Audio Meeting At My Home

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  • Scarp
    Senior Member
    • Mar 2003
    • 632

    Audio Meeting At My Home

    Hi Guys,

    On a dutch Home Theatre forum we decided to do a little meeting