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With great thanks to this forum I bought….

DomT

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…. I just wanted to say a big thank you to the various people on this forum who have been a big help in informing me, suggesting new things, and encouraging me in finding some new kit. These thank yous are specifically because without this forum I probably would not have embraced streaming the way that I have. 

The first step was a Quad 909 from @Mikeandvan  and that would never have occurred to me even though I had one previously  

Then Auralic Altair G1 - my first streaming platform  

Then the slippery slope started…..

Auralic Aries Mini from @Griff500

SBooster

Wave digital cables from @Fourlegs

Innuos Zen Mini mk3 from @Fourlegs

Innuos Power Supply

Tellurium Black 2 speaker cable

Quad Artera Stereo

ATC SCM11

QAcoustics 3020i (thanks to @Lurch insistent promotion of these)

And so a huge thanks to everyone and the special thanks goes to… well you know who you are.

Am off on holidays this week for a month or two back in Portugal.

 
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lazycat

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Er....nothing.

But I have learnt what to avoid.

Over the past few years serendipity has been my main ally. With my ears, of course.

The music rec's have been good tho'. Happy with that.

 
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lazycat

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I have to say, before anyone gets their arse-in-their-hand, it's just my personal perspective.

I'm not someone who usually asks for advice.

Advice, which is, usually intelligent and informative on here.

But, man, you guys listen to some shonky stuff............rofl

 
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HectorHughMunro

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…. I just wanted to say a big thank you to the various people on this forum who have been a big help in informing me, suggesting new things, and encouraging me in finding some new kit. These thank yous are specifically because without this forum I probably would not have embraced streaming the way that I have. 

The first step was a Quad 909 from @Mikeandvan  and that would never have occurred to me even though I had one previously  

Then Auralic Altair G1 - my first streaming platform  

Then the slippery slope started…..

Auralic Aries Mini from @Griff500

SBooster

Wave digital cables from @Fourlegs

Innuos Zen Mini mk3 from @Fourlegs

Innuos Power Supply

Tellurium Black 2 speaker cable

Quad Artera Stereo

ATC SCM11

QAcoustics 3020i (thanks to @Lurch insistent promotion of these)

And so a huge thanks to everyone and the special thanks goes to… well you know who you are.

Am off on holidays this week for a month or two back in Portugal.
Oh interesting.  How did you find the Artera?  I don’t think I’ve seen too much comment from audiophiles about it. 

 

DomT

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Oh interesting.  How did you find the Artera?  I don’t think I’ve seen too much comment from audiophiles about it. 
I am not an audiophile but here are a few thoughts. I can only compare it to what I have here ie an Audio Research D130 and Accuphase E380. The Accuphase integrated is almost £7k and the Audio Reseach would probably retail at £4500 if sold new today - so it’s not a fair assessment. Comments are in relation to using an Innuos and Benchmark DAC2 front end and ATC SCM11 speakers all using single ended connections.

Compared to the other amps the Quad is a warm bath of sound. The midrange is really nice and fluid. The high frequencies are clear. The Accuphase power amp section is far more detailed and punchy especially in the bass. The Audio Research is not as detailed as the Accuphase but more so than the Quad. It also goes deeper, instruments are bigger, and it’s more punchy than the Quad or Accuphase; the D130 is my favourite with the ATCs.

Subsequent to this assessment today I assessed the DAC2 straight into the Quad via single ended and XLR. XLR was a lot more punchy and bass was deeper. The main reason for getting the Artera is to replace my 909. The 909 is great with my P3ESR but I wanted an XLR input and front power switch. The specs say that it is also quieter than the 909. I can’t compare them side by side until May but am not sure that the Artera is great value over the 909 because it’s double the price secondhand. But to get these functions and retain the Quad sound it’s worth it to me.
 

 
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Nopiano

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It’s been great to read about all the kit you’ve tried, Dom, and you’ve ended up with some great stuff.  Envious of your return to Portugal, and hope we will hear from you once settled there.  All the best.

