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CDP matching, for Frank A and others

 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 262
Registered: Dec-06
Hi Frank, you made some comments in another thread that I've pasted below in bold. I wanted to get your input based on this, other opinions of course are welcome.

I'd like to buy a new CDP in the near future (maybe December), and have been mulling over lately how well a couple of them might fit in with my other components. I'm choosing between a Rega Apollo and a Cambridge Audio 650c (or likely the 750c which isn't out yet). The new Cambridge stuff looks really great, and seems like it's well built, though I'm sure most here would rate the Rega higher.

Speakers now are Wharefedale Evo2-10, but that will be changing one day so I'm thinking ahead to that. I'll be considering:

PMC TB2i
Dynaudio Focus 140
Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6
Proac Studio 110

Assuming the top two speakers are relatively warm and smooth compared to the bottom two, might that make the Cambridge a better option within that system? I'm not really disputing that the Rega is superior overall, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best fit in all systems. Or are the differences between warm and bright among CD players too small to matter? Would you match the Apollo with a warm speaker without worry?

Amp is a YBA YA201.

Don't go there. NAD make fine CD players but since you disliked the Apollo I think the NAD will not be for you. Both brands present music ina flowing cohesive manner, but at the expense of scale and clarity.

I saw someone mention Naim. The Naim's tend to be clearer and lots are available 2nd hand, but again they major on pace rhythm and timing rather than space clarity and resolution.

In your case I think I'd look at the following brands, all of which major on a wide open soundstage with scale and resolution as their primary strengths. Marantz, Cyrus, Rotel (yes, guys, really), Musical Fidelity, Prima Luna, Copland, T+A, Audionet.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3805
Registered: Sep-04
First off, I'm not a fan of the Dyn 140s. Although they're obviously capable speakers, it seems they need an inordinately capable amplifier to bring them to life. I'd take Totem Rainmakers over them any day of the week. That said I've sold very few of either. If I were you I'd factor in the Totem Sttaf too. Floorstander, but small. If Totem's not your thing, then also consider the Dyn FOCUS 110 which I find more engaging.

As for CD players, the Regas have just been reduced in price, now nigh on 25% cheaper. The Saturn is looking particularly well priced now. Provided you elect to leave it on all the time, the Saturn wil leave the Apollo in the dust. If not, then go with the Apollo which warms up in under an hour and starts off well (the Saturn doesn't). I'm guessing the Naim CD5i is out of the question?

There are obviously lots of other CD players around. The above are the ones I am happiest to recommend because I know them better and I like what they do. Fact is, if you're looking at speakers in the £1000 price bracket like the TB2i, you need to match up with CD players that won't be shown up by it since it's an open window. So I think you're aiming a tad low with the Apollo/650c...

Sorry!
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3034
Registered: Feb-07
I have second Frank's suggestion at looking at the Sttafs. They're small (as Frank mentioned) and are ridiculously easy to drive - and very smooth sounding. I've tried out close to a dozen different speakers in the last few years and the Sttafs remain one of my favourite.

I was using a Cambridge Audio 640C based system with my Sttafs before and was quite satisfied.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 263
Registered: Dec-06
Out of the three I've only heard the PMC so far. I'll definitely have to listen to the other three. I really liked the PMC so the others will be compared against it.

I'll have to see how pricing is on the Saturn. Perhaps the 35th anniversary Apollo is an option if that is cheaper. Maybe I'll go up the Cambrige line to the 750 or 850. But do you think there could be cases where these Cambrige players outperform Rega, or is Rega simply better across the board in every system?

I'll add the Staff to the list of speakers to hear.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 264
Registered: Dec-06
Frank, I would consider the CD5i, but is it that much ahead of the Apollo? I've always thought most people consider the Naim the better player, but only by a small amount.

The dealer I plan to buy from carries Naim, Rega, Cambridge, Tannoy, and Proac. A second dealer I really like that I've dealt with before carries PMC. I already know the PMC sound well. So most of my testing would therefore be with the one dealer. I'd have to deal with a third store for Dynaudio, but I at least want to hear them. I've always been intrigued by Dynaudio.

To throw Totem in the mix might be too much, but I'll make an attempt to listen to their speakers too.

Frank, I guess then you find the Dynaudios lacking in engagement. Do you think the YBA is up to powering them adequately?
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 671
Registered: Jul-07
The speakers you've listed Dan are quite different sounding, with quite different characters. With regards to component matching, you'll need to determine what "sound" you're after before anyone can really help you explore options. Do you have a sense of what it is your after ? Is what David described for the Staaf's sound right or are you after something somewhat different ?

And as Frank implied, you may not want to end up with a more capable set of speakers than you have end up with for a cdp. Sure you could upgrade later, but you'll burn more money I expect going that route.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 265
Registered: Dec-06
HI Chris, I am after a smooth, rich, musical, and somewhat warm sound. Perhaps it's not warmth per se, but just not something that is overly bright in the tweeter and upper woofer range. The PMC's give me this. I suppose in light of that I really should try Totem too.

I know I could enjoy a brighter, more detailed sound as well. I've heard quite a few different speakers over the years and I enjoyed almost all of them. Most of what is out there from the reputable brands is very good, though different in it's own way. It's just that the Wharfedales I have now, while being very detailed and excellent with some music, can also be quite thin and harsh sounding (I believe the kevlar driver is responsible for this). It's too much for the music I listen to. A paper cone would fix this issue I think, and I would probably like all the speakers mentioned so far, but of course it's a matter of finding the one I like most.

If I go for the smooth, refined, PMC kind of sound (which I can see happening because I really enjoyed those speakers) I just worry about getting too much of that if I use a Rega source. A WhatHiFi review I read a while back says do not combine a warm component with other warm components (or bright with bright); but to double up on traits such as detailed, great soundstaging, rhythm and timing, etc. I am quite confident Rega would match well with Proac and Tannoy, which are supposed to be a little on the bright side, though I am am less sure about matching them in a system that is already relatively warm (i.e. Dynaudio, PMC).

The CDP will be purchased first, I'll probably listen to the speakers at the same time. I'll hopefully decide on the speakers I like most but buy them later. I just don't want to buy a CDP that isn't the best match, then get the speakers a year or two later and find that something isn't right.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3471
Registered: May-05
Rega is reducing its CDP prices? Hopefully it's because they're releasing a DAC! Wishful thinking perhaps, but if Naim has done it, Rega shouldn't be too far behind.

All those speakers sound different. Everyone here has given good advice. If you liked the PMCs, I'd also throw the Totem Arro into the mix. Its a smaller and not 'as good' speaker as the rest, but it would probably work very well in your room (pretty small room, right?). Not to mention that they're about half the price of the PMCs and don't require a stand.

The Arros are one of my favorite speakers regardless of price. If you want a huge soundstage, very, very few speakers image and soundstage like the Arros, regardless of price. They're one of the best speakers at it, period. They also play very clean and are very engaging.

I have a lot of respect for the source first philosophy, and believe they're really onto something with it, but right now I'd probably wait a little while. Computers/streamers and DACs are where the market's going/at, and for very good reason. Most manufacturers are releasing DACs that'll outplay their more expensive CDPs. For example, Naim says

As well as providing a significant performance upgrade for the CDX2 and CD5 XS CD players, and HDX Hard Disk player

The DAC is $3500, The CDX2 is $5600, and the HDX is about $8500. The DAC is the second product that will extract a digital signal from an iPod (Wadia's iTransport was the first).

Have you heard Naim's DAC yet, Frank? Any word on a Rega DAC?

