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Topic: The objectives of Einstein self-entertaining Preamp.

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-26-2007

Since I was wondering at Soundstage site I come across Marc Mickelson review of Einstein preamp.

I am not familiar with this unit and but there was in there something that “attracted” me in this preamp – primary the Moronity of its objectives. According to Marc Mickelson:

"Only nine of the unit's 19 tubes are used for the main line-stage circuit…. The other ten tubes are used at The Tube's inputs -- five inputs, one tube for each channel. Each input has its own separate self-contained circuit, none of which is inactive or out of the preamp's main circuit.… Instead of the selector switch choosing which input's signals are routed through to the outputs, it instead turns on the heater supplies of the pair of tubes for the chosen input….”

I perfectly understand the implementation. It is arguable what would be less harmful for sound: one line-level switch in a signal path of 5 grids and 4 anode connected in parallel to a “hot” grid and anode. I personally feel that a single switch is better as ANYTHING touches control grid is SUPER sensitive; however it is not the point of my post.  What is the point of my post is that I see no point to have a dedicated tube for each input. Mark Mickelson expanse the advantage as:

“it allows experimentation and fine-tuning like no other preamp. You can pick the input tubes that sound best for each source. “

Well, this is exactly what I against religiously! It is NOT THE PURPOSE OF A PREAMPLIFIER to inject into sound different colorations to mask out the imperfections of the previously located components. By enabling users to do pick the tubes for different sources and putting into the initial design those objectives it is indication that ether the designers were Morons who had no idea what they do or the unit meant to be used by Morons.

A preamplifier should be absolutely transparent and it is THE  OBSOLETE MANDATORY MINIMUM for any preamp:

If a pram has a provision to change its sound for each source via tube rolling then… why to stop on the input tube roiling? Why would not have a loop inside of the prams where the signal go over another couple stages with different sound tubes? How about an Equalizers. How about a compression Extender? How about a couple of SS stages and a stage with vintage oil capacitors? How about the pentodes? How about the stages with different type of bias?  they all have different sound!  What is it: high-end Audio or the Audio Retouching Anonymous?

I really see that the Einstein’s idea was VERY faulty… if it was the Einstein’s intention. It is very much possible that the tubo-self-entertaining WAS NOT the Einstein intention that they pursued the given topology because of other considerations…. However, I never heard in this review about “other considerations”.  For what it said, it sounds to me like another typical-bogus “beloved by special people” preamplifier…

Romy the caT

Posted by Wojtek on 01-27-2007
I have a problem with navigation on your site so I probably missed the post explaining why preamp should bare the response for absolute transparency ?You reserve the right for the amp to inject an X factor and the sources can do what they wish also the speaker should be tought to recognize the true value of the performance but preamp should just get out of the way .Why should I resist the temptation to inject a little X factor in my preamp (ss buffer , oil cap or silver wire ) if my sources or the rest of the chain is lacking that factor .I mean it probably would not be that difficult to make an amp bypass test with the phones .Put the phones on the suitable pre output and then connect amp and hook up the phones on the amp output if anything change that mean the amp is not transparent .You explained that you are able to use your unforgiving tl0 transport only because of relatively soft character of Bidat Dac .Are you compensating or they just naturally compliment each other?Rgrds, W

Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-27-2007

Wojtek, a preamp should care absolute transparency not because I said it or have warren somewhere within my site but because it just makes sense, doesn’t it? I undusted what you ask but I also undusted why you asked it. The key is that you do not understand what “X-factor” is. It most likely came from the fact that you apparently never experience “X-factor” and therefore you attributed to “X-factor” some things that have no relation to the “X-factor” (SS buffer, oil cap, silver wire and the rest crap…). If you feel that “X-factor” is a properly of some kind if colorations then you are mistaken. The “X-factor” in fact has ABSOLUTELY NO RELATION TO TRANSPARENCY and therefore I do not see any conflict if an absolutely transparent line-stage has or do not has the “X-factor”.

