Shindo vs the world

Shindo keeps coming up as a highly responded brand with incredible products that have great sound quality. My question only to prior owners is do you still have your shindo amp or preamp? If not why did you sell and also did you find something else you liked better? What about something cheaper that you liked more.


There is more audiophile in Japan than in America.. 😊

It is my guess ... I dont know for sure but i will bet... Even with less population...

Perhaps i am wrong about the numbers...

But i am right about this : they are more fanatically driven to pay more for better sound...

Anyway my Sansui alpha amplifier please me a lot... It was designed in Japan gold age era... Shindo i am pretty sure dont make junk at all ...The look is very good...


Myself though for four reasons i will go with Americangenius physicist  Berning Zotl amplifier or pre-amp...

---Tube life span 10, 000 hours

--- No hot tube at all they stay cold as ice...

--- Fatastic sound quality praise all over everywhere

--- relatively low cost ( it is relative to your needs)

The late Art Dudley owned and praised Shindo products. His last and favorite dynamic speakers were the Altec Flamenco's - a fine match with the Shindo tube amp.

@jasonbourne71 His final reference speakers were Devore Orangutans. He did however own and restore some Flamencos.


@smodtactical I’ve owned a number of Shindo pieces: Apetite 6v6 integrated, Aurieges preamp (3 different versions), Monbrison preamp (2 different versions), the el84 Montille amp, the 6v6 Montille amp, the CV391 Montille amp and the 300b Cortese amp. I regret selling each and every one of them! Even though I presently have a non-Shindo amp I genuinely love, I could live happily ever after with a Shindo setup mated with the right speakers. Even though Leben is not affiliated with Shindo, it sure seems to have alot of the same attributes.


The Shindo dealers (Pitchperfect, Don Better, Goldprint, etc) with whom I’ve dealt are each very knowledgeable and know their stuff. Tone Imports (Jonathan Halpern) does an exceptional job supporting the dealers and customers. If I had an electronics company and needed an importer/distributor for North America, hopefully he would be willing to take it on.


It’s hard to find faults with Shindo and any of the cons I’ve ever heard of or experienced usually fall into the camp of “sins of omission” rather than sins of commision”. Some might say there are fewer speakers which mate well but most Shindo amps are optimized for higher impedences and higher sensitivity speakers. Many have a love/hate relationship with the Switchcraft rca inputs which are optimized for Switchcraft terminated interconnects. I’ve heard some wish for remote control volume, more power, some wish it played better with other equipment makes, etc. For Shindo lovers these things are advantages. Shindo doesn’t seem to be interested in selling gear to people whose values don’t align with theirs. I appreciate that. If your speakers are suitable, there isn’t much better.


I appreciate your feedback and perspective. Quite the endorsement and admiration for Shindo Audio.


Art Dudley was also a big fan of the Luxman CL 38u SE tube preamp. He compared it very favorably w/his Shindo preamp.

@lalitk Audio Note amp, Devore speakers.


@luxmancl38 A friend has that Luxman preamp and he loves it. I’m guessing you love it too based on your choice of username.

Thank you @ghasley.  The pairing makes sense and bet it’s sublime.  

I plan to put together Shindo Pre and amp with one of these speaker brands ~ Wolf Von Langa / Horning or Cessaro’s. 


I plan to put together Shindo Pre and amp with one of these speaker brands ~ Wolf Von Langa / Horning or Cessaro’s

That is exciting!! Keep us posted on your progression,


@lalitk Having heard both Shindo and Wolf Von Langa you're on a great track there! And to the OP my one friend who had a full Shindo system sold it to help fund opening a restaurant. So it's not always something better that necessitates a sale!


WVL are indeed very special. I honestly believe either of the aforementioned speaker brands would make a sublime pairing with Shindo’s Western Electric 300B Single Limited mono’s. I plan to have Shindo’s ship to my dealer before I finalize my speakers. 

Stereophile reviewer Ken Micallef---like Art Dudley (apparently everyone’s favorite deceased hi-fi critic ;-)---owns Shindo electronics and DeVore loudspeakers. At one point the two swapped Shindo pre-amps, each liking the others’ pre-amp more than their own in their system.

Shindo is a brand known for a "certain" type of sound, and those who like it are also fond of the sound idler wheel turntables. I don’t think both being musicians (Art a guitarist, Ken a drummer) is not unrelated to their fondness for that sound.

having owned many pieces of gear, both SS/tubes old and new, Shindo (for my tastes) is among the best. As some folks have already pointed out, they do have a certain sound signature, therefore may not jive for everyone. I've owned the Shindo Cortese amp and Monbrison Pre feeding Altec 604e speakers. The sound was superb. I sold the amp in hopes of upgrading to another Shindo amp and have been in limbo ever since. They do not often come up for sale and when they do, they don't tend to sell for killer deals. 

