Group Therapy > Sharing Experiences

G2G at Richidoos

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We had a fun time today. We were inundated with a variety of amps, cables, CDP and SBs. It was tought to fit it all in, but we almost heard it all. Thanks to Carl, Steve (stereofool), Henry and Rob for coming by.

We started with Steve's Linn Imeki CDP with the Cary integrated. It was a beautiful sound and I could hear the big difference in pace that the player had over the SB. Tone is important to me, but with jazz pace is the most important thing to swing. The Linn had both.

I had a treat hearing Carl's Mac 402 and C220 preamp. They make beautiful music and are very smooth and musical. They are by far the best SS amplifier I have heard yet. They were precise, calm, powerful assured. I learned that the tube fire that I love so much is really a subtle distortion, the Mac made that clear with its unbelieveable purity. I still like tubes though!

We also listened to the tube Manley Snappers with Carls Mac preamp. It was fun and exciting for me. Very dynamic and engrossing. The music takes over. The amps are only 30 hours broken in, so the upper mids are still bright and the overall presentation is kind of aggressive, but the tube ambience is good as well as ultimate detail retrieval. I feel like I am at the venue more than the other amps we heard. With the zeroformers helping with the bass alittle, the Snappers are as exciting in the bass if not as exacting as the 402.

Shane couldn't come, but graciously offered to let us play the Butler Monads. We had lots of fun with them. The glow of tubes in the mids and treble, the rich harmonics and roundness of tones and iron fist control and impact of the bass were great. After the Mac 402, which is just so well balanced and transparent, I could easily hear the 2nd order harmonic distortion that BK deliberately adds to the Monad. It adds light to the tone and has a different overall feel than the Mac. It is tastefully done and enjoyable. It adds a lot of life to the SS sound. Shane also sent Black Sand Silver mk5 cables and Running Spring Audio power conditioner. Thanks Shane!!!!! We missed you.

We did not get a chance to listen to Cary 500MB today. I listened to them prior to the meet and found them not to my liking. The Monad and 402 better them in every way. I thought the Cary SLI-80 and the Snappers were more balanced and "of a whole" despite their own issues, the Cary just too low powered, and the Snappers still not broken in.

Carl brought a SB3 with BlackSandCables mods. It was clearly and unmistakably superior even using stock wall wart PS to my stock SB using Power one linear PS. We were using identical Grover silver interconnects on both, using Mac pre to trim levels and switch back and forth. Then we added the linear PS to the BlackSand SB and had a further improvement, similar to what it gives a stock SB. The transparency of the BS SB was evident in the highs mid and low freqs. We listened to this for the rest of the session. The Linn CDP helds its own with the modded SB. It is a fantastic player. Thanks for bringing it Steve!! An eye opener for me.

We also swapped some ICs and that was very cool. I thought the Grover ICs were great.  I don't remember the name of the other brands we heard, sorry! I think the Grover's were even better than my anti-cables. I will certainly buy some to compare long term when we get our group buy up and flying.

Rob brought Rega Planet player and cables. We did not get to play the Planet, and that was a shame. I hope to hear it sometime in the future. We even hooked up the turntable for a little Kind of Blue.

Overall, I had a blast and I am so thankful for all the guys who came and brought something to show and tell. Especially Carl for bringing the heavy iron 402 along and giving me a lesson in SS perfection. The Mac preamp made the comparisons and swapping much easier. Thanks Carl!

Thanks to everyone who came. I had a blast and look forward to doing it again soon! Pictures coming tomorrow. I'm bushed!

When did Black Sand start modding SqueezeBoxes?  :wink:


Thanks to Rich...for hosting this G2G!

He has a nice large room, that has been acoustically well treated...resulting in no negative impact, from the room.

Rich's Legacy (model ?) speakers were rather awesome sounding. A large/wide soundstage, good depth, very transparent and extended...very DEEP and quite visceral bass  :D !

Also, Rich's Cary integrated actually sounded very good, albiet a bit shy in the bass department.

The Manley Snappers provided improvement overall...especially in having enough power to drive the Legacy's multiple large woofers.

Enter Carl's McIntosh 402, and McIntosh C220 pre-amp. This was the most musical combination of the bunch. I can see that the Legacy's are only limited by the equipment driving them. The Mac definitely controlled the bass region much better, and held its own above that...with both the Manley's and the Butler Monad's.

The Butler Monad's are wonderful sounding can just listen into the music...forever. Unfortunately, they are well out of my price not a foreseeable option  :( !

It was great to see some of the 'Nervosa' gang, again. Hopefully, we can do this again, soon.


--- Quote from: "bpape" ---When did Black Sand start modding SqueezeBoxes?  :wink:
--- End quote ---

As usual, my stunted sense of humor doesn't get your wink, so I will just play dumb. Here's the blurb about the upgrade:

--- Quote ---The upgrade involves complete disassembly of the unit and cryo treatment of everything in the audio & power path. Those parts are then treated with a conductivity enhancer and then re-cryo'd, re-assembled and tested. Cardas caps are installed on the 2 RCA out jacks as well as the coaxial digital out. The result: A lower noise floor, increased signal flow and greater detail and overall clarity.
--- End quote ---

Sounded goooooooood! I'm getting it!

I had a really good time today... Thanks to Rich and his wife for sharing their home and hosting such a nice gathering.  It was nice to see some folks I haven't seen in a while and meet some new ones!  :)

Rich's speakers have a very 'real' or visceral way of communicating music which I found delightful.  I also found the tube amps to produce a more 'live' sound... as if you were at an amplified performance, and close to the stage... so you got to hear a bit of what the musicians heard, rather than the 'audience speakers'. ;)  

I could easily slip into just listening to the music with these speakers and enjoyed them all afternoon.  I think they could fill a huge room and didn't struggle at all in Rich's large family room that extended into an equally large kitchen.  Rich likes a presentation in his room and he's got it.

I liked certain things about all the gear but am too tired to type it all at the moment... Just wanted to say thanks and compliment the effort that I know has gone into finding this succesful formula.



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