ENTER THE DRAGONS…
Coincident Technology 211PP Dragon Mono Amplifiers
Review By Joey Weiss
The direct and emotional relationship a product has with its creator is at the core of the audiophile world. A great product should convey the intent of the design, but it also must embody the ideals of the human designer. The Coincident Dragons, designed by Coincident Technology owner Israel Blume, is such a product.
The Dragons are a 211 DHT push-pull amplifier. Everything is hard wired with no circuit boards anywhere. All wiring uses in-house Coincident Extreme cables and with incredibly short signal path as most components are soldered lead-to-lead. (This is why the input, unbalanced, is located up at the front of the amp instead of the back). Each amplifier uses two power transformers, all class A (the 6EM7 input tube requires its own power supply, thus the second power transformer at the input stage). The mighty 300B driver tube is used to maintain complete DHT circuitry. There is an auto bias for the tubes so you don’t have to fuss. The chasis is built from high gauge stainless steel (for it’s exceptional rigidity and non-resonant properties) with a mirror finish. The Coincident Dragons are a plug-and-play assault on the state-of-the-art in audio amplification.
Israel Blume is a man with profound conviction about how his products should perform. His audio philosophy is simple: “the goal of any and all components is to pass the most musical information with the least coloration.” He continues, “since I have never heard, nor am capable of creating components of the solid state variety that conform to my audio goals, all Coincident electronics will use tube topologies and due to the sonic superiority of directly heated triode tubes, they will be the tube best suited to the mission.” According to Mr. Blume, the Dragons were designed and constructed with no cost restraints. The fact that they retail for $11,000 a pair in the stratospherically priced High End landscape is quite an impressive feat. That they sound far better than amplifiers quadruple their price is humbling.
These amplifiers could never be considered an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, fly-by-night product. This is no impulse purchase to be sold on AudiogoN months later. If you buy these amps, you will keep them because you will love them.
So who would want to buy these amps? Someone who wants to be overcome with the power of music, be brought to their knees every time you hear Sam Cooke croon, someone who cares about the thickness, the realness of sonic textures. Someone who knows how deeply satisfying music can be. This is definitely not for the on-the-surface hi-fi fireworks appreciator, the obsessive audiophile checklist analyst, or the I-only-care-about-the-big-bass-drum-hit listener. No, these amplifiers are built for the music lover who wants to dig deep into their collection and forget about the gear.
These amplifiers not only provide an accurate representation of the instruments in the recorded space (we are talking about live recorded music here), but a realistic representation of the size of each instrument. There is nothing more desirable than hearing a guitar that sounds like a guitar, but this doesn’t happen to often. There is an endless muck crowding the guts and glory of an individual instrument. A great component will produce an effortlessness that can’t be quantified with descriptions. You can feel it in your gut. Check out the sound of Charlie Byrd’s guitar on the superb sounding The Guitar Artistry of Charlie Byrd [Analog Productions repressing APJ-025], and not only will you hear exactly where the musicians are standing in relation to each other, you can hear the guitar without fooling yourself to fool yourself that what you are hearing is natural.
What do I like to listen to with these amps? Everything. But I have found that when I really want to hear Sam Cooke or Lightning Hopkins or John Coltrane or Led Zeppelin or Satchmo or Creedence or Elvis in the flesh, these amplifiers bring the meat and the bones. Music requires something more than just detail and imaging, or else you will be left with the sad sonic skeleton that audiophiles have somehow grown accustom to. Music begs for passion. Did I mention these things are dynamic? Dynamic as hell. In fact, these amps will test how dynamic your other components are, especially your speakers (the better the speaker, the better the Dragons perform). On our reference Classical LPs, a combination of clarity and power results in a musical representation that broadcasts the recorded event with a bold passion, it will move you, as long as the rest of your system is up to the task (not to mention the chosen recording).
When we first listened to the amps, HP told me “these amps have balls. But they also have everything else. So don’t get all worked up about the raw power that has your mouth agape, because the clarity and presence I am hearing is shockingly accurate. These amps sound like music and nothing else.” After a few months, it is easy to see how right he is. These amps have the ability to thwart the audiophile quest, to stop you from wanting more equipment because you will only want more music.
"Thank you again for the opportunity to listen to such transformative amplifiers. They provide me with the reference I have sought for years. You are a remarkable designer and your creations are beautiful".