MINT vs PIMETA
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zeppelin2

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Hi: For those people that have listened to both MINT and PIMETA amps, can the differences in sound be justified by one being twice as expensive than the other (generally speaking)?
 
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Megaptera

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It depends a lot on what role the amp will be playing and what configuration you'll have it in. The Mint is a whole lot more portable than the Pimeta, but the Pimeta can be set up to be a lot better than the Mint.

A well-made Mint running off of two 9V batteries wouldn't be too terribly far behind a basic Pimeta, and if its primarily going to be an amp for portable use, the Mint would be my choice. (The Pimeta is larger, and I don't like carrying around amps that don't fit in my pocket. But that's just me.) If it's an amp for home listening and you can afford it, a Pimeta with good power caps and a good power supply (like an Elpac WM-080), class A biasing, and stacked buffers is simply a better amp. Whether the price difference is worth it depends entirely on your personal judgement, of course.
 
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episiarch

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In my experience, yes, yes, yes.

I have had two different MINTs: one powered by 2x9V batteries and one powered by a 24V Elpac. The latter is pretty maxed-out, as it has plenty of power to play with and is built into a chassis with ample space for caps, etc. Both were a clear improvement over an unamped iPod or sound card. But neither sounds as good as my (JMT-built) portable PIMETA powered by a single 9V battery. The MINTs just don't have it. The PIMETA does.

I recently gave away the portable MINT. And after several months of trying, I have also given up on trying to like the little desktop MINT as well, and have commissioned a desktop PIMETA as its replacement. The MINT'll be sold promptly once that arrives.

What is the "it" that the PIMETA has but the MINT lacks? I can only call it "smile factor," because its technical description eludes me. I can't say my MINTs lacked highs, lows or mids -- they seem technically competent. The problem is that they just sound "OK", while the PIMETA sounds tremendously more musical in comparison to them.

If you have the extra $ to spend and care about sound quality more than minimal size, I'd say go for the PIMETA and never look back.
 
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n_maher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zeppelin2
Hi: For those people that have listened to both MINT and PIMETA amps, can the differences in sound be justified by one being twice as expensive than the other (generally speaking)?


First it's important to know what your proposed use of the amp would be. If it's the ultimate in portability the MINT is probably going to suit your needs better as it should have near portable PIMETA sound but longer battery life (one less buffer and opamp to feed ). The portable PIMETA will not sound significantly better than the MINT. If it's a trans-portable amp your after were a wall plug is close by I'd go for the PIMETA every time.

If it's the ultimate in sound (relative to these two amps of course) my opinion is that a maxed PIMETA will best a maxed MINT quite handily. I've built several of each version and the PIMETA is a big improvement over the MINT. You are correct that cost is roughly double and only you can decide if it's worth it. The maxed PIMETA will also have pretty bad battery life in comparison and really should be wall powered (IMO).

It is also worth noting that as a result of the SMD chips used in the MINT opamp "rolling" really isn't an option.

Hope that helps with your decision.

Nate
 
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zeppelin2

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Thanks for the replies;

It turns out I decided to get neither a MINT or PIMETA as my starter amp. Although a transportable PIMETA would have been my first choice, I decided to purchase the much cheaper Go-Vibe from Norm to satisfy the crave for my first amp. From all the positive feedback that the Go-Vibe has been receiving, I decided I'd give 'er a try.
 
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morphie

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personally i think u made the right decision.i havent heard the go vibe but for all the good things ive read and its price, I'd say its a better bang for the buck.
 
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fewtch

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Agreed... I had a MINT for awhile and rather disliked the sound (constricted), the Go-Vibe doesn't seem to suffer from the Mint's deficiencies.
 
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