Author Topic: G2G at Rich's 8/25  (Read 16347 times)

Offline Carlman

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2007, 06:20:26 AM »
What a great afternoon and evening!  Thanks so much for really good food, hospitality, family arrangements, and your time.  Also thanks to everyone who made the trek to Rich's place... We had a really good turnout and some folks had to make quite a drive to be there.  It was a pleasure speaking to everyone, I had a really nice time chatting with you all.

I think everyone came with all sorts of different interests... We had so much gear show up that was interesting, new and fun to hear.  Bigfish brought his SP Tech Timepiece 2.1's and some really nice stands.  Thanks for hauling all that over on such a hot day!  

There were a lot of speaker cables... We compared Rich's JPS Labs to Grover's, the Reality Cables, Madisound? and Audience Au24.  If I missed some, let me know.  The top 3 were JPS, Grover's, and Au24.  I use the Reality Cables at home... And it was interesting to see how a cable that works so well in my system didn't 'synergize' in Rich's system... It was fun to hear what did/didn't work... and compare all the different effects of the cables.  The Grover's were fairly 'forward' and brought me to the front row of the presentation whereas the Audience cables were much farther back... The JPS' seem to put me somewhere in the middle.  Rich's system works best with the JPS's by far... no question.

We compared the speaker cables on the SP Tech's, which weren't properly tuned to the room.. They were pretty much just setup inside Rich's Legacy Audio Focus 20/20 speakers, with minimal (if any) toe.  We didn't measure them for perfect and symetrical distance but eyeballed them fairly well.  It was a relief to hear the Timepiece's in their latest rendition.  (sidenote: I auditioned a defective pair a while back so I didn't get to hear them properly.)  The SP Tech's still aren't a good match to my ear but I can see the appeal.  They had lots of good, clean, articulate bass last night... they like to have some room.  I noticed this before when I first heard them in NY at Daniel's place... He has such a nice, wide room that the bass has a chance to expand... or 'bloom'... whereas in a small room, the bass gets reinforced, and then reinforced again.... and then resonates... which is what happened to me.  Going from the SP Tech's back to Rich's Legacy's sounded like the bass was reduced to me...  But I think it's because the bass wasn't bumped as much.. I don't know.  Also, I found the Legacy's a little less fatiguing.  I'm not a fan of the waveguide tweeter... just isn't for me.  The Legacy's have a 'dryer' presentation but I could enjoy them more for some reason.  Anyway, onto other stuff....

Digital stuff... Shane brought an Oracle transport and DAC and I brought my newly acquired Scott Nixon DAC. I've found the SN to be a stellar DAC far better than any previous DAC in my own system and I think it stacked up fairly well when compared to the Oracle.  I much preferred the highs on the SN DAC but preferred the deepest octave of bass retrieval on the Oracle.  However, the SN is a non-oversampling DAC and therefore sounds more natural to me.  I'm willing to give up a tiny amount of deep bass detail for an overall more 'real' sound... Oh, and save a few thousand.. ;)  (~$900 vs. ~$5,000+)  I liked that the Oracle DAC had analog inputs, making it easier to A/B the 2 DAC's.. It had a host of digital inputs and outputs as well.. which besides facilitating comparisons also allowed for much digital cable swapping.

One of the more dramatic comparisons of the evening was 2 digital cables... I couldn't believe how much difference there was between them.  I was in the kitchen at the time but the A/B was pretty amazing from there... I'll let others comment on digital cable comparing, though... I wasn't really in the sweet spot for most of that... I just thought it was noteworth at just how much difference a digital cable can make.

We did not get a chance to compare Grover's latest IC's... we didn't get much chance to compare a lot... There was a LOT there... We did listen to the Van Alstine preamp when we first got there... I thought it sounded alright... not really 'special' to me but it did a lot right.  We never even connected the Minimax, the Shrimp, or the Continuum...

However, one thing that we did do is decide to start organizing things a little better for future meetings.  Having a million things to compare all at once just isn't going to work... It's hard to take away really meaningful results when so much is changing.  So, I'm looking forward to that.

