Should I go Japanese

I’m presently using a Nagra MPA with my Bartok and Wilson Sabrina speakers.
I’ve been looking at tube preamps and I am considering selling the MPA and getting a LeBen 600x integrated amp. I’ve been told my search will end, zen-like.
I only use the Bartok as my source.
Any of you doing a Leben/Shindo kit? Have you reached your Shangri-la ( I know, wrong country)?

Bernard, I do not know why you imagine that a tube amplifier of 28-32 watts output is going to successfully drive a speaker of 87dB sensitivity with a nominal impedance of 4 ohms dropping to 2.53 ohms. That is around half of Wilson’s recommended minimum power ( and those recommendations are always very optimistic). No way unless you have a tiny room and only listen to flute solos. Quietly. Even then the high output impedance of a typical tube amp coupled to that speaker impedance curve will not provide anything approaching a flat frequency response.The Stereophile review found that they really required circa 250W of solid state power!

BTW you mention Shindo which are not available in the EU (where I think you live) as they do not conform with the RoHS Directive as they still use lead based solder.

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From Montreal actually.
Shindo dealer is the Leben one too.

Thanks as always Pete.
I certainly will consider this when the store sets it up in my house.

That’s hilarious Pete! :rofl:

I’ve owned both Shindo and Leben. My primary system used to be an older Shindo pre with the Corton Charlemagne monos and I still own a Leben CS-300 for my secondary system. I’m now fully solid state on the main system, so I guess my search did not end :slight_smile:

I agree with Pete that the CS600 will not be an ideal pairing with your Wilsons. It’s a gutsy amp and will certainly drive them, but probably not to their best. I have driven my Sony SS-AR1s (88db, 4ohm, min 2.7ohm) with the 12W CS-300 to plenty loud volumes (small room), but bass control and dynamics certainly suffer.

The overall design philosophy of Leben and Shindo is on the opposite end of the hifi spectrum from Wilson and dCS. They are deeply on the ‘musical’ side of the spectrum. People like to use them with vintage Altec speakers or modern Harbeths or DeVores. That being said, I think dCS would be an excellent pairing as the strengths of both components would complement each other. It would really depend what sort of sound you’re looking for.

One interesting option would be a Shindo or Leben pre into your MPA.

Have fun!

Thank you.
My initial search was for a Leben preamp.
My MPA has only XLR, the LeBen only RCA.
Local dealer said it would defeat the beauty of the LeBen sound even if I used a transformer to go from XLR to RCA.
Also, the preamp I saw had Euro voltage, so I’d need another transformer to change voltage.
Are these show stoppers in your opinion or should I seek a balanced tube preamp?

The Bartok has an RCA output. Connection to a single ended ( RCA) preamp input is what it is for. You therefore do not need to use any kind of adaptor.

I would not recommend using an external transformer to change 120V to 230V with a high end audio component. Even when audiophiles use transformers to clean the incoming mains you will find many reports of loss of dynamics etc. Also if the voltage is set for 230V then the amp will have been spec’d for 50HZ not 60Hz mains. That may not be a significant problem but the PS can be stressed.

Thanks again Pete.
I will not be going down the voltage transformer path.
The XLR-RCA thing was, as discussed on another thread, to connect my XLR-only NAgra to a future RCA only preamp.