Making assumptions about what will and won’t work for you in this Hifi game is a real mistake. Heres a few thoughts on a combo that shouldn't work.
Who’d have thought a 15w valve amp driving current hunger less than the most sensitive Sonus Faber speakers would be anything less than a disaster. Let alone from a 10 year old budget Samsung DVD player.
Local Wammer Lazyscott has kindly lent me his Leben while I source a new CDP/Pre. We’d originally decided to try a Naim Pre with my Chapter. Unfortunately the cabling wouldn’t work and rather than muck around with even more boxes LS advised that the Leben ran his SFs perfectly well. I must admit I was dubious. I play music from across the spectrum, only a little occaisional Classical mostly Ryan Adams through Placebo stoping off at Suzanne Vega and the Long Blondes with maybe a little Massive Attack. In other words the system has a decent work out.
Connected with el-cheapo s/e ic’s the sound this combo produces is remarkable. In a word I’d sum it up as engaging. Small scale acoustic music has real presence, female vocal is particularly sweet. Vocals are natural and less nasal than I had expected.The system doesn’t have the resolution I’m used too. Talking Heads is playing as I write and you don’t get that sense of the skin’s of the percussion being beaten but it’s all there and the toe’s tap along perfectly nicely. Soundstage lacks a little atmosphere - there isn’t the sense of an acoustic space I’m used to and when pushed things get a little congested. Much of this might be mitigated by a more efficient speaker and better source. I’ll be interested to hear what a better source might bring. What the system lacks just doesn't get in the way of enjoying the flow of themusic.
Baring in mind any criticism is based on comparison with £11.5k of CDP & Pre/Pwr I’m bowled over by how good it sounds. I can imagine this amp, a good source and some efficient small speakers could be the answer for many a music lover with a small listening room and close neighbour’s.
It's been in residence for only a few days, if I can pull myself away from listening I'll add to these thoughts at a later date.