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June 27, 2022, 12:04:12 PM

Author Topic: My thoughts on the Moreplay  (Read 1286 times)

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Offline dth31

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My thoughts on the Moreplay
« on: February 23, 2022, 10:45:14 AM »
In the thread I started on the Audiophiliac review of the Moreplay, I said I would share my personal thoughts on the Moreplay once I built it, and compare it to my Shindo Monbrison.  Here goes…

First of all, the Moreplay is the easiest Bottlehead kit I have ever built.  Lots of room inside the chassis.  Not too many parts soldered at the same points.  No tiny circuit boards with even tinier solder pads.  Excellent, clearly laid out manual.  Testing of the various stages as you go rather than at the end.  I definitely give the kit build a 10/10.

Steve Guttenberg couldn’t be more right about one thing: the Moreplay is an outstanding, musical preamp.  I haven’t heard the BeePre but I can see the Moreplay being an end-game preamp for those who value musicality and transparency.  Treble roll off?  Not to my ears.

Over the years I’ve grown to value those components that excel at being the least-colored component in the chain.  One generally has to pay a LOT of money to get those kinds of components but the Moreplay is an exception to that rule.  In fact, the Moreplay reminds me in many ways of my Shindo Monbrison preamp.

The Monbrison is an unusual component in my experience in that it manages to make almost everything sound good and musical while still being transparent and revealing.  It’s warm and supremely musical but not syrupy and it lets detail shine through.

In those respects, the Moreplay bears a strong resemblance to the Monbrison.  Tones with the Moreplay are warm and saturated yet still detailed and transparent.  It’s an extremely musical preamp like the Monbrison.

The Moreplay is more transparent than the Monbrison.  The Moreplay readily differentiates between amplifiers.  With the Paramount 2A3 amps the sound is warmer and more bass/midrange focused.  With my 300B amps the sound is more detailed, balanced and lit-up.  The Moreplay is more transparent than the Monbrison in this respect in that the differences between these amps are more apparent with the Moreplay. 

The Moreplay is also revealing of different tubes.  The stock Russian tubes actually sound quite good, but RCA 6V6’s aren’t quite as dark sounding and seem a bit quieter, detailed and clear.  The Russian tubes are definitely good enough to live with, but I do prefer the RCA’s.  The Moreplay is also revealing of recordings.  Both the Monbrison and Moreplay have a tendency to make recordings sound good.  This is a real plus IF there is no loss of transparency.  The Moreplay reveals somewhat more differences between recordings than the Monbrison but both are way better than most preamps at making lesser recording quite listenable.  The real trick that both these preamps pull off is that they make nearly all recordings sound good without any sense that they are colored or not transparent.  Quite the trick!

The other characteristic of the Moreplay that I appreciate is that it sounds great with rock and classical music.  Pianos, violins, cellos, Strats, Teles and Les Pauls sound like they should.

Given the price, I had no expectation that the Moreplay would be  competitive with the Monbrison, but since the Moreplay is going into a different system I figured I could live with that and if it was too inferior I would sell the Moreplay and build a BeePre.

Once I listened to it there was no question that the Moreplay was staying. 

Don’t ask me if the Moreplay is better than the Monbrison.  I would say the Moreplay and Monbrison are like 2 brothers.  Many similarities, cut from the same (musical) cloth, but also some differences.  The similarities they share are the strengths I value in a preamp and the differences are of lesser importance to me.  But like a parent, you love them both and it’s hard to say one is better than the other!  I will say this: had I listened to the Moreplay and Monbrison side-by-side before purchasing, it would be very hard to justify buying the Monbrison.  The Monbrison is an outstanding preamp but the Moreplay is too.  It really is that good.

Offline Doc B.

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2022, 01:51:32 PM »
Wow, thank you so much!
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline oldtriode

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2022, 11:37:10 AM »
I have never heard a Monbrison, but I do believe that the Moreplay is the most transparent and revealing preamp I've ever used.  The circuit design, layout, and overall performance are incredible...so much so, that you can hear the subtle differences in the choice of tubes you use with it.  And all this is accomplished using off-the-shelf, non-boutique parts! 

Thanks again to Doc and his excellent company of Bottleheads who came up with this!  Keep the great sounds coming...

Offline dth31

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2022, 04:49:04 AM »
Couldn't agree more!  The amazing thing to me is that the Moreplay manages to be detailed and transparent while being very natural and musical.  I've heard a lot of preamps and amps that seem transparent and detailed on first listen, but it's because the sound is lacking natural tone and overly bright (at least to my ears).

You also mentioned what could be selling point for many listeners: the transparency to tube rolling.  If you like a bit warmer, thicker sound the stock Russian tubes do that VERY well.  If you like more balanced, musical, clear, more lit-up sound there are other tubes that will offer that (like RCA 6V6s). 