Thanks again to everyone...

-Carl
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline bpape

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2007, 06:40:55 AM »
Sounds like a good time.  Having a lot of stuff to compare is certainly fun but as you said, it's difficult to really get a feel for what everything is doing.  Regular get-togethers where one thing is swapped and compared in a room/system combination that is already somewhat optimized really lets you see/hear what's happening.  I think you heard that with the speaker cabling comparison. 

It's just the old scientific method.  Set up a control, minimize the variables, and do a comparison.  Even if it's 3-5 different things on one type (speaker cables, DACs, speakers, whatever), you get an idea of synergy and change.

Glad to hear you're going to get together on a more regular basis.  Looking forward to more feedback from others.

Bryan
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Offline Carlman

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2007, 07:00:14 AM »
....It's just the old scientific method.  Set up a control, minimize the variables, and do a comparison.  Even if it's 3-5 different things on one type (speaker cables, DACs, speakers, whatever), you get an idea of synergy and change.

Glad to hear you're going to get together on a more regular basis.  Looking forward to more feedback from others.

Bryan

Yes, this has become increasingly apparent and I think we all recognized it this time...  :lol:  I like the way the local club is shaping up... I'm very excited that we have a lot of folks genuinely interested in making this a regular occurence and having some focus.... :)

-C
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Offline Carlman

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2007, 07:32:32 AM »
Oops... forgot some stuff... We also got to meet Saul, a new member who brought a modified Pioneer DVD player and an integrated amp he'd built.  I thought the amp had a great sound to it and there are improvements coming... so, I'm looking forward to hearing it again. 

I'm sure I forgot other stuff... I'll try to get my few photos uploaded soon... A good opportunity to use our improved Gallery features! :)

-Carl
I really enjoy listening to music.

lonewolfny42

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2007, 08:09:23 AM »
Quote
I'll try to get my few photos uploaded soon...

Nice....thanks Carl !!! :beer:

Offline Carlman

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2007, 10:20:53 AM »
Don't thank me yet... I only had 3 that looked good enough to post... Check them out here.

There were others shooting many more, better photos and I'd really like to see them... Feel free to email them to me at cmcmillan3 at yahoo . com and I'll post them under the same gallery area...

-C
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline mdconnelly

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2007, 11:21:51 AM »
Damn, sorry I couldn't make it last night... I really wanted to hear the Timepieces *and* the results of the speaker cable comparisons.    Rich, which JPS speaker cables are you using?   Sounds like the JPS stacked up well compared to the Grover or Reality.

I've got a loooong run of JPS SC+ biwire (23' run under floor) and have been thinking of either getting them cut them down to size or replacing.   

Offline hometheaterdoc

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2007, 01:08:54 PM »
ok... I was in attendance yesterday as already alluded...  there is a LOT to cover in this post, so pardon me if I get bullet-pointy and don't speak flowery language for pages and pages :)

first thing playing when I arrived was squeezebox to SN Dac to AVA preamp to Manleys to Legacy speakers.  Speaker cables were Grover and interconnects were grover with Analysis Plus digital cable.  Sound...... meh... not my cup of tea at all... average at best, not great detail, definitely bright sounding... only listened to a couple songs and then went on to other things.

I ran the grill for part of the time and chatted for a lot of the early evening.  So I didn't participate in a lot of the comparo stuff.  I honestly only heard a couple minutes of Saul's (I hope I'm spelling that ok) source and integrated amp.  I thought the modded player was holding things back at first and was confirmed when he switched to the oracle source to his integrated amp.  I'd like to hear more of this integrated at later meetings....

A couple clarifications:  The Oracle DAC-1000 can be used a fixed output DAC, or it can have full preamp function.  It has a multitude of digital inputs (and outputs) as well as several analog inputs (including one HT bypass unity gain analog input so you can integrate surround sound with your two channel rig in a multi-purpose room).  It's not just a DAC, it's a DAC and preamp in one chassis (and I know we've had that discussion in another thread at one point about whether that's a good or bad thing).  One neat feature about the DAC1000 that came in handy last night was that each input has its own volume memory setting.  So you can break out an SPL meter, match the volume settings between inputs, and they are remembered as you are switching between inputs.  That came in handy last night.