Bryston's DAC sounds a little better than their CDP, yet costs $700 less.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 266
Registered: Dec-06
Thanks guys, I'll be sure to give Totem some time. I read some online reviews and they sound impressive for sure.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 672
Registered: Jul-07
"If I go for the smooth, refined, PMC kind of sound (which I can see happening because I really enjoyed those speakers) I just worry about getting too much of that if I use a Rega source. "

If I'm interpreting this correctly, you appear to be worried about too much of a good thing ? I suppose that's possible, but I don't think it's a good idea either to try to balance warm speakers with an analytical source and some other strength perhaps in an amplifier. This just seems to me to be a crapshoot. Too me, all of your components should have similar qualities, and play well together electrically. I'm sure some folks here can warn you about certain combinations, which in theory should play well together, but don't. Ultimately your ears will tell you when you get it right.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jazzman71

Phoenix, AZ USA

Post Number: 920
Registered: Dec-07
The Saturn is looking particularly well priced now. Provided you elect to leave it on all the time, the Saturn wil leave the Apollo in the dust. If not, then go with the Apollo which warms up in under an hour and starts off well (the Saturn doesn't).

Which is indicative of why I never even considered either player. I usually don't comment on Rega CDPs, but this type of quirkiness with $1,000 - $2,500 CDPs does not give me a warm feeling about the design or the likely longevity of the machine. Unplug this, leave it on all the time, don't power it off with a CD in the tray, chant, tap three times on the top or whatever, Rega CDPs are just way too Disneyesque and finicky for my taste. Despite the many, many positive reviews here, I just cannot get beyond that. It reminds me of putting aluminum foil on the rabbit ears and barring any foot traffic in the room in order to see the picture on the TV. Find something you can plug it, turn on, and it works and sounds great -- consistently. I know I'm in the minority on this, but that's fine. I generally feel more comfortable being in the minority. If I'm a voice in the wilderness and viewed as somewhat crazy, I feel even better.

When buying expensive audio equipment and considering reviews, I am generally much more interested in what folks think is not done right by a particular piece of equipment, that what they think is done right. To me, that tends to be a more sensitive barometer because I think we tend to be more analytical and adamant about the "wrongs" versus the "rights" with performance. [Also, I think we tend to overshoot on the negatives, so you have to take that into account.] So, I usually seek out the forums and sites where there are some knowledgeable detractors regarding whatever I am evaluating (knowledgeable being the key word, as there is a lot of mindless ranting to be sorted through). That gives me a starting point for what I need to evaluate further, listen for, etc.

I agree with Chris. I would not try and offset one characteristic by choosing a component that opposes that characteristic. If you have a "smooth, refined" sound, don't pair that up with something that is its opposite or you could wind up with not much of either and be sorely disappointed. You are trying to achieve synergy, not polar opposites. It is always good to know the designer's perspective and what they have successfully paired with their equipment. It is almost always components that compliment the qualities, not oppose them.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13536
Registered: Dec-04
Neil, it is not uncommon at all for comonants to be recommended to be left on at all times.
Many of my pieces have had no power switch at all, actually, standby or otherwise.

Disdsain for Rega in general is fine, however.

Lots of MG owners keep the cars, knowing that every summer the thing will pack up in the rain, with another search for the elusive cure to the Lucas electrical system in order.
And another heavy application of the brakes will necissitate another float adjustment for the updraft carbs.

But enjoy it they do...
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 280
Registered: Dec-06
I agree with Chris. I would not try and offset one characteristic by choosing a component that opposes that characteristic. If you have a "smooth, refined" sound, don't pair that up with something that is its opposite or you could wind up with not much of either and be sorely disappointed. You are trying to achieve synergy, not polar opposites.

That makes sense to me, Neil. But it seems the consensus is to match warm with bright. I guess the question is whether these attributes are additive or not. Does matching warm amp, and warm speakers, and warm CDP yield a system that is simply too warm? I haven't been able to have enough gear in one room and the time to test it to know for sure.

Then again, you'd have to wonder why a company tries to attain a certain sound if the listener is going to match that with something that sounds different to achieve a final sound that is somewhere in between. From almost all accounts an all Naim system sounds phenomenal, and as far as I know Naim gear tends to be warm. Maybe that's saying something.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10697
Registered: Feb-05
The consensus is to match neutral and natural to it's like kind and to leave bright at the store. Seems to me anyway.

Still not exactly sure what Neil is talking about. The voodoo Apollo, I guess.

Naim gear tends to be warm...hmmm.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 675
Registered: Jul-07
I think the point is to do proper component matching.

"But it seems the consensus is to match warm with bright. "

I wouldn't subscribe to that being a consensus. Seems silly to me. I agree that warm+warm+warm might = too warm, but that's why component matching is important. To me you match complimentary components. If PRaT is most important to you, it only takes one component without it to screw up the mix, and you can't create by mixing dark with bright IMO.

If you can listen to them together, it takes a lot of the theoreticals out of it. If they sound good, and it's what you're after.....you're done. Most manufacturers and dealers can advise on what components play well together. Then let your ears be the judge.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 281
Registered: Dec-06
Well, I've read it maybe a thousand times, so I'd say it's a widely held belief. Not that you necessarily go out and try to find something warm, then find a matching component that is bright. You aren't focusing simply on that. But if you choose something that leans one way, you can offset that quality (say brightness) with something warm, that will hopefully yield a system that is neutral, or not leaning too far one way.

WhatHiFi says don't double up when it comes to warm and bright, but double up on qualities like PRaT, detail, soundstaging, etc. I guess whether one agrees or not depends on that person.

Yes Art, from what I've read Naim leans to the warm side. It's supposedly very vinyl like. This is not my own first hand opinion, since I've only heard Naim gear once. It's opinions that I've gotten from forums and one hifi dealer in my area. Maybe how I interpret words like "warm" and "bright" is different than some of you guys.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10701
Registered: Feb-05
The latest italic version of the Nait 5i and CD5i is smoother than that which preceded it however I wouldn't call most of the Naim gear I've heard as warm. Do some more reading Dan and you may find that what you read was anomylous, perhaps not.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13562
Registered: Dec-04
Flat Earth.
Very little depth.
Up front, tall and wide.. like 10 feet tall.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3481
Registered: May-05
I haven't heard the italic 5i series, but what preceded it was not warm at all. I really liked it, but it had too much of an edge when pushed a bit hard for my ears. The first time I heard it, I remember thinking this sounds great, but that slight edginess today will get on my nerves after after a year or two.

I think the edginess was the CD5i and not the Nait 5i, because when the CD5x was played through the Nait, that edge was completely gone.

With or without that edge, they weren't warm. That's probably the furthest thing from my mind when thinking of how to characterize Naim. They're not bright either though. Lean is the best way to characterize it in this context IMO.

A ton of people say to pair bright with warm. BS IMO. It's totally possible to get a system that has exagerrated highs and lows.

I don't think traits are as cumulative as it may seem they can be. Warm amp + warm source + warm speaker doesn't mean triple warm. AN NAD integrated amp, CD player, and PSB speakers (all could easily be called warm) doesn't give you an overly warm system. Its actually a very synergystic system.

A warm NAD integrated amp with a bright Rotel CD player sounds like crap, regardless of the speakers.

Forget what the mags and others tell you. Hear some gear for yourself. It may help if you ask for our input on something you heard. If you're describing the Apollo's sound as completely different than what we're all hearing, we'll probably have some insight as to why you heard what you heard. Then again, maybe not. The Warfedale thread somewhat proves how different peoples' ears can be.

