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  1. #1
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    I hit the town listening today.

    I picked up my Arcam amp after repairs this morning and took the opportunity to do some listening. I heard a T+A integrated and CD player driving a pair of Dynaudio Focus, a new series from them. This system would cost just over $9k. Speakers were $3k, CDP $3,300.00 and the integrated about the same. This may sound like a large price tag but comparatively the system sounded worth every penny. The T+A is nice gear, if you get a chance, check it out. T+A cdp and SACD players have an interesting feature and I need to look into it more to understand what and how it works but they have 3 to 4 sound settings you can choose. I don't know if it is some type of filter, sound shaper or DSP and the salesman wasn't up on it yet. While listening I went through the different settings and they seem to have more to do with spacial effects than altering the frequency response. The shop had a $4,500.00 SACD that was a trade in and the guy said the cd section sounded better on this machine compared to the stand alone cdp. I brought it home for a listen. The T+A players do not have balanced outputs. So far I prefer my Krell kav-280cd. The Krell has a slight advantage with balanced circuits and outputs, and an upgraded power cord. I need really to do more listening but I feel the Krell sound as more weight overall. The T+A is leaner sounding. For instance on piano the T+A has more air or silence around the notes while the Krell seems to let the notes ring longer and give more textures. So which has more detail the one with the extra information that some times melds the notes together or the one that lets you hear every note with some breathing room? I prefer my 280's high end. Trying to put the difference into words, the T+A is brighter and cymbals have more shimmer, nothing offensive, while the 280cd the cymbals seem to have more weight or the metal sounds denser. Both units have very good bass response the difference here between the two is similar to the piano, a bass line on the T+A is leaner or tighter while on the 280cd you can hear each note but the string has more reverberation sound. I would describe T+A as Arcam on steroids.

    The shop also recently picked up Cambridge Audio. I listened to a small combo and thought for the money it was good The little 60 wpc integrated pushed a pair of Audience 42's pretty well.

  2. #2
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Listening to all that new gear all at once makes it a tough call but what general impression did you come away with after listening to the new Dynaudio? Better than the Audience 92, very similar, all together different? I'm guessing that in the end the Focus will replace the Audience line since it doesn't seem to make much sense to keep them both around at that price point.

    jc.
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  3. #3
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    Hi Jim; I didn't really get to compare the Focus with any of the other Dyn models and as I'm not totally familiar with T+A yet I don't want to comment except to say I agree with you down the road we will see the Audience disappear. The salesman told me the $3,500.00 Focus towers I was listening to would sound better than my Contour 2.5t. The Focus did sound good but I'd have to hear them side by side to be convinced. That T+A driving the Dyn's was the best system I heard that day in my opinion. I mean with $20k B&W 800d's, that system, had some obvious advantages but in overall balance and listenability the T+A/Dyn has my vote. Actually yesterday was the first I've heard of the Focus series, I don't know where I've been.

    I've done a little more listening to the T+A SACD 1245r. I don't have any SACD's, but remember the salesman said the CD section was better than the stand alone entry T+A CD player. This unit has a couple of annoying things about it, first with any piece of T+A the remote is an option, they make one remote for all their gear, so this unit don't have a remote and the second thing is it takes about 30 seconds to load a disc. What is this thing doing with these discs that it needs that much time? One nice feature to me is a bright display, it's easy to read and it can be shut off if it bugs you. Of course, with no remote that requires getting my butt off the couch. I've been A/B listening against my Krell kav-280cd. I still prefer my Krell. The differences are similar to what I talked about in my earlier post, the Krell having more weight and more tonal textures, like string vibrations where the T+A gives a more tighter leaner presentation still sounding very good. The 1245r has a nice rugged build quality.

  4. #4
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    The salesman told me the $3,500.00 Focus towers I was listening to would sound better than my Contour 2.5t.
    I'd be stunned to learn that a salesman would say anything but that. Those speaks were probably just off the truck so I don't think you've missed anything at all. In fact you're probably among the first to hear them at all.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  5. #5
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    Since Flip's closed down, there is very few places to shop for good Hi-Fi stuff in STL anymore and the places Ive been to the sales guys think they are so much better than I am, No wounder why
    Hi-Fi is what it is today(next to dead except for those few of us here.)

    I still talk to Tom once in a while, he still builds some stuff and does custom work for a select few people. He has a voice mail set up on the old number.
    There's a solution for that problem,
    Its called 2 channels

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by twochannelsonly
    Since Flip's closed down, there is very few places to shop for good Hi-Fi stuff in STL anymore and the places Ive been to the sales guys think they are so much better than I am, No wounder why
    Hi-Fi is what it is today(next to dead except for those few of us here.)

    I still talk to Tom once in a while, he still builds some stuff and does custom work for a select few people. He has a voice mail set up on the old number.
    If you go to Best Sound, ask for Tim. He was great to let me hang out Saturday and he showed me several different systems. At Music For Pleasure ask for Dwayne. He's hard to catch in sometimes. Adam seems nice but I haven't talked with him enough to know how knowledgable he is. Hi Fi Fo Fum carries McIntosh and Paradigm but I don't have a certain contact there. The first 2 places will let you take gear home to audition, as you read I brought home the T+A piece. Unfortunately, Tom was the only one who was a real tube fan. Even though I bought a couple things from Flip's I found them hard to deal with. I usually ended up talking to that really tall guy that worked there and he would always go ask questions of someone, I'm assuming it was Tom. Don't let MFP intimidate you, they are just really confident and stand behind their lines. I've gotten mad at all of them at one time or another but what can you do. My problems has mostly been with not receiving a call back when some one says they will. That irritates me to no end. It really makes you think they want your money.

  7. #7
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    I havent been to those other place's since Flip's closed.
    But you sure hit a nerve when you mentioned "they dont call back when they say they will"

    arrrr, I hate that also.

    Does Les(the old man) still have anything to do with Best Sound Mr P? I respected him alot and he helped get me into the prewire bissness before I became a phoneman.
    There's a solution for that problem,
    Its called 2 channels

  8. #8
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    No, Les has been gone for awhile now. Probably around 2 years.

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