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Acoustic Portrait Swara Amplifiers

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

nshankar

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Tube vs SS is a subjective decision.

Separate Pre + Power recommended.

Go for speakers to suit room and sound preference. Get amp to match within your budget.
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Tube vs SS is a subjective decision
This is a curious thing! Having not had any experience of Tube for a long, long time, I more-or-less accepted the conventional hifi thinking on tube sound and SS sound --- but, after that long time, I found myself listening to tube equipment on a couple of occasions during the last few months, and thinking not so much that there was a difference, but just that it was great kit sounding great!
 

Nikhil

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Just wanted to add something here to all who might be considering the AP Swara amps.

Siva makes some of the best electronics I have had the chance to hear. Some of his clients commission bespoke setups which are well beyond the reach of entry level setups. The current Reference AP setup which consists of the AP Preamp with electronic crossovers into (biamped) two Power amps costs in the region of Rs 2 lakh approx. The setup is complemented by the Thiyaga DAC (Rs 90k). Siva technically does not have speakers in the lineup anymore. Variations of this reference configuration has replaced systems in the region of Rs 40 lakhs. IF you have a budget of Rs 5 lakhs you will get a serious system that will not be touched by anything in the region of the amount I have mentioned.

I mention bespoke because the amps are made by hand with great care to match the electronics. Mass made gear does not have the attention to detail that is possible when made in this manner. Resistors and capacitors are rated to general tolerances which are not identically matched. Small differences in these elements cascade into phase differences that smear the sound affecting sound quality. By carefully matching these elements in the circuit AP does deliver superior sound. This approach coupled with use of quality components along with strong design principles deliver a sound that is true with regard to tonality and timbre.

Having said all this the AP Swara Amps are an admirable effort to make high quality audio available to most. For the cost of approx Rs 50,000 you are getting a Pre Power combo that is seriously good value for money. To reach the cost objective - lower priced parts have been used. As many DIY members on here will tell you, low price does not mean low quality. What you will end up with is great sound but you might need to service your amp about once every 2 years or so to check on cap replacements etc. This is not major stuff. These are occasions where you might be looking for upgrades - an option very much on hand with Acoustic Portrait.

AP gear is serious gear which will appeal to folks who have a more mature understanding of sound such as vocals and live performances etc. Some of Siva's clients are musicians who are not fooled by pretend hifi. If you are a musician who knows what an instrument is supposed to sound like - take a long hard at AP. You will note that I mentioned "live performances" ... this includes rock performances too if they are authentic. Ultimately AP gear will do a very good job in reproducing what is in the source material.

In short AP Swara amps offers an opportunity to hear sound that will surpass most consumer brands costing upto approx Rs 2 lakh here in India.

The opinions on here are my personal comments. I have mentioned Rupee figures because a lot of questions asked were budget driven. It's only an attempt to give folks a useful comparison idea.
 
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SwaroopKS

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Friends,

Based on the HagDAC module (PCM1704), we made a custom dac with tube output stage (ECC88) with very high quality components. It took an investment of about Rs.68k to make this for a friend.

Its housed in our high-end aluminum chassis with teak wood on the front and also on sides.

This output stage is similar to what we had used in our TDA1541A tube dac (But with even better components and chassis). Only SPDIF input. You need to use external USB-2-SPDIF convertor for using with USB.

Expected price : Rs.29,800/-

Regards
Siva.
Are there any FMs who currently own this dac? Also looking at this old thread am surprised they are making same line of electronics which are still touted as value for money at almost similar price points!
 

SwaroopKS

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Couldn't quite understand what you mean.
i meant the price of audio equipment has very much increases in last 7 years. the dollar rate against rupee has appreciated causing cost of components as well to increase. so its great to see AP delivering great value still maintaining similar price point.

Mine is different and was based on Philips TDA1541 chip. I had clarified it in the next post: https://www.hifivision.com/threads/acoustic-portrait-swara-amplifiers.44722/post-504499
do you still have your dac? wanted to know how this compares with their thiyaga dac
 

Naturelover

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i meant the price of audio equipment has very much increases in last 7 years. the dollar rate against rupee has appreciated causing cost of components as well to increase. so its great to see AP delivering great value still maintaining similar price point.
I did think you meant that but couldn't be sure.
 

captrajesh

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Do you still have your dac? wanted to know how this compares with their thiyaga dac
I sold it long back. It had the classic sweet sound that 1541 chips are famous for. I've not heard the Thiyaga DAC in my set-up so can't make comparison.
 

SwaroopKS

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I sold it long back. It had the classic sweet sound that 1541 chips are famous for. I've not heard the Thiyaga DAC in my set-up so can't make comparison.
good to know. I was looking for this dac couple of years back to match my AP amp and speakers. I have heard a chinese diy dac using 1541 chip, really liked the sound of it. wanted to hear Shiva's implementation of this dac but couldn't find anyone with this dac till date!
 

jai1611

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good to know. I was looking for this dac couple of years back to match my AP amp and speakers. I have heard a chinese diy dac using 1541 chip, really liked the sound of it. wanted to hear Shiva's implementation of this dac but couldn't find anyone with this dac till date!
I had bought the DAC from Capt Rajesh. Still have it. If you are ever in Bangalore, welcome to drop by for a listen.
 

SwaroopKS

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I had bought the DAC from Capt Rajesh. Still have it. If you are ever in Bangalore, welcome to drop by for a listen.
Wow! small world indeed. Thank you for the offer, shall definitely take you up on it when this madness settles and I travel to Bangalore. Also if you ever think of letting it go, do ping me :)
 

iaudio

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Another recommendation for the subject gear, I have been using AP pre power combo for the last 10 years and I am a happy customer. Only my speakers went from Vifa based floor standers, Mission towers to ScanSpeak based towers and the amps do absolute justice in all of these combos.
Ultimately, audio is subjective and the week long audition option is a good option to make sure if it floats your boat.
 
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