Loaner: Darlington Labs MM-5

Discussion in 'Loaner Programs' started by rtaylor76, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Keith, the owner/designer of Darlington Labs, has graciously provided a loaner MM-5 phono preamp for the community to check out for a loaner tour.

    Product page for the MM-5

    As stated in title. Standard protocol:
    • Friends only, contributors case-by-case
    • Insure for $200, signature required. UPS/FedEx only.
    • 5 days per person
    • Impressions required in relevant thread
    Note, this is a MM phono preamp only. Step up transformer or equivilent needed for MC carts.

    It would also be nice if one of our members with measuring equipment could put this through the paces. Calling @purr1n and @atomicbob (although I know you are incredibly busy Bob).

    Reviews and Comments on the Darlington thread


    Sign up below:
     
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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021 at 6:36 AM
  2. Inoculator

    Inoculator Friend

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    I would love to sign up! I first got into this hobby with phono gear, and have tried out a variety of budget phonos, and some higher-end stuff. Longest-serving before now was the Schiit mani (both versions), Puffin, and the Pro-ject Phono Box RS. Current phonos I have to compare to are the Tavish Vintage, Akitika Phono Card for the PR-102 and built-in phono on Sansui AU-317 and Yamaha CA-610 II. To keep things simple would be testing with the Sumiko Amethyst on my main rig and the Nagaoka MP-150 on my 2nd rig and skipping the Denon 103r.
     
  3. StageOne

    StageOne Friend

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    Interested in comparing to the iFi Zen. OH.
     
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  4. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Anyone else at all interested in this?

    If anyone is worried about shipping costs, it is a small box and the $200 of insurance is only an extra $1.05 from UPS.

    Just want to make sure everyone has an opportunity.
     
  5. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Sent off to @StageOne!

    Let the mini-tour begin. Looking forward to your thoughts.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  6. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Darlington Labs has graciously agreed to pick up the shipping costs (up to 5) if this is a barrier for any members that have vinyl rigs and want to try out a unique preamp. Never has a manufacturer been so gracious.

    So any of you curious about this preamp and shipping costs is a barrier, we can facilitate. Just let me know and we will work it out.
     
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  7. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    I’d be interested in this loaner. Would be comparing to Mani (later version) and U-Turn Pluto (built in version). Colorado.
     
  8. StageOne

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    Thats fantastic!!

    I’ve listened to the Mani for a long time and had a chance to hear an iFi phone preamp and it blew the mani away. I’m really looking forward to the MM5. And anyone that is slightly interested should sign up.
     
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  9. StageOne

    StageOne Friend

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  10. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I could be convinced to jump in on this if it could give some triangulation. I'm currently using iFi ZEN Phono w/103R, and coming from Mani2 (still in house). Technics SL1200, Freya to Aegir monos and AN UK poor-people speakers. @StageOne, what's your rig?
     
  11. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    I'd love to have more, but you also need a SUT or active step up for that DL-103R. To me, different carts are good to compare with preamps.and tables and arms too.
     
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  12. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I've got a SUT on hand. It's questionable due to Chinesium, but seems to not be a detriment, sonically.
     
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  13. StageOne

    StageOne Friend

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    On it's way to @Inoculator

    @yotacowboy, sorry I missed your message earlier. I'm curretly borrowing a table to decide if I want a budget setup or just go big. I'm using a Vector Research VT-250 with a Stanton 681EEE cart, going into a Freya S, Aegir monoblocks and Spatial Sapphire M3s. I highly recommend joining the loaner, the MM-5 is pretty amazing. I've been comparing it to a Mani and iFi.
     
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  14. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I think I'm going to pass at this point - but thanks to Darlington Labs for making this loaner possible! You're now on my shortlist if I decide to re-jigger the TT setup!
     
  15. Inoculator

    Inoculator Friend

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    Received from @StageOne. Currently identifying a few records to test on this vs Akitika phono vs Tavish Vintage. (And Mani from memory). Will spin back to back over the next few days and share my thoughts.
     
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  16. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Just added my friend @Joseph Wilson. He's new to SBAF and he is a good guy and I will vouch for him.
     
  17. Inoculator

    Inoculator Friend

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    On its way to @scblock. This was a fun one! Working on my putting together my notes into a coherent write-up. For sure a nice budget option for folks.
     
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  18. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    Received from @Inoculator. Looking forward to hooking it up this evening.
     
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  19. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    Hey @Joseph Wilson you're next on the list. Can you please check the PM I sent you and get back to me with shipping info? Thanks!
     
  20. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Is Joseph Wilson someone here knows IRL? He just joined Feb 4th and has zero contributions.
     

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