Micromega Aria, Manley Shrimp and Mahis

U

Umberto

Guest
Where to start????

This is simply the most liquid velvety sounding system i have ever heard. I don't know if its the "valve" sound or if its the Mahi - Shrimp combination but TBH there could be pixies inside it. I don't care.

The sound is very natural and smooth but not at the expense of detail. It also matches well with the Arts. If you think Art speakers are bright sounding look at the partnering equipment, not the speakers.

It possibly dosen't have the absolute grip of the Bow and this is most noticeable in the bass but the bass is very natural sounding and there is plenty of it. There are two modes you can use the Mahis in. Triode and ultra linear. Triode mode is supposed to sound better but in my systemIprefer it in ultra linear mode where it has a little extra grip (in Pauls system i prefered it in triode mode but maybe thats got something to do with the speakers).

Having heard a number of valve setups including VTL and Prima Luna, which failed to impress, the Mahis and Shrimpreally are something elseand the Aria just lets them do their stuff.

I also havean Isotek Nova to floss the mains and, according to Paul,helps with the low-level detailin the system. I haven't tried it out the system yet so I can't verify this.

Try to get a listen to this combination if you can. Its not that expensive for what you get.

Umberto

 
U

Umberto

Guest
Thanks Glens.

The Aria is asmooth and quite neutral sounding CD player. The level of detail from the Shrimp and Mahis is quite amazing.Quite a different sound from my Bow which was more "in yer face".If anyone has any doubts about lack of grip due to the relatively low power output, don't have. There is plenty enough there to satisfy 99% of people.

Listened to Van Morrison Veedon Fleece last night and the vocals were absolutely stunning. Complete freedom from harshness and thats no mean feat if you've heard the album.

 

antonbhoy

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Jul 30, 2005
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Anthony
Umberto Vanni wrote:

Listened to Van Morrison Veedon Fleece last night and the vocals were absolutely stunning. Complete freedom from harshness and thats no mean feat if you've heard the album.
Have you got Van's To Late to Stop Now album? I found that on some setups, this can either be a great album, or just another poor live recording.

 
M

Mr Coherent

Guest
Umberto,

would you care to site the differenices between the Bow & the Micromega for us. What do you feel the MM brings to the party the Bow doesn't.

Have you slipped the Bow back in the mix with the manleys now in place? and compared again?

I'm curious as to why the big kit change?

 
G

Guest

Guest
I was surprised too, Tone, I had them home on dem, he popped over for a listen, he wanted the amps, then preffered the Aria to the wizard, small room doesn't help, and Bow was a bit more in his face, IMHO has the presence (in mY system) as the Bow and belcanto, but with a softer edge, but no loss of detail, the Shrimp is for me, thats for sure, probably with the ref 1000's try them as a pair toney if you can lay your hands on a shrimp, superb

 

Marco

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Nov 18, 2005
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Nice write-up, Umberto. I'm glad that you're enjoying your new kit
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I think much of what you're hearing is due to the effect of the valves, as a good valve amp combination has less audible 'grain' than solid state amps,which translates into a smoother sound that is devoid of harshnessand impactsparticularly on midrange detail making vocals sound more mellifluous. This is something that became immediately apparent to me when I purchased my Croft valve preamp.

However, knowledgeable enthusiasts hold Manley equipment in high regard, so I'm sure that, valves aside, what you're hearing has much to do with the qualityits design. I've been aware of Manley equipment for some time, particularly the Steelhead phono stage, which isprobably one of the best in the world - it is certainly one of the most user-configurable on the market, although I suspect that until Shadow imported them into the UK most people here would have been unfamiliar with the name.I'd love to own a Steelhead - one day, perhaps!

I'll be up in Glasgow sometime around the second or third week in August, so it would be good to hook up and check out your new system and see if Johnstone has changed from how I remember it
cool.gif.9d6c72c555b38e519336a6d9b55ca875.gif


 
U

Umberto

Guest
Mr Coherent wrote:

Umberto, would you care to site the differenices between the Bow & the Micromega for us. What do you feel the MM brings to the party the Bow doesn't.

Have you slipped the Bow back in the mix with the manleys now in place? and compared again?

I'm curious as to why the big kit change?
The Micromega is just smoother sounding to these ears Tone. The Bow seems to accenuate the midrange slightly more. Not worse as such, just different. In a different system with less analytical speakers and a smooth sounding amp it would probably be fine but the Micromega just seemed to gel better with the valve setup. Also, as Pauls says, there is no loss of detail with it.

I did try the Bow with the Manleys at Pauls and some of the smoothness was lost. As to the kit change, one listen to the system and i was hooked. It has all the smoothness you could want with no loss of detail. Also in my small room it works just fine, the lower power output, compared to the Bow, not being an issue.

 
M

Mr Coherent

Guest
Paul,

The shrimp is fine pre-amp, and does pair well with the 1000's, we also use a Belles A21 (valve pre) which is some what further along than the shrimp.

Great combo sir

 
G

Guest

Guest
Mr Coherent wrote:

Paul,The shrimp is fine pre-amp, and does pair well with the 1000's, we also use a Belles A21 (valve pre) which is some what further along than the shrimp.

Great combo sir
Been listeing to it today tone, the 1000's are getting better by the hour, still alittle restrained, but the potential is there, will decide over weekend, and run 1000's in a little more, looks like this could suit me for a while, my wallet won't stretch to something that will considerably better the shrimp, which frankly is a bit of a gem. CDP will be minimax, whole combo just seems so musical.

 
U

Umberto

Guest
Just a quick update.

