What customers and reviewers are saying about our preamps
Volti, Tortuga, Triode Wire Labs, Border Patrol This system just made you want to stay and listen to music, mine or music I'd never heard before. Relaxing, exciting, clear, organic came to mind. Volti had their Allura A15/MT1s ($15,900/pr) looking and sounding great. Border Patrol's P21 EXD amp ($12,750) using push/pull 330Bs and external power supplied 18Wpc to drive the 99dB/W/m sensitive Alluras. Tortuga Audio showed the LDRx passive preamp ($1495) software driven and digitally controlled unit with resistive analog attenuator using light resistive diodes. The LDRx seemed to be a perfect fit despite its affordable pricing, helping the system have a clear and transparent presentation, wide stage, and big dynamic contrasts, kudos for bringing such great performance at a low cost. Another company bringing superb sonics at attainable prices was Triode Wire Labs cables, which were used to connect everything. Triode Pete had his renowned Plus power cords in use, and his American Speaker Cables and Spirit interconnects proving again that handcrafted, made in America, great sounding cables can be held to common sense pricing. The sound here had my friend contemplating a purchase, beautiful workmanship and elegant, yet exciting sound, great room. (From EnjoyTheMusic.com)
"The Tortuga Audio preamp equaled or surpassed all basic performance parameters against any contenders I had in house, passive, active, tube, FET and at any price level with regards to faithfulness. That put the Tortuga Audio LDR6 into the position of personal benchmark as my current reference for accuracy. The top competition may offer equal or superior performance but that's for the future to reveal. For now the LDR6 is my top dog.""If one looks at the results and factors in the price differences, the Tortuga comes off as a powerful little piece which more than vindicates Mr. Sissener’s claims about the virtues of passives in general and the LDR6 in specific. It offered an uncluttered yet exceptionally detailed and dynamic presentation that was fundamentally honest to the signal ahead of it.""The performance of the little Tortuga reopens the passive vs. active debate.""Music through the LDR6 is an ephemeral experience. It dances with fire for a brief shining moment and disappears, leaving you wanting more."
I have an LDR-1 and it is fabulous. Best preamp I ever owned at any price. When I bought it I thought I would get super transparent sound at the cost of thinning things out. Usually, that is the price for transparency. I took the risk anyway. I was dead wrong. The transparency is indeed the best I ever heard - but it is so full sounding - I can't believe my ears. Now, warm and full are not the same. It is not warm. It is truthful to the recording. Regardless, it is that fullness and weight and supreme smoothness without sounding bloated and without giving up one iota of detail which makes this a world class product. I doubt things could get more than 5% better at any price- even $100,000. The LDR1 is the most perfect preamp I could ever imagine.
"Overall, I'm enjoying the Tortuga LDR3 immensely. It's mating up to the Job 225 seamlessly and I feel it's leaps and bounds better than any TVC I've heard and used in my own setup. For the first time since I've joined this hobby, I finally feel like I'm listening to real music, and not a reproduction of music. All curiosity of "should I upgrade this or that" has seemed to disappear and all I'm left with is enjoyment of music in it's truest form. Thank you so much for what I believe to be my best purchase ever made in audio." - Steven Zaointz
“CONGRATULATIONS! The LDRx is quite a revelation with exceptional musical qualities! I must stress that I’ve been using a Vishay bulk foil plus Holco shunt resistors,silver wired stepped attenuator for the last 20 years (Audio Synthesis’ PASSION) and that this unit was highly rated. Indeed, it is a very, very good passive control unit and I’ve been quite satisfied with it. Well, it is quite an achievement that the LDRx does everything better in a clear audible way! The music simply sounds fuller, warmer with more body and detail. Everything sounds more natural as if no electronic gear is being used. No small achievement in a system that combines a digital source, a digital 3 way crossover, solid state amplification and an all dipole loudspeaker arrangement comprising Quad’s ESL63 electrostatics, a pair of Volt bass/mid drivers and a Gradient subwoofer. No nasty boxes at all! Well, what can I say? Thank you, Morten and Merry Christmas!” – Francisco Fragoso
"I like my tube preamp. I liked the S&B TVC that I auditioned a few years back. I REALLY like Morten's LDR1. Characteristics I found with the LDR1 can be summarized as follows: > natural full bass with good transients and heft > excellent midrange balance > improvement of a narrow band midrange ring that my speakers suffer from > clean with good transparency. Possibly a bit less transparency than I have heard before with my system, but I've never experienced so balanced a midrange in my system before which may affect that perception. > consistently great sense of tonal color, with good saturation. > highly listenable, even allowing me to listen into and appreciate music that I often find strident (even with the tubes, Chicago and Otis Redding recordings for instance). Possibly there is some softening of the edges of notes? I don't know, but it certainly was no negative for me. > a real sense of flow and a lack of sibilance and high frequency hash that brought back some memories of how things sounded with my old Phillips and B&O turntables. I did not expect this but it was great. In summary, the LDR1 is highly recommended."
"I was having a hard time explaining in words what I was hearing, it just felt so clean, natural and timbres to die for, to take what someone else had already said which I thought was yet another propaganda, "Let me state up front that the LDR1 is the most pure, neutral, transparent, noise-free and grain-free component I have ever heard." and he was totally right on the spot. I would also add to this a fluidity in complex passages I had not heard before, it is as if someone had removed a veil in front of me. My friend and I were both totally impressed and trust me, I have tried many gears before."
"Today I received the LDR3x board and I am FLOORED by the sound quality. I've been using a TVC [transformer volume control] for several years and was very happy, but the LDR simply blows it away. I am hearing detail I never knew existed in recordings I have listened to hundreds of time before. Bass is better, treble is clearer, etc….the sound is killer. I am retired and have been pursuing this hobby seriously for 40 years. The last 20 years of my career was as a music wholesale salesperson – I worked for Telarc for 7 years and then for an indie distributor where I sold several audiophile labels, so I have some serious experience listening. This volume control is fabulous."
"Your newsletter prompted me to say a big belated “thank you” for making the very best preamp I have ever used. From tube to solid state, vintage Western Electric and Marantz to modern Cello and Krell, nothing comes close. My downsized system is unbelievably dynamic yet completely natural and without any hint of strain, harmonically accurate and rich especially with “challenging” brass and woodwind instruments, always happy to play back what it receives. My system has NEVER felt (and sounded) this good." - Steven K Lee
"I can honestly say though even at $2695 this unit will easily blow away stuff that is 3x the cost. Actually, come to think of it, I'm not sure what else one could want no matter the cost unless you want fancy aluminum cases and bragging rights." - AudioCircle Member