Have fun hearing some gear. That's what its all about.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10704
Registered: Feb-05
Well said Stu.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2140
Registered: May-06
Dan, Try and think of it this way. A "warm" CDP that has full midrange, rolled of highs, and slow bass. Combine that with speakers that extend the treble range, have heavy bass that shakes the floor, and a mid-range that gets lost in the equation. You will end up with sound that is no better than all of the above limitations. If the source is not delivering extended treble and deep, deep, bass, there is none of that for the speaker to highlight for you. Similarly if that rich tube sounding vocals you bought the CDP for to begin with cannot get out of the speakers you lost it too. That is the same thing that happens when you try to blend warm and bright. Neutral speakers will deliver what the source provides (considering of course that your interconnect, preamplifier, interconnect, amplifier, and speaker wire, oh, let's not forget power cords and room effect, do not alter the output of the source in any way. This is why synergy is so important.

One does not have to go as far as combining a CDP and speakers to understand the affect of combining "warm" and "bright". Just try it with interconnects, one of each, or an interconnect and speaker wire, one of each.

Listening to what you like is good advice, getting to try it at home in your system once you narrowed it down provides better assurance that it is the right combination for your.

Good luck, keep us updated as you head down this path. Fun stuff!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 282
Registered: Dec-06
On that disc and the others that followed, the Supernait displayed the sort of overall tonal balance that one might think of as the Naim "house sound"--or at least an updated version thereof: Its treble extension was a bit rolled off, compared to that of other modern amps, but not so much as to make it sound dull. Indeed, this incarnation of the Nait integrated was the airiest and most open yet--and I've heard them all so far. Throughout the rest of the sonic spectrum, the Supernait continued the trend that seems to have blessed virtually all of the company's electronics and CD players over the past five years: The sound was less "gray" than earlier Naim products, with more timbral color and texture, albeit not to the levels of same that one expects from very good, very low-power tube amps.

http://www.stereophile.com/integratedamps/108naim/index1.html

So maybe it's the rolled off highs that has me thinking that Naim is warm. I guess it's more accurate to say that Naim isn't bright than to say that it is warm.

Food for thought on the system matching stuff, Stu and Michael. I think rather than lean towards a CDP that is opposite of my YBA amp (like Cambridge), I may set my sights on Naim and Rega instead. It sounds like they'd match the YBA pretty well.

By the way, apparently Rega is offering $400 off an Apollo and $900 off a Saturn if you trade in an old CDP, no matter what shape it is in. Kind of a cash for clunkers sort of deal. Mighty tempting. I could never get $400 or $900 for my Denon in the used market. Hmmm.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2142
Registered: May-06
Hmmm, even "cash for clunkers" had a limited shelf life. That makes the Saturn an especially sweet deal considering of course Frank's recommendation to aim higher than the Apollo.

Go hear an Apollo or Saturn at your dealer, bring your YBA with if you are not able to bring the CDP to you.




Nuck, What are you waiting for?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10708
Registered: Feb-05
Though I would like a Saturn, my Apollo doesn't embarass itself at all in front of some very nice gear. Sounds quite at home with the Gibbon 8's and the Sonneteer.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13569
Registered: Dec-04
Both the Cpollo and the Saturn are standouts, particularly with current pricing.
I priced the Apollo SE, here in Canada, at 1350 yesterday, which seems good to me.

I just cannot get past a standalone DAC and source, however, it is inevitable now.

I will always have a cdp, and I think I will stand pat with the Apollo, no excuses required.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13570
Registered: Dec-04
As far as the saturn is concerned...
Frank A's comments on warm up time is spot on.

Mike W. and I demoed the Saturn in Chicago together, and one hour is about right.
Leave it on.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 287
Registered: Dec-06
Well later today I'll be heading off to demo some new disc spinners. I'll hopefully be able to trade in my Quad 12L speakers, my Energy C-1's, my Arcam DV135, and maybe my Denon mini-system too.

I'll be looking at the Rega Apollo and Saturn, the Naim CD5X (used), and perhaps the Cambridge 650C too.

Trading in my old gear is a lot more attractive than putting it up on Agon or eBay, couple that with the Rega discount offer and a used Naim and I think it makes some sense to do something. At the very least I may be able to trade all my gear in and maybe not even have to pay anything out of pocket for an Apollo.

Will let you guys know what happens!
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 2514
Registered: Nov-05
I leave my Saturn on 24/7 and yummmmm!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3482
Registered: May-05
"By the way, apparently Rega is offering $400 off an Apollo and $900 off a Saturn if you trade in an old CDP, no matter what shape it is in."

Sounds to me like Rega is about to discontinue the Apollo and Saturn and wants to get rid of them quickly. They'll probably do this for a little while before they announce any new products.

If my logic is correct, I wonder what they'll release and how much. I'm still hoping for an affordable DAC. Apollo-esque in sound and price point (a few bucks less wouldn't hurt).

Has anyone heard Naim's new DAC? Frank?

Naim's DAC has an iPod input that gets the digital stream directly, just like Wadia's iTransport.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 288
Registered: Dec-06
Crazy stuff, I now own a Rega Saturn. I guess the Rega deal was too hard to resist. I traded in my Denon mini-system and got $900 off the Rega. After trading in my Quads, Arcam DVD player, and Energy C-1's I had to pay $900 for the Saturn before taxes.

Had a really nice demo session between the Saturn and the Naim CD5X. Listened to both of them through a Creek Destiny and some Tannoy Stirling SE speakers ($6,000ish) from the Tannoy Prestige line. The sounds these speakers were putting out was flat out gorgeous.

I'd say the Naim was just a little more engaging, and had better dynamics. The Rega's sound was more 3D, and noticeably smoother than the Naim's. Like listening to vinyl. Very easy to love that sound. I wouldn't say the differences were drastic but they were apparent. In the end it came down to me deciding to pay a couple of hundred more for the Rega, which unlike the Naim was brand new and had a warranty. I also felt it was more of the sound that I wanted, though ultimately it's tough to say how it'll match my system when it's all said and done (when I have PMC's or ProAc's or what have you). I figure, worst comes to worst, I can always trade/sell the Rega and maybe get a new CD5i for about the same price if I eventually feel that's what I want.

But for now I'm looking forward to hearing the Saturn, and comparing it to the Marantz player I'm currently using. I like to go one step at a time, so I'll probably continue using the Marantz for a few weeks and getting used to that before firing up the Rega. I'm hoping the Rega will bring even more of the improvements that the Marantz brought when I added it in favor of the Arcam. Marantz may not be on Frank's list of musically cohesive players, but I find it much more so than the Arcam. But I've noticed many people say Arcam's in the past have lacked PRaT, and that's totally what my experience was. Lots of detail and clarity, a laid back attitude, and just not very engaging.

As for Rega's deal, the fellow giving me the demo speculated that it could be Rega's attempt at getting as many Apollos and Saturns out there as possible because they've got the much more expensive model (I think it's the Isis) now. In a few years the hope might be that people upgrade their Apollo's and Saturn's to the Isis, and maybe Rega will give back 100% of the cost of those players as a discount on the Isis. I still can't believe Rega gave me $900 off the Saturn for my Denon UD-M50. It's worth maybe $100 now, and originally I paid around $550 for it.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

I come from ...

Post Number: 2518
Registered: Nov-05
It's a lovely player Dan, congrats. Remember, it's not run in and will take many hours to do so. My advice (following Frank's tip) is to leave it on 24/7 unless going away. Also run without the display lit. It will all add up to a brilliant sounding, smooth and articulate cdp.

Next thing for you to fret about will be your speaker upgrade.

 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2145
Registered: May-06
As Nuck stated above, if you do not leave it on all the time it takes about one hour of playing to get into a groove.

