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Thread: A Visit To Malvern Audio Research

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,459
    I'm Justin.

    Default A Visit To Malvern Audio Research

    Lots of hi-fi thingies

    More laterz.



    Tektron 211 amp with KR 211 valves.


  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 227
    I'm james.

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    That's a speaker with a trout pout and a half! Hope it sounded a bit..... oh never mind, was it fun?

    Sent from my GT-I9195 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,841
    I'm Alan.

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    Those Universum's are striking

    Not seen that colour combo before.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,459
    I'm Justin.

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    James - yeah - great day. Alan - not sure that's the colour combo I would go for but yes, very striking indeed in the flesh.

    A friend wanted to compare 211 valves, so I took along some Amperex, GE and RCA. There were two 211 based amps there, a prototype and the Tektrons. We tried various combinations along with the KRs. General consensus was the Amperex seemed to produce the nicest results, and indeed that is what I use a quad of at home. They are marked 211 BS on the bases, so the bullshit valves won the day!

    The RCAs came over rather too sharply in the upper mid/treble region, making them hard to like here, and were bettered by the GEs. The KRs were bright and dynamic, with way more than a touch oh the personality of their PX4 triode I use in my Lampizator Big 7 coming across than I expected. The KR 211 is odd technically, and some claim it isn't really a 211.

    So here is the prototype 211 amp, and the Audio Detail pre and phonostage boxes. Both are Mark Manwaring-White efforts, our host and the MingDa UK distributor. There was a serious amount of MingDa kit in the room, so I believed his claim. I had no idea who I was visiting before I turned up. Really



    Last edited by User211; 31-12-2017 at 14:06.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 462
    I'm Dennis.

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    Posts such as the above discussing the finer nuances of the sound of particular valves cause me to think that despite years of being interested in and substantially involved in audio, both as a hobby and professionally, I have cloth ears.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,459
    I'm Justin.

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    On to the speakers. I had heard them twice before arrival here at shows, mainly playing classical at low volumes. In all honesty, I had thought they were pretty dreadful.

    Thankfully, with some volume and some material I actually like, they did rather better here. What a relief! The highlight sonically for me was probably the Pet Shop Boys 12 inch vinyl 45 rpm single "I Want a Dog" (from the three disc Introspective set I have owned for years). This sounded great in the flesh, though the video I will post later doesn't really show that. What the speakers biggest flaw appears to be is a lack of true dynamics. Some of that is probably due to bouncing the bass off the floor. Those big vertical black things have a large cone driver mounted at the bottom. This IMHO serves to reduce impact, and I always regard speakers with drivers that don't directly face you as somewhat suspect.

    If you want truly dynamic sounding horns, I have heard nothing better in that regard the world over than Avant Garde's designs. The Trio in particular does dynamics in a way the Universum cannot even begin to replicate. Albeit at greater cost.

    However, they threw a very nice, easy to listen to soundstage that sounded remarkably well balanced. The easy to listen to bit I think actually comes from this lack of dynamics, so it isn't always a negative in some sense or listener's viewpoints. Not everyone wants to be bombarded with punch and weight for more than a few minutes, if at all.

    I think they naturally lean towards someone with classical/jazz bias. Electronic and reggae are served nicely enough, with The Clash's Police and Thieves coming over very well, despite my first album copy being completely buggered through incessant use over the years.

    With regards to electronic, I thought we'd play some so I put Electronic's "Get The Message" on. Here I had a bit of an HF issue. We were using an AT ART7 and it really put me back a few years in memory of the AT cartridges I used to own. The treble was just too bright and etched in a way that affected and obviously still affects some AT cartridges.

    We swapped TTs onto one using a cheaper AT33, and thankfully this issue was corrected straight away, but at the expense of sounding rather cruder elsewhere. Still, a good result. Not sure which AT33 variant is was, but I preferred it overall on that one track, and a more seasoned listener of this system who lives next door did too.

    Enough banter only 37.574% will read, let's do more pics!

    The TT with the AT ART7. Unfortunately even though Mark told me what these TTs were, I have forgotten. The visit was actually on the 17/12/2017. If someone knows please chime in.



    The TT with the AT33.



    They are both nice TTs so if you are looking for something unusual go see Mark for a demo.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 31,101
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    If you want truly dynamic sounding horns, I have heard nothing better in that regard the world over than Avant Garde's designs. The Trio in particular does dynamics in a way the Universum cannot even begin to replicate. Albeit at greater cost.
    Not heard the Universum, but I'd agree about the Trio. I've not heard another speaker quite like them. Better? Possibly, plenty worse though. I've always really enjoyed the big Avant Garde's.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,459
    I'm Justin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Not heard the Universum, but I'd agree about the Trio. I've not heard another speaker quite like them. Better? Possibly, plenty worse though. I've always really enjoyed the big Avant Garde's.
    The Trios with 3 basshorn stack is the most dynamic horn system I have ever heard. In that regard way above the huge Cessaros and just about anything else I have come across in hornsville anywhere. I am a fan without the room to accommodate them or the urge to spend that much, though.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,459
    I'm Justin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    Posts such as the above discussing the finer nuances of the sound of particular valves cause me to think that despite years of being interested in and substantially involved in audio, both as a hobby and professionally, I have cloth ears.
    Everyone seemed to find it easy enough, and the remarks trended towards a common view of their various attributes. A sure sign that the speakers really are quite revealing? I think so.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 31,101
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    The Trios with 3 basshorn stack is the most dynamic horn system I have ever heard
    Yes. I've heard that too. Funny thing is, I can't recall where. It was a show, but I forget which one.

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