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Intro & Journey so far

Marantz offers at HiFiMART.com


New Member
May 13, 2014
Greetings Forum members,

My name is Prasanth Nath. I work at Flipkart-Bangalore, for a living.
  1. A newbie into "good sound".
  2. Of late, have become a Scanspeak addict. Planning to build a bookshelf soon.

After loitering around this forum a bit, I have finally made up my mind to grab the microphone and say Hello.

I guess your first question would be - What gear? and not Who are you?" :)

Onkyo DV SP 501 | ODAC -> No amplifier > Mark Audio Alpair 10.3 gold in Frugal XL

That is right - I dont have an amp, which leads us to the story of my acquaintance with HifiVision and some of its members.

In the beginning, there was an Onkyo DV SP 501 and an NAD 320 BEE and Polk RTi6 Bookshelves. I got sick of both the amp and the speaker and donated that to my sister.

The quest for an amp and speaker started. Chanced upon a DIY speaker construction site and I noticed a Malayalam news paper in a few of of their DIY speaker pics. Was pleasantly surprised that an anonymous fellow Mallu was behind that well laid out, aesthetically appealing website - diyaudiocart.com.

I soon had the pleasure of their acquaintance - Bijin, Bipin duo from N.Paravur.

A visit to Bipin/Bijin s home soon followed which eventually resulted in me procuring a full range driver - Mark Audio Alpair Gold 10.3. Got the Enclosure design from Planet 10 Hifi, after paying the designer his rightly earned royalty. The enclosure construction was complicated, but I had a trustworthy and smart carpenter. His only problem was that when he meant 1 week, he actually meant 1 year.

And the look out for the amp started.

I had never heard a tube set up before and was voicing this thought when Bipin mentioned about one Mr Byju Chacko from Angamaly. We soon landed up at his cute shop and boy, what a sound! (This was his Klipsh mated with his Analogue Audio 25 watt tube integrated). Loved it. Decided to come back another time to listen to an electro static he had at his home. Byjus home, off Angamaly, is worth a visit in itself. It has a pleasant aura about it - perhaps the house got its characters from its owner and other inhabitants.

We didnt like the Cadence electrostatic, but he cautioned us that we are hearing it in a very sub-optimal way - his 50W amp was not at hand.

Bipin had also mentioned about this knowledgeable person from Bangalore who goes around by the name of George and that I should go and meet him. A fine Saturday morning found me and the better half at Uncle Georges house - as I now call him. His home is another finely designed residence. His Altec based kit was a new revelation to us. We then went down to his basement to listen to his 5.1 system. Made from a driver that I had never heard before - a Canadian company called Scanspeak :)

Uncle G decided to play Thriller" for us. I am not exaggerating when I say that our jaws dropped, and our eye balls popped out. We heard the rustle of MJ's clothes! We sat spell bound for some time there. The enormity of the fact that I have been listening to Music for 30 years without hearing it", hit me hard.

I called up Bipin and burned the wire with praises of Scan speak, when he mentioned that there is one Mr Venu, who is also another knowledgeable person and he has heard people speak very highly of Mr Venus Scanspeak based system.

Excited, I called up V and soon found myself enjoying his hospitality, warmth, tea and banana chips at his house.
What a beautiful sound it was! I heard old recordings of P. Jayachandran - his silken, honey smooth vocals just sank into our souls. I found myself lost in the songs, and not the system.

What was particularly striking was a devotional song. The way it sounded, even an atheist would make a beeline for the nearest place-of-worship. (As an aside, I came home and listened to the same song again on youtube with my Headphones and was left wondering what exactly did I find so great about that song!)

Got the better half over too for another audition, as she is into arts big time. (She is a professional classical dancer)
Venu chettan decided to play an Vinyl. There was this smallish, quaint looking tube pre which he booted up and he popped a disc on. Yes, our eyes popped again yet another time. I couldnt believe what I was hearing. I think I was petrified, and shocked. So, music could sound like this?

"What are those wooden coloured amps?" - I asked V.
"They are made by a chap from Bangalore, whose passion and hobby has been audio systems. His name is Siva". Soon, the due pilgrimage to Sivas home was completed.

I had long ago come to the conclusion that the only thing I will really really trust is my ears.

I felt like doing a few experiments.

I borrowed an Acoustic Portrait DAC, a Swara Amp, and rushed back to connect to my system.
We made a test CD with an assorted mix of songs of various genres.
Wife and I then took turns to do blind tests. We both agreed that in our set up, we couldnt hear any difference between the AP Dac vs ODAC vs Onkyo CD player. We couldnt hear any difference between a high quality speaker wire vs my hand-assembled 12 gauge electrical wire either.

We thought that the sound was satisfactory for sure, but sadly, our benchmark of what was good had already been irreversibly corrupted by the likes of Venu, George, Byju et al.

So there we are, now convinced that we have to upgrade the speaker pair to Scanspeak Bookshelves. I must take care not to go listen to any other set up lest there be something more musical than Scanspeak :)

Let the journey begin!
  • Like
Reactions: arj


Staff member
May 25, 2008
Intro & Journey so far

I must say you have started in a very nice way..my first few steps in HiFi were all over and lost a lot of money. You have spoken to the right folks . Sivas accoustic portrait is a great set.. Another person who makes great stuff is Viren of lyrita audio.

Just one point..while all good speakers need good drivers, just having a good driver does not make a good speaker, Siva uses scan speak but it is his know,edge and experience which made it a good speaker