• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Dartzeel nhb-18ns world class stereo pre-amplifier

dean999

Active Member
hi

has anyone ever listened to this preamp( costs about £16500 new)?:eek:

is there any preamp out there that will do 95% plus of the sound quality of the dartzeel preamp for around £2000-3500 ( new or second hand)?

i currently have monitor audio pl300 floor standers, and use a lexicon cx7 in biamped mode to run them. the onkyo 875 is for processing duties( it does a very good job), but i am insane and wondered how much better can stereo be/get? my source is a panny blu ray( i shall change that last) & it is accurate( it gives a warts & all presentation which i like), so i cannot complain.

i understand that the preamp stage does influence the system to a lesser degree than the speakers( i might be wrong).

i am hoping to get excellent results but i do not have stratospheric funds, so any help/remarks will be greatly appreciated.

many thanks

dean
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
'tis a local brand (for me). I've seen it, but I haven't had one at home or even heard it seriously demonstrated - it's out of my price range for electronics. However, a friend with better finances than me didn't buy it, choosing Accuphase instead.

I assume you've read the Stereophile review?

i currently have monitor audio pl300 floor standers ... i understand that the preamp stage does influence the system to a lesser degree than the speakers( i might be wrong).
You are not wrong, not that your PL300 are exactly budget level speakers ;)
 

dean999

Active Member
'tis a local brand (for me). I've seen it, but I haven't had one at home or even heard it seriously demonstrated - it's out of my price range for electronics. However, a friend with better finances than me didn't buy it, choosing Accuphase instead.

I assume you've read the Stereophile review?


You are not wrong, not that your PL300 are exactly budget level speakers ;)

hi mark

as always thanks for your input( i know you are a no nonsesnse & knowledgeable chap).

which accuphase preamp model no did your friend go for?

i have read the Stereophile review( i find that professinoal reviewers generally play on words & do not find them to be helpful) but i would prefer the honest opinions of the forums members.


thanks
dean
 
Last edited:

dean999

Active Member
Audio Research Ref 3 as good if not better. Mine happens to be coming up for sale in a month or so....

hi pcavelle,

any reason you are selling what is reputed to be a great preamp?

what are you buying instead & why?

sorry for the questions but i am curious & seeking knowledge.

thanks
dean
 

pcavelle

Active Member
Hi Dean - good question.

I am selling it because I no longer have any analogue sources other than the output of a DAC I use for Sonos and a CD transport.

I have decided to take a punt and replace 3 components (pre, dac, receiver) with a Classe SSP-800 pre/pro, as I am about 50% music, 50% movie now. Am not expecting the Classe to be as transparent as the Ref3, or the dacs in it to be as good as my Bryston dac, but I just want a less convoluted system. At present I have a stereo system connected to a receiver, so there are a lot of components and a lot of kit switch of on & off. Basically I am just finding the pre amp a bit superfluos.


Paul
 

dean999

Active Member
hi paul

thanks for the explanation.

is the audio research ref 3 just suitable for analogue sources( that's how it reads from your reply)?

thanks

dean
 

Mr_Sukebe

Active Member
Audio Research Ref 3 as good if not better. Mine happens to be coming up for sale in a month or so....

How would you describe the differences between your AR and the Dart? What was the rest of the system during your test?
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Sorry, I'm not sure (C-2800?); he was more interested in showing off his monstrous monoblocks (M-6000?) driving his new even more monstrous new (used) speakers (some 2m tall, no idea what he called them). The current equivalent would be the C-2810, and the stratospheric prices mean I won't be buying his kit, and I didn't even like his speakers' sound ;) - but that's the "ESL in me".
 
Last edited:

dean999

Active Member
Sorry, I'm not sure (C-2800?); he was more interested in showing off his monstrous monoblocks (M-6000?) driving his new even more monstrous new (used) speakers (some 2m tall, no idea what he called them). The current equivalent would be the C-2810, and the stratospheric prices mean I won't be buying his kit, and I didn't even like his speakers' sound ;) - but that's the "ESL in me".

hi mark, thanks for the info. i listened the latest quad ESLs (cost about £4400 for a pair) at a specialist hifi shop, they were partnered with linn (mid range electronics) gear and sounded lovely. i was told by the asst manager that they need at least 1.5m from wall & rear and are a bit weak on bass so a sub was required. i just cannot listen to stereo with a sub, so since i failed the 2 criteria i looked elsewhere.

regards
dean
 

pcavelle

Active Member
the rest of the stereo part is a Bryston DAC, a Ref 3, Ayre MX-R amps, Stello transport, ML Summit speakers. I havent compared the two actually.
 