The Moreplay doesn't get the notice it deserves, IMO.  I remain very impressed with it!

Offline debk

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2022, 03:31:54 PM »
I agree with what you said about the Moreplay.
I just finished mine and it sounds fantastic.  Using it in the system in my lab.  Source is a Rpi set up as a Roon endpoint into an ANK DAC 4.1--->Moreplay--->Kaiju.   Very musical and detailed, I am very impressed!  What a bargain for a preamp that sounds this good

Thanks Bottlehead!
Debra K

Eros 2Phono amp
BeePre2, Psvane ACME 300b
Kaiju, Linlai Elite  300b
Monamour 2a3 amps various tubes
Sota Sapphire, Pete Riggle Woody Tonearm, Kiseki Purpleheart Cartridge
Rega P6 Ania Pro cartridge
Roon Nucleus
MHDT Labs Orchid DAC
Jager speakers

Offline Tubegopher

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2022, 05:14:13 PM »
My son got talked into by me to build the Moreplay as he was using a Dynaco PAS that I had given him with a 300B push pull amplifier. I must admit, the PAS did a decent job, but the Moreplay was in a different arena. Huge improvement. He loves it. It is a great value!
300B amps with 6SJ7 in Triode mode, dc fil. volt. for 300Bs. BeePre with Bill Milosz built Eros Phono. Teres Turntable, Pete Riggle "12 inch Woody Tonearm" Grace F9  with Soundsmith ruby cantilever stylus.Cambridge Audio CD with MHDT Labs Orchid DAC Rega NAOS Spkrs, Atelier Rullit super tweeters

Offline joralieu

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2022, 04:19:16 PM »
I have the sex 3.0, what would the moreplay give me as far as sound improvement over the sex by it self?

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2022, 05:00:53 AM »
It will give you the convenience of three inputs and a little more gain (which you probably don't need).  You will then also be able to change out amplifiers far more easily down the road if you'd like to.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline joralieu

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2022, 02:37:47 PM »
Thanks for that info. I have built the sex and the crack. I really enjoy building these things, just looking for something else to build.

Offline smodtactical

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2022, 09:33:15 AM »
@dth31,
In the thread I started on the Audiophiliac review of the Moreplay, I said I would share my personal thoughts on the Moreplay once I built it, and compare it to my Shindo Monbrison.  Here goes…

First of all, the Moreplay is the easiest Bottlehead kit I have ever built.  Lots of room inside the chassis.  Not too many parts soldered at the same points.  No tiny circuit boards with even tinier solder pads.  Excellent, clearly laid out manual.  Testing of the various stages as you go rather than at the end.  I definitely give the kit build a 10/10.

Steve Guttenberg couldn’t be more right about one thing: the Moreplay is an outstanding, musical preamp.  I haven’t heard the BeePre but I can see the Moreplay being an end-game preamp for those who value musicality and transparency.  Treble roll off?  Not to my ears.

Over the years I’ve grown to value those components that excel at being the least-colored component in the chain.  One generally has to pay a LOT of money to get those kinds of components but the Moreplay is an exception to that rule.  In fact, the Moreplay reminds me in many ways of my Shindo Monbrison preamp.

The Monbrison is an unusual component in my experience in that it manages to make almost everything sound good and musical while still being transparent and revealing.  It’s warm and supremely musical but not syrupy and it lets detail shine through.

In those respects, the Moreplay bears a strong resemblance to the Monbrison.  Tones with the Moreplay are warm and saturated yet still detailed and transparent.  It’s an extremely musical preamp like the Monbrison.

The Moreplay is more transparent than the Monbrison.  The Moreplay readily differentiates between amplifiers.  With the Paramount 2A3 amps the sound is warmer and more bass/midrange focused.  With my 300B amps the sound is more detailed, balanced and lit-up.  The Moreplay is more transparent than the Monbrison in this respect in that the differences between these amps are more apparent with the Moreplay. 

The Moreplay is also revealing of different tubes.  The stock Russian tubes actually sound quite good, but RCA 6V6’s aren’t quite as dark sounding and seem a bit quieter, detailed and clear.  The Russian tubes are definitely good enough to live with, but I do prefer the RCA’s.  The Moreplay is also revealing of recordings.  Both the Monbrison and Moreplay have a tendency to make recordings sound good.  This is a real plus IF there is no loss of transparency.  The Moreplay reveals somewhat more differences between recordings than the Monbrison but both are way better than most preamps at making lesser recording quite listenable.  The real trick that both these preamps pull off is that they make nearly all recordings sound good without any sense that they are colored or not transparent.  Quite the trick!

