Does seem to be very YouTube orientated all a bit strange Doge 10 pulled and Galion 120 appears as if by magic.
Read the Doge site it is not harsh but factual, it tells you that Thomas has no technical background, really is only an OEM importer, and he has stopped doge from selling the same unit BUT cheaper. He is not a fake but a slimy businessman on the hustle and coming off as he designed it. The unit might sound very good though but his salesman pitch is misleading.
I can't tell whether what is on the Doge site is factual or not just by reading it. Certainly, the guy posting it has some hard feelings. I also thought it was very strange that Doge would air the "dirty laundry" which gives me pause.
@curiousjim posted a review by Jay who is a friend of Thomas and reviewers up in Canada on the Galion. I think Jay is honest and will say something is off if he thinks it is. You can look at his review of the Doge 10 and he didn't really like it until it got modified to tame the high end. I also got the feeling that he was being a bit kind to Thomas though, with tube rolling, he got where he thought the amp was very good.
As to whether Thomas is technical or not, he wanted the amp to do certain things and it was built to accommodate him and he is proud of it. There is a pretty wide dispersion of reviewers who have looked at it and pretty much all agree that they like it so this amp isn't just a "new look Doge 10" as the Doge 10 had some reviewers not so high on it.
I posted this originally not to criticize anyone but because there is a complete lack of reviews or comments from people in these forums and I thought that surely someone had bought the amp or tried it. I wanted to see if the "common people" had any opinions on the amp because I'm not sure I completely trust the YouTube reviewers or the reviews that are posted on the Galion site. What I mean by not completely trusting is that I am not sure I am getting the whole story.
@dz13 I had the same feeling, I wasn't sure how factual everything is but it sure is interesting and entertaining. Gotta love HIFI drama. As far as youtubers go, I don't trust them any farther than I could throw them. They're just talking heads. I'm sure Thomas' amp is pretty decent but, given the myriad of good choices out there, I'll skip his next time I'm looking for an integrated. I don't want to overpay for a private labeled Doge amp.
@rajugsw thanks for your feedback. You're the only one in this thread who actually has hands on the amp. I was mainly concerned because of the posts on the Doge site and the seeming lack of full disclosure about the amp including whether the glare which could be a problem for some with the Doge 10 was still there.
I never thought that the Galion was a scam, I just wanted some feedback outside the inner circle.
@dz13 I totally understand your point. Thomas has shown the Amp in Montreal, Toronto, & now Chicago (Axpona) next month. He has been dealing with this confusion for a while now and clearing the air. But it HAS NOT affected his sales and even the CEO of Doge has reached out. They want this Amplifier to be successful and I’m sure it will be based on what I've heard and played with so far.
The whole Galion thing is weird and unnecessary given the number of options in the tube integrated market.
I always thought Doge’s decision to undermine sales ( or risk their reputation ) of their own product in order to fill orders for a YouTuber an odd one. Thomas is admittedly “not technical”, why would Doge let someone with his background direct a product and release it under a different label? Is the expectation that his small circle of YouTube pals will generate enough interest in Doge to allow for sales by association? Conversely, any future amplifier “reviews” set to reduce his credibility since he’s essentially a competitor this market.
Also curious how warranty and repair claims are handled…I would hope these are under Doge’s purview. The whole thing seems set up to simply allow a YT personality an opportunity to play manufacturer like will.I.am playing car designer.
The Galleon evolution has been a fun trip to watch and Thomas has been pretty up front about it. He had the idea to monetize his youtube following and voice an offshore built amp to fit his idea of a better sound. He even had followers comment on the faceplate markings as he developed it. One of the interesting parts of his learning curve was the realization that to get where he is today required lots of capacitor trial and error that changing one set could undue the positive effects of the changes he just made. I'm sure that Thomas has a huge amount of time and had to commit to quite a few units to bring the Galleon to market. He originally proposed the amp under $3000 but it's now approaching double that.
I haven't heard the amp and it isn't really something that would I would use in my current system but I'm sure it's fine and cost competitive with other amps out there. My only issue is that knowing Thomas has a financial interest in a product, how does this affect his reviews?
I am very familiar with Thomas, and I watch all of his videos. So please take a minute to read what I have to say regarding this amp.
The Gallion TS120 is made by Doge, AFAIK, it's a collaboration between Thomas and Doge. From Thomas own words, I have to assume and conclude Thomas only worked on the voicing aspect of the amp, most of it is just the work of Doge with their own product.
From what I can read on the website, Thomas isn't to blame for what is being discussed in this thread. The 1st crucial piece is the boss Mr. Liu doesn't like direct sales, and he wants to go back to OEM. You can tell Mr. Liu wants to pull the plug on the direct-sale approach.