Also allow a couple of hundred hours of burn in time for the Saturn to really hit its stride. You may want to drop in a CD and leave it on repeat while you are doing other things or are away. The system does not have to pass the signal to the speakers, it is just to break in the unit.

Nice move, hope it works out for you. Thanks for passing along the dealer's comments about the discounts on the Regas.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3487
Registered: May-05
That Saturn is a great CD player worth every penny of its asking price, let alone $900 off. I like the CD5x a little better, but I'd take a Saturn any day of the week over it at that price.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 290
Registered: Dec-06
If I could get the CD5X for the same price brand new then it would've been a very tough decision. I went in hoping to like the Naim more (I love the look of their products and the swing out CD tray), but once I heard the Rega it was just very addictive. The detail, the smoothness, the 3D like sound, and the attack/decay were so impressive. Hard to know for sure how much of that is down to the Tannoy and Creek, but then again the Rega had these qualities over the Naim. I almost think, to get the most out of Naim, you'd also need a Naim amp and even their power supply upgrades. Maybe in ten or fifteen years, when I replace this system, I'll look at an all Naim solution.

Speaker upgrade next, but not for another couple of years. I needed a cheap tuner for this system, got a Cambridge Audio 550T coming in the next few weeks. I may sell some stuff to buy some nice speaker stands soon, but that's it for the near future.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10737
Registered: Feb-05
Enjoy the Saturn Dan!
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 676
Registered: Jul-07
Well done Dan. Now, settle in and listen to some music. That's where the magic is.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 291
Registered: Dec-06
Hoping it all starts to come together now. It's been a bit of a bumpy ride in terms of trial and error with various components, but also a lesson or two learned.

If I can't get the Evo2's sounding right I'm just going to go back to the Tannoy's. Frankly, I'm starting to wonder if maybe something isn't right with the pair I have. Some of you will remember I had that noise when I tapped on the speaker and STO replaced the woofer. Maybe I'll contact IAG about this, but I'm not all that interested in spending more on these speakers when I don't even know if there is a problem with them to begin with, and even if there is maybe I'm just not destined to like these Wharfies. I thought the Marantz player fixed the problem, but after the initial shock at the improvement wore off I still find there to be some upper mid harshness and sound that just strikes me as a little too thin and tizzy.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10740
Registered: Feb-05
I'm not sure why you keep trying to like a speaker that you don't. Just send 'em back or sell 'em and move on. Really, none of us is gonna lose sleep or anything. We're also not gonna be angry. Not every speaker is for everyone. That's why so many are made, different strokes.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 293
Registered: Dec-06
Well Art, what I hear doesn't jive with what others say the speaker sounds like. I've said that my old Quads had a similar sound, the sound was thin too and this is probably due to the kevlar driver, but thinking back on them they were still pleasant to listen to. These are just very harsh, very grating. I can't imagine that you are hearing anything like what I am hearing.

I think I will call IAG and see what kind of support they offer. Maybe they will take these and give me a new pair. It's worth a shot.

I'm not trying to desperately like a speaker that I don't, but I am beginning to think that there might be something wrong with this pair. I wouldn't bat an eye at selling them if that is what it comes to, but I also don't want to sell a pair that I suspect may have a problem.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10742
Registered: Feb-05
Here's the deal Dan. The sound of the Quads and the Wharfedales is not thin...period. It may be thin compared to far more expensive PMC's but that's not a fair comparison. So to say that they sound "thin" due to Kevlar or anything else makes no sense to anyone here who has listened to them. Perhaps you're not using the term correctly and there is something else in the sound that you don't like and that's fair enough, but using the term "thin" just doesn't make any sense to those of us who own them. I certainly am not discounting your experience with them and again would say that "thin" or not if you don't like them, get rid of them and move on. I doubt there is anything wrong with them, it appears that the Wharfedale sound is one that you don't like, and again, fair enough.

I have determined that after owning them and having more experience with them over the last couple of years that I'm not a fan of Totem speakers. I find most models to be too bright. Lots of folks here would disagree, however that's what my ears tell me. I appreciate what Totem's do well and firmly believe that they are a well designed and well built speaker who's designers are music lovers, they just aren't for me and that's ok.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 294
Registered: Dec-06
Well I don't really know what to say anymore.

So to say that they sound "thin" due to Kevlar or anything else makes no sense to anyone here who has listened to them.

So perhaps there is something wrong with my pair, just maybe? I know you don't believe it. I'd love to ship my speakers to you and have you listen to them Art, but of course I'm not willing to pay for that.

Maybe I should have said this earlier, but that clanging noise is still there when I knock on the speaker, even after the woofer change. It's very faint, and at first I didn't even notice it. And it seems I have to knock in one specific area, whereas before it was a larger area. Should have mentioned it before maybe, but I wasn't sure if I was making a bigger issue out of it than it deserves. I may try to listen to only one speaker at a time and see if the one that makes the noise is the source of the harshness.

"Thin" is probably the wrong term. I see thin means deficient in bass. I wouldn't say these Evo's are deficient in bass, bass is one of the more impressive aspects, though it is leaner than what I am accustomed to from other speakers. They are harsh in the upper midrange/low treble, so much so that I doubt it is in the design of the speaker. Songs with cymbals and guitars can be very difficult to listen to, and I've never had issues with other speakers I've tried in this regard. The sound isn't clean and isn't soft, and I don't necessarily expect cymbals and guitars to be soft, but they also shouldn't be this harsh...and certainly not on a speaker that has Wharfedale's rep. The Quads are detailed and extremely revealing, and are harsh sounding to many, but they had a smoothness across the entire frequency range that I am just not getting with the Evo2. So you are probably right, it likely has nothing to do with the kevlar driver, which the Quad's share.

I will call IAG. If they are willing to do a straight exchange or open these up and ensure they are in good order then I will consider it. It doesn't hurt to at least see what my options are and what they have to say.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10743
Registered: Feb-05
"The Quads are detailed and extremely revealing, and are harsh sounding to many, but they had a smoothness across the entire frequency range that I am just not getting with the Evo2."

That statement seems incongruent to me, perhaps I don't understand you.

You are correct, you should have mentioned the noise earlier in this discussion. However I'm not sure it would have changed much for me.

I do wish I could be in your room to hear what you are hearing because I consider the smoothness at all frequencies to be the strong suit of the Wharfedales. I never once cringed while listening to cymbals or guitar.

I know we listen to different music but it still makes little sense. Next time I have the Evo's in my office perhaps I should try something other than what I usually listen to. Although I have a pretty wide pallette and listen to a lot of different kinds of music.

With your Saturn coming the Wharfedales are already far outclassed anyway. Perhaps it's time to look into a speaker with a warmer approach. Perhaps a Vienna Acoustics or Castle. I think both are pretty slow and ponderous but they may be what you are looking for, they have their fans. Also Jamo are supposed to have a nice warm presentation with good detail, and per one our regulars isn't slow.

Just throwing out more thought Dan. I hope you don't feel that this is the iquisition..lol! Just trying to get to the bottom of it without being there is difficult. I feel your frustration, I felt the same way with my Epos M12i's and ProAc Studio 110's.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

I come from ...

Post Number: 2523
Registered: Nov-05
Yeah, it seems Dan has a problem and as we have said before, it is very doubtful that Kevlar cones are to blame.

Dan, did you buy these from a local dealer or on the web? If a local dealer, can't you take them in to compare?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 295
Registered: Dec-06
No, I bought them online, and that's part of the problem now. I already sent them back (via courier to the U.S.) and had the woofer replaced. Now I'd rather deal with IAG directly if possible.

