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  1. #1621
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brown Bottle View Post
    Look for forward to discovering what your new toy will be. Nobody believes the "all the amplification I will ever need" bit though, it'll be lucky to last 12 months.

    Cheers BB

    Steve, thou speaketh the truth. (Probably)

    Make that 24 months. I need to grow the piggy bank for a pair of Aurum Altan VIII, you know. Or even longer, if I want the Aurum Wotan VIII.

    This 'Dana' is one lucky amp. It gets to partner super quality standmounts upon its entry into solidschateau.

    I can't wait for Monday!!!

    SS
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
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  2. #1622
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s2000db View Post


    Gotcha! It is a Naim then...
    Don't indulge in premature speculation.

    btw, two Danas are actually coming in on Monday. Dana I and Dana II. So, my dear wammate, you cost me more than 1.6k.

    Piccies and first impressions on Monday.

    SS
    Last edited by SSM; 15-09-2011 at 01:04 PM.
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
    PRIMARE DAC30 > AYRE K-5xeMP > 6V6GT SE Class A | audiolab M-DAC
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    (modded valve pre) > GENESIS Advanced Tech. M60 (& I60) PP | PRIMARE A34.2 Class D
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    PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, Alnico, XERO, DM 2/6, Q 2020i
    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  3. #1623
    Founding Wammer s2000db's Avatar
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    It would've been much cheaper if you'd sent me a cheque for 1k, and I gave you a 'quickie' down the phone line (as an audible upgrade of course)..

  4. #1624
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    Quote Originally Posted by s2000db View Post
    It would've been much cheaper if you'd sent me a cheque for 1k, and I gave you a 'quickie' down the phone line (as an audible upgrade of course)..
    Pass. I'd rather have my Dana in front of me. Oooh, that oh-so-tactile and responsive knob! I'll be playing with it all day Monday.


    SS
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
    PRIMARE DAC30 > AYRE K-5xeMP > 6V6GT SE Class A | audiolab M-DAC
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    (modded valve pre) > GENESIS Advanced Tech. M60 (& I60) PP | PRIMARE A34.2 Class D
    OMEGA SUPER ALNICO & 3i Monitors |
    PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, Alnico, XERO, DM 2/6, Q 2020i
    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  5. #1625
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    Have you seen these handsome buggers in the flesh?

    http://www.system-audio.com/_en-GB/p...anger%20master

  6. #1626
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikedefacto View Post
    No, I didn't. The array of drivers is reminiscent of classic Mission freedom floorers. Not sure about the tapered profile, straight rectangular lines in speakers are more to my taste.


    SS
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
    PRIMARE DAC30 > AYRE K-5xeMP > 6V6GT SE Class A | audiolab M-DAC
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    (modded valve pre) > GENESIS Advanced Tech. M60 (& I60) PP | PRIMARE A34.2 Class D
    OMEGA SUPER ALNICO & 3i Monitors |
    PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, Alnico, XERO, DM 2/6, Q 2020i
    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  7. #1627
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    You don't see the drivers when you have the grilles on! The tapered profile is actually what I like best about it... it looks like an exclamation mark!

    I also like these though I know you don't approve of the end-on plywood finish


  8. #1628
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    solidsRoundup - Arcam FMJ A38, Creek Destiny 2, Naim NAIT XS, Rega Elicit & Roksan Caspian M2

    Yes! 'DANA' is now safely escounced at solidschateau and started its running-in. While its delicious early sounds are emanating, I pen this summary of the five amps. They are all wonderful in their own ways and it needs to be said that I chose 'DANA' as it best fits my personal requirements. I need an amplifier that can do great justice to my classical music library and harmonize well with my taste in speakers - German (ELAC, and Aurum in the future) with fast drivers and lightning-quick ribbon tweeters. If I foresaw myself getting a soft-dome British mini instead, I might have picked a different amp.

