Promitheus Audio TVC - the best preamp!

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sidvee

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I bought one of these sweet passive TVC's last year after reading a lot about them in the press. Cost me approx. $450 and about Rs 5000 in customs. Well didn't get much time after that so it sat in a closet and I forgot about it. Last evening I found the box in my closet while cleaning out some stuff - so I hooked it up. Holy Sh**t :clapping:- this pre is amazing! Comparing it to my Modwright SWL 9.0SE which cost me $2900 - this pre is almost neck to neck - even in the bass department - it provides generous bass - air around the instruments is superlative - female vocals are amazing - etc. etc. all this even before the recommended 100 hours of break in. WOW. Only gripe - no remote:sad: Oh well you can't get everything can you. Anyways me thinks this pre is fully justified as a Stereophile Class B component and a serious audiophile bargain. What amazes me is that it costs as much as two pairs of my Nordost blue heaven interconnects. Now Im intrigued by Promitheus's other offerings. have any of our esteemed members tried this or any other Promitheus product?
Cheers
Sid - BTW I've attached some photos of the pre in my rack
 
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reignofchaos

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Well you just discovered TVCs :). They can sound incredible if done right. However they do have one fatal flaw - even the best TVC with the best possible transformer won't have the bandwidth required for reproducing the entire audio spectrum - so if they do bass right, they'll be rolled off at the top and if they do treble superlatively, then bass will suffer. Have auditioned quite a few of them and this is what I've found in almost all cases. Plus many power amps do not like passive preamps. Do check the input sensitivity of the power amp.

If you liked the Promitheus, you definitely must give a listen to one of MFA's (Music First Audio) higher end preamps.
 

sidvee

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Thanks reignofchaos
Well in my 15 min comparision of the promitheus to the modwright I am quite convinced that I am not missing much at either end of the spectrum - I iwll do a detailed comparo soon. I will try this with my belcanto pre3 and also the nuforce p8 as well - both of which I have. The big issue for me is the remote. Well anyhow I will probably hold onto this as a spare. I am hunting now for a ss preamp in the $4k range - I am considering the parasound JC2.
cheers
Sid
 

odyssey

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Hi Sidvee
if you can stretch it, please have a look at the "First Sound" pre's.

cheers
 

sidvee

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As quoted by Sam tellig of Stereophile - in regards to the Promitheus TVC

"A great active preamp typically degrades the sound at low volume settings, losing everything,: transparency, detail, micro and macrodynamics. But with the Promitheus, the output impedance falls as attenuation increases, with the result that the TVC delivered superb sound quality - detail and dynamics, macro and micro - that even an active preamp might not be able to manage. If you habitually listen late at night, at low levels, this could be the pre for you."

" I found the TVC's sound to be utterly transparent at any volume setting. The level of resolution was exceptional..."

"I was especially pleased with the excellent bass response - tight and tuneful even at low listening levels.. The TVC was exceptionally quiet - not the slightest trace of hiss, hum, or buzz."

Now normally I add a grain of salt to most reviewers findings (having been there and done that :eek:hyeah:) - but I totally agree with Sam's thoughts on the resolution and the bass response - typically weak points of a passive design - especially the latter. - Odyssey are any demos available of the first sound pre? I plan to be in the US next month and plan to audition the placette RVC and pre as well.
Cheers
 

odyssey

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Hi
I dont have any First Sound Pre's, however I am sure in the US you should be able to find stores that do carry it. You can probably contact them to see which stores in the US (the part you are going to) to carry it

The only pre I have with a remote that you can check out is the new Operetta pre from Jaton. Its not from any great name but for the price its totally worth checking - it has a pretty nice inbuilt DAC and a remote :)

cheers
 

sidvee

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Link to another review I found on the promitheus

Promitheus Audio TVC SE Less Really Is More Review By Nels Ferre

I guess it is not what the Promitheus TVC can do or not do - but the price point at which it is doing all this. Now we can spend $2k or more and get great build features, looks, sound etc but to do this at $450 plus or minus is what IMHO is something worth extolling about.
Anyways I'm going to spend the next few weeks comparing this to:
Modwright SWL 9.0Se (Tube preamp - $2900)
Bel Canto Pre3 (Solid State preamp - $1900)
Nuforce P8 (Solid State Preamp -$1100) - plus if i acquire another preamp ($4000)
and post my views
Cheers - Sid
 

sidvee

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Hi
I dont have any First Sound Pre's, however I am sure in the US you should be able to find stores that do carry it. You can probably contact them to see which stores in the US (the part you are going to) to carry it

The only pre I have with a remote that you can check out is the new Operetta pre from Jaton. Its not from any great name but for the price its totally worth checking - it has a pretty nice inbuilt DAC and a remote :)

cheers
Odyssey
I checked out info. on the first sound pre - I guess one that is in my range of $4k is presence deluxe mkii - it is a tube design - retails at $4800.
I will try to audition this along along with:
Tube:
Aesthetix Calypso($4500),Cary SLP-05($7000 lower if used),Cary slp98p or l( $4000 - discontinues)Modwright 36.5($5000)
Solid state:
Pass labs XP20 and 10 ($8000 lower if used) and the parasound Jc-2($4000)
Hoping i have the time to get to all these:lol:
Cheers - Sid
 

Asit

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Hi Sid,

Glad to know about your Promitheus TVC passive pre :). Earlier this year I was very close to buying one similar to yours, and Nicholas gave me a good deal too. I was thinking of pairing it with either an Odyssey Stratos or a Jaton Operetta. Ultimately for many reasons I gave up on it.

