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  1. #1
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    darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    a couple of months ago my dealer found a buyer for my much loved, long term reference, dart 458 mono blocks. i had planned to upgrade my 458's to the 468 level next summer, but when this opportunity presented itself i had to do it. so i did trade them in for a pair of the new 468 mono blocks. i've had a borrowed dart 108 stereo amp since then (a great amp for sure), been waiting form my new amps to arrive.

    the waiting is over; this afternoon the 468's arrived, i met my son at my home shortly after they were dropped off. we got them un-crated and set in place pretty quickly; then i went back to work. got home and went through all the setting up and connecting. removed the shipping screws and installed the little gold plated plugs. hooked up the interconnects and speaker cables, connected my 20 amp IEC re-plugged EA power cords which put them into standby, and then connected my ground lead to my Tripoint Troy Sig.


    started with some high rez piano from Quboz that had been the last thing i had listened to......and before the decay of the first note faded away i knew that this was something different. textures. breath of life. liquidity. the 458 had those, but not like this. tubes. this is Lamm ML3'ish territory. but without the darker tones. not rounding or blunting. and the speed and grip is even better than the 458's.

    tubes.

    this was first blush in the first 5 minutes or so. played the Anna Netrebko track with the glass harmonica......that was special and on another plane higher.

    tubes. you like tubes, this will be your solid state amp.

    i'm now about 45 minutes in.......just more of that and things are getting a bit more ease and refined. the noise floor is really down there. did i say this is fast?

    physically it's not much different; the tone of the front plate is a bit lighter and less golden. i suppose i prefer this to the 458's slightly. that's about it. we will have to see how my first impressions hold up. i'm in heaven, and i'm still only doing digital.......sounds fantastic and just easier to navigate thru tracks of different music.

    Fremer's review of the new darTZeel 468's for reference.
    https://www.stereophile.com/content/...ower-amplifier

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  2. #2

    darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Mike, you are really taking no prisoners. Incredible commitment, amazing.

    I had read Fremer’s review before, and was wondering when you might make a move. I have not heard them myself yet, but the statements in the review were not unclear. And, hopefully you replaced the Dart ICs as well, as Mikey suggested.

    Huge congrats, enjoy in good health! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


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  3. #3
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Congrats Mike! You always take every opportunity to keep your system on the cutting edge of the latest technology. And what a system it is!

    Enjoy,
    Ken
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  4. #4
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    oh my... what an appealing description!! congrats on the new amps - enjoy!

    certainly makes me curious if this is the darTZeel "house sound" extending all the way down to their integrateds.
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables

  5. #5
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Congrats Mike! Enjoy the upgrade in good health.
    _______________

    Mike

  6. #6
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Congratulations sounds like you are going to love them
    Flemming

  7. #7
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Congratulations Mike! They look fabulous.




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  8. #8
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Congrats Mike. No arguments, DarTZeel is the best.
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  9. #9
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Absolutely beautiful amps, congratulations!

    Was the borrowed 108 in MkII status?
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  10. #10
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Congratulations Mike, this are really wonderful amplifiers! Initially I had these also on my short-list, but they appeared to be outside my league. Enjoy!
    Jan

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  11. #11
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Mike, really?

    You just cost me an arm and leg, now your going in for the kill!

    Look forward to hearing these bad boys, until then ENJOY darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system


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  12. #12

    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    When I heard the 458's I thought those were the best sounding amps I'd ever heard ... I can only imagine what these sound like! Congrats and enjoy!

    George

  13. #13
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    Absolutely beautiful amps, congratulations!

    Was the borrowed 108 in MkII status?
    thank you.

    no, the 108 was a trade-in Mk1 w/SNCP upgrade.....so current spec Mk1. the owner had just received the Mk2 108, so my dealer had him ship his trade-in directly to me to use. and honestly it was awesome. mostly i could listen and not think about amps at all. but at times i heard where the 458's would have taken things further.

    the 458's are a lot more amp, but the Mk1 108 is still on my top 4 or 5 all time amp list. sounds like music and has this 'super' purity.

    i think this 108 (sitting in the other room smugly after a job well done) will be up for sale soon. watch for it as it's been properly vetted in my room. :-)

  14. #14
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraFast69 View Post
    Mike, really?

    You just cost me an arm and leg, now your going in for the kill!

    Look forward to hearing these bad boys, until then ENJOY darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    sorry Ed......this move was a surprise to me too. not planned. had just added 2 turntables (one you don't yet know about either) in the last 3 months, and a new server last spring. but when faced with the opportunity i had to do it.

    come on over when you have time.

  15. #15
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by gadawg View Post
    When I heard the 458's I thought those were the best sounding amps I'd ever heard ... I can only imagine what these sound like! Congrats and enjoy!

    George
    thanks George, that was my same experience, that the 458's were the best sounding amps i'd ever heard. so i was in no hurry to do the upgrade.

    i should have been in a hurry.

  16. #16
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    Mike, you are really taking no prisoners. Incredible commitment, amazing.

    I had read Fremer’s review before, and was wondering when you might make a move. I have not heard them myself yet, but the statements in the review were not unclear. And, hopefully you replaced the Dart ICs as well, as Mikey suggested.

    Huge congrats, enjoy in good health! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


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    thank you.

    i have no doubt about what Fremer heard with the new 'zeel' interconnects.

    i have a few runs of the 'old' OEM 'zeel' cable, and use 11 meters of it between my King Cello tape repro and dart pre. it is very good sounding. the new version of the OEM 'zeel' is even better i'm told.

    however; what i use between my amps and preamp, is the Evolution Acoustics version of the 'zeel' cable, which i'm told is still better than the 'new' OEM 'zeel'.

    so while i don't have personal experience with that new 'zeel', i'm pretty happy and have no plans to personally investigate any cables.

