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Sprout First Impressions
Post your reviews here!
Topic Rating: +16 Topic Rating: +16 (16 votes) 
May 5, 2017
8:25 am
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Thanks @Nicholas for the post, and we are glad to hear you are enjoying the unit!

Regarding the wood top, unfortunately it’s quite hard to get the them out. You would have to disassemble the unit and then chip the wood top out with a chisel. So, no really all that easy to replace, but someday perhaps we will make units with different color options.

Thanks and have a musical weekend!

Best,

Scott

May 5, 2017
8:26 am
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Nice! The top is removable, we do it when they get damaged, but I don’t think it’s easy. It is attached with adhesive. I’ll bet Koa wood would be lovely. If you decide to do it email scott @ psaudio.com and he can get you some specifics. Or call us. But you’ll owe us a photo to post here ion the forums.

Co-founder and CEO of PS Audio. Hobbies (other than audio) include cooking, artisan bread baking, writing The Carbon Wars, hiking and inventing stuff. Infinity IRSV, MG Audio Designs and Audioquest cables, five P10 Power Plants, DirectStream DAC, NuWave Phono Converter, Clear Audio Master turntable, Lyra Cartridge, BHK Monos and BHK preamp, LANRover USB Transporter. I live in Boulder Colorado with my wife Terri, both of us are vegetarians for many decades. If you want to see support my first shot at writing a novel go here.

June 23, 2017
8:13 pm
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I just received my Sprout a few weeks ago and so far I am loving it. I am using it in a small bedroom as a second system hooked up to Monitor Audio S1 bookshelf speakers and it sounds awesome. I have primarily used it to play vinyl and have streamed bluetooth. Both inputs have worked flawlessly. I haven’t used the analog or digital inputs as of yet. I have a few hundred cd’s so I will either be buying a decent cd player shortly or I am considering a blu-ray player to just use as a transport (this seems to be the cheaper option). I love the way the sprout looks and its amazing that something so small and light can sound so good. Great job in the design and the performance.

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Scott McGowan
June 24, 2017
6:33 am
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Thanks, Ted! I am sure Sprout’s designer, Scott, will be thrilled to read this.

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Scott McGowan

Co-founder and CEO of PS Audio. Hobbies (other than audio) include cooking, artisan bread baking, writing The Carbon Wars, hiking and inventing stuff. Infinity IRSV, MG Audio Designs and Audioquest cables, five P10 Power Plants, DirectStream DAC, NuWave Phono Converter, Clear Audio Master turntable, Lyra Cartridge, BHK Monos and BHK preamp, LANRover USB Transporter. I live in Boulder Colorado with my wife Terri, both of us are vegetarians for many decades. If you want to see support my first shot at writing a novel go here.

June 24, 2017
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Welcome, Ted

Thanks for the review.  It is particularly helpful to know the speakers you find work well as many ask which to pair with Sprout.

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Scott McGowan
June 24, 2017
1:35 pm
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Thanks Elk,

 

I am a big believer in trying to listen to speakers before purchasing or at least purchase from someone who has a good return policy. We all have different ears and personal preferences. 

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Scott McGowan
June 25, 2017
4:07 pm
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After a week or so with my new Sprout I can say that I am very happy with my purchase.  I am currently using it to play music from my computer but I am looking forward to purchasing a turntable and trying that out.  My only complaint to this point is I wish there was a light to show on/off and then it would be a bit more convenient for the on/off switch to be on the front of the unit.  Sound quality is great though and I like the front dials.  Thanks.

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Scott McGowan
June 26, 2017
8:20 am
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Usually when a switch is placed on the rear, it is not designed for daily use. On more complex components you generally have a standby button, which just shuts off the display, and in some cases power to the tubes. Obviously the Sprout does not have tubes.

If it was me, I’d leave it powered up all the time, except during thunder storms or if I was going to be gone for more than a couple of days. Check the manual, it might recommend leaving it on. Just get in the habit of turning the volume down all the way, and  leave it on. That way, it is warmed up, and ready to go.  

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Scott McGowan

Conrad Johnson CT5 Preamp; Sota Sapphire tt, Roksan Tabriz ZI, Dynavector 20xL,Camelot Lancelot Pro, K&K step up transformer; Oppo 83se, PS Audio PWT,  Lindemann 825 as dac, Toshiba Satellite laptop, JRiver, Vinyl Studio, AQ Jitterbug, HRT LineStreamer+; Magnum Dynalab Etude, Polk XRt XM Tuner; Legacy [Coda] amp; Legacy FOCUS speakers; PS Audio P300, Dectet, Duet; Bedroom: Benchmark Dac2 HGC used as preamp & DAC; Raspberry Pi3 running Volumio, w/750Gb USB Hard Drive; Harman Kardon Citation 23 tuner; Crown D150 amp; AR90 speakers; Panamax 1000;

June 26, 2017
1:19 pm
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Glad to have you on board Ted! We’re pleased you are enjoying the unit and thanks for the tremendously thoughtful feedback. Thanks again and keep it coming! Best, Scott

June 26, 2017
8:10 pm
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Scott, you might want to comment on Patrickcox’s post about the power switch on the rear. I replied, but not owning or having read the manual, I am just speculating that it should be left on 24/7.

