Author Topic: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)  (Read 31982 times)

LKdog

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New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« on: August 26, 2007, 06:39:03 AM »
Thought maybe it would be useful to start a separate thread on the new Grover IC's.
If that is not OK, mods can remove.

My first comments:


1) Pretty detailed and open which is a positive
2) Kind of edgy and forward-not so positive
3) Nice build quality

I am guessing they go through some changes for awhile.
I have about 36 hours on them right now.

How long for break in?

Any other comments welcome!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2007, 04:18:39 PM by LKdog »

Offline Carlman

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 version)
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2007, 07:28:36 AM »
I just plugged in my new graphite IC's... replacing the previous all-white versions... Once they get a few hours on them, I'll swap in the older white ones and make some comparion notes.  At the moment, they sound pretty good to me... but yesterday I was at a 6-hour speaker, amp, preamp, dac, and cable comparison... with speakers that are a lot more forward than my own... So, they sound pretty relaxed at the moment. ;)
I really enjoy listening to music.

lonewolfny42

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 version)
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2007, 08:19:10 AM »
Quote
Once they get a few hours on them, I'll swap in the older white ones and make some comparion notes.
Great.....I still have mine from the first Group Buy...I've not updated them yet. Thanks....

Offline Carlman

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 version)
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2007, 10:35:54 AM »
I was on a roll for the past hour or 2 and compared:
Grovers newest to the previous version (the ones with white techflex and white shrinktube; forever called 'ww' to me now vs. 'graphite' for the new version.)
Grover's ww's to JPS labs IC's (don't know which one, they're purple and have '3' in the name)
JPS Labs to Reality Cables
Audience Au24 to JPS Labs
Reality Cables to Audience Au24
Grover's graphites to Reality Cables

I like them all but each one does its own thing well.  Here's a brief summary:
Audience is best at pace/timing, also does imaging well
JPS Labs has great instrument separation and realistic vocals.. Imaging is very good too.
Reality Cables have great decay and realistic mid details, good imaging
Grover's ww's are great at a fairly neutral and detailed presentation
Grover's graphites ruthlessly reveal upper mid and high details, but these really need a lot more break-in.

In my system I use:
McIntosh MC220 preamp
McIntosh MC402 amp
Audio PC
Scott Nixon's latest uber-DAC
Reality Cables for SC's
Dedicated outlet to RSA Haley
All preamps and sources powered by Haley
All power cords are Black Sand Cable

I'll play around with these a bit more and come up with better character descriptions. 

Thanks,
Carl




I really enjoy listening to music.

LKdog

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 version)
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2007, 10:44:06 AM »
I updated my signature to list my two channel system.
In general this setup is very slightly on the warm side of neutral as a reference or baseline to
my comments on the Grovers.

Looking forward to what people experience with these IC's.

-Tony

jrebman

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 version)
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2007, 03:09:08 PM »
Mine are at 72 hours now, but I haven't listened to anything since last night, and I may give one quick listen before swapping my new Reality SCs in place of the cotton telegraph wire that I'm now using.  I got the Realitys yesterday but haven't even opened the box yet.  I'll report back later today or tomorrow (feeling a bit under the weather today.)

-- Jim

LKdog

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2007, 04:25:31 PM »
Jim-

Look forward to hearing your comments.
The clarity with these so far is quite good.

--Tony

jrebman

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2007, 06:27:06 PM »
So, I've now had the Reality SCs in place and playing for a couple hours, and as is pretty typical, the results are mixed.  The Realitys are certainly more even from top to bottom, and that's a very good thing.  They also add a lot of weight to the bottom end -- also a good thing.  The detail that the Grover's had brought is still there but somewhat recessed, and there's still a bit of an edge on the very top end.  However... here's what I'm thinking is going on... My amp is sitting on the floor on a pair of 2" thick maple platforms with Mapleshade iso-blocks under them, and no other isolation.  From the first day I knew this was a problem because I could put my finger lightly on the chassis and feel it vibrating with the bass notes.  Now that the bass notes are significantly more pronounced (I can really feel the floor vibrating at the listening position at levels much less than was required to do this before) so I'm pretty sure the added vibration is causing some loss of detail, ambience information (such as reverberations caused by the recording studio walls, etc.), and may also be partly to blame for the edge on the highs.  This is a pretty typical behavior for an improperly isolated tube amp, as is the general veil over everything that wasn't there before the Realitys were put in.

I also know that the stock Denon 3910 has a bit of glare on the top end -- that's why we put a set of HRS Nimbuses under them -- that made things much better -- tighter bass, and greatly reduced glare, but it did not get rid of it entirely, and what I have now seems to be about the same as it was before Grovers.  I hope all that made sense.

