A whole new approach
In a bid to get better sound in our house, I've decided to setup a new system downstairs. This is comprised of a very stylish JVC micro system which incorporates a nice FM/AM tuner and a very capable CD player. The CD is inserted in the top via a rising glass window which is very snazzy and backlit in blue. The speakers are from the same system and are also very capable for their size: plenty of deep bass for a small, infinite baffle design - albeit not lightning quick - a very nice treble (I can't see the tweeter, but I have a feeling they could be a dual-coecentric design) and a very projected, rich fullrange. The soundstaging is good too!
After spending quite a while listening to this system (okay I admit the speakers aren't on stands or far enough apart to be properly set-up) I realised it was good, but the bass wasn't damped enough and the little micro amplifier was being pushed to its 4 watt limit quite early. So, I got myself a nice amplifier to go with it!
The JVC A-X400 which you can see, was launched in 1983 and sports a healthy 80watts into 8ohms and 130watts into 4ohms (which the speakers are.) It's a very powerful machine and has a built in 7 band SEA graphic equiliser to remove that nasty 80hz region which our room loves and to restrain the upper mids (about 4khz.) It also has some very flash VU meters and has a very nice MM/MC phono stage. Most importantly, it's a non-switching class A design (JVC called it Super Class A) which means deliciously warm, sweet and powerful music is delivered from it. However, this is also its downside. This thing with its 130watts and class A design kicks out some serious (and I mean serious!!!) heat which has unfortunately degraded some of the internal parts, so sometimes the right channel doesn't come in and there is also plenty of hiss when music isn't played. There's also alot of channel leakage, so if you forget to turn the ipod off and listen to a CD, you can get quite a confusing result!
The micro-JVC is outputted through its tape output (bypassing the poor power-amp) and into the input of the JVC via a mini-jack to RCA lead. The result is a very, very competant system which could give a modern £500 system a run for its money. Power comes in spades (although the 20watt rating of those speakers scares me!) so I dearn't turn it up past 10 o'clock (although that is still very loud and undistorted!)