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Rogue Audio Sphinx V3 Review (Tube Amplifier)

birkbott

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This makes me sad. The Sphinx was my first real audiophile amp and I thought it sounded pretty good at the time. Makes me wonder if I just can’t hear stuff good.
 

Luchadorconan

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Yeah, I have it and really like it. It sounds really good to me. I use it with the Denafrips Ares II and Revel Performa 3 106 speakers and really love it.
 

Ace30

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Hi, new to the forum and just wanted to say I just purchased the Sphinx V3 to go with my Revel M106’s. I find it to be a very good sounding and musical amp, regardless if it didn’t measure well.
 

Larry B. Larabee

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This makes me sad. The Sphinx was my first real audiophile amp and I thought it sounded pretty good at the time. Makes me wonder if I just can’t hear stuff good.
Yeah, I have it and really like it. It sounds really good to me. I use it with the Denafrips Ares II and Revel Performa 3 106 speakers and really love it.
Hi, new to the forum and just wanted to say I just purchased the Sphinx V3 to go with my Revel M106’s. I find it to be a very good sounding and musical amp, regardless if it didn’t measure well.

Can you tell me about the soundstage characteristics:

instrument location / vs frequency
image depth and location- at or behind speakers
2d or 3d- overall
anything else descriptive you want to add

thanks
 

SIY

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Can you tell me about the soundstage characteristics:

instrument location / vs frequency
image depth and location- at or behind speakers
2d or 3d- overall
anything else descriptive you want to add

thanks
The measured separation wasn't great, but it was good enough that these won't be controlled by the amp. Keep in mind as a comparison that the very best phono cartridges MIGHT have 40 dB separation at midband and much worse at high frequencies. 25 dB is more typical.
 

Larry B. Larabee

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The measured separation wasn't great, but it was good enough that these won't be controlled by the amp. Keep in mind as a comparison that the very best phono cartridges MIGHT have 40 dB separation at midband and much worse at high frequencies. 25 dB is more typical.
Hi, I was asking for owner's evaluations precisely because of the crosstalk level. It's an investigation.
 

SIY

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Hi, I was asking for owner's evaluations precisely because of the crosstalk level.
Which measures adequately to not have an effect. If you don't believe that, do an ABX between a music file and the same file with -40dB crossfeed. Even with headphones, nope. That will be better than reports of uncontrolled evaluations by someone you don't know in a room you haven't been in, and speakers that aren't yours, and it's easy to do these days with basic editing or DSP software.
 

bkatbamna

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Honestly, our hearing isn't good enough to really differentiate between something that measures well and something else that isn't obviously broken. If you enjoy it, then that's good enough.
 

Larry B. Larabee

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Which measures adequately to not have an effect. If you don't believe that, do an ABX between a music file and the same file with -40dB crossfeed. Even with headphones, nope. That will be better than reports of uncontrolled evaluations by someone you don't know in a room you haven't been in, and speakers that aren't yours, and it's easy to do these days with basic editing or DSP software.
Are you saying you want to help?
 

Ace30

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Can you tell me about the soundstage characteristics:

instrument location / vs frequency
image depth and location- at or behind speakers
2d or 3d- overall
anything else descriptive you want to add

I know this a technical forum and I respect what is done here, measurements are not my thing.
Very wide and tall soundstage depending on how good the recording. Quite a few feet outside the speakers.
I didn't find any frequency harsh or obtrusive. Haven't tried the phono stage yet. Currently using a Denon DCD1600NE.
Last night I brought the amp over to a friend who has been having problems with his Cary SLI-80HS. Source was
a Sony SCD-XA5400ES with Polk LSI703. We were both kind of shocked by the overall presentation. It literally was a wall of music. We both could easily live with this. He is now seriously leaning towards the Rogue!
We both have owned Maggies, Dynaudio, Pass and BAT gear and have scaled down
recently trying to piece together a pleasing sounding system without the outrageous size or price tag.
 