His post is #127, just above mine.

Conrad Johnson CT5 Preamp; Sota Sapphire tt, Roksan Tabriz ZI, Dynavector 20xL,Camelot Lancelot Pro, K&K step up transformer; Oppo 83se, PS Audio PWT,  Lindemann 825 as dac, Toshiba Satellite laptop, JRiver, Vinyl Studio, AQ Jitterbug, HRT LineStreamer+; Magnum Dynalab Etude, Polk XRt XM Tuner; Legacy [Coda] amp; Legacy FOCUS speakers; PS Audio P300, Dectet, Duet; Bedroom: Benchmark Dac2 HGC used as preamp & DAC; Raspberry Pi3 running Volumio, w/750Gb USB Hard Drive; Harman Kardon Citation 23 tuner; Crown D150 amp; AR90 speakers; Panamax 1000;

June 27, 2017
4:44 am
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jeffstarr said

Usually when a switch is placed on the rear, it is not designed for daily use.

Thanks Jeff.  This is helpful.  I didn’t realize that it is OK to leave the unit on 24/7 so that makes more sense.

All the Best,

Patrick

June 27, 2017
10:46 am
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Hi Patrick, yes, I do keep my Sprout plugged in and turned on 100% of the time. The back panel switch does indeed lend itself to a more permanent on-status in most uses. I totally feel you on the power light/indicator light. It would be a useful and tasteful feature. Perhaps, if we are able to do a new model of Sprout in the future, it will include this important interface. 

Good luck with the turntable! Sprout is ready to accept any moving magnet cartridge and we with you much happy listening :-)

Best,

Scott

August 26, 2017
10:00 am
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Received my Sprout yesterday and I am blown away. I am no audiophile by any stretch but I have not heard my music like this in so long!! Pretty sure I forgot it was possible. I have been settling for mediocrity for far too long! 

My plan was to hook it up, listen for a few minutes and head to my workout then on to the grocery…That was 2 hours ago, I can’t seem to get myself off the couch. 

I can’t wait to tell anyone and everyone about this little marvel! 

Thank you for producing such a wonderful product. 

Sean 

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August 26, 2017
10:13 am
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Welcome, Sean!

It is all about enjoying music. 

August 26, 2017
12:15 pm
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Welcome and thanks for the feedback!  The Sprout packs an awful lot into that little package.

Direct Stream DAC, BHK Preamp, BHK 250 amp, P10, NPC, Linn LP12, Wilson Audio Sophia 3 speakers, PSA AC-12 power cables, Belden ICONOCLAST TPC speaker cables and balanced interconnects

August 27, 2017
6:40 am
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Yes! Sprout’s something of a small miracle and we’re glad you discovered it. Thanks for the feedback. Just maybe, you ARE and audiophile.

Co-founder and CEO of PS Audio. Hobbies (other than audio) include cooking, artisan bread baking, writing The Carbon Wars, hiking and inventing stuff. Infinity IRSV, MG Audio Designs and Audioquest cables, five P10 Power Plants, DirectStream DAC, NuWave Phono Converter, Clear Audio Master turntable, Lyra Cartridge, BHK Monos and BHK preamp, LANRover USB Transporter. I live in Boulder Colorado with my wife Terri, both of us are vegetarians for many decades. If you want to see support my first shot at writing a novel go here.

August 27, 2017
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“An audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction”

Perhaps you are right, I AM an audiophile, just didn’t think I could afford it.

Thinking of upgrading; I have Paradigm Titans v2. I knew they were decent speakers when I bought them for my 5.1 system a millions years ago but with this Sprout they are shocking me. My original thought was selling the Titans and getting a new pair of bookshelf speakers. Now I am not so sure…Perhaps holding on to these for now and using the cash for a turntable…Thoughts? 

Thanks again! I hope this little product can help bring a new generation back to great sound…I forgot what I was missing. 

