Morrison ELAD Preamplifiers

ELAD

Electronic Line Amplification Device

User Reviews (94)

Showing 1-10 of 94  
Kiwi   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 08, 2009]

This is simply the best audio component I have ever heard. This is ELAD is so good, I bought two of these, one for the main system and the other for the bedroom.
I have noticed that people would keep upgrading their system, different preamps, sources, power amps, speakers, speaker cables, and interconnect, and spend tons of money, yet they are still not happy with the sound of their system.

I have always felt that the preamp is the most important component in your audio system, your sources and your power amp, both get signals in and out of it, and if the preamp is not doing what its suppose to do, it will make an excellent source and amp sound very bad and fatigue sounding.

Ever since I got the ELAD, I am just having a great time with it, I have tried, just to see how good this ELAD is, many CD players, even DVD players, and this ELAD tells me how good or bad the source is. The truth is nothing I plugged in here sounded bad, mass market cd players sounded boring and non-engaging, not musical, some sounded really warm but at the expense of hiding detail.

The point is that with ELAD in chain, you will know how good your source is, as well as your power amp.

And if you are not happy with it, as Steve below points out, there is something else wrong with the rest of your system, either the source or the power amp/speakers.

I have had with me, over the years, McCormack DNA0.5, TLC, Spendors, Linn LP12, Micromega Stage 1 cd player and I still was not with the sound.

Out went all of these and in came, ELAD, now I reside Sonicville.

A word about Mr. Morrison, he, just like his ELAD, is excellent person to deal with, you talk to him and you would want him as your freind for life. He is very easy to talk to and a very honest person.

Have you noticed that ELAD does not come up for sale that much on sites such as audiogon? Have you wondered why? Here is why, who ever buys an ELAD, keeps it for life, this would be the best $800.00 you will ever spend.

And this is for those who are rolling their eyes, No Mr. Morrison has not paid me to write this review, I am just sharing my thoughts about this best sounding preamp called ELAD.

Here is the system:

Main System :

Morrison ELAD Preamp
Adcom 535 Power Amp
Signet SL280 Speakers
MSB DAC III/Samsung DVD Player as Transport
Rega Planar 3 with SME III arm


Bedroom System:

Morrison ELAD
Creek A52 Power Amp
Signet SL260 Speakers
Philips CD473 Cd Player
Nakamichi BX-150 Tape Deck

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
steve j f   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 16, 2008]
Strength:

Built like a tank. Perfectly neutral sound. Supported completely by Don Morrison, one of the nicest people in audio.

Weakness:

Only two inputs.

I've lived with the Morrison ELAD for a couple of years. This is a unique product. It does absolutely nothing to your system. Thats right nothing. No noise, no colorations, or other errors at all. If you put it into your system and don't like it, the problem is elsewhere. Your amps, interconnects, speakers, or room have problems. I've read all ninety plus prior reviews and most people get it. This is a product worthy of association with the very best gear available. Not the boutique products the major audiophile magazines tout, but those solidly engineered products you have to search for. Probably the best piece of audio gear I've 'never' heard. And by the way, it works with the best of both tube and solid state. You can't go wrong on this one, except that you may find yourself changing out the rest of your equipment to match the total neutrality this diminutive preamp provides. Simply the best. This preamp is for perfectionists, and not people who want to play the component of the month game.

Customer Service

I spent about a half hour with Don Morrison on the phone. He is knowledgeable about music and the electronics industry. He even sent me a CD as an example of properly recorded sound. He certainly didn't have to do this as I bought the preamp used. He is a class act.

Similar Products Used: I don't believe anyone else in the industry uses a similar circuit. Too bad.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
KevmoSmith   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 02, 2008]
Strength:

Crystal clear, great separation, dual mono volume control, external power supply.
Helpful support (I never needed it but Don was always responsive)

Weakness:

The only "weaknesses" I can think of are convenience related not sound related - no remote - and two inputs.

For pure two channel audio - I think this preamp is hard to beat on any realistic budget. I bought this on the recommendation of a friend. I have owned a couple highly rated preamps and this one has stayed in my system longer than any other. It really provides excellent separation and you get the sense that the preamp does not add to/color or subtract from the sound in any way. When you listen to this for the first time, it gives you a sense of the importance of a good preamp in your system and how the system can really be affected by the "sound" of the preamp. I think this is a really good value, particularly on the used market.


Customer Service

Unit was always rock solid - Don was always responsive to questions.

Similar Products Used: Preamps -
Bottlehead foreplay (tube), transcendent sound grounded grid preamp (tube), vintage Harman Kardon integrated (tube), ASL el84 integrateds, Dynaco PAS3 (tube) and a few older Carver preamps (solid state)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
david shaw   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 25, 2006]
Strength:

Nice build quality, unique looks.

Weakness:

Dry sound. WAY overhyped and overpriced: you can VERY easily buy a used preamp to trump this thing. For a new preamp that will blow it away go for a space-tech.

I wrote a luke warm review of the ELAD years ago and it was promtply removed, leading me to believe there is a definite fix going on here at audio review. I have seen 2 other luke warm reviews removed here from other posters as well. I'm not going to go into detail because I don't expect this to remain long at all.

