UV-1 preamp Ralph, Adam, Only on my second song... Tell Adam he does awesome work. You two have no idea how much I love this Preamp. I am not one that gets too excited about Audio gear often. But every now and then I get something that just is really magical. This is one of those products that will never leave my system. The improvements were across the board. Bass and mid bass ever so slightly changed. I was worried might be too much and sounding less real. Just right now. The soundstage shrunk slightly but that’s okay. It’s more controlled and just right. The details, especially guitar picking is simply spectacular. The cymbols shimmer like they should. Triangles have a sparkle that is so real. I thought they did before. Wow..... But now..... Wow.... Clarity, Transparency, and noise was the biggest improvement. Those where huge..... The improvements are simply incredible across the entire spectrum... I absolutely love it... If you come across used M60’s down the road, keep me in mind. I was out of the Audio World for years. Moved and hadn’t had time. Been rebuilding my system the past couple years. Thanks again for such an incredible piece of art. And it’s a pleasure meeting and learning from people like you and Adam. When I buy things, I research, and think hard. Probably way too much. Then Audition products. I work hard for my money and want to make good decisions once. This experience has made me an Atma-sphere customer. Especially finally being able to hear one of your amps today. Never heard one before.... It will be my next purchase at some point..... Sincerely, Paul S, Minn.
Paul then later added:
Also I forgot to mention the space..... You can almost feel the space... It just draws you in. Gives you an experience, not just music. If it does get better that’s great [we mentioned to him that there will be some break-in].... But it’s already awesome.... I’ll never listen to solid state again.... lol...
M-60 Mk3.3 I am really enjoying the M-60s. These are, I think, a much better match for my 92.5 dB efficient Coincident Super Victory II’s. The Frankensteins just don’t have enough to really make them sing, and the reduction in THD at my normal listening levels is very much noticeable and appreciated. Imaging is as good as the best I had from my Frankensteins, there is a nice sense of air, the tonality is spot on, in short, I think giving the M-60s a try was an experiment that ended very well. The M-60s are staying and the Franks are moving downstairs to my 2nd system. In addition, I am powering the M-60s straight from the wall without going through the PS audio P-10. It was working pretty hard to keep up with current demand and was running pretty hot. We have pretty clean power here, and I have dedicated circuits to my listening room, so I don’t think I am noticing any adverse effects from removing the P-10. Every time I listen to these amps I like them a bit more. They really are quite special. William M.
MP-1, updated from Mk3.2 to Mk3.3 By the way, with about 10 hours on the preamp it sounds absolutely stellar! I knew it would be great but goes much beyond great!! Mark
MP-3 Mk.3.3, MA-1 updated to Mk3.3, plus a set of interconnect cables Cables arrived yesterday. I spent the better part of the day getting everything sorted. Significant Other remarked: 'This better be worth it;. It only took 30 seconds before: 'Wow, I didn't think it could sound any better, but it does'. So, thanks for everything. I am loving it. (I also posted this on Agon- another member is getting the upgrade to his M60 and wanted to know if it was worth it). Bob
MP-1 Mk3.3, updated from older Mk3.1 Hope this finds you well my friend. I wanted to share with you my impressions of the newest pre-amp changes sonically. The first thing I noticed immediately was that the noise floor has been reduced quite a bit. Not just in the phono but the line stage as well. The reduced noise floor gives the unit better resolution of nuances not better detail although you do hear more I think it's just better resolved. The other immediate thing I noticed was the speed. Leading edges now have more of an attack, I know the thing is much more dynamic then the last revision but it sounds faster as well. Dynamics are also greatly improved, many more jump out of your chair moments than before. With the reduced noise floor images within the soundstage are better focused and more stable than ever before. The soundstage depth and width has grown if it's present on the recording it can sound like surround sound in your room, always had great width but now the depth is as big as the sides. Finally it seems to go deeper in the bass and maybe a little more open on the top. It just sounds more linear if that makes any sense. So in wrapping up: Lower Noise Floor , Faster leading attacks, Much more dynamic, Better resolution Deeper Bass, More linear sound(everything cut from the same cloth), Larger soundstage especially layered depth,Images are much more stable and not floating around, Other than that it sounds pretty much the same!!! It really is a killer piece Ralph. Thank you. Rusty M, AZ
