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The Apex Teton Review and Impressions Thread - Page 2

post #16 of 131

so last october at rmaf in denver i got to listen for the 1st time to the new apex teton.

i was not planning on buying a headphone amp at that time,but after hearing the sennheiser hd-800 with the teton,i was HOOKED.

todd and pete sold me the 1st apex teton serial #1

 i promised todd i would give my impressions of this amazing amp,a little late,....however i wanted to really get a good feel for its sound,before writing about it.

headphones used-senns hd800 with moon-audio black dragon cable

dac-loaded metrum hex with lundahl transformers

mac mini as source with modded boulder audio power supply with ifi iusb and ifi gemini usb cable

    as we all know,the sennheiser hd-800 are very picky about source and amp.

well for me,the senns have FINALLY met their true mate. the hd800s and apex teton are match made in heaven.

and with proper tube rolling,i have dialed them in to my satisfaction.

the teton is incredibly musical,and for a tube amp,it is very neutral. it really reveals how good your source is.

todd proved this to me,playing pink floyd the wall on vinyl with his luxman turntable.

     with the teton connected to my hex dac,its not as nice as the luxman,but for digital,its the closest to vinyl sounding dac i have heard.

things i mostly love about the teton,is that it has a huge soundstage!! for a single ended amp,it will compete with any balanced amp.

i really like the air between the notes,cymbals,and guitar sound real,and piano is to die for.

so many tube amps out there are slow sounding with all the instruments blended together.

i hate the hd800s with slow sounding amps.

for me,the hd800/teton combo is very close sounding to the stax sr-009/headamp blue hawaii  combo ($6500 vs $11000)

these 2 rigs are very comparable,with the teton/800s being obviously less $

the teton is super fast,it IS NOT a laid back amp,

   so when i strap on my 800s,there is no snoozing or dozing  off,

the teton is the most ENGAGING amp ive encountered

it will be with me a very very long time.

post #17 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by decur View Post

so last october at rmaf in denver i got to listen for the 1st time to the new apex teton.
i was not planning on buying a headphone amp at that time,but after hearing the sennheiser hd-800 with the teton,i was HOOKED.
todd and pete sold me the 1st apex teton serial #1
 i promised todd i would give my impressions of this amazing amp,a little late,....however i wanted to really get a good feel for its sound,before writing about it.
headphones used-senns hd800 with moon-audio black dragon cable
dac-loaded metrum hex with lundahl transformers
mac mini as source with modded boulder audio power supply with ifi iusb and ifi gemini usb cable
    as we all know,the sennheiser hd-800 are very picky about source and amp.
well for me,the senns have FINALLY met their true mate. the hd800s and apex teton are match made in heaven.
and with proper tube rolling,i have dialed them in to my satisfaction.
the teton is incredibly musical,and for a tube amp,it is very neutral. it really reveals how good your source is.
Thanks for the impressions Decur. Do you run your D7000 with the Teton?
post #18 of 131
No,
My denon d7000 have been collecting dust lately!
The teton plays really well with hi impedence phones.
Im thinking about the beyer t1s
post #19 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by decur View Post
 

 

for me,the hd800/teton combo is very close sounding to the stax sr-009/headamp blue hawaii  combo ($6500 vs $11000)

these 2 rigs are very comparable,with the teton/800s being obviously less $

the teton is super fast,it IS NOT a laid back amp,

   so when i strap on my 800s,there is no snoozing or dozing  off,

the teton is the most ENGAGING amp ive encountered

 

 

Great review.  I completely agree with your assessment.
 
What tubes have you settled on?
post #20 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post
 

 

for the 6sn7 slot, (the most important) i am using a 1957 cbs-hytron 5692 tube(brown base)  which is a premium version of the 6sn7

for the center tube,i am use a chatham(re-branded tungsol) 5998

and the power tube(far left) a sylvania 5u4g that pete sent with amp

post #21 of 131

I'm seriously thinking of getting the Apex Teton since I've settled on the HD800 as my preferred non-electrostatic headphone. I currently have a Balancing Act but I'm looking for something better.