The DAC-1000 is an oversampling DAC, but the oversampling is selectable and can be defeated.  Early in the evening, most listening took place with the 192kHz setting, but virtually everything later in the night (including speaker cable comparisons) were done with the Oracle set to bypass on oversampling (i.e. it was straight 16/44 with no processing).  There is definitely a difference in presentation between oversampling and not.

I was an idiot and left the house without remembering to bring my BNC-RCA adapter for the back of the Oracle CD-1000.  That would have come in handy because it would have allowed an apples to apples comparison with the SN DAC by using the JPS Labs SC3 AES and SC3 RCA digital cables.  As it was, we ended up having to use the Analysis Plus Digital Oval that had a BNC on one end from the factory to feed the SN Dac.

The SP speakers weren't positioned ideally for comparison.  We set them up inside the Legacys and a few inches foward so that reflections to either side because of the Legacy speakers wasn't toooo much of an issue.  We did go through a few basic measurements to get the speakers evenly spaced, centered and equidistant from the listening position and front wall.  We played with toe in a bit to get them lined up a bit better.  They were far from ideally setup (including not being perfectly level), but were slightly better than just "plunk down and listen". 


anyways, back to the show...

we got to hear Richard's RWA modded Olive music server.  He had it hooked up via a Stereovox digital cable to begin with.  My initial thought was the Olive was total crap as it was thin, brittle, and very bright sounding.  We swapped the Stereovox cable for the Analysis Plus Digital Oval and it got *muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch* better.  I don't understand what others like in the Stereovox digital because in the context of this setup, it was truly awful.  I'm hoping it was just a system synergy thing...   

others did more extensive comparisons with the music server compared to the same disk being played in the transport itself.  I gather the opinion was the Oracle transport has a better foundation to things and more refinement in the bottom end than the others.  but that was just the comments I heard.  I didn't do any direct A/B comparo in the prime listening spot.

I came to the get together mostly to hear the SP Tech speakers as I've been interested in them for quite some time now, and I too heard the broken pair when they came through town a while back.  So I really joined the listening party when we got around to hooking up the SP Tech's. 

SP Tech Thoughts: 

-  revealing of upstream components.  When we first started playing them, I hated them.  waaaay too forward and forced sounding.  Once we made a couple cable swaps, they changed dramatically (and for the better).  We did a lot of our comparisons on these speakers and every change was blatently right there for you to hear the differences.  It's hard to truly say the speakers character because of how revealing they were.  I'm sure a lot of what we thought is invluenced by the combo of gear in front of them.
-  very dynamic speaker.  They don't hesitate or compress when a big dynamic swing hits.
-  I liken these speakers to a jack hammer.  They hit you with whatever the recording is.  They push it out at you rather than be laid back and relaxed.  This was true even with cable changes to make things more relaxed sounding.  It was very telling at the end when we switched back to the Legacy speakers (which aren't my favorite at all for other reasons), how much more relaxed and at ease I was listening.  I was more tense and on edge when listening to the SP Techs, even if I wasn't concious of it all the time.  I think Brandon mentioned something along the same lines near the end of the evening
-  very small sweet spot.  Once you get off axis, the imaging completely disappears worse than a lot of other speakers.  In the window, they do throw a very nice stage. 
-  They do NOT like to be toed in (or at least in this instance didn't like it).  Very dramatic the difference between toe in angles.  I think I might have been the only one that got to hear this as I quickly changed things and we listened after that almost exclusively with very little toe-in.
-  I would definitely need tubey tubes or a hybrid :) if I owned these speakers.  Everyone knows my preference for a more relaxed sound, which kind of flies in the face of the Oracle stuff, which is pretty ruthless in its own right...  Overall, I was very impressed and I think Ken got himself a deal there with a speaker that will allow him to build his system around it.  It's a great rock speaker.  I'm not sure it would be my first choice for intimate and laid back recordings.  You definitely have to be careful about what electronics you put in front of it.


