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  1. #1781
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    May 9th 2012

    Despite the earlier rant about the Young DAC's appearance, I took heed of wammate's recommendation and visited it. Add to that the weekend's audition of the fabled Naim DAC and I have realized just where I draw the line about my digital conversion requirements.

    Welcome another chic black digital box to solidschateau!



    ^ Audiolab's M-DAC. solidsDAC no.6. An astonishing level of performance for its modest price. And now that it's plugged into my own system I'm beginning to appreciate it even more.

    Will post thoughts about Naim's DAC over the week.


    SS
    Last edited by SSM; 09-05-2012 at 12:18 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
    > 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 | (reserved)

  2. #1782
    Wammer It Cost How Much!?!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSM View Post
    U bitch!

    I beg to differ. Escounced in a cosy audio den with rich velvet drapes, it will look very classy.


    ^ any espresso-lover's dream colour scheme.

    Also dig the concentric Vifa tweeters which look like erect male nipples.

    SS
    Why is the speaker not centred on the stand?

  3. #1783
    Super Wammer awkwardbydesign's Avatar
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    I think it is. You may be looking at the reflection.

  4. #1784
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awkwardbydesign View Post
    I think it is. You may be looking at the reflection.
    Bingo. Mr No Chi-fi was being his usual cock-eyed self.
    And since all 7feet of him turned up and his birthday is looming, I'll christened my M-DAC - 'Bob'. That ought to elicit a tear from his "cruel and heartless" self.

    Lefty, if you're looking in, I afraid to say I'm straining to hear where the M-DAC's treble is smoothed off. It is so much crisper and detailed on top than the analog-y Rega DAC. It's not bright like MF's M1-DAC, but some pop music is coming off really razor-sharp through the ELAC's ribbon tweeters.

    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 | (reserved)

  5. #1785
    Wam Fooodly doo di da vacdac's Avatar
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    Nice one TR,

    First time I've seen a reco. 4 Gavin DeGraw, on the Wam(I really like Chariot & the bonus cd is brill too) +1 from me the rest is all good stuff too

    Chris oooooooooooot
    Quote Originally Posted by ncdrawl View Post
    dont.you like my link audio k100, sss? i think they are beautiful....epitome of great aesthetic design,.gorgeous sound

    you.should def expand yer tastes. get away from cher, ricky martin....


    get into.rufus wainwright, gavin degraw, mayer hawthorne, tegan and sarah, jonsi, the xx, janelle monae, esperanza spaulding.....
    Gyro, Jelly750d, Oyaide MJ-12, AT33EV/OC9ml ii/F3iii, Rondo Red carts, Icon audio PS 1.2 phono, C.A. Stream Magic 6, Oppo BDP,(Synology DS213/Acer timeline X lappy. Alva Nanoface) M.F. A1fbp/Schiit Lyr2 pre's, XTZ ap100 power, XTZ99.36 speaks, x-can v8, AKG Q701

  6. #1786
    Super Wammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoopsOnToast View Post
    Now about the more manly version.....



    AE2 Signatures in Rosewood, or even less metro, the standard AE2 in black
    No, THESE are the manly version...



    Acoustic Energy AE2 Pro complete with in-built flying hardware (only photo I could find and couldn't be bothered to photo mine)

  7. #1787
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    I'll never forget the day I brought this M-DAC home. When I took the Rega DAC home last year, the entire journey to and fro was most pleasant: I had a lovely lunch beforehand, the donut store stocked the flavours I wanted (and freshly baked) for my listening treat, as did the Nespresso capsule boutique. And I could listen to the Rega rig in peace.

    In contrast, the process of bringing the M-DAC home was a page from a horror book. I had a bad hair day (arrgghhh! cheap curlers), the trip to the Young DAC dealer and back wasn't pleasant, the curry naan lunch kept me burping garlicky fumes. And when I stepped out of the building with my M-DAC carton, there was this HUGE grey-black thundercloud filling the entire sky from whose cover I could not escape. That triggered my acute astraphobia big-time. Instead of anticipating the listening session with the M-DAC, I had a panic attack and kept thinking 'the lightning is going to get me this time'.

    The M-DAC's first three hours of running-in seemed like I had bought a faulty unit. The USB input kept clicking intermittently and the sound was bloated and sluggish. Then the superior from work called to bark 'something is wrong with April's expense accounts, where did this sum of money go to'. Stress!

    I might be forgiven for thinking I had brought a memento made by the dev*l himself back home.

    Good thing the bad voodoo has dissipated today. The M-DAC seems sufficiently run in and the quality of its sound might make anyone reckon Mr Westlake had made a pact with the D, to produce this level of performance at this price point. The doubly-priced Young DAC didn't do enough to convince me it was worth the extra over the M-DAC, imho.

    The Naim DAC demo last weekend did, but its sonic signature is not to my taste.

    This M-DAC is intended to replace the MF X components and partner my Quad 909-SCM11, reducing box-count and enabling me to bring the MFs to the flower shop to power the Leema Xeros. But its running-in trial with the Rega Elicit-ELACs is putting the Rega DAC in danger of being consigned to the lesser system.