 
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Lawrence001

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I am not an audiophile but here are a few thoughts. I can only compare it to what I have here ie an Audio Research D130 and Luxman E380. The Luxman integrated is almost £7k and the Audio Reseach would probably retail at £4500 if sold new today - so it’s not a fair assessment. Comments are in relation to using an Innuos and Benchmark DAC2 front end and ATC SCM11 speakers all using single ended connections.
Compared to the other amps the Quad is a warm bath of sound. The midrange is really nice and fluid. The high frequencies are clear. The Luxman power amp section is far more detailed and punchy especially in the bass. The Audio Research is not as detailed as the Luxman but more so than the Quad. It also goes deeper, instruments are bigger, and it’s more punchy than the Quad or Luxman; the D130 is my favourite with the ATCs.
Subsequent to this assessment today I assessed the DAC2 straight into the Quad via single ended and XLR. XLR was a lot more punchy and bass was deeper. The main reason for getting the Artera is to replace my 909. The 909 is great with my P3ESR but I wanted an XLR input and front power switch. The specs say that it is also quieter than the 909. I can’t compare them side by side until May but am not sure that the Artera is great value over the 909 because it’s double the price secondhand. But to get these functions and retain the Quad sound it’s worth it to me.
 
Does the Artera have a dB calibrated volume control? As to tell if XLR really is better than single ended you need to reduce the volume by exactly -6dB (someone please correct me if I'm wrong, it might be -3db?).

I've played with this for a while with the same results but always have the nagging feeling I'm not gain matching with my analogue volume control. Even an indiscernible volume difference can sound like better dynamics/whatever.
 

simon g

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I am not an audiophile but here are a few thoughts. I can only compare it to what I have here ie an Audio Research D130 and Luxman E380. The Luxman integrated is almost £7k and the Audio Reseach would probably retail at £4500 if sold new today - so it’s not a fair assessment. Comments are in relation to using an Innuos and Benchmark DAC2 front end and ATC SCM11 speakers all using single ended connections.

Compared to the other amps the Quad is a warm bath of sound. The midrange is really nice and fluid. The high frequencies are clear. The Luxman power amp section is far more detailed and punchy especially in the bass. The Audio Research is not as detailed as the Luxman but more so than the Quad. It also goes deeper, instruments are bigger, and it’s more punchy than the Quad or Luxman; the D130 is my favourite with the ATCs.

Subsequent to this assessment today I assessed the DAC2 straight into the Quad via single ended and XLR. XLR was a lot more punchy and bass was deeper. The main reason for getting the Artera is to replace my 909. The 909 is great with my P3ESR but I wanted an XLR input and front power switch. The specs say that it is also quieter than the 909. I can’t compare them side by side until May but am not sure that the Artera is great value over the 909 because it’s double the price secondhand. But to get these functions and retain the Quad sound it’s worth it to me.
 
I think you mean Accuphase, not Luxman!

 
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DomT

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Does the Artera have a dB calibrated volume control? As to tell if XLR really is better than single ended you need to reduce the volume by exactly -6dB (someone please correct me if I'm wrong, it might be -3db?).

I've played with this for a while with the same results but always have the nagging feeling I'm not gain matching with my analogue volume control. Even an indiscernible volume difference can sound like better dynamics/whatever.
The Artera is a power amp and has no volume control. Of course differences in loudness can make a difference. But even when XLR was at a lower volume than rca there was a distinct difference. 

 

popol_vuh

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Dom, your posts during this search of yours have been very informative. I liked your comparisons of amps on SCM11 in particular, since I've been wondering whether to search for a better power amp to put between my EAR864 and SCM19.

In the end, I don't think I'll go for that since as my end-game I see something like active SCM50ASL. So, I better work towards that and not waste money on power amp swaps. I'll need to save a long time for the 50s anyway.

As far as the topic goes - Ive bought my Gyrodec thanks to this forum, quite a long time ago. I even bought it from the wammer 'bigdur'. I don't see him around anymore. He was willing to ship this huge box to Croatia and evertthing went well. I also wouldn't know of our Pete's great inventions if it wasn't for this forum. I wouldn't know about audio origami and wouldn't have rb250 wonderfully modded by Johnnie. I also ptobably wouldn't know about Jeff Spall and wouldn't have Audiomods Series 6.