I've been playing CDs all weekend and the Manleys are sounding even sweeter. Supposed to take about 100 hours to burn in but i can hear a change in them already. The slghtly shut insound of before is nowextremely smooth anddetailedwith plenty enough grunt for me. Similar sound to the Bow but, IMO, more accurate and less in yer face.

Dosen't sound like valves. Sounds like music
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Anthony

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Jan 9, 2006
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HiFi Trade?
  1. No
quite a change umberto:shock:, and it sounds like you are really enjoying it. would love to have a listen next time i come over glasgow way. plus it looks damn cool as well, which is always a bonus.

 
U

Umberto

Guest
You're welcome to come over for a listen Anthony. The Manleys just don't sound valvey. They sound smooth and neutral without a hint of grain. Reckon its the Nova that is burning in more than the Manleys at the moment. Heard a change in the system last night. Whereas before it sounded a little closed in between the speakers, it seems to have now opened out.

You're right. I am really enjoying it at the moment
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U

Umberto

Guest
ARIA_3QUART_SITE_SMALL.jpg


UPDATE: Micromega Aria

Now that i've got my hands on a fully working model, thought i would post an update on this rather nice CD player (mine is the black model BTW).

Build Quality

Not insubstancial but not up to the Bow Wizard standards which i had before (however i reckon a lot of the cost of the Wizard was in the case). All metal construction with a heavy acrylic lid which tilts upwards to enable loading of the CD, making it feel a bit like a turntable in operation.The CD is held in place by a smalll plastic puck with a magnet in it. The player sits on 3 large feet.

Operation

Let's start with the good news first. Very easy to operate. Just five buttons on the front of the player. Off, stop, play, next and previous. The off button actually switches the unit into standby, the main power switch being on the back. Fastin operation with loading taking about a second and and track to track times being about a second also. Repeat function is available. Display is switchable on or off. Now the bad news. The remote is AWFUL. Although well made, its a pain to hold and the buttons and writing on it are too small. The saving grace it that you can use any philips RC5 compatible remote to work it or, of course, a programmable remote.

Connections

The Aria has RCA and balanced ouputs. It also has a coaxial digital out and a serial port (presumably for diagnostics or updating the software).Also has a standard IEC mains connector.

Sound Quality

Extremely smooth sounding with no hint of grain or digital nasties, this is a CD player that rewards prolonged listening with an unfatigueing sound, something you could listen to all day. You might be thinking that this could make for somewhat boring listening, but you could not be more wrong. Partnered with valves or some smooth sounding solid state, there is a believability in the sound. The lack of grain allows the music to flow through. I read so much on the forums that someone would like a bit more bass or treble or the mid is a bit peaky or something like that. With this player, youdon't have that nagging doubt that something is amiss, like with so many others i've had. Although it's a bit spesh IMO, its not perfect. It dosen't do the PRaT thing like my previous Opus did for example but this dosen't seem tomatter as it sounds very natural.

Summary

The previous oneI had ran extremely hot but this one is fine. Also the previous one i had would not play my CDRs but this one does. Reliability issues aside, this is a cracker of a CD player. If you are looking to smooth out the sound of your system and have the necessary funds to buy new or second hand then give this player a try.

 

falcoron

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Jan 17, 2006
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RON
Hi,

Just thought i would like to add to this disscussion. I own a micromega aria and i can tell you its the best thing ive ever heard! at or near the price.I went to Shadow audio and auditioned a wadia 302 which i have always longed for. I also auditioned the very well regarded Resolution audio opus. i can tell you now the micro mega has the best most natural and sweetest sound of all of them. I have owned various cd players including the excellent shanling cdt200 SACD player. and replaced that with a Copland, only because of the lack of interest the world showed for SACD, and this will eventually render these great players worthless. So i shipped it out just in time to get some money back. To evaluate a bit of kit is, (as you know) down to personal taste. The wadia was a bit of a let down, i could not get round the "dark" sound this player has and the bass although very impressive at first was somewhat annoying after an hour or so. So a player that annoys and costs £4k? No thanks!

The opus is absolutly fantastic, it brings out detail in spadefuls, but be warned itcan really distroy your previously held opinions of your favourate disc. it is merciless in its retrieval, i found myself picking out detail and little sounds in the backroung rather than enjoying the music, and it was a bit more expensive than the aria. Now when i was auditioning these i had not heard of Micromega for years, although their duo cd player was a real gem some years ago.

This little player has everything you need in a cd player without the gimmicky heavy solid block of aluminium, that will break your back and cause your rack to grone,or have that space ship look of some supposed hi end stuff. It just gets on with the job in hand and lets you into the music, honestly give one a demo it is truely hipnotic. I am using this with a Musical fidelity A5 amp and PMC fb1+ floor standers. and if your in the Northern ireland area give me a call if you want to hear it, you will be welcome to hear for yourself. The only player i heard that will beat this (only my experiance you understand) was the Bel canto cd1, but it is £5k player, and bloody well should sound better! but for sheer all round looks sound for pound and reliability ( yes mine has been faultless) you wont find better for under £3k and you know, its really about listening to the music and enjoying it on the kit you have worked hard and long to afford. Yes i will probably move on up as we do in this game, but i think i will be hard pushed to get as big a step up as i have now after getting this wonderful player.

Cheers

Ron

 
U

Umberto

Guest
Hi Ron

If your happy with your Micromega just now, try it with some isolation feet under it such as the JAS audio graphite ones. I reckon they will really put a smile on your face. Also available from Shadow.

I am so impressed with the Micromega now I just don't think it will be worth changing it for a LONG while.

Best Regards

Umberto

 

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