    Its Optimal Transient filters are the best-performing, similar to the Rega DAC's filters 4 & 5 in the elimination of pre-ringing. I planned to settle on Optimal Transient XD but read that Mr Westlake recommended the DD variant as offering more bass in certain systems. So I did some ab-ing between XD and DD and gosh, the DD gave my Elicit more material to display its bass prowess. It ploughed deeper than on XD. Plucked notes on jazz double basses were very tangible and well-shaped. Even more impressive is the performance in dance music. Synthesizer bass notes are deep, taut and very quick. Pulsating! My adrenaline is still coursing from that one hour of Madonna's MDNA album and selected Pet Shop Boys tracks. M-DAC > Elicit > ELAC is the PRaTtiest combo I've ever assembled.

    After a year with the ELACs I thought I knew all about the JET III tweeters' performance. The M-DAC's crisp, clear treble brought a new measure of swiftness to the JETs. The speedy attack and clear enunciation on high-pitched instruments like solo violin or massed violins is electrifying. Yet shorn of any messy overhang. It's so fast and precise. Almost electro-static like. Vivaldi's Four Seasons sounds born anew.

    Currently enjoying pop violinist David Garrett's fiddlings.

    In these genres the M-DAC has the Rega DAC beat. But the following days will probably reveal areas where my gracious Essex beauty gets its own back.





    ^ mini Dana meets little Bob: Panda cuddle-ish analog-y sound vs towering, cruel, gleaming sonics.


    SS
    Last edited by SSM; 18-05-2012 at 08:09 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
    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 | (reserved)

  8. #1788
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSM View Post
    [SIZE=4][COLOR=#0000ff][B] Depending on one's own tastes, it either looks neat and discreet. Or rather, in the silver finish with that black display window juxtaposed on the fascia, an antique video-cassette recorder - argghhh. An amp for vicars and Conservative backbenchers. A18-owner Nsherin had more hindsight and opted for his FMJ in the all-black finish. The matte silver photographs badly and looks grey in daylight fluorescent light. Bathed in warm fluorescent light, it's much more adorable.SS
    Yes when I had an A85 (excellent amp) it was in the sophisticated matt black and was enhanced with the display off.
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  9. #1789
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Strat View Post
    Yes when I had an A85 (excellent amp) it was in the sophisticated matt black and was enhanced with the display off.
    Yes indeed.

    So, how did you ever lose your common sense and replaced the Arcam for the coloured Naim components?


    Your appearance on here is timely. Now that I have saved 1.4k by having the M-DAC instead of the Naim DAC, I'm considering making that big splurge and buy 'Nadal' - the standout winner from the previous weekend of demoing luxury standmounts.

    Yep, the one who handily beat the B&W PM1, ProAC Response D2 and Spendor SP 3/1R2 is :


















































    ^ Dynaudio Focus 160!!! After five years to the same month when I bought my Focus 110, I'm in danger of becoming a Dynadude again.

    But the 160 is no mildly reworked replacement for the 110 and 140. It is superbly improved. Those tweeters.The midband transparency. The bass power.

    1.9k in gloss piano black. This could be the last standmount I'll ever need.


    Except there are other new desires on the block. On the second demo I simply had to invite trouble by asking hear the M-DAC with two new items - Quad Elite QSP and Wharfedale Jade 5. In a nutshell, this combo blew the Naim DAC, Nait XS and Neat Momentum 3i to the middle of next week. Quad's new current-dumper is better than the Elite monoblocks IMO and as for the Jade 5, it shocked me with its performance! Dare I say it's more accomplished than the B&W PM1?!! It's that 75mm midrange dome, it opens up vocal tracks better than the PM1's single meat and potato.




    ^ the build is immaculate




    ^ sexy tight black arse

    1.8k in gloss black finish. This could be the last floorstander I'll ever need.

    Downside is: I can't believe I'm hankering after a Wharfedale product.


    SS
    Last edited by SSM; 10-05-2012 at 06:10 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
    > 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 | (reserved)

  10. #1790
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    Well funny you should mention the Arcam. When we needed something altogether more purposeful for the 1.8s we tried a Krell, Meridian, Cyrus Pre/monos and...............the Arcam Pre/Monos with various source components. Mrs Strat progressively eliminated the first 3 but faltered over the Arcam. Given the neutrality there was of course nothing to criticise it for but it was the hi-fi equivalent of mineral water - perfect for Sade. And the rest they say............. Yes I'd like to hear those new Dynas but I can't believe that the M-Dac/Quad/Wharfedale, even given your predilection for style over substance (no smileys on the Blackberry), won out over the Naim/Neat. But more concerning from my point of view was when Mrs Strat came in the lounge the other evening and her favourite Rickie Lee track (Danny's All Star) was on and she asked how valve amps would sound. Well pretty anaemic with our speakers!
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  11. #1791
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Lindsay, I'm sorry to inform you that the green plasma in your veins has percolated up to your poor old brain. You need to up your intake of fresh carrot juice to counteract your salisburian poisoning.

