Tonight was one of the local shops hi fi parties. They recently picked up a few new lines and wanted to generate some buzz. They throw a party when occasionally they have something they want to introduce or show off.
In my opinion "best of show" was an all T+A, V series, set up driving a mere Dynaudio
C1's. When you see what else was there you might think me crazy. This system was incredible. Of course, the V series monoblocks are only $33k a pair, hybrids that do 500 watts into 8 ohms and can be switched to Class A with a 60 watt rating. I'll have to look those up for more info, a pretty big gap in power and I'm interested to see how this is done. Guys, if you ever get the chance to hear T+A you should take it. Excellent sound and jus crystal clear transparency.
The runner up was the new Arcam DAC which is under $500.00 plugged into a powered version of the Dynaudio Focus 110's. The 110's are the sweetest powered speakers I've heard. I assume some of that sweet sound can be attributed to the Arcam DAC, plugged into that was just a laptop. I asked about the files and he said they were WAV and something else. He was walking around the store controlling the music with his cellphone. I guess some ap allowed control of the laptop. The powered speakers run close to $2200.00, there is another series that cost $1300.00. I thought this could be the wave of the future and with the Arcam and Dynaudio it was even audiophile.
The main attraction was an all Boulder system driving a $12k set of Sonus Faber. When I walked in they were playing some Country stuff and later something not much better. However, after all the raves I heard about Boulder I was not impressed. Don't get me wrong, it sounded good but for the price and the build up it was a bit of a fizzle. I would like to hear the Boulder on a high end Dynaudio, then I could get my reference. I have about decided I am not a SF fan. They aren't bad, just not my taste.
I heard some Sim Audio separates, including their monoblocks but again they were driving SF Liuto's and I'm not sure if my luke warm impression was the Sim or the SF, or both.
I notice I am harder to impress now. I don't know if it's just the gear I'm hearing or if the CJ is that good and I'm just spoiled to it. I don't want to start a tube vs solid state debate so don't go there. With that being said I notice in other gear, coincidentally, it's been solid state, certain information or character is missing that I get with my CJ. Like the longer hang time in cymbals and the details that let the instrument sound more natural, or like an instrument. Also,the CJ gives music a pace and rhythm like I haven't quite heard in any other brand.
I've heard some active monitors from Dynaudio and Leo's Pro Audio in Oakland. I believe their prices was in the $2k+ area. I was blown away by the clarity, speed, and detail. Unfortunately my friend who was looking for some active speakers for mastering at the time thought there wasn't enough bass in the near field. He went with some JBL speakers and hates them a year later...........
Of the passive Dynaudio gear - I've heard their C4 speakers driven by Boulder amps and some 20K CDP that had trouble with most CDs (awesome!). I remember I liked it, but it wasn't as engaging as I have heard. So my Dynaudio impressions have been one hit and one miss so far.
Well I do know how your CJ stuff does because I have heard it for myself and I think you are set as far as pre and amps for quite some time. I liked your Dynaudio on CJ but I would understand wanting a different sound every so often to get a more lively sound for some music or albums. I have heard mixed reviews on SF stuff and frankly I don't look to hard at Boulder because everything they make is at least double what I am allowing myself to budget for gear since I am going back to school and will not be making the money I was and don't want to drain my bank accounts so Boulder to me is just something to make my debt feel like a Boulder. I have looked at a few pieces of sim audio stuff but there really has not been one piece that really caught my attention and I really don't think from the way people talk about their sound it would suit me or do anything for my system as far a huge improvements(not to say it would take much to improve on my Yamaha for a 2 channel preamp but I am working on that). I would not mind hearing some of the Nuforce stuff though due to the fact that every write up seems to say that they are beating anything in their price range and keeping up with more expensive stuff. At first I looked at Emotiva and I am not going to say that they are bad at all but I just think I need to go in a different direction from them for the sound I want as far as preamps go.
yamaha htr5560 receiver (HT)
Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
Dynaudio audience 60 mains
Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
JBL e250p subwoofer with modified dampened cabinet and after market plate amp.
Samsung 46" LED TV
OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
ps-audio digilink 3 dac (2 channel)
PS Audio Quintet power center
Blue jeans speaker and interconnect cables
Sounds like you had a fun time experiencing another slice of the audio pie. I was surprised that the Arcam + Dynaudio was such a positive experience. Though I like Arcam products I've always found them kinda dry sounding.
It's my understanding that the Sim Audio is very warm and of course you know how warm SF is so I imagine the paring was double warm.
Ya, your spoiled by the high SQ of the CJ that's for sure. We all should have that same "problem"
Thanks for sharing your insights with the hi fi party.