The 2nd crucial piece of information is Doge own management (has nothing to do with Thomas) doesn't want the doge10 to compete with Gallion TS120. Both product are from Doge. I have to assume the $3500/$4500 TS120 is better profit for Doge than the $2000 doge10.
You can clearly tell this is Doge's work and decision to maximize profit. The 3rd piece of information is "if the TS120 sale is robust, doge10 MK4 will be kicked out even though it's a better product".
Reading the website gives me the impression that a Doge employee is mad at Doge upper chain doing a business collaboration with Thomas.
I’m not speaking as a fan of Thomas, I’m just simply deducting logic from the website. There is absolutely no way The TS120 can compete with the Doge10 if it’s 95% similar. Just no way. If it can’t compete and you want it to compete, what do you do? You remove the Doge10, Thomas has 0 power to do that unless it’s in Doge’s best financial interest.
It is Thomas here, allow me to chime in to clarify everything.
Before we begin, let me clarify, there is Doge the main company, and the externally hired employee who controls the website.
1) Doge and Galion are 2 separate companies. I incorporated Galion here in Canada and I wanted the company to meet western standards as I was born in England and was raised in the west. For example, Galion has proper multi-million dollar liability insurance. The logo and name were registered properly, all amplifiers have certifications, and so forth
2)Doge discontinued the Doge 10 at least 6-8 months before TS120 hit the market so I was not the reason why they discontinued it. Although they do make more by selling the TS120 to me, it is not the main reason because if it were a question of money, they would have kept producing Doge 10 until the TS120 comes out. For them to give up on 6 to 8 months of profit means they had no choice. Logical? If I told you the whole story, you would shed a tear for them. It has nothing to do with the company itself.
3)Doge website is controlled by the external employee and Doge the main company have no control over what is written on it. "samureyex" deduction was pretty smart. Think about it, would a sane company write something like that about their own client?
4)Galion was a project worked on only by Doge the main company and things were kept secret without sharing anything with the external employee. That is why what is written on the Doge website is factually incorrect. For example, people who worked on the TS120 know the reason we cannot put silver VitaminQ in the TS120 is that it is not ROHS compliant. This means you cannot sell it in Europe, Canada, and some parts of the USA. The only ROHS silver vitamin Q in North America is in my hands right now recently developed by Jupiter for me. You will see it in the upcoming Galion Solidstate amp. The upgrades in the TS120 were all done by Doge so obviously they would not put any "signal blocking stuff" that would be bad for the amp as claimed on the Doge website. (Run by the external employee)
5)Doge 10 was $2100 when they stop producing many months ago. So imagine if they start selling it again. It would probably be $2250 (due to inflation) + 30% tariff ($675)+ DHL ($400) = $3325 USD to your home. Yes, those are the hidden cost many of you did not pay attention to. While the TS120 normal edition is $3500 (Not a penny more) to your home.
So what do you get for about $175 more?
1) A better amplifier. 6 months of my life tuning the sound. (Does anyone want to pay me 6 months of salary? Do you know how much I was making before? Please add that to the cost of the TS120) I worked with 2 other experts outside Doge (one of them is the designer of the upcoming Galion Solidstate amp) and with Doge closely to fine-tune the amp. The amp also had custom parts made by Jupiter (TS120SE) to get it to sound the way I want. I hate bright-sounding amps with a passion. The amp is designed by Mr. Liu the CEO and I insisted that he print his name on the back of the TS120. No company does that, I wanted to recognize him for his work because I was raised in a western society where I learn to give credit where credit is due.
People keep using terms like 95% of Doge 10 without knowing the design differences between both amps. If they are so similar, they would sound similar. One amp is bright and one amp is not. If you like to believe a Toyota is 95% of a Lexus, more power to you.
2) Warranty by Galion. All issues are resolved super fast. I have the full support of Doge so all technical questions that I cannot answer are handled by them. They even called a client for me. Many components are stored in North America for faster service. For example, If there are any tube issues, it only takes a few days to get a new replacement. Also, I would instantly swap a brand new unit when I find the issue too long to fix. (Only happened once) This is only possible because I priced the units correctly to allow me to give excellent customer service.
3) All emails are answered in a reasonable time. (I gave up my job to do this because this is what I would expect from any company, to answer me quickly)
4) Free HIFI gear advice (Yup, I get a lot of those)
5) Warehouses in US and Canada for faster delivery going forward. (I will have TS120SE stock up soon too)
There is a reason why Jay made a video complaining about the poor customer service of Doge. Customer service was done by the same person maintaining the website. This was a source of pain for Doge as it affected their reputation. Another reason they rather just deal with me. If you were Doge the owner, how would you feel when your own website trashes your own client? Why not fired the employee? Once again, I don’t want to talk about it as it involves sharing medical information.
