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Marantz offers at HiFiMART.com

essrand

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Hi Bhaskar,
The M1se has a very detailed sound without sounding cold or clinical. It can resolve the minutest details in the music, which tend to get muddled over by other DAC's. Additionally it is very neutral and most importantly very musical. Personally I didn't find any weakness in the sound, for me it is the best DAC I have heard at the $10,000 price point. Other DAC's I heard before getting this was the Chord DAVE (having owned the HUGO TT this was a logical step up), the Schiit Yggdrasil, the DCS Debussy, Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference & the playback designs Merlot. I think the DAVE is also an excellent DAC, and I would have got that if I didn't get this.
I never owned a DAC at this price point before this but some of the DAC's I had prior to this (at various price points) are the Ayon Skylla II, Chord Hugo TT and the Cary Audio 200ts. Hope this helps.
Cheers,
Sid
Partly based on your recommendation and zillion of other praises across the internet for Bricasti, I bought the Bricasti M12 to serve as a DAC and preamp.

It should arrive soon, I am super-excited.

Cheers,
Bhaskar
 

Rajeshh

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@sidvee Your wonderful review of the Wilson Sabrina made me go and audition it. I must say I was blown away by the sound coming from a relatively small speaker. The bass extension & the dynamics was something else. Startling at times with "Hugh Masekela- Stimela"
The speakers were driven by a Pass INT60 & a CD transport.
I auditioned the Sopra N2 right after, I have heard them quite a few times before, this time I wanted to have a back to back comparison. The Sopra's mid range is outstanding- hypnotic and I also feel that it has very smooth highs & punchy mid bass.
Outstanding speakers both.
 

sidvee

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@sidvee Your wonderful review of the Wilson Sabrina made me go and audition it. I must say I was blown away by the sound coming from a relatively small speaker. The bass extension & the dynamics was something else. Startling at times with "Hugh Masekela- Stimela"
Thanks Rajesh. Yes I agree, for me it is the best speaker I have had in my listening room - it does require a lot of time/energy for proper positioning, but once that is done it is pure magic. I am off the upgrade wagon for now. And even if I consider future upgrades, I don't think I will ever move away from Wilson Audio.
Cheers,
Sid
 

square_wave

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@sidvee Your wonderful review of the Wilson Sabrina made me go and audition it. I must say I was blown away by the sound coming from a relatively small speaker. The bass extension & the dynamics was something else. Startling at times with "Hugh Masekela- Stimela"
The speakers were driven by a Pass INT60 & a CD transport.
I auditioned the Sopra N2 right after, I have heard them quite a few times before, this time I wanted to have a back to back comparison. The Sopra's mid range is outstanding- hypnotic and I also feel that it has very smooth highs & punchy mid bass.
Outstanding speakers both.
Will the in60 drive them comfortably ? Isn't that a 60 watter ?
 

square_wave

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@square_wave the INT60 was able to drive them authoritatively, with great extension & dynamics.
I only saw the needle even move, for the Stimela song.
Wow. That song has very low recording levels to accommodate explosive dynamics swings. Most amps struggle. This is good information. Thanks. Another such recording is Tin pan alley by Stevie Ray Vaughan
 

sidvee

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On a recent trip to US I picked up a Rhumba 1.3 preamplifier from Backert labs. It is sounding excellent with my Bricasti DAC and Symphonic line amplifier. I had extensive communication with Andy Tebbe of Backert and his deep knowledge and suggestions helped me to make my decision. For a relatively inexpensive product, it is certainly an excellent preamp. and once I rolled in some NOS RCA cleartop 12au7's it is sounding very good indeed.
Cheers,
Sidbackert.jpg
 

sidvee

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Superlatives like "Best I have heard" etc. are quite common while describing ones Audio components, but I genuinely feel that the Backert Labs Rhumba 1.3 is the best sounding pre-amplifier that I have heard in my system. Prior pre's included Lamm ll2.1 deluxe, Audio Research LS26, Conrad johnson LS17 mkii, Music First Audio classic v2 and Parasound JC2 (and many DAC/preamp combos). All this at a $4000 price range. Every time I start a listening session I am just glued there for a couple of hours. While I am used to long listening sessions this is at an entirely different level. It could be down to specs. such as the low 75 ohm output impedance that mates well with my SL Kraft amp. or various other firsts they claim in their circuitry. Their $10k Rythm has been favorably compared to pre's costing upwards of $25k. Fantastic company as well, their customer service is amongst the best I have experienced.
Cheers,
Sid
 
