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Thread: Leben CS300X

  1. #1
    Super Wammer def's Avatar
    Join Date
     Oct 2008
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     Great Missenden
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     One day
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     EMM Labs
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     Aesthetix
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     Kharma
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    Post imported post

    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.

  2. #2
    Super Wammer
    Join Date
     Mar 2009
    Posts
     782
    Location
     Barcelona, ,
    Real Name
     Stephen
    Turn Table
     Arrezo & Transcripto
    Digital Source 1
     Upside down Pioneer
    Integrated Amp
     1984 Jap Lux
    Speakers
     Overkill Encore

    Post imported post

    I'm glad you are pleased Def. It is always refreshing to hear good luck stories when box swapping.

    I had a similar experience lately when I tried a tube amp with my Townshend speakers. I had always been one who insisted on powerful SS amps and had never entertained the thought of trying tubes with those particular speakers. I got the shock of my life when, for no other reason than I was pissing around at the time, I hooked up the tubes. Whaow! I always thought tubes were never powerful enough for anything other than little shelf speakers.

    Its all an education.

    Let us know how you get on. Hope it lasts.
    Once I add something to someone's life today... then I can hurt the rest of you:-)

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