6) The version Jay heard was the Alpha version. It is because of him I had to work harder and went back to the drawing board. If it takes tube rolling to get the amp to sound good, it means I had failed. I wanted it to blow people away with stock tubes.
Here are actual owners who share their experience with the TS120 with photos as proof. https://www.galion-audio.com/blogs/news/reviews
Finally, I want to apologize to everyone for all this mess. I try my best to keep quiet but I see people keep accusing me of all kinds of things that simply are not true. I try my best to be respectful no matter what and that is why I wrote this message in a neutral tone. If you have any questions, instead of making things up or imagining things, email and ask me. If needed, I will get the CEO of Doge to contact you directly and yes, I had to do it for a few people. I don’t like going back and forth on a forum so I will not debate anyone here.
And there you have it folks. Thanks Thomas. I'm having too much fun with the TS120 Amp. Toobs are for Boob !
Please keep any posts going forward positive and any questions, of course Thomas is an email away and truly is quick to respond.
Meanwhile, I'll still be Schilling for his Amps. Cause they are that good !
@jjss49 Is this an amp you’ve actually heard? Why is this, in your opinion, the answer to everything?
I've been trying to investigate it and there are a few things bothering me. First, the optional modular phono stage is MM and high output MC cartridges but not low output MC cartridges. The optional modular DAC has almost no information about it.
This is supposed to be an entry level product but it costs anywhere from $5,500 to $7,250 with the options. That means that it is competing with many mid to high level products from other companies. How does it compare to other integrateds in the same price area?
@dz13 I actually heard the Audio research I50 with the horn $15k+ Avantgarde speakers that were very sensitive. So it definitely was not a bottleneck. I personally loved it, it was nonaggressive and smooth, and it really showcased the strength of the 6550, very pleasant to listen to. Reminded me of the Cayin CS55a with 6550 coke bottle tubes. If you want to relax and enjoy the music, I would say it is worth auditioning.
Having said that, my friend Mr. Kanta did not like it because he said it lacked dynamic contrast but take his observations with a grain of salt because that day we were listening to many $200k+ systems so it is easy to get confused when we had things to compare.
I have been watching this amp - looking for a tube amp with a bit more power than my LTA Ultralinear. Have just restored an old pair of Ellis Audio 1801s that I built in 2005 - something like 84 db and need a bunch more power - so much so I have also been looking at new generation of class d as well. Also have Zu Soul Supreme that like low powered amps but have read maybe like amps with some grunt even more. Love this crossover - from youtube star who listens to a bunch of gear to gear builder and provider. Would love to get on a tour if there ever is one - and I am in Canada!
I had both versions for home demo. Both are great but the special edition is much smoother than the standard edition. The sound stage is deep and wide. The top end has very nice air and details. Class A is far better than the A/B. Sorry Thomas, the A/B wasn’t doing it for me but yes, definitely the class A was what I preferred. I actually lost my job during the process and my wife was shitting on me for buying a new amplifier so Thomas took it back. Once I get back up and going again I will definitely be purchasing the special edition. Anyone saying Thomas is a slime ball salesman has obviously not had any dealings with him. He’s a straight up guy and he’s put a lot of blood sweat and tears into this amp. That’s why I wanted to buy it. How many companies go to the degree he did to bring a product to market and put their entire reputation on the line? Follow the story of the Galion and Thomas before making comments like that.
Thanks @turbotan Thomas for clearing the air. If it is appropriate, we would love to hear the full story, something about shedding a tear for them. I'm just curious by nature. Medical related as hinted?
If something like this happens again in the future, maybe a video on your youtube channel + the Gallion channel with a pin message would grab the attention of more people.
yes in fact i have heard the arc i-50 at length, it is a spectacular amp, thus i highly recommend it, not to mention it is made in minnesota and the servicing for it, if ever needed, is done there by a company who has led the tube amp industry for 50 years, with generations of happy and loyal customers
it is also not the 'answer to everything' but imo a very good answer here...
you do seem to be quite an expert at maximizing brain damage, so i will let you have at it
i would only remind you that ’entry level’ is in the eye of the beholder
here you go... even cheaper... even more brain damage
@jjss49 I'm not trying to inflict brain damage but I do agonize over decisions like this. You are correct "entry level" is relative to the manufacturer but "entry level" do tend to be more basic in functions. I actually took that term vis a vis this amp from a YouTube reviewer. It wasn't meant to be derogatory per se.
