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Thread: Went Round To Oliver's (Bigman)...

  1. #1
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 27,079
    I'm Martin.

    Default Went Round To Oliver's (Bigman)...

    ...yesterday to pick up one of these Nelson Pass DCB1 pre-amps that are knocking about at the moment so had a chance to listen to his set up.

    I'd already heard his Technics SP10 turntable set up at the bake off in Penkridge back in the summer and was blown away but was keen to hear it in a domestic setting. Also he uses a Krell KSA100 Mk2 and as a fellow Krell user was interested to see how that was sounding.


    First music up was Making Movies (Dire Straits). I like this tune even though this album is the only one where Knopfler was not happy with the production values. Oli is using some vintage Pioneer 'Kabuki' speakers with 12'' main driver, 2 mid range cones and a horn tweeter. I have some similar vintage Akai as regular readers will know. Speakers like this get dismissed as 70s tat with too many drivers but if you stick to the top of the line models they have a lot of strengths, a cohesive sound with lots of clarity and tight bass with slam but it doesn't go too deep (they need close wall reinforcement) which Oli can't do with his present room.


    But I use a modern set of speakers in a much larger room so I needed a bit of acclimatisation for a few minutes just to get my bearings.


    Then we had a listen to Guns and Roses 'Appetite For Destruction' - all of side 2 which was cracking. Felt like I was nineteen again. There's no nasties in the sound of the system, nothing interrupts the music or breaks the spell and ruins it.


    I might have missed something out there but next was some audiophile music - a bird singing plaintively with some deep bass. Now this isn't the sort of thing I would ever bother to listen to out of choice but it was interesting from a hi-fi point of view. From the clarity side it could have been a CD we were listening to. Blemish free vinyl playback but with nothing smoothed over and the bass control was perfect. Oli is a musician and he has spent time in studios like I have (although I was mostly just ligging) and I think we both like the same sort of sound.


    One issue though is the room is a suspended floor and despite being on stands and with some isolation as well the bass was transmitting into the floor. Concrete slabs under the stands would sort that. Got to say that is something I would have already done, it would distract me long term that.


    And we played a classic bit of music, ZZ Top's First Album which I've bored about for ages elsewhere, suffice to say I know it well. I could hear the tape hiss on Oli's set up, can't on mine. (you should be able to hear it btw). This was also a good listen, there's a lot of intensity in the performances on this album, the system grabbed me with that, I didn't have to listen for it.


    Result: really excellent system with one proviso (or maybe two). As I said to Oli I think he has got an absolutely killer system there but it isn't all getting out through his current loudspeakers. They are not bad speakers but they are totally outclassed by the rest of his system.


    Second proviso: he has 2 garages one of which is about the size of my house and would make a dedicated listening room so perfect even the Pope would be jealous. Ollie man you need to sort that out one day!
    Last edited by Macca; 10-11-2018 at 09:19.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 66,025
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Sounds like you had an enjoyable listen. Rooms are always the big variable
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,157
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Thoroughly enjoyed it, Grant.

    System used:
    Technics SP10 MK2 WITH PMAT-1010 Tonearm (PM Phonomac with enquiries)
    Kontrapunkt b cartridge.
    SPOTFIRE tonearm cable (PM me if you want one)
    BIGBOTTLE MC valve phonostage (PM me if you want one)
    DCB1 preamp (PM me if you want one)
    Krell KSA 100 MK2
    SPOTFIRE Interconnects (PM me if you want some)
    Fisual S-FLEX speaker cable.
    Pioneer CS-77A speakers.

    Excuse the blatant attempt at product placement

    It's always useful to get a fresh perspective on what we've cobbled together and use for our listening pleasure.

    I can't really argue with Maccas observations about the systems outgrowth of the speakers. So much has changed in the last 3 months that I had started to think "maybe it's the speakers turn for an upgrade"

    The problem I have is that I adore these Pioneers and if I want to buy something else, I would have to sell them first. I wouldn't find another pair in this condition or even working full stop, such is the rarity in the UK. For a long time that alone has put me off trying other speakers. I recall someone here asking why I haven't 'box swapped' with the speakers, that's why.

    Luckily, Macca has offered an extensive loan of his JMLabs when his new Tannoys are delivered. I only hope that it's not cut short due to Macca hating the Tannoys! I'm sure he won't btw.

    The music played was, as Macca described, "an audiophiles nightmare"

    Guns N Roses, Lynyrd Synyrd, ZZ Top all have this ability of crushing a lesser systems ability to remain organised in the soundstaging dept. No problems here reported Macca. It's true, the Turntable and phonostage provided the DCB1 and the Krell with all the bits they needed to provide an unadulterated session of good ol' fashioned rock.

    The "bird" singing was Sarah Jarosz. I've been banging on about her album for some time. It's not the usual stuff I listen to but her voice really does come across well from the LP and there's lots of acoustic stuff going on. Like Macca said, the detail and clarity does have a digital precision about it, which is exactly what I want from the SP10 and PMAT1010 tonearm.

    We played Eric Clapton unplugged too and it again just filled me with enjoyment. I know it's weird critiquing your own system but strangely, I listened yesterday like someone who hadn't heard it before. If I'm telling porkies I'm sure Macca will point it out.

    The key to hearing the tape noise is having a Preamp which is transparent enough to allow that signal to be passed through as cleanly as possible and that's why I get from the DCB1. Its possibly the most crucial part of the system. Without it, there's be no tape noise, I'm convinced on that.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the day, thanks to Macca for the visit. It was great to get feedback that cemented my thoughts on the system and I will be looking at upgrades in the speaker dept forthwith

    Oh, the garage..........one day

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 784
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Hi Martin

    Really good review.
    My finding and thought on olivers system matches yours.
    Truly awesome system.

    Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,157
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by STD305M View Post
    Hi Martin

    Really good review.
    My finding and thought on olivers system matches yours.
    Truly awesome system.

    Steve
    Thanks Steve. Appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 94,952
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default





    What did I say about making sure a camera is 'warmed up' at these events [for pics of the kit listened to]?

    Anyway, glad you guys had a good time!

    Marco.
    I always feel sad for those who are (or have been) less fortunate than me in life and love.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,157
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post




    What did I say about making sure a camera is 'warmed up' at these events [for pics of the kit listened to]?

    Anyway, glad you guys had a good time!

    Marco.
    I have stock picks if you'd like those?

    See below

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 94,952
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Cool, some nice kit there... It just makes the words in the reviews more relevant for those of us who weren't there

    [Note to all members: in future, please ensure that pictures (at least of the equipment listened to) accompany all write-ups of these events]. Cheers!

    Marco.
    I always feel sad for those who are (or have been) less fortunate than me in life and love.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,157
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Cool, some nice kit there... It just makes the words in the reviews more relevant for those of us who weren't there

    [Note to all members: in future, please ensure that pictures (at least of the equipment listened to) accompany all write-ups of these events]. Cheers!

    Marco.
    Cheers mate.

    Yes I agree, pics do enhance the writeup.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 4,530
    I'm jamie.

    Default

    having heard the what i believe is the next model up from oli's speakers,id have to agree with both steve and macca, oli its time to get rid of the pioneers,lovely looking as they are they are holding the rest of the system back mate. get some dynaudio's
    My System
    John Wood KT88 Amp.
    Paradise Phono Stage
    Sony TTS-8000 Turntable.
    PMAT-1010 MK6 Tonearm.
    Ortofon KB with vienna upgrade
    Sony X555ES Cd Player
    Yamaha NS1000m Speakers
    KARMA Interconnects & Tonearm Cable

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