Description

After years of toying with different electronics i've settled with these for about a year and i can say i am more than happy...especially for the price i payed for my electronics comparing to how much i previously spend it on "brands"...if you know tube experts you dont need to waste a great bunch of money necessarily to get involving and healthy sound...

Of course speaker is another subject and while i heard VERY good DIY speakers designs i tend to believe that properly designed high end speaker is a serious thing which includes many hours of R/D, proper knowledge of acoustics, having an anechoic chamber etc.  and definitively i leave that part to really experienced companys.
Gryphon Pantheon is not inexpensive speaker at 45K Euros but it is super transparent and potent with high quality drivers...it demands the BEST to work great...while it worked  very very good with my last amp Diablo 300 and Gryphon D/A converter after a many days of shootout you confirm what you basically heard the first moment...Ongaku Clone with Tube R2R dac works much more natural and involving than the Gryphon combination at 3 times cheaper price with non expensive tubes...i heard a lot of tube amps before but i was shocked...so Diablo was on its way to the other happy owner...Ongaku Clone (without all of that silver:) is great at basically all levels of listening except if you listen to very loud levels or you have very large room...so it was a no brainer for me...we also had a tryout of that amp with Rockport Atrias, Focal Sopra floorstanders, Avalon Opus Ceramique, Harbeths C7/30.2/HSL5+, Monitor Audio Platinnum mk1 and mk2 etc. and if the rest of chain is on a level it really works like a charm...  

Considering Tube R2R DAC it is a little beast...it was made of line-out Japanese transformers with most sophisticated nanocrystalline (finemet) core...signal tube is 5687 triode...has separate power transformers...Ladder board with resistors is hand soldered one by one...no mass market Burr Brown, AK or ESS sabre dacs which costs 30 bucks a piece and manufacturers are advertising them like they are holy grail...dac is filterless...not one...and has no relays...and no upsampling...no adding of new informations where they dont exist...it is puristic design as much as possible with a pure music in its mind and not to fascinate rich metrosexuals with shiny buttons and beautiful design...we had shootouts of this DAC starting with AMR 777 DAC(5K euro) and DCS Debussy (10K euro) to MSB Select (90K euro cca) and it just holds its own...of course the likes of AMR 777 and Debussy where beaten without a sweat sounding sterile and not natural in contrast (we even opened AMR and while not everything is in a expensive components just line transformers of my dac are more expensive than whole sum of components in AMR...and Debussy was not far away...so much of high end dacs...)

Naim Core does its purpose for accessing my whole libary in a heartbeat (and sounds really great for the money) but for serious listening i only listen to CD transport which is much better component but it is not in a pictures at moment...I will buy better streamer/server (something like Auralic G2) when manufacturers get serious with their software implementation...they charge expensive their products in which softwares are not finished...and Naim Core has its problems...

i had Kuzma Reference gramophone with 4Point arm which i sold in exchange for speakers but i will have them back in some time for sure...
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Room Details

Dimensions: 21’ × 16’  Large
Ceiling: N/A


Components Toggle details

    • Transparent Audio RCA Reference IC
    • Crystal Cable Ultra Speaker Cables
    • Naim Audio Unity Core
    • Tube (triode) transport
    • Tube (triode) R2R D/A converter
    • Kondo Ongaku CLONE
    • Gryphon Pantheon Speaker

Comments 2

Center
Owner
Hi Jond,

thanx for the comments of my system...if you are near my country (Croatia) you are more than welcome to hear my system and drink and eat as many as you can...just announce few days earlyer...

I did not build Ongaku nor DA converter...i know tube amplifier specialist who did all the job by himself...
well if you ask to tell you more about Ongaku...the short story is a little bit funny...there is a filthy rich guy in my town who ordered original Kondo Ongaku machine(second or third generation...real Kondo design, not new Masaki Ongaku)...so when he got it he decided to "upgrade" Ongaku with "the best" Blackgate capacitors (which at the end did not worked good like original capacitor) and gave the Ongaku to the technician working in his company to do the job...well that technician is a friend with the expert who build my amp and dac and as he got amp home he called him to clone that amp. He cloned COMPLETE layout of components, ALL values of ALL components, every hole, every screw, thickness and insulation of wires...everything...point to point soldering...no negative feedback...shematics of Ongaku that can be found on internet has alot of
incorrect values so it is nice to know what are you doing as one little mistake erases alot hours of work...
So the guy basically build amps which cost 5300eu (he did not put any Kondo logo on amp to avoid legal troubles) 20 times less than original...sound is organic, open, swaying and all that audiophile blah blahs...sound is so good that all that words dont matter at all...all i can say that i cant wait to finish my shift at work to go home and listen to pure music...Kondo original is cca 20% better...it is good like a drug...
but at what price...
Guy also cloned Gakuon parallel SE monos,M1000 Preamp,Kegon 300B, Kondo Neiro, which is one phenomenal amp but unfortunately my speakers are too hungry for it...i will bankrupt if i keep hanging with this dude... 

raindog031

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Super cool system! Did you build the Ongaku clone and DAC yourself? Would love to hear more about the amp I am a huge Audio Note fan.

jond

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