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August 28, 2017
6:31 am
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That’s always a tough one, though my advice usually goes towards getting settled with speakers first. On the one hand you love what you have and that’s a hard combo to beat! Though, I suspect upgrading from the Titans to a floor stander would bring a wealth of new pleasure into your home. You might consider one of Sandy Gross’s Golden Ear speakers. His Triton series (seems like Triton’s a popular name) can be had starting at $1,400 a pair https://www.goldenear.com/products/triton-series

Have fun!

Co-founder and CEO of PS Audio. Hobbies (other than audio) include cooking, artisan bread baking, writing The Carbon Wars, hiking and inventing stuff. Infinity IRSV, MG Audio Designs and Audioquest cables, five P10 Power Plants, DirectStream DAC, NuWave Phono Converter, Clear Audio Master turntable, Lyra Cartridge, BHK Monos and BHK preamp, LANRover USB Transporter. I live in Boulder Colorado with my wife Terri, both of us are vegetarians for many decades. If you want to see support my first shot at writing a novel go here.

September 11, 2017
8:46 am
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I’m in love with the headphone amp too…

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Little gem as engaging as the speakers’ output.

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Scott McGowan

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September 19, 2017
10:45 am
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Still loving my Sprout, but I have a couple of questions. Hopefully these make sense.

  •  The volume difference between the Bluetooth streaming (Spotify – set to highest bit-rate available), CD and my turntable is significant. It’s night and day. Is this simply the way it is with vinyl and I need to get over it? I have read enough about compression and loudness issues with streaming but this is the same whether I am playing a CD, streaming or playing files off my PC. Perhaps it is what it is and I should just turn it up and get over myself. ;-) What are a few things that could improve this “issue”? 
    •  upgrade RCA cable
    •  upgrade cartridge (I have the basic U-Turn model)
    •  speaker issue – perhaps my Paradigm Titans do not pair will with the U-Turn?
  •  I have thousands of songs on my Mac. To be honest, I have no idea how I ripped them, it was too long ago. I can only assume they were ripped at the lowest bitrate. I followed most of the instructions I have seen here and elsewhere to change the bitrate, but it seems as though the settings I changed only pertain to new files not existing files. (I have all of the files saved on an external hard drive) Should I delete all of the files on the Mac and then transfer the files back from the external hard drive with the new settings? Seems like that would work. Forgot to mention, I bought BitPerfect, but no idea if the existing files are converted or not. Should they be? Ugh, sorry so clueless. Not to mention my old Mac is so slow I am ready to chunk it out of the window.  
  • That being said, does it really matter? The Sprout’s DAC is converting the files to higher bit rate right?

Thank you so much for your thoughts

September 19, 2017
11:44 am
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I haven’t used the phono stage on my Sprout so can’t speak from experience but how loud a turntable plays all other things being equal depends heavily on the type of cartridge.  A different cartridge might well play louder but it would depend on the cartridges’ relative output levels. Changing the cable or speakers is unlikely to affect how loud the phono input plays relative to the digital inputs.

If you ripped your CDs using iTunes they were probably ripped as either 128 kbit or 256 kbit (depending on how long ago as APple changed the default rate at one point) AAC files.  That’s a type of lossy compression–i.e., information was thrown out in the ripping process to make the files smaller. The bit rate of the files is fixed when you rip them.  No player can restore the missing information.  If you want the full resolution (which does sound better, although people still argue over how much), you would need to re-rip your CDs. If you are still using iTunes to rip, set it to either AIFF or Apple Lossless.  The latter files are compressed and thus a little smaller than AIFF but all the data is there.  I use AIFF myself (but gave up on iTunes a long time ago). If you downloaded files from the Apple store  (or Amazon), those files also use lossy compression.

Direct Stream DAC, BHK Preamp, BHK 250 amp, P10, NPC, Linn LP12, Wilson Audio Sophia 3 speakers, PSA AC-12 power cables, Belden ICONOCLAST TPC speaker cables and balanced interconnects

September 20, 2017
5:36 am
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thanks for your feedback. I am going to upgrade the cartridge and see if that helps. 

Looks like the CDs were ripped as MPEG4 Audio. The music purchased back then and or “borrowed” from friends are mostly MP3 files….

edit: What’s interesting is the BitPerfect icon is a dark blue color, indicating the files are playing at 44.1kHz. Hmmm, any thoughts? 

Thanks again 

September 20, 2017
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The lossy-compressed files are 44.1 kHz, 16-bit files. They’re just missing some of the details compared to the original files (the compression also adds some distortion).

Direct Stream DAC, BHK Preamp, BHK 250 amp, P10, NPC, Linn LP12, Wilson Audio Sophia 3 speakers, PSA AC-12 power cables, Belden ICONOCLAST TPC speaker cables and balanced interconnects

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