Galion TS120


So this seems to be a bit weird. Thomas Tan from Thomas & Stereo is touting this as his improved version of the Doge 10. He’s having all of his YouTube buddies review the amp.

I’ve checked a number of the forums and I can’t find a single post about this amp. There is a very strange "post" where you would look for the Doge 10 by the co-creator of that amp who seems very upset about the Galion TS120 and the fact that they took the Doge 10 off the market even though the Galion TS120 is almost the same thing.

Ron, from New Record Day, has a video where he compared the Fusion Black Ice F35, the Rogue Cronus Magnum III, the Galion TS120 and the LTA Z40+i with sound samples and a reference. I listened and thought that the LTA was the best with the Galion second although it was a closer second than it should have been given the price differential.

So, anyhow, my questions are whether anyone has bought this or knows about it and/or has some thoughts about it.

 

dz13

For those that might find this helpful, I thought I would share my experience with the Galion TS-120SE and how it compared to my PrimaLuna Evo400. Jump to the bullets if you want the highlights. 🙂

I have been on my audio journey since I was in my late teens, when I picked up a pair of B&W speakers from my friend’s families business (a well know HiFi store in Denver). I have been hooked ever since.

My first tube amp was the PrimaLuna Evo400. Watching Kevin Deal highlight the benefits of the amps build was convincing and I like Upscale Audio as a distributor. I have purchased many of my tubes and some of my vinyl gear from there.

During my ownership of the amp, there were certainly some things I enjoyed about it. I was able to get a solid center image on my Tekton Moabs and the sound was very crisp/clear. But with that detail came an element of grain to the highs that I could not seem to eliminate and I was always striving for more warmth/body in the mids to lower mids. Even rolling in $800 worth of NOS tubes did not get me there.

In an effort to achieve the sound I was looking for I began to try other cables, different DACs and ultimately other tube amps. This is when I hand a chance to try the TS-120SE. I had been following Thomas on YouTube for some time and truly appreciate his more objective approach to reviewing HiFi gear. Thomas was more than gracious with his time and addressing all my questions about his amp.

After listing to the Galion for a week, my mind was made up and I decided to list the PrimaLuna for sale. For what I am looking for, the Galion does almost everything better than the Evo400. For those who are interested, I thought I would share how the two amps compared in my space and what features I liked the most on the TS-120SE.

  • My favorite setting on the Galion is Class A with tone control on (treble set at neutral and bass set at 3 o,clock on the dial). The amp was smooth in the highs, but not rolled off. The bass was full and filled my room much better.
  • The TS-120SE is more organic sounding/more analog/more rich (but not overly colored)
  • There are fewer hard edges in the upper mids to treble
  • The Evo400 is more clinical sounding to me. I like detail and deep listening, but the detail is ultimately too sharp. Class A on the Galion finds a nice balance.
  • I get a very clear center image with my Moabs. The center image was about the same on both amps, but the above factors made the vocals feel more human on the Galion.
  • Instrument separation is a bit better with the Galion. The upgraded tubes in the Evo400 are the thing that allows the amp to get closer to the Galion.
  • The Galion clearly wins in soundstage depth and three dimensionality. With the Evo400 I get a soundstage that goes about 2ft in front and 2ft behind the speakers. With the Galion the stage about it 2ft behind the speaker and 4-6ft in front.
  • One big win I had was my ability to use different cable options to season to taste. I found with the Evo400 I had to be more intentional about what interconnects I use. With the Galion I was able to use cables that render greater detail and enhance the soundstage/create separation. That detail was too much of a good thing on the Evo and this added separation made it sound thin with the same cables.

Not sure it carries any real significance but since an earlier post in this thread referenced the Doge 10 as being discontinued shortly before the introduction of the TS120, I thought I would share that the TS120 is about to be discontinued.  At least the standard edition and at least in North America.  
 

This came directly from Thomas when I made a recent inquiry about upcoming availability of that model.  He indicated that he would be sharing future model plans in the next month or so.  This surprises me given the relatively short lifespan of the TS120 and the numerous positive reviews.  Not sure if those reviews translated in to robust sales or not and that is the reason or if Doge no longer wished to produce them for Galion.

Hey all, I hope everyone is well. I have been in contact with Thomas about getting an amp sent to me for evaluation and ultimately a review here. Talking about Nola and Carl certainly brings back memories of those times in Long Island, N.Y. I had met everyone at Dahlquist (I owned stacked DQ10s for a while) and appreciated the updates/improvements Carl made to them. As many of you know my story and background, I had a lot of gear come in and out of my room (s). I was an early transitioner from tubes to solid state and realized that there were some tradeoffs by doing that. Driving the DQ10s, tubes were weak running the subwoofers (same woofers as used in the Advents, just as an fyi). I was then, and still am, a Klipsch Lascala owner, and find for " my listening tastes ", the only way to listen. I have stated in over 2500 posts here, that we all are different in what we want from a sound system, and that there is no right or wrong, although for me, I am right. So many folks talk about tone, sound staging and imaging, not many talk about the true essence of listening. The musicianship and the composition are first and foremost what I want to hear, and I have stated this ad nauseam. In a post I made here a few years back, I presented a scenario, a choice, to the A'gon members. To listen to your favorite musician in an acoustic environment no better than an airport bathroom, or a beginner of that same instrument, playing at a famous concert hall. I do not recall many folks responding to this analogy, but my point was : I am more interested in what the musician is doing on the stage, rather than where on the stage he/she is. I know the importance of " them being here/you being there" is important, but I believe many folks are listening to/for the less important things. As far as Thomas and Galion are concerned, I can honestly say that I feel Thomas, via his YT channel, is one of the handful of reviewers I follow, because he listens, and communicates his findings very well. The fact that he has become an equipment manufacturer, should not deter anyone from seeing the man for who he is. A real good guy, following a passion. As always, just my 2cents. My best to all and Enjoy ! MrD.

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