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Thread: Various gear impressions from weekend get-together.

  1. #1
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    Various gear impressions from weekend get-together.

    I had a few friends over this past weekend to listen to some new gear and thought I'd share some impressions. So you don't have to click on my name to see what my system is:
    Marantz SR5010 used in Pure Direct with all a/v processing disengaged. Pro-ject Carbon Esprit, Orotofon 2M Red cart, Parasound zPhono pre
    Denon 2910 universal player
    Pass Labs X150.5
    JBL Synthesis 1400 Array

    Impressions:
    Custom Rega RP5, AT150sa cart, Rega speedbox, custom plinth, custom silver wiring, custom copper/silver ic's
    This is one smooth operator. Dead quiet with beautifully extended and airy highs. There was a certain sparkle to the way the music was presented, especially with horns and triangles. The reduction in noise and distortion compared to my tt was noticeable from the first note. Frightening dynamic range, no doubt aided by the black backgrounds. There was less body and a palpable reduction in weight, but the bass was very tuneful. If I could combine the lower end of my tt with the mids and highs of the Rega, I'd die happy.

    PS Audio GCPH phone stage Very neutral, as in it doesn't add or subtract anything. Handles dynamic transients with lightening speed. Zero noise or grain. It has a built-in gain stage, so you can hook it up directly to the amp and bypass the line stage, something we should have tried but didn't. It paired well with both the Rega and Pro-ject, in fact I can see one of these on the horizon.

    Shiit Modi multibit We A/B'd this with the Denon's on-board Burr-Brown dac's by using a coax digital cable to the Modi and wiring that to another input on the Marantz. Switching between the two inputs allowed us to hear both dac's on the same track instantaneously. It didn't matter. Honestly, most of us couldn't hear any difference between the new Schiit and the 10 year old Denon. The person that brought the Modi thought the distortion was much lower and the bass was tighter, but I couldn't hear it. I'm not saying it didn't exist, merely that my hearing may not be as acute as his.
    Tascam DSD DA3000 dac For whatever reason, we couldn't get this to play through the Denon like the Schiit. Thus, my only only impressions are from the lossless tunes the owner brought on a thumb drive. By the way, those would be very, very good. Serious weight and slam, with a smooth mid band and no glare whatsoever. Now, I wasn't familiar with the recordings being played, so the source needs to be considered, but I thought it sounded great!

    Recording of the Night: Harry James "King James Version," Sheffield Labs I have never heard this and I'm a sucker for big band, so when we dropped the needle...well...it scared the Hell out of me! I don't know if I've heard dynamic swings like this before, certainly not on my system and not at the levels these guys liked to play (a good 5-10db's louder than I usually do) When the band jumps from MF to FFF, it damn near blew me clear off the couch! The JBL's were made for this! Mr. P., if you're out there, you would love this recording!

    This is the first time I've hosted a group of audio enthusiasts and I have to say, it was great! I had not met most of the guys, but found we shared many of the same interests beyond audio, including cars (one guy had a NSX and a tracked M6's, so you know we got along famously), watches, and wine...lots and lots of wine. William Hill, Peachy Canyon, and Turley were in ample supply, so a great time was had by all.
    Mr Peabody likes this.

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    Sounds like a fun time.

    In a weak link scenario you probably should think about a DAC or new single box solution to upgrade your digital front end.

    The Ortofon usually has good bass slam, maybe an upgrade in that line one day could provide better highs like you heard. It's only my opinion but I'm not a big AT fan, they are a good value but I found them as you describe a bit bright, or a better way to say it is not balanced with the emphasis in the highs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Sounds like a fun time.

    In a weak link scenario you probably should think about a DAC or new single box solution to upgrade your digital front end.

    The Ortofon usually has good bass slam, maybe an upgrade in that line one day could provide better highs like you heard. It's only my opinion but I'm not a big AT fan, they are a good value but I found them as you describe a bit bright, or a better way to say it is not balanced with the emphasis in the highs.
    You're evaluation was spot on to what I heard. The AT was definitely tipped towards the highs and sounded thin in comparison to the Ortofon. I'm not that interested in upgrading my digital right now beyond burning all my cd's lossless onto a hard drive and accessing them via dlna for convenience. I might eventually get a Bifrost or Nuwave dac, but I'm far more interested in improving the analog side right now. I'm still thinking about that Nagaoka that Larry recommended. There's one on ebay with 50 hours on it for around $279 that has my attention.

  4. #4
    Charm Thai™
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    Ah man that sounds like a good time. It's cool that everyone seemed to gel pretty nicely whether the topic was audio or not.

    Oh yeah and NSX, niiiiice !!!!!!
    topspeed likes this.

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