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Thread: A ridiculous off the chart result

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Posts: 39
    I'm Roland.

    Default A ridiculous off the chart result

    Hello Group,

    Some of you may remember I was going all cuckoo about wiring and running a Vertical bi integrated-amplifier 2 channel system
    I completed it today even if my Hifi rack has not yet arrived ; with 2 REL 7Ti Subwoofers right and left

    Well, as some people warned me it's rubbish.
    Just joking ; it's insanely good... like off the chart good.

    Of course I was expecting quite good, compared to my horizontal Integrated+Power Amp (Arcam A90+P90), but not to this degree.
    These Amps are 10 years newer and give much cleaner amplification ; Class G Arcam A39 Integrated Amps... one for each speaker. Running the Bass from the Fixed Out of the IrDAC 2 and treble from the variable out (which exactly matches the fixed at max volume)

    I will write down my impressions 1-10 followed by my wisdom that got me there.
    In order of importance and in the order in which I noticed them, these are the benefits :

    1. Sound is relaxed and unforced.. nothing is harsh. Even Redbook 16-bit audio breathes (flac converted to 24-bit by foobar). Yes I use USB from a Gaming Laptop into DAC but filter out the power and use a good braided USB cable.
    2. The Bass has more focus and is cleaner and goes deeper.. before I only had 1 sub... now I have 2.
    3. The Treble is silky smooth, not grainy which it was before
    4. The Sound-stage is wider, deeper and more recessed than before; the speakers disappear.
    5. Mid-range clutter is eliminated... I'm talking about the clutter you get when volume goes up.
    6. There is warmth in abundance in the sound; this is a biggie (who wants cold and overly clinical?)
    7. No EQ is needed anymore (previously some Redbook format files required a little EQ dip around 2k to eliminate a harsh treble) 24-bit never had a prob
    8. Tapping my foot all the time.. justice to classical music.. everything vibrates.
    9. I found a great speaker ; Dali Opticon 6 ; everything they make is good. Direct, fast response, tension, bite in the bass, tightness, super transparent treble, speed.
    10. Again, a purer, unforced sound. Definitely less "in your face"

    My System 1 is now better than anything I have ever heard anywhere ; I attribute this to

    1. My taste, experience and insistence in finding great cable; the right speaker cable / interconnects / mains cable. My general recommendation is no silver (unless for the woofer). I use Atlas cables.
    2. I am a professional violinist, but always loved listening since the age of 10 ; so I have a great collection built up over time of the finest Classical music recordings (it's not Mozart if it's not played well)
    3. Finding good sounding hifi : Using my ear and actively listening to lots of gear over the years / experimenting / attending hifi shows / magazines / swapping ideas etc.
    4. My thirst for a gorgeous sound whether I am playing or listening. Sound is not the music itself but rather a "wrapper" or medium through which one expresses good music. It should be inviting (but note, it is possible to make good music using an ugly or primitive sound... think amazing musicians that sing with a not so amazing voice.. like Bacharach ? or just people that listen to a tiny kitchen radio and love the music).
    5. My love of good speakers... speakers, like my instrument (violin) vibrate, and I must love the treble transparency, the mid-range "body" of sound, and the focus and vibrancy of the bass.
    6. Love of Music (not just Classical). Music, although it requires a degree of active concentration (you miss it if you doze off) exercises the brain, excites the imagination, and helps us dream (sure as hell beats most movies that come out)
    7. Attention to the listening room acoustics ; nothing goes in my front room if it is detrimental to sound. I actually tested the acoustics when I bought my house (good ceiling height helps the sound breathe).
    This is work in progress; I still have some standing waves to attenuate.
    8. Some Money: At least being able to afford it (even if I've often struggled to add 1 component at a time). I started in my teens with my own birthday present Vinyl system; then went on to Carver, then British Hifi. I have only just matched my teen Vinyl system this thanks largely to 24-bit audio. That's another story, but I'm a huge fan of proper (not fake) HiRes (digital vinyl).
    9. Power. My Carver Power amp had a lot of Watts (500?). After many years, I'm back into big (total) power again. The powered RELs are 200 each + 2 Amps which give out 240 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms. I often hear power is irrelevant. Power is good, and all being equal more power helps to give an unforced and relaxed sound (dare I say it with less THD)
    10. I spend a lot of time in this "Hobby"! A lot of Hifi designers try above all to emulate an authentic sound... well, I only partly agree. Sound is only the "wrapper" and there's no such thing as the real authentic sound. Just make a sound, any one as long as it is a good warm sound.

    I hope this will help somebody ; I know there's a lot of opinion and a lot of people who will strongly disagree with me, like insisting cables are unimportant: Yet, I have heard big differences in cables. Pity for my wallet.
    The trouble with hearing is that we cannot measure it, or describe it accurately or objectively, or even remember it in detail for very long... blind tests, or being put under pressure, can influence our judgement.
    Scientific Instruments cannot give us the answer. Good Musicians can lead the way, since they learn to create (it is firstly imagined in the mind) a good sound. The truths are difficult to learn though all the more rewarding when we get there!

    Thanks for reading. Good luck and Godspeed !
    Last edited by pandoraefretum; 17-05-2018 at 11:09.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 21,983
    I'm Martin.


    I'm glad that you got a good result. Looks like you did not have enough power previously.

    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *

    'This is the sort of music I'd be listening to if I was going shopping for a training bra.'

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Posts: 39
    I'm Roland.


    Hi Martin, maybe (for my taste, at least)

    Today is day two ; and the sound was not a dream.. it lives on! Previously I had loads of power on paper
    but still, I was listening with the gain turned up to "stress" the speakers and make them work / sing
    Now that I have more power I am listening at a lower volume, the amps taking it relatively easy
    I am getting a massively fulfilling sound even at lower volume...
    this impression will always happen when upping the power in my experience

    There were so many times, especially 15 years ago, when I replaced components for an indifferent or disappointing result
    This time I've finally ended up with the best system I've ever heard ; if you've ever experienced listening fatigue, then this is the opposite

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Posts: 39
    I'm Roland.


    Since my new HiFi setup I really can hear the difference between PCM (even high res) and DSD
    DSD is so outstanding... I knew it was good, but on this system DSD really stands out as much smoother and better in every way

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2018

    Location: Cornwall

    Posts: 141
    I'm Dominic.


    I almost reached my audiophile nirvana when at long last I couldn't find anything about the sound I could complain about. Up until then was wishing for more bass, deeper bass, tighter bass and treble that didn't shriek or sizzle, midband that didn't sound like my speakers had bronchitis.

    The system I have now is far from perfect I know, but I am so happy that the sound I now listen to allows me to hear what the music is doing rather than what the system isn't doing.

    Think about it.
    CD player = Vincent
    Pre amp = Rotel RA03
    Power amp = Lyngdorf SDA 2175
    Speaks = Quadral Chromium Style 6

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Posts: 39
    I'm Roland.


    It's hard to find anything lasting that beats a good hifi

  7. #7
    Join Date: Sep 2018

    Location: Peterborough

    Posts: 12
    I'm Michael.


    Interesting about silver coated speaker wire, is it too harsh upper frequency?

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