Author Topic: Mini meet chrisa's  (Read 13411 times)

Offline richidoo

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Mini meet chrisa's
« on: December 29, 2012, 09:33:02 AM »
Last night me Sol and chrisa met at Chris' house for some tunes. I hadn't been to Chris' for a few years. There were some minor changes, but the great sound remains. He has fine tuned the speaker placements, cabling, vibration and some acoustic considerations.

Two Monarchy 24W stereo amps in vert biamp, Audible Refinement int amp, MF V-DAC, Mapleshade wires, tweaks and recordings, AppleTV music streamer, two sets of Soliliquy speakers in 2way and 2.5way, and other stuff I don't remember the brands. Chris has a deep and eclectic music library, I had not heard any of his tracks before so I really enjoyed the listening and learning.

About halfway through, Sol debuted some new amplifiers. Still called i60, but it is totally new input to output. Extreme damping controls the drivers into very high resolution, this is like the high end class D amps with infinitesimally small impedance, like Spectron, Halcro, Levinson 53 that give extreme detail and control. Having this extreme damping is a luxury, it can be lessened easily for those who prefer less detail, but can only be added with circuit design. No trace of class D foibles though, bat ears need not fear. The speed is addictive. The transients are hard but in a fun way, not a cruel way like Levinson 53. The damping allows the extreme tonal detail to extend to frequency extremes, not just midrange. Cymbals sound very realistic, bass drum and fiddle have more texture and LF space cues. I think Chris' speakers were voiced on an amp with less damping, which made the highs a little forward for me, but damping is easily removed or tweeter padded in practice. This is really why class D amps often sound too forward, the speakers were voiced on lower damping amplifiers. Few linears can touch class D output impedance. This amp has <.001% distortion at full power 20k. Make 140W@4R 2 channels forever. No "high end" accessory parts other than TKD pot. He also brought the i15 which was the perfect match to Chris's speakers and it stayed there when we left. This may be the highest value amplifier ever - so clear, controlled, black background, great damping but not too detailed, each channel has only 5 transistors, common types that have been in production for 40+ years. Finished amp costs less than a Corvette tire! No trace of amp sound, no sour SS treble, no violent bass hits, a perfect little amp for all night listening. We put it back in a few times. I think it might go well with my high efficiency speakers too. But the i60 was the one that left a mark on me. The kind of SS sound you don't hear <5k. Sol continues to refine his designs, but he has reached new plateau at this point, where 2 of his amps are better than most commercial amps in their price range. It will be fun to hear them on other speakers in the neighborhood in the coming months. Congrats Sol!

Thanks to Chris for hosting us, and furthering my beer education. And to Sol for hauling out the artillery.

Offline chrisa

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Re: Mini meet chrisa's
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 11:07:40 AM »
I did enjoy the evening too, showing off my two systems and exploring Sol's amps again.
Definitely his 15 watt amp is a great match for the Soliloquys and to my ear, but the other two amps have some amazing properties as well; among them the most natural and relaxed renduring of cymbals I have heard and the taming (amp damping factor according to Rich) of what I thought was an unsolvable midrange ringing from the smaller speakers.
Rich the beer you liked, Baltica #4 dark Russian lager is my current favorite, and the one main component you left out was the AE3 MKII Cary preamp.
Sol is very smart and has pulled me out of equipment ditches several times through the years. I'm going to live with the I-15  for a little while to see if I must have one of these amps. Now if I can just train our pet chicken to adjust the volume for me...Chris

Offline etcarroll

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Re: Mini meet chrisa's
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 12:26:51 PM »
Three things quick;

1- Sol is a freakin' genius
2 - I'll have to look for Russian Lager when I can walk again
3 - Rich - just pulled a small box out of mailbox, thanks.
"...if you want to enjoy your gear, don't listen to anything that might be better."