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CJSF's picture
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. . . 'petty dam good' . . .
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I said I would report back when I got the Croft/Apollo up and running, they are still not in final position in the room, and the Rega P5/Ortofon Blue wont arrive until later in the week, then a bit of remodeling to the shelves, so its another couple of week before the full system is ready.

However, I have been doing a lot of listening over the last few days. Highly significant it has been too . . . With only my 20 year old memory of how things used to be and current experience of the venerable Rotel 820, it was a culture shock on first listen

What have I done, £1500 on kit that is out performed by a 20 year old, budget integrated amplifier, and a basic PC! Friday night was not a good one! Burn the Croft in was the obvious answer, 5 hours, 10 hours, no significant change. Then I read a snippet on site about multi strand (500) speaker cable. I had a short run of Supra cable in the loft, dating back some 25 years. Could only find one 3m length . . . ! so, I had to cut it to 1m and 2m. To cut a story short, the multi strand got hold of the music, I was able to sit back and enjoy. All the main elements clicked into place, especially an issue with brightness, I like a warm but detailed sound.

That was 7 o'clock Saturday night, was my Linn K20 cable letting me down, are valves not the panacea I have believed in for all these years . . .

Cut to the chase . . . 2pm Sunday, all is well, 25 hours burn-in seems to have tamed the beast. I am sitting typing, listening to that warm detailed sound I enjoy, with the Linn K20 cable in situ. All elements are there as I remember valves used to sound.

Significantly, the burn-in process seemed to go in steps as one 'heat cycled' the Croft. Switch off, cool down, turn on, allow to warm up . . . am I hearing things, is it actually improving?? At this point I started to 'not believe my ears'.

I still have issues worth pursuing re the 500 multi strand cable. I think the amp will gain subtleties over the next 25 hours, but the basics, I can now describe as 'exhibiting the Brio beating presentation' I heard at the dealer dem. I have not mentioned the Apollo CDp . . . as a slave to the amp, it seems to have simply raised its game as the amp improved . . . what more can I say? The amplifier and speakers are the window, the window has been cleaned . . .

The 20 year memory tells me the Croft is finally producing a musical quality closely akin to my original EAR mono block valve amps . . . rose coloured glasses? perhaps, its 'pretty dam good' IMHO . . . I feel there is a slight lack of comparative image, this I would expect comparing integrated against mono blocks.

More to come . . . ? CJSF

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: . . . 'petty dam good' . . .

That's all good to hear; and I suspect it will continue to improve for a while yet. :rockout:

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

edplaysdrums42's picture
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RE: . . . 'petty dam good' . . .

Nice one CJSF.....i look forward to the next installment especially when the P5 arrives Wink

 

Cheers Ed

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RE: . . . 'petty dam good' . . .

Expectation bias + cofirmation bias + £1500 sunk cost = good sound  Dance 4

CJSF's picture
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RE: . . . 'petty dam good' . . .

Having put another 10 hours of listening time on the Croft/Apollo . . . well, switched on time, I do have other things to do in my life . . . But 4 hours solid last night until 1am this morning.  The total turn round of sound quality is being backed up by a distinct improvement in the subtleties of the system, smooth, easy, engaging come to mind . . . its like trying to describe the sublties of a bottle of fine wine . . . impossible, but the process of the experience is most pleasant.

I'm beginning to get edgy over the speaker cable again, 'a feeling in my water', rather than anything I can point to directly, I will muse over the issue during the day . . .

CJSF

PS, the last CD I listened to last night was 'Dafos' . . . weird music, but compelling listening, available on Spotify, try track; 'the Gates of Dafos' . . . start with the volume not to high!

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