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  1. #1081
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    gsrai wrote:
    Dude, I must have blinked - did you not try the Proacs

    Nice looking choice mind
    Looks are everything.
    I called the ProAc seller's numbers to arrange for a demo but they never picked up the phone (they could have been abducted by evil zombies from that nearby morgue) So I decided to head for the AVI, Spendor and Leema shops. The Xeros won at the end of the day.

    So once again I fail to make a date with the ProAc morgue, er, shop. Never mind, there is always a next time.

    Right now I'm enjoying my new toys. btw what is happening with your PMC DBi quest?

    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

  2. #1082
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    Post imported post

    This could turn out to be very interesting as the DB1i's tick a lot of boxes for me - the soundatage and the focus in the soundstage is truly amazing.

    The Tablettes sound more neutral but I am heading towards keeping the PMC's and selling the Proacs due to the synergy with the Densen.

    Decisions, decisions . . .
    What does it all mean Basil ???

  3. #1083
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    It all hinges on how long you think you will be keeping the Densen amp, R2. What happens if you have a fit of sidegraditis (deja vue!) and swap to a brand that is infinitely more compatible with the Tablettes? You must plan ahead for the future, young lad!

    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

  4. #1084
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    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    It all hinges on how long you think you will be keeping the Densen amp, R2. What happens if you have a fit of sidegraditis (deja vue!) and swap to a brand that is infinitely more compatible with the Tablettes? You must plan ahead for the future, young lad!

    SS
    I'm a reformed character don't you know

    I haven't changed any of the kit and I only got the DB1i's as my last fling (he says living in hope).

    The only reason I haven't sold the tablettes is I one day dream of getting a Pathos Classic One Mark II again but can't figure out how far away that dream is

    Time will tell
    What does it all mean Basil ???

  5. #1085
    Honorary Wammer JamPal's Avatar
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    SSM wrote:
    The Strat wrote:
    Currently listening to Live at Fillmore by Eric C with Derek and the Dominoes - that would get them motoring or of course some Steely Dan.
    The Xeros are too sophisticated for such roughneck music.

    They can rock out but I don't think they were born to do such gigs.


    Now playing the glorious final movement from Mahler's 3rd. Such radiance, such luminosity!
    I can almost feel my soul ascending to the Tipocan heavens.


    SS






    At no point did the Strat mention Rock music.

    "Hugely affable" - Esquire Magazine :-)

  6. #1086
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    Post imported post

    earlofsodbury wrote:
    Lawks! Just trawled through a bit of this thread and had to check what year it was!

    It's like some kind of broken down merry-go-round of eternal sidegrading - poor lost souls who mistake "different" for "better", trying new stuff, imagining it's an improvement,and then getting nostalgic for what went before, buying it AGAIN,discoveringit wasn't so great after all - then repeating the cycle endlessly like some inner circle of Hell!

    I'd suggest you actually upgrade, but the shock'd prolly kill ya!

    Or maybe some of us have just reached the limit to what we can have/wish to spend/accomodate etc. etc.

    If by sidegrading you feel better about the music then who gives it's easy and can be fun, I'll let someone else do all the upgrading for megabucks and wonder why it doesn't sound as good as my rig


    What does it all mean Basil ???

  7. #1087
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    gsrai wrote:
    earlofsodbury wrote:
    Lawks! Just trawled through a bit of this thread and had to check what year it was!

    It's like some kind of broken down merry-go-round of eternal sidegrading - poor lost souls who mistake "different" for "better", trying new stuff, imagining it's an improvement,and then getting nostalgic for what went before, buying it AGAIN,discoveringit wasn't so great after all - then repeating the cycle endlessly like some inner circle of Hell!

    I'd suggest you actually upgrade, but the shock'd prolly kill ya!

    Or maybe some of us have just reached the limit to what we can have/wish to spend/accomodate etc. etc.

    If by sidegrading you feel better about the music then who gives it's easy and can be fun, I'll let someone else do all the upgrading for megabucks and wonder why it doesn't sound as good as my rig

    Yeah, tell it to that FatSod!

    He's just stirring, probably jealous that he can't have the promiscuous pleasure of chipping and changing parts of his aging system headed by those old French screamers..

