Tundra Stereo 2.5

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Charlie1
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Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Charlie1 »

Following Tony's enthusiasm, Fredrik upgraded my Tundra Stereo 2.2 to 2.5 last week. I was also motivated by the prospect of a hard Brexit, so thought, 'why not just do it now'. Any excuse basically :)

It's been playing about a day and half now. I've re-calibrated it using the supplied multi-meter. That was easy and quite satisfying. Instructions are very clear. Can't say I heard much benefit, but I was still getting my ear in. I did it again this morning and maybe it was a bit better but I wasn't sure.

Very pleased with the improvements. More engaging with less brain work involved when listening. This sometimes makes the music seem slower, but I think this is just perception as the mind has more time to spare. I can also better follow multiple instruments at once.

It definitely controls the bass a lot more. Somewhat similar to my Cirkus upgrade, I wondered where the bass had gone, but either some of it has come back or I've got used to it. The added control also helps unpick modern densely compressed recordings, often accompanied by super deep bass which they can now cut into the grove - i.e. Snow Patrol 'You're All I Have', or similar.

Something timing-related is improved too, including sync between instruments. Not sure how much of this is because the bass is more 'on it'. Attacking rock tracks definitely benefit, but I'm sure other genres will too.

Top-end is a more refined/less coarse and midrange more natural/less HiFi sounding. Some female vocals have lost a kind of euphoric glow/warmth, but that appears to have just been a form of distortion. I did miss that for a while but 2.5 is definitely more clearly conveying what's on the LP and vocal phrasing is easier to comprehend too.

In fact, the whole sound is cleaned up - i.e. less crud coming through. This is a surprise cos the Tundra is already a lot clearer than my previous C4200D and I didn't think there was any crud present.

Great job Fredrik!
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by macrotech2 »

A very thorough description Charlie1. Thank you.

I particularly recognise your comment "More engaging with less brain work involved when listening". When I temporarily tried the Klimax DS DVC I could feel my brain "straining" to make as much sense of the music as I was used to. I find the amount of "brain work" required is a very good indicator of what is good for me, without even considering any other facet.

My Tundra Stereo (used on my rears) is off to Fredrik for upgrade tomorrow. When it comes back, it will be very interesting to compare it with the Tundra Monos on the fronts, before returning it to rear surround duties (probably!).
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Charlie1 »

You won't be disappointed, even as rears, once things settle. It's definitely more up on its toes and 'on it'.

What surprises me most is how 'different' many tracks seem. Maybe not electro pop, but I just played 'Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws' again and the intonation and phrasing of vocals, and guitar playing too, seems to offer much more meaning, or provide more insight into what the song is about. It all seems clearer and more obvious. It's very satisfying to hear. I don't want to over state it - it's not transforming a track from one meaning to another, but I'm surprised how much of this type of stuff was previously not coming through. I suppose it's benefits I've not previously associated with the power amp.

Really glad I took the plunge.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by lejonklou »

Thank you Charlie!

It feels very good to read that you're happy with the 2.5 upgrade.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Charlie1 »

lejonklou wrote:It feels very good to read that you're happy with the 2.5 upgrade.
My family never normally comment on my HiFi, but my eldest just complained to me, "I don't even like this music and I can't stop dancing to it!' - as 'In the Gallery' by Dire Straits played upstairs... :)
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by tokenbrit »

Best oblique compliment evah! Tundra Stereo 2.5: millennial approved :)
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Ozzzy189 »

As someone who thought an akurate 4200 was broken when I first got a tundra 1.1 over 5 years ago this doesn't surprise me at all. Plug it back in if you still have it and it'll be the day the music died. It's night and day and it amazes me why more people aren't buying tundra, it just gets better and better. When was a 4200 last upgraded?
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by lejonklou »

Charlie1 wrote:
lejonklou wrote:It feels very good to read that you're happy with the 2.5 upgrade.
My family never normally comment on my HiFi, but my eldest just complained to me, "I don't even like this music and I can't stop dancing to it!' - as 'In the Gallery' by Dire Straits played upstairs... :)
What a lovely comment! :D
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by HIDDENSYSTEMS »

Good to see you got there in the end - credit to Anthony for his passion on this. I remember you leaving with your Akurate 2200 under your arm in my old demo rooms years ago......nope wasn't doing it but hey now the same product with the same DNA shines through. Progress.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Charlie1 »

HIDDENSYSTEMS wrote:Good to see you got there in the end - credit to Anthony for his passion on this. I remember you leaving with your Akurate 2200 under your arm in my old demo rooms years ago......nope wasn't doing it but hey now the same product with the same DNA shines through. Progress.
Thanks Chris. One thing I've found out from the playground thread is that I'm not wired in quite the same way as most forum regulars, so now understand why it was never as clear cut for me. It's a very different story with Tundra Stereo today though.

