Originally Posted by jacal01
Yes, I also saw on the 6 moons review that the SATRI-IO-EX board is the one offered in the HPA-21. And no, I wasn't asked if I wanted an IO board upgrade. I suspect that the SATRI-IO-UL board is the one implemented in the Bakoon AMP-11R that Dr. Roberts has, and that the reason Llloyd was offered a choice is because the HDA-5210mk3 is hand built per order, and the UL board was also available to the Bakoon Japan parent company, as opposed to the mass produced HPA-21 by Bakoon International. I also suspect that Llloyd didn't avail himself of this option because there's most likely an appreciable cost increase associated with the UL board, and hence perhaps accounts for some of the considerable cost difference between the HP amp and its big brother.
Yeah, it was a hefty price increase for the UL board and yeah they are built to order. mine was ordered factory direct so they offer any power supply as well. The price basically ranges from approx $1800 usd to $3,000. I think you can pay extra for attenuators, metal film resistance, or "winging resistance" as well as the EX/UL circuit. But yeah I just went with the base model as I've usually found with a lot of amps / electronics with lavish options, the base model ends up being the best value, and based off of the headfonia review I figured I'd be satisfied with the base model as well. If I had no care in the world about money I would probably go back and buy the top of the line version, but I'm more than satisfied. I was expecting slight improvements, or maybe even a side step of improvements vs the taboo, but to my ears it is superior in just about every category that I can think of.
I realize the HPA-21 is mass produced, but I also rememeber reading that they have an array of upgrades in the internal parts vs the japanese model(hence the battery for all out sound quality), that's why I was wondering if they used the UL board. Maybe it does not offer as significant of a sonic advantage as the other changes they made. I would love to hear the two side by side as well.
Edited by Llloyd - 9/16/13 at 5:56pm