    Let's ignore him and continue on our merry-go-rounds.


    SS:green:



    ps: when it comes to speakers, going up to the stratosphere doesn't necessarily get you a better sound than what you have. Like Gobind and I have been discovering, it is a real treat to switch between brands in the £1k arena. Lots of contrasting flavours to savour.









    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

  8. #1088
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    Post imported post

    Musical Fidelity X-T100 tube integrated amplifier- under sscrutiny
    [line]
    This X-T100 is my seventh MF amp and my seventh MF X series component. And probably my last-ever MF amp (I assume...) So for old times' sake, this report will place this third generation X amp in the context of several MF amps I have used (X-A1, Elektra A2, X-150 & A3.5)


    One of the contenders...
    Having been very impressed with my over-performing Cambridge Audio Azur 740C cdp, I was rather game to have the 840A as my second CA unit since it has system remote capabilities and matching ergonomics. But I had also read the AudioENZ review that its midrange became congested when playing a Mahler symphony. No way an incoming amp should botch my favourite music genre... so I brought some Mahler CDs for the 840A demo and my own experiences mirror AudioENZ's. The 840A sounded expansive with simpler material but with large-scale Mahler or Wagner its midrange indeed became constricted; the massed performers do not stand out in sharp bas relief as with a simple pop singer and backing band. Its treble was not absolutely clean either - the ribbon tweeters of the partnering Dali Ikon 6 speakers picked up on that.

    In contrast the X-T100 retained its three dimensionality when playing Mahler's huge Symphony of A Thousand at high levels, and its treble is so much cleaner. So it got the gig at solidschateau. This comparison was a big surprise for me as the 840A is 120w/ch and the X-T100 a mere 50-watter, and one would normally expect a more powerful amp to handle demanding material better. It was the other way round and I learnt that power figures do not necessarily mean greater control. (NB: the 840A is still a great amp IMO, just not so able with heavy symphonies or opera)


    Build Quality
    MF has nearly a decade's experience manufacturing its distinctive half-width 'X' components and the X-T100 is as sturdy and bomb-proof as its predecessors. A most handsome minimalist amp! All the controls feel purposeful and work flawlessly. The only quibble I have is the accompanying Triple X power supply unit. The height of its casework is a couple of millimetres shorter than the X-T100 and to compensate (and make the two units stand level with each other if placed side by side) its rubber feet are increased by the missing millimetres. This quirk is a minor one though and you would need to look closely to spot the disparity in the caseworks' height.



    The X-T100 is a hybrid and its preamp sports a pair of 6922 vacuum tubes in the output stage. According to MF god Antony Michaelson "the tubed front end (of the X-T100) is the same as the kW 550 integrated amplifier" so the X-T100's sound quality is virtually indistinguishable from the uber high-end kW550. It just has less power. A great option for MFians with smaller listening rooms who do not seek to reproduce a 1:1 scale of a symphony orchestra in their listening space.

    MF has a history of understating its amps' power output. Although rated at 50W, the X-T100 has measured closer to around 66-71W in various mags (~18.2dBW). In practice it actually feels and sounds more powerful than my Creek EVO (85W) and previous X-150 (rated at 105W!) It is capable of driving difficult loads indeed: Crustyloafer and AnalogueKid once quipped that it controlled the 81dB ATC SCM11 and 86dB Acoustic Energy AE1 mkIII very well. Fellow MFian Gobind (see his enlightened review) had no problem pairing his with ProAc's 86dB Tablette Reference 8 Signatures. There is no such thing as a weak MF amp.


    Sound Quality
    The X-T100 has the classic MF house-sound that audiophiles either love or loathe. It is very rich and full, with a clean treble and velvety midrange that doesn't lack any definition - there is a glamourous glint to leading edges on acoustic and woodwind instruments (AM is a clarinettist) and consonants on voices are expertly highlighted amidst the overall smoothness.