Mr_Sukebe

Active Member
the rest of the stereo part is a Bryston DAC, a Ref 3, Ayre MX-R amps, Stello transport, ML Summit speakers. I havent compared the two actually.

So if you haven't actually compared the two, what are you doing suggesting that one is better than the other?
 

dean999

Active Member
Sorry, I'm not sure (C-2800?); he was more interested in showing off his monstrous monoblocks (M-6000?) driving his new even more monstrous new (used) speakers (some 2m tall, no idea what he called them). The current equivalent would be the C-2810, and the stratospheric prices mean I won't be buying his kit, and I didn't even like his speakers' sound ;) - but that's the "ESL in me".

just looked at the price of the accuphase c2810
,costs $14,000, totally unaffordable for poor old me.
the search for affordable high quality hifi continues. the link to accuphase retail website below:
Audio Cubes II - High Fidelity Audio Products
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Yes, Accuphase is in a similar price category to Dartzeel. If both are out of your price range, what's the point of asking about this level of kit? ;) Perhaps you need to ask about what you want and can afford, so we can make suggestions? :)
Quad ESL ... 1.5m from wall & rear and are a bit weak on bass so a sub was required.
Actually, you only need 1m-1.5m from the rear wall, the Quads are rather less fussy than dynamic speakers as regards the side wall. But that rear wall distance is absolutely essential. As for the bass - it all depends on what you listen too and therefore what mass of bass you need; they're nowhere near as bad as their "reputation" would have them be, but yes, they probably have a mite less bass than your PL300's (whose bass is also not flat to 20Hz). I now have a sub, but used the ESL-63s for 16 years without, and never felt this to be an issue with (classical) music (DVDs were another matter).

Martin Logan make ESL hybrids. Since they use a dynamic woofer they offer full rock-band level bass at high volumes, and since the ESL panels don't have to handle the low frequencies, the speakers can be narrower. The smaller, curved, panels also make them easier to place as they need less rear clearance.
 

dean999

Active Member
Yes, Accuphase is in a similar price category to Dartzeel. If both are out of your price range, what's the point of asking about this level of kit? ;) Perhaps you need to ask about what you want and can afford, so we can make suggestions? :)

hi mark

pls look at my first original post, i have stated my budget of between 2.5-3k, and asked if there is something in that price range that will do 95% of the job of the dartzeel preamp.

thanks for the remainder of your explanation of the ESLs.

with regards to Accuphase - i went to a hifi exhibtion(Northern hifi) in manchester,england. the kit was an accuphase cd player, accuphase intgrated amp connected to focal 1027be speakers. it had very exensive speaker cables with some sort of conditioners built into the wires , prior to reached the WBTs of the speakers.

listened to a north african band called "tinwarein"(not sure abot the spelling) and the accuphase electronics was unable to handle the complex rythms of the various string & drum instrumnents palying. even the exhibitor was emabarrased.he agreed that it sounded like a mess.

then listened to rihanna's "rated r" album, second track titled "wait your turn", and it was weak on the bass.

ALL the exhibition rooms were large & heavily carpeted , & large & heavy full height curtains.

i do know exhibitions are not the best place to judge, but it does beg the question , how come some exhibitors kits sound phenomenal when they have similar rooms?

regards
dean
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Whilst I saw that figure, I didn't understand it as a budget limit, but as a separate question of interest. Sorry.

I don't have the faintest clue how you quantify things ("95% plus of the sound quality of the dartzeel preamp"), except that I'll guess it's probably different from my way. More on this below.

Anyway, I'd suggest looking at Bryston, Classe, Elektrocompaniet, Primare and the like, both new and used. And for something a little different, the Quad QC-twentyfour might be of interest.

As to the demo question, I'd have though the issue was the Focals + room interaction, but with all other opinions pointing to the Accuphase electronics, you can appreciate how difficult it is to give advice on a forum. Hence the standard refrain: "audition, audition and audition". If you're spending a lot, home auditioning ought to be feasible.
 

dean999

Active Member
hi mark

thanks for the apology. i too am sorry for not having been clear.

i take all your points on board, it is all useful & informative. thank you for taking the time to assist me & it is greatly appreciated.

regards
dean
 

The latest video from AVForums

Fidelity in Motion's David Mackenzie talks about his work on disc encoding & the future of Blu-ray
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom