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Thread: A Visit to Jimbos

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,494
    I'm Oliver.

    Default A Visit to Jimbos

    After months of trying to get our schedules to line up, I finally managed to get over to James's abode.

    My main purpose for the visit was to get a listen to the Croft Pre and power amp.

    The Man -

    James is a very Gracious host and made me feel very welcome in his home. We spoke at great length about the artists we listened to and James demonstrated a vast knowledge of his favourite artists background. One thing that really came across was how passionate he is about sound. Like me, there is a NEED to get transparency and resolution from our systems.

    The VPI

    I was very close to purchasing a VPI Classic a little while back. I have always liked the ethos of VPI. High quality gear first and foremost.

    I was very much looking forward to hearing it and here lies the problem. I didn't hear it, in fact it just totally disappeared whilst in use. Silent in operation, pure black background and Delivered a very beautiful sound. I am so impressed with the VPI. Beautiful craftsmanship and looks. Simply a stunning turntable. A rock steady pitch and never heard it falter. Exceptional turntable.

    Ortofon 2M black -

    I've not heard a 2M black before so this was a real eye opener. I said to James at the time that I didn't feel he was missing out on anything from MC but on review, I think there's an edge to the sound that you don't get with MC. Maybe MC is Smoother? Not sure but what a fantastic cartridge the 2M black is. Again very detailed and resolution was incredible.

    Croft Preamp and Power amp -

    This is the bit where I am supposed to think "I like it but not as much as ......."

    Well I can't, in all honesty, I thought the croft gear was simply fantastic. Beautiful rendering of female vocals and guitar. Excellent timbre and depth. I was totally immersed in whatever we listened to. 3D soundstage and pinpoint accuracy. Decay and attack were natural and organic, I just loved listening to them. A worthwhile contender if you are looking for a new amp, preamp.

    Spendor 2's -

    Here are a pair of speakers that I enjoyed listening to immensely. However, and I say this with the understanding that the room dimensions are holding James back, I felt they didn't give out the full scale of the recording. James fully acknowledges this and his reasoning for not going bigger with the speaker's makes a lot of sense.

    The treble and MIDs are delivered with absolute magnificence. Pure tone, smooth treble and everything is handled with delicately when needed. Guitar strings twang and resonate in the body of the guitars and recreate a feeling of being live incredibly well. They enable you to get right into the recording unlike anything I've heard previously. Such transparency is hard to find. The only thing missing from this set up is scale and James knows this.

    And incredible system to listen to and completely well matched to provide what James wants, transparency and accurate tone.


    Conclusion -

    I could spend hours listening to James system and we did. Around 4 in total.

    I think for any audiophile, the equipment must achieve the sound principles that one wants to achieve and here they do. A very well matched system by a very knowledgeable guy. It was an absolute pleasure to listen to and I'm grateful to Jimbo for the invite. I now have a list of LPs I need to buy due to the fantastic material he has!







    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Bigman80; 30-10-2017 at 14:26.
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > ZYX R50 Bloom cartridge > Jolida JD9 MKII > Firebottle Monoblocks > Creek OBH-11SE Headphone Amp > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,392
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Not surprised it sound good. That's a nicely chosen set of equipment.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,494
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Not surprised it sound good. That's a nicely chosen set of equipment.
    It was fantastic Geoff. I loved it. Thankfully I still loved mine when I got home

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > ZYX R50 Bloom cartridge > Jolida JD9 MKII > Firebottle Monoblocks > Creek OBH-11SE Headphone Amp > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,198
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default





    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2011

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 6,378
    I'm Brian.

    Default

    Nice write up Oliver . I paid James a visit in January of this year and he proved to be an excellent host . Like you , I fell in love with his system . So much so that I bought a Croft pre and power amp as soon as some became available and they're here to stay .

    I posted the details of my visit on the forum . Thankfully the pictures of his VPI and Spendors have survived http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...7+visit+jimbos
    Regards
    Brian

    Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment . (Rumi )


    Korus Computer Audio music server .
    DAC 3 French DAC
    Amplifier : Rega Brio R
    Speakers : Tannoy 637
    Interconnects : MS Audio / Klotz MC5000 .
    Speaker cables : Chord Epic Twin

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,494
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brian2957 View Post
    Nice write up Oliver . I paid James a visit in January of this year and he proved to be an excellent host . Like you , I fell in love with his system . So much so that I bought a Croft pre and power amp as soon as some became available and they're here to stay .