    And so, Roksan's Caspian M2 falls right to the bottom of the list. When I heard it in June, I was very impressed with its definition and tight control. Now, after the second demo, I reckon its treble is a tad bright and insistent which doesn't bode well for long-term fatigue-free listening. It places emphasis on the crisp, tinkly part of the sounds of struck piano keys rather than the woodiness, and underlines the consonants of female singers making them sound sharper. I reckon at this price point an integrated amp ought to have sorted out its treble response. The other four amps have faultless treble responses in comparison, and their midbands are also more open whereas the Caspian's is quite astringent. Music just doesn't flow as convincingly through it as the rest.

    I had the pleasure of being a Creek EVO owner for three years and awaited the Destiny 2's arrival in Tipoca with great anxiety. I had demoed the original Destiny in 2006 and 2008 but chose the MF X-T100 instead. I certainly liked what I heard from the Destiny 1. When the Destiny 2 emerged as group test winner amongst other brit amps in HFC(Feb), I bought a copy - my first HFC in two years - in anticipation that the time had come to fulfill my Destiny!

    In the flesh, the Destiny 2 looks every bit its asking price. Its sound is so immaculate and well-turned out, it makes the Caspian M2 sound like a boom-tizz budget box. Destiny 2's greatest strength is its control and composure in the upper-mids and treble. Turn the wick up and the sounds that appear in this region expand gloriously and effortlessly. And it is so pristinely clean and extended as well. In this regard, it outperforms the Quad Elite pre and monoblocs I heard a month ago. Imaging is also very precise that I felt it was superior to the (costlier) ATC, 'Swedish' and 'Danish' pre-powers. In this regard Creek may have turned out a giant-slayer of an amp. The Destiny 2's mid and treble performance has high-end cred.

    The Destiny 2 has an Achilles heel though, and a rather big one at that. HFC(Feb) suggested it may be too laid-back. Well, after hearing it for myself, I reckoned that is quite an understatement! The Destiny 2 is the least groovy of the five amps and the fast-tempo pop music I tried was not engaging at all. It seems after all that effort to design an amp that can make the upper registers blossom and flow, the Creek people forgot to fit in a rhythm engine. I thought by engaging the Active gain mode, the pace would pick up a little and turn the Destiny 2 into a PRaTty EVO, but no... all it did was make the sound louder by a few dB and introduce a hint of steely brightness. IMO this amp is not an all-rounder. It will be beguiling to listen to at night when I'm slouched in the sofa twirling a glass of nectar while the voices of Ms Peyroux, Krall and Snorah float in the air, but it sure needs a big dose of PRaT...

    That is where the NAIT XS leaps ahead in the musical stakes. It doesn't have the Destiny 2's incredible reach and cleanliness in the upper registers but it really gets to the heart (and rhythm) of any piece of music. Last Friday's demo with Neat floorstanders raised my esteem for it further. It may be all the amp any audiophool with smaller speakers and a standard-sized room will ever need. Very well-sorted design. It only lags behind the final two for soundstage scale and depth. Its prowess at carrying a rhythm comes at the expense of the shallowest soundstage amongst the five amps.

    Arcam FMJ A38 turned out a masterclass in soundstage depth. The HFC (Feb) review cited it as joint favourite with the winner and I agree - the A38 and Destiny 2 are kindred spirits and in a blind test, anyone will have some difficulty telling them apart. Both have an effortlessly clean and expansive upper register, and both are wonderful with vocals. The Destiny 2 has better defined bass, but I rate the A38 higher because its bass is more rhythmic. Matched with B&W's PM1, it produced some really exquisite sounds. Afaic, this PM1 shows Spendor SA1 and Harbeth's P3ESR a clean pair of heels for mini-monitor finesse. It doesn't suffer the two's mid-bass hump/tubbiness and that Nautilus tweeter... It can take a treble sound and carve it in the air with immense elegance. I actually muttered 'holy shit' when I heard background strings on one pop song make a descent on the scale. It's a lucky thing I have a distaste for Kevlar woofers, otherwise my wallet would have taken another hit.

    The FMJ A38 is Arcam's best integrated yet, but my ownership of the A28 which already nets me 85% of the A38's performance makes me a bit 'meh' about buying another Arcam so soon.



    And so that means 'DANA' is the Rega ELICIT!!!



    ^ Two black beauties: Sade Deluxe and Rega Deluxe. "This is no ordinary love..."