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sidvee

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I recently got a Cambridge Audio topaz Am10 for a small/basic third system in my living room. For an inexpensive amp., it is sounding surprisingly good,topaz.jpg and I am very happy with it.
Cheers,
Sid
 

essrand

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Superlatives like "Best I have heard" etc. are quite common while describing ones Audio components, but I genuinely feel that the Backert Labs Rhumba 1.3 is the best sounding pre-amplifier that I have heard in my system. Prior pre's included Lamm ll2.1 deluxe, Audio Research LS26, Conrad johnson LS17 mkii, Music First Audio classic v2 and Parasound JC2 (and many DAC/preamp combos). All this at a $4000 price range. Every time I start a listening session I am just glued there for a couple of hours. While I am used to long listening sessions this is at an entirely different level. It could be down to specs. such as the low 75 ohm output impedance that mates well with my SL Kraft amp. or various other firsts they claim in their circuitry. Their $10k Rythm has been favorably compared to pre's costing upwards of $25k. Fantastic company as well, their customer service is amongst the best I have experienced.
Cheers,
Sid
I just heard the Backert Labs Rhumba last week when I was auditioning tube amps in NYC.
The dealer was using this preamp to demo a $21,000 Luxman amp!! And this preamp was upto the task.
So it definitely performs way above its price tag which is rare for a preamp. So hard to find good preamps under the $5000 range and nice to see companies like Backert Labs bring sanity to the stratospheric prices that audiophile components are reaching every day.

Congrats on the Rhumba, I am sure you will enjoy it for the years to come.
 

sidvee

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Recently I was looking to buy an amplifier for my second system to drive the ATC Scm19 v2's. These ATC's are not very difficult to drive with load that does not dip below 4 ohms. However I also wanted to use this amplifier as a backup amplifier to drive my Wilson Sabrina's which dip into 2.5 ohms. Let me tell you this was not an easy task, while there are numerous amplifiers available with ample steady power rating into 4 ohms, it is surprising how many manufacturers omit any specification into 2 ohms entirely. Subjective professional reviews also hardly help as the reviewers 1) don't bother to mention any capability to drive 2 ohm or lower loads 2) or even bother check with the manufacturer of the equipment under review of performance into tough loads.
In any case, I did a bit of research and narrowed down the list of potential candidates to (including integrated amps):
1. Bryston 4b3
2. Karan KAS 180mk2
3. Luxman 507uxII
4. Kinki studio EX-m1+
5. Kinki studio Ex-b7
Bryston had ridiculous pricing in India, for Karan, the manufacturer advised me that this model will not be capable of driving 2 ohm loads and he recommended the KAS 400 which is a huge beast of an amplifier and since I already have one beast in the form the Symphonic Line Kraft 250, I was reluctant to invest in another, the kinki's were omitted because I had never heard them - yes one of my critical requirement is that I should have heard the amp. in question before and have an idea of its sound characteristics. That left the Luxman integrated, however in the past I always felt that adding a tube pre to most luxman solid state amps, would create a superb combination and since I have 2 tube pres already available I decided to pursue this route. Naturally the first consideration was the Luxman M-900u which is widely hailed as being one of the best amplifiers money can buy. However again since I already own the Symphonic Line Kraft 250, my concern was that the 900 would also be in the similar category (of-course can't tell with certainty till I have both side by side in my system but had a gut feel) plus it is also quite expensive and again quite big and heavy. So I finally decided on its smaller brother the M-700u. Letting it burn in my main system for the past couple of days and it is sounding exceptional with only 5-7 hours of burn in. It is able to drive the Sabrina's comfortably with superb dynamics and control proving that it is easily capable of driving tough loads, and it is not just about brute power, it is highly nuanced with pleasingly reverberating plucked strings and cymbals shimmering ever so sweetly. And of-course those Meters! Can't wait to mate it to the ATC's.
Also another superb buying experience from Anil at hifi mart, for quick and safe shipping. Special mention about the packaging, it was literally bomb proof in a wooden crate and triple boxed.
Cheers,
Sid
luxman.jpgsystem_sep_2019_1.jpgsystem_sep_2019_2.jpg
 

square_wave

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Fantastic ! Would love to hear some observations as compared to the symphonic line after the amp has burned in. I am sure they will play at the same level from a sound quality context but might sound a little different when it comes to nuances.
 

sidvee

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Fantastic ! Would love to hear some observations as compared to the symphonic line after the amp has burned in. I am sure they will play at the same level from a sound quality context but might sound a little different when it comes to nuances.
Thanks Vinny. Right out of the box, the lux is sounding superb, however at this early stage (without much burn in) the SL Kraft 250 is still superior especially in sheer bass extension, control and macro dynamics. However my gut feel is the amp. that will challenge the Kraft would be the 900u. Anyways as stated earlier this amp. is for the ATC's and not a replacement for the Kraft, so will report here once I mate it to the ATC's and also after I have 200 hours or so on it.
Cheers,
Sid
 

newlash09

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Wow...that luxman looks absolutely beautiful. I must admit I have a VU meter fetish. Okay off now to grab a towel to wipe my drool :D
 

sidvee

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Fantastic ! Would love to hear some observations as compared to the symphonic line after the amp has burned in. I am sure they will play at the same level from a sound quality context but might sound a little different when it comes to nuances.
About 20-25 hours on the amp.,(on Sunday I had a 4 hour continuous session) sounding superb, but still in absolute bass control of the Sabrina's, the Symphonic Line Kraft 250 is superior. In fact I was checking with some US dealers of Luxman and they were quite emphatic that the Kraft 250 will be superior even to the Luxman M-900u in this aspect. However in all other areas the 700 is performing equal to the Kraft. I was considering moving on from the Kraft now that it has been with me for about 5-6 years, but I have decided that as long as I have the Wilson Sabrina's, then the best amp. to control them will be the Kraft. Of-course there will be better amps. but they are likely to cost a whole lot more. Will move the Luxman to the Atc's soon.
Cheers,
Sid
 