My gut feeling right now is that the new Grovers and Realitys could end up being a very nice combination, but I won't know until the new rack is setup and everything is properly isolated.  Sending the 3910 to Dan Wright for the top end mods will also help quite a bit.

Then after all that is dialed in, it will be time to find the right replacements for the EH 12AU7s and 12AX7s, and the 5AR4, which again, from experience, is going to make a significant improvement as well.

Good that this audio thing isn't a race.

A couple more days with the current setup, and it will be time to take it all apart and get on with the remodel that is going to allow for better placement (further apart, and further from the front wall) of the speakers, a proper rack, and better electrical distribution (which although not planned this way, looks like I will have the audio system on it's own breaker.)  I did look into running a dedicated line or two, but because the basement is already finished, and a number of other issues, it would cost way too much to get the wire run, and then a lot more to repair all the damage along the way.  Not going there. :D

So for now, I'm not going to have anything more to say about all this until everything is setup again in it's new home -- though I will say, it looks very much like the Grovers will be staying for a good while.

I will be very interested to hear what everybody else thinks as their cables settle down, and I'm still going to keep an open mind about the Grover SCs.

Whatever happens, the one thing I can definitely say about these ICs is that they sound waaaaay better than their price would suggest.

-- Jim

lonewolfny42

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2007, 07:00:56 PM »
Jim....

Quote
Good that this audio thing isn't a race.

Right....you got it Jim....sit back ....listen...and enjoy... 8)

AcidJazz

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2007, 07:57:36 PM »
My initial impression is that the G-Grovers makes my (usually)laid back Sonographe A250 sound pretty aggressive. I am getting/hearing a lot more mid and high frequency energy than I am used to. I am hearing more detail.
The G-Grovers replaced silver MAC AQ with SS-Bullet RCAs.
So far I have about 20-25 hours on them. Already they have smoothed out some of the rough edginess I heard when first connected.
We will see how they change as the hours rack up on them.

LKdog

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2007, 11:35:56 AM »
Ok, I am at about 60 or so hours of break in of 24/7 playing music.

The detail and capturing of ambience in recording environment is quite extraordinary with these IC's.
Good soundstaging height/width and front to back.
Excellent resolution, especially of lower mid and bass.

Still seem too hot in the upper mid and treble range. They are fatiguing to be honest right now.
Not sure how else to describe it.
Others are using terms like "aggressive, edgy, ruthlessly revealing" so I am at least not alone in my experience as these break in. To be fair-it sounds like some other folks are not experiencing such a hyped upper mid or treble and are extremely pleased.

Does anyone know how long Grover actually recommends for break in?
Maybe Grover can chime in here.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 11:53:26 AM by LKdog »

Offline richidoo

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2007, 12:57:19 PM »
Grover's still on vacation, I believe. He normally recommends 50 hours for ICs. You should be getting close to the final sound now.  I only notice break in for about 20-30 hours on his stuff. ICs were far less noticeable change than SCs. They sounded good right out of the box to me. Tin ears, I guess...

I know that treble clarity is greatly enhanced with these cables compared to others with less treble transparency. Some people sensitive to treble may not like it, one friend is very sensitive and prefers them, another golden ear I know does not like them due to the treble quality. It may seem like forward treble, but listen to see if you're hearing higher freqs and clearer treble or if it is really unbalanced in volume compared to the lower freqs. They are a big difference compared to some ICs. Maybe you don't like "the grover sound??" Or maybe they don't gel with your rig.

I have not tried the new ICs yet, I will hook them up today and see if I can hear any noticeable difference between new and old. I think someone maybe said it is only the connectors that have changed?
Rich

Offline Bunky

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2007, 12:58:33 PM »
I am breaking in the Grover S graphite IC's and V-cap coupling cap's in my tube amplifier both at the same time. With roughly 48 hours on the IC's and caps the sound now is somewhat forward but it is in no way objectionable,in fact it is very enjoyable to listen to for hours on end. in time things will become more relaxed. it is a waiting game that i have played before and that i will no doubt play again. I have zero doubt that at the end of this burn in cycle i will be very satisfied with both purchases. :D thanks....WCW III
Remember, information is not knowledge; knowledge is not wisdom; wisdom is not truth; truth is not beauty; beauty is not love; love is not music; music is the best.
-- Frank Zappa

LKdog

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2007, 01:35:12 PM »
I am hoping they calm down just a bit more.

They are quite stunning in their clarity and I enjoy them very much except for the hot areas of the spectrum right now.

As noted, my setup tends to have a very slight warmly voiced character as a baseline so I am kind of surprised.

Will see how they evolve.
Thanks for the input guys!

Offline rlmacklin

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Re: New Grover IC impressions (August 2007 graphite version)
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2007, 01:37:42 PM »
Confirm that Grover is still on 2 weeks vacation in the mountains ...
(started back around August 18)...