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  1. #1
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Out with the Counterpoint and In with the Stratos

    So after living with the Counterpoint NPS-400 for several monthes and getting used to a different sound, I swapped it out of the system and put my Stratos back in. I am still using the Clearfield Continentals and will rotate the Dynaudio 82s back in for more testing.

    Immediate observations were:

    Loss of wide soundstage
    Increased Bass and Highs
    Loss of Midrange clarity
    More in your face sound with shorter, sharper sound

    I'm starting to realize that I can deal with the lack of bass extension in contrast with the wonderful midrange I am getting from the Counterpoint.

    Granted the Stratos was not fully warmed up but my observations were pretty much what I expected. More to come.....
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

  2. #2
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    Have we talked about adding a sub when using Counterpoint? When I was looking for a replacement sub I learned some things about REL. #1, and unique to them, they recommend a speaker line hook up and in fact they are designed for it. They come with a cable to hook directly to the amp speaker terminals along with the main speakers. As most subs REL recommends a corner placement if possible. Their T series is more of a budget sub but from what I understand they still are good performers for the money. REL says this approach helps to better blend the mains and sub together. You'll have to check their website for the full shpill.

    It is interesting though what we are willing to trade off in sound quality. I still have my Krell and have no problems with it but I prefer my CJ and there are trade offs to both just as in your own set up. My CJ has a full enough bass response though that I don't miss that bottom octave, much,
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  3. #3
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Have we talked about adding a sub when using Counterpoint? When I was looking for a replacement sub I learned some things about REL. #1, and unique to them, they recommend a speaker line hook up and in fact they are designed for it. They come with a cable to hook directly to the amp speaker terminals along with the main speakers. As most subs REL recommends a corner placement if possible. Their T series is more of a budget sub but from what I understand they still are good performers for the money. REL says this approach helps to better blend the mains and sub together. You'll have to check their website for the full shpill.

    It is interesting though what we are willing to trade off in sound quality. I still have my Krell and have no problems with it but I prefer my CJ and there are trade offs to both just as in your own set up. My CJ has a full enough bass response though that I don't miss that bottom octave, much,
    I am running a Mirage sub between both 2ch and HT with a switch or swap of cables. I actually don't like the way it integrates and would rather just hear the mains without the sub regardless of the lack of LF. I looked at the REL site but could not find info you pointed to in another post about having separate volume controls depending on HT or 2CH signal.

    The Stratos supplies more deep bass but with the loss of the true sound of the notes. With the Danes, there is no lack of bass with the Stratos.

    None of my observations point to the Stratos as being anything but a really good SS amp for the $1100 it costs. The refined sound of the Counterpoint should be expected at 4X the cost.
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

  4. #4
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    Did you click on a model? I have to go do something now but I will try to post something about it later if you haven't found it by then. The top of line T series runs about $1k but depending on your room you may need something in the R series.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  5. #5
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    http://www.rel.net/index2.htm

    Notice under inputs it says, low level & .1 LFE "with separate volume controls". You may have to download a manual to fully understand how this works.

    Read Q13, also check out Q12, hook up

    http://www.rel.net/index2.htm
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  6. #6
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    http://www.rel.net/index2.htm

    Notice under inputs it says, low level & .1 LFE "with separate volume controls". You may have to download a manual to fully understand how this works.

    Read Q13, also check out Q12, hook up

    http://www.rel.net/index2.htm
    That is pretty cool. Too bad I already have a sub that does work well for HT. I'm sure if I spent a day messing around I could blend it in real well. Then I could redo the HT auto program for speaker volume matching and see what happens.

    I just opted to let the Stratos stay plugged in and on full time to see if those who say it takes 40 hrs for the caps to fully charge are right. I can't say I don't like the Stratos or that I like the Counterpoint many times more.

    Right now I think it's fun to have 4 different sounding setups with 2 amps and 2 sets of speakers.

    Thanks for looking that up and pointing it out. Definitely looks like a good choice of subs for double duty.

    Heading out to a friends house today to slug a few brews and listen to his system. Caimbridge top integrated and CDP coupled with Polk LS-15s. Forget the sub brand but it has dual 15s and is bigger than an end table.
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

  7. #7
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    Let me know what you think of that Cambridge.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  8. #8
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Let me know what you think of that Cambridge.
    OK so his main system is the Azur 840 Integrated and 840 CDP with the Polk LS-15s and a huge SVS sub.

    Second system for outside only was the 5 series Integrated and CDP going to Bose outdoor speaker pods. (Freespace line)

    We sat outside for hours listening to the lesser system. The speakers were about 25 feet apart which was a nice wide soundstage while sitting in between them. I was pretty impressed overall for a dedicated outside system utilizing Bose speakers. (I guess I could recommend them for outdoor use)

    We then went inside to listen to the bigger rig. Overall I think the Caimbridge gear has a nice sound. Nothing much to complain about. I don't think he needed a big sub for 2CH with the 10" drivers in the side of the Polks and thought it was muffling the overall sound.

    I never liked Polks much and after a good listen to the LS-15s, I still don't. They were congested, lacked detail and soundstage but to a non audio nut may just sound fine. (this system is the same guy who said my rig may be the best one he ever heard)

    I would have liked to hear the gear with different speakers for sure as I think it is the limiting factor in his system.
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't think the SVS is the problem unless some how set up wrong. It's amazing at how well my U13 blends with my mains. Now if the volume is too high it will murky things up. I guess because it plays so low. I set mine up and metered it. I bumped it up some to see what it would do and it just sort of blurred some of the detail. I haven't tried turning it way up to see if it rattled anything.

    Nightflier is rather fond of the LS series. You thought the Cambridge had a pretty nice bass response?
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  10. #10
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    You thought the Cambridge had a pretty nice bass response?
    I felt there was plenty of bass but I don't thing the Polks could resolve it clearly. I sure would like to hookup even my Dynaudio 42s to prove how crappy the Polks are.

    Funny now that I think back to the other post about telling a friend their system needs help. I don't have the heart to tell him his Polks are not up to the task.

    We watched the PT DVD Arriving Somewhere which did sound very good but again, muffled bass.

    Back to original post, the Stratos has been powered up since Saturday and I do think it sounds better than at powerup or even a few hours later. I listened to some Special EFX last night that was sounding real fine.
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

  11. #11
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    So I have had the Stratos running continuously for close to two weeks. I had the Clearfields in play until this morning. I have to say, leaving it on definitely shows some positive effects. The one thing the Clearfields lack is low bass. I was now getting fuller and deeper bass along with more dynamics.

    This morning I swapped out the Clearfields and went back to the Dynaudios which immediately revealed the one weakness I can find with the Stratos amp. I am only guessing that the middle midrange was somehow compromised to get the deeper bass. The upper part of the midrange is emphasized along with the deeper bass. I also noticed that the stage got a little smaller and I was moved back a few rows compared to the Clearfields.

    All in all, I am still surprised with what an $1100 American made amp can do with the right speakers. I am also surprised that I am more willing to give up a little low end for a glorious midrange as is delivered with the pairing of the Counterpoint / Clearfield setup.

    Maybe I'm just showing my age now.
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

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