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notevenclose last won the day on March 14 2014

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About notevenclose

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  • Birthday May 18

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    Perth, Scotland
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  • Digital Source 1
  • Digital Source 2
  • DAC
  • Integrated Amp
  • My Speakers
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    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. First off, I can understand the loss of interest aspect. Twenty five years ago I quit my home town, my 'end-game' system and packed up my company to follow my then partner around the country for a few years, listening to plinky-plonk systems easily incorporated in a cupboard or small flat. Seemed like a good idea at the time, as they say. After the best part of a decade away from hifi, I started venturing into the odd dealer on occasion and to be blunt thought it was all shite. Didn't seem to matter what the price tag was, it wasn't any more engaging than thr plinky-plonk systems which at least had the advantage of being relatively inexpensive. It wasn't until I had a chance encounter with a 'proper' system – only because I gatecrashed a prospective client's dem because he was running late for our meeting – that I fully re-engaged. So I am very aware of the potential for moving sideways or backwards in return for nothing other than the expenditure of mere cash. Hence my wondering about 'turbo-charging' the H6s. Equally, it's true that things move on. Some of the kit I used to love, while still perfectly listenable, does show that in some respects things have progressed. But equally, in some respects... well, let's just say I'm not always at one with some modern trends. So tread cautiously. Just as what the Lavardin does particularly well is not easily replicated, I suspect the same may be true of the Impulses. Jus out of curiosity, who did you originally buy your Lavardin from?
  2. Given the Impulses are something of a cult item, have you ever looked at having them modified? There are, I think, a couple of companies who could fit more sophisticated tweeters, tweak the crossovers etc. If you lived happily with them for 20 years, why the more recent dis-satisfaction? Did this predate the switch to the current source and DAC or is it a more recent issue?
  3. If you want an exceptional small speaker which doesn't require a subwoofer, have you considered the Boenicke W5? I hear the SE version is even better?
  4. Depends on one's perspective and what one's definition of 'revealing' is. If I was to compile a list of speaker brands which I'd consider capable of 'revealing' pretty much what I need to know about the musical worth of what I'm listening to, then the Snell-derived AudioNote models would definitely be on it. But as ever, dull world if we were all the same.
  5. Not normally an issue with reasonably priced equipment, generally you need to commit quite large sums of money to potentially achieve something truly horrendous.
  6. I do remember there being a wee bit of noise when I connected a Squeezebox in my early days of fiddling about with file-based audio. That was apparently cured when I added a third-party linear PSU (sorry, these are something of a running joke around these parts) from Welborne Labs, but ironically that suffered from a mechanical buzz from the transformer which irritated me more, so neither it or the Squeezebox survived for long in the system. Other than that I had 2 DACs, a DVD player and an original model Apple TV plugged into it without issue. I'm not familiar with the BlueSound boxes, but there are an awful lot of potential routes for picking up all manner of noise along the way with 'computer' audio generally. To be honest I'm not sure I'd be pointing the finger at the Lavardin in the circumstances you describe.
  7. I don't dislike the LS50s that strongly, but equally I've never heard them suggest they're 'the second coming' as some OTT reviews appeared to suggest. To be honest to me they've always sounded pretty much like what they are, a £1200(?) loudspeaker. Heard them driven by a Naim integrated as well, but to me there's always been something 'mechanical' about them. Your experiments sound interesting, but to bring Keith's customary perspective to bear, surely the design of the LS50 must be fundamentally flawed if they can be substantially improved by a third-party linear power supply? Er, sorry, several grand's worth of room treatment? FWIW, if I was looking for an LS50 type loudspeaker, I remember Kevin Walker, the original distributor for Lavardin in the UK, doing a couple of demos with IS Reference or IT and small Amphions. I remember thinking at the time that was maybe the first small box I could live with. Personally I'd probably start with those if small/discrete was a requirement.
  8. Ah. Tropical fish, huh? Or 'kebabs' as they're thought of round these parts.
  9. By way of explanation to the OP, Keith does this sort of thing a lot. We think it's probably linked to the frustration of him having been unsuccessful at his original choice of career, in forestry. Apparently he frequently failed to see the wood for the trees.
  10. Whoa. You could swap the amp and at worst regret it occasionally with an air of wistful remorse. Changing the cat on the other hand could make your life a living hell and even see you packed off to A&E in the short term. Not a step to be taken lightly. Ask the cat for confirmation.
  11. No argument there. My IT is one of a literal handful of components I regret selling the most, with hindsight it was part of perhaps the most balanced system I've ever owned. Be careful what you wish for.
  12. The tape outputs were added with the 2k6, when I believe they also changed casework suppliers, the 2k6 onward have a different rear panel. So you've got a pre-2004 model, but still a very fine amp.
  13. A couple of people whose ears I respect consider the CS300 variants to be a sweeter-sounding amp (than the old CS600), although doubtless there are instances where the extra power would be beneficial.
  14. Not too surprising. If you get the bottom end right, the biggest benefits are often further up the range. Actually, to fill out my earlier comment, I think it does come down to what you're looking for. You'll have gathered I would generally consider your Lavardin to be a superior amp to anything I've heard with a Hegel badge on it, but that's weighted toward what I'd perceive as the potential end result with something other than your LS50s, ie. something I'd want to build a system around. Depends as well to a degree on how old your Lavardin is, you mention having had it a long time. Lavardin is one of those manufacturers who rarely change model designations, but the products have evolved a lot over the years. The first IT I heard at home was the 2k2 version, which dates from about 2002. I owned a 2k6, which was introduced in 2004 IIRC which sounded better, effectively addressing the slight misgiving I had re the older models. I haven't heard a more recent IT, but I did have my paws on a relatively recent IS Reference a couple of years back, and my impression is that it was probably a more capable amp than my old IT. As the models have evolved, the general trend is that there's been a broadening of the tonal palette – older models could be a bit 'thin' in comparison to say a Sugden a21. Allied to this there's a bit more weight and bottom end solidity even though the power rating's not really changed. (Perhaps the midrange improvement is a consequence of the more solid bass). If you've got an early IT, I can imagine that a big Hegel might well get a hold of the LS50s better in terms of bottom end grip. My comment about 'overdoing the steroids' is that the Hegel/LS50 system I've heard sounds a little too muscular, or at least overly 'regimented' to me. Think of it as the audio equivalent of the old Soviet-style May Day parade, all precision goose-stepping and massed ranks of tanks and rocket launchers – quite impressive in its way, but maybe not with a lot of opportunity for self expression or even raising a smile. Since I find the LS50s to display a similar characteristic, well, it's not a combination for me. Regardless of the vintage of your IT, it has a very nimble, fluid sound with no hint of jackboots being present. To me it would seem a great pity to surrender that. To be fair, I would say the only Hegels I've heard are an older one as above, and the white one (Rost?), the latter having a go at both LS50s and a pair of Monitor Audio floorstanders, neither combination floated my boat. Then again, this is your system, not mine... and the newer models may sound a bit better.
  15. Metrum wasn't under the ownership of the founder, Cees Ruijtenberg, it was sold about 18 months ago IIRC. He's since started up again as Sonnet Digital.