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Thread: Stillpoints heaven

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Winchester, Hampshire

    Posts: 294
    I'm Steve.

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    Hi Mark

    I owned Avalon Indra speakers for 8 years and was happy with them, but yearned for a speaker system that delivered a more potent mid-bass "punch!"

    In 2015, I began the search for replacements, first home auditioning a pair of the larger Avalon Compas speakers, which had more potent bass, but to my ears, was not as transparent as the Indras, through the midrange and treble regions! Next came a pair of Estelon XA (kindly loaned by KOG) which also use the Accuton ceramic drive units favoured by Avalon. The wife didn't like the look of them, describing them as hideous! I too, had heard the TAD's at the Windsor Show and an extended home demonstration duly followed!

    On paper, my Avalons extended to 28Hz at the bottom end, but the mid-bass punch of the TADs allowed a far more satisfying rendition of rock music. In fact, they are, for me. a perfect all-rounder and the first pair of stand-mounts that I have owned.

    The dCS Vivaldi full stack is indeed my primary source, recently improved with the addition of a Mutec Ref10 Reference Clock.

    I agree with the view of the OP, Flo, that the maximum system benefit is only obtained after careful attention is paid to equipment support, mains quality, room tuning and cable choice. I would also add system grounding to the equation, which can elevate performance much further!

    Quote Originally Posted by YNWaN View Post
    Steve, Iíve heard of your speakers, in fact Iíve actually listened to them (a number of times), though only at shows. Iíve also listened to their bigger brothers - no doubt you have too. TAD do make superb speakers, I donít think there is any question about that. In fact Iím familiar (ish) with all of your system. Presumably your primary source is the DCS gear?
    Steve.

    My System:- dCS Vivaldi Transport + dCS Vivaldi 2.0 DAC + dCS Vivaldi Master Word Clock + dCS Vivaldi 2.0 Upsampler, Melco N1ZH60/2 Digital Music Server/Streamer, TW Raven One tt/Graham Phantom II/Transfiguration Orpheus L, Whest PS.30RDT SE, Conrad Johnson GAT Series 2 preamp, Conrad Johnson Premier 350SA power amp, TAD CR-1 MKII loudspeakers, MIT Oracle MA/MA-X interconnects, MIT Magnum MA speaker cables, Tellurium Q Black Diamond USB cable, Tellurium Q Ultra Silver power cords, Ziro Disclosure & Vertex Roraima Hi-Rez power cords + Furutech FI connectors, Stillpoints ESS racks/component stands, Vertex Aletheia PSU2 balanced power supply, Coherent Systems RTZ3 ground box + CR/BD cables, Acoustica Applicata DaaD room treatment, Mutec Ref10.

  2. #12
    Join Date: Nov 2018

    Location: Grimsby

    Posts: 243
    I'm David.

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    One question Snoopdog, what were your thoughts on the SQ of the Estelon XA's? My brother uses the XB's, preferred to some Avalons in a dem, but have always wondered how they would compare to the CR-1's which we heard at a show a few years ago.

  3. #13
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Winchester, Hampshire

    Posts: 294
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Hi David

    I am conscious that we have drifted from the original thread, which was about Stillpoints, so I'll be brief!

    Having heard the Estelon XA at the Windsor Show, I thought they were worthy of further investigation. I enjoyed the sound quality, which was very transparent, akin to my Avalon Indras that I was using at the time. The Estelons imaged well and they did have the mid-bass power that I was looking for. Their downfall was their looks!
    Perhaps it was unfortunate that the loan pair were white (I think the metallic red and blue look stunning). I quite liked them, but the wife was set against them from the moment she laid eyes on them! She commented that they looked like those charging stations for electric cars!

    The TAD CR1, however, is a very special loudspeaker system IMHO. They are utterly faithful to the source and any changes to the system downstream are easily noticed. They seem to defy physics, in that their modest size doesn't seem compatible with the scale of the sound they produce and the bass is punchy and extended. They are very holographic and produce an impressive soundstage, with depth and superior imaging and the CST Beryllium dual concentric midrange/tweeter extends the high frequencies to the limit of my hearing. A classic loudspeaker system, designed by a Brit, Andrew Jones.

