Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
    Thanks Mike for the feedback. I don't know when you last listened to the Jubilee Pre but as you may know Andreas has a restless sole and does not stop in his pursuit of perfection. There have been numerous tweaks from the earliest days of the Jubilee offering. I am familiar with the "Pass sound" and it is rich in timbre and timing, but for my ear the Jubilee bests it because of its command and balance over the entire range. I do concede the Jubilee is more expensive, but the value has for me exceeded the price. I also concede that components can be influenced by the how they are paired, wired and placed (e.g. speakers). All those factors come into play.

    All I can say and all I am trying to share is that the Jubilee preamp has been the best stereo acquisition I've made in 30 years. It far surpasses the ARC 10, which I found amazing given how good that pre was in my system.

    I agree with your assessment of the Octave 220 MRE (monos), for which I wrote an earlier review on AudioShark when I purchased them as a replacement to my Ayre MX-R's. They too have been a phenomenal find.

    All the best. Keep enjoying the music!

    Ray
    Do you keep the stock tubes in your Octave? I recently purchesed a pair of MRE130 monos and a Phono module pre amp.
    Pre amp: Ocatve Phono Module Power amps: Octave MRE130 Turntable: SAC Girati Grande. Tonearm: Dynavector 507mkII Cartridge: Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua Streamer: Auralic Aries LE DAC: Schiit Gungnir Multibit Power Distributor: Anzus Mains D8 Speakers: Raidho X-3 Speaker Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 RCA Interlink: Ansuz X, XLR Interlink: Purist Audio Design - Venustas Digital Interlinks Anzus Digitals A USB Phono interlink: Cammino Serie 1.0 - PH 1.0s Power cables: Anzus Mains Ceramic, two Pom, Aluminium, and two X series Audio Rack: Solid Steel H6

  2. #12
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
    On this side of the pond, as they say, Audio Research is recognized as one of the best tube gear manufacturers. It's Reference 10 Line Stage Preamplifier is considered by many as one of the best preamplifiers available. I had the Audio Research Anniversary 40 and I was so impressed with it that when Audio Research said they bettered it with the Reference 10, I didn't hesitate to trade up.

    They were right, the Ref. 10 was a better preamp than its 40th Anniversary predecessor. The improvements were not dramatic and at that level of component I was not expecting they would be. However, they were noticeable. A slightly deeper and wider soundstage and more inner detail, which is saying a lot when one considers how great the 40th is/was. Both preamps have comparable and very good bass performance. A consequence of a well designed high output power supply, housed in a separate chassis. Some claim the bass performance rivals top contender solid state preamps. However, after attending the Munich High End Show in 2016 and hearing some of those contenders, I concluded otherwise. That left me "wanting". The dreaded precursor to "looking around".

    My initial thought was moving to a top-shelf solid state preamplifier. I have the Octave MRE 220 mono amps, each connected to a Octave Super Black Box. I wrote a review for my Octave amps on AudioShark a few years ago. They are in a word - incredible. They also paired very nicely with my Ref. 10. It was my love of the MRE 220's and my preference for tube gear that lead me to consider Octave's "Jubilee" Preamp, its top preamplifier model. I began, as I often do, by searching out reviews to see what others thought of the Jubilee. There were a few forum threads on another site and a review on 6 Moons, which were extremely positive. I then tried to see if someone had compared the Octave Jubilee Pre to the Audio Research Ref. 10. I could not find such a review.

    I ended up selling my Ref. 10, which was an easy task, and buying the Jubilee. I decided to write this review in case there was someone else out there in audiophile land wondering how the two compare. I have always enjoyed gear reviews written by hobbyists. Professional reviews in magazines are enjoyable and informative, but I often wonder if they may be influenced by other considerations.

