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Balanced B1 with Korg Triode
Balanced B1 with Korg Triode
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Old 9th April 2020, 05:10 PM   #21
elwood625 is offline elwood625  United States
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I've had six weeks to listen to the Balanced version of the B1 Korg preamp, to compare to the B1 Korg preamp. I was using the M2X amplifier and B1 Korg preamp for several months, what a great combination. The Balanced B1 Korg is connected to an Aleph J amplifier, using a Music Hall 25.3 DAC with a Wadia 170 and Apple ipod 256GB. The Music Hall has both balanced and rca outputs to connect to either the Balanced B1 Korg or the standard B1 Korg.
First, both amps require a 1 hour warm up period to fully appreciate the amplifiers. The M2X and B1 Korg combination gives a very wide sound stage and makes my B&W 804D speakers turn invisible.
With the Aleph J and Balanced B1 Korg, the sound stage is now extended front and back, not just side to side. I could have swore the guitar player was next to me on my left listening to a Linda Ronstadt album. The only other time I've heard such depth in the sound stage was when I was able to audition a FirstWatt SIT-3. The Aleph J is dead quiet with no input, CMRR along with less noise than the M2X, once again, different not necessarily better as I never noticed the M2X being noisy.

The speakers are no longer invisible, not a bad thing, just different. The Aleph J seems more precise than the M2X, the placement of the instruments in the sound stage are very clear, not muddy or soft. Both amplifiers and preamps have the speaker connections swapped plus to minus for negative H2.
I was surprised by the depth of the sound stage and the accuracy of the Aleph J compared to the M2X, not better, just different.
At the end of this week, I will swap out the Balanced B1 Korg and connect my BZLS preamp, it is very versatile with balanced and single ended inputs to allow my two phono sections and turntable connections.
So far the Balanced B1 Korg has met every expectation and exceeded some I've had. Is the depth of the sound stage because of the preamp or the Aleph J?

My only regret with the Balanced B1 Korg, is that I did not include RCA connections to the inputs.
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ACA v1.6 monoblocks, Balanced Zen Line Stage, M2x, Aleph J, H2, B1 Korg triode, 12AX7a Phono amplifier, Balanced B1 Korg triode, 6FG6 "Magic Eye" tube VU meter, FS NJFET RIAA
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Old 9th April 2020, 06:25 PM   #22
ClaudeG is offline ClaudeG
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Interesting post, thanks again, and keep us posted about the cause of the good news (Balanced B1 Korg or amp)?

Enjoy your nice set up very much

Claude
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Old 9th April 2020, 06:50 PM   #23
twitchie is offline twitchie  Canada
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Balanced B1 with Korg Triode
Fantastic work Elwood625!

I am looking forward to hearing your comparison to the BZLS. I hope you didn't let the SIT-3 leave your house. They disappear from the market pretty quickly
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Old 13th April 2020, 04:47 PM   #24
elwood625 is offline elwood625  United States
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I spent the weekend listening to the Aleph J amplifier with my Balanced Zen Line Stage connected with balanced output from the preamp to the balanced inputs of the Aleph J.
First, the BZLS has SO much gain, I was able to dial out all noise (output attenuator) and still have more than enough gain.
Listening to the some of the same recordings I heard with the Balanced B1 Korg, the speakers once again were invisible, nice wide sound stage with the same accuracy of the sound. Clean, I was able to listen for several hours straight without fatigue, easy on the ears and reproduces the instruments with incredible clarity.
I did lose the depth of the sound stage that the Balanced B1 Korg provided, not a bad thing, just different.
The BZLS works so well with my FS NJFET RIAA phono amp and Thorens TD-321 with SME 3009 series 3 arm. I'm using a Shure V15VxMR cartridge with a JICO SAS needle. The BZLS was able to dial out all noise and still have substantial gain.
Conclusion, I have some great amps and preamps to play with, not a bad sounding one yet. I do enjoy the accuracy of the Aleph J and the depth of the sound stage with the Balanced B1 Korg.
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Old 13th April 2020, 08:00 PM   #25
nashbap is offline nashbap  United States
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Balanced B1 with Korg Triode
Have you listened to your bal Korg with less than 1.5% THD, say 1 or 0.5%?
nash
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Old 13th April 2020, 08:27 PM   #26
elwood625 is offline elwood625  United States
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Yes, I have it tuned to 1% 2H on each channel, I find 1.5% sounds muddy and 0.5% not enough of a difference to bother with. The 2H magic, for me, is 1%.
I even tried it with 1% positive 2H, didn't impress me, and since I'm still learning about negative 2H, I even adjusted the Balance Korg with the right channel at 1% positive and the left channel at 1% negative. That turned out to be a very poor brain fart.
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ACA v1.6 monoblocks, Balanced Zen Line Stage, M2x, Aleph J, H2, B1 Korg triode, 12AX7a Phono amplifier, Balanced B1 Korg triode, 6FG6 "Magic Eye" tube VU meter, FS NJFET RIAA
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Old 13th April 2020, 08:31 PM   #27
elwood625 is offline elwood625  United States
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I don't think I would have ever adjusted and played with the preamp 2H settings if I wasn't staying at home during these times. It has given me a chance to try different things, most didn't work, yet how else does an old dog learn these new tricks.
I even played with different cables, waste of time.
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Old 13th April 2020, 08:37 PM   #28
elwood625 is offline elwood625  United States
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One change I intend to make, is convert one of the three XLR inputs to an RCA input for a second phono.
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Old 14th April 2020, 12:11 AM   #29
nashbap is offline nashbap  United States
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Balanced B1 with Korg Triode
Great I had a feeling that 1.5% balanced would be too high for you. If you want to keep the balanced out and SE input you could also wire up a cable with RCA at one end and an XLR at the other, Connect signal + to XLR2 and signal ground to XLR3. You will get a higher THD compared to balance, but I am sure you expect that anyway.
nash
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Old 14th April 2020, 11:10 PM   #30
elwood625 is offline elwood625  United States
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Thanks nash I never thought of using adapters, sure beats opening up the preamp for surgery.
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