I'd look for it to have a "mudder's milk" response..... an above average nutritive character for our phones. Only a French-Canuck would milk a root word.....
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I was fortunate enough to be the first on Todd's Teton loaner list. Here is my take on the Teton. This is not a formal review but hopefully it will give you a sense of how I felt about it. Conclusion is at the end if you want to jump down.
If you're after detail and speed above all else, this is a great choice. Really extended and clean without being bright. You can hear all the little nuances in voices and instruments but it's not distracting like trying to blast hyperdetail into your brain. The natural layering and soul/flow of the music is still intact. Even in complex passages you can hear everything in its own space and imaging is accurate. The soundstage is both holographic and immense when it should. The bass is not lacking to me but it is not as prominent as with other amps and I can see this not being the best match for some depending on preference. I bet different tubes would change this.
And if you own the LCD-X you should try this amp. It was my favorite combo. I really enjoyed my time with the Teton and miss it. It's not cheap and I can't afford it right now but I'll probably be saving up for it soon. Pete and Todd - thanks for bringing this to market. It deserves serious attention from anyone looking for an unbalanced dynamic amp in this price range.
If only I didn't already have the Pinnacle...
I have just spent 2 weeks with this wonderful amplifier. First off, I want to thank Todd for the loaner program and his expert and professional advice on multiple occasions. I will write more later, but wanted to jot down some impressions while still fresh. The Apex Teton is an awesome amplifier. My reference is EC Electra/Stax 009 rig with dCS Debussy DAC. I listened with HD 800 and LCD 3 headphones. As already mentioned, this amp is fast, and on a par with the electrostatic rig as far as I am concerned. The soundstage with the HD 800 is huge, and exceeds the electrostatic set-up. There is amazing detail and voices are incredibly real. I preferred listening to jazz over pop/rock on the Apex. I was definitely drawn into the music and found myself very involved with jazz pieces, both instrumental and vocals. The amp is also very true to the source and brings out the individual personality of the headphone used. The HD 800 were well balanced, but perhaps a little on the leaner side, and a little bass shy for my taste. However, that does not reflect the amp, but is my major complaint with the HD 800, which is not a "juicy" headphone in my experience. The LCD 3 conveyed their typical house sound with great bass, and a more restricted soundstage, overall darker. I preferred the HD 800 sound. I rolled tubes and with some combinations the bass became more substantive with the Senns. I am sorry that I didn't have other headphones as my guess is that the Apex would be fabulous with the LCD-x as well as the Grado PS1000.
The amp truly brings out the best of both solid state and tubes. It is an extremely accurate amplifier and absolutely worth a listen.
My thanks to Todd.
On the top is the main power transformer (~180W) and first filter choke... inside are two more filter chokes, one for each channel, plus another power transformer for housekeeping and the 6SN7 DC heater voltage.
With a low-mu triode as the output, it's important to have very low power supply ripple, or you'd hear hum in sensitive headphones.