Speaker cable comparo was interesting.  I wasn't in the sweet spot for this.  I was in a seat to the left.  So everything I can comment on had nothing to do with imaging.  But I could very easily discern PRAT, tone, and detail.

Grover - I really didn't like these.  They had plenty of detail, but were the most forward sounding of all the cables.  Too bright and thin for me.

Audience AU24 - one of the best cables for timing I've ever heard.  A little thin/brittle in parts for me.  It was laid back (you could tell the stage was at the speakers and 10 feet behind whereas Grover was 12 feet in front.  It was a weird phenomena all around to sit perpendicular to the speakers and "see" how far out the stage came out from the speakers with the different cables).  Pretty realistic sounding.

Supra - I think we nicknamed these the "Fantasia" cables for how they tended to push things out at you and splash and bloom them kind of like the scences in the movie.  It was kind of like a fireworks display.  Not my favorite at all.

Reality - These just died in this setup.  They squashed and compressed everything.  It was like everything happened in a 4 inch depth several feet in front of the speakers.  Fuzzy, lacking detail and wobbled woefully on dynamic swings.  these were easily the worst of the cables we tried.

JPS SC 3 - I'm very biased here as I sell these.  But there is a reason I became a dealer for them and it had nothing to do with profits/losses/sales and I think folks in the room found out why it is I'm a dealer.  I think these were the universal favorite in the room.  they were also easily the most expensive cable in the room, so they should have been better! :)


lots of other talk thoughout the course of the night, plans for more frequent get togethers, great coversations with regular attendees and some new faces.  It's too bad i didn't get more time to compare the SN DAC sound, as well as hear a few more preamps.  I trust Rich will give us a more detailed report at a later date based on all the preamps he currently has in house to try :)

Great to see everyone!  Thanks again Rich for the great hospitality and place to meet and greet!  That was probably the most fun I've had at one of these get togethers.  It was a great evening all around :)

Shane Sangster
Night & Day Audio - AMR, Alpha Design Labs, AURALiC, Audeze, Bakoon, Devialet, ENIGMAcoustics, Exogal, Harbeth, iFi Audio, Lumin Music, M2Tech, PS Audio, Pure Audio, REL Acoustics Ltd, Sennheiser, Tannoy, Unison Research, WyWires & more

Offline richidoo

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2007, 01:43:02 PM »
Hi Mike, we missed you. But we decided to start meeting every other month, so there will be more coming. Once we get some organization together I'll post the info. I decided to get the SC3 SCs.  I like them very much.

Thanks to everybody who came over last night, especially those who drove a long distance, and those who brought over something. A very special thanks from me to Bigfish8 (Ken) who brought the Timepieces, Reality cables, home made mexican bean dip, chips, brownies and a giant heart, open mind. We all loved meeting you Ken, and hanging out with you. We gave trhe Timepieces quite a workout, having played them for the last half of the gathering with lots of loud well recorded music. Speaker cables comparisons were made with Reference Recordings Exotic Dances from the Opera, track one, a Rimsky-Korsikov piece with losts of big brass, complex passages, huge bass drum accents, great Keith Johnson recording clarity, and huge dynamics. The SPs never flinched, and revealed the cable differences very easily. I'm not sure the Legacys would have been as esay to use for that comparison. So essentially we picked our favorite wires for use with Timepieces and PP tube amps. It might have been very different with other equip.

