Tony Tune-age System

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Hermann
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Hermann »

I see your point Tony and practising patience...
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Sagatun vs. Klimax Kontrol (stereo preamps)

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Well, it's been nearly five days since receiving and installing a new Lejonklou Sagatun stereo preamplifier. Much of the burn in time was conducted by using my Linn Pekin tuner (at a very low volume level), primarily over night and when not using the LP12 during the day.

Background and Details:

I've had the Linn Klimax Kontrol (KK) for a few years now, and have become very familiar with the sound. Plus it does sound better than my previous Akurate Kontrol and Kairn stereo preamps. In preparation for this comparison, I spent additional time listening to the KK with songs that would be used for the Sagatun as well. And like the Sagatun, the KK is a mono circuit design with a switch mode power (SMP) supply (one SMP for KK - two SMPs for Sagatun). Plus both units have a slimline profile, which I do like. Since the top shelf of my audio rack supports the Entity and Klimax Radikal, the second shelf was used for both preamps. So a level playing field was maintained from an audio rack perspective. A few moths ago, I ordered some Lejonklou Power Cords (LPCs), one for the KK which is now completely burned in. And the same LPC is being used with the Sagatun now as well.

Overall the KK does sound great with a variety of music, and I have never really been unhappy with its sonic performance. Plus It's a much quieter preamp than any of my previous preamps, including non-Linn units too. However, only a few weeks after purchasing my KK, the Lejonklou Sagatun stereo preamp was released. So needless to say, there wasn't an opportunity to listen to both preamps before making a decision.

However it wasn't long before I was able to hear several Lejonklou components, mostly in Thomas O'Keefe's system, but some were in Overture Audio's system as well. And to my ears, the most impressive component so far is the Singularities!

But as the Sagatun preamplifier is concerned, it's certainly a force to be reckoned with, especially for the price. Because the temperature was 20 degrees outside during the delivery process, I allowed the Sagatun to reach room temperature before installing. And during that thawing out period, I took plenty of time to read the Installation Manual and User Manual. Both are very precise, easy to read and to the point. Setting up and connecting was carried out according to the manuals...so no problems there.

After all cables were properly connected and the Sagatun properly placed onto the audio shelf, I switched on electrical power...then stood back and waited. Nothing happened and I didn't hear any noise at all. I mean everything was as quiet as a church mouse! No noise, no pops, no static...no nothing! So at that point, I decided to select an input and fire up the old LP12 master piece. And initially, I had the Sagatun switched to Normal Operation and the LP12 connected to the Single Source input. I then turned up the volume (without music), to listen for audible noises. But guess what, there were no audible noises...at all.

So finally, I started listening to music from the LP12 (the same music as used with the KK). The first piece was "Dark Star" by Crosby, Stills & Nash. This song was selected primarily for the bass, congas, drums and vocals. On the KK it's always been a very enjoyable song, and many people request that song when they come to my house. Starting out it sounded good on the Sagatun, but was a little weak in the bass. However, the bass did improve over the first couple of hours. At that point, I switched over to the tuner and let it play at a very low volume over night (and most of the next few days).

It wasn't until Late Saturday night, that the Sagatun begun hitting its stride. So once again, I played "Dark Star" but this time it was a whole new ball game. The bass was extremely deep, well controlled and very realistic sounding. I was hearing more bass notes, more music and way better sounding voices too. The level of realism had increased substantially with the Sagatun stereo preamplifier. So that's when I flipped the switch to the "Single Source" input. And as it turned out, the sound improved even more with that particular input. Of course, that was just the beginning of a very late night.

Next was all eight sides of "Prince & The New Power Generation, One Night Alone...Live!" This collection of songs were recorded from concerts in Washington D.C. - Portland, Oregon - Oakland, California - Los Angeles, California - Indianapolis, Indiana - Seattle, Washington - Houston, Texas and Lakeland, Florida.

The following day included a series of songs from the Rolling Stones "LET IT BLEED" and "Tattoo You" albums. Then we decided brake out their "Bridges to Babylon" album as well. Needless to say everybody that listened to the comparison between the KK and Sagatun, thought the Sagatun was better sounding and more musical.

Parting Thoughts:

Does any of this mean the Linn Klimax Kontrol is a bad sounding stereo preamplifier? No, not at all...it is a really good stereo preamplifier. And it's a preamp that I could certainly live with if necessary. But unfortunately, Linn has essentially abandoned analog audio components from their resume, excluding the Sondek turntable of course. And it's this analog abandonment by companies like Linn, that has in part created an entirely new line of well designed, well built and excellent sounding analog stereo components by the man himself...Fredrik Lejonklou. Where there is a void in one company, another company will take over that void.