 

Minimus: I see from your sig you have a EC 4-45. Do you have any comments on how it compares with the Teton? 

post #22 of 131
post #23 of 131

Does Teton has noise floor issues with sensitive headphones or IEM?

post #24 of 131
Thread Starter 
Brief comparison of the Teton to the EC 4-45:
 
XXII, the 4-45 is no slouch.  But I had to lay out $1000 on premium NOS tubes (a matched quad of "globe" RCA 45s cost me $750 and two Western Electric 417a's to replace the stock Russian signal tubes Craig sends out with the 4-45 cost me another $250) just to dial in the 4-45 to be competitive with the Teton.  With the stock Russian small signal tubes, the 4-45 was a disappointment relative to the Teton regardless of the headphones I used with it.  Since Craig says that NOS 45s sound better than any new production 45s and the WE 417A is the best 5842 available, I am pretty sure I have reached the top of Mt. Olympus in optimizing the tube complement for the 4-45.  
 
I don't want to overstate the differences between these two amps -- they are both very good once tube selection is optimal.  I ultimately concluded that the Teton is a better sounding amp than the 4-45, at least with the HD800s.  It is more musically involving and resolving.  The 4-45 is a tad bit boring in comparison, although it does create a massive soundstage and makes really poorly recorded CDs easier to listen to than the Teton does. The Teton is a tube rollers dream, and the tubes I like best in it were not particularly expensive (about $120 in total), since I now primarily use the stock rectifier Pete/Todd provided with the amp. In contrast, once you shell out $1000 on NOS 45s and WA 417a's, the 4-45 is pretty much set it and forget it.
 
With the LCD-2/3/X, the amps sound very similar to one another -- so much so that I doubt anyone would be able to consistently tell them apart in a blind test. If I really liked the LCD-2, I would basically be indifferent between the two amps.  They both cost the same (after figuring in the cost of tubes) and they both sound the same with the LCD-2.  But because I am using really good amplification and a good source, I just find that the LCD-2s are inferior to the HD800s and seldom use them.  Maybe the LCD-3 and LCD-X are better, but I really have no curiosity to try them given how little I use my LCD-2s these days.

Edited by minimus - 8/25/14 at 9:26pm
post #25 of 131
Although I've never heard the Apex Teton or the LCD-X's, I have read ( somewhere ) that the X's sound very good driven by the Teton, not only that but I've also read that the parts used are some of the best available and the build quality is top notch. Those are a big eye opener for me and while I've never tried the X's, I do have the LCD-XC's to which I'd very much like to try with the Teton, however in the UK that would probably be somewhat difficult.
post #26 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post

Thank you sir, this is certainly helpful, especially for now when 445 is riding on a hype train and teton is hiding in a place of oblivion...
post #27 of 131

Thank you Minimus for your comparison with the 4-45. I've just placed an order for a Teton from Todd. 

 

This will be my first OTL amp. I've been wanting to try an OTL amp for ages but there wasn't any one that caught my eye until the Teton.

post #28 of 131
Thread Starter 
You should be very happy with the Teton. Feel free to PM me if you want tube recommendations.
post #29 of 131

Thanks Minimus very interesting comparison

I thought the EC 4-45 was supposed to be the "God Amp" !!

Mind you I am a soundstage monster so perhaps the EC might be preferable in that case? 

 

IME the Audeze just don't scale so a better amp doesn't seen to make that much difference unlike the HD800's 


Edited by complin - 8/30/14 at 2:40pm
post #30 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

I thought the EC 4-45 was supposed to be the "God Amp" !!
Mind you I am a soundstage monster so perhaps the EC might be preferable in that case? 

Don't get me wrong...both amps are head and shoulders above the competition. I don't think anyone would regret buying either amp. I own both and don't regret buying the 4-45, at least after buying great tubes for it. (Not the case when I first got the 4-45 and listened to the stock signal tubes.)

If soundstage is your top priority, you might well prefer the 4-45, especially if you track down the right tubes. If you prefer tone, resolution/detail, speed, and adaptability, the Teton would be a better choice. Those are bigger priorities to me, so I prefer and primarily listen to the Teton.
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