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Curious to hear something different from usual

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corElement

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So I'm reaching about 4 years with my setup

Jamo Concert 8
Cambridge Audio Azur 840a v2
Bogdan Audio + Eichman Bullet Interconnects
Asus Xonar stx

I love the sound but I'm a bit bored and am wanting to hear some different on the chain in my usual environment - the last time I got to experience something different was when I hosted the 2012 North India HFV meet.....so was wondering...

Is there anyone in Delhi NCR / Gurgaon who'd be interested in bringing over a component of theirs and hearing it in my setup? That way both of us can enjoy something new =)

Could be any component, speaker, amp, dac, interconnects. Pic of setup attached incase you were wondering.

:)
 

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panditji

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You should start with hearing different DACs and see if they make any significant difference in your setup or not...You have a great pair of speakers and a very solid amp.
 

ranjeetrain

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I have a number of Amps, DACs, Analogue ICs, Digital ICs, Speaker cables, etc. Lending of anything other than cables is not really feasible, but if there is something specific you wanna try, you are welcome at my place.

BTW, what do you feel can improve in your system? Anything specific?

I also feel (personal opinion) you have crammed up your stuff. Give the speakers some room to breath. That should give you quite some dividend.
 

dheerajin

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i think you should try nuforce DAC as in sell mentioned by ranjeet...you have got nothing to lose ,just have a demo with your system and see the change..
 

corElement

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I feel my dac/soundcard is the weakest link in the chain.
I've heard a couple of other amps on my speakers and have a ball park idea of their limits.
It always somewhat fell short in the lower frequencies but i found moving them closer to the walls helped with that so i kept them that.

Ranjeet where in delhi are you located?
 

Nikhil

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On the software side - I would recommend taking BugHead player for a spin.
You may need to bump up your Processor and RAM to get the best out of it though.
 

Vivek Rao

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I've heard a couple of other amps on my speakers and have a ball park idea of their limits.

Any chance you heard any Tube amps with your Jamos. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried out the tubes with my Jamo concert 803s in combination with a good DAC.
 

corElement

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Yes I have and can see why people like them, I'm always down to hearing more tube amps on my setup. However I don't think I will ever really settle down for a tube amp. I find their inefficient nature too impractical for my circumstances.

Let me know if you're curious to hear my experience with tubes.
 

corElement

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Go ahead Corelement. For sure we want to hear your feedback.

It kind of all started with the crossovers, the concert 8/d830's have unusually low order crossovers. From what I've been told this was most likely because Lynn Olson the guy who designed the concert 8's possibly used a pure class A 50w electrocompaniet ECI 2 solid state amp during the design process of the concert 8's (50watts of pure class A is not a common thing, even more so from a relatively affordable amp like the ECI 2) The electrocompaniet handled sound a lot like a tube amp - rolled off highs, as a result the crossovers were designed with very low electrical phase angles....the idea was that the crossovers would be practically non existent and the custom seas excel driver would handle everything upto 4-7khz... close to tweeter frequencies - not a common crossover arrangement for bookshelf speakers with regular woofers and tweeters, but undoubtedly what made it win speaker of the year I imagine.

I wanted to see how my 840a v2 compared against the idea behind the design of the crossover. Since I couldn't get my hands on an electrocompaniet eci-2, the closest thing I could do was to try out tubes - so I tried out a 2a3 SET rated at 3 watts and a GM70 at 20 watts. The 2a3's have a unique sound compared to the more balanced / better rounded / unremarkable gm70's. They just sound magical, probably unquestionably the best no nonsense natural sound one can get, but - perhaps, too natural. It simply lacked gripping control over lows necessary for the fast electronic music I listen to. This was not the case with the gm70's though, they were better balanced.

After that when I heard the 840a v2 again I definitely found the sound a bit boring compared to the 2a3's - but it was more like the gm70's. So I guess one of many things I'm curious to experience again is hearing something similar to the magic of a 2a3 but with a different kind of lower frequency handling than the 2a3 - again, one of many things. I'm quite happy with my setup, just a bit bored :p
 
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Naturelover

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OT post.
What's this image that's missing in your signature? You need to update your signature.
 

viren bakhshi

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Hello corElement,

Looks like you're back after your sojourn abroad!

As for your music listening, you should completely rethink your setup. A mistake a lot of us make is in looking at components in isolation. Individual components do not make music, a whole system does. If you want to listen to music more realistically, you have to think systems.