    Personal preferences do play a role, but honestly, the M-DAC/Quad/Waffie demo produced sound that was more divine than the Naim-Neat. I reiterate that I find my 909's midrange reproduction more accomplished than the Nait XS's (that's why I bought it, duh!) Revisiting the XS last last weekend was nice, but the Quad QSP emanated such greatness it was a non contest. Sade's voice - phoar! An undulating column of smoky smoothness. (The Naims made her sound a bit leathery and skanky.)

    The Jade 5 doesn't perform like a peanut-priced Waffie at all. Peter Comeau and his team must have burned up lots of midnight oil over the design. I'm reading up on its tech specs and available reviews. Can't believe the final call for solidsspeakers2012 comes down to a tussle between Dynaudio and Wafflesdale.

    I'm pushing the purchase date to Aug 10 (). For now, I'm enjoying my new toy and the novelty will last until August. Running the M-DAC in pre-amp mode and it's changing the way I think what constitutes a future amplification upgrade for me.

    Post more digital thoughts later.


    SS

    ps: don't you just love the oceanish blue Madrid clay? Can't believe Nadal and Djokovic are bitching about it?!! I wouldn't mind painting my room walls in such a colour.
    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 | (reserved)

  12. #1792
    Founding Wammer s2000db's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSM View Post

    ^ mini Dana meets little Bob: Panda cuddle-ish analog-y sound vs towering, cruel, gleaming sonics.


    SS
    Lovely description...

    But shame it doesn't look as good as me though...

  13. #1793
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s2000db View Post
    But shame it doesn't look as good as me though...
    I reckon it has a much better singing voice.

    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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    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 | (reserved)

  14. #1794
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=SSM;1266535]the Quad QSP emanated such greatness it was a non contest. Sade's voice - phoar! An undulating column of smoky smoothness. (The Naims made her sound a bit leathery and skanky.)An amplifier suited to Mantovani playing barley sugar music.......................Where's Fed?
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  15. #1795
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Strat View Post
    An amplifier suited to Mantovani playing barley sugar music.......................Where's Fed?


    Every audiophool buys equipment to complement his tastes in music. My kit has to serve up the sounds of Sade, Celine, Maria Callas, Mahler and Wagner - most divinely. For my no.1 diva, Quad's current-dumpers beat the NAITs hands-down. If I were into Steely Dan and other forms of geriatric daddy-pop, then of course I'll need the services of coloured, steroid-fuelled Salisburians to inject life and dynamics into this muzak.

    Simples.

    SS

    ps: saw a cardboard cutout of Fed at the health-food corner of my regular supermarket. I didn't venture close enough to see what he was endorsing as I was rushing to grab a pack of dark choc Tim Tams and go home to my new DAC. How the mighty has fallen. Having cardboard pics of himself in shorts planted on a supermarket shelf, while Nadal is cleaning up this clay season.
    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 | (reserved)

  16. #1796
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSM View Post
    . My kit has to serve up.....................Mahler and Wagner

    SS
    Surely Gussie and the old Fascist need big big speakers?
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  17. #1797
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Strat View Post
    Surely Gussie and the old Fascist need big big speakers?
    You're still living in the 1990s where big sounds only came out of floorstanders with boxy dimensions (like your old Contours). The soundstages coming out from the Focus 160 and PM1 are huge, and the Mahler samples I tried were so expansive. Excellente.

    Ditto the Jade 5 whose aperiodic bass loading had commanding presence. My Castle floorstanders mentioned in the A28 review had a similar bass system where the bass fires downward on the plinth. It was the feature that put me off them after a few years, the effect was neither as authoritative as a ported design, nor as defined as a sealed box design. The Jade 5's fires into a sealed column with vented 'gills'. It works much better than the Castle design as it marries definition with immense weight and power. Diana Krall's double bass player had as much physical presence as her, it's almost sinister.

    The Jade 5's bass tech could be a super platform for my Elicit to fully flex its prowess at bass reproduction.Come August, will I have a pair of Waffies named "Lindsay"?



    ^ Burgundy Burr is as delectable as Piano Gloss.

    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 | (reserved)

  18. #1798
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    True those little Neat Ultimatum standmounts and the new Kudos Super 10s are definitely fullsome in their performance.
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  19. #1799
    Super Wammer myrman's Avatar
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    Just bought some lovely little Elac BS203 Anniversary speakers. I was very impressed with the BS243s at Whittlebury last year so something from the BS range has been on my radar for a while now. I will be using them with my Myryad Mi. They still need a little running in and will be interesting to hear how they compare with the Heco Celan 300s that I currently use.

  20. #1800
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Nice buy, Nick. The BS203 paired with your Mi makes a good-looking compact 'mini' system. Look forward to reading your findings on them.

    I haven't been looking at any speaker changes as I've been busy with work and enjoying the M-DAC's very detailed sound. The Wharfedale Jade 5 still stands out as an excellent floorstander, but I've been considering staying with ELAC. Will book a date to hear the FS247 and the Black editions of the BS and FS models, to hear if the sonic tweaks lift the performance further.

    This audiodude's blog has the BS253 and Rega Brio-R pairing and his findings tally with mine - the Rega house-sound complements the ELAC sonics very well. The colour schemes and metal trims match too!

    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 | (reserved)

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