M-60 Mk2.2 update to Mk3.3 My, my was last evening fun! When I got them home burned them in for 24+ hours and spun my go to album Jennifer Warnes 'The Hunter' on 180g. Its hard to put into words the transformation from 2.2 to 3.3. I tried really hard to pick one theme but I just sat in my chair and her music enveloped me. Before the upgrade I would say to my listening buddies, did you hear the air in the highs and the bass extensions? Now I just sit there and say 'WOW'! Nothing stands out just plain music! Geez, why didn't I do this sooner! Thanks again to you and your team! Really appreciate your time and the time Matt spent with me! Simply marvelous! Keith S, MN
UV-1 I picked up my UV-1 from Brian at Expressimo Audio on Saturday. Set it up and burned it in with my CD player for about five hours. A demo Rogue 99 was hooked up prior to the UV-1 arrival. Brian strongly suggested I put your UV-1 into my system before purchasing the Rogue. Well, zero contest. The UV-1 blew the Rogue away. Particularly impressive is the quiet with your UV-1. An exceptional preamp. Every adjective to describe the sound was present in the UV-1 well beyond the Rogue. I have to say the stock tubes were not a great showcase for your preamp. But I realize most customers are going to do some tube rolling to find the right performance for them in their setup. In my case Brian loaned me a matched pair of early 60’s RCA GTB’s. Night and day difference over the stock tubes and your superb UV-1, already better than the Rogue, jumped its sound significantly with better performance all around and particularly in the bass. I also have a pair of Sylvania Chrome Domes on the way to compare. The review I read rated the bass as the only weaker area with only a 3 of 5. He should have tried a different tube before assigning the 3 as with the right tube it performs quite well on bass. Nice job. I appreciate products that keep as little as possible between me and the music. The UV-1 blew me away for $1900 or even twice that amount. Tod
UV-1 The UltraViolet is excellent as a line stage and excellent as a phono stage. Truly is dead quiet with the S30. A Radio Shack SPL does not register anything above low when placed into the Tonian driver. Something the Allnic L3000 and Woo Audio were not able to achieve. Truly a musical combination with the S30. As far as the Whest PS goes.....I like the UV better. They are both dead quiet and musical....but I like the UV tube sound better and the benefit on having one less power cable and one less interconnect is a plus. Keep it simple. I just plain enjoy the S30 with the UV better than anything else I have heard - Eva Cassidy songbird album is amazing. So I have the Whest up for sale. Bill M, Evergreen, CO
Greg sent his amps and preamp in for Mk3.2 update, with this note: Ralph, I would like to relate my audio story to you and your co-workers. I have been an audiophile since age 11 in 1971 when I bought my first system which included the assembly of a Heathkit integrated amplifier. Since then I have bought and sold dozens of pieces of equipment. That buying and selling has continued for all components except my preamp and power amps since I purchased your S-30 in about 2002. I sold the S-30 to my friend in 2005 when I purchased a pair of M-60's and an MP-3. In the 41 years of my audiophile life, I have listened to thousands of pieces of equipment and auditioned hundreds of pieces, mostly in my house but sometimes at dealers. I stopped trading amps and preamps because I have never heard any amp/preamp combination better than the M-60's and MP-3. I have not heard your MP-1 but I will probably purchase one soon. Most recently, I auditioned some exotic equipment at Quintessence Audio in Morton Grove, IL. The system consisted of Audio Research 600 watt mono blocks, Audio Research LS-27 Preamp, Sonus Faber Amati Futura speakers and Ayon Audio CD-5S. From the reviews I read of this equipment before I listened, I thought that this was the best setup I could ever experience. I was listening to some of the best recorded CD's I own which are David Grisman & Tony Rice on Tone Poems, Duke Ellington on Blues in Orbit, John Lee Hooker on Chill Out, Paco de Lucia with John Mclaughin and Al Dimeola on Live in San Francisco. I listened for about an hour. I realized after just a few minutes that my system consisting of the M-60's, the MP-3, Merlin VSM MSE speakers and Electrocompanient ECM1-UP CD player (approximately $18k investment) in my 17' x 14' x 9' room with hardwood floors and full height glass along one wall (no sound absorbing treatment) sounded better than the approximately $125k of equipment at this showroom. Your equipment is amazing - I don't know what else to say.Greg M, P.E. Chicago, IL