    Actually, it wasn't that close amongst the five. The Elicit cleaned up the other four IMO.

    The Rega dealership had changed hands since my first demo of the Elicit in June. The new dealer claimed to have given the showroom Elicit a very thorough run-in. I had the Saturn cdp and Naim-Focal 807V Chorus for the June demo and the Rega DAC and ATC SCM11 for last Thursday's demo. I was expecting to hear something similar but when the first sounds emerged it was like I got hit by a freight train. The soundstage was so deep and wide and open and the performers within it were so lifelike, it was a big shock to my mind and its pre-expectations. I wanted to buy the Elicit immediately.

    The Rega demo was second-last before the Destiny 2, which I saved for last because as a previous Creek EVO owner I thought it will be The One. Wrong! Although the Destiny 2 impressed me with its strengths, it didn't approach the Elicit's ability to make music sound so very life-like.

    Wow, 'DANA' and I are going to live together happily ever after.

    My Elicit is still running in and I have read online and been told by the dealer that it needs 150+ hours for the many quality discrete components inside to break in. Despite that, I'm already hearing signs of greatness emerging. Will comment further over the week.

    SS


    The Quintet - honorable mentions:


    Tonal richness - Elicit & NAIT XS
    All five amps had the dynamic ability to reproduce massive orchestral climaxes but only these two had the variety and richness of tone in their reproduction to make me appreciate that an orchestra is made up of many instruments with contrasting tonal colours. The Elicit was great and the XS very good. I will never believe future anti-Naimite comments that say Naim amplification is only suited for rock music and can't play classical.

    Treble finesse - Destiny 2 & FMJ A38

    These two have immense reach and control in the treble regions. If the Rega and Naim are earthier by comparison, the Destiny 2 and FMJ A38 are silvery singers.

    Imaging - Destiny 2 & Elicit

    The Creek has pin-sharp imaging that I reckon is superior to the three pre-powers I heard. My ears were made aware of this incredible attribute at all times and the moments where a singer or saxophonist pulls away slightly from the mic were audible. The Rega is the only other amp that managed to do this trick too, but not as often and evident as the Creek.

    Rhythm - NAIT XS

    The Salisbury stable is very famous/notorious for one musical strength. The XS is the grooviest amp of the five. Surprise, surprise.

    Vocal reproduction - FMJ A38

    With the exception of the Caspian M2, the other four enchanted with their differing ways in reproducing human voices. The Arcam, though, is the most arresting as it has the ability to project and focus a voice into the listening room. Almost holographic.

    Soundstage depth - Elicit & FMJ A38

    Deep, wide and with dollops of that cliched quality called inky-black background, these two amps are neck-to-neck in this ability.

    Bass - Elicit
    Here, the Elicit kills the other four. It has the works in this area: definition, clarity and athleticism. They are many pro reviews of the Elicit online now and they are quite unanimous about its superb handling of bass. The 6 Moons description concurs with my own findings.



    NB: related entry in Hi-Five's Rega thread
    Last edited by SSM; 30-09-2011 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Vanity ;-)
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
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    OMEGA SUPER ALNICO & 3i Monitors |
    PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, Alnico, XERO, DM 2/6, Q 2020i
    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  9. #1629
    Founding Wammer s2000db's Avatar
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    Glad that you and I are making sweet music together..

    I trust that this new purchase will keep you from feelimg down, and will uplift your spirits like no other....


    Oh and btw it needs a bigger knob!

    Sweet dreams...

  10. #1630
    Super Wammer Brown Bottle's Avatar
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    Cracking write up SSM. I'll hopefully get a listen to the Elicit at the Whittlebury Show this weekend. Must be good if it beats the XS.

    Cheers BB

  11. #1631
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    Quote Originally Posted by s2000db View Post
    Glad that you and I are making sweet music together..

    I trust that this new purchase will keep you from feelimg down, and will uplift your spirits like no other....
    Oooh yeah. With every additional minute of divine sound the Elicit is pushing out, the pain I felt from the stress of the last 12 months of hard slog is melting away.


    Oh and btw it needs a bigger knob!
    Yeah, 'Dana''s knob needs more length. Then again, I do like its tidy dimensions.