I know you've always felt this way, but I also feel the Tundra deserves to be heard and enjoyed by more people.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by ThomasOK »

lejonklou wrote:
Charlie1 wrote:
lejonklou wrote:It feels very good to read that you're happy with the 2.5 upgrade.
My family never normally comment on my HiFi, but my eldest just complained to me, "I don't even like this music and I can't stop dancing to it!' - as 'In the Gallery' by Dire Straits played upstairs... :)
tokenbrit wrote:Best oblique compliment evah! Tundra Stereo 2.5: millennial approved :)
What a lovely comment! :D
+3, indeed one of the coolest comments I've seen. I hope it isn't dangerous to play some music they really like!
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Defender »

Hi Fredrik,
I have some questions with respect to the Tundra 2.5 especially about when it starts clipping.

My Akurate DS is rated by Linn as 2V RMS output (RCA) I am taking care not to go over the 78 setting on the Tundra which is ... how I understand it 8 clicks above the „green“ stop.
But I now found in the user manual that the 78 border is for a 1.65V source output. Am I overdriving the Tundra when the source output respective input for the Sagatun is 2V?

The Källa seems to match that better with a 1.65V output but that would also mean the Källa would be less loud at the same Sagatun Volume setting?

My Sagatuns go over the 78 volume border even when switched on new - I thought there is a safety setting at 78 to not let them go higher volume levels.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by lejonklou »

Hi Defender!

You need to crank it up at least ten steps (decibels). Green is volume 60. Yellow is volume 70. Sagatun stops at 78 (orange) unless you remove the limit, then it goes to 100.

You probably got the manual wrong. Tundra plays without clipping (and it really likes being played loud, it's got infinite confidence) up to 1.65 Volts RMS on its input. At 1.66 Volts in, it's right at the edge of cutting off the peaks in the music.

2 Volts from your source into Sagatun at level 78 becomes 1.59 Volts. That's no problem for Tundra. At level 80 (orange) it would be 2 Volts out. That will clip in the peaks.

Källa has an output level of 1.57 Volts. It will be safe to play it with Sagatun at level 80. And that will be as loud as your current streamer at level 78.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Defender »

thats a relief - a big one ... I was afraid the Tundra doesnt get loud enough in my setup. Now I have the 10db I need to really enjoy them. I will write more later.
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Tundra Stereo 2.5 - makes you question source first?

Post by Defender »

there is probably not much I can add to all what is already written about Tundra’s musicality - so I will give it a different perspective.
Thanks to Marco I have the chance to enjoy the Tundra Stereo 2.5 in my system. After starting with the Sagatun Stereo and later adding the Entity into my system I was able to enjoy all the additional musicality which components closer to the source letting you hear. Than the journey did go on with the Sagatun Monos ... :) ... those are just exceptional pieces.

However there was still something strange which kept me from enjoying music completely. When I hear music which contains blow instruments like trumpets or derivates from it and also violins and kinds of it I always had the feeling they drive my eardrums into some kind of distortion/resonance which never happens when I hear those instruments in live concerts.

After reading Ron The Mon‘s statement about the Tundra Mono‘s and what was taken away when he heard it the first time:
„When Tom first played my Isobariks with the Tundra Monos, all the treble siblance and hash disappeared that I mentioned above. No new tweeters necessary. Mono 2.0 had the most tuneful, clear, clean high end I've ever heard from a passive speaker, let alone a thirty year old pair with original tweeters!!!“
I thought, mmh maybe Ron is experiencing something similar to me.

Obviously most other people doesnt seem to experience this as I sometimes hear my friends playing music loud which is just torture for my ears as there is soo much halos and distortion around the music.

Well the power amps I own are Pass Labs XA30.5 which deliver 30Watt per channel in classA meaning they burn 200W and more in standby or driven hard. Greta Thunberg would call me a t errorist for that. Nelson Pass is an interesting person and called Papa in his community or from many others the Amp-Pope. He has a lot of different circuit designs which he than also shares with the do it yourself community.
I respect him very much for what he does and he has a big range of amps which are sounding outstandingly bold and self confident and stable. His amps are usually the top of the list places in audio review magazines.

So you can imagine that I didn’t really felt the need to replace the power amp - its an amp with top reputation plus its almost the last component in the chain - meaning far away from the source. So that would be for sure a tough game and an up hill fight for a Tundra Stereo.