    Despite the cosy familiarity, the X-T100 does advance several steps ahead of my previous MF amps. I have faint memories of my X-A1 (first generation X component) now, except that it is smooth and laidback and definitely has less dynamic ability than the X-T100. Ditto the Class A Elektra A2 - it is a fluent and communicative music-maker but less dynamic. The A3.5 was my previous MF amp and while it is more powerful, it is the least involving of all my MFs and on musical grounds there is no comparison. The real challenge comes from the X-150 - my second favourite MF (what a big knob!) but it is voiced quite differently. Part of the second generation 'X' series, it is balanced on the excitingly forward side but there is a greyness to its treble when playing at high volumes that hints at its transistor background. The valved X-T100 suffers no such high frequency anomalies and is much purer and sumptuous in tone through the entire frequency range. It triumphs easily.

    So MF's evolving X series has made progressive steps in musicality, IMHO. However it has to be noted that the X-T100 does this not by improving on the existing technologies of the previous X series, but by having trickle-down technology from MF's high end kW implanted in its chasis. So this 'X' v8 range is actually Musical Fidelity making available the sound of its high-end kW range at the 'budget' arena. All power to MF then! When partnered well, the X-T100 sounds far far far more expensive than its price suggests.

    If asked to name the X-T100's single greatest strength, I would have to say its spatial imaging ability. This is the most spacious-sounding amp I have ever owned. When reproducing sympathetic material like classical, acoustic and "unplugged" albums, the X-T100 effortlessly serves up endless spatial cues that inform your ears in no indefinite terms as to the size of the recording studio, the distance of the singer's mouth from the microphone and how far back in the hall the supporting musicians are. You can hear subtle reverberations of the artistes' music-making bouncing from the studio walls, echoes, and slight air shifting from singers' opening their lips. To say this is a great amp for reproducing vocals is an understatement. With its spatial prowess and mellifluous presentation, the X-T100 brings my favourite pop and jazz singers so much closer. Yet, despite this wealth of spatial detail the X-T100 never sounds clinical at all (cue the Cyrus amps). It has the knack of letting the emotional aspects of the music override the technical at all times. This must be the fitted valves working their magic Add in its ability to stay unflustered when playing very dense and massive orchestral forces at high volumes... this makes the X-T100 a superb amp for opera-lovers. The stereo image is rock-like stable at all times even during monstrous symphonic climaxes, it is positively amazing.

    There were some old Wam threads about tubes in preamps needing some time to run-in before reaching their full potential. I was sceptical when I read that but the X-T100's running-in period convinced me. It has now clocked over 600 hours of usage and sounds notably more accomplished than it was at 100 hours' mileage. I used several CDs as references and played them at the same levels at the 50, 100 and 250 hour marks. The sonic improvements are to be had in the increased richness and sheer sweep of the sound. When new, the X-T100 didn't sound that 'tubey', now it exhibits the liquidity and resinuous tonality associated with valves. The brass perorations in Mahler's symphonies gained a lot more amplitiude and scintiallting focus at the 250th hour mark. Bass also became tauter and faster. And the sssweep of the dormant orchestra rising up to swallow the solo violinist in the climax of the third movement of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade was frighteningly visceral. The dynamic range is immense: the orchestra seemingly emerged from inky-black quietness to roar with sheer force suddenly. It all points to the X-T100 excellent noise specs and transient speed. After passing the 250th hour of play, it transforms into a real drama queen of an amp. Every littlest musical gesture becomes a scream; every low-level signal held up for close inspection. This amp's excitable demeanour is so very me.

    Bass. This is where the X-T100 will put off audiophools wanting Naim-like PRaTness. Firsty, HFC had criticised it for "unrhythmic bass" when it last reviewed it in a supertest. I have to take issue with this comment, because I haven't found it to be so with my speakers (Dali Ikon 6, AVI Neutron IV and Leema Acoustics Xero). In fact I reckon the bass performance of the X-T100 improves on the X-150 and A3.5 - faster and better-defined. Pop and salsa music were driven with toe-tapping propulsion. Lots of zip, nothing unrhythmic at all. Maybe speaker synergy is a factor. HFC uses ATC towers for its tests while all my speaker choices are fast agile boxes.

