HD800 ? I know that it is a very personal choice, but do not have a chance to listen to both setups before ordering....
post #6 of 17

What I have heard about the HD 800 is that these headphones maybe a little bit more analytical and "colder" than the  T1 but I ve never heard them. My music also varies a lot between pink floyd, radiohead, archive, porcupine tree as well as thievery corporation or tosca and yeahh it is sounding beautiful. I had the chance to hear the K701 and the DT880 and at this point I knew that the second headphones are the T1, because for me the music comes closer and I can forget everything..smily_headphones1.gif On top is the good service of Jan!!

post #7 of 17

I came so close to buying the Concerto+stageDAC+T1, but held off in the end as I felt it was too far a stretch budget wise for my first setup -even though Jan's combination price made it all the more enticing from a value perspective. I also didn't want to jump straight to the 'end game' without first trying a few different manufacturers/types of headphone and associated equipment. The other factor which put a doubt in my mind was there's a large number of comments indicating the T1 pair best with tube amps (but that the Concerto+T1 isn't far behind, and offers a slightly different sound signature).

 

There are some useful impressions about the Concerto+T1 in Skylab's Concerto review, along with separate reviews of the stageDAC, if you haven't read them.

 

I have Jan's STEPDANCE portable amp, which I have been very impressed by, and given the Concerto can only be an improvement on this, I very much hope one of his full desktop amps makes it into my setup at some point in the future.

 

Good luck with your purchase, and if you do end up going for the Concerto+stageDAC+T1, I would very much like to hear your impressions.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr41 View Post

I came so close to buying the Concerto+stageDAC+T1, but held off in the end as I felt it was too far a stretch budget wise for my first setup -even though Jan's combination price made it all the more enticing from a value perspective. I also didn't want to jump straight to the 'end game' without first trying a few different manufacturers/types of headphone and associated equipment. The other factor which put a doubt in my mind was there's a large number of comments indicating the T1 pair best with tube amps (but that the Concerto+T1 isn't far behind, and offers a slightly different sound signature).

 

There are some useful impressions about the Concerto+T1 in Skylab's Concerto review, along with separate reviews of the stageDAC, if you haven't read them.

 

I have Jan's STEPDANCE portable amp, which I have been very impressed by, and given the Concerto can only be an improvement on this, I very much hope one of his full desktop amps makes it into my setup at some point in the future.

 

Good luck with your purchase, and if you do end up going for the Concerto+stageDAC+T1, I would very much like to hear your impressions.

" I also didn't want to jump straight to the 'end game' without first trying a few different manufacturers/types of headphone and associated equipment." I had the same opinion and thats why I ve started with the Cantate.2 and K701 smily_headphones1.gif and now with the new combo it sounds much better and I think that isnt the "end-game" yet, because I really have new plans smily_headphones1.gif. So far I can say that StageDac-Concerto-T1 are very exciting and  hear things I haven't heard before..
 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well, I took the plunge and ordered a Concerto & a set of T1 phones....... looking very much forward to getting to listen to this setup. I will probably order a StageDac in December, funds allowing.... until then I will just have to let my iMac perform the DAC work.... Will report back when I have the goodies in hand....PS just got my copy of the Bob Dylan Mono recordings, as well as the Witmark Demos, all really good, great to hear them as they were meant to be heard.... on the sleeve of one of these mini LPs is this message:

 

This Columbia high fidelity monaural recording is scientifically designed to play with the highest quality of reproduction on the phonograph of your choice, new or old. If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of it becoming obsolete in the future.

 

Bob Dylan F.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by MikeCD2020 - 10/19/10 at 1:33pm
post #10 of 17

Congratulations on your purchase MikeCD2020, all the comments indicate it's an awesome pairing.

 

Given the likely high-resolving performance of your new setup, I would recommend you get a good DAC sooner rather than later to make the most of it.

post #11 of 17


Well done!! smily_headphones1.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeCD2020 View Post

Well, I took the plunge and ordered a Concerto & a set of T1 phones....... looking very much forward to getting to listen to this setup. I will probably order a StageDac in December, funds allowing.... until then I will just have to let my iMac perform the DAC work.... Will report back when I have the goodies in hand....PS just got my copy of the Bob Dylan Mono recordings, as well as the Witmark Demos, all really good, great to hear them as they were meant to be heard.... on the sleeve of one of these mini LPs is this message:

 

This Columbia high fidelity monaural recording is scientifically designed to play with the highest quality of reproduction on the phonograph of your choice, new or old. If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of it becoming obsolete in the future.

 

Bob Dylan F.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well, My Concerto & T1 arrived today, they REALLY need to be burnt-in.... they were VERY cold to the touch on arrival and sounded not so good... never mind, just have to wait sometime for them to produce their best I suppose. I also think that the StageDac will be ordered fairly quickly as well. Jan did manage to send a silver Concerto instead of the black that I ordered, but the silver is sort of growing on me now...

 

will write with some impressions AFTER they have had some time to themselves !

 

 

Mike

post #13 of 17

Have you had the time to listen to the setup after burn in?

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

They now have had about 200 hours of burn-in, I will make a final descision tonight. I must admit that I expected more of the T1 & Concerto, although I know that running straight from my iMac is less than ideal.... I have to decide wether I am going to order the Stagedac as soon as Jan gets back from his holiday or return the Concerto & T1.....

post #15 of 17

In my opinion you should try the StageDac but I can only say what I am thinking because I am using exactly this combination and it sounds brilliant. 

 

Cheers,

Philipp

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