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sidvee

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So after about a month or so of breaking in the M-700u in my main system, I finally moved it to my 2nd system. With the Ayon Skylla II as a DAC/pre it is driving the ATC SCM 19v2's superbly. Loving the sound. My previous amplifier for the setup was the Nuprime ST10 which was excellent, but I feel that the Luxman is significantly better in resolution/soundstaging/microdynamics etc.
Cheers,
Sid2ndsysluxman.jpg
 

square_wave

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I had the opportunity to listen to this upgraded system a fortnight ago. The last time I visited, I listened to the Acendos driven by the Lyric ti 100 class A, set amplifier. That Lyric amp is with me now, btw

This was my first Wilson audio experience. I was expecting a certain sound and I think what I heard was pretty much what I expected. Resolution, transparency and resolving capability are some of the words that comes to mind when I think of the system now. The system pretty much reproduces what is in the recording. It does not add anything. If your recording is “ very musical “, the level of magic in the system has to be heard to be believed. From my conversations with sidvee, his goal is a system that is transparent. He does not like speakers or amps that add its own signature to all the music that you play through it. I think this system has progressed a lot in that direction. The Wilsons are a very mature design. A lot of effort has gone into the system setup as well. Overall a fantastic music system that one can spend endless hours exploring music because everything else is out of the way. Thanks a lot Sidvee for being a wonderful host as usual.
 

sidvee

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Recently I needed a cheap and cheerful DAC for a casual listening system in my living room consisting of a PC with Jriver, Cambridge audio int amp and Paradigm studio 20 v3 speakers. Since I hardly do any serious listening here I wanted something decent sounding, so when another FM advertised a topping d10 I did a bit of research and was surprised by the measurement of this inexpensive unit. So I bought it and was quite pleased with its performance. It sounded very nice, was built superbly and imo easily matched my meridian explorer/audioquest dragonfly units that I owned in the past. I was intrigued enough with this unit that I wanted to see what other options they offered. I wanted to get a D70 as I always liked AKM chip signature over ESS (felt they are a bit warmer), but I settled on a d50s again after reading glowing reports on its measurements https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...nd-measurements-of-new-topping-d50s-dac.7914/.
When I opened the box I was taken aback at the small size. This thing is smaller than the D10. I wasn't totally convinced that it could better the D10, but hooked it up directly to my Luxman m-700u amp. driving ATC SCM19v2 speakers. Now one in their right mind will do this considering that the amp. and the speakers cost many, many multiples of this little DAC. Anyways I heard this for about 2 hours last evening and what I must say that it is a very decent sounding unit not only as a DAC but also as a preamp. It had good soundstage, good frequency extension at both ends, great detail retrieval, however it also sounds a bit thin with a hint of brightness. Is it better than the D10, perhaps - it is hard to tell, but with the onboard volume control it definitely has more utility. Regardless if you are on the hunt for decent DAC at a low cost (I paid $270 delivered to my cousin in California) then do consider this. I will be considering the new D90 down the road. Overall topping certainly is great VFM.
Also consider pairing this with either tubes or warm sounding electronics, imo that will balance the slightly cooler presentation.
Cheers,
Sid



toppingd50s.jpg
 

SachinChavan

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My humble updated setup - since the weather in Hyd. has cooled down I moved from my solidstate setup (Parasound JC2 and Odyssey Stratos extreme) back to tubes with the addition of an Ayon CD1s player and Audio Research LS26 tube preamp feeding Quicksilver mid mono monoblocks for an all tube setup. Sounds luscious with my B&W805's. Moved the 718's to my bedroom system where they are making great music as well. The parasound and odyssey setup will be back next summer.
BTW our very own Magma designed the center channel speaker stand and my paradigm studio cc570 v3 has never sounded better.
Cheers
Sid
Having a season specific (even genre specific) audio systems would be an audiophile’s wild dream and you have made it come true. Congrats Sid!

Can you also post pics of the winter system for our visual delight?

P.S. Oh, I realised that it is a very old post. Your system would have changed significantly since then. Do you still have season-specific systems?
 
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sidvee

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Having a season specific (even genre specific) audio systems would be an audiophile’s wild dream and you have made it come true. Congrats Sid!

Can you also post pics of the winter system for our visual delight?
That's an old post Sachin, almost 10 years ago. Currently these are my setups:
Cheers,
Sid
 
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