    So what is my verdict on the two preamplifiers from opposite sides of the pond? Are they comparable, with subtle differences? One would think, given they are comparable in price. Both have separate power supplies, though the Jubilee is a "hybrid" design with a solid state power supply. Well; they are not comparable. Not even close. The Octave Jubilee far surpasses the Audio Research Ref. 10 - across the board.

    In a word, the Jubilee has been "transformative" in my system. Everything is better and more enjoyable. Starting with the bass - its incredible. As good as the Constellation Altair II and Soulution 710. Combined with the Jubilee's mids, highs, dynamics and tonal balance and the sheer "presence" of being there, that only top tube gear can create, my system has gone from making beautiful music to bringing music to life.

    What makes dynamics really work isn't transient speed, it's the accuracy of the getting to the top of the range and back at the correct pace or timing. The Jubilee does it masterfully and effortlessly.

    I got hooked on high end thirty years ago when I walked into a "real" stereo store and listened to a system that made me "feel" the music in the same way as a live performance. I have now achieved that completely with the Jubilee pre. There are no shortcomings or compromises that leave me wanting.

    For anyone wondering how these two top Titans rank in a competition, you now know.
    What a great read. I don't have experience with the Octave preamps, but I have an Octave RE 320 stereo amp that I am totally in love with. Incredible tone, dynamics and resolution of detail. Congrats on both your Octave preamp and monoblocks.
    Simaudio Moon Neo 260 DT CD Transport / MIT SL-Matrix Plus AES/EBU digital cable / Schiit Yggdrasil DAC / Tripp Lite 1000HG isolation transformer (only digital front end) / Pass B1 passive buffered preamp (revised 2014 version) / Octave RE 320 stereo amp with Super Black Box / Reference 3A Reflector monitors / dual JL Audio Fathom 112 v2 subwoofers on ASC SubTraps / ZenWave Audio D4 and SMSG cables / Acoustic treatment: tube traps, Tri-panels, window plugs (all ASC), large absorbing panels (Acoustics First), wool carpets

  3. #13
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordante View Post
    Do you keep the stock tubes in your Octave? I recently purchesed a pair of MRE130 monos and a Phono module pre amp.
    Very cool!
    Simaudio Moon Neo 260 DT CD Transport / MIT SL-Matrix Plus AES/EBU digital cable / Schiit Yggdrasil DAC / Tripp Lite 1000HG isolation transformer (only digital front end) / Pass B1 passive buffered preamp (revised 2014 version) / Octave RE 320 stereo amp with Super Black Box / Reference 3A Reflector monitors / dual JL Audio Fathom 112 v2 subwoofers on ASC SubTraps / ZenWave Audio D4 and SMSG cables / Acoustic treatment: tube traps, Tri-panels, window plugs (all ASC), large absorbing panels (Acoustics First), wool carpets

  4. #14
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    Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
    On this side of the pond, as they say, Audio Research is recognized as one of the best tube gear manufacturers. It's Reference 10 Line Stage Preamplifier is considered by many as one of the best preamplifiers available. I had the Audio Research Anniversary 40 and I was so impressed with it that when Audio Research said they bettered it with the Reference 10, I didn't hesitate to trade up.

    They were right, the Ref. 10 was a better preamp than its 40th Anniversary predecessor. The improvements were not dramatic and at that level of component I was not expecting they would be. However, they were noticeable. A slightly deeper and wider soundstage and more inner detail, which is saying a lot when one considers how great the 40th is/was. Both preamps have comparable and very good bass performance. A consequence of a well designed high output power supply, housed in a separate chassis. Some claim the bass performance rivals top contender solid state preamps. However, after attending the Munich High End Show in 2016 and hearing some of those contenders, I concluded otherwise. That left me "wanting". The dreaded precursor to "looking around".

