My Takumi K-10 Arrived



  • the 3rd LP which I listened was the cello music performed by Ludwig Hoelscher on Brahams. Again this is a highly recommended cello performer whom was first introduced to me for listening by Master Chik....

    K10/K70 depicts a very good balance between the strings and wood chamber of the cello although arguably the body and weight of the cello can be slightly bigger after more burning in time. Having said that, keynotes from each string intermingle very well with the resonance from the wood chamber composing a complete piece of musical enjoyment to me! From a hifi assessment point of view, the speed of propagation for all frequency from top to bottom is very uniform and articulated.
  • This LP set was brought recently and the sound of the harp and violin performed by Monica Huggett and Ton Koopman on Bach is so heavenly by K10/K70! K10 catches my soul by its openness and ease from mid to the ultra treble. When listening to string instrument like violin or harpsichord, it gives me a very refreshing and 'tingling' feel! That is why I used 'heavenly' to describe my feeling when listening to this LP....At this point, and because of this LP, I give 100 marks to K10 on the mid to treble performance among all the preamps that I have used.
  • Last but not least, piano concerto by Rachmaninov...again, another very popular piece of music that I listen when I want to understand more about a gear on a medium scale orchestral type of music. Very spectacular in providing good focuses of various instrument groups not blurring up the main piano played by Kocsis. The Symphony group was orchestrated by Waarf. The transition from one slower pace of melody bursting into a much higher excitement was full of dramatic transients. I guess this is what attracts me as a laymen listening to a concerto such a large scale. Without the wide range of dynamic and ample control by the K10, I don't think the association and articulation between the piano and the rest of the performance group can be so well.
  • Once again, I wish to iterate that I am stunned by the performance of this new breed by Robert Koda. He came to HK and listened to Syren Black Label pairing with K70 for a few hours and then come back in a year's time now with such a marvelous preamp! Syren has been highly regarded as the best tube preamp that I have ever listened, even Robert felt a bit of challenge telling me that it is not easy to outperform Syren and if he cannot succeed in doing so, he recommends me to continue using Syren. Now he gives birth to K10 and does it mean he is prepared to take up such challenge? I certainly think so! In the next few weeks/months, you can imagine that I will be busy swapping them back and forth to understand more about them. Which one is the winner does not matter as long as they are both around....
  • Marvel and everyone in the AE community, I wish you guys healthy and prosper in the year of rabbit!

    It is very nice of you taking photos of the vinyl cover. It engages the reader easily to feel your passion.

    Can you do some rock and rock recording? I'd like to know can it rock. Both you and Azzurri are very impressed from right of the box. That is good. I am sure time will mature it further.

    What about quality of vocal? Any scent of human flesh ala Da Vinci?

  • VR

    The K10 is a unique creation. It engages you in music easily. It is not exactly the Da Vinci type of seducement because K10 has tremendous speed. And harmonic information is even more than tube based preamp. The completeness of harmonic structure probably is the reason why it is so easy to listen to. It takes time to mature, of course. Speaker repositioning needs some work too. But I like it more even than the K70 from the angle of positive contribution to the overall system.

  • Voy, I don't have much music on rock so never would I know if my system (and all previous setup) can rock or not...may be I need to borrow some from jlam who recently is known of testing new gears using all kinds of music instead of just specialising on classical.

    I want to add one more CD which I listen using K10/K70, which is the Liszt by Li Yundi. The speed and abundance of harmonic details can really create a breeze in front of the speakers! I can recall when PT was using a full suite of Goldmund where we commented that the speed of Goldmund was marvelous...but in K10/K70, I understand more about speed which is not exactly like 'burst' with shooting speed on both the rise and should have a shooting speed on transient but at the same time has the harmonics tingling in the air and in the case of this Liszt music, the harmonics of one keynote overlap with the harmonics of the many keynotes that come right after one thus creating a 'wave' like breeze...

    Jeff, please try this CD if you have one! Better if you still have the 22H around to try what it can produce.
  • Marvel/Azurri,

    My K10 further opens up after a week. You guys must play some baroque violin. The techniques are different than modern violin. The antique violin, from my understanding, produces less overtones than modern counterparts. With the K10 serving the line session, I start appreciating why some people still pursue the antique way of playing. The tonality is less complex but carries a distint purity amplified by residual harmonics.

    The reproduction of Cello is another stunner. Resonaces of the Cello body are beautiful to listen to. Together with vivid bow movement, the Cellist as though is sitting in front of you playing gracefully. Agility is there when the music calls for it. I have to say transients and attack are the strength of the strength of K10.

    Azzuri, please chip in more of your experiences. Had you stringently test soprano?