    So rhythmic timing is not really the main aspect of the X-T100's bass that will displease PRaTters, it is the quality IMO. The bass is a natural extension of the X-T100's silken midrange --- slightly warm and pearlescent. There is none of the tight grunge-y crunchiness of a Naim Nait 5, Densen or Creek that serves rock music much better. Yup, you guessed it... Like all MF amps, the X-T100 is tilted towards the side of classical music. Herein is its "weakness", if you want to call it that. Any rock music-loving audiophile with some knowledge of various brands' house-sounds will readily know he should be looking at a Naim or an Exposure instead. For an occasional rocker like myself, the X-T100 still does this genre more than adequately. Ditto techno and dance. However, any X-T100 owner will be doing himself a disservice if he hasn't a single classical CD. Put an opera or symphony on and hear how idiomatically and effortlessly the X-T100 cleaves through the air with this music genre. Simply marvellous!


    Conclusion
    A stylish hybrid amplifier that is more powerful and authoritative than its unassuming dimensions and specs suggest. It will get even more Napoleonic when the XXX-170 power supply unit comes into solidschateau at Halloween (100W and 40 amps current. Step aside, Primare I30!)


    SS





    Musical Fidelity X-T100... hybrid wonder with a slight fruitiness

    : superb spatial definition, great midrange and beguiling sweetness
    : vivid dynamics brings all music to life, especially voices
    : compact metrosexual design
    : look elsewhere if you want all your amp money to go towards the sharpest, PRaTtiest bass
    : it makes a single chirp like a gecko when powering off
    Last edited by SSM; 26-08-2011 at 03:23 AM. 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 | MiniWatt N3

  9. #1089
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    Post imported post

    A very good write up (so much better than mine).

    Does this mean it's a keeper or are you changing amps shortly?
    What does it all mean Basil ???

  10. #1090
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    A keeper, mate. The little one has now taken up residence in my bedroom paired with the Leema Xeros. Superb synergy! I probably have the most expensive bedroom "mini system" in Tipoca.

    I will be chopping and changing the other bits in my other system later on.


    cheerSS
    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

  11. #1091
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    Post imported post

    <<Samsung Korea has left music fans amazed after revealing its new YA-SBR510 Motion Sensor Bluetooth Speakers. These wireless speakers are way ahead of their counterparts because they are intelligent enough to save power. They are equipped with motion sensors, which help this unit to detect whether someone is near enough to appreciate it, or not. If it detects somebody near, then it shows off its display and beautiful lights. If there is nobody near this device then it turns off its display and sparkling light show. Isn’t that really amazing?>>



    Menel.
    Amazing what a little Monica can do for your CD player.

  12. #1092
    Moderator meninblack's Avatar
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    I've reported this spamming tw@t!
    All downhill with a bullet

  13. #1093
    Honorary Wammer JamPal's Avatar
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    meninblack wrote:
    I've reported this spamming tw@t!
    Have deleted his adverts and PM'd him about dealer status.
    "Hugely affable" - Esquire Magazine :-)

  14. #1094
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    Post imported post

    Naughty Menelaos



    Back to business...


    Cambridge Audio Azur 740C - the Moratorium

    I sold this box of wonderful digital engineering last month after using it for 15 months. Overall I have no serious complaints about its performance. However, halfway through its duration of stay at solidschateau I sold the Dynaudio Focus 110 standmounts they were partnered with and the replacement sidegrades (Dali Ikon 5, and later Ikon 6) showed up a foible of the 740C's sound which the bassy Focus 110 camoflauged: a midband that is balanced on the lean side of neutral. Borrowing my then-AVI Neutron IV and now Leema Xero miniatures from my bedroom system also confirmed
    this midband voicing (also noted in a HFW review).

    The Dali, AVI and Leema tweeters are also more revealing than the Dyns' honeyed ones and showed the 740C's treble to be a tad too hot. This must be a side-effect of the tremendous amount of detail its 24bit/384kHz upsampling feature pulls from CDs; when the mix of high frequency sounds in some music got too busy, the treble output veered towards chilling icyness. In contrast my Creek EVO cdp and B***d 6/3 DAC, while less detailed, were more full-bodied in the midrange than the 740C and captured more of the "woodiness" in stringed instruments. The 740C excels less at reproducing the rosiny sheen and woody thrum of classical stringed instruments than it does at capturing the leading edges of transients: as a result the full blare of an orchestra's brass section at climaxes are too pungent and flat at times.