Cheers!
Tony Tune-age
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Defender »

congratulations to the new addition to your system - seems it was a worthwhile step even though the Klimax Kontrol is already a tough cookie to beat ;)

if you are not already using the upper outputs - there might be even a tiny bit more musicality in it for you.
Enjoy 😉

what would we do if no upgrade would be possible anymore - just enjoying music? thanks to Frederik the upgrade for the Entity is on its way
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Hermann »

Congratulations on the new preamp and thanks for sharing.

After these impressions, it won't be long before I test the Sagatun.
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by V.A.MKD »

Congratulations and thank you for your report on the new pre-amp ...
It's always great news when hear that the stereo is improved ...
Music First ...
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by springwood64 »

Great review Tony. Sounds like you're very pleased with your new Sagatun.
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Defender »

do you know when you get your Entity upgraded and what the cost of the upgrade is ... and hopefully please let us know how it sounds
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Defender wrote: 2021-02-24 14:00 do you know when you get your Entity upgraded and what the cost of the upgrade is ... and hopefully please let us know how it sounds
Good morning Defender,

I'm not exactly sure when the Entity will be upgraded, but I will keep you posted for sure. As for the cost, that hasn't been discussed yet either, although it shouldn't be too costly. But whatever the price is, it's likely to be just fine with me!

Cheers
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Hermann wrote: 2021-02-23 14:11 Congratulations on the new preamp and thanks for sharing.

After these impressions, it won't be long before I test the Sagatun.
Thanks for the comments Hermann. And if you do give the Sagatun a good listen, let us know your thoughts as well.

Cheers
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Thanks to everybody that provided comments on my review, it's much appreciated! I'm really glad it was informative and/ or useful to you guys!

Cheers!
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Hermann »

Tony Tune-age wrote: 2021-02-24 15:19
Hermann wrote: 2021-02-23 14:11 Congratulations on the new preamp and thanks for sharing.

After these impressions, it won't be long before I test the Sagatun.
Thanks for the comments Hermann. And if you do give the Sagatun a good listen, let us know your thoughts as well.

Cheers
Well Marco offered a test, but I do have to rebuild the racks to give them a fair run. So, I guess it'll be soon...
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Hermann wrote: 2021-02-24 17:59 Well Marco offered a test, but I do have to rebuild the racks to give them a fair run. So, I guess it'll be soon...
Good afternoon Hermann,

When you say "rebuild the racks" what exactly does rebuilding entail?

Cheers
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by ThomasOK »

Tony Tune-age wrote: 2021-02-24 15:16
Defender wrote: 2021-02-24 14:00 do you know when you get your Entity upgraded and what the cost of the upgrade is ... and hopefully please let us know how it sounds
Good morning Defender,

I'm not exactly sure when the Entity will be upgraded, but I will keep you posted for sure. As for the cost, that hasn't been discussed yet either, although it shouldn't be too costly. But whatever the price is, it's likely to be just fine with me!

Cheers
Hello Tony and other interested parties. The cost for the Entity 1.1 upgrade in the US is $200 parts and labor including return shipping. As to the timing of the upgrade I am expecting to be able to do them sometime in March, likely late March. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, I don't have the parts yet as they will be shipping soon with a batch of Entity units I ordered recently that are currently being built. Giella ∏ upgrades will be coming as well. Second, shipping times are still quite variable through the USPS. Sometimes things from Lejonklou HiFi will arrive in a couple of weeks, other times as much as a couple months!

There is also the number of upgrades Fredrik is keeping me busy with! Boazu 1.3, Entity 1.1 and Giella ∏ all hitting at about the same time. I have already done 3 Boazu 1.3 upgrades (which is quite a nice improvement), I have one waiting to be done and 4 more on the way currently, with others expected when I let dealers know they can ship them. I am trying to turn units around within a week (pretty unheard of in service work in the US where I am hearing 4 to 6 months is typical). Luckily I ordered a whole bunch of upgrade kits for the Boazu so I am able to do these and the demand for them should be winding down about the time the Entity upgrade parts hit. So I still won't be working as hard as Fredrik! ;-)
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Defender »

thank you for shining some light into that - really appreciated and I am looking forward to send mine to the headquarters of music joy
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Tony Tune-age wrote: 2021-02-25 18:32
Hermann wrote: 2021-02-24 17:59 Well Marco offered a test, but I do have to rebuild the racks to give them a fair run. So, I guess it'll be soon...
Good afternoon Hermann,

When you say "rebuild the racks" what exactly does rebuilding entail?

