Modwright LS100 or 36.5? or ?

keith1962

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Apr 17, 2013
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Keith
I am currently listening to a LS100 on dem from Jack at BD Audio and it is fantastic, and I am now wondering if it is better to go to 36.5? I am almost sure that the LS100 is the one but it is the only pre amp I have listened to in this system, having previously only used the buffered, passive volume pre in my dac (Perreaux DP32). It is such an improvement in natural presentation making things sound so real that I am ready to just purchase now, but I am aware that I have not heard any other preamps in this system, never mind valve preamps! It will be difficult to hear the one box 36.5 as Jack only has the two box unit on dem, which would be too rich for me at present. I do like an open detailed sound but I have noticed no loss in detail with the LS100 in the system and only an increase in the effortless, real sound with great dynamics over the whole range.

I would stretch to the 36.5 if there is a definite improvement in resolution and detail without losing the great mid-range and flow, and any opinions from those who have heard both would be most appreciated. Opinions on how they compare to Puresound L10 and L300 at their price points, and any other preamps that would also compete are also welcome, but bear in mind I really like the LS100 presentation so would be looking for that plus, if you see what I mean, ie not the softer more relaxed sound but more the dynamic resolved sound that is still non-fatiguing to listen to for hours. I might be looking for something that is not achievable, or I may have already found it with the LS100?

 

myrman

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Keith re the LS100 vs 36.5 it could be worth looking at some of the US forums as users with experience of both will be far greater than in the UK. Try the Modwright section on Audio Circle

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=14.0

Just come back because the Wam is the best :D Looking forward to hearing what you go for.

 

greygoose

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keith, i have never heard the LS100 but i can only recommend the ls36.5 I was fortunate to get earlier thid year.

There was a 2 box version for sale at an excellent price inthe dealer section here over the summer that would have ticked all the boxes and was really tempting for me but would have broke the bank even at half price!!

From what I have read on the US forums the ls36.5 gives you about 80% to 85% of the performance of the dm36.5.5 at half the price.

 
G

Guest

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Well i am biased as i said to Keith via pm and its only questions like this that make you realise you sometimes take kit for granted but for me LS36.5 all day long

 

unclepuncle

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The two box 36.5 that Jack has was hugely impressive when I heard it at Nicks so if the one box gets close and you can afford it - just do it. :^

 

myrman

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Its interesting because it should come down to more of a presentation choice rather than a case of what is best. When I swapped out the 36.5DM with my Audio Note pre it was obvious that the Modwright had greater resolution but some people that heard both prefered the mellower tone of the Audio Note. I chose the LS100 because it was the best choice for 'my taste' and not specifically because it was a cheaper option than the 36.5. All the preamps mentioned are extremely competent. Ultimately as with most things in 'hifi' its a case of whatever floats your boat.

 

keith1962

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Thanks all for the comments. Have also spoken further with Jack and e-mailed Dan Wright and I think their view is very much in line with myrman, at this level it is the one that you prefer the sound of. I will check with Dan if it is ok to copy his comments onto here as some may be interested in his rationale behind the development of both amps. I have also spoken with James Henriot who has two 36.5DMs! He previously had 36.5 and very much was of the opinion of the 36.5 over the LS100, although he had only heard the original 9.0 on different occasions for comparison.

I think I have agreed a way forward with Jack which will allow me to hear a 36.5 and subsequently revert to LS100 if I prefer it, so great service there from him.

 

aswillman

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Antony Willman
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Jack's service is excellent as I found out when I bought my LS100 off him. My view was I wanted both the phono stage & headphone amp as well so a bit of a multifunction box.

 

keith1962

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Apr 17, 2013
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Dan has OK'd me to post his reply to what I wrote in the original post:

Hi Keith, the LS 100 is a FINE preamp and MANY customers love it!