I didn't like the ELAD. There was no mid range bloom, no magic at all. The sound was slightly veiled to my taste and the ELAD is certainly not the last word in detail. I had an audio research sp9 to compare it to and the arc beat it. I didn't like either of the preamps and sold the ELAD immediately. Some will say I didn't give it a chance to break in. Sure...

Don't believe all the hype here. I don't know how to explain why this is 'the best reviewed' preamp at audio review but I never met a real audiophile who owned one. nor can I explain why my tepid review was summarily removed after it was posted. I did learn that the owner of audio review and Don morrison are friends so draw your own conclusion.

Customer Service

no experience

Similar Products Used: Audio research sp9
space-tech (lowest model preamp - i forget the number)
audio reseach sp7 (solid state)

other preamps that are hardly 'similar' to the morrison include

audio research ref-1
Counterpoint sa-11
First sound presence deluxe
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
smacisaac   Casual Listener [Sep 18, 2005]
Strength:

Small, unobtrusive, no heat that I can tell.

Weakness:

Uh, I wish he'd sell me a small box that would make something else I do -- like cut the lawn, etc., be so perfect.

Don M. makes the best stereo components in the world. Period. I'm listening to "Mission" right now, after three years of moving this out of one vicious environment to another (Florida; Tampa; hurricanes; garage; motorcycles). Bryston 170 studio amp, Don's lovely preamp, B&W speakers. My wife sometimes asks me, after we've been inside listening to the "home theater" system, "what about bass and treble?". And I have the obligatory IPod, larded up with the better-than Apple no-loss file transfer system songs, which I play occasionally through this preamp, just for kicks. Boys and girls, listen up, because what I say is true: it's delightful to tune your motorcycle or just have a cup of java and read the paper with Don's little boxes. Ten stars out of five.

Similar Products Used: Guys, you know this stuff much better than I do. I just wanted a bullet proof (hell, howitzer proof) box that I could use to make music in the garage. I'll never put this inside the house; if I did, I'd never go out to the garage.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tiborbozi   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 09, 2004]
Strength:

Everything.

Weakness:

Not mass marketed and not sold in stores. What am I saying? NONE!!

What can be said about this unit, except stunning! I can't really improve on what many of the better articles have said of this preamp but I agree with what the previous reviewer said; "updgrade your equipment if it doesn't sound right" with the Morrisson. This is the most neutral and detailed amp in the world. I may not have met all great audio designers but so far as I know nothing tops this. I started using Don's speakers about 14 years ago and have never looked back. There is a review about this preamp previously which said that the preamp is good for the price ($790US) but to get a decent one you have to pay about $3000. What do you think that this preamp would go for if it was sold in stores? The markup on it would bring it up to $3000 easy (capitalist greed). About your Plinius, if you want to say that the sound stage is better, your comparison to the Morrisson is unfair. Your Plinius was broken in and the Morrisson wasn't. Another thing, soundstage is only partially based on the preamp, the recording is the most important. If there is no soundstage in the recording how can the preamp produce a decent soundstage if the unit is neutral? Obviously the Plinius adds its own soundstage so it "colors" the music. Most people buy equipment that is not neutral and if they hear anything even close to accurracy of reproduction they don't like it at first. There you have it. There is no reason to brag and say that I've paid $3000 for something and it is basically an "audiophile" rip off product. Audiophiles have $20,000 in equipment and 10 CDs (ha ha) and are obsessed with getting the next "flavor of the month". Isn't the music and getting the most from it along with adding nothing, the most important? The industry has "audiophiles" on a treadmill. A bit about Don. He has been in this business for probably close to 40 years and his speaker design he learned from and took over from one of the most distinguished people in the music industry - Hegemann (I hope I spelled the name right). Hegemann disagreed with the RIAA standard set in the late 30s for vinyl, saying it was sub-standard and would only benefit the manufacturers in profits not consumers. About the same with CDs isn't it? Don builds everything from speakers to crossovers if he has the time is an excellent person to deal with. The only drawback to having one person handcraft everything is that sometimes he is a bit overwhelmed with demand. But, a good thing is worth the wait. One more thing on soundstaging. This preamp and Morrisson 1.5s are so good that they play stereo recordings properly i.e. stereo in Greek means "3-D" (a surprise for most since we have all this "surround" garbage around). Many times when playing movies friends ask me if my system is "surround or not". Now, if anything has good stero imaging this equipment has it and my friends have proven it to me.

Similar Products Used: All sorts; Conrad Johnson, MFA Magus, MFA Luminescence, NAD, Rotel, Morrisson with phono stage (only reason I sold this was because I sold my records). Equipment used: Morrisson ELAD preamp Stax DA-80M mono block Class A Amps (in front) Marantz MA700 mono blocks for subs Denon 2200 Universal Player Morrisson 1.5 speakers Morrisson Subwoofers Industrial interconnects made custom
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Butty   AudioPhile [Oct 02, 2003]
Strength:

No sound of its own - what goes in comes out.

