rockmeisters big audition

rockmeister

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 24, 2005
18,072
730
173
Scotland
AKA
John
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
My big day out…I know you hardened swappers will find this all a bit OTT, but I was excited…the first serious bit of kit swapping for 7 years.

Divine audio in Market Harborough is quite tiny. Downstairs, a few Lowe tellys and cables etc. Upstairs, the real business. He mainly stocks Arcam, Moon, Unison Research, Sugden, with Proac Art, PMC, Opera and JM Focal speakers. Still, as it turns out, small means you know your kit and have taken the trouble to sort out that magic synergy thing.

Tim is a good guy. Very helpful, laid back and unpressured, he basically set up what I wanted, made tea and handed me the remotes. Thick curtains draw across and you’re left in your own small magic playground.

First up. Moon CD into Sugden A21se into JMFocal 1007’s. Cables throughout were chord of decent quality. There’s a rightness to this sound about which I scribbled (yup..made notes…the memory an all that) Rich and creamy sound. Textured instruments, but the whole with clarity but no sharp monitor type presentation. My notes coninue,,,these are special speakers and could easily handle another £2000 of amp. Good cables going to be a necessity to make the most. GLORIOUS mid range in this combo and a smooth open top (that beryllium tweeter is a peach). Bass good, tuneful, rhythmic and plenty enough. VERY balanced sound overall. At this price, how can you do better??

First change. Swap Sugden for Unison research S6 integrated valves..same price as the sugden, but 30wpc of single ended (el34) valve amp. Sorry to say this didn’t last longer than half an hour…a VERY good amp, but a forward mid presentation spoilt it for me, making it lighter and brighter than the sugden (although bass was a little warmer and more rhythmic still…looser however) I wrote..’a liitle more air and space at the expense of eveness of tone. Soundstaging, notably depth, was better that the sugden however.

So back to the A21 and add:

Art stilleto monitors (I’d decided it was stand mounts or bust as you’ll see later). WOW. At this price (1/2 that of the JM focals) this is one very good speaker. Tiny, but beautifully coherent and with ZERO vices that I could detect, it was revealing as only tiny monitors can be. However less instrument timbre was there and the tiny boxes just simply are too ‘cold’. Some may love this lack of colouration and accuracy, but I wanted something a bit warmer.

Proac . Unfortunately, all the Proacs I wanted to hear (respons1 & D15) were out on loan, but I heard the floorstanding studio 140’s to get a feel for the Proac sound and to remind myself what floorstanders do. Two points. 1. I don’t like floorstanders. The simple rules apply. Tiny cabinets produce monitor sound quality. Big cabinets are more coloured and frankly, I find that the bass( or maybe more accurately, the warmth of the cabinet colouration) simply overwhelms the mix in a way I don’t like. Large standmounts however have the best of both worlds. Some warmth and a lot of clarity and detail…a better overall balance IMO. Point 2. Proacs are what I would buy if I wanted a big floorstander. I loved the sound and the mix of Proac and sugden is just wonderful.

SO.

Best speaker: JMFocal 1007 EASY. I want two of these.

Best amp: Sugden.

Best combo, Sugden/proac (JUST beating sugden JMF), but I could happily live with sugden JMF since proac don’t make a speaker I want (ie a 2000ish mid size standmount).

Next stop, Mr C next Sunday to hear 1007’s with his amps.

The tension mounts!

PS we dont hear much about moon...this was a 2000ish CD front end and bloody good indeed...well worth searching out and hearing if you're in the market at that price.

editted to add...was pleased at how things have moved on in 7 years...not a huge leap, but significant enough to hear, and especially how EVERYTHING I heard was really very good indeed. There's no crap about that I've heard, it's just hunting out VFM and synergy that's occupying me.

 
P

purplepleaser

Guest
Hi

Sounds like you had fun. Heard the Sugden with Focal today, nice. Don't forget the Musicmaster -makes the A21se sound broken.
22.gif.36c040d5abb2096c10af791e63c73da8.gif


For a grand those ART's are a great speaker.

Happy hunting

smile.png


 

Papa Lazarou

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 18, 2005
12,907
147
123
Bletchley, Bucks
AKA
Phil
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
My money is on Puresound A30 with 1007s.

Rocky - you're welcome to pop over to Bletchley for a listen to some different standmounts if you like?

 

rockmeister

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 24, 2005
18,072
730
173
Scotland
AKA
John
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
yup boss, I think the 1007's are 'in the bag' so to speak :)raoflmfao:)...I cant afford the bigger sugdens Lee unfortunately, because I bet that'd be a stunning combo. Got to stay in budget and need stands (1007's own are £600!) and decent cable so 2000 is tops for the amp(s). Luckily, the belles is about 1800 or the pair so here's hoping:upgrade:
smile.png


Sorry papa...missed your post. Well if next weekend disappoints, your on! (tea and doughnuts on me)
smile.png


 
P

purplepleaser

Guest
I was listening to the Puresound and JM in Mr C room today, very nice. I think the JM Labs need a bit of warmth though. Tony did a amp swap to a pre/power Belles, they were "cold" some needed "warming" so i went for a crap cup of coffee, more slam and bass, lost a bit of magic for me, more listening tomorrow

A couple of guys in the room said "oh before you do the change can we here the valve amp", Mr.C said "i'll leave it running":rofl:. The puntersdid say it sounded wonderful.

 
P

purplepleaser

Guest
I think my Sugden Bijou Musicmaster and Bijou pre is the same price as the A21se, just not as powerful, the amps better sounding though-more deep, size to the soundstage. Great headphone amp too for free:Din the pre

I should get shares:yeah:

 

rockmeister

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 24, 2005
18,072
730
173
Scotland
AKA
John
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Lee...are the 'cold' and 'needed warmth' comments yours? When I'm down at Tonys, he will have modded my Copland266 and that will be the front end. I'm expecting that to add a little fluidity and warmth, but of course at home is the rock beast and warm is NOT it's middle name, so I do want to leave 'the shop' with a warm feeling (puns just flowing everywhere today). Well, we'll see...pen mind open mind open mind:)

editted to add (we keep cross posting) does the pre have a MM phono stage built in?