Try to “get” it. The “X-factor” is not juts a term that invented in order the others to characterize whatever they feel should be called as “X-factor”. The “X-factor” is VERY SPECIFIC impact to Sound that took place in Lamm L1 and L2 preamps.  If you did not A/B even a signal channel with L1/L2 in path and bypassing it then you hardly have business to use the phrase “X-factor” and it most likely you have no idea what it is all about. BTW, 90% of people who did used L1/L2 still have no idea what “X-factor” was and what those preamps could do. Still, pay attention that L1/L2 are very much NOT TRANSPARENT preamps…

Romy PS: BTW, if you have problem with navigation then please post you comments in the Support Forum and I would like to know what exactly you find uncomfortable.

Posted by guy sergeant on 01-29-2007
Surely all audio components would ideally be transparent not specifically the pre-amplifier. I have yet to hear any audio components that really are. (and I wouldn't be able to hear them if they were!)

Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-29-2007

Guy, I am not sure that “all audio components would ideally be transparent” as most of the audio components perform own actions: gain change or different type of conversions. Preamp, in contrary, mostly performs no actions or if it is in unity gain it has no actions. Also, is all depends what it is your definition of transparency. To view transparency as a delta between output and input is VERY simplistic thing as there is much more evolve perception of transparency. You complain that you yet to hear any audio components that completely transparent. Well, take a two resistor of good quietly (RH60 for instance) make 6dB voltage divider, preserving your input impedance and place the divider right at input of any of your component. Now you will have a function performing components that has absolutely no affect to transparency. If you wish to assess more complicated components then try Placette Active preamp. From where I stay I was able to find any influence to transparency in this unit. So, it is accomplishable. The problem that I see that people do not trying to pursuit it.

The caT

Posted by Romy the Cat on 10-27-2015
…Is when they call me idiot then they attract my attention. Wojciech Pacuła, the 6Moon’s reviewer extraordinary published the following: 
So, when I read a text such as the one below, I just give up, because it either demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what audio is and what it is not, or—quoting the text below—idiocy: 

[… ] It is NOT THE PURPOSE OF A PREAMPLIFIER to inject different colorations into sound to mask out the imperfections of the previously located components. By enabling users to do pick the tubes for different sources and putting those objectives into the initial design is an indication that either the designers were Morons who had no idea what they were doing or the unit was meant to be used by Morons. 
You know what it reminds me? There was a guy in California, I do remember his name now. He is an orchestra conductor and he has a web site where he writes about different aspects of audio. His writing is not foolish and generally is good if you definition of audio is a Sony receiver from “Best Buy”. The Conductor Guy one way contacted me and informed me that he read my site and he would like to give me a tip. He instead that I should not be listening any audio if playback does not employ 1/6 octave parametric equalizer. I asked him if he was kidding but he was grave serious. 
I understand that in the world of Wojciech Pacuła he need to have a PREAMPLIFIER that “corrects” or “balance” the specifics of individual front end by having an individual buffer for each line with own option for tube rolling. However, I am considering this appraise absolutely foolish.   When I say that in today world many manufactures do not produce audio for sake of listening benefits but ONLY for sake of reviewer objectives I meant exactly the case like this. It is not surprise that Mr. Pacuła loves it, I am sure my Conductor Guy would nominate the preamp designer for Noble Prize. I am nominating Wojciech Pacuła for lower entry of Draven’s evolution hierarchy – he is an audio industry reviewer. Keep roll the tubes, they were mane for the people like you….

The Cat

Posted by Paul S on 10-27-2015
I had a chance to listen to/for the Einstein components at THE Show, but there seemed to be no reason to pay attention to them, since they neither disappeared nor did they transform the sound in any remarkable way. My overall impression was that the "Einsten sound" lacked the gestalt that I usually require as a starting point. Of course, this was t a hi-fi exhibition; but there were other amps and pre-amps there that did better, IMO.

Regarding pre-amps, it's no secret that I am a long-time "neutral" guy. I regard the pre-amp's function to be attenuation, balance, and little else. In most systems, a buffer is a good idea, in order to keep the source and the amp from "communicating", and - of course - to keep output impedance as low as possible. In my experience, and by my reckoning, a pre-amp is the only component that one can get fairly close to "neutralizing", so why not get it out o the way, if I can.

As for a "neutral" amp, who's kidding whom? Hook the amp up to a speaker and the speaker to a room and you can absolutely forget "neutrality". In the case of OTLs, I think we have a prime example of the tail wagging the dog. I admit I found amusing one internet guy's account of his success with using an autoformer after his OTL. While I'm NOT saying it can't be done, I ask myself, "why?"

Paul S

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