They are different animals in so many different ways and come from completely different design philosophies. . and these are only my own observations and conclusions - so Jiim & PD feel free to chip in...please!
The starfish is definitely and very firmly in the Naim mold...and I love it for many things...lots of bass, drive and pace it really rocks..., but I can't help feeling that it's adding it's own signature to the sound. It's obviously based on maximizing the potential of the classic Naim 321 and 729 circuits and that means sorting a complex grounding scheme and multiple local regulators for power supply sensitive circuits. Accordingly it has a large and somewhat expensive BOM and is a fairly complex build.
The Bootstrap on the other hand is so much simpler and follows a minimalist design approach with as few components as possible in the signal path - it also uses symmetrical power rails and minimizes ground points in the signal path. So the BOM is smaller, the build easier and much more economical - I'll post a BOM in the next day or so. The result in the early listening is a cleaner sound with incredibly low noise and distortion, and I believe a much more truthful and honest presentation of the source material with uncanny staging and detail retrieval.
It's my expectation that I'll end up using both, the Starfish in a larger system (active Briks..) and mainly for rock & large scale orchestral music, the Boostrap in a smaller system where I'm looking for more space and precision, blues, jazz and acoustic programme material.
I guess that one of my conclusions is that just as no one system will please everyone, no one system is best for reproducing all types of material - at least not for my ears.
Bootstrap Buffer Based Preamp
Bootstrap Buffer Based Preamp Single Rail Supply
Add to Cart