Art, thanks for putting up with me! I've belaboured this issue for a long time and you've probably heard enough.

The statement you referred to as incongruent. It's all relative. While the Quads may not be what most folks call smooth, they are in comparison to what I'm getting from the Evo2. The Quads were detailed and resolved incredibly well, amazing attack and decay, an in your face kind of sound. But I could listen to them without a problem. It never was harsh. Smooth like PMC? Not even close. But pleasant enough.

It was me thinking back to the Quads that got me thinking maybe my pair of Evo2's aren't right. There are similarities in sound between these two speakers, I always made that connection, but yesterday I recalled the way the 12L sounded and that I quite enjoyed them and they were not harsh the way the Evo2 are. So I know it's not likely the kevlar driver, as I had initially thought. I can't explain it. I just know what I'm hearing and that it's not pleasant. Putting it into words is difficult.

Thanks for throwing Vienna and Castle out there. I don't know those names, I'll be sure to look at them. My impression is that people generally think not to go smooth and refined when it comes to rock, but I have found that a smooth speaker can really take the edge off poor recordings. As long as the speaker isn't slow it sounds great.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3490
Registered: May-05
There has to be something else going on Dan. I wouldn't call PMC smooth, nor Quad in your face. Actually, both are the exact opposite of that in my experience.

I'm not telling you what you do and don't hear. I don't think anyone's doing that. Its either a setup problem like placement, acoustics, etc., or a mechanical/electrical problem.

Something somewhere is out of whack IMO.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 296
Registered: Dec-06
I've only heard one Quad speaker (the 12L active). Quad tends to have this reputation of a laid back, warm, easy going speaker. But my view on them seems to be the same as several others who have heard them, two examples below:

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?rspkr&1109030572&openusid&zzThejapelvis& 4&5

http://whathifi.com/Review/Quad-11L2/

By "in your face" I don't mean imaging, which is possibly how most people interpret that phrase. I have to admit I am still getting used to audiophile lingo. I mean dynamics, pacing, resolution, detail. They are not timid speakers by any means.

I don't think the PMC's are timid either, but they have a very rich, very smooth sound. The latest line had huge improvements made to the tweeter by SEAS, that much I do know. This was the big upgrade to the i series. It's now nicely rolled off, and supposedly much improved over the older models (which I've never heard and can only assume were significantly less refined).
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10744
Registered: Feb-05
If you were buying a just a bit upmarket Dan I would suggest DeVore Fidelity as they are smooth as silk and can flat rock out. No matter how bad the recording they just sound great. The Gibbon 8 is being closed out and is very smooth.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 297
Registered: Dec-06
After your DeVore thread Art, I have taken notice of their speakers when some come up on Audiogon (eg. the Gibbon 3).

Unless IAG is willing to help me out with a new pair of Evo2's (or maybe I'll pay the difference and get the Quad 12L2) I'll be sticking with my Tannoys for another year or two, at least. That's assuming the Evo2's are damaged goods in the first place. I know the Tannoy's are way outclassed, but I can only make so many moves at one time.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10745
Registered: Feb-05
The Gibbon 3 sounds a lot like the 8 in a very compact standmount. Very good indeed. I understand the financial part quite well Dan. Just hope you get to a happy place with your system soon.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3493
Registered: May-05
I haven't heard the PMC i series, and honestly forgot about them. I was refering to the + series.

The + series wasn't rough nor unrefined sounding by any means. But they weren't smooth and they didn't smooth anything over. They were honest. As harsh or smooth as the recording was.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3810
Registered: Sep-04
Hi Dan,

Sorry I've been so busy I haven't had any time to look in here... and it looks like I'll be getting busier in the next few months so my contributions will have to be sporadic at best.

Congratulations on the Saturn purchase. After all the discussion, I'm sure it was refreshingly easy to spot the differences and the value propositions of all the players. As mentioned by so many, leaving the Saturn switched on and running it in on repeat for a week or so will do wonders for its performance.

As for Naim being warm, I'd like to think it's not since I used to like a warm sound and now I like it less - and I have an all-Naim system! I tend to think that Naim is rather better balanced than it used to be but it's not as lean as it used to be, just well balanced in my view. This is also true of the Saturn.

As for your speakers, nothing should be bouncing around in there - nothing should even move when you rap the cabinet.

As for DACs, yes I have heard two prototype Naim DACs. The first (earlier) model was OK but not a great improvement over a standard CDX2. The 2nd was much closer to production and heaps better than the CDX2 on its own! :-( And they're still tweaking it...

We asked Rega about the price drops and if they had something in the wings. Their response was that there's nothing in the wings to replace Apollo/Saturn. Also no mention of a DAC, but it wouldn't be the first time they kept tight lipped about their plans.

Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 299
Registered: Dec-06
Thanks for the reply Frank. Over the weekend I'm going to try to see if I can isolate the problem sound to the one speaker that makes the noise before I call IAG. I'll call them regardless of what I find, as at the very least I'd like them to check the speakers and confirm whether they are right or not.

Saturn warm up and break-in is noted!

I guess describing Naim as warm was incorrect. When listening to the two players, we both noted that the Naim was definitely leaner and a little brighter than the Rega.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13602
Registered: Dec-04
Stands.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13603
Registered: Dec-04
Dan, geez, laweez.

You still have not tried goos stands that can be loaded, and you are looking at replacing speakers.
DUDE, you cannot gauge speaker value with the present placement, nor any others, when they ar being improperly utilized.

Stands, out.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10754
Registered: Feb-05
Have to agree with Nuck. Here's the deal though Nuck. He's saying that the other speakers (Tannoy's and PMC's...right Dan) were tolerable in the present position and the Wharfies are not. So the question is how would the Tannoy's and PMC's sound on good quality stands, better or worse...hmm.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

I come from ...

Post Number: 2534
Registered: Nov-05
The plot thickens - or just keeps thickening :-)
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10756
Registered: Feb-05
The latter seems most appropriate.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 300
Registered: Dec-06
The other speakers were more than tolerable (yes, PMC and Tannoy). As were the Quads and Energy speakers. 1 out of 5 sounds bad. I think I'm going to suspect the speaker. I'm not saying stands won't improve things, and I will try them. In fact, there just isn't enough room on the desk for both the gear and the speakers, so stands are happening.

But honestly, I think the first logical step here, in evaluating the Evo's, is to make sure the ones I have are not damaged goods. Because if they are then stands aren't going to make a lick of difference, are they? And I feel I've enough reason to suspect this is what's going on.

Buying the Evo's was definitely an impulse move. I almost bought a pair of Dynaudio's too! A used pair of Audience 52's. Good thing I came to my senses. After I get done with IAG, we'll see what they do for me, I can totally see myself selling the Evo's and then buying stands with the money and just using the Tannoy's. If I don't totally love the Wharfedale's that is exactly what I'll do. I really dig the Tannoy's and I probably just should've kept using them until I was ready to buy PMC.

