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deHavilland UltraVerve
2 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP  2495.00
Description: <ul> <li>Vacuum tube rectification</li> <li>Direct coupled audio circuit</li> <li>Output level balance controls</li> <li>Silver teflon coated high purity copper wire</li> <li>100% hand wired point to point circuitry</li> </ul>


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by byteme45 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I've always loved a tube pre with SS amps. I had been very much enjoying my Philly Audio blues 7b with my Odyssey Audio Stratos Extreme (stereo) when I ran across this opportunity to pick up the deHavilland. I've long had the Verve on my "someday" list of wanted components after reading the reviews and Kara's philosophy at the deHavilland web site.

When I got the chance to pick up an UltraVerve - I had to give it a listen even though I was very happy with my current preamp. I'm glad I did! The first thing I noticed when I pulled it out of the box was the build quality. This is a beautiful, heavy, wonderfully constructed preamp. Opening the bottom plate showed the attention to detail in the construction. All point to point wiring, highest end parts smartly laid out. Spike feet included too! When I tossed the tubes in and fired it up I was rewarded by the sound all this detail provided. I picked up some NOS tubes recommened by Kara, the person responsible for this wonderful piece of gear. The first thing I noticed was how quite this piece is - dead quiet. Ear right up to the tweeter, nothing, no hiss, not a peep. Everything I value and seek in audio reproduction this preamp provides. Musicality, coveyance of emotion, detail, soundstage, palpability. All of it. The web site says "big sound from big tubes" and this piece puts out some big sound. I thought the soundstage was big before, but the Ultra proved to provide bigger not only width, but depth and height.

Voices and instruments are precisely placed. The quietness of the preamp allows such an empty background that peices appear to come out of nowhere and just float in space. Musically this is a great compliment to the Odyssey Amps and Lorelei speakers, getting every last bit of music and detial out of CDs.

It's got some fantastic tweak features as well - like the ground switch which allows you to float or keep normal the ground, the output level balance controls and mute on power up delay not to mention the outstanding Goldpoint stepped attenuator! The look is classic with the glowing tubes out the top, champange faceplate with red lettering is simple yet stunning. To the other reviewers point about the attenuator and having to turn it up quite a way, I typically have the volume 3/4 of the way to full. I did email Kara about that and her response was, unlike other attenuators, this one is almost perfectly linear all the way from "0" to wide open, unlike others which are front loaded, so turning it up quite a bit is no worry.

It would be difficult for me to believe that it can get better than this!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   audiogon

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by drb a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I was fortunate enough to demo this unit in home. Needless to say it never got unplugged from my system. Quiet, detailed, large soundstage, and bass control you won't believe. All wrapped in a solid and beautiful package. Glad I didn't spend thousands more for a CJ, ARC, or Cary.

You'll do yourself a big favor by replacing the stock EH 6SN7 with an NOS. A TungSol or Sylvania GT/GTA will produce a difference that is far from subtle.

My only nit is that the pre-amp doesn't have a lot of drive at 18V/10Kohm. My Belles 350A has a 2V/100Kohm input sensitivity and I am always past the halfway point on the volume. Luckily I have 250wpc on hand but with a friend's 5w SE tube amp we had to go CD direct. But I have to give the pre-amp credit, it refuses to compress and goes past 3/4 volume with ease.

As for customer service, A1!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Factory Direct

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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