S-30 Mk 3.1 Hi Ralph, Holy s**t !! What genius made this amp of yours? I cannot tell you how good this sounds. Just amazing. I rolled a few tubes in -- not the best -- and musicians are coming over to say hello after performing live in my listening room. Please feel free to post my comments to your site. I never knew my system could sound so good. I am not exaggerating. Thanks again. Best ...Ken
Here is a comment (dated Nov. 2012) about an older amplifier, purchased used I received the S-30 MKII that I bought on Audiogon last night. I put them in the place of a pair of Welborne 300B mono blocks with my Zu Essence speakers. There is absolutely no comparison between the amps. The S-30 even beats the "midrange magic" of the 300B's. The bass is considerably tighter and more musical and there's much more detail in the upper registers, including a lot of stuff you can't even hear with the Welbornes. I'll be sending this amp to you in a couple of months for an upgrade but I have to say I was pretty amazed. Howard.
MP-1 MkIII updated to Mk. 3.1 Ralph, I wanted to let you know how things are progressing with the MP-1. I have had it back for about 9 months. Things sounded a little thin at first but through use it has improved significantly. The Line stage was the first to come around and like the MA-1s they seem to present the music as recorded without adding to or subtracting from what is present on the recording. This has taken a while to get used to, as everything else I have had emphasized some frequencies and attenuated others. The Phono stage has taken longer to get there due to fewer listening sessions. It too is very musically accurate and tonally correct. For the very first time I now have a system that flat gets out of the way of the music and encourages lengthy listening sessions. The other interesting characteristic I have noticed is that the Quads now convey a sufficient sense of weight in the lower frequencies, removing any desire to add subs. The other synergy with the MP-1/MA-1s/Quads is the lack of strain or effortlessness and exceptional speed the system now has. All in all I could not be happier and the only system changes I can foresee are incremental upgrades to the Atma-sphere components. Many thanks for sharing your passion for music with the rest of us. Best Regards, Mike M
MP-1 MkIII to Mk 3.1 Thank you for updating the preamp. More dynamics, more detail and smoother too. I just want to turn the volume up more. Tri Mai, Triplanar
MP-3 I listen to vinyl mostly, and sold my Audio Note phono stage after hearing the the MP-3. I never realized how mushy the sound was! Andrew, NY
MA-1 MkII.3 updated to Mk3.1 The amps sound GREAT! Thanks, Gordon W, CA
MA-1 Mr. Karsten, I'm just in awe of the sound!!!! Forgive me for blubbering, this has been a dream of mine for 20 years to own one of your amps. Rick W, CO
M-60 Mk 3.1 WOW... WOW, WOW, WOW......! Ralph, I let them settle in for 72 hours and began playing them on Sunday morning. I like to think that I have a pretty good ear for fidelity, but these things just blew me away. They have exceeded my expectations in every way possible, I mean it Ralph, your amps are truly amazing... even more so when considering that I was comparing them to one of your S-30's (which played beautifully in its own right). I have them set-up with a Shanling CDT-100 through the tube output stage, into a Sunfire (Tube) preamp and am using Paul Speltz impedance coils [Zeros, see Paul's website] at x-3 into ML "Source" hybrid ESL's. Am also using a pair of (older) Bowers-Wilkinson subs for a little help on the bottom end. Great deal, certainly worth the money and then some. Thank you so much. .. and my Gal thinks they are very pretty...! You Ralph are my newest best friend....! Thanks again Kevin C., US military overseas
Custom mic preamp I used the preamp, a lot this last weekend - worked great - fantastic low noise - which was very helpful ! John P., WI
S-30 and MP3 Ralph, I have had some of the best audio equipment that Audio Research makes in my system and your "entry level" equipment blows it away (I used to have an Audio Research Ref II Mark II modified by Great Northern Sound and a VT 200). There is no comparison. Your S-30 and MP3 provides some of the sweetest and most satisfying music that I have heard in my house. Thanks so much! Ron