I can see how the Timepieces would be ideal for an audio engineer. They were vastly open sounding and projecting. They are revealing of details like a microscope, so an engineer can adjust sound easily. They are firmly in the audiophile camp of speaker sound (low distortion, direct) as opposed to the musical (euphonic, relaxing), IMO. They reminded me of the sound of mixing and mastering monitors I have spent many fun hours with. Not what I wuld want to have at home, but I do some recording work on the Legacys and sometimes have trouble hearing what I need and have to hire a pro. Listening to string quartets (which we didn't try last night) might be less enjoyable than on Legacys. Switching back to the Legacy's gave a sense of relaxation, but the sense of detail and transparency was less intense on the Focus, especially in mids.  Listening carefully, I could hear it all still there, but not as pressurized for brain injection as with the SPs. There were some things that the SPs were clearly better at, especially some loud mid-range stuff which sounded boxy and distorted on Focus, maybe box resonance, but clear and effortless on the SP. That was very valuable for me to hear. Some of the funny noises I have been hearing which I had attributed to the room acoustics, tubes, etc are indeed coming from my speakers. For the first time, I am considering a new speaker search. Overall very nice speakers! Thanks Ken!

Despite Ken's heroic efforts, the MVP has to go to Shane, the hometheaterdoc. Shane offered us to use anything in his vast arsenal of high end toys days in advance, and stayed in contact througout the week as I requested more and more stuff. In the end, he found a way to adjust his schedule to bring it all over and join us. He set up his stuff, and a lot of other stuff at the beginning. He adjusted and setup Ken's Timepieces, along with Carl and RichardS. Shane graciously offered to finish cooking at the grill when I was called away, and did a fine job. ;) Then Shane continued to play cable caddy all night, helping with virtually every gear swap once the SPs were in play. And after 4 visits to my house, I finally got the truthful and valuable opinion of my speakers from the often too polite Shane - not his favorite, and after better hearing their flaws in comparison to the SPs I was grateful for his opinion in more detail. Not only that, he left the oracle Digital stack, JPS ICs, and a cool Usher preamp behind for me to play with for a couple days. As usual Shanes gear set the bar for the other challengers and took the whole meeting up a large step in validity and fun for everyone. All this, and I only heard him say the word "MSRP" one time!! haha :) So big thanks to Shane!!

Carl came by early and helped get things set up and formulate a game plan which we promptly abandoned when we started having fun. :) Lots of hook up help, haulingin Ken's speaker, general grease on the gears inplanning the event. Thanks Carl!

Bryan, we had the HTPro9 on hand, but they did not make it into the rotation, we just had too much stuff to listen to, and I had forgotten your request to compare the HTs until I just reread the thread. A lot of that forgettin goin on lately, sorry! In my experience with them, they have a great sound, very fun and sunny on any kind of music. Huge bass, crystal clear treble and mids. Very dancy, super timing. On my speakers they have a ringy quality that I can hear but don't know how to describe in words. It is severe on the anticables and the reason I started the SC search which ended with the SC3. SC3 seems to be the opposite, no ring at all, as if there are shock absorbers in there to keep the sound still and peaceful and matter of fact, without the usually pleasurable ringiness. My wife and kids never danced as much as when we had the HTs on extremely extended audition, thanks to stereofool!

When I first first hooked up the Grover SCs they were extremely hyped in the treble. Bass was very weak, so that the bottom notes of the piano were literally inaudible. Ringing was easily audible. After 5 hours, this settled down a lot. After 20 hours, they are now close to the JPS. The sound is lively and sunny as if there is ring, but I can't specifically hear it anymore. Since the ring has diminished so quickly, and Grover usually recommends 50+ hours for breakin, I will continue to run them in and then compare to SC3 directly, and maybe pass it around for others opinions. So far I am mightily impressed. The bass filled in immensely, easily showing off the AVA T8 preamp's very robust low end. They were the first SC used on the SPs last night, and showed no noteable limitations on that very revealing speaker. They were used for most of the speaker audition before we started swapping speaker cables. I felt that the JPS SC3 did edge out the Grovers in tightness and control, but with tone, detail and musicality they were right there with the SC3.

I liked the Au24s too, but the tone was not accurate enough for me. Trumpets were perfect, clarinet was hyped and gorgeous, violins too thin, not enough body and wood. Bass drum lacked texture and refinement, but had all the frequency extension of the others.

I met Hantra for the first time, and enjoyed some laughs with him. We have similar taste in sound I think, so I'm looking forward to hearing his system sometime, and picking his brain some more.

