My new system.

josh

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My new system: Rega Planet 2000, Naim Nait5i, Dynaudio Contour 1.3MKII, Atacama SE24, VanDamme 4mm, QED Quinex 2.

The stands are fully sand filled, position is slightly toed-in, they are placed close to the wall for extra bass effect, the grilles are left on because I think it slightly reduces the brightness.

Well, I sat and listened for most of today continuously, here are my observations, I'll run through the tunes I listened to so you can see where I'm coming from.

1. Overlap - Tracks 4 & 8, Transformation & Ghost Story.

http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display_release.asp?id=3836

This is full-on Psychedelic Trance - the tracks start with deep swirling basslines and as you may hear from the samples, the tunes contain a fast, pounding beat but with plenty of high-frequency sci-fi noises and sounds over the top. There are many layers of sounds and definately, from listening to this kind of music through loud outdoor rigs, I've found that it's the mark of a good system that can keep the layers differentiated and let you hear the individual noises but at the same time, not be too clinical so that you can still dance and get lost in the track.

Unfortunately, I found my system wasn't too hot on this. The bass was fine but I found all the sounds got a bit muddied and I felt the system was struggling to keep up with it all. Myears also felt a bit tired afterwards, the high-freq noises and melody lines seemed a bit too bright and forceful.

2. Nick Cave - Kingdom,

Bjork - Unravel,

Lamb - Gorecki, - all of these I've grouped together as they are all soft, relaxing, emotive tunes. Here the system was fantastic - on all of these songs the vocals came out perfectly and the melodies were just asstirring and evocative. It's been a while since I've really got into the emotion of the music. Very impressed.

3. Epsilon Phase - Global Communication.

For those of you on the Dark Ambient thread in the music section (Testure!) - this is a warmatmospheric tune of swirling sounds and deep bassy melodies. Like the other tunes above, this system played it extremely well.

4. Dave Clarke - Worldwide - CD1 Techno mix.

For those that like this sort of think, Worldwide is a seminal techno mix. The system played this better than the more complex psytrance, although I still felt there was a certain rawness lacking.

5. EZ Rollers.

Some liquid D'n'B - very impressed surprisingly. One of the tracks combined a very deep bassline with quite high female vocals and it came out very well. I was really surprised that standmounts could push out D'n'B properly but they definately did. (Although it should be noted I did have the speakersplaced quite close to the walls and I've heard the Dyns generally need a lot of space). Even so however, I found whatever mid and treble there was to be played quite forwardly and again, I found myself with fatigue.

Overall, I'm pretty happy. I'm interested to see how the Neats will compare though and perhaps I may look for a cable/interconnect that will take away some of the brightness.

On another note - I tried placing the Rega on top of the Nait and noticed no audible difference at all. In fact several times during different tracks I put them apart on the surface (the top of a fairly solid cupboard) and then the CDp on top of the amp, and never did I hear any difference so I'm thinking this may be a psychological thing?Or do you need to leave them stacked on top for a while before the sound quality degrades? I only tried it for a few minutes.

 

gsrai

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Sounds like a good result for you.

I think you will get some serious dividends from changing the interconnects but I couldn't recommend any to you as I've not heard your combo. I'm sure loads of guys could recommend something but I doubt if Van Den Hul is what you need, probably more like Atlas (Navigator was very good)/Chord or the likes!

Keep us posted on what you do
smile.png


 

curtis

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Hi Josh,

The problem is not with the Dyns but further up the chain.

The Naim Amp will cause the forward sound and lack of space.

The Planet CDP although good is also not the best at individual strands of music.

Basically the electronics are being shown for what they are

Curtis

 

ray70

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I have a pair of Dynaudio 1.3IIs as well, and I certainly wouldn't describe them as bright. To my ears, they're a very neutral speaker.

 

Anthony

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nice review josh and good to see you being honest about your system's shortcomings. i can't offer any suggestions about how to tackle the forwardness/brightness, but there must be plenty of guys here who can advise.

know what you mean about psytrance - reckon it's very hard for it to sound excellent through a hifi. so layered and fast, and designed to be heard through a huge soundsystem. if you can get it sounding good (rather than excellent) you;re probably doing well.

 

meninblack

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josh wrote:

On another note - I tried placing the Rega on top of the Nait and noticed no audible difference at all. In fact several times during different tracks I put them apart on the surface (the top of a fairly solid cupboard) and then the CDp on top of the amp, and never did I hear any difference so I'm thinking this may be a psychological thing?Or do you need to leave them stacked on top for a while before the sound quality degrades? I only tried it for a few minutes.
LOL

There is a lot of debate about the merits (or otherwise) of audiophile equipment supports. That aside, if you are using a randomly-chosen bit of furniture as a supportI think it's vanishingly improbable that stacking the kit instead of placing it side-by-side will give you an audible difference. What you might get - after a long while - is an overheating amp.