    All that is not a problem if the 740C is partnered with speakers with a full, rich, and warm, even thick, sound (think Dyn, Quad L or Vienna Acoustics IME). Partners like those will camoflauge the minor midband flaw and soften the impact of its strong treble.

    Mechanically, I have no quibbles about the disc transport mechanism implemented by Cambridge Audio. It opens and shuts silently and quickly reads every CD, even my problematic ones. No skipping at all. The digital inputs and output which offer choices of sample rates and selectable dither are wonderful facilities - the later allowed me to extract better performance out of the B***d 6/3 DAC.

    Build construction is excellent but the aesthetics are a bit clunky when compared to my MF amp. This is definitely the least metrosexual component I have ever owned. A cool touch is its slick Navigator remote: it controls all the functions on my MF amp. In amp mode, keys 5, 3, 2 and 4 activate Phono, inputs 1, 2 & 3 respectively on the MF with the volume up/down and mute keys matching correspondingly.





    ^ beauty and the beast

    The "cogwheel" thingie that reels the disc drawer is quite exposed when the drawer is out though and seems sticky. After a year fine dust has adhered onto it and is impossible to remove. I hope the accumulation does not pose any problems for the new owner over a year. More worryingly, the second factor that prompted me to sell the 740C is the smell of heated metal and insulation coming from its vents after long listening sessions (like weekend afternoons~>6 hours). Is this just isolated to my unit or an indication of poor-spacedly internal design?!! I just hope it's not toxic melamine.

    Anyway I enjoyed my time with the 740C immensely with no regrets. But it is time to move on to digital sources* with a balance more suitable for my taste and speakers.

    SS


    (* actually I already have. But had to wait a month after the sale to post this Moratorium lest the new owner reads it and has his honeymoon spoilt.)



    [line]Cambridge Audio Azur 740C upsampling cd player

    : amazing high-resolution sound that humbles a few players I've heard costing twice the 740C's price
    : sturdy construction, digital input provisions and reliable disc server and laser mechanism
    : midband is slightly lean, treble can be icily prominent when matched with speakers with high-resolution tweeters
    : strong smell of heated electronics wafting from the vents when used for long durations
    [line]




    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

  15. #1095
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    It's over, Solid.

    My search for a superlative compact standmount that satisfies my specific musical needs appears to have ended. I spent 70 sublime minutes listening to ATC's SCM11.

    These speakers first came to my attention about eighteen months ago on the Wam when Soulman bought them in preference to Dynaudio Focus 110 and someone else posted a pic of them on my blog. I commented then that the woofer looked like a dirty navel and didn't bother to look them up for a demo. Well in the flesh, that woofer cone looked more palatable, sort of like it's painted with tar. At 38 cm high, the SCM11 exceeds by 8 cm what is defined as "small" in my audioworld. But they are certainly 'handsome' and smart in an executive way and would not look out of place in my study.



    ^ btw I finally made out the ATC letters on the badge logo only after seeing it in the flesh. They are the black letters on bold relief: I always thought the white columns were the artsy Hebrew name for ATC. (This is the result of too much trifling with Qabbalah tarots.)

    To cut a report short, the SCM11s are the most neutral, least coloured standmounts I have ever clapped my ears on. A year ago I would have equated neutrality with boring and flat, but my misconceptions are happily dissipated now. The SCM11s' presentation is very even-handed yes, but they are also dynamic and so very revealing across their entire frequency spectrum that they teased out every available bit of musical detail from my music samples. (Cliche-time: I heard things from my oft-listened to recordings I never knew existed.) The reason I parted with my Dyn Focus 110 earlier this year was due to a suspicion that it was not delivering sufficient fine detail for a product of its price band, plus its reproduction of solo violin tones was noticeably off compared to what I was getting from my Neutron IVs. The performance of the SCM11 with the same music simply left the Dyns in the dust. It uncovered more fine details especially in the midband. It was powered by the Roksan Caspian integrated, same amp I heard with the Focus 110 at the Dynaudio dealer on the second demo. The one piece of music I heard in full with both setups is the second movement of Mahler's Fifth Symphony. "With great Vehemence (Mit grobter Vehemenz)" is the direction for its performance. I recalled being quite impressed with the Focus 110's rendition - it thundered out the movement with great bass authority. The SCM11's reproduction is in another league though, I was holding my breath in awe throughout: the high levels of fine detail available allowed me to hear how the string players were sequentially combining with and breaking up with one another to play the contrasting themes. The Focii never gave me any of this illuminative inner analysis. And the bite of the bows on strings were truly vehement indeed. Those are superb tweeters. I am shaking my head that I failed to demoed these ATCs when I was shopping last June. The SCM11 will rule the roost at solidschateau for a long long time indeed.