I took some pictures, but not checked them yet. If they're ok I will post them in the gallery and link it here. I see Shane wrote a long post and finished before me, but I've not yet read his.. :)
Rich
« Last Edit: August 26, 2007, 01:59:14 PM by richidoo »

Offline bpape

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2007, 01:48:47 PM »
No problem Rich.  Sounds like you had plenty of other things keeping all of you very busy.  Another time perhaps.

Bryan
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Offline richidoo

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2007, 02:00:45 PM »
Yup, I'm sure Steve (stereofool) can bring them back next time and we can do a special analysis/comparison just for you! :)

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2007, 04:21:03 PM »
Thanks Rich for your hospitality.  It was a good time. 

I enjoyed swapping different cables, and gear.  It was fun to listen for the differences.  Rich's room is fantastic!  It's a challenging room, but I think he has put in a lot of work to treat it the right way, and it was evident on the first listen.

I think my favorite of the evening would have to be the Nixon DAC.  The Oracle DAC seemed more forceful on the bottom end, and it was very good.  But I am old, and stuck in my audiophile ways these days.  I can't live with anything that oversamples anymore.  If I hadn't heard the Nixon DAC last night, I wouldn't have really noticed the unnatural high frequency digital noise.  But after 2 seconds with the Nixon, going back to the Oracle was difficult for me. 

Same thing with my Au24's.  I'm not closed-minded.  I really WANT to find a better sounding wire, which is why I've tried 30 or more since I found the Au24.  The JPS is amazing, and it has incredible frequency extension.  The bass is tighter, and it has phenomenal tone.  But where I part ways with every other cable I've listened to, is the timing.  I'm not a timing freak or anything.  I don't have Naim gear.  But for me, the Au24 has a way of removing itself from the path, and sounding like a cable has been removed from the system when I put it in line.  I think this is mostly due to the timing being so psychologically "right".  All the beats arrive exactly when my mind expects them to, and I haven't heard that particular attribute as evident in any other wire.  It's hard to describe to folks who haven't lived with the wire for a week or two.  But when you take it out, and replace it with anything, even a $25,000 MIT, it's evident that a cable has been 'added', and the timing is all wrong.  Granted the MIT's are the best I've heard besides the Au, I still can't deal with them.  I'm willing to give up whatever else a cable does better, to have this cable in line. 

I was shocked to hear what the Reality cables did on the SP's.  I've heard the Reality before in my own system, and thought it was really good for the money.  But in this system, it was difficult to listen to, and just confused. 

I wanted to like the SP Techs b/c I hated them so much last time Carl brought them to my house.  Since I heard that pair was broken, I wanted to hear these.  They did some impressive things.  For example, back in Rich's kitchen (20+ feet away), they sounded really together, and seamless.  Up close, they were much better, but still oppressive.  I can't think of a better word.  Everything shot out and slapped me in the back of the neck with these.  They had a LOT of detail, and were competent in the lower bass, but they lacked midrange, and again were just projecting a virtual forcefield of sound that kept making me want to back up off them.  When we played the Legacy speakers at the end of the night, I felt like I had been sitting in the principal's office getting yelled at for the last 4 hours, and now I was finally out, and able to unclench my teeth. 

The thing that sucked most is that I didn't bring any music.  I was assuming Carl was bringing his hard drive, and since we like a lot of the same stuff. . . But he forgot it.  So out of everything we listened to last night, there were some really impressive tracks, and the one disc we listened to most, I even own.  But nothing we listened to actually sounded like something that someone would sit down and listen to for pleasure.  And before I get flamed, let me explain. 

If I'm auditioning a system, I'm looking for emotion, as well as all the technical audiophile goodies.  Primarily though I want to know: "does this sound real?  does this sound like what i'd want to hear at a live performance?  does this convey the artist's emotion?".  If I'm not listening to something I like, and would want to hear in my car, or on my iPod, then I have a very hard time judging a system, or piece of gear.  So that was tough for me, but it was my own fault.  ;-)

I was impressed with the Manley amps' accuracy and tonal balance.  They were not a typical, soft tube amp at all.  And the Oracle piece being used as a preamp really seemed to be very transparent to my ears.  I wish we had a better preamp to compare the two digital front ends.  It was difficult to tell whether the Nixon DAC coming out, and going back in, was having an impact on the sound quality versus the Oracle piece straight out. 