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I am having mine (Shindo) slowly encased in amber.

I am the ultimate fan (currently listening to Bottlehead gear).





I know that you have been very happy with your Accuphase and Tannoy pairing for quite some time. What are you looking for that in your opinion is different/desirable with Shindo Western Electric 300b amplifier and WVL/Horning/ Cessaro speakers? This is a very interesting and intriguing change.

@c_cocobean  ya the pricing of shindo  Tends to be high and that's part of the reason I made this thread.


How would you describe the sound of shindo?

Sixteen years ago I bought the Shindo Monbrison/Haut Brion combo.  Traded the pre to the Vosne Romanee (same serial # that Art Dudley reviewed in Stereophile) and have been happy ever since.  

Theres a guy on the bottlehead forum who has the monbrison and the bottlehead moreplay and he actually said they sound similar believe it or not!

@lalitk : you are changing amps and speakers? Oh wow, big change! Or is this for a second system?

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I've been a Shindo Monbrison owner since 2008.  I love the sound of this unit and would be hard pressed to switch, It matched well with my Wolcott 220 mono blocks and now with the Pass Labs 350.8.  Even though the  older Monbrison has a high output impedance, the newer Pass has increased it's input impedance and capacitance to allow for a very good match that plays wonderfully on my Maggie 20.7s

@thyname @charles1dad 

The changes would be in my main system. As good as Tannoy/Accuphase pairing has been, I’ve been craving the Shindo sound. Now that I’ve found the speakers that can be powered and convey the sheer musicality of a 300B’s SET amp, it’s hard to ignore the prospect of putting together an all Shindo system. IME, Shindo engages your senses in a way that’s very rare to find in any price range. 

OP-my suggestion is that you actually BUY or TRY any of the gear that you post inquiries and/or make references to rather than propose matchups to other gear that you do not and will not own?! 


Now that I’ve found the speakers that can be powered and convey the sheer musicality of a 300B’s SET amp, it’s hard to ignore the prospect of putting together an all Shindo system. IME, Shindo engages your senses in a way that’s very rare to find in any price range

Thanks for your reply. I perfectly understand.I don’t believe that there will be any regrets with this direction.



Check out following speakers brands that in my experience offers ideal pairing for a low watts amp, 

Wolf Von Langa, Horning or Cessaro’s. 

@lalitk : big change my friend. I am sure you have thought this carefully, and likely long time in the making. First time I ever heard those speaker brands. I have to admit. But they look fantastic 

He presently has the 8900 with Lundahl transformers and Audio Note caps and resistors (formerly he had the 8600)

@smodtactical in two words; engaging and textured. I do not ever feel like the music is missing something. Shindo mates well with Shindo, but I am currently entertaining other amps outside of Shindo to mate. 

I consider Dennis Had and Nelson Pass (based on my experience...there are others certainly) to be domestic Shindos. I like the looks and the entire idea behind Shindo stuff as a warm and interesting place for tubes to go. 

I think it really depends on the "whole system"

I had the Shindo Apetite since I like integrated amps....was not right for me and had some tube "noise" ...had various sets of tubes and it persisted. I also run a FI-X 2a3, also has some transformer noise due to design.

Luxman SQ-150n dead quiet, PP, and not running some Dennis Had SEP with his Preamp,also quieter than the Shindo. I agree Dennis Had gear might be the "Shindo"of the USA, it is amazing nd you can run many types of tubes.

IN the end it is all the pieces and how they come together.


I owned one of the very first Shindo Monbrison preamps in the U.S., serial #2 (I sent serial #1, which I had been auditioning, back to J Halpern, in 2005). And I owned a Cortese amp. Plus Shindo interconnects and Auditorium 23 speaker cables. That was actually my first high end system, along with Devore Super 8s and an Avid Volvere TT, SME 309 tonearm, Cardas tonearm cable, and van den Hul cart. 

