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  1. #1

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    Default The secret "brown box" finally arrived

    After waiting 10 weeks, the custom Promitheus Transformer Buffer has arrived. It's kinda cool -- I may be the only one in the world with one of these things. The unit was shipped via DHL on Monday from Malaysia, stopped off in Hong Kong, then made its way to the USA.

    Background -- I used to own a Promitheus TVC. It provided outstanding tonal quality to the music and was considered the best upgrade I ever made. I sold it because of the gain issue that plagues nearly all TVCs. With my associated gear, I couldn't get sufficient volume.

    Enter -- the Promitheus TB >> it is simply a buffer that I placed between my CDP and pre/pro. I'm hoping to get the best of both worlds -- that transformer quality sound and the ability to use the volume control and remote from my pre/pro. It only has one set of inputs and outputs. It also has a separate digital input and output in case I decide to run a DVD player through the buffer or use a DAC or whatever. It also has a switch on the back to "turn off" the transformers. That way, I can toggle back and forth to determine the effect the transformers have on the music.

    I'm breaking it in right now on some Regina Belle. I'll report back later on my initial impressions and post some pics, although it ain't much to look at -- it's basically a wooden box (although the wood is very nice).
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  2. #2

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    Here are some pics:
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    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  3. #3

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    I installed the TB and I'm getting a very noticeable hum through the right speaker only. How do I get rid of it? I'll check my connections again. And how do I use the ground thingy on the back of the unit? Will that cure my hum problem?

    Thanks.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  4. #4

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    EB...man are you off the deep end, all in a good way of course! :D What the hell is it & better yet...what is it supposed to do???? Where do you find this stuff! Good luck with it, & throw a cheater plug on it & that should solve your hum problem, I think!
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
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  5. #5

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    Good luck throwing a cheater plug on something that doesn't plug in, i guess that answers my question if it is unity gain or not. Only time I ever got hum with my TVCs was a bad interconnect.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Early B. View Post
    I installed the TB and I'm getting a very noticeable hum through the right speaker only. How do I get rid of it?
    By pass it??

    :p




    I would try connecting that ground to the chassis of your pre, but that's just a guess since I don't even know what that thing's supposed to do.....
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  7. #7

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    Looks like something from Gilligans Island that the professor kit-bashed in his tree-house! :)
    Do you hear that buzzing noise?

  8. #8

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    I understood the Promitheus TVC and what it did, but this thing???? I will have to read up on it and what it is suppose to do.
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
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    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."

  9. #9

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    don't see it on the website, wtf is this thing?
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
    Monarchy Audio SE100 Delux - mono power amps
    Sony DVP-NS999ES - SACD player
    ADS 1230 - Polk SDA 2B
    DIY Stereo Subwoofer towers w/(4) 12 drivers each
    Crown K1 - Subwoofer amp
    Outlaw ICBM - crossover
    Beringher BFD - sub eq

    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier21 View Post
    I understood the Promitheus TVC and what it did, but this thing???? I will have to read up on it and what it is suppose to do.
    Well, since it's probably the only one in existence, you won't find anything to read until I post my initial impressions.;)
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  11. #11

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    How did you get the idea to do this and how did you convince them to make t for you? Do they normally do custom work like this. I'm still trying to understand what it actually does. Pretty cool looking though.

  12. #12

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    Good Gawd. You guys don't know what this does?.......Bunch o' rookies.......
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  13. #13

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    Rookie? Care to explain how Early's box works?

  14. #14

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    It's a buffer. Think about what a tube buffer does -- it imparts a tube sound onto your system. This is similar, except instead of tubes they're transformers. It's a TVC with out the "VC." Simple and plain. Got it?

    If you wanna learn more, google "transformer volume control" and read about the value of introducing transformers into your system, primarily to take advantage of impedance matching.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  15. #15

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    What's the winding ratio?
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
    Gallo Ref AV, Frankengallo Ref 3, LC60i : Bryston 9b SST : Meridian 565
    Jordan JX92s : MF X-T100 : Xray v8
    Backburner:Krell KAV-300i

  16. #16

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    Russ, it's a silly peice of gear, for a silly member.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  17. #17

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    Is that David Bowie's TVC-15?
    Strictly 2 channel
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  18. #18

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    I don't see what the advantage would be of running a digital cable through it.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  19. #19

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    Digital cable doesn't go through the transformers- it just goes through a toroidal choke. But I wouldn't be surprised if there was already one inside the digital source or pre-pro.