I am scratching my head now to find an analogy to explain what I experienced. Lets say improving your system is like cleaning the house with a broom. Usually you clean every room and the dust is sweeped together for a pile of dust in every room ... this room is clean and you go to the next room to do the same. But in the end you need to take a dustpan to take all the piles of dust out of your rooms and out of your house. Only than you house is completely clean.
Well in my house the Entity room was clean, the Sagatun room was clean but the piles of dust stayed there and I wondered why I didnt felt my house was clean.

Long story short the Tundra cleaned up my music (house) so much that I started to question source first. I simply cant believe how much musicality was going lost through the Pass Amp and how much it pushed the music into a not as transparent, not as natural direction.

Now meanwhile we have Källa hitting the street and obviously the question is Tundra Mono as originally planned or rather Källa to follow the source first approach.

I have not made up my mind completely and I am open for thoughts from your side.
All I can say is much respect to Fredrik. To fight such established reputation the way he does simply shows the effort he puts into his products makes the difference.
His products are playing with such a high synergy together - I would buy every product from him without try - and in fact thats what I did with the Sagatun‘s and Entity. I know its not recommended but thats simply what I did.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5 - makes you question source first?

Post by matthias »

Defender wrote: 2021-09-20 14:57 Now meanwhile we have Källa hitting the street and obviously the question is Tundra Mono as originally planned or rather Källa to follow the source first approach.
With a limited budget I would sell the Pass and go for Källa with Tundra Stereo and upgrade to Tundra Mono later when funds allow.

Please do not underestimate the source. Look at jajo's post:
jajo wrote: 2021-09-21 01:19 I had to use my Apple TV connected directly to Kikkin recently to watch the latest Apple event and it was not fun at all, it sounded pretty terrible to be honest. I re-watched some parts of it yesterday (Apple always put a lot of effort in the production of their events) with Källa and it was a mindblowing difference.
And jajo does not have Lejonklou power amps in his set-up!

Source first rules!

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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Defender »

hey matthias - thank you for your feedback and advice. I did know that this option would come up ;)

1. I can not sell the Pass twice as it needs to compensate for the Tundra Stereo/Mono buy.
2 there is a different perspective: as I already have a good source (LP12) the Tundra Monos will improve the LP12 and the Akurate Katalyst. So the question is are the Mono‘s worth the additional money? I dont know but I also know that as long as I am not having a complete Sagatun Mono - Tundra Mono system I dont realize or appreaciate the benefit of no ground loops (how much that makes a difference I dont know).

In the end only trying gives the answer. But did you had a chance to hear the Tundra stereo or mono in your system? You might be surprised.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by matthias »

I think it is also a question of priority: Analog source or digital source?
If your priority is analog, then go for the Tundra Monos.
Defender wrote: 2021-09-22 12:43 But did you had a chance to hear the Tundra stereo or mono in your system? You might be surprised.
Unfortunately not, but I would not listen to them before listening to Lejonklou products further upstream like Källa and Giella Pi for example which I find more interesting.

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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by beck »

Good to read Defender that you have made up your mind about what direction to take regarding your hifi. That is what it is all about.

We all have to find our own stand in the hifi world. The important thing is to collect a system that “floats our boat”.

Happy listening. :-)
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Defender »

absolutely beck
and while I agree with others and absolutely understand the focus on source first there are things which are not related to musicality and rather to the hifi part of the enjoyment which can be absolutely annoying and also distracting from enjoying the music.

And when those issues are solved with replacing the power amp while at the same time enjoying an improvement in musicality thats the way for me to go. Especially when the source is a LP12.

The Tundra just cleaned up my system from halos and sibilants and some kind of harshness that I would have difficulties to let the Tundra go ... as well as the Sagatun ... as well as the Entity ... as well as the LP12 (to refer to your other thread).

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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by sunbeamgls »

Defender wrote: 2021-09-23 12:55 absolutely beck
and while I agree with others and absolutely understand the focus on source first there are things which are not related to musicality and rather to the hifi part of the enjoyment which can be absolutely annoying and also distracting from enjoying the music.

And when those issues are solved with replacing the power amp while at the same time enjoying an improvement in musicality thats the way for me to go. Especially when the source is a LP12.

The Tundra just cleaned up my system from halos and sibilants and some kind of harshness that I would have difficulties to let the Tundra go ... as well as the Sagatun ... as well as the Entity ... as well as the LP12 (to refer to your other thread).

