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  1. #1
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Going to hear the NAD M3 master series / Thiel CS3.7

    My buddy recently picked up the Thiels and was using a top Cambridge integrated with the top Polks.

    Just after swapping out the Polks, the Cambridge went wacky and started ramping the volume for no reason.

    He replaced it with the NAD M3 master series integrated about two weeks ago.

    Anyway, going there for dinner and to hear the new gear so I am excited to see what this new setup will do. He also has a huge dual driver SVS sub in the mix.

    I have only heard the smaller Thiels and always found them too bright for my taste and lacking low end. I'm pretty sure these bad boys will have some bass but will still be on the bright side.

    Post back tomorrow with my observations.
    Hyfi
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  2. #2
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    and always found them too bright for my taste...
    I'm a fan of having an HF control on speakers. I agree that speakers that measure truly flat tend to sound unnaturally bright with most recordings.

    rw

  3. #3
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    I'm a fan of having an HF control on speakers. I agree that speakers that measure truly flat tend to sound unnaturally bright with most recordings.

    rw
    My question is:

    Is that "unnaturally bright" sound due to the speakers or the quality of the recordings?

    And it leads to the question of:

    Should the HiFi system compensate for shortcomings in the recordings being played, or be totally accurate to the input signal?

  4. #4
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    My question is:

    Is that "unnaturally bright" sound due to the speakers or the quality of the recordings?

    And it leads to the question of:

    Should the HiFi system compensate for shortcomings in the recordings being played, or be totally accurate to the input signal?
    It is the speakers along with the metal tweeters. Dynaudio of same caliber is nowhere close to the brightness of a similarly priced Thiel.

    My system does reveal shortcomings in recordings but some speakers over emphasize it.
    Hyfi
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  5. #5
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    It is the speakers along with the metal tweeters. Dynaudio of same caliber is nowhere close to the brightness of a similarly priced Thiel.

    My system does reveal shortcomings in recordings but some speakers over emphasize it.
    I have no doubt that some speakers are bright (metal tweeters often fall into that category), but a bright speaker will show a peak in the high frequencies, while a neutral one will measure flat... so my question is really aimed at audiophiles who suggest that a speaker that measures neutral is in fact bright and/or that a speaker that is clearly rolled off at the extremes is somehow neutral....

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    The NAD I'd love to hear is the fully, so-called "direct" digital M2 ... see here. MSRP $6000. Yes, it's true: analog inputs are converted to digital.

    See Robert Harley's discussion here.


  7. #7
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Is that "unnaturally bright" sound due to the speakers or the quality of the recordings?
    Either or both along with other factors in the reproduction chain. It may not be speaker at all. Amplifiers with high order harmonic distortion tend to sound bright. Untrapped RF also manifests itself as a false brightness layered on top of the signal. My experience suggests this is where cabling of all sorts can improve the result. Not acting as a *tone control*, but a filter to attenuate non-musical hash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Should the HiFi system compensate for shortcomings in the recordings being played, or be totally accurate to the input signal?
    Such is determined by preference. As for me, I couldn't care less what the anechoic *measurements* tell me if the final result sounds unnatural. I have no trouble at all with the concept of using small amounts of EQ to attenuate overly bright results after one addresses the electronic gremlins. I usually run the HF control on the stats around 2:30-3:00. With the double New Advents, I run the upper tweeter control on Normal and the lowers on decrease. Sometimes, I use a 2 db treble cut with the Polks in the HT systems since they do not have a contour control.

    rw

  8. #8
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    The evening was canceled due to illness so I will revive this post in a few weeks when the date is rescheduled.
    Hyfi
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  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    A few weeks ago I listened to a $14,000 pair of Thiels with a Bryston system in an audio store and they were awesome. They were very neutral, dynamic and resolving.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
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  10. #10
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    A few weeks ago I listened to a $14,000 pair of Thiels with a Bryston system in an audio store and they were awesome. They were very neutral, dynamic and resolving.
    More than likely, it was the same model. Depending on finish, that is the price range per pair.

    They better sound good!
    Hyfi
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  11. #11
    Charm Thaiô TheHills44060's Avatar
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    For some reason the NAD M3 has always peaked my interest.

  12. #12
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    More than likely, it was the same model. Depending on finish, that is the price range per pair.

    They better sound good!
    They will.

    never heard them with NAD gear, haven't heard the M3 series neither, but I heard Thiel CS3.7's with Ayre gear, and I was stunned.

    I love their sound, of course I'm a bit biased, given the fact that I have thiels myself...
    They have a very good, and big soundstage, tight bottom end, they sound very balanced... And of course the outstanding imaging...

    I spent several hours in that shop then...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
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    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
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    MIT AVt 2 IC's
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    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  13. #13
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Tonight I am going to see / hear this system and will give some type of review tomorrow.
    Hyfi
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  14. #14
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    Sounds good, if we could have some pictures too that would be awesome. Hope you enjoy

  15. #15
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    NAD M3 master series / Thiel CS3.7
    So my long awaited night to hear this gear arrived. Dinner and a few brews first and then down to the Man Fort, as itís called.

    Thiel CS3.7

    At first glance, the Thiels didnít look as big as I expected in person. For a good price as demos, he got these in black. They go for close to $11500 a pair. What? $12K for a pair of speakers? If I had the cash, I would have a $12K pair of speakers, just not this pair!

