Singlepower Audio buyer feedback
Dec 13, 2007 at 9:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


1000+ Head-Fier
Nov 26, 2005
I have not got involved in Internet threads or discussions because I do not really have the time or interest in doing so. I love music and listening to it but I am not that interested in chatting about equipment. This once I felt obligated to share my experience with Singlepower Audio because of the extraordinary treatment I received from Mikhael. I probably won’t get involved in to many responses to this thread as I really just intend this thread as a show of appreciation to Mikhael .

My basic story is as follows. I was interested in purchasing an ES-1. I wanted to listen to it first with configured with different options, tubes, and headphones, so I contacted Singlepower to make my request. Mikhael happily agreed and so I flew from Israel to Denver. Mikhael had a few different units set up with different options. He also had 3 or 4 of his favorite tube combinations ready. Additionally, he had HE90’s, O2’s, and Lambda Signatures (the old ones; not the 404’s) ready and waiting in a comfortable listening room. This allowed me to play with different combinations of amplifiers, tubes and headphones to find what I liked best. Mikhael even had both silver and copper interconnects available for me to play with. After many hours of comparing, I finally found the combination I liked best but I still wanted some refinements. My flight was leaving in an hour so I delayed it and gave Mikhael a few hours to refine my choice even more in the direction of my tastes. Well- he did it. In the meantime, he dropped me off at a restaurant to get some lunch. Mikhael worked another 5 hours or so in refining my choice; then he picked me up and took me to his home to have some privacy in listening. I was very happy with his refinements and purchased the unit.

From beginning to end, Mikhael treated me like a king. He picked me up from the airport, made hotel arrangements for me, worked tediously on the amplifier for me, and took me back to the airport. He even called the airline to make the changes in my flight arrangements. He was extraordinarily kind from beginning to end and he worked tirelessly until I was happy with his musical instrument.

One of the big lessons I learned was that more expensive equipment is not necessarily better. A lot has to do with your tastes and a lot has to do with synergy between amp, source, headphones, tubes, interconnect, and even- to my surprise- the power cords. Because Mikhael had so many choices of these components on hand, I was able to mix and combine and find what I like best. In my case, I did not opt for the most maxed out Audio Note Silver capacitors, but instead I went with the V-cap capacitors. To be quite honest- I thought the amplifier with the Audio Note Capacitors sounded terrible- just to bright- I was very surprised that this configuration was the one which received so much press and so many accolades. The ES-1 configured with the V-cap capacitors sounded detailed, magical and just ever so slightly warm to the ears- just stunning involving sound. I also liked the Lambda Singnatures better than the HE90’s and O2’s without a doubt;- sorry HE90 fans- but I think they are a terrible waste of money. The Lambda Signatures are the most open unveiled headphones I ever heard; without a doubt more so than the HE90’s (although the HE90’s were probly the second best at 13 times the price).—Compare before you buy!!! I did however like the more expensive NOS tubes- specifically the GE EL34 Fat Boy output tubes and the Sylvania 6SNSW in the center stage. By the way, regarding both the ES-1 configuration with the V -Caps and the choice of headphones, and the above mentioned tubes Mikhael agreed with me 100% as we both listened together, compared together and discussed our musical tastes. For the gain stage- the 2C51’s are very good, but I later experimented with different gain tubes and found the Mazda Grey Plate 12AX7 French Military tubes changed the sound to a level which was unbelievable. These tubes fattened the sound with a beautiful tone and gave a punch to the music which changed the whole presentation and brought the music to euphoric levels. These tubes are a MUST in my opinion to get the most out of this system. They have the one of the highest gains of any 12AX7 ever made and the result is a fantastic sounding “thump” that makes the music incredibly lively and musical; more so than I have ever heard from any musical system. In addition they had a wider soundstage than the 2C51 tubes. I did not compare many sources. Mikhael really only had his Meridian 508 on hand which sounded just fabulous. I ended up getting a fully upgraded ESound 5 moded by Reference Audio Mods and it does outperform the Meridian; but in my opinion, going this far with the source is not necessary. The proper configuration of the Amp., the proper headphones, and the proper tubes are much more important in the final results in my opinion. I wouldn’t flinch for a moment to get a used 508 as it is an excellent match for this system; - no need to waste 20K on some overpriced source.

I think people shouldn’t jump to buy these systems but should rather go to Denver and listen to different options to see what works best for your ears. If you already own a source- you should bring it with you as it also has synergy issues with the amplifier, tubes, etc. Mikhael made much of this mixing and matching possible for me and I ended up with a system which was much less expensive than I thought and in my ears sounded much better. If you are serious, you may want to call Mikhael and arrange a day where you can go down and find exactly what you want. Mikhael is a pleasure to deal with and he is truly patient and caring. Thanks- Mikhael

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