or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › My Review of the Apex Pinnacle (and comparison to the 307a)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

My Review of the Apex Pinnacle (and comparison to the 307a) - Page 2

post #16 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdh View Post

...  but I can sure tell the difference between my $1000 amp and the $10,000 Pinnacle.


Exactly.  But the cool thing is, other people can't, not by looks or brand, anyway.  So there's a lot of purity about audio choices.  Not like a guy deciding between a Camry or a BMW for their driveway, for instance.  It's almost impossible to impress through audio, which takes a lot of BS out of the process, and which means you get roughly what you pay for.

post #17 of 96

Ooh, Thanks for the review Dave :)

post #18 of 96

Lan647, I understand why you're getting this response.  You've ambled into the high-end forum.  What'd you expect, with respect to price on not just this, but other gear we'd talk about in here?

 

It's one thing if you, like some others in here, had questions about design, with respect to value--that's a valid discussion.  What you said is this:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

10 000 $ for an headphone amp? Now THAT's funny! 

 

Again, you're in the high-end sub-forum, specifically--at a forum website that discusses, as its primary topic, headphone audio.

 

In a car sub-forum titled "Super Exotica," I think a post of that sort ("$100,000 for a sedan? Now THAT's funny!") would be met similarly.

 

David, sorry to take your thread off-topic, man.  I enjoyed your review, and look forward to spending more time with the Pinnacle some day (my only time with it was at CanJam 2010 in Chicago).

post #19 of 96

I think for anyone with any experience in this hobby, $10k is not unimaginable.  Is it expensive?  Sure.  But when you expand our hobby to include all audiophiledom, you realize that the cost to achieve SOTA (or near-SOTA) performance from your rig is a mere fraction of what it would cost for a comparable speaker rig.  And let's not let this discussion devolve into an argument that those 2 rigs are not comparable.  For the purposes of this discussion, they are.  Moreover, I said so.

 

So, when one actually thinks about it for more than 10 seconds, one realizes that our little corner of the hobby has much lower barriers to entry, which in fact makes it somewhat more egalitarian than our speaker-bound brethren.

 

Also, I heard the Pinnacle at ChiCanJam.  It rocked.  I was hammered when I heard it, but it still rocked.

 

 

EDIT:  ...and what Jude said.


Edited by The Monkey - 12/8/10 at 2:43pm
post #20 of 96

I am a musician so the joys of music are paramount in my life too. When I say disturbing - I would include myself in that statement. I would dearly love to own the Pinnacle as I would a great many other items. I already have spent a lot of money on sound equipment - though never $10,000 on one item.

 

Hi-end audio gear is a wonderful thing - I am simply saying I think this amp is too expensive. It is the only thing I can say about something I have never heard before. This is NO WAY detracts from a great review by David or the fact that the Pinnacle must be a dream to own.- especially for those who will not be able to buy one.

 

When an item is that expensive - I think the discussion of price is valid. It is not a lot of money for some - it is huge amount of money for others.

 

Anyway - great review David. I wish I could get the chance to hear it myself but alas, I am not based in the States. Nevertheless - thank you! 

post #21 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syan25 View Post

I am a musician so the joys of music are paramount in my life too. When I say disturbing - I would include myself in that statement. I would dearly love to own the Pinnacle as I would a great many other items. I already have spent a lot of money on sound equipment - though never $10,000 on one item.

 

Hi-end audio gear is a wonderful thing - I am simply saying I think this amp is too expensive. It is the only thing I can say about something I have never heard before. This is NO WAY detracts from a great review by David or the fact that the Pinnacle must be a dream to own.- especially for those who will not be able to buy one.

 

When an item is that expensive - I think the discussion of price is valid. It is not a lot of money for some - it is huge amount of money for others.

 

Anyway - great review David. I wish I could get the chance to hear it myself but alas, I am not based in the States. Nevertheless - thank you! 


I thought Jude settled this above, i.e. foremost we're supposed to be discussing audio gear. In this forum price is only of peripheral interest.

post #22 of 96

I would like to read more about the technical side of the amplifier and power supply. I also like that some people aren't afraid to talk pro's/con's about equipment. That is the whole idea behind reviews and it creates a little excitement for the readers. I look forward to this thread evolving and reading more impressions!

 

Cheers & Enjoy the Music!

post #23 of 96

lol and people think im insane for buying some shure se530's, and se425's hahahaha i get it if i was loaded id want the best too no doubt!

post #24 of 96

I would personally like it if David returned to the discussion as since the rambling occurred, he disappeared. Why don't we forgo any further side-topic criticism and provide less late night comedy for Vrln?

 

And as M3ental said, I'd like to hear more about the technical side of this amplifier and the pros and cons of it because I'm sure it's not just full of pros. Even if it is in the upper echelon of headphone amps there has to have been some noticeable cons to it after 1 week of intensive listening and comparing to hopefully not only the Millet 307a. Ha, on the other hand, if it is full of pros how about explaining exactly what and why? I'm very interested to hear how this amp does what it does as I'll never have the opportunity to demo it. Does the OP or anyone else who's heard it have any experience with other amps in its league?

 

Yeh, first post!

 

On a side note, I've found this forum to so helpful and full of so many topics that I have not had any reason to post since I joined :-) Thanks guys!

post #25 of 96
Thread Starter 

One thing which always amazes me is how so many people were ready, willing and able to throw down 10k or more for Single Power amps, myself included.  