    Out of all the times I have heard Thiels, my impression was always ďtoo bright and lack bassĒ. The last pair I seriously listened to was the 1.5s and guess what? My impression is still the same. These speakers are over the top bright to the point you think they have a Lisp. Every word in a song that had an ďsĒ in it was over exaggerated ssso when you hear the sss sssound in a word, it lastsss longer than it ssshould. After 3 hours, this got irritating at loud volume. The tweeter is integral to the midrange, similar to the old KEF UniQ. With another large mid bass, and woofer, there are a total of 4 metal pie pan looking saucers where one would expect a paper or Kevlar cone. I didnít like the black finish but without the grills, the black and polished aluminum looked cool.

    Now donít get me wrong, Iím sure there are plenty of people who like a speaker voiced this way. The sound was big, clear and much more refined than the Polk-Cambridge it replaced. Quite possibly the NAD was not the best amp to use with the Thiels. Iím sure somewhere in a high end store they are much better matched for the demo. They are real heavyweights at 100+ lbs and feel like a rock. The room was also not the best arranged for these speakers either. Seating was a bit too close for that size speaker. When I got up and stood behind the sectional another 6 feet back, the sound was much better. The big honking SVS sub was also not perfectly blended and even lacking deep bass, the Thiels sounded better without the sub. There was no serious cabling, just better than stock nicely built cables.

    We listened to several genres of music. Starting off was a Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush live set. For a rock CD, it sounded ok but nothing like the Markus Miller M2 I had him put on next. Now the sound was better. This is a superb sounding CD that Pebody turned me on to and then my friend. It is amazing how when the gear gets better, it is more revealing of how good or poorly disks are produced. We then talked about vocals so he put on a Porcupine Tree that was mostly just Steve Wilson playing live in a Book Store. He did sound very lifelike but then the S thing hits you. He put on some Polish Prog disk next that sounded like Porky-Flower-King-Trees. Not bad but not a shining recording. Last on before we left was Led Zeppelin III. Again, an old rock recording that just doesnít show off a good system.

    NAD M3 master series

    It is hard to give a review of this piece. It hasnít even had enough time to break in and nothing to A-B for differences. It is a beautiful piece with a thick front plate and heat sink all the way around. Heavy as you would guess too. The volume was real smooth with lots of small increment adjustments on the motored-manual knob. A nice feature is a Tilt that quickly adjusts the bass up 3 and the treble down 3 for overly compressed disks. It was much more refined and detailed than the Cambridge 840.

    I really think both of these pieces would shine if coupled with different gear. I know that the NAD can sound better and I know there is an amp out there to tame the bright Thiels.


    Iím not sayiní. Iím just sayiní.

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    Hyfi
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  16. #16
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I heard those Thiels paired with all Bryston gear (amp, preamp and cdp) and they were nothing like you describe. No sibilance what so ever. Very well balanced, neutral sound.
    It just says that system synergy and matching is so important. Music plays a role too. I have Cd's that have sssssssssssssibilancccccccccccccce no matter what system you play it on.

    Looking at that set up, it's obvious positioning is all wrong. All the Thiels that I have heard have been pulled away from the wall at least 3-4 feet.
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  17. #17
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    I agree with Blackraven.

    I heard them with Ayre gear at a hifi show, in a dedicated room for them, and they were hands down the best set at the whole show (and there was some pretty expensive and good other stuff there too...)

    the smaller ones (the 1.5 and 1.6 might sound somewhat tinner)

    from what I can see in the picture, the positioning is WAY off, they need to be pulled away from the wall, the big flatscreen kills the soundstage, probably adds some brightness there too.
    and a SVS sub? with speakers like the 3.7, I don't know what a sub could possibly add to the performance of the speakers.

    I can't really comment on NAD M3 series, as I haven't heard them yet, but I never was a fan of NAD gear...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  18. #18
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Is that a Cambridge Audio 840c CDP is see in black on the left side there? If so, that could be part of the problem. I found that the 840c leaned on the bright side and was lacking a little in the bottom end and could also add some sibilance. Thats why I sold mine. Its a very good CDP but needs proper system matching.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  19. #19
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pic.

    It's interesting to see high end setups. For example, i wasn't expecting the NAD to be place amidst a bunch of cheap electronics (Sattelite dish receiver?). The massive screen ruins it too, and probably affects the sound as Bert mentionned.

    It's almost like there isn't much respect paid to the gear, know what I mean?

  20. #20
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    I can't make excuses for the person who owns the gear. He is relatively new to high end gear but has money to blow.

    Yes, he had a Cambridge 840 cdp and integrated running the largest Polks but the Integrated went flakey and the volume was ramping on its own so he bought the NAD. He did not listen to either pc before buying.

    I did comment that the room and setup was sub par. I also said I am sure both of these pieces would have sounded better coupled with the correct components and or setup properly.

    It does sound good, just not in ways I prefer. Maybe others hearing the exact same setup would have different views on the sound.
    Hyfi
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  21. #21
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    I can't make excuses for the person who owns the gear. He is relatively new to high end gear but has money to blow.
    I figured as much.

    Don't take the criticism wrongly, or personally. I'm sure we're all happy you shared this.

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