It is a newer design than the LS 36.5 and actually was designed to replace the first preamp we ever designed - the SWL 9.0SE. The 9.0SE was EXCEPTIONALLY popular, and yet there were some functions that people wanted, such as XLR in's and outs, even though wired SE. There were also requests for balance control, remote triggers and a headphone out. We added remote input select and power on/off to the remote volume and mute only, of the SWL 9.0SE.



Lastly, some people felt that the 9.0SE, which used 5687 tubes was just a BIT too lean in its sonic presentation. We took all of this information to heart when designing the LS 100 and I decided to design around the 6SN7 tube for its 'fat tone' and beautiful sound. Also, there are A LOT of 6SN7's and variants to tube-roll with. The 5687 is NOS only and has fewer variants.



The LS 36.5 design was done after the 9.0SE and is similar in many ways, except that it offers fully balanced outs and has a more sophisticated tube circuitry. It is more resolving and detailed than the LS 100 and also RUTHLESSLY revealing! It uses the 6H30 Russian tube, which is not as sweet sounding as the 6SN7 tube. It is closer to SS than tube, if that makes sense.



They are both good designs and have a sort of Yin/Yang tonality to them. The LS 36.5 does have fully differential balanced outputs, if that is important to you. It does not however, have the option of adding internal phono or DAC, like the LS 100 does.



In short, I always say let your ears be your judge. I am QUITE certain that you will be VERY happy with the LS 100 and based on what you have said, I also feel that its tonality IS the sound that you prefer overall.



I hope this helps.



Sincerely,



Dan W.

President, ModWright Instruments Inc (MWI)

www.modwright.com

1.360.247.6688

Following this e-mail he agreed that if I could hear the 36.5 as well that would be the best route and then decide. So that is going to be the next step. Great to get opinions on here though.

As an aside, has anyone heard NAT amps and the Utopia in particular?

Best regards,

Keith.

 

ray70

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Let us know how you get on Keith. I'd be very interested in your thoughts once you've had a chance to compare the two.

 

keith1962

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Apr 17, 2013
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Some further interesting information from Dan Wright

Hi, the Sophia 6SN7's will add more detail to the LS 100, but the LS 36.5 will still be more resolving!

If you want to improve the LS 36.5, I would recommend trying different GZ34's. A Mullard will make it a bit warmer and darker, while an Amperex or Philips will give it more body and weight as well as better base response, without appreciably darkening the character tonally.

If you want the best resolution, then the LS 36.5 is the way to go!

Thanks,

Dan

President, ModWright Instruments Inc (MWI)

www.modwright.com

1.360.247.6688

Best regards,

Keith.

 

hifinutt

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  1. Yes
thanks keith

modwright amps is definitely on my bucket list to try ! having been through belles , arc, mfa ,vtl , puresound , tom evans , bel canto in past 3 years

 

myrman

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  1. No
thanks keith modwright amps is definitely on my bucket list to try ! having been through belles , arc, mfa ,vtl , puresound , tom evans , bel canto in past 3 years
The KWA150SE is a stunning amp Phil. I'm not far away so if you fancy a listen to the KWA100SE in your system in the new year let me know or pop over sometime.

 

keith1962

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Apr 17, 2013
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Keith
LS36.5 ordered through Jack with the option to revert to the LS100 if I prefer that in my system and room. Gotta be impressed with that service from BD Audio :)!

 
C

CarlBkk

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I've just come across a used LS36.5 on my travels and as I'm looking to try a valve pre I'll bring it back. If it doesn't impress I'll move it on.

 
B

BD Audio

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Beware of importing from other countries, we cannot honour any warranties as our transformers are wound differently for the UK, you may experience reliability issues and the unit will have to be shipped back to the USA which is fairly costly indeed!

 
B

BD Audio

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LS36.5 ordered through Jack with the option to revert to the LS100 if I prefer that in my system and room. Gotta be impressed with that service from BD Audio :)!
Thanks Keith, great customer service is everything, it helps to be backed up by fantastic manufacturers! Your 36.5 is progressing well on the bench, in a few days it'll start it's 100hr soak test and after a final QC check and listen by Dan himself will be on it's way! :)

 

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