You might find us arrogant stating that Doge 8 is the best tube preamp but actually it is a famous independent reviewer who said “Doge 8 might be the best preamp in audio history at this range of price” (this will be detailed below). We just wanted to say this as an introduction.
Every 3 to 4 years we review our products’ performance and where possible we make improvements. The “DOGE 8 LP” replaced the DOGE 8 “2011 Edition” in early 2014. Then in 2017 the DOGE 8 CLARITY replaced the DOGE 8 LP.
in 2019, just two years after the release of Doge 8 Clarity, we decided to add some new features to make DOGE 8 a more comprehensive preamp.
All previous versions are discontinued.
The Doge 8 Clarity version is for sure the best DOGE 8 version ever designed.
DOGE 8 CLARITY 2017 Edition faced a very popular success with an incredible satisfaction rate of 96% versus the already excellent satisfaction rate of 92% for the DOGE LP.
Keeping consistency with this success, we didn’t attempt to do a ‘revolutionary’ change, that’s the reason we kept “DOGE 8 CLARITY” name, just adding “2019 Edition”.
In order to avoid too heavy description of improvements between Doge 8 Clarity and prior versions (there are available in “Doge 8 Clarity 2017 Edition” page that we kept online for this purpose only), we just remind the “Clarity 8” added several features like higher performance coupling capacitors, gain control capability with a switch, MM-MC capability, high sensibility, and low sensibility switch, removal of XLR output that was transforming Doge 8 LP and prior versions into a hybrid preamp when using XRL.
For those of you who want a detailed history of prior versions and detailed improvements of Clarity version versus prior versions, we let alive DOGE 8 Clarity “2017 Edition” web page which includes more technical details of all evolutions of Doge 8 versions, whereas this page will more focus on the evolution of “Clarity 2019” versus “Clarity 2017”.
Just a quick summary, however, the main event of DOGE 8 Clarity compared to the prior version was the redesign of the main PCB to fit higher range coupling capacitors with bigger size and the removal of XLR section helped us to gain space. This decision was not so difficult to take, as our XLR output was using OPA chip to balance the signal and didn’t perform the same level of sound performance as RCA output as the XLR output became hybrid. So XLR removal is NOT an economic choice for sure but an assumed choice to privilege sound performance using RCA only.
In the 2019 Edition, we added :
- DIP switches at the back panel to enlarge the choice of impedance input for MC cartridges with 4 choices in total, 3 impedances choice for MC (100 ohms, 300 ohms, 1 Kohms) and 1 impedance choice for MM and (47K)
- DIP switches at the back panel to enlarge the choice of capacitance input for all cartridges with 4 choices in total (47pf, 100pf, 150pf, 220pf).
- a RCA tape-out output, mainly for those of you willing to have headphones connected to DOGE 8 as tape recorders a now out of date.
- Click on thumbnails to see views of these new features.
The key feature of 2019 Edition, as well as the 2017 Edition, is the use of high-end coupling capacitors the UK ClarityCap ESA model that is, in our opinion, the best cost/performance choice.
We have chosen the name ‘Clarity’ for the latest version of the DOGE 8 as a reference to the ClarityCap brand and also because this nickname reflects very well the DOGE 8’s main qualities of transparency and neutrality.
There are many testimonies in forums and blogs reporting that Doge 8 is the best preamp in the world at this range of price. We won’t make that claim ourselves as we haven’t listened to all the other preamps in the world, but we are very proud of these owner’s feedbacks. We also received direct sales customer’s feedbacks that it has no competitors below $5,000/$6,000 or simply that it is the best preamp they ever heard.
Arthur Salvatore, an independent and very appreciated reviewer running the website high-endaudio.com wrote (we quote) “The DOGE 8 might be the best preamp in audio history at this range of price”.
Please note that the DOGE 8 got a 5 stars and 100% mark by the german magazine Stereo under ODM partnership at 6800€. So finally if the DOGE 8 got the best mark at 6800€, Arthur Salvatore makes sense to say it might be the best preamp of history at $1500.
One of our customers recently compared our Doge 8 Clarity to an Audio Research LS27 he owned. Finally, after having compared the sound performances, he was so impressed by our Doge 8 Clarity that he decided to sell his LS27 and to buy the Doge 8 Clarity.
In addition to offering a fabulous sound performance, the DOGE 8 Clarity also includes a high-end full tube built-in Phono stage that can compare to stand-alone phono preamps at around the same price.
This preamp is incredibly neutral and transparent and provides all that you expect from a high-end preamp. You will be delighted by the silky sound of Doge 8 Clarity. It has this little warmth you can expect from a tube device, but not an exaggerated warmth compared to many other tube preamps. Those of our clientele that own solid-state power amplifiers will like this transparency and subtlety.
The schematics (circuit design) of the Doge 8 Clarity is at the same time both simple and sophisticated. It allows perfect matching with all power amps as it has a sophisticated buffer impedance stage driven by a current generator. In addition, it has a high/low gain switch and a low impedance output both of which guarantee good matching with power amps.
The Doge 8 Clarity uses 2 transformers and a choke (a choke is a power supply filtering device that has similar electrical properties than a transformer).
One transformer is for main power and the second one is for standby mode and digital functions of the remote controller. This separates the digital and analog functions. Please note that in standby mode, only the small 5W transformer remains “on”, the main power is off and tubes as well.
All components are either imported brands or Chinese high-end brands. The electrolytic capacitors are Japanese Nippon Chemicon, while film capacitors are French SCR or German WIMA and for the most sensitive ones, the coupling caps which the signal passes through, we now use the ESA model of the UK brand Clarity Cap.
The chassis is particularly stiff and luxurious due to the use of 6mm thick aluminum for all panels. The front panel is made of brushed aluminum with a black anodized finish.
The connectors are from the highest grade, sourced from Taiwan, with 5µm gold plating.
The Doge 8 Clarity has an output socket designed for a proprietary cable to connect the Doge 8 Clarity with the Doge 9 PAB mono-blocks. It allows the Doge 8 to automatically turn-on the Doge 9s if you use them as a complete set.
> Read here the review in the Hifi blog Stereomojo.com (please note that the price listed in this article was in 2007 and Chinese Yuan currency got 20% stronger versus USD since that time).
PLEASE NOTE: Chassis height, length and width are the same as DOGE 7 DAC, so they match perfectly.
DOGE 8 Clarity is available in black color only.
> Estimated retail price in shops : $2,590 (excluding VAT)
> Factory-direct price: $1,490 including delivery to your front door, Paypal or CC fees and one year warranty served in your country. (There is a slight price increase versus 2017 edition due to new features.)
From December 2017, we do the same prices worldwide except for South-East Asia, India, Russia, South-America, Africa and small islands.
Due to the cost of shipping fees included in the price displayed above, South-East Asia will be cheaper, while laters will have a higher price. Please mail us if you belong to these countries.
VACUUM TUBES UPGRADE OPTIONS
All our Doge 8 are supplied with tubes printed with a Doge logo. They are first grade Shuguang origin with Doge additional QC.
However since many customers asked some upgrade choices, we now offer these ones :
- Optional Psvane 12AT7-TII for line stage: $114 (set of 4)
- Optional Psvane 12AX7-TII for Phono stage: $122 (set of 4)
Please note that for safety reasons according to international air freight regulations, remote controllers are supplied without batteries. They use traditional AA type.