I was thinking of you and what you said about the Huldra 9 yesterday evening when I was listening to some latin jazz on my new "silicon" Huldra 9. Again I was amazed at how good it sounds.
I was thinking of words to describe it. Steve Guttenberg, "the Audiophiliac", my favourite audio reviewer, used the word effortless in a review yesterday, that's it - effortless.
It's one of the most pleasant Tandberg's I have. If I had to live with only one of them, I wouldn't mind if it was the Huldra 9. It it soothing, harmonious, soulful, but also crisp and airy.
Another raving Huldra 9 review, that's all.. But I just can't help it, because I was so impressed. You know when you've got the right setup when all you wanna do is to get home and put on music!
The setup that gave this wonderful performance was the Huldra 9, TL-5010 speakers (restored with Jantzen Alumen Z-Cap for the tweeter, Superior Z-Cap for the rest), HRT HD DAC, DIY USB cable (based on Audiophonics own digital cable), Acoustic Revive SPC-AV solid core Ohno copper speaker cable (DIY) and Neotech interconnect RCA-DIN based on Neotech NEI-3001 MkIII (also DIY).
@tandbergista, you use the right words for the Huldra 9, agree with you.
Is there a big difference between the Germanium and Silicon version??
Used my new Tr2075 much this week, must say this is also a great receiver, same as your Tr2080 of course.
Also very detailled, refined, not same atmosphere as Huldra 9 , but in its own right a fantsstic machine.
Tandberg never dissappointing......
I meant Tr2075 mk2
Testing my Tr 2075 mk2 versus Tr 2055,
Both very good, open clear, clean sound.
Cant hear any differences on normal volume levels,
Same speakers, CD etc
I did a quick comparison - the Huldra 9 germanium vs Huldra 9 silicon.
The music was my favourite latin jazz, Eliane Elias, Gerry Mulligan & Jane Duboc, Jacintha, the singer Emelie-Claire Barlow, and some contemporary jazz. This is the music I mostly listen to and the genre I think suits the Huldra 9 very well, no matter the version. I also think classic music sounds great on them. Probably other genres as well, but I'll leave that to you to experiment with..
Speakers are Tandberg TL-5010. A great combination. Music is coming via the Hrt HD DAC from a dedicated music server.
My quick impression of their difference is.. Let's compare them with wine. Actually tonight I am tasting two wines, one red from Rhone and one red from Austria (from the grape Blaufränkisch). The germanium Huldra 9 is the Rhone wine, the silicon Huldra 9 is the Austrian.
The Rhone wine did get more sunshine, the fruit is full volume, less acidity, you almost feel the mediterranean sun in the glass. It is fat and round, generous, the flavours are smooth and rounded, the individual notes don't stick out, it is like a warm-fruited explosion. The Austrian wine is surprisingly similar in it's structure, the fruit reminds me of the Rhone but more restrained, much more acidity, the different flavours are distincter, easier to pick out. The Austrian Blaufränkisch did not get so much sunshine, but this wine is 7 years old and it has matured, it is generous and open, just less explosive and not as full bodied as the Rhone, it is like 'turn down the fatness and increase the contrast'.
The bottom end of the germanium Huldra 9 is less snappy and distinct. But there is more of it, the bass is like a chocolate cream cake, on the silicon version they made the cake with non-fat cream and less sugar. The midrange is more similar, maybe a tad smoother on the germanium version. The top end is as one would expect a microsecond faster on the silicon version, higher resolution to some (not gigantic degree). This does not mean that the germanium version is tardy, just different. Here is a cake-shop metafor again, the germanium version is a chocolate macaroon, the silicon version is a lemon macaroon. They are like two sisters, one jovial, one quick witted. Both are great companions.
When we say "warm" vintage sound, the germanium version, to me, is a good definition of this. The silicon version feels like one step in the direction towards the models that would come and the direction amplifier design would take, the more 'modern' sound, that some call "colder". The Huldra 9 silicon version is not by any means "cold" sounding though, just that I think you can sense that there is a difference between them in this direction.
It strikes me how incredibly well they image. They are both equal here, among the best of all my Tandbergs! Better stereo image than the TR-2025, which I also compared tonight.
They are both absolutely fantastic and unique receivers. Built with an amazing quality unthinkable today. Designed with a somewhat odd circuit, a tube hybrid design with tubes in the radio section and transistors in the audio chain, but the pre amp gets it's power from the high voltage tube power supply (but taken down). Then separate, regulated, power supplies for each power amp channel. Quite unique in the vintage hifi world I would think?
Anyway, now I'll turn up the volume and have another glass of wine.
Great review Tandbergista, I like your poetic words!
All very clear to me what you try to explain....
Very nice to go through the histry of Tandberg this wa
Intersting they used 2 different transistors for 1 model.
I strongly believe that Tandberg used Huldra 9 to find their way to the 70ties, Huldra 9 as a sort of studymodel.......who knows.....
This weekend I did much listening to Tr2075 MK2 and Tr2055, also very pleasant and satisfying...
Funny to see that my ears get used very quick to different Tandbergs ..
I love them all !!!
Thanks Piet. I love reviews. I also love to read others reviews.
Right now I connected the TR-2025, to compare. It is not really fair because it is recapped and serviced for about 50 hours ago and I know it needs more time.
Right now, in this not-burned-in-stage, it is different from the Huldra 9's. What strikes me is how much open the Huldra 9 is, specially the silicon version, it's like a cristal clear sky. Specially the top end, not a smog molecule or raindrop to be seen or heard. The TR-2025 is, how should I put it, more boxy, but this is not fair because of the recent service. But still, it highlights the extraordinary airiness of the Huldra 9. It almost feels like it creates oxygen..?
The TR-2025 is also drier. Modern hifi gear, is it not rather more 'dry' in general? I mean also very recent gear, from what I have heard.
What it has less of compared to the TR-2025 is bass control and bass amount. It's the opposite of aggressive sound, so if you want to rock'n'roll or play Rammstein, don't go for the Huldra 9. The Huldra 10, TR-10xx would be much better, because of their fat, punchy, bold sound. Or the TR-20xx for the same but with added extra speed. That's my impression, what do you think?
An odd thing perhaps, because we're talking different generations. But sometimes genes skip a generation they say.. But I somehow get the feeling that the Huldra 9, specially the silicon version, and the TR-2075 MkII have something in common, more than the inbetween models maybe, they both deliver music with this oxygen-rich, delicate, effortless style.
At the end I always return to my Huldra 9
Should be jice to find myself a silicon Huldra 9.
From which serial number I have to look , you think @tandbergista??
I think from number 462500.
I may be wrong, but I think this is the first number of the silicon version.