 
P

purplepleaser

Guest
Hi

The Belles was not warmed up- plugged in but not playing before the switch.

It didn't sound clinical or hard, just a bit slow when first plugged in, 5 minutes later it was sounding so much better.

I think the JM labs speakers need a touch of warmth from the amp or cdplayer. I could be very wrong as i am not the most experienced at this or the best at explaining things.

The Bijou pre can do both MC and MM, selectable with a knob on the front. It has some plug thingies for loading that go in the back, which means nothing to me:dunno:.

Be careful if you get chance to list to the Musicmaster you need the right speakers, it drives my ProAc 1sc's but i don't listen very loud.

The Puresound valve amp is amazing for the money, embarrisingly good:love:

Sorry for being utterly useless at explaining things-i a much worse in person:oops:

 

Boxer

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 2, 2005
9,074
15
0
Good one, Meister!

I would, in my predictably biased way, say do not rule out the Response 1,as my findings were that they were only bettered by the SF Cremona Auditor.

Also: second-hand pair of Response 2? There are still some around. Bigger box than R1, was c£2k new.

Happy listening!

Boxer

 

rockmeister

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 24, 2005
18,072
730
173
Scotland
AKA
John
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Lee...understood every word:)

Ta!

Boxer...I didn't know about response 2's...Oh God!

OK I'll lodge those in the back of the mind with papa's offer in case. Have you heard the 1007's they are really quite astounding to be honest. As I wrote, with the right amps, I reckon they'd be happy in any system up to £15000??? just my opinion I know but I was 'suprised'.

 
P

purplepleaser

Guest
I will try and remember which speakers Mr.C and Sugden are using tomorrow.

 
P

purplepleaser

Guest
rockmeister wrote:

money on Mr C using BIG JMfocals, but room dependent I'm sure. BET sugden use proac!
smile.png
Sugden had a room full of JMFocal
smile.png


 

PAG

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 1, 2005
2,491
12
68
Wirral.
AKA
si
purplepleaser wrote:

I was listening to the Puresound and JM in Mr C room today, very nice. I think the JM Labs need a bit of warmth though. Tony did a amp swap to a pre/power Belles, they were "cold" some needed "warming" so i went for a crap cup of coffee, more slam and bass, lost a bit of magic for me, more listening tomorrowA couple of guys in the room said "oh before you do the change can we here the valve amp", Mr.C said "i'll leave it running":rofl:. The puntersdid say it sounded wonderful.
:sw:

That reminds me of an auntie i used to have ("as" as in the old scroats dead now) and she flatly refused to drink any other tea than Earl Grey. Anyway,as a young kid, the old battleaxe came to our house after her long suffering husband had croaked (the old guy prob had the first bit of peace in all the 50 years they were married).

My dear old dad asked if she wanted a nice cuppa (although he hated her, he was a charming bloke, and did what all decent blokes do, and mutter profanities under his breath out of earshot)

She piped up "Bill, you know i only drink Earl Grey" and my dad said "yes, we know, we got some especially"

Anyway, my old man got the most rancid used co-op branded teabag out of the bin, slapped it in a nice china tea cup and saucer, let it stew for a good few minutes and added milk.

He gave it to her and said "there you go Ida love, a lovely cup of Earl Grey".

Needless to say, she walloped every drop and concurred that Earl Grey was the finest tea in existence.

Stupid twat.

 

auralflea

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 12, 2006
2,372
12
0
Black Country
AKA
Kevin
PAG wrote:

purplepleaser wrote:
I was listening to the Puresound and JM in Mr C room today, very nice. I think the JM Labs need a bit of warmth though. Tony did a amp swap to a pre/power Belles, they were "cold" some needed "warming" so i went for a crap cup of coffee, more slam and bass, lost a bit of magic for me, more listening tomorrowA couple of guys in the room said "oh before you do the change can we here the valve amp", Mr.C said "i'll leave it running":rofl:. The puntersdid say it sounded wonderful.
:sw:

That reminds me of an auntie i used to have ("as" as in the old scroats dead now) and she flatly refused to drink any other tea than Earl Grey. Anyway,as a young kid, the old battleaxe came to our house after her long suffering husband had croaked (the old guy prob had the first bit of peace in all the 50 years they were married).

My dear old dad asked if she wanted a nice cuppa (although he hated her, he was a charming bloke, and did what all decent blokes do, and mutter profanities under his breath out of earshot)

She piped up "Bill, you know i only drink Earl Grey" and my dad said "yes, we know, we got some especially"

Anyway, my old man got the most rancid used co-op branded teabag out of the bin, slapped it in a nice china tea cup and saucer, let it stew for a good few minutes and added milk.

He gave it to her and said "there you go Ida love, a lovely cup of Earl Grey".

Needless to say, she walloped every drop and concurred that Earl Grey was the finest tea in existence.

Stupid twat.
Guess that 'EVIL' gene runs in the family (like father, like son) :lmao:

 

lower bullens

NSNO Wammer
Wammer
Jan 20, 2007
2,680
843
158
Wirral
AKA
Jon
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
purplepleaser wrote:

rockmeister wrote:
money on Mr C using BIG JMfocals, but room dependent I'm sure. BET sugden use proac!
smile.png
Sugden had a room full of JMFocal
smile.png
Masterclass and 1037be, best sound by a mile, even enjoyed listening to pink floyd for the first time since 1977.
 

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