Can you imagine the Tannoy's on stands? It'll be like getting a whole new system I'm sure! Might not even need to upgrade to PMC!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10757
Registered: Feb-05
If not DeVore!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 303
Registered: Dec-06
Yes, I'd love to hear a pair. There are no DeVore dealers nearby though. 500km is the nearest. There are two in all of Canada. Perhaps this will change in a year or two. I said PMC but I've got a bunch of speakers on my short list. PMC, ProAc, Dynaudio, Totem, Tannoy, maybe DeVore. All will be judged against PMC to start with, since I have such a good experience with that speaker. All are great names, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Ultimately it'll depend on what kind of sound I'm looking for.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10759
Registered: Feb-05
It'll depend on the sound you are looking for as well as the components you are mating them with. I had an awful experience with ProAc's yet I still consider them excellent speakers, just not a good match for my system at that time. You may also want to consider Spendor and Audio Physic.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 304
Registered: Dec-06
The place that carries Tannoy has Spendor too, and the place with Dynaudio has Audio Physic. So I can see it happening!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10761
Registered: Feb-05
Stu gave Audio Physic a listen and hasn't looked back.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3496
Registered: May-05
If you liked the PMCs, you should really make it a point to hear Audio Physic. Very similar sound in terms of tonality, yet more body and 3D sounding. Not to mention that model for model Audio Physic is a good amount cheaper. They have excellent build quality and are hand made in Germany.

Audio Physic's downfall is their US distributer. Its very hard to find dealers and professional reviews and ads are pretty much non-existant. If they had a little more visibility, they'd be a significant force in the speaker world IMO.

I haven't heard neither company's current line. The current Yaras are a little different, but the rest are the same. I also haven't heard the i series PMCs.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13606
Registered: Dec-04
For Audio Physic, call Alternative Audio in Ontario.
http://www.alternativeaudio.ca/web/productline.shtml
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 310
Registered: Dec-06
Yup, that's where I'll be going to check out the Dyns. They have a nice little vinyl store there too. I've been by there once before.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3498
Registered: May-05
I've heard good things about them in the past. Was it Nuck who's dealt with them? They've got some great companies listed on their website. Hopefully they have the right stuff on the floor.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13616
Registered: Dec-04
Thats my shop, yup.
I have had very good to exceptional dealings with Chad and Phil there.

These are the guys that sent me home with the Classe kit (5k$) and let me run it for 2 months to decide.

Highest possible quality parts, great ears, but no coffee maker.

Very good client base as well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 316
Registered: Dec-06
It's a great store. I was there only to pick up some vinyl (4 copies of GN'R's Live Era!). But the store if I recall is like a two story house with multiple rooms (think a few bedrooms, a living room, den, etc.). Each room has a system or two set up in it, and it's really high quality stuff.

No coffee maker! Haha, when I went to Ovation Audio for the first time (another great dealer, these are the guys that let me have the PMC for a couple of days) they let me listen and made coffee for me while I did. I couldn't believe it. I remember it was a cold winter day. There's nothing like going into an audio store on a cold winter day and listening to some tunes and being served hot coffee. It's just not the same in the summer for some reason. The guys at Ovation don't pressure you to buy at all. I gave them two sets of speakers for consignment, they didn't sell and when I took them back there was no pressure on me to keep them there longer. I arrived at the store and they were all packed up for me, and they helped me load them into my car. Of course you shouldn't be pressured, but you can't always take that for granted.

Ovation Audio, Audio Eden, Living Sound Stereo (formerly Lockridge Hifi), American Sound of Canada...these are the stores I've dealt with before. Some are better than others, you're dealing with different personalities after all, but in my experience all are great. Alternative is a little out of the way for me but I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them and I'm sure I'll be visiting them again when considering Dynaudio or Audio Physic. I've dealt with Kromer and Bay Bloor Radio too, different kinds of stores for sure, a little more of a big box feel except they've got good gear, but I've had good experiences there too.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13623
Registered: Dec-04
If it all boils down to price for somebody, then buy off the net or auction.
If you want a place for enjoyment, to kill 2 hours while your girl is shopping, or just a place to meet like-minded people, then go to a hifi shop.
Afternoons can be slow, but anybody who walks throught the door is here for a reason, and thats the music.
Meet a friendly stranger or be one, spin some tunes and meet some people.
It's cool.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 318
Registered: Dec-06
I'm liking buying good gear from brick and mortor audio stores, either demo or on sale. That way you feel like you're getting a great deal, and you are getting that level of service.

I'm thinking my next two purchases are going to be relatively affordable. Good speaker stands and a Martin Logan Dynamo sub ($450, a sealed design that goes down to 25Hz). Should be a good upgrade on my Mission sub that only goes down to 38Hz.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13627
Registered: Dec-04
Now the stands I would buy anywhere. No warranty issue and support is easy to find online for loading, plane and so on.
The Dynamo is a very good sub as reviewed, I look forward to opinions, Dan.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 319
Registered: Dec-06
Stands might come this year, the sub probably in the spring.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13629
Registered: Dec-04
That is not forward planning, that is gestation.
If you want to compare speakers, Dan, then put them where they are meant to be, on stands.
And be surprised.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13630
Registered: Dec-04
Yes, Dan has compared lots of speakers, but all on an inferior mount.
To be sure, nobody has designed a speaker to sit plop on a cavernous cabinet, and Dan's does not look to be one of tank quality, like perhaps a solid dove-tail jointed billet tank, otherwise my opinion might differ.

Be fair to the baffles. The speakers are all voiced differently, but each has a common need, that is to be voiced.
The stands will make the biggest difference for Dan here, am I wrong?
When stand mounting, the baffle plate is fully released from the cab, and in some cases this makes a big difference.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3500
Registered: May-05
The stands should make a very noticable difference. I italicize should because the room and placement also factor in. But I agree Nuck.

The stands are just as important as the rest of the cabinet. Consider them part of the speaker. You don't have to go crazy and buy outrageously expensive stands. I use Apollo stands and have no issues nor complaints. They cost about $100 and are worth every penny
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 320
Registered: Dec-06
I've looked at some stands and generally prefer the look of wood to metal, even though I know some of you guys would disagree. But I do kind of like the Paradigm stands, J-23 or J-29, they are like $400 per pair though!

http://www.paradigm.com/images/reference/speaker_type_2/series_13/model_26/studi o20_2_off.jpg

Obviously I'll have to go to a store or two to see. The Paradigm's may look good in pictures but I might hate them in person. I'm sure they are good stands though, made for their Studio line.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 321
Registered: Dec-06
I think I like the Target MR or HR stand too. Those four columns look kind of elegant. I'll look into those Apollo stands too, would save me a couple hundred bucks over the Paradigm's or Target's.

Well, the Wharfedale is out and the Tannoy is back in. Honestly guys, I just couldn't take them anymore. Huge improvement with the Tannoy's.

Nuck, you're not that far away, are you? Maybe I should lend you the Evo2 and get your opinion on them. I know terms like "warm" and "bright" aren't always ideal ways to describe speakers, but these Wharfedales are bright. Very bright. This is the only way I can describe them. They just have a harshness that is very grating pretty much all the time. I lost quite a bit of dynamics in moving back to the Tannoy's that I will miss. To me this is the Evo2's strength.

Honestly, I don't know if it's my pair or what. Nuck, let me know if you'd be interested, I'd love to get someone else who knows their stuff to hear what I'm hearing.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10795
Registered: Feb-05
Goes to show that system matching is very important. I really like the Tannoys at their price point but to my ears they aren't in the same league or even close to it as the Evo's.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13634
Registered: Dec-04
Dan, I am in the townships next week, Lac Megantic.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 322
Registered: Dec-06
That's a little far. I'm in the Scarborough/Durham area. I have a car, I can move around, not to Quebec though!. If you want to borrow them for a bit one day just let me know.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10796
Registered: Feb-05
Texas ain't far to Nuck!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13636
Registered: Dec-04
Why did I have you in Trois Rivieres in my head?!?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 323
Registered: Dec-06
Haha Nuck, no idea. I haven't been to Quebec in years.