Too bad that trading between UK and EU is so expensive now.

 

DomT

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Dom, your posts during this search of yours have been very informative. I liked your comparisons of amps on SCM11 in particular, since I've been wondering whether to search for a better power amp to put between my EAR864 and SCM19.

In the end, I don't think I'll go for that since as my end-game I see something like active SCM50ASL. So, I better work towards that and not waste money on power amp swaps. I'll need to save a long time for the 50s anyway.

As far as the topic goes - Ive bought my Gyrodec thanks to this forum, quite a long time ago. I even bought it from the wammer 'bigdur'. I don't see him around anymore. He was willing to ship this huge box to Croatia and evertthing went well. I also wouldn't know of our Pete's great inventions if it wasn't for this forum. I wouldn't know about audio origami and wouldn't have rb250 wonderfully modded by Johnnie. I also ptobably wouldn't know about Jeff Spall and wouldn't have Audiomods Series 6.

Too bad that trading between UK and EU is so expensive now.
Pleased to have been of some help. And great to read that you have also benefitted from the Wam; its a great resource.

Power amps are an interesting point.  On here maybe everyone says ATC active is better than passive but I always wonder a) what their musical preferences are and b) what power amps did they try if indeed they did try any.  I did heard the ATC 40 active and it sounded great with a DCS Bartok.  But I have never liked the sound of the ATC power amps when I read about them in magazine and user reviews.  

 
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popol_vuh

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I haven' listened to any ATC power amps or preamps. I've exchanged a couple of emails with Ben Lilly and he says tgat P1 and SCM19 are a great match. Actually, he said to go for as neutral and powerful SS amp and that will work great. From what I could gather, many people say that with passive ATCs stuff like 300W Brystons (SST, SST2) are a really great match. Haven't heard that combo either. You like them with AR the best. My friend drives his SCM19 with a Pioneer M22 that he completely restored, which was their flagship power amp but only 30W class A and this works wonderful - crazy dynamic and natural and completely enough for his smallish cca 12 square metres room. So, they don't really seem that difficult to drive alrhough their sensitivity is low-ish. But their impedance curve is really benign.

I have no complaints about how they work with 909. I'm sure that can be bettered quite a bit, but this sounds right to me. I think it's good that the Gyro is not a "warm"-sounding TT and BM Wood is neutral-ish cartridge. I also use Sovtek LPS tubes in EAR which are not "warm"-sounding either. Otherwise it could be too much with the 909. Neutrality is my ideal, but I don't think that switching the power amps for now would be cool when price and sound-improvement are taken into account.

I believe that active 40s with a top quaity source such as dcs are really great. In my head my ideal system would be my Gyro, into EAR 868PL (I'd really like to uograde to that) into SCM50ASL.

 
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Griff500

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I would only change my SCM40A for SCM50ASLT or above. They seem to work well for my ears with a variety of music (although I don't listen to classical, etc) and I think they are Goldilocks speakers - not too much of anything and just right.

My only point of reference was coming from Aries Mini -> Arcam -> Monitor Audio Bronze, which really doesn't seem like a fair comparison to the system I replaced that with (although I always liked the Arcam sound).

The WAM has been tremendously helpful to me. I only joined late last year to ask which PMC speakers I should buy...   :doh:

 
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popol_vuh

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I would only change my SCM40A for SCM50ASLT or above. They seem to work well for my ears with a variety of music (although I don't listen to classical, etc) and I think they are Goldilocks speakers - not too much of anything and just right.
I've thought abot SCM40A as well since I'm sure they're cracking speakers as well, but I know I'd end up wanting the 50s in the end due to their all drivers SL specced (with 40s having no SL specced drivers). I want to make my final step and be done with it, which isn't a problem in the situation that I am in, since i really love the sound of my system. Just more of the same with as much neutrality, transparency and dynamics is what I'd like.

 

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