When you had listened to those tube amps earlier, I had questioned the suitability of your speakers with them. Listen to the same amps with a system built around them. Its a completely different experience. Easier to demonstrate than explain. Come over for a visit.

Regards,
Viren
 

corElement

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Hello corElement,

Looks like you're back after your sojourn abroad!

As for your music listening, you should completely rethink your setup. A mistake a lot of us make is in looking at components in isolation. Individual components do not make music, a whole system does. If you want to listen to music more realistically, you have to think systems.

When you had listened to those tube amps earlier, I had questioned the suitability of your speakers with them. Listen to the same amps with a system built around them. Its a completely different experience. Easier to demonstrate than explain. Come over for a visit.

Regards,
Viren

Hehe I've been back for a while but just busy with work, it seems im lately bored with that too since I'm on here! :eek:hyeah:

Indeed we must think of them as a system and I'd be lying if i said i wasnt biased towards my speakers as a reference point. I'd love to come over for a listen sometime soon, just becomes so far and I'm already juggling practically two jobs :[

Eitherway I dont want people to misunderstand me, I'm very happy with my setup. Just feeling a bit curious to play around with components in the chain to see the results :eek:hyeah:
 

prem

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Hi corelement

You could try a class a solid state amp. Maybe a Sugden or a Luxman. A hybrid tube amp could also work well.

If you are ok to a pre power, a Lyrita DHT pre with a First Watt F5 or 6 power amp will be worth a look
 

Vivek Rao

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A mistake a lot of us make is in looking at components in isolation. Individual components do not make music, a whole system does. If you want to listen to music more realistically, you have to think systems.

Dear Viren, For those of us who stay far away and cannot visit you perhaps you can throw some more light on this "system approach" with tube amps to extract the full capability of the system.

To give you a case I put forward my predicament here : I am running my Jamo 803s with a Shanling MC30 - a 3 watt SET tube amp. It sounds "nice" and I enjoy the music - the vocals and the rolled off highs and a good airiness of highs when a good DAC is used. But perhaps as expected, with a 3 watt of power on a 87 dB sensitive speakers, there are limits especially on dynamic pieces. Here is where I tried out the SET on other speakers meant for tubes like the Contrast Audio AS3. The strings and sax sound more refined and better but I loose out on the low frequencies.

What from your experience is a "system solution" for low power tube amps which is feasible in the typical Indian households (say rooms 12 x 14 ft) and can stay within reach of the pocket :).
 

Hari Iyer

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@CorElement - welcome back.

I completed my zero phase shift design with my TL FS last week and have implemented them yesterday evening. Have yet to listen them and measure. Its a first order crossover but had a phase shift of 18 deg which was evident by bright sounding signature & missing details. Now with the 1 hour listen session i had yesterday, I myself am now surprised that how good a phase coherent speakers sound. Maybe you should also consider to see if its possible to explore that avenue.
 

viren bakhshi

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Hello Vivek,

First, the technical part. For a speaker with a sensitivity of 87 dB, to produce sound energy of 90 dB at a 1 metre distance requires an amplifier power of 2 watts. That's just for average listening. To reproduce peaks in music at the same average level, add another 10 dB. The power required jumps to about 20 watts. No wonder your low powered tube amplifier starts gasping for breath!

Now, change speakers to those of a sensitivity of 96 dB. The power required to sustain the same level of sound drops to about 0.25 watts, with 3 watts for peaks. Your low powered tube amp suddenly develops into a dynamic animal!

Low frequencies, specially, require great reserves in power from the amplifier. This is not reflected in typical specifications. And, small drivers, as in bookshelves, in spite of their ambitious claims, just can't move enough air to reproduce those low frequencies. They jump out of their sockets trying to, and sound terribly strained.

Therefore, to get the high sensitivities throughout the frequency range, you have to use pro-sound drivers. And big ones, of the order of 12" to 15" bass drivers. That makes for big speakers.

Now, for the subjective part. Somehow, tube amps just love high sensitivity speakers, especially horn speakers. It's not only the power game at play here. Tube amps revel at low level detail in music, that's what brings music alive, and horn speakers oblige by reproducing that detail. It's a synergy that happens - you have to hear it to believe it.

Yes, you can build high sensitivity speakers to fit in smaller rooms. Compromises are always there. We do it all the time.

Regards,
Viren
 
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