Anyways, Art, I agree. With the Tannoy's the sound is now a lot more pleasant, but I can definitely hear what they are lacking compared to some of the speakers I've heard recently (PMC TB2i and Tannoy Stirling). And even the Evo2's, I can hear what they can do, and I've no doubt in the right system with a pair that work properly that they are better than the Tannoy's. Even in moving back to the Tannoy's I miss some of what the Evo2 gave me, but the brightness was just too much. Without it I'm sure I'd love them. Why they have it I really don't know. System matching, a problem with the speaker, a problem with my room. Unsure, other than the fact that the other four speakers I've had in this room didn't have this issue. Hopefully I'll get to the bottom of it, but I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that this particular pair just aren't for me. If IAG gives me a new pair I'd be willing to give them another go.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13637
Registered: Dec-04
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/144228-target_hs60_24_speaker_stands/
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10803
Registered: Feb-05
Looks like a nice little stand for the dough.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 326
Registered: Dec-06
Back on the upgrade train. I want to do a little better than the Tannoy's without spending much. I've got the Wharfedale's, the Mission sub, and the Tannoy's, I can sell/trade in all three to fund the purchase of a new pair of speakers.

This weekend I'm going to demo a pair of B&W 685's. I suspect the B&W sound is for me, but hopefully a good audition will confirm it.

Then I will probably order a pair of Aperion 6B for an in home 30 day trial. If I don't like them I can send them back and I'm not on the hook for much money. If I do like them I can simply keep them.

Whichever speaker comes out on top is the one I buy (unless I hate them both I guess!). The Aperion's will come out to maybe $100 more, but boy they sure do have a gorgeous real wood veneer on them, and are supposedly extremely well damped and thus well built. Stereophile reviewed the tower model and really liked them, which is good to see. A+ customer service too from what I read. The B&W looks a little cheap by comparison, but still a nice looking budget speaker overall, and for the most part excellent reviews.

Should be fun. This has kind of veered into a speaker conversation...maybe I'll set up a B&W/Aperion thread.

The 6B for anyone interested: http://www.aperionaudio.com/product/Intimus-6B-Bookshelf-Speaker,111.aspx#
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3514
Registered: May-05
It doesn't matter what its turned into unless you don't want it to go there. Its a thread about your system. I think all the usual suspects are involved with it. Anyone missing?

And its one of the few threads lately that hasn't been ruined. I say don't fix what ain't broke.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13656
Registered: Dec-04
I have not heard any Aperion speakers at all.
The 685's were nice, with Mac power in a shop somewhere that I don't recall.
They like some air around them to keep the bass tight, and heavy stands for greatest resolution.
Nice tight bass, nothing muddy like the floorstanding 6's.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10821
Registered: Feb-05
If you audition them at home without stands you really aren't giving them a fair audition. Most standmounts will sound very different properly set up.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2155
Registered: May-06
Nuck might have been in the shop with the Rotel and Classe' gear here?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 327
Registered: Dec-06
I'll be sure to take some nice pics of the Aperions. There's not too many good quality pics on the web. I'll probably go for the cherry finish. Won't be till early December though, when I've got some time off work.

I may have some stands by then. Thing is, I can't get stands just yet because I'll trade in my speakers and sub to get them. So I'd have stands but no speakers to listen to.

I'll post impressions of the 685 in a few days. In store demo, so you can only learn so much, but it should give me a good idea of the overall sound, and the strengths and weaknesses.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10822
Registered: Feb-05
If the in store demo is with stands you have a chance to learn more about the speakers capabilities there than at home. Take your amp and cables. I have done that before and the results were very ineresting. Worth a try.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 346
Registered: Dec-06
I decided to try the upsampling capability of my Marantz DV7001 yesterday, cranking things up to 192kHz. The results surprised me. I'll be doing more listening tomorrow, but on first impression the sound is richer and more resolving. Imaging is much better too, I'm sure as a result. The difference was quite noticeable. It surprised me, I wasn't expecting much based on what I have read in the past about the technology. It seemed to work in this application though. I hope to confirm it today with more listening and perhaps compare it to the Saturn.

Am re-accustomed to the sound of my Tannoy's again, it was a fun listening session since I wasn't missing aspects of the Evo2's sound.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 347
Registered: Dec-06
Wow, I loved how the DV7001 sounded with upsampling, but the Saturn is just better. The widely discussed rhythm and timing, the detail, the spacious sound, and the clean bass. Leonard Cohen's voice really hit home with the Saturn, with the Marantz it was a bit more underwhelming, like he was right there with the Saturn but further back with the Marantz. Details everywhere with the Saturn, but smooth and full of PRaT, I likey!

Question though...I'm thinking of trading down the Saturn for an Apollo and external DAC. Would the Rega qualities be maintained? I'm assuming a lot of the sound is due to the transport. DAC's I'd consider are the CA DacMagic and the PS Audio Digital Link III. CA's has the same DAC as in the Apollo, only two of them rather than one (just like the Saturn).

The Saturn just seems like overkill for me, I don't hate that I bought one but it wasn't really ever the intention to go that high. The rest of my system of course isn't even close. A DAC also allows me to upsample if I want.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10885
Registered: Feb-05
Read the Club Saturn thread all the way through Dan. Might sound familiar.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3523
Registered: May-05
With the newer DACs now re-clocking the digital stream (the more expensive DACs anyway), the transport's sonic signature is decreasing. Or put another way, the transport is becoming less important.

The DacMagic and Digital Link sound different than the Apollo. They're pretty good for the money, but they're not as good as the Apollo to some ears. I heard both briefly, and neither one had the musicallity of the Apollo. Just because they may have the same DAC chip doesn't mean much at all. Power supplies, clocking, output devices, etc all play a very big part. In fact, Bryston said that while researching which DAC chip to use, they were surprised by how little the DAC mattered. It made a difference, just not as big a difference as most would have you believe.

If you're thinking about spending some money on a DAC, the Benchmark DAC gets some great reviews. I haven't heard it. But they have a 30 day in home trail from the manufacturer. It starts at about $1k.

The Bryston BDA-1 is another one to track down if you can afford it. Its $2k. I haven't heard a better DAC yet. Just from a sound quality perspective, I'd take it over a Saturn. That says a lot because I really like the Saturn. I remember hearing you liked the Naim CD5x. Its one of my favorite CDPs, but to my ears the BDA-1 sounds a bit better.

Did I mention I really like the BDA-1? If you have any where near the funds for one, its a must hear IMO. Its still a bit hard to get reviews of it. Supposedly several magazines have reviewed it but haven't published it yet. James Tanner (Bryston VP) claims that a couple of reviewers bought the unit they auditioned. That should tell you something.

Not sure what your budget is. Just throwing ideas out there. The Benchmark and Bryston both re-clock and (through measurements) handle jitter very well. Benchmark claims its immune to jitter while Bryston says its almost immune to jitter. The BDA-1 measures better in this department, so I guess Benchmark may be stretching the truth a tad.

I haven't heard the Naim DAC, but I really want to. Its about $3500, so there's really no point for me other than hearing it.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 348
Registered: Dec-06
Budget for this move is pretty much non-existant! If I buy a DAC it'll only be because I'm trading down to get the Apollo which will free up the funds needed.

You know, I pretty much had decided to go the Apollo/DAC route, but the Saturn has me thinking I should maybe stay put. Even on my Tannoy F2 I can hear the improvement over my Marantz, which itself is very enjoyable.

Then again, it's not like the Apollo is a bad machine. It would fit very nicely into my system - YBA YA201 and either the B&W 685, Monitor Audio RX2, or Paradigm Studio 20 (going to buy one of those). With a DAC I could either use it or not, and if not I'd still have the Rega sound. Maybe I'll ask the two dealers I've dealt with if they have a DacMagic that I could try for a little while. And I won't lie, I feel a little guilty buying a $3,000 CDP (even though I paid "only" $2,000).