You find interesting and stimulating discussions on this TVC starting page 13 through to page 20 or so in my amp thread http://www.hifivision.com/amplifiers/3200-amp-upgrade-canton-speakers-feasibility-study.html .

Regards.
 

square_wave

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Hi Sid,

Glad to know about your Promitheus TVC passive pre :). Earlier this year I was very close to buying one similar to yours, and Nicholas gave me a good deal too. I was thinking of pairing it with either an Odyssey Stratos or a Jaton Operetta. Ultimately for many reasons I gave up on it.

You find interesting and stimulating discussions on this TVC starting page 13 through to page 20 or so in my amp thread http://www.hifivision.com/amplifiers/3200-amp-upgrade-canton-speakers-feasibility-study.html .

Regards.


Asit,
I remember recommending the Prometheus to you. My gut feeling is that the the reference preamp with the Odyssey stratos could be a killer combination and an awesome deal at the prices they come in. I am yet to try this out.
 

sidvee

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Hi square_wave - I am in the process of acquiring a stratos extreme (though i am tempted to go for a kismet) from sridhar. My intent at-least initially is to pair it with the tvc - though the lack of a remote would be a major pia. I have been reading good things about this pairing in the audio circle odyssey forum and klaus himself commented on the merit of the pairing.
Asit - thanks for the reference - will check out the thread.
Cheers
Sid
 

square_wave

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Sid,
Awesome ! :)
Go for the glass ceiling extreme if they make them anymore. The kismet would be great. I am sure they will work together. Do keep us posted.
 

Asit

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Hi square_wave,

Yes, I do remember all of that. But ultimately whatever I bought, you directly or indirectly contributed very heavily. Firstly, you made me aware of many boutique brands which very often are many times the better VFM, and you also kept on encouraging me to go for tubes, which ultimately I did. Thanks and I am very happy.

Hi Sid,
That seems to be a great combination you are going for. If and when you do, please write all the details. Do also check on the thread I mentioned before, personally I learned a lot from that thread and would forever be grateful to members for helping me out there.

Regards.
 

sidvee

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Sure thing square_wave. I am not sure about the glass ceiling extreme but the next option beyond the standard extreme option for the stratos appears to be the kismet in the stratos chassis though - for the new chassis i think the upcharge is 20-25k more. At this stage - not having heard the kismet - i am in a state of indecision whether the additional 50k or so would bring proportionate amounts of improvement - or the laws of diminishing returns will kick in. Also the lack of any professional reviews on the kismet are not helpful either :sad:.
Cheers
Sid
 

sidvee

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Sure thing Asit - will read the info. I agree with you - really a lot to learn from all the knowledge out there.
cheers
Sid
 

sidvee

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Gentle Members,
This past week-end I had the opportunity of finally listening to the well burnt in promitheus TVC (Many thanks to fellow Hyderabad audio enthusiast - Sameer - yes we do have audiophiles in Hyderabad as well:lol: - albeit a small and tight knit group) paired with the Odyssey Stratos extreme. Without launching into a bunch of audio reviewer cliches - let me just say this - this is an excellent piece of audio gear with a beautiful, beguiling and neutral sound signature - that mates exceedingly well with the stratos. In fact if it had a remote - I would be happy to use it as my reference pre amp - for a long time to come. At $500 it outclassed the nuforce p8 -$1100, and was so close to the $1900 bel-canto pre 3, that I am sure I would not be able to tell them apart in a blind test. It almost equalled the $2900 Modwright SWL9.0Se though I did feel the Modwright was slightly ahead in overall resolution, but was finally outclassed by the Conrad Johnson premier 17 ls2 - though not by a large margin. The retail on the CJ was $5500! Negatives - totally unrelated to sound - are of-course no remote and secondly build quality is iffy - but at $500 I guess it is ok. The 2db increments of the volume knob is irritating as well - makes it difficult to hit that volume sweet spot. I have just acquired a Parasound JC2 preamp and down the road I will compare it as well. As always - these are my subjective findings and my opinions - and not objective statements of facts - YMMV.
Cheers
Sid
 
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captrajesh

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yes we do have audiophiles in Hyderabad as well:lol: - albeit a small and tight knit group)

Hi Sid,

I'm a Hyderabadi presently residing in Chennai but my heart resides in Hyd.:)

Sad to know that Hyd is not considered to be having many audiophiles:sad: I remember AV Max audio expo being cancelled at the last moment due to lack of response and it was not even announced:mad:

I took couple of my colleagues along to show them what hifi is all about and made a fool of myself:eek:

I hope to catch up with you guys when I visit Hyd next.
 
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