S-30 I picked up one of your S-30 amps on the internet last week. I wanted to compliment you on the quality, looks and above all- the sound. Absolutely astounding. I have a degree in music from Berklee in Boston- I played for years In Jazz and R&B; groups. I actually know what live instruments and voices sound like. So when I tell you that your amp is a major breakthrough in Hi-Fidelity - I mean it. I have been working with relatively high class equipment for probably 40 years - your product wins - hands down. I am saving up my pennies to buy one of your pre-amps...Thanks for a terrific instrument. Rick, Maine
MP-1 & M-60 Every thing is sounding great. I am extremely happy with the level of performance the MP-1 and the M-60 have displayed driving the Avantgarde horn systems. They seem to light a fire under the speakers, with a clarity and dynamics unheard in other amplifiers and preamplifiers at twice their cost... Trevor, West Indies
MP-3 & M-60 MkIII This product is the most beautiful sounding that I have ever heard. It is like being in Heaven and having the angels play the music for you. I congratulate you on such a wonderful product. Antonio, NY
M-60 Mk. II kit (1997) For the first time in my listening 'career' . . . I am captivated by the MUSIC, not just the 'sounds'. I look forward to every listening session. Mike, NJ
In reference to the M-60 MkII on stacked Quad ESL57s Hi Ralph, I tried them [the Quads] in series and liked them a lot. As did my audio buddies. Much better than the four old Quad ii amps. My only complaint with the Quad IIs was a certain boomy overhang in the bass that no amount of faffing about with speaker placement in my 20 X 30 X 9 1/2 room would get rid of. I know that Quad 57s start to roll off rapidly at around 50-60Hz but their bass is supposed to be clean, tight and fast so they shouldn't boom. But over time ears get used to a certain sound so I learned to live with it because the 57s do everything else so well. 25 years ago I used to run a single pair of 57s with a Leak Stereo 20 amplifier and there was no boominess. The Atma-Spheres restored the clean and tight bass. Then I tried one Quad II amp per channel in series and that boominess was gone too. But not as transparent as the Atma-Sphere. Like a photograph that is well focused until someone shows you how to fine focus even more. Not as much detail either. Maybe my four Quad amps have drifted in performance from each other. Would that account for the boominess? I know nothing about electronics so I can only speculate. A friend who builds his own stuff is going to check them out and make their performance as identical as possible. But I am smitten with the Atma-Spheres. I asked my friend to let me borrow them for a while longer so I can give them an extensive listen. I am off for some Debussy piano music by Gieseking. More observations to come. I promise no purple prose. Kind regards, Demetri
S-30 Mk 3.1 Just to drop you a note. I am enjoying my S-30 [Mk 3.1] as much as I had hoped. The music is so much more real now. Thank you also for the IC cables... Overall, this has been a great experience. Thanks again, Boris
MA-1 I think you are actually underselling the impact of the MK 3 to MK 3.1 upgrade [MA-1]. To these ears, the upgrade has manifested itself by providing even more detail, speed, and clarity, while sounding smoother and more musical. There is an increased flow and organic nature to the music (which were already areas of strength) that I am really enjoying. From the strum of the guitar, to the slam of snare drum to the bite of sax, to the sultriness of a female voice, it's all mo better. :-) George, MA
MA-2 Mk 3.1 and MP-1 Mk III I'm not sure if I've ever told you but everyone in my audio circle is astonished at how realistic and "live" my system sounds regardless of source. I think Mike, who is a musician himself says, "it just sounds like music". I think that is in a large part due to your products and how they pair so well with the Soundlabs. Rick, Ottawa
MA-2 Mk.3.1 I have recently purchased two MA-2 Mk.3.1 amplifiers from Hi Fi One. ...FYI the amps replaced AR M-300s driving the Mid-High panels of my IRS Betas. The difference in sound was not subtle, these amps sound great, my IRS Betas have never sounded better. ...Thanks again. These will be the last amplifiers I will use in this system. Jay
M-60 Mk 3.1 Superb musical performance for a new amplifier [not broken in]. The sonic reproduction of these OTL amplifiers of my concert guitars on recordings is exemplary; realistic tone, full body, physical beauty. Angel, PR.
