what are they, Neats?
How is the amplifier hunt going? Do you have a shortlist yet?
Enjoy the music!
Yes, Neat Iotas, as suggested by someone on this forum (forget who). They're really super; nicely tuneful and detailed when quiet, but happy to be driven hard and capable of creating a decent soundstage. I'm wondering about a sub though ...
Thanks for asking about the amp hunt, which is drawing to a close. Tomorrow I'm demoing the Pass Labs INT30A against the Luxman L-590A II. On Wednesday it's the new Devialet range. And on Friday the Musical Fidelity AMS35i.
I think it's going to come down to a shoot out between the Pass Labs, Luxman, MF and the Accuphase E560.
Is your Arcam kit due in this week? Exciting! I've been reminiscing this week: while my MDAC is away being upgraded, I've been using an old Arcam A65 as preamp in my study. It must be at least 12 years old, and the caps may have faded. Might be worth a refurb? Or even a complete overhaul by Brent?
What classical music are you listening to?
Those are some very (very) nice amps, and I look forward to your thoughts.....imo. you are in for quite a treat.
I suspect you are right.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
After hearing your thoughts on the Devialet on another post are the above mentioned amps still in contention?
The Luxman was knocked out by the Pass Labs. I'm demoing the Accu on Monday. Report on the AMS35i to follow this evening.
How is the amp hunt going, have you made any decisions or purchases? Any speakers you are interested in?
I have the Musical Fidelity AMS35i arriving here on loan next Weds. I've a nasty (nice?) feeling it may never leave the house, though I'm still hoping to demo the new Devialet models, which are now overdue. Other than that, I might give the Pass Labs INT30A another spin.
As for speakers, well, it depends very much on which amp I go for. The amp-speaker synergy is so important. I took a strong dislike to PMC speakers the first few times I heard them, but when I heard the AMS35i through PMC Fact 8s, I could really see what the fuss was about. So, yes, it's very much: amp first, speakers second.
Have you got your modded CDP back yet? I'm getting rather frustrated waiting for my Audiolab MDAC to come back from the Czech Republic. It's been two weeks now ...
I haven't got the CD player back yet, I should give Brent a call today about it. I have been so busy finishing the Fidelity Audio website...
Once everything is back I may also buy some new speakers. It's hard to know where to start as the upgrades that Fidelity Audio have made so far have been so dramatic that the usual short list of speakers that normally go well with Arcam amps will have changed.
Saying that, and having owned Acoustic Energy speakers before, the new Reference 1's are speakers that I would like to audition, (and the Reference 3s if I can stretch that far). Would also like to hear how the upgraded system would drive speakers from Kef, Proac and Spendor.
I reckon once you have your full modded Arcam system in place, you'll want to demo a wide range of speakers, and it'll be very, very interesting. I've no idea what'll work well -- I doubt anyone could predict it, as the sound of your modded Arcam system will be unique. So I'd say, spread the net wide, take your time, and you'll end up with some excellent options.
Whereabouts are you BTW? Do you have access to lots of dealers?
I'm in south Devon so have Exeter close by. Between SevenOaks Sound & Vision and Gulliford Hi-Fi in Exeter I should be able to demo some interesting speakers. There is also Tavistock Audio a bit further down.
You are right about listening to as many as possible. I think I'll take my time over it and not be in a hurry.
I've heard good things about Audio Destination in Tiverton, though I've had no dealings with them myself.
If you're going to pass through West London, drop me a line at matthew.g.bell AT gmail.com.
I had a look at the Audio Destination website and they have some nice alternative brands and the customer service looks good according to the reviews.
Thanks for the email address, I will ping you a line if I end up in London. I used to work in West London at Bskyb as a Senior Web Designer.
After a bit of a work-induced lull I’m back on track. The aim: to fill the house with networked sound, ranging from a ‘high-end’ living room system to more modest set-ups in other rooms.
This week the focus is on the living room and dining room. The Neat Iotas in the dining room are doing very nicely: properly bedded in now. Tomorrow I’m trying a couple of small-format power amps, which can give the Neats a bit more juice whilst sitting unobtrusively on a shelf.
But the big event of the week was the arrival of a second-hand Musical Fidelity AMS35i (as reported on Cno’s AMS35i thread). I’m borrowing a pair of Harbeth Super HL5s to help me decide whether the AMS35i is a keeper. But annoyingly my MDAC is still in the Czech Republic being upgraded. (John Westlake ran out of the resistors he was installing in the modded units.) So today I borrowed a Naim V-1 DAC as a stand-in. This is the system:
Sonos ZP90 (Fidelity Audio Level 2 upgrade) > Chord Prodac Pro Digital coax > Naim V-1 DAC > Chord Cadenza Reference RCA > MF AMS35i > Chord Odyssey 2 > Harbeth Super HL5s
Sitting them on the cabinet like this is a temporary measure. The AMS35i does need plenty of air around it, so a proper rack will be in order if the beast is going to stay.
Having read a couple of reviews it sounds as though the AMS35i is a very nice piece of kit, certainly highly thought of in AMS35i thread.
Interesting (to me anyway with new speakers soon to be on the horizon) is that you have a pair of Harbeth Super HL5s on loan. I have wanted to hear a pair of these for some time and wonder how they would sound with the kind of music that I listen to, they are on my list of speakers to audition. Have you heard these speakers before you took them on loan and are they on your speaker shortlist?
Anyway Matt, have fun with all this lovely kit. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Pete (new email, new account)
Arcam Alpha 9/9P amps and Alpha 9 CD all extensively modified by Fidelity Audio (level 3+), Acoustic Energy speakers, Fidelity Audio NNU X Reference Mains Filter, quality cables & interconnects, Sony AV.
I'd heard the Harbeths four times before I picked them up today, so I'm becoming familiar with what they can do on the end of different systems. They're definitely on my shortlist. My 16-year-old daughter was in the room with me about an hour ago and said, 'Dad, you've got to buy these speakers'. They're quite addictive.
The signature of Harbeths is their airy and tuneful middle range. They do vocals beautifully. I listen to quite a lot of opera. The HL5s are big enough to give you a sense of scale, and the soundstage locates solo vocalists very precisely, which adds to the drama of opera. And on the end of a Class A amp you get a proper 'holographic' picture of the recording. The woofer is a decent size, so bass isn't a problem. If you're going to drive them loud, you need a fairly big room, so you can bring them out well away from the back wall, though at moderate volumes they don't seem at all picky about placing.
As for other types of music, my tastes are very catholic. I reckon any well recorded music will sound good. I was listening to some Yello earlier, and it was great fun.
PS are/were you 12designs and then Pete68?
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