FWIW I agree with previous posters - the Dyn's are the strongest link in your system and will comfortably cope with electronics in a much higher price bracket. I'm not convinced, despite what people say, that the littlest naim has enough watts for Dyn's. I've now got 330 wpc up my 52SE's and they just keep getting better!

 

Jezzer

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Nice review. I'm familiar with some of the tracks (Lamb, Global Communications).

I've used the Nait with the 1.3's and can vouch for their synergy - having said that the Nait isn't the most detailed amp at the price (but it is very musical).

Chord Co Odyssey works well between the Nait and Dynaudio's - will provide greater transparency and punch.

It's interesting that, to fully unravel complex dance tracks, you need a really high end system. The best system I've had so far for such music was the Copland/Krell/Dynaudio combo: High SPL's and high resolution (without strain and withcontrol and poise)- but you need to pay for it.

Below a certain price point (such as 2k), I think you need to compromise. Strike a balance between resolution and musicality. You won't get it all until you approach the 'high end',IME.

 

josh

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Anthony wrote:

know what you mean about psytrance - reckon it's very hard for it to sound excellent through a hifi. so layered and fast, and designed to be heard through a huge soundsystem. if you can get it sounding good (rather than excellent) you;re probably doing well.
Jezzer: It's interesting that, to fully unravel complex dance tracks, you need a really high end system. The best system I've had so far for such music was the Copland/Krell/Dynaudio combo: High SPL's and high resolution (without strain and withcontrol and poise)- but you need to pay for it.Below a certain price point (such as 2k), I think you need to compromise. Strike a balance between resolution and musicality. You won't get it all until you approach the 'high end',IME.
Yes, it's interesting that having spoken to engineers setting up big rigs for this sort of music, they all seem to say that weirdly, the set up is similar to classical music in that you have a large dynamic range and you need to be able to hear all of it well (particularly with psytrance where you have lots of small, intricate sounds going on in the background)to stop it turning into mush and yet still be able to groove to it. You would think that 'rave' music wouldn't need such effort!

Having said all this though - I've found that when I crank my system up, it does come together better - unfortunately its against the joining wall with the other semi and I'm not so sure they're keen tofeel 150bpm rinsage at 11pm.

Needless to say that didn't stop me last night
wink.png


In any case, I'm more than happy with the performance of accoustic music and non-doof doof tracks - and tbh, its not like you're going to listen to doof doof at low volumes anyway so I'm happy with the compromise
smile.png
I will check out Andi's VDH cable though just to compare.

 

josh

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meninblack wrote:

There is a lot of debate about the merits (or otherwise) of audiophile equipment supports. That aside, if you are using a randomly-chosen bit of furniture as a supportI think it's vanishingly improbable that stacking the kit instead of placing it side-by-side will give you an audible difference. What you might get - after a long while - is an overheating amp.FWIW I agree with previous posters - the Dyn's are the strongest link in your system and will comfortably cope with electronics in a much higher price bracket. I'm not convinced, despite what people say, that the littlest naim has enough watts for Dyn's. I've now got 330 wpc up my 52SE's and they just keep getting better!
Re the placement - yes that's what I thought. Although the surface is large and solidand the CDP and amp are about half a metre apart - don't know whether that makes a difference though - probably not!

Re the nait and dyns - I have noticed distortion start to kick in on complex electronic music (dnb, psytrance etc) when its up pretty loud although it takes abit to get there. I'm finding I've got a small leeway between having it loud enough so that the bass really kicks in and between it distorting.

Out of interest, would a more powerful amp mean that the bass would reallykick in earlier, or just that it would come in at the same time but you could drive the speakers louder without the distortion?

 

meninblack

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josh wrote:

Out of interest, would a more powerful amp mean that the bass would reallykick in earlier, or just that it would come in at the same time but you could drive the speakers louder without the distortion?
A more powerful amp will remove the distortion - which can damage your tweeters, BTW. The effects on bass delivery can also be dramatic. When we were playing with amplifiers over at Biscuit's, the effect of swapping from the Prima Luna (35 wpc, valves) to the Rotel (330 wpc, class AB) was really quite startling, even at similar listening volume.

With a sufficiently powerful amp, those Contour 1.3'swill start to distort just after your head explodes.
biggrin.png


 

josh

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Well Andi sent me some Audiosyc Syrius silver platedandVan Den Hul MCD102mkii interconnects.

The VDHs do remove the brightness and make the electronic tracks sound better but at the expense of some of the quality of the accoustic/vocal music. I decided I prefered my Quinex 2s over them.

The Audiosycs are frustrating - they're very close to the QED's, its hard to tell a lot of the time but I've found my brightest tracks are definately made comfortable and there's not much difference with the accoustic/vocal genres. However some of the energy of the music is taken out I've found.

I would say about half the tracks are the same, one quater are slightly better and the other quater slightly worse by the same degree.

Out of these then, I think since I got my QED's thrown in and I'm already overbudget, I'll stick with what I've got for the time being.

 

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