MP-1 MkIII Immediate and significant upgrade to my system. It now has Life! Very musical- not analytical at all. Mark, WA.
M-60 Mk. 3.1 One of the things I liked on your amps is the natural way they reproduce the high frequency. I do recordings and hear always live music. A lot of music systems today are not correct with the exaggerated extended top end, as live music does not sound this way. The reason I sent you the demo cd is because when you check on the bottom for the guitar's maker, I have four of those Paulino Bernabe Instruments now in my house and your amps were so impressive in sound reproduction with hardly any hours on them. Angel, Puerto Rico
M-60 The M-60 is still breaking in. 150 hours to go.The music is breathtaking beautiful, emotionally involving and very pure. Thanks! Best Regards, Ronald, Netherlands
MA-2 Mk 3.1 I must say using your amps to drive my Wilson Alexandra is the best sound I have gotten ever. They are so good. I am thinking to get two pair to drive my Nola Grand Reference 4 in Hong Kong (the four tower system) - which is currently driven by my full-Cello system. Wing, Singapore
MA-1 Mk.3.1 They look very good and sound great. I've been busy so have only played them for a few hours so far but the clarity, natural richness of sound and dynamics are amazing. They drive my Jamo R909's dual 15 inch woofers with lots of authority. That impedance dip between 60 and 30hz of 3 ohms does not seem to be any problem at all. The bass is tighter, bigger and deeper than with my solid state Blue Circle BC8's. Based on the performance of these amps, I'll definitely be considering one of your pre-amps soon when I get my cash reserves back up. Alessandro
MP-1 Mk. III You have a brilliant preamp, but the real world out there is caught up with glitz, price, and "the latest review":. Deaf ears, large egos and less than high resolution systems keeps your preamp "a best kept secret": I appreciate it. It is a work of art. David, MN
M-60 Hi Ralph, Apologies for not responding sooner. I wanted to thank you for the excellent customer service in upgrading my M-60's [originally Mk II.2] to Mk3.1. The improvement was immediately audible in my system - just as you described - increases in resolution and smoothness. Thanks again for such a superb amplifier. I've already sold at least two of them for you via my raves to fellow audiophiles. Please continue your pursuit of further improvements! David
MP-1 Mk. 3.1 This thing is incredible. The dynamics and bass are out of this world and worth the price of admission alone. I thought it was a little forward at first but it's settling in perfectly. I really couldn't be happier and I hope the audio world catches on soon enough and you sell a boatload. Rusty, Arizona
Update MA-2 MkIII to Mk 3.1 and MP-1 MkIII to Mk3.1 Wow! This thing sounds fantastic. It's hard for me to tell what is doing what given that I upgraded the preamp and switched the amps a the same time, but the obvious things are that the whole thing is smoother, more relaxed, quieter, more detailed, more dynamic, deeper bass (much deeper actually but without being overpowering - go figure), and generally just really nice to listen to. Thank you again for a great upgrade. Rick, Ottawa
MA-1 SE Ralph, As a follow up to our conversation and e-mails, I wanted to let you know that I purchased the MA-1 SE [Silver Edition- this set was updated to MkIII] amps and installed them in my system. They replaced a set of MFA M120B amps that I consider to be very good. I was not prepared for the result. The sound stage was 50% wider, bass was deeper, and the detail was significantly greater. But the most impressive change was the way the music came through. I now have an entirely new music collection to explore. I don't know how you can improve upon this, but I will be sending them in shortly for the upgrade from Mk. 3 to 3.1. Thanks for indulging me in my questions and obsessions. Best regards, Mike
MP-3 What can I say except, 'Outstanding.' The MP-3 is without a doubt the finest preamp I have owned or heard. Biggest single difference: Dynamics. Michael, TX
Atma Sphere 1742 Selby Avenue St. Paul, MN 55104 USA