Weakness:

None

My Morrision ELAD has been in use since July 2001. The rest of my system consists of: Speakers - Nelson Reed 804B - 1989 models, ATC and Volt drivers, 93 db efficiency, app 100 lbs each - highly reviewed by Stereophile; biamped (Nelson Reed crossover) Amps - NAD 218thx on top and a pair of Adcom 555 (bridged mono)on bottom. CD player - Rotel RCD 1070. Cables - Canare 4s speaker and Star Quad interconnects (terminated with Neutrik Pro Fi). Power protection - MidAtlantic products PD 915R. If you don't like the sound of the Morrison start thinking of upgrading your other equipment. This is the cleanest, least colored, most revealing preamp I have ever heard. Prior to buying the ELAD I thought Morrison wrote the reviews himself. I agree with all the previous 5's. And it's built like a tank. Try it, if need be tell your friends it cost $3000. Hear what you've been missing.

Similar Products Used: Phase Linear, Citation, Apt-Holman, PS Audio
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
hapyshapy   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 03, 2003]
Strength:

dead quiet background..dual volume controls for un-tainted balance control....and, best of all, unmasked detail and much less distortion. (can you say higher volume)

Weakness:

no remote...but that's partly why the elad's so clean sounding.

I stumbled upon some high praise for something called the ELAD on a chat room several years ago...went to Don's website and immediatley felt the product was just for ME. "Hear further up the recording chain" for CD-only playback was part of the "pitch". Came here to this site and saw, what were then, perfect 5's. It's nice to return to these very "pages" to see the unit is still getting the praise it really deserves. For around 800 bucks with no bells and whistles it's, by far, the least expensive piece of gear in my system. Which is why it still stuns today. I read ALL the audio rags..includng the brits...and was convinced I needed some tube hybrid $5,000 job. I bought a tube pre-amp (not for no 5-grand) and was not impressed. Called Don one day and am very glad I did. Weeks later when the ELAD arrived at work..I raced home and kinda giggled while plugging these two tiny boxes into the system (how good could they sound??). How about the cleanest tightest sound I'd ever imagined..my girlfreind (now wife) came in the back door and immediately commented how the instruments sounded like they were in the room. These little boxes made the biggest impact yet that any ONE component has to date in my living room. I'm confident that any more cash outlays will go to front end and amplification upgrades. AND thanx Don for nearly getting my head out of those high-end rags..I'm reaserching new CD players and amps so i've been picking up a few again..getting dizzy again with flowery crap "aplomb" and the like. I'm just looking for the "magic bullet" trying to read between the lines. At least I found it for line level pre-amplification. system: Rotel rcd 991 ELAD Citation 7.1 Silverline Audio Sonatinas

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Grant Robinson   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 20, 2003]
Strength:

Great build, transparent if slightly dry sound presentation.

Weakness:

only 2 inputs.

I purchased used this unit from Audiogon and was seeking multiple inputs to my decware Zen se84b flea amp for CD and TV. My appraisal of the unit is in its pure if slightly dry presentation. Soundstage, pace timing etc were all un-noticably changed from having my amps run straight into the CD player (they have an ALPS pot on them) I can attest to the quality of construction and the ability of the music to be uninterrupted through this preamp. Interestingly, the preamp developed a fault in the selector switch and living in Toronto, I gave Don a hollar. Not only did he turn the repair arround in a day but he picked up and delivered the unit along with some of his excellent home roasted coffee. To say he was a pleasure to deal with would be in my books a gross understatement. It is a pity he doesn't try his hand at some other gear as I'd be as interested in what other marvels he could turn his hand to. Good work Don!

Similar Products Used: None. I'v always used my amp direct to CD
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Maprik   AudioPhile [Apr 20, 2003]
Strength:

Transparent, dead quiet, simple, separate power supply, strong detailed bass, sounds very good at any volume. Independent volume controls (non-stepped) for infinite control and balance control.

Weakness:

Only 2 inputs.

Quite a controversial pre-amp! After reading much ado about the ELAD on audiogon and audioasylum I decided that I had to try it myself as I was in the market for a new pre-amp. After about a month of listening I can say that I think it is the best pre-amp that I've owned yet. Of course, system synergy is everything. My system is composed of a Rega Planar 25 w/ Benz Micro Glider M2, Lehmann Black Cube phono stage, Pioneer PD-65 transport, Monarchy DIP, MSB Full Nelson upsampling Link DAC w/ P1000 power supply, Kimber Illuminati D-60 digital ICs, silver ribbon interconnects, CARY CAD-50M MKII monoblocks modified with Chris VenHaus Flavor 2 power cables, Synergistic Research Resolution Reference .5 speaker wires, Silverline Audio Sonatina Speakers, PS Audio P300 power plant. Simply put I've found the ELAD to be without fault compared to what I've owned and I feel no need to upgrade. For those who know me, that in itself is quite a positive review.

Similar Products Used: Classe CP-35, Classe CP-45, Blue Circle BC21, Creek OBH-12, ASL AQ2006DT, Sim Audio Moon I5, Marsh Audio P2000, Rogue Audio 66, Placette Audio passive
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 94  

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