    My initial thought was moving to a top-shelf solid state preamplifier. I have the Octave MRE 220 mono amps, each connected to a Octave Super Black Box. I wrote a review for my Octave amps on AudioShark a few years ago. They are in a word - incredible. They also paired very nicely with my Ref. 10. It was my love of the MRE 220's and my preference for tube gear that lead me to consider Octave's "Jubilee" Preamp, its top preamplifier model. I began, as I often do, by searching out reviews to see what others thought of the Jubilee. There were a few forum threads on another site and a review on 6 Moons, which were extremely positive. I then tried to see if someone had compared the Octave Jubilee Pre to the Audio Research Ref. 10. I could not find such a review.

    I ended up selling my Ref. 10, which was an easy task, and buying the Jubilee. I decided to write this review in case there was someone else out there in audiophile land wondering how the two compare. I have always enjoyed gear reviews written by hobbyists. Professional reviews in magazines are enjoyable and informative, but I often wonder if they may be influenced by other considerations.

    So what is my verdict on the two preamplifiers from opposite sides of the pond? Are they comparable, with subtle differences? One would think, given they are comparable in price. Both have separate power supplies, though the Jubilee is a "hybrid" design with a solid state power supply. Well; they are not comparable. Not even close. The Octave Jubilee far surpasses the Audio Research Ref. 10 - across the board.

    In a word, the Jubilee has been "transformative" in my system. Everything is better and more enjoyable. Starting with the bass - its incredible. As good as the Constellation Altair II and Soulution 710. Combined with the Jubilee's mids, highs, dynamics and tonal balance and the sheer "presence" of being there, that only top tube gear can create, my system has gone from making beautiful music to bringing music to life.

    What makes dynamics really work isn't transient speed, it's the accuracy of the getting to the top of the range and back at the correct pace or timing. The Jubilee does it masterfully and effortlessly.

    I got hooked on high end thirty years ago when I walked into a "real" stereo store and listened to a system that made me "feel" the music in the same way as a live performance. I have now achieved that completely with the Jubilee pre. There are no shortcomings or compromises that leave me wanting.

    For anyone wondering how these two top Titans rank in a competition, you now know.
    Spyder,

    ď...my system has gone from making beautiful music to bringing music to life. ď

    What a sublimely insightful statement. And congratulations for assembling a system that allows you to experience that level of appreciation.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #15
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    It could be that Octave pre just has a better synergy with OPís Octave mono amps than ARC pre.

  6. #16
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    Quote Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
    It could be that Octave pre just has a better synergy with OPís Octave mono amps than ARC pre.
    Agreed.


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  7. #17
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    Quote Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
    It could be that Octave pre just has a better synergy with OPís Octave mono amps than ARC pre.
    +1
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ 47 Labs MC Bee cart, MSB Premier DAC --> Music First Baby Reference v2 --> Audio Research Ref 75SE --> DeVore Fidelity Gibbon X

  8. #18
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    Quote Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
    It could be that Octave pre just has a better synergy with OP’s Octave mono amps than ARC pre.
    Why should anyone be surprised that components from the same manufacture that were designed to work with each other are going to sound better than a smorgasbord stereo system?
    Technics SP-10MKII table in custom plinth with custom power supply made by Peter Noerbaek of PBN, SME 312s arm, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Zesto Andros 1.2 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, laptop music server running JRiver 20, Mytek Stereo 192 DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, NOLA KO speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and a pair of Definitive Technology Ref subs.

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  10. #19
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    Thanks. I heard the Octave RE 320 in Munich. It is awesome. What do you think of the KT 150's? Do you have the Black Box or Super Black Box?

    Ray

  11. #20
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    Re: Octave Jubilee Preamplifier vs. Audio Research Ref. 10: Battle of the Titans

    I have kept the stock tubes in my Jubilee. However, I have some some T-rolling on my MRE 220 monos (set out below) and I really like the results:

    Swapped out the Tung-Sol 12AU7W's for the PSVANE 12AU7 TII's
    Swapped out the JJ ECC802S for the PSVANE 12AU7 TII's
    Swapped out the Tung-Sol 6SN7 for the PSVANE CV181-TII

 

 
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