Reactie van de fabrikant
Via de sinds recent Nederlandse dealer van Tortuga Audio zijn de voor en tegens die ik in mijn verhaal hierboven aanhaal aan Morten Sissener voorgelegd. Natuurlijk geven we hem de gelegenheid om zijn reactie te geven:
The reviewer is objectively correct insofar as the “bizarre” impedance behavior goes as well as the distortion measurements. These LDR related topics have been hashed over endlessly in online audio forums, particularly DIYAudio.com,
Often taking on the same unfortunate characteristics as debates on politics or religion, the online discussions on LDR based attenuation breaks down broadly into the familiar audio camps of subjectivists vs. objectivists.
Reducing the subjective and objective arguments into simple short statements you end up with something like this:
Objectivists: “Look at this bizarre impedance behavior and distortion characteristics of these LDRs! Why would I bother buying/owning something like this that I know is bad?”
Subjectivists: “Have you bothered actually listening to an LDR passive preamp? They sound fantastic! The distortion isn’t audible and who cares about impedance given how clean, open and transparent the sound is! My system never sounded so good!”
These opposing views get even blurrier when you realize that each camp can support their positions with actual listening. Put an LDR passive preamp between certain combinations of source and amps and you get disappointing results. “Aha!”, the objectivists proclaim. Put an LDR passive preamp between some other combination of source and amp and you get amazingly satisfying sound! “We win!”, shout the subjectivists.
Quite a challenge for the audio enthusiast who reads reviews looking for clear bottom line information and insights. As a reader, if the only information available to me on the Tortuga Audio LDR6 was the review in Audio Creative, I’d be very skeptical about this or any other LDR based preamp product.
My problem with the Audio Creative review is that it’s misleading without any ill intention of being so. While much of the technical minutiae is correct, it’s a subjective listening example of one that is at odds with the listening experience of many people who have tried LDR passive preamps including well over 95% of our customers (who kept and did not return their LDR preamps after our 30 day 100% money back audition period expired).
One thing the reviewer didn’t mention is that the very LDR6 unit they tore apart and measured up, down and sideways does in fact belong to one of our Netherland customers who has been nothing but complimentary about his LDR6. So much so that in his enthusiasm he loaned it to a friend at Audio Creative to give it a test drive.
I suspect that the reviewer used the LDR6 between a tube based source and a tube based amp. That all-tube system was probably not happy with the low impedance of the LDR6. Yet we have customers with solid state sources and tube amps who are thrilled with our LDR passive preamps. As well as customers with all solid state systems that are equally thrilled.
The phrases “blown away”, “floored” and “jaw-dropping” don’t come from me. They come from our customers. And other reviewers.
While we are not perfect, we’ve tried to be very candid through our website that passive preamps generally, and our LDR Passive Preamps particularly, are not a perfect fit between all sources and amps. Usually, if the ratio of load Z (impedance) to source Z is 100:1 or greater you should expect good results. But this is just a guideline, not a guarantee. Which is why we have a 30 day in-home audition policy. And when we are reminded that something we posted online may be misleading or in error, we strive to correct it.
Meanwhile, since out LDR preamps are controlled via software, we are working hard to optimize our designs and expect that even the “bizarre” impedance behavior of our units will become less bizarre in the future thus opening up the application of our products to an ever wider range of sources and amps in the future.
We invite our prospective customers to check out our website at www.tortugaaudio.com where they can find additional reviews by both our customers and other independent reviewers before drawing conclusions about our preamps.
Better yet, go and listen to one at Live Fidelity in Utrecht!