 

By contrast, both Todd and Pete have years of reputation to back up their products and most importantly.............they offer a 30 day money back guarantee in writing on their site; something which Mikhail promised me tons of times but obviously it wasn't to be.  

 

I will never hear the SDS XLR back to back with the Pinnacle, but I am certain that I enjoyed having the Pinnacle in my home more even before I became aware of Mikhail's crookedness.  The SDS XLR, looked as my friend called it, like a monstrosity.  The day MIkhail delivered it in person to my house (yes this really happened), he set it on my table and there was really loud buzz in the left channel.  He opened the amp on spot to fix whatever was wrong.  It was then I got to see the inside of the amplifier.  Let me tell you all, you would not want to think you spent 10 grand (or even 1 grand) on the mess I was able to see under the hood of the amp.  I never expected to later find out that Mikhail's constructions were bomb-like in their lack of capacitor compatibility, but I wasn't surprised to find this out since my amp stopped working just 2 or 3 days after I received it.  

 

While I shipped the amp back to Mikhail for repair, I was ultimately never to see it again.  Later on when it became discovered that Mikhail's designs were a hazard I was forced to comfort myself on the matter that had it not broken and I kept that "under-the-hood monstrosity" in my home, I may have been extremely unlucky and could have died or had my apartment set aflame.  It is the only way I can view the 10k loss positively and I do so in order to keep myself sane.

 

By contrast, Todd and Pete have created a very solid amp, which by the way doesn't come with a list of "upgrade possibilities".......Many honorable builders offer Upgrades for pay, but I'll tell you, even from the most honorable builder, this concept rubs me the wrong way.  For me it should be.....Build the amp one way, build it the best way or the most cost effective way and call it a day.  Don't confuse the consumer (and in some unfortunate cases like Single Power, rip the consumer off) with upgrades which should be either part of the amp's construction or just a different amp altogether.  I've calculated that in many cases, the list of upgrades is higher than the base price of the amp.  I don't like this and I am appreciative that Todd and Pete do not do this.  

Regarding it being 10,000, I doubt Todd and Pete set out to make a product with the intent of it becoming the new Flavor of the Month.  I'm sure they are aware of the scarce market for such an amp, but the market is there even if you think it shouldn't be (I disagree that it shouldn't be obviously).  As far I'm aware though, TTVJ is the only business around that offers a 30 complete refund on a headphone amp at that price point.  To me, after being burned by Mikhail, that favor to the consumer is not the icing on the cake; it is essential to me making my decision.

 

A great amp is several things, and since the incident with Single Power I rank them this way:

  • Reliability: amp should not break by possibly exploding or sparking or worse.  Amp should last a long time without problems unless abused.
  • Business ethics: Seller you buy it from should be easily reachable (which both Todd and Pete are), and honor all agreements and be forward and honest about his/her policies.
  • Sound: Notice sound is number 3, before Mikhail Sound would have been an easy 1st.
  • Built in a timely manner: I don't mind waiting for the job to be done right, but I still prefer shorter waiting times, and if you tell me 6 months and wait and this turns into 8 or 9 months I would probably cancel my order.
  • Tube availability: Tubes should be available and if not, they should still be easy to track down for replacement and hopefully not at a rip-off price
  • Appearance and finish: This is a distant 6th, but it still impacts the enjoyment of the amp for me.

 

 

Not everyone is going to agree with my rankings.  But I am someone who has been burned BAD, and even if the Pinnacle were only 3/4 as good as another amp from a company who didn't have TTVJ's reputation or business model I would still consider the Pinnacle a better amp.  Even still, I don't believe I have ever heard anything as good as the Pinnacle.  The 307a is very close and very different to my ears even though the circuitry is reportedly very similar.


Edited by DavidMahler - 12/8/10 at 8:01pm
post #26 of 96

Although I never heard the Apex, it's kind of hard to believe it could be much better than a B52 (albeit with upgraded tubes). But who knows?

post #27 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

Although I never heard the Apex, it's kind of hard to believe it could be much better than a B52 (albeit with upgraded tubes). But who knows?



I have heard both amps in my home.  The B52 is a very very nice warm amp, and for some people they would enjoy this.  It is very difficult to compare the two amps though because the B52 is unable to power a number of headphones from my experience.....

 

The entire HiFiMan line and the K1000 just to name a few.  The Pinnacle feels more detailed and focused altogether.  The Pinnacle is actually a warm amp as well, not as warm as the B52 though.

post #28 of 96
Thread Starter 

I will say openly regarding the cosmetics.........

 

The Pinnacle is a very VERY fine looking amp especially in person.  It is simple and sharp.  I would enjoy a silver version more than black though.

 

But I do want to say.....Many people didn't adore the looks of the 307a.  For me, that is a better looking amp even more so than the Pinnacle.  I think many more people would prefer the Pinnacle cosmetically over the 307a, but for me the 307a has so much character, it feels more personal to me than almost any other piece of gear I own, but it's not attractive in the "bling" or "traditional" sense.  It looks very hand made to me and I love that.

post #29 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by balderon View Post

Maybe this thread will get back on track soon. This discussion is lacking comments from Pete Millet. I hope he takes some time to respond.

 

I'm afraid about the only comment I feel I should make in this thread is that it is very dissapointing to see how a discussion can degenerate like this.
 

I'm quite sure that if I knew half as much as what some people think they know, I would be a rich man by now.

 

Pete
 

post #30 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmillett View Post


I'm quite sure that if I knew half as much as what some people think they know, I would be a rich man by now.

 

Pete
 


Win

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › My Review of the Apex Pinnacle (and comparison to the 307a)