  • Hi Jeff, must have truly got something special on your hands. As for Antique recordings, imho, you may wish to try the following (if you have not done so already):
    - Bach, Brandenburg Concertos (Conductor: Trevor Pinnock with Period Instruments (Archiv Reproduction)
    - Handel's, Messiah (Christopher Hogwood & Academy of Ancient Music)
    - Handel, 12 Solo Sonatas (Richard Egarr, Academy of Ancient Music)
    - Handel Concertos Op. 3, 4, 6 (Andrew Manze, Richard Egarr, Acadmy of Ancient Music...Harmonia Mundi)

    They are all incredibly well recorded...Particularly Handel's Messiah.

    When played back on a (very) good system, i find the Ancient version can be quite full, rich and unique sounding (not thin/brittle like some people assume based on playback on less resolving/complete systems).

    Please let us know if you've got other Ancient/Period Instrument Music CD/albums you favor...i sometimes get modern and ancient versions. I have Brandenburg by Nevil Mariner as well. i got back and forth about which i prefer...most often the ancient version.

  • Lloyd,

    Thanks for the music recommendation. Your knowledge enrich this forum. That's good.


    I do tremendously agree the K10 is unique. The reproduction of string instrument from violin, viola, Cello and double bass is really engaging. How can a solid state preamp produces more harmonic overtones than a tube counterpart? I have no clues. When Marvel bro mentioned a breeze was somehow there when the pianst swept the keyboard, I thought he was exaggerating. But I did experience the same. That means the speed is tremendous. The control of double bass is good, tight and tuneful.

    There seems so much more to the texture of vocal. It is hard to describe the sound of K10. It seems familiar and yet not too familiar. I am yet to really test how it fare in Rock and Electric bass together with big symphonic scores.

    Marvel bro, why are you testing the K10 with vinyl?

  • Wish everybody continue to be immersed by beautiful music in the year of rabbit.

    I just come back to Hong Kong and can continue with my listening and sharing on K10/K70. It is great to learn that K10 is singing at the places of more and more guru so that we can have a comprehensive view on K10.

    I can't agree more with Jeff who said K10 is a very engaging gear. I appreciate the resonance delivered by K10 very much. One just spontaneously swings his arms and shake his head when he listens to the music from K10. Because of this direct, fast and engaging character of K10/K70 (don't get me wrong I understate its detailed and controlled aspect), I think K10 matches more with horn type speakers like Cassero. Marvel talked a lot on his K10/K70. I am very curious to learn how K10/K70 sings with his Tidal speakers which are very different in characters. Tidal is undoubtedly excellent stuff but my feeling on it is a perfect gem like the Heart of the Ocean. How do K10/K70 and Tidal explore the potentials of each other? Anyway, all I talk here is from the "character matching" perspective. Maybe there is spark from crossing-over different character gear.

    I will be able to solve my puzzle soon as I have the great pleasure that JLam, PT and Marvel will visit my place tonight for audition. Marvel will definitely be able to point out how K10/K70 behaves with different speakers. It must be very interesting.

    It seems that there is not any comment on rock music yet. I don't have much rock records but I will try to play Bon Jovi, Tai Chi (my behoved Hong Kong band in the 90's with superb vocal and guitarist) and Mr Children (Japan band) tonight. Hope my neighbours will not complain the four (old) rockers tonight.
  • Azzuri,

    Was the party fun last evening? Did naughty Jlam knock you down by criticing here and there?

  • The party was fun. Naughty Jlam was busy playing with my cats and thus he did not critize much. He urged me more buying a new boot for soccer than hi-fi stuff. =P
    Anyway, thank for Marvel's golden ear for identyin a very subtle intermitent inbalance of volume in my speakers. We spent quite some time to swap cables, etc. to isolate the problem. Finally, PT stated that some tubes in my power amp was having problem. He also experience the same before. I need to wait for Master Wai to come and help fixing it.
    A few rock music and cello were played last night. Bass is not the best under my listening area. There are rooms for improvement on the sustain and the resolution. But they are all related to room acoustics.
  • Azzuri,

    I just returned to HK last night and set up the K10 immediately with K70. Obviously, the machine requires warm up. The mid range and below will take some time to open up. But right from the beginning, I agree it is about speed, transients and attack. I also agree harmonics are much more than a tube preamp.

    Did you experiment between RCA and XLR output of the K10 with the K70? The differences are much more than subtle. Full balance operation has much more clarity on the upper band. There is more body to the sound. Speed is even more consistent. I don't think this is psychology.

    Does the K10 work well with the Cessaro?

  • Azzurri,

    Thanks for inviting us to your K10/K70 party last night....your room is not ideal but so do many people including myself. But I think with the room acoustics treatment done by yourself with the help of Jlam, it is much better than last time when I visited you before your trip to Shanghai.

    The absorption board at the back is crucial to ensure the same traversing distance between the right and left channel. I followed your way of placing the board at the back of my listening position now which yields very positive result!

    Some more to do with the cables,acoustics, etc but I am glad to hear the improvements made in your system now....congratulations!

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