    940A1977 by , on Flickr
    Quote Originally Posted by antonio View Post
    One question Snoopdog, what were your thoughts on the SQ of the Estelon XA's? My brother uses the XB's, preferred to some Avalons in a dem, but have always wondered how they would compare to the CR-1's which we heard at a show a few years ago.
    Steve.

    My System:- dCS Vivaldi Transport + dCS Vivaldi 2.0 DAC + dCS Vivaldi Master Word Clock + dCS Vivaldi 2.0 Upsampler, Melco N1ZH60/2 Digital Music Server/Streamer, TW Raven One tt/Graham Phantom II/Transfiguration Orpheus L, Whest PS.30RDT SE, Conrad Johnson GAT Series 2 preamp, Conrad Johnson Premier 350SA power amp, TAD CR-1 MKII loudspeakers, MIT Oracle MA/MA-X interconnects, MIT Magnum MA speaker cables, Tellurium Q Black Diamond USB cable, Tellurium Q Ultra Silver power cords, Ziro Disclosure & Vertex Roraima Hi-Rez power cords + Furutech FI connectors, Stillpoints ESS racks/component stands, Vertex Aletheia PSU2 balanced power supply, Coherent Systems RTZ3 ground box + CR/BD cables, Acoustica Applicata DaaD room treatment, Mutec Ref10.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Nov 2018

    Location: Grimsby

    Posts: 243
    I'm David.

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    Thanks for that Snoopdog, pleased your enjoying the TAD's. Going back to the Stillpoints, we preferred Townsend bars under the Estelons by quite a margin. I'm a little unsure whether Stillpoints make that much difference when used on carpets, although I see you use them that way.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Winchester, Hampshire

    Posts: 294
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    The Ultra 5's were apparently designed to support pianos and do a great job under loudspeakers, dissipating a lot of energy that would otherwise be transmitted to the floor and eventually back to amplifiers and source equipment.

    I do not subscribe to using spikes under speakers (or anything else for that matter) as it has been my experience that spikes marr a really extended bass response.

    I use a quartet of Stillpoints under every piece of kit (speakers being the exception) with Ultra 6's under my power amp, on a Stillpoints Component Stand, Ultra 5's under the mains conditioner (also on a Component Stand) and Ultra 2's under preamp and source components (on Stillpoints ESS racks with grid system).

    Many critics have accused Stillpoints of enhancing the leading edge of notes at the expense of proper decay! I have not found this to be the case with my system, where supporting the whole has brought about a transparent, musical sound with great stereo imaging and depth of soundstage.

    They are expensive, but hey, you can't take it with you!

    Quote Originally Posted by antonio View Post
    Thanks for that Snoopdog, pleased your enjoying the TAD's. Going back to the Stillpoints, we preferred Townsend bars under the Estelons by quite a margin. I'm a little unsure whether Stillpoints make that much difference when used on carpets, although I see you use them that way.
    Steve.

    My System:- dCS Vivaldi Transport + dCS Vivaldi 2.0 DAC + dCS Vivaldi Master Word Clock + dCS Vivaldi 2.0 Upsampler, Melco N1ZH60/2 Digital Music Server/Streamer, TW Raven One tt/Graham Phantom II/Transfiguration Orpheus L, Whest PS.30RDT SE, Conrad Johnson GAT Series 2 preamp, Conrad Johnson Premier 350SA power amp, TAD CR-1 MKII loudspeakers, MIT Oracle MA/MA-X interconnects, MIT Magnum MA speaker cables, Tellurium Q Black Diamond USB cable, Tellurium Q Ultra Silver power cords, Ziro Disclosure & Vertex Roraima Hi-Rez power cords + Furutech FI connectors, Stillpoints ESS racks/component stands, Vertex Aletheia PSU2 balanced power supply, Coherent Systems RTZ3 ground box + CR/BD cables, Acoustica Applicata DaaD room treatment, Mutec Ref10.

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