Dinner was fabulous, and it was awesome meeting everyone new (to me), and seeing all the familiars. 

Thanks again Rich. 


Offline richidoo

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2007, 09:48:22 PM »
More pics courtesy of Bigfish.   

Hantra, glad you could come, and I hope to get to listen with you more. Seems like everybody got something of value out of it, if only Ken's wifes fabulous Brownies. :)

Offline RichardS

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Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2007, 10:01:43 PM »
I've enjoyed hearing and reading everyone's impressions. Sometimes they jive with mine, and sometimes not so much. We all hear a little different and give more weight to different aspects of reproduction. Equipment isn't necessarily simply good or bad, but some may fit my priorities better, or my mood, or certain music --- weaknesses out-shined by strengths, or a better match.

Intellectually, I've always thought of myself liking a more mellow, smooth and laid back perspective from a system, probably because I like a lot of mellow (jazz and world) music and ballads, but in reality I find myself more enamored with a dynamic, weighty and detailed sound. I crave a solid and weighty bass foundation. Sometimes yeterday I'd see folks cringing -- finding a cable or piece of equipment piercingly bright, where to these 50+ year old ears it often sounded clear and extended. The one thing I can't live with though is excess bloom and ripeness through the lower mids.

Anyway, I liked the power, detail and dynamics of the SP Techs. They put out a lot of clean bass for a 'bookshelf' in this price range. The Legacys were more refined, relaxed and a bit easier on the ears, but less involving. The SPs sounded best with the $4K JPS speaker cables, as I think everyone agreed. Brought its strengths to a higher level. Very neutral and balanced cables.

But the other cables, though all different, weren't too far off the mark, and I thought any of them would do, except for the Realitys, which squashed the life in the music and shrunk the stage, reminding me of mp3 (yeah, I'm exaggerating). Just not a good match here. The Grovers were pretty nice, but maybe a little thin. Otherwise, no complaints. I actually liked the 'technicolor' sound of the Swords with the SPs (I should -- I own them) Super dynamic with great bass, but not as smooth or even as the others. The Au24 were pleasant enough but they didn't move me. A little recessed, reserved and lacking at the extremes.

The biggest cable surprise for me was with the Stereovox XV2 on the Oracle equipment. I've done a lot of A/Bing of digital cables and though I always hear differences, I've never heard as dramatic a difference as between the Stereovox and the JPS digital. I recently acquired a RWA-modded Musica that requires a BNC connection. I bought the Stereovox because it's a well-regarded BNC cable. It doesn't sound that bad into my Tact preamp, but not one of the better digital cables I've used either. But with the Oracles, it made the music light and thin with absolutely no foundation or power. It was a more dramatic change than changing speakers. I wish anyone who doubts differences in digital cables could have heard this. When we switched to the AP Oval cable, it brought with it volumes of much-needed weight.

I love my RWA Olive as a transport, but have to admit that the Oracle transport is in the next league. The transport/DAC pair impressed me as much as any digital I've heard for quite a while. They conveyed deep and detailed bass, a very expansive soundstage, spot-on tonality and a power, focus and weight to the music that sounded very 'real' to me. If only it stored my music collection and cost 75% less. Oh well, there's always trade-offs. The Nixon was musical, pleasant and nice, especially for the price, but just didn't involve me in the same way.

Well, that's about it for now...got to work tomorrow....

WEEZ

  • Guest
Re: G2G at Rich's 8/25
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2007, 11:38:21 AM »
Interesting observations and commentary :).

It appears to be universal that the Reality cables were not favorites. Am I reading correctly that these were speaker cables, and not IC's? Were Reality IC's used at any point?

It also appears that the SP Tech speakers were deemed 'forward' by most. Were the Manley's the only amps used?

Thanks,

WEEZ