I'm not interested the one you linked. My set up is a medium/small room that is open and I have Nola Boxer S3s on top of an audio cabinet. Amusingly, the Nola Boxers are basically entry level as well and also still expensive though I stumbled upon them for less than 1/2 price almost new.
I'm looking at the LTA Ultralinear + integrated which has a deal now that they are throwing in a phono stage for MM + MC for free. I already have an LTA Z40+ (again bought used and about 2/3 the price for essentially a new unit) integrated for my primary system which I like. I'd love to see a Don Sachs' Valhalla integrated amp come up but that's rare. The owner of Nola let me know that customers report that they are having good success with the Boxers and the Cayin CS-88a but I'm thinking that the Galion and the LTA might be better.
The LTA sound is more hybrid than lush tube. I don't have a lot of experience with tube amps but I had a Rogers 65V-2 which was lush and which I loved but then got fatigued with that sound and kept moving towards the hybrid sound.
Thomas has said that the Galion is more like a hybrid sound. I'm speculating that the ARC is more lush tubey sound but I'm not sure. I might jump on it if I knew more about the DAC module and if the phono stage was fit for low output MC but it's not. The ARC (with both options) is the same price as the LTA. The Galion and the Cayin are both about 1/2 that price. I'm not crazy about anything DIY so the LTA appeals to me because I already know I like the sound (although the Ultralinear is a bit different than the Z40i+). I'm not finding used bargains anywhere so I'm looking at new stuff and the LTA sale won't go on much longer.
So yes, there is massive brain damage but mostly self-directed and inflicted. My MO is to do as much research as possible and then make an impulsive decision. LTA does give a 14 day trial period and I'm not sure whether any of the others allow for the trial period.
I'm not here to disparage Thomas or his product or any other product. Thomas and I have had nice private communications. I'm just looking for a bit of help.
The main reasons I started this thread are that I liked what I heard on New Record Day's tests but I can't really trust YouTube sound checks and I was a bit frustrated from the lack of feedback on this amp outside the inner circle. Nothing nefarious.
I expect Doge10 had supply chain issues for their components or possibly even infringed on some design patent from another company.
Who knows but Thomas is in Canada and seems keen on addressing customer concerns so for those of you who wish please support his start up business.
For me personally and for some feedback, I do not like lots of bells and whistles with tube gear. Keep it simple. That is why I do not buy PrimaLuna with the auto bias. I have seen a similar circuit go haywire in a tube guitar amp and bake the power tubes (Carol Ann Amps).
My flavor of the month is Icon Audio. Yes they have been around for a while and UK based. Really enjoying the 300B and Stereo 40 models. Highly resolving tube amps with simple reliable operation.
I am sure it is a very nice amplifier and sounds very good.
But I will never own an auto bias amp ever again (not meaning fixed cathode bias). Or one with a digital control of bias etc.
I would rather not risk a runaway tube if the circuit fails. Or even burning my house down if I forget to turn it off while away and the autobias circuit runs out of control.
Give me a meter and adjustment pots every time or fixed bias. And a set of HT fuses are a nice addition.
Speaking as an engineer and someone who has built many tube amps...even some from scratch.
I saw up above regarding Nola Boxer S3 and Cayin A88T. I own both brands and different models. I was running Nola Contenders S3 with the Cayin A*88T. It’s simply a sweet pairing. The Cayin is built on tried and true circuitry. A Marantz Model 7 pre amp and the McIntosch 275 amp. My friend is riunning his Contenders S3 with the Cayin. He’s ecstatic. I run Nola Metro Gold3 and VAC Sigma 160SE. That’s on another league. The end of the road for me. Damn, when I listen to his system, the Nola sound and Cayin musicality,It’s engaging, I miss it when I hear it. Full disclosure I own alot of equipment! 3 Cayin Amps, 3 pairs of Nola speakers and a hell of alot more. I gave my friend the Nola Contenders told him to buy the Cayin A88T. When I go to his house I miss those Contenders. At a show I hears Nolas Metro Gold3 with the VAC sigma160SE. I cut to the chase and bought that combo. 10 years to save, my end game.
Musictek.com is a USA seller of Cayin. I bought my HA-6A tube headphone amp from them. Good service.
I only have that one Cayin amp to compare but it seems very well built and has a very detailed sound. Almost solid state resolution.
I am sure their other integrated tube amps are good. Between those and the Icon Audio I went with the latter for my current stereo amps. UK company and I liked the aesthetics better. Similar price range. And highly resolving. They have really high quality transformers with a tertiary winding to reduce noise.
I have the Icon Audio Stereo 40 mkIV and the 300B mkII. You may wish to consider the Stereo 40 mkIV against the CS88A.