  17. #17
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    oh my... what an appealing description!! congrats on the new amps - enjoy!

    certainly makes me curious if this is the darTZeel "house sound" extending all the way down to their integrateds.
    thank you.

    the 'house' sound of darTZeel does extend to it's integrateds. by that i mean the purity, naturalness and lack of edge or grain different than other solid state. the high frequencies are smooth and very open on top. the bass is finely textured and the presentation is alive and has that nuance and micro-dynamic energy. and darts can rock'n roll too.....speaker dependent of course.

    where the 108 Mk2, and even much more the new 468 mono's take things further is the degree of texture, liquidity and other worldly tube like richness and organic fullness, yet retain all the purity and extension.

    so these new amps are 'house sound ++'.

  18. #18
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Wow Mike! Congratulations from another tone and texture junkie.
    Rance


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  19. #19

    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    beautiful amps! especially found your comment about the decay very interesting. seems like these iron-man amps are the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove.

  20. #20

    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post

    certainly makes me curious if this is the darTZeel "house sound" extending all the way down to their integrateds.
    Yes.

  21. #21
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    The big Darts certainly sounded great in Manilla even better in Mike's room!!




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  22. #22

    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Are those new bases on the 468's or are they custom/optional?

  23. #23
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    I know DarTZeel’s looks are polarizing, but I absolutely love the red and gold.

    Congratulations Mike L., awesome setup.
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  24. #24
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    I know DarTZeel’s looks are polarizing, but I absolutely love the red and gold.

    Congratulations Mike L., awesome setup.
    Great amps! But the color is not to my taste so can these be ordered with another color(s)?

    Mike
    Main system: Aavik Acoustics U-300, Incoming TechDAS AF V Premium, Kuzma Stabi R + Kuzma 4P11" Gemstone upgrade/Kondo silver + Soundsmith Sussurro II, Naim streamer + Teddy Pardo psu, Sonus Faber Stradivari 35 Anniversary, full cable loom Ansuz Acoustics, D on signal side, Mainz DTC/D2 + Mainz8 D-TC power distributor. All individual equipment and cables rest on Ansuz Acoustics Darkz DTC. Dedicated mains supply (Audience Conductor) with Klangmodule fuse system and Furutech receptacles. Other systems: Collection of Sonus Faber classics (Franco S design), tube gear and transistor designs, CD-transports and players, turntables and collection of cables

  25. #25
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    I think black is an option.
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  26. #26

    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    I checked on color a few years ago...it was like 30k to get silver/black. Stupid

    I do think silver/red or silver/black would have more appeal.

  27. #27
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Thanks guys!

    Considering the price this should be a no cost option!

    Marvelous sounding amps! Wonder how these would compare to the new K160 from Robert Koda? In the same price territory.

    Mike
    Main system: Aavik Acoustics U-300, Incoming TechDAS AF V Premium, Kuzma Stabi R + Kuzma 4P11" Gemstone upgrade/Kondo silver + Soundsmith Sussurro II, Naim streamer + Teddy Pardo psu, Sonus Faber Stradivari 35 Anniversary, full cable loom Ansuz Acoustics, D on signal side, Mainz DTC/D2 + Mainz8 D-TC power distributor. All individual equipment and cables rest on Ansuz Acoustics Darkz DTC. Dedicated mains supply (Audience Conductor) with Klangmodule fuse system and Furutech receptacles. Other systems: Collection of Sonus Faber classics (Franco S design), tube gear and transistor designs, CD-transports and players, turntables and collection of cables

  28. #28
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsrule View Post
    Are those new bases on the 468's or are they custom/optional?
    those bases are not a darTZeel product to my knowledge. if they are it's new to me. they certainly appear to be made specifically for the 458/468 with the side mirroring the side of the amp.

    i use active Taiko Tana TS-140 platforms under my 468's.

  29. #29
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsrule View Post
    I checked on color a few years ago...it was like 30k to get silver/black. Stupid

    I do think silver/red or silver/black would have more appeal.
    i know of one set of silver/black 458's. and i've seen pictures of those. i much prefer the red/gold myself. red/silver? maybe? have to see it.

    the build quality of these amps allows the red/gold to work. every surface in and out is finished like a swiss watch. as you would expect in the price range.

    when you hear them the color becomes secondary.

  30. #30
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    i know of one set of silver/black 458's. and i've seen pictures of those. i much prefer the red/gold myself. red/silver? maybe? have to see it.

    the build quality of these amps allows the red/gold to work. every surface in and out is finished like a swiss watch. as you would expect in the price range.

    when you hear them the color becomes secondary.
    Hi Mike,

    Has MSB ever created a preamp module for the Select 2 DAC with Zeel outputs? If so, do you own this or do you have the preamp module with regular SE outputs?

    Thanks,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
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  31. #31
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    Re: darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Has MSB ever created a preamp module for the Select 2 DAC with Zeel outputs? If so, do you own this or do you have the preamp module with regular SE outputs?

    Thanks,
    Ken
    hi Ken,

    not yet.

    when i bought my Select II it had the XLR output module, and MSB swapped it for the RCA output module. as i discussed the 50 ohm 'zeel' output issue with Vince, and he spoke to the engineers at MSB about it, they felt that it would work fine using the RCA outputs (with an adapter plug) and my zeel cables into my dart pre. which is how i have had it connected so far.

    Vince said that MSB had an interest in doing an actual 'zeel' output module with a 50 ohm BNC interface. i think MSB has a similar engineering outlook at darTZeel and appreciates the minimalist approach. but so far i've not got around to formally requesting them to do it.....as i'm completely happy with what i'm hearing. one of these days i'll get around to seeing if that can happen; been distracted by new turntables and amps recently.

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darTZeel NHB-468 mono blocks added to my system

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