One thing that I'm glad to see is that the Saturn and the YBA seem to be a good match, I'm getting a very smooth, detailed sound with good dynamics. Obviously the Tannoy's being entry level are not ideal but the sound is still very nice nevertheless.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 350
Registered: Dec-06
The more I listen to the Saturn, the more I want to keep it. I can always buy a DacMagic a year or two down the road, since they are only $500.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 698
Registered: Jul-07
"I'm thinking of trading down the Saturn for an Apollo and external DAC."

And accomplish what ? Free up some money ? How much ? and when you don't end up with the sound you want, what have you accomplished ? Honestly Dan I think you're over thinking this in a big way. You have some cornerstones in place. Optimize the gear you have (STANDS!) and enjoy the music. When you can afford new speakers you'll take the next step. It'll be great.

If you start cycling through gear every month you may end up chasing your tail for a very long time, and spend more $$ in the long run. You had a plan, stick to it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10886
Registered: Feb-05
Good idea Dan. Keep that Saturn and look down the road for a DAC.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 351
Registered: Dec-06
Yeah, I have realized that I'm enjoying the Saturn and it seems like a good fit with my amp, so why mess with it? I might go to the trouble of adding a DAC and then not even like the sound, and what I'll be left with is an Apollo instead of a Saturn.

Speakers, stands, a sub, and I'm done for a good long while. The upgrade bug will likely hit again, but assuming it all works together well I will need to realize that getting substantially better sound would take a very large investment.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10887
Registered: Feb-05
"getting substantially better sound would take a very large investment."

A very large investment indeed.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 369
Registered: Dec-06
My Martin Logan Dynamo sub arrives tomorrow. Should be a nice improvement on the Mission.

Almost got all the cables I need as well. Atlas Equator Superior interconnect from the Saturn is already in use, Atlas Hyper 2 speaker cable and Equator MKII subwoofer interconnect should be introduced shortly.

Will probably listen to the Totem Rainmaker over the weekend,. other speakers to follow next month.

Almost done...really just down to speakers and stands now.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13801
Registered: Dec-04
Oh boy! Stands!

hehehe
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2592
Registered: Nov-05
I can't STAND it any longer!
I just don't underSTAND it!
Is this grandSTANDing?


Okay, okay . . .





. . . STAND by your Dan.


 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13805
Registered: Dec-04
grandSTANDing
outSTANDing

Make a STAND, Dan
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2593
Registered: Nov-05
I just said granSTANDing you cheat!

Don't you have any STANDards Nuck?

Or was this just a misunderSTANDing?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13806
Registered: Dec-04
I sold some STANDS recently, they may have been misunderSTOOD

Theres a change of pace/tence
 

Gold Member
Username: Soundgame

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1050
Registered: Jun-08
Dan, I know you've heard it but I'll say it once more,

Stands - to infinity and beyond...........

I'm sure you're just fretting over buy what to you is just a stand - like coat rack - but they really are a component in their own right.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3194
Registered: Feb-07
If you had Bose you could hang them from a coat rack.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11033
Registered: Feb-05
Let's see, I had the Rainamkers right where my Evo2's are they were bright enough in this room to drive me right out. I'm thinking the opposite direction might be better Dan...however you never know until you try.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 370
Registered: Dec-06
I see by reading up on the Rainmaker that it has exaggerated highs and lows and a recessed mid-range. Though of course what one sees on a chart won't always be what one hears. A tweeter I'm sure can put out louder highs relative to the rest of the frequency spectrum but that doesn't necessarily mean they will sound harsh. Other factors come into play. Still worth a listen though as I've not really listened closely to Totem yet.

You guys have finally convinced me to get stands! I'm even going to buy some sand to fill them up! Probably this weekend so I can let it air out for a few weeks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13819
Registered: Dec-04
Dan, stands will perform their duties (elevate speakers) and add the option of a little bit of placement. A few inches can sometimes make a startling difference.

Each Totem model is different in presentation, which is truly unique from one builder.
I found the Rainmakers bright as well, and I like treble more than most.
See whatcha think.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 723
Registered: Jul-07
If you use kitty litter instead of sand you don't have to worry about the moisture Dan. And it pretty much does the same thing.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13824
Registered: Dec-04
Sand is much more dense, and no nearly so susceptable to humidity changes.
Steel shot is an option, if you know a gun shop.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 372
Registered: Dec-06
I was considering kitty litter, but like Nuck said, it's whole purpose is to absorb moisture, right? Which could lead to rusting out of the inside of the stand. I think I'll just go with the safe option.

Any suggestions about how much sand to use? It was suggested to me that if I fill the stand up even just 1/4 to 1/2 full, that'll be all that's necessary to deaden the stand completely.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11046
Registered: Feb-05
I've used sand and kitty litter. The sand works better.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13827
Registered: Dec-04
Dan, starting with a partial fill is a good gauge as to what the loading does, but without filling for comparison, who knows?

Helpful, huh?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 373
Registered: Dec-06
I guess that's the way this hobby is, there are very few absolutes and many variables.

I'll be trying out a set of Isonode feet on the bottom of the speakers. They are cheap and seem to be well liked.

http://www.brightstaraudio.com/isonode.htm
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2199
Registered: May-06
That does not seem like a great idea. You might want to work with placement and sand filling until you get used to that. I suspect that the isonodes would over dampen your sound. Most folks use blu-tac under their speakers if anything. From what Iittle I read about the isonodes they seem targeted for cabinets and or glass shelving placement of components. YMMV
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 379
Registered: Dec-06
They are targeted mostly for components, that's true, but the company says that they can be used under speakers as well, since the source of most vibrations is the speaker. But I'll take your advice and not rush into using them. If I do use them I will probably stick them to the stand and have the speaker sit on top of them, rather than stick them to the speaker itself.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11068
Registered: Feb-05
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1262233003&/Totem-Sttaf

Here Dan...reasonably priced and the stands are included.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 380
Registered: Dec-06
Couple of issues with that ad.

First, the seller won't ship to Canada. Second, I'd need to hear them first. Third, I'm quite certain I don't want towers. Quite certain, but not entirely.

Totem voices their speakers differently is what I'm reading. If the Rainmakers are bright, which Totem's could be considered as having a more restrained treble? Looking at a FR graph on the Sttaf I notice it's very similar to the Dreamcatcher. Exaggerated highs and lows.

The speakers I've enjoyed most have all had relatively flat frequency response measurements. Not that you can tell everything from a FR graph, but perhaps these graphs do say something about tonal balance.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11070
Registered: Feb-05
I wasn't serious, Dan.

Get stands, that's all we're sayin'.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3215
Registered: Feb-07
The Sttafs definitely don't have exaggerated highs and lows. They're one of the smoothest, warmest speakers I've ever owned.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11071
Registered: Feb-05
They among my favorite Totems. Certainly don't take up any more space than standmounts and stands.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 382
Registered: Dec-06
http://www.hometheatermag.com/floorloudspeakers/1206totem/index2.html

You are probably right David, it would help if I looked more closely at the graph. The highs only really take off around 10kHz and up, whereas with the Rainmaker it's around 4kHz.

The graph on the Sttaf seems to indicate a quite warm sounding speaker, and I think Totem describes the sound as lush. I am interested, I'll make a point of listening to them.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3216
Registered: Feb-07
Lush is definitely a good description of the Sttafs.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 596
Registered: Oct-07
and some of those who post here?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11072
Registered: Feb-05
LOL!!!
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