The other characteristic of the Moreplay that I appreciate is that it sounds great with rock and classical music.  Pianos, violins, cellos, Strats, Teles and Les Pauls sound like they should.

Given the price, I had no expectation that the Moreplay would be  competitive with the Monbrison, but since the Moreplay is going into a different system I figured I could live with that and if it was too inferior I would sell the Moreplay and build a BeePre.

Once I listened to it there was no question that the Moreplay was staying. 

Don’t ask me if the Moreplay is better than the Monbrison.  I would say the Moreplay and Monbrison are like 2 brothers.  Many similarities, cut from the same (musical) cloth, but also some differences.  The similarities they share are the strengths I value in a preamp and the differences are of lesser importance to me.  But like a parent, you love them both and it’s hard to say one is better than the other!  I will say this: had I listened to the Moreplay and Monbrison side-by-side before purchasing, it would be very hard to justify buying the Monbrison.  The Monbrison is an outstanding preamp but the Moreplay is too.  It really is that good.

Did you ever get a chance to actually compare these preamps in the same system? I know you said don't ask which is better but in the same system did they seem to have similar warm smooth tone while still being detailed ? That is something shindo is known for I believe. Also have you considered and other high end tube preamps with moreplay ? Thanks.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2022, 09:46:43 AM by smodtactical »

Offline smodtactical

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2022, 09:34:02 AM »
I have never heard a Monbrison, but I do believe that the Moreplay is the most transparent and revealing preamp I've ever used.  The circuit design, layout, and overall performance are incredible...so much so, that you can hear the subtle differences in the choice of tubes you use with it.  And all this is accomplished using off-the-shelf, non-boutique parts! 

Thanks again to Doc and his excellent company of Bottleheads who came up with this!  Keep the great sounds coming...

What other tube preamps have you heard?

Offline JoeyGS

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2022, 05:02:58 PM »
Hi,
Have you tried the Mazda 6V6 tube as comparing it with the RCA?
Thanks
JoeyGS

Couldn't agree more!  The amazing thing to me is that the Moreplay manages to be detailed and transparent while being very natural and musical.  I've heard a lot of preamps and amps that seem transparent and detailed on first listen, but it's because the sound is lacking natural tone and overly bright (at least to my ears).

You also mentioned what could be selling point for many listeners: the transparency to tube rolling.  If you like a bit warmer, thicker sound the stock Russian tubes do that VERY well.  If you like more balanced, musical, clear, more lit-up sound there are other tubes that will offer that (like RCA 6V6s). 

The Moreplay doesn't get the notice it deserves, IMO.  I remain very impressed with it!

Offline dth31

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2022, 06:52:34 AM »
No, I have not.  Once I find a tube I really like, the tube rolling stops!

Offline dth31

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2022, 06:56:13 AM »
@dth31,
Did you ever get a chance to actually compare these preamps in the same system? I know you said don't ask which is better but in the same system did they seem to have similar warm smooth tone while still being detailed ? That is something shindo is known for I believe. Also have you considered and other high end tube preamps with moreplay ? Thanks.

All my comparisons were in the same system with the same cables.  Only variable was the preamp.

Offline dth31

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Re: My thoughts on the Moreplay
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2022, 07:23:19 AM »
What other tube preamps have you heard?

Lots!  I have a VAC Master preamp in my other system along with VAC Sig 200iQ mono amps, Magico M3 speakers, Synergistic Research Galileo cables, and totaldac d1-12 dac, streamer and player.  The Monbrison does NOT sound all that good in this system.  I haven’t tried the Moreplay in this main system.  The VAC Master is simply an outstanding preamp, as it should be for the price difference.  This system does all the audiophile imaging, soundstage, delineation of individual instruments amazingly well, AND speaks to the heart with its musicality.

The 2nd system is neck-and-neck with the main system in terms of its musicality, which is what is most important to me.  No, it doesn’t do the other audiophile stuff as well as the main system, but for rock, blues, small ensemble or individual instrument classical music, the 2nd system is very competitive at a small fraction of the price.  So much so that I am seriously entertaining the possibility of selling the main system.  That’s how much I like the 2nd system.  I would probably sell the Monbrison, too, if I had to keep only 1 preamp.

The 2nd system consists of a totaldac d1-core dac, multiple kit amps (including a 2A3 Paramount), Triode Wire Labs cabling, and speakers made for me by Gary Fischer.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1704948006345934&type=3

The wooden Altec replica horns are amazing.  I used to own Altec Model 19 speakers and the horn ringing was so objectionable I sold them quickly.  The wooden Markus Klug Horns retain all the Altec goodness with none of the Altec harshness or ringing.  Highly recommended.

https://klughoerner.com/en/


« Last Edit: June 08, 2022, 07:28:35 AM by dth31 »