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MeloManiac

I finally got a Leben...

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I'm perplexed. 

Today I got a Leben CS300. Mint condition. New Genalex Gold Lion tubes. 

Listening to them on my RP160Ms. 

Speachless... 

Later more... 

Tomorrow with my Heresies. 

 

 

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One of my favorite modern manufacturers.... If I had to buy new off the shelf this would be on the list. Great score....

 

 

 

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Wow congratulations! Big step up from that little TubeCube 7. Enjoy. Looking forward to your thoughts.

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Nice.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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That looks very nice.  I confess I hadn’t heard of Leben.  A quick review of its website is impressive.

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Can you please post this in the Talkin’ Tubes section of the forum?  We try to keep info about using tubes with Klipsch speakers in a central repository.  Thanks!

 

Maynard

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Okay, so I calmed down a little bit, after some understated, non-fatiguing tunes on my new Leben CS300. 😉 

 

Gear used: The CS300 with Genalex Gold Lion 4x EL84 / 2x12AX7 'custom tube', the Advance Acoustic WTX Microstreamer (connected to a switch, because the cinch/rca distance is not standard), Onkyo Turntable (nothing special) and made in China phono stage, Speakers: Klipsch RP160M.

 

Here are my first impressions.

 

The physical aspect: all of it oozes quality in an understated way, the feel of the nobs is excellent. Turning the volume feels just right. There is a Bass Boost nob too, and this one produces noise when I turn it. I think the pot inside is dirty because the previous owner never used it. During the first hour, for a short second the sound in the right channel was gone and then instantly returned. This happenend only once. I think the dirty Bass Boost nob is the culprit, or it could be a tube, or power related? When the CS300 is turned off, I plan to turn the nob 50 times or so, hope that takes care of it. The top grid gets really hot, I could bake an egg on it, or keep my cup of tea hot on it. Not sure if this is a Class A amplifier. I'll have to look that up. The 'look' is very subjective of course. I personally like the understated, retro look: the gold annodized frontpanel, the green borders, the wooden side panels. 

Edit: The EL84s run in class-A/B in a straightforward autobias circuit.

 

The sound quality: Compared with my little Denon RCD-41M, the Leben excells on every level: the left/right seperation, the highs are clean, never sharp or grainy, the lows go really deep (Unfinished Sympathy, Massive Attack and Flight of the Cosmic Pig, Bela Fleck), but they are never chest pounding or boomy. Acoustic music really shines and I can hear details I had never heard before (breathing through some exotic wind instrument on Anouar Brahem's The Astounding Eyes of Rita). As for vinyl records, I decided to turn the Boost Bass nob to +5dB (for minus 100Hz), because after all, the RP160Ms are small bookshelfspeakers and I can't hook up a subwoofer. U2's Songs of Innocence sounds very fluid and non-fatiguing.  I listened to Ella Fitzgerald's The Lost Berlin Tapes on vinyl. Ella is right in the middle, bass, piano and drum in the left and the right channel. Her voice is rather thin, but perhaps my cheap phono stage is to blame here.

And then there is the classical music: as I'm writing this, I'm listening to Bernstein directing Sibelius' The Swan of Tuonela. In this piece, the strings and the oboe have a marvelous dialogue. I'm kind of tripping...

I'm really curious now what this amp will do with my 1972 Heresies. I'll report back on this later on.

 

Conclusion: 

This has been a fabulous Sunday. When I woke up this morning, I had no idea I would own a Leben CS300 by 7pm. When I saw this add online in the morning, I immediately bid the asking price (though bidding started lower). My bid was accepted. Then I got into contact with the seller and he said, why don't you come over this afternoon, that way you avoid the busy traffic during the weekdays. You can listen to it, we can have a chat, you make up your mind. So in the afternoon, I drove to Antwerp and by 7pm I was back home with my precious CS300. I must say this was no case of impulse buying. For about three years, this has been my favourite amp, the one that one day, I wanted to own. I've read many reviews of it, and also on the Klipsch forum, I've read many reports of positive experiences with this amp. As for now, I can only confirm these. I love it!

 

Link: https://lebenhifi.com/products/cs300.html

 

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2 hours ago, seti said:

One of my favorite modern manufacturers.... If I had to buy new off the shelf this would be on the list. Great score....

 

 

 

 

 

This^

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4 minutes ago, tube fanatic said:

Can you please post this in the Talkin’ Tubes section of the forum?  We try to keep info about using tubes with Klipsch speakers in a central repository.  Thanks!

 

Maynard

 

You're right. Can an Administrator move this thread? Thank you!

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7 minutes ago, MeloManiac said:

 

You're right. Can an Administrator move this thread? Thank you!


Please PM Travis (dwilawyer) and he can do that for you.  Thanks-

 

Maynard

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5 minutes ago, tube fanatic said:


Please PM Travis (dwilawyer) and he can do that for you.  Thanks-

 

Maynard

Request sent.

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Good report, I enjoyed the read. I'll bet you're really gonna love it when you hook up the Heresys.

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Congratulations on your acquiring the Leben. I have RP-160’s and play them through a Quicksilver Integrated which is also an el-84 amp. It is a great combination. I also listened to the Quicksilver with Heresy III, Forte III and Chorus II and all sounded wonderful. Enjoy your new amp!

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9 hours ago, wetowne said:

Big step up from that little TubeCube 7.

 

They do have something in common: EL84 tubes. On the TubeCube 7, I had the tubes upgraded to Sovtek EL84M tubes. I still think the TubeCube is a fine little tube, a great entry into the world of tubes. 

I know now of course that teh CS300 is in a whole other league as for design, weight, looks and sound quality.

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Looks good. But be careful about the rubber on the bottom of those footers so you don’t mar the finish on your speakers.

 

Shakey

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15 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

Looks good. But be careful about the rubber on the bottom of those footers so you don’t mar the finish on your speakers.

 

Shakey

 

Thanks for the advice. Going to move the amp to the rack tonight. 

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How does it stack up against the HK receiver???  Those Heresy's would sound better on floor with furniture grippers on the bottom. 

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