    There is one problem though. And that comes in the chic shape of Spendor's SA1. I like this alpha-monitor a lot too. The SCM11 has greater reach and authority in the lower frequencies but the SA1 has a really magical liquid quality to its sound that has me thinking fondly about it, even though I had chosen to replace my Neutron IVs with the Xeros, not it. The SCM11 is apparently so neutrally balanced that it lacks the SA1's flowing quality (is this an euphonic additive?) - I have a suspicion it may sound antiseptic and cut-and-dried with some of my music.

    And I have a horrible feeling whichever of the two I choose, I may be thinking of the runner-up constantly and going "what if?". Oh the emotional perils of too many audiophiliac auditioning. Anyway I hope to make a decision by then to have the speakers settled in time for my landmark birthday this June.


    I am fulfilled.

    SS


    [line]btw both are sealed-box designs. Whichever wins, I will have less one pair of bass ports to vacuum on Sunday!



    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
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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

  16. #1096
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Are these to partner the Naim XS and of course the CD5X which I will be hearing this Friday amongst a couple of other things!
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  17. #1097
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    The Strat wrote:
    Are these to partner the Naim XS and of course the CD5X which I will be hearing this Friday amongst a couple of other things!
    Both the SA1 and SCM11 register 80dB sensitivity in mag tests. But I'm sure the XS's 60 "special" watts will cope fine with either.

    If I can't sell my EVO amp in time, I know it will cope too (HFC has used it on SCM20s in a couple of their supertests). My MF X-T100 will have no problem either, couple of dealers on the Wam have said it drove the SCM11 very well.

    Do give us a report on how you find Nait XS. But leave out the CD5X - I don't like the idea of having a CDP with a manual drawer and PUCK!
    Don't wanna be tempted...


    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

  18. #1098
    batman
    Guest

    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    The Strat wrote:
    Are these to partner the Naim XS and of course the CD5X which I will be hearing this Friday amongst a couple of other things!
    Both the SA1 and SCM11 register 80dB sensitivity in mag tests. But I'm sure the XS's 60 "special" watts will cope fine with either.

    If I can't sell my EVO amp in time, I know it will cope too (HFC has used it on SCM20s in a couple of their supertests). My MF X-T100 will have no problem either, couple of dealers on the Wam have said it drove the SCM11 very well.

    Do give us a report on how you find Nait XS. But leave out the CD5X - I don't like the idea of having a CDP with a manual drawer and PUCK!
    Don't wanna be tempted...


    SS

    ooh solid , that was one of the reasons i bought my cdx , getting a firm grip ,pulling gently , caressing tenderly , inserting softly andthen pushing has never been so much fun

  19. #1099
    Across a Wire
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    Post imported post

    ATC make brilliantly articulate speakers. Nothing even comes remotely close for the money if that's your priority.

    Be careful though, I was similarly wowed by a pair of SCM20SL I had but the truth became waring after a while.

  20. #1100
    Wammer Lefty's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    I've always been intrigued by ATC speakers. What's a good price to pay for a pair of SCM 20SL?

    Lefty
    www.amarsoodphoto.com
    Turntable: NA Ace Spacedeck / AN Arm One V2 / Lyra Helikon / Dino+/NCPSU | Digital: iMac / Benchmark DAC 2 HGC Tuner: Naim NAT 03 | Speakers: PMC TwoTwo 6 / PMC TwoTwo Sub2

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