  20. #20

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    what was the cost of this one of kind from the other side of the world? are they made to order, or this was just a one of a kind you located....thanks

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701 View Post
    Digital cable doesn't go through the transformers- it just goes through a toroidal choke. But I wouldn't be surprised if there was already one inside the digital source or pre-pro.
    Yes, so why add another one?
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  22. #22

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    Well, given the two large antennas that it's sitting right in the middle of, a choke is probably a good idea.
    Gallo Ref 3.1 : Bryston 4b SST : Musical fidelity CD Pre : VPI HW-19
    Gallo Ref AV, Frankengallo Ref 3, LC60i : Bryston 9b SST : Meridian 565
    Jordan JX92s : MF X-T100 : Xray v8
    Backburner:Krell KAV-300i

  23. #23

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    Why not just get a nice amp that is built around the use of a passive pre so you can use the TVC? My old McCormack amp was designed around it being used with McCormack TLC1 passive pre. Sounded great together.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  24. #24

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    Early, give me a jingle sometime tomorrow. SS, I actually had no frikin' clue as to what this did/does. I was just razzin' y'all. :p
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  25. #25

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    OK, the hum problem has been fixed. It's dead quiet now. A mini-review is forthcoming.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    Early, give me a jingle sometime tomorrow. SS, I actually had no frikin' clue as to what this did/does. I was just razzin' y'all. :p
    Hehe . . . yup I figured. But, since you're older than me I have to respect the experience.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Early B. View Post
    OK, the hum problem has been fixed. It's dead quiet now. A mini-review is forthcoming.
    So what was it, bad rca, bad solder joint, other? Can't wait for the review.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Hehe . . . yup I figured. But, since you're older than me I have to respect the experience.
    Post #14 didn't explain it well enough?

    That''s OK. In my mini-review, I'll go into a little more detail about how it works, although I don't completely understand all of it myself. But that ain't important. I don't know exactly how my CDP, amp, pre/pro, and other gear actually works, nor do I need to know.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaara View Post
    So what was it, bad rca, bad solder joint, other? Can't wait for the review.
    No. I had to "jump the transformers" by soldering a couple of wires. No problem at all once I understood what to do.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  30. #30

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    Ill provide my initial impressions of the Promitheus Transformer Buffer (TB), but first Ill quote from a review I did last year on the Promitheus TVC because all of it is applicable to the TB:

    The TVC brings out all of the subtle nuances of the music. I like how it presents the music at very low volumes. Even at whisper quiet levels, the TVC has the bass and transient attack of a good active preamp.

    The TVC has great tonality. Instruments sound natural and balanced. Equally impressive is the decay of instruments. In many solid state systems, decay is usually truncated, but the TVC creates a very natural decay that would make many tube amps envious.

    The best aspect of the Promitheus is a lush midrange with no harshness whatsoever.

    The Promitheus TVC is the best audio purchase Ive ever made.


    OK, so what was the before & after effect? Well, the sonic improvement was substantial, especially the decay of instruments as noted earlier. Thats not surprising due to how the transformers impact the sound. Heres why for maximum power transfer, ideally you want identical source/load impedances. Your amp wants to see a low output impedance to complement its own high input impedance. Since transformers lower the effective output impedance of the CDP, there's a more optimal impedance transfer to the amp, which translates into improved sound quality. That's because the CDP is supplying less current to drive the amplifier's input impedance to the same voltage level.

    As a result, I can now decrease the volume on many of my CDs and still hear the dynamics and clarity. Most impressive is the accuracy of cymbals and bells. Also, live music is tremendously life-like. When the audience claps, it sounds like youre right there clapping along with them.

    I should add that the emotional impact of the music is absolutely breathtaking. Gentlemen listening to female vocals will make your wee wee dance in your pants. The TB literally allows you to experience more music, not just hear it. Also, the sound is thicker and richer than before; despite being more mellow, it has a lot more body and weight to it.

    The Promitheus TB is precisely the sound I wanted. I heard it before when I owned the Promitheus TVC, now its back and even better due to changes I made in my system. I also like the fact that the TB was very cost effective, especially for a custom made component. I like the plain brown box, although it needs a small logo or something on it.

    Heres the bottom line this buffer creates an awesome, emotionally-involving sound quality. Keep in mind that Im using an HT pre/pro and multichannel amp! A muscular two-channel amp is coming in the next month or two, and my system will likely sound even better. Ill probably keep the pre/pro in the loop for convenience and cost, at least for a while. Im very satisfied with the buffers performance and look forward to listening to all of my favorite CDs again and again.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

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