    SS

    ps: get back to you later BB. My attention is being monopolized by something really royal right now.
    Last edited by SSM; 19-09-2011 at 08:51 AM.
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
    PRIMARE DAC30 > AYRE K-5xeMP > 6V6GT SE Class A | audiolab M-DAC
    > ICON AUDIO LA4 MKIII > EL84 SE Class A
    MUSICAL FIDELITY X-T100
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    OMEGA SUPER ALNICO & 3i Monitors |
    PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, Alnico, XERO, DM 2/6, Q 2020i
    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  12. #1632
    Super Wammer Brown Bottle's Avatar
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    Playing with Dana's knob, many a Gerrards Cross Housewife's Dream.

    Cheers BB

  13. #1633
    Super Wammer tones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSM View Post
    Wow, 'DANA' and I are going to live together happily ever after.
    Hmmm....
    The man with the golden ear trumpet

  14. #1634
    Founding Wammer s2000db's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tones View Post
    Hmmm....
    You just know it'll end in tears...

  15. #1635
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    Quote Originally Posted by tones View Post
    Hmmm....
    Oh Tones, I dunno how you could live with your dumpy 606 for over two decades. Its successor the 909 has great midrange resolution and impressive slam for orchestral tuttis, but its an inept weakling when called upon to delineate walking jazz basslines IMO. I've just played some Michael Buble - in "Me and Mrs Jones" the plucks on the double bass were rendered by the Elicit in such a highly articulate and legible way that I could hear how the double bassist was playing the notes with a wry seductiveness that complimented the lyrics of the song. Shivers down the spine moment!!! On this song, the 909 just mumbled its way through the basslines. Its 'control' over the deep bass is of a thud-thud-thud monotonal quality, I'm sad to say.

    This is quite a gulf in musical expression.

    SS
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
    PRIMARE DAC30 > AYRE K-5xeMP > 6V6GT SE Class A | audiolab M-DAC
    > ICON AUDIO LA4 MKIII > EL84 SE Class A
    MUSICAL FIDELITY X-T100
    (modded valve pre) > GENESIS Advanced Tech. M60 (& I60) PP | PRIMARE A34.2 Class D
    OMEGA SUPER ALNICO & 3i Monitors |
    PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, Alnico, XERO, DM 2/6, Q 2020i
    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  16. #1636
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s2000db View Post
    You just know it'll end in tears...
    'Dana', in the event we decide to split, I'd let you know now that I will not fight for custody of the panda.

    SS
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
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    > ICON AUDIO LA4 MKIII > EL84 SE Class A
    MUSICAL FIDELITY X-T100
    (modded valve pre) > GENESIS Advanced Tech. M60 (& I60) PP | PRIMARE A34.2 Class D
    OMEGA SUPER ALNICO & 3i Monitors |
    PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, Alnico, XERO, DM 2/6, Q 2020i
    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  17. #1637
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    More than likely the Quad just didn't think it was worth making the effort to express the non-music of Michael Bubble

  18. #1638
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikedefacto View Post
    More than likely the Quad just didn't think it was worth making the effort to express the non-music of Michael Bubble
    Aw c'mon, you yourself admitted a couple of pages back that you found your own 909 limited at the frequency extremes. Don't bring the quality of Buble's pasta-bar music into contention.

    Besides 'Me and Mrs Jones', other jazzy tracks featuring star turns by the double bass were reproduced deliciously, like Diana Krall's "My Love Is" and Erykah Badu's "Certainly". 12 hours running and the Elicit already exhibits such prowess in taut bass control. I wonder if it gets any better...

    Soundstaging just gets deeper by the hour. I'm continuing to listen until dawn.

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    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
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  19. #1639
    Founding Wammer s2000db's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSM View Post
    'Dana', in the event we decide to split, I'd let you know now that I will not fight for custody of the panda.

    SS
    Too right!

  20. #1640
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSM View Post
    Aw c'mon, you yourself admitted a couple of pages back that you found your own 909 limited at the frequency extremes. Don't bring the quality of Buble's pasta-bar music into contention.
    I just couldn't resist having a pop at Mr Shitbubble

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