Life is not just black or just white.
Agreed, we listen to a system, not just the source. Source first of course, but don't throw away what it has achieved on the rest of the way to your ears :)
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Spannko »

I think I agree too. Building a power supply has been quite an enlightening experience with regard to what we think of as “source first”. Conceptually, a power supply consists of a transformer, rectifier diodes, smoothing capacitor, voltage regulator (plus any additional components to enable the regulator to work as intended). The current flows from input to output, through each component in turn, very much like the signal flowing through our systems. Source first would suggest that the transformer is more important (musically) than the rectifier diodes, which are more important than the smoothing capacitor, and so on. However, this doesn’t seem to work in practice. It appears that every component is important, and just one unmusical component, anywhere in the chain, is enough to kill the musicality of the power supply as a whole. The wrong component at the end of the chain is just as damaging as the wrong component at the beginning of the chain. Being a believer in source first, I expected the output components to be less sensitive, but this doesn’t appear to be the case, and the best input components don’t appear to be able to raise the musical performance high enough to compensate for losses further down the chain.

Consequently, I’m starting to wonder if Source First is just an interesting story which appears to apply in some circumstances, whereas maybe it’s more helpful to think of the net musical outcome, regardless of how it is achieved?
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Defender »

I know my headline was a little bit provocating. That was to create attention.
That doesnt meant I dont believe on source first anymore.

But I was astonished about how much the Tundra still did even though almost end of the chain and compared to a product which is highly respected in the „hifi“ world.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by lejonklou »

Spannko wrote: 2021-09-24 09:44 I think I agree too. Building a power supply has been quite an enlightening experience with regard to what we think of as “source first”. Conceptually, a power supply consists of a transformer, rectifier diodes, smoothing capacitor, voltage regulator (plus any additional components to enable the regulator to work as intended). The current flows from input to output, through each component in turn, very much like the signal flowing through our systems. Source first would suggest that the transformer is more important (musically) than the rectifier diodes, which are more important than the smoothing capacitor, and so on. However, this doesn’t seem to work in practice. It appears that every component is important, and just one unmusical component, anywhere in the chain, is enough to kill the musicality of the power supply as a whole. The wrong component at the end of the chain is just as damaging as the wrong component at the beginning of the chain. Being a believer in source first, I expected the output components to be less sensitive, but this doesn’t appear to be the case, and the best input components don’t appear to be able to raise the musical performance high enough to compensate for losses further down the chain.

Consequently, I’m starting to wonder if Source First is just an interesting story which appears to apply in some circumstances, whereas maybe it’s more helpful to think of the net musical outcome, regardless of how it is achieved?
The mistake you're making is to confuse the music signal with a flow of power.

Source First, or the Hierarchy, doesn't apply to the flow of power in your power supply. It applies to the flow of music from one component to the next, in which case a previous component always has a more fundamental influence on quality than the next component.
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Re: Tundra Stereo 2.5

Post by Spannko »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-09-24 10:58
Spannko wrote: 2021-09-24 09:44 I think I agree too. Building a power supply has been quite an enlightening experience with regard to what we think of as “source first”. Conceptually, a power supply consists of a transformer, rectifier diodes, smoothing capacitor, voltage regulator (plus any additional components to enable the regulator to work as intended). The current flows from input to output, through each component in turn, very much like the signal flowing through our systems. Source first would suggest that the transformer is more important (musically) than the rectifier diodes, which are more important than the smoothing capacitor, and so on. However, this doesn’t seem to work in practice. It appears that every component is important, and just one unmusical component, anywhere in the chain, is enough to kill the musicality of the power supply as a whole. The wrong component at the end of the chain is just as damaging as the wrong component at the beginning of the chain. Being a believer in source first, I expected the output components to be less sensitive, but this doesn’t appear to be the case, and the best input components don’t appear to be able to raise the musical performance high enough to compensate for losses further down the chain.

Consequently, I’m starting to wonder if Source First is just an interesting story which appears to apply in some circumstances, whereas maybe it’s more helpful to think of the net musical outcome, regardless of how it is achieved?
The mistake you're making is to confuse the music signal with a flow of power.

Source First, or the Hierarchy, doesn't apply to the flow of power in your power supply. It applies to the flow of music from one component to the next, in which case a previous component always has a more fundamental influence on quality than the next component.
Hmm. Good point! But, is it really possible to see the flow of power as being separate from the flow of musicality? Without power, there is no musicality. With power, we can have a range of musicality, depending upon the nature of the power. Isn’t musicality our interpretation of the quality of the signal riding on the back of the power circuit? Somewhere, there must be a link?
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