Cheers
Are you taking the rack apart, and then reassembling...or are you getting different parts for the rack?

Cheers
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

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Tony Tune-age wrote: 2021-02-25 18:32
Hermann wrote: 2021-02-24 17:59 Well Marco offered a test, but I do have to rebuild the racks to give them a fair run. So, I guess it'll be soon...
Good afternoon Hermann,

When you say "rebuild the racks" what exactly does rebuilding entail?

Cheers
Hi Tony,

When the system did not play properly for a long time, everything migrated to two Naim Fraim. Unfortunately, this did not make things any better. Even if everything fits together with Naim, I still missed the experience from my previous apartment.

With the Tundra everything changed. It plays excellently on Mana. And the racks are now in front of the Fraim. So everything has to be taken down and completely rebuilt. I hope to realize this in the coming week. Also I want to create enough space for the Sagatun so that a fair comparison is possible.

So there is a lot of work ahead of me.
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Tony Tune-age »

Good luck with everything, I'm sure all your efforts will pay off! Keep use posted...

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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Hermann »

Thx Tony, of cource soon in "my" area...
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by lejonklou »

Thank you for the report, Tony!

I feel honored that you chose Sagatun over Klimax Kontrol. I've listened to them both for long periods of time and they're both great preamps.

Can you somehow share your thoughts on how they differ in your system?
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Tony Tune-age »

You're certainly welcome Fredrik, and I wasn't the only person that preferred the Sagatun either. Basically, there hasn't been any change in my systems sound character overall (if that makes any sense). And both preamps do sound similar in my system. However, the Sagatun is way more quiet than the Linn and that was immediately noticeable too. Plus, whatever I heard from the Linn, I'm now hearing more with the Sagatun. More musical, more natural, more realistic...and more enjoyable.

Over the past week, I've picked-up an obscene amount of vinyl. And for now, I'm listening mostly to live albums such as "Santana Moonflower," "Genesis Live," Black Sabbath Live Evil," and the new "Dio Holly Diver Live" (along with a few others). It's just krazy how much more realistic these recordings sound! So in a nutshell, I'm very happy with the switch...it's like the Klimax Kontrol on steroids!

Cheers!
lejonklou wrote: 2021-02-28 01:25 Thank you for the report, Tony!

I feel honored that you chose Sagatun over Klimax Kontrol. I've listened to them both for long periods of time and they're both great preamps.

Can you somehow share your thoughts on how they differ in your system?
Tony Tune-age
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Re: Tony Tune-age System

Post by Tony Tune-age »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-02-28 01:25 Thank you for the report, Tony!

I feel honored that you chose Sagatun over Klimax Kontrol. I've listened to them both for long periods of time and they're both great preamps.

Can you somehow share your thoughts on how they differ in your system?
Fredrik,

Following-up with my statements from yesterday, the ability of the Sagatun to play live album recordings with such agility, composure, detail and ease seems to improve on a daily basis (and it may still be burning in too). I've never heard live album recordings sound as real as they sound now. In addition, I normally mention the cost of audio components, but unfortunately that can be misleading in some cases. Based on the previous selling price of a Linn Klimax Kontrol, the Sagatun is only about 36% of the cost of a Linn unit...which is a big cost difference. And some people may automatically think the Linn would sound better, based on the price alone. But that would be a major mistake. Based on all five of the Lejonklou products I've purchased, they sound better than their predecessors...and by a wide margin too.

So needless to say, I will continue with my crusade of playing live recordings only for the foreseeable future. And continuing from yesterday's list;

1) "Topographic Drama, Yes Alive Across America."

2) "House of Yes, Live from House of Blues."

3) "Creedence Clearwater Revival, Live at Woodstock 1969."

4) "Creedence Clearwater Revival - The Concert, at Oakland Coliseum 1970."

5) "Return to Greendale, Neil Young Crazy Horse."

6) "Neil Young Crazy Horse Way Down in the Rust Bucket," Live from the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, 1990.

7) "The Who, Live at the Filmore East 1968."

8) "The Who Live at Leeds."

9) "Jefferson Airplane, Woodstock" Sunday August 17th, 1969.

10) "Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock" August 15, 16, 17, 1969.

11) "Miami Pop Festival, The Jimi Hendrix Experience" May 18th, 1968.

12) "The Jimi Hendrix Experience Live at Winterland," San Francisco, Ca. October 10, 11, and 12, 1968.
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