Larry B. Larabee

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I know this a technical forum and I respect what is done here, measurements are not my thing.
Very wide and tall soundstage depending on how good the recording. Quite a few feet outside the speakers.
I didn't find any frequency harsh or obtrusive. Haven't tried the phono stage yet. Currently using a Denon DCD1600NE.
Last night I brought the amp over to a friend who has been having problems with his Cary SLI-80HS. Source was
a Sony SCD-XA5400ES with Polk LSI703. We were both kind of shocked by the overall presentation. It literally was a wall of music. We both could easily live with this. He is now seriously leaning towards the Rogue!
We both have owned Maggies, Dynaudio, Pass and BAT gear and have scaled down
recently trying to piece together a pleasing sounding system without the outrageous size or price tag.
Thanks Ace,
I assume a flat representation from behind the speakers that doesn't project much forward or back from that and nothing that you would consider say in the case of vocals of sounding like a 'floating head' disconnected from the overall soundstage, something associated with the sense of depth perception that everyone seems to admire without having any real relationship to a live event.
(For the longest time I considered Polk to be a mid fi marketer's speaker until I heard about the 703s. Then considered them to be a player and at the right price. Sensible choice).
 

Larry B. Larabee

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What do you need help with?
Hi,
What do you recommend in the way of software to duplicate the amount of separation/crosstalk for testing purposes?
I can get foobar for ipadios, I think, it would be preferred if I could duplicate the linear reduction in channel separation vs frequency to match the effects of capacitive coupling and variations of L>R vs R>L crosstalk and I don't know if foobar does that.
I suppose you're wondering why; it is simply to counter the subjective reviewers constant claims of electronic components having a different soundstage presentation.

thanks
 

SIY

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Hi,
What do you recommend in the way of software to duplicate the amount of separation/crosstalk for testing purposes?
I can get foobar for ipadios, I think, it would be preferred if I could duplicate the linear reduction in channel separation vs frequency to match the effects of capacitive coupling and variations of L>R vs R>L crosstalk and I don't know if foobar does that.
I suppose you're wondering why; it is simply to counter the subjective reviewers constant claims of electronic components having a different soundstage presentation.

thanks
I'd try Goldwave. It's super-easy sound editing software, and a trial version can be used. I use Adobe Audition, which is very powerful and flexible but pretty complex (enough that I had to call on a couple guys here for help when I was doing MS transformations). Either way, create two files that are level-matched, one with crossfeed and one without, then ABX with foobar if you feel you hear a difference. If they don't sound any different to you even knowing which one is which, you're done.

I recently did a review of a headphone amp with adjustable crossfeed, and it was interesting to hear (or not!) the effects of very small amounts.
 

SIY

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Also, depending on your DAC, there may be an existing crossfeed feature. I have an RME ADI-2 FSR which has a pretty flexible crossfeed function.
 

Larry B. Larabee

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I'd try Goldwave. It's super-easy sound editing software, and a trial version can be used. I use Adobe Audition, which is very powerful and flexible but pretty complex (enough that I had to call on a couple guys here for help when I was doing MS transformations). Either way, create two files that are level-matched, one with crossfeed and one without, then ABX with foobar if you feel you hear a difference. If they don't sound any different to you even knowing which one is which, you're done.

I recently did a review of a headphone amp with adjustable crossfeed, and it was interesting to hear (or not!) the effects of very small amounts.
Thanks SIY
I got goldwave (ios-phew!) and will give it a try.
I'm not comparing anything. The music file would be manipulated in real time to judge the effects on the soundstage with anywhere from 0db to the maximum level of separation/crosstalk recorded on the original source.
'adequate separation to have an effect' is not what I'm looking at since, you know as well as I do that, what you're referring to is only what is typically required (25db) for good stereo reproduction.

Will document progress.

Thanks again
 
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bshissias

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Really appreciate this review. What might be the better amps for this kind of money? Looking to upgrade. Thanks again.
 

Doodski

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Wow. Let's review a car without driving it. WTF is this place? You guys listen to music by reading weird numbers/graphs on a page?
@amirm tests varying parameters of the amp(s). The test results indicate weak points in the amp's output or strong points. It is a very good way of differentiating the various models and separates the wheat from the chaff. In regard to amp tests many amps sound so similar that only by testing them with proper empirical tests can they be graded. Good amps have been a solved issue for decades now and listening will result in the same sound to the human ear between many of the amps.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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Wow. Let's review a car without driving it. WTF is this place? You guys listen to music by reading weird numbers/graphs on a page?
This place is a subjectivist's worst nightmare. That is what this place is. You can take it or leave it. I suggest the latter if your mind is closed to learning. :facepalm:
 

AdamG247

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This place is a subjectivist's worst nightmare. That is what this place is. You can take it or leave it. I suggest the latter if your mind is closed to learning. :facepalm:
I think he took the latter! ;)
 
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