    I posted the details of my visit on the forum . Thankfully the pictures of his VPI and Spendors have survived http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...7+visit+jimbos
    I remember reading it Brian, it's a great system. I really enjoyed it and can see the appeal of the croft gear. Very good indeed.

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > ZYX R50 Bloom cartridge > Jolida JD9 MKII > Firebottle Monoblocks > Creek OBH-11SE Headphone Amp > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,163
    I'm James.

    Default

    I was certainly pleased that Oliver could find time to come over and listen to my system after he initially expressed an interest in listening to some Croft amplification. It was an absolute pleasure to have Oliver there as he is such a good listener with a seriously acute sense of hearing and a great ability to articulate what he hears. I appreciate tremendously Oliver's analysis of my system as it is always an anxious experience inviting someone into your home to listen to a system which you have put together.

    I would say Oliver's description of each piece of kit and its sonic footprint, ( or not), is absolutely spot on as his observation is so close to mine. I know my systems strengths and weaknesses but as we discussed, trying to build a system that sounds great is very hard indeed and some compromises have to be made. Most notably I have a room that has the worst dimensions, it is a cube, and is not really big enough to do justice to my speakers. I could do with a few more feet behind the listener and behind the speakers to really allow them to sound better.

    I really very much enjoyed the evening and it was great to listen to excellent vinyl with someone who has similar tastes in music, in fact Oli had bought with him 4 albums I already have. I think we could have pushed on all night but I think 4 hours was long enough!
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,494
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I was certainly pleased that Oliver could find time to come over and listen to my system after he initially expressed an interest in listening to some Croft amplification. It was an absolute pleasure to have Oliver there as he is such a good listener with a seriously acute sense of hearing and a great ability to articulate what he hears. I appreciate tremendously Oliver's analysis of my system as it is always an anxious experience inviting someone into your home to listen to a system which you have put together.

    I would say Oliver's description of each piece of kit and its sonic footprint, ( or not), is absolutely spot on as his observation is so close to mine. I know my systems strengths and weaknesses but as we discussed, trying to build a system that sounds great is very hard indeed and some compromises have to be made. Most notably I have a room that has the worst dimensions, it is a cube, and is not really big enough to do justice to my speakers. I could do with a few more feet behind the listener and behind the speakers to really allow them to sound better.

    I really very much enjoyed the evening and it was great to listen to excellent vinyl with someone who has similar tastes in music, in fact Oli had bought with him 4 albums I already have. I think we could have pushed on all night but I think 4 hours was long enough!
    I am convinced your speakers, in a room that compliments them would be absolutely stunning. No doubt at all. I liked them that much, I. Gonna try and pick up a set of Mission 770 which I believe sound incredibly similar and I cant afford Spendors lol.

    Definitely could have gone on longer and I'm sure we'll get a good few hours in at my place. Having similar principals and music tastes really does help.

    You have no need for anxiety with your system James, it's quite superb. Enviable to most, I'd have thought.

    I'm looking forward to hearing the Croft in my setup and at Alan's bakeoff. I'm hoping he uses the neat speakers too. They are much more revealing!!!!


    Oliver.

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > ZYX R50 Bloom cartridge > Jolida JD9 MKII > Firebottle Monoblocks > Creek OBH-11SE Headphone Amp > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,163
    I'm James.

    Default

    Mission 770's can sound stunning and certainly have more scale than my Spendors. I would like a pair myself.

    It would be good to hear the Croft in your system and the VPI?
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,494
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Mission 770's can sound stunning and certainly have more scale than my Spendors. I would like a pair myself.

    It would be good to hear the Croft in your system and the VPI?
    Absolutely!!!! Definitely bring it and we can do a SP10 v VPI type comparison!! It's getting even more interesting lol.

    I'll send you some dates that may be possible to get together.

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > ZYX R50 Bloom cartridge > Jolida JD9 MKII > Firebottle Monoblocks > Creek OBH-11SE Headphone Amp > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

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