The Shindo sound is addictive, seductive, dense, colorful, and full of life. The phono stage in the Monbrison preamp (and the preamp itself) was wonderful, but decidedly better with analog. That is one big reason I sold the gear -- I discovered that other amplification was better with digital, and a good portion of my listening is digital. The other reason, apart from just wanting a change of pace, is that the Shindo sound is colored -- more beautiful than life, IMO. There's nothing wrong with liking this sound and I still miss the sound of Shindo and vinyl. I would also say that Shindo tends to editorialize a bit in its presentation of the music. For example, a saxophone solo may be highlighted (in a beautiful, musical way) but other instruments can recede to the background and overall balance and soundstaging is going to be different. And while overall noise was pretty good for a heavily tube-based system, there are certainly quieter options.

Like I said, I still miss the sound of Shindo and vinyl but I don't regret selling the gear (and I was swamped with buyers). I consider the whole experience a fun and valuable education in my hifi journey. If your interest is piqued, give Shindo gear a try.  



I have had several Shindo pieces in my system over the years, and still own the Giscours Western Electric preamp. 

Like some of us have found with the Duelund tinned copper cables, the Shindo components portray the real “tone” of the instruments and performance.

For me that differentiates Shindo from other tube components.

I auditioned Shindo amps at a shop in NoHo in NYC.

They are the only amps that I felt competed with my Futterman OTL3s.

That said, let’s talk about the so-called Altec Shindos.

I was walking home from work one day some 10 or 15 (?, Steve Guttenberg did a review in CNET in August 2014) years ago, I regularly walked past this NoHo store in those days. One evening, I saw through the window a pair of speakers that got my attention, as the cabinet scale looked suspiciously like mine. I went in for a closer look.

The salesman sees my interest and comes over to offer to help. I ask him to tell me about the speakers. He carries on about Shindo the brand, the company, the design and the engineering philosophy, etc. After about 7 minutes I stop him and ask to listen. He has Miles Davis Kind of Blue, a record I am very familiar with, so we listen to one track. Then I say "These drivers look like Altec 604C drivers". For some reason, even though they were branded as "Laboratory 604", the salesman denied that they were Altec 604Cs and started to explain why. After another minute I stop him and say "I absolutely KNOW that these are Altec 604Cs, because I have a pair. So tell me, why should I "upgrade" them to the Shindo Laboratory 604? Without losing a step, he started to talk about the proprietary crossover design, how the stock Altec crossover was the Achilles heel of the system, and after a couple more minutes I asked "It wouldn’t be modeled after the Mastering Lab crossover by Doug Sax perchance, would it?" Is it possible to see the crossover? Could we possibly pop the back off?" Of course it wasn’t possible and I ask "You want $33,000 for these speakers. I paid $1,500 for my pair, another $1,500 for the crossovers and refurbishing them with new caps, for a total of $3,000. I just auditioned the "Laboratory 604", they sounded different but not better than mine, yet you want $30,000 more. So what am I paying for, nice new cabinets?" By now, I’ve attracted a crowd of other customers. Not wanting to make things any more difficult for the store as I do think the owner is a nice guy (who wasn’t there that day), I give the salesman my contact info and ask him if he could have Shindo reach out to me and answer my questions about what exactly it was that he did to improve the 604C from what I had.

I left the the store, thinking that some poor sucker from Wall Street who doesn’t know what to do with his money will snap them up in a week.

A week later, I walk past the store. The speakers were gone, they were sold. A month later, I had yet to hear from Shindo. I asked the salesman again. As of this writing, I have not heard from him.

I was happy, however, that the Altecs evidently had made a comeback, so much so that someone would overpay for them by a factor of 10. For decades, any audiophile who took himself seriously sneered at the Altecs as being crap. And in fact, the drivers now go on eBay for up to $6,000 a pair and more (still not $30,000 though...)

End of story.

For my flea watt system, I thought about going down the Shindo route, but I’m leaning towards the Audio Note Meishu Tonmeister 300B Phono integrated amplifier which reportedly compares favorably with Shindo. Also, I heard the AN at both THE Show and at Pacific Audio Fest.   This seems much easier and less costly than tracking down a haut brion and a preamp.

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The Meishu Tonmeister and Shindo gear are both wonderful amplifiers, I’ve owned both, BUT they sound nothing alike.

I have had two Shindo Appetite amps.

I liked the sound. My only problem was the availability of tubes. From what I could gather, all the Shindo approved tubes are hoarded by dealers and if you didn't buy the amp from them you are out of luck as they won't sell to you.

Audio Note is much more to my liking.

Just my experience


@ghasley what are the differences

Generalizations and my impressions should be taken with a grain of salt and we all recognize, system synergy and matching is key. I’ve run both brands with their respective recommended speakers and with Brand X speakers. Pick your speakers first and since you have Tannoy, then I will direct my comments in that direction. Without knowing which Tannoy and since I’m just an amateur audio hobbyist like you, this is but one opinion.


If you are sticking with your Tannoys, the only current production Shindo amplifier that would do nicely with those would be the Montille cv391. That is a TERRIFIC amp, the cv391 power tube is so darn good within its power envelope that you will wonder why that tube isn’t used more by designers. IIRC, the STC cv391 was the British agent for Western Electric and I find the sonic signature quite elegant with the ability to "get angry" when called upon. I do not presently own a Shindo Montille cv391 but I will again. The thing to remember about Shindo is each amp circuit is a clean sheet design around a particular power tube. Mr. Shindo, and now his son, weren’t trying to build amps for all speaker brands and types. They were typically designed to drive golden age Altecs and derivatives with higher impedances. The cv391 is optimized for 8ohm speakers while most of the others perform their best with 10ohm and above speakers. Shindo sounds like music, the silence between the notes is very special and their preamps and the equivalent of a boutique built Swiss mechanical watch. Perhaps the "typical" sound leans to more tubey sound but it hardly euphonic. Consider a full Shindo setup and A23 or Shindo cables....the Aureges preamp is an absolute audio bargain, the Monbrison is the sweetspot but be forewarned, it is a gateway drug to their upper end preamps.


Audio Note is interesting gear. You have to get into their very best Level 2 gear (OTO SE Signature or Silver Signature) or Level 3 and up to match the Shindo tone in my opinion. I believe the OTO SE Signature is the best I’ve ever heard an el84 sound. The old Meishu was very "tubey" and the new Meishu Tonmeister is not. The addition of the interstage transformer is adapted directly from the Jinro/Tomei/Ongaku and brings a mature sound to the Tonmeister. I owned the Tonmeister and to my ears with my speakers in my room, it wasn’t right for me. I wanted a little more romantic midrange and the Tonmeister is pretty darn linear. That shouldn’t be a knock, it just wasn’t what I was after. Audio Note gear seems to play well with a wide variety of speakers provided they have reasonable sensitivity. Their transformers are beasts and can drive more difficult loads than Shindo. Something to keep in mind since you own Tannoys. And every Tannoy owner thinks Tannoys are easy to drive until they hear them with an amplifier capable of driving difficult loads. BUT....the OTO SE SIgnature is maybe 6wpc and the Tonmeister 8wpc so make sure YOU recognize those limitations. To my ears and in my opinion, the Jinro is the sweetspot of all the Audio Note integrateds. 20ish wpc, triode sound, startling bass and a stranglehold on your speakers. Thats the amp, depending on your budget, that I would use with your speakers.


If you are changing speakers then pick those first and then pick appropriate electronics, which might not be either brand. Leben comes to mind as I can imagine that the cs600x or the 1000 amp would do a nice job with Tannoys and to my ears, Leben shares alot of sonic similarities to Shindo. I have not heard the Audio Note Soro SE Signature but it would likely do a great job with your Tannoys.


And finally, aesthetics. I like the looks of every piece of Shindo gear I’ve ever seen or owned. Just a beautiful piece of form follows function industrial design. Audio Note open chassis gear is a love it or hate it proposition. I happen to love the look of the Jinro/Tomei/Ongaku, YMMV. I don’t find their enclosed gear (like the OTO or SORO) unattractive but it isn’t particularly interesting aesthetically. I am not a fan of the size of the Tonmeister but that is an individual thing. I HATE how many screws you have to futz with to roll tubes but again, that’s individual preference. Shindo build quality is excellent as is Audio Note although Audio Note gear is probably more robust (and Shindo more delicate) if your UPS guy is prone to dropping your deliveries. Audio Note packing materials are FAR superior and suitable for multiple uses whereas Shindo packs things safely for the initial transit but its almost like they anticipate the original owner won’t ever need to ship it anywhere thereafter. In some ways, I find that kindof company expects you will ship it many times, the other expects the initial install is for life. LOL.


With the long diatribe above, if you are madly in love with your Tannoys, I don’t believe either brand is optimal for your speakers. You can glean ALOT from the dealers. What brand of speakers are Shindo dealers carrying to compliment their electronics for buyers desirous of non-Shindo or vintage Altec speakers. What brand of speakers are Audio Note dealers carrying for those desirous of non-Audio Note speakers? For valve electronics, Tannoys are probably best matched with push-pull pentodes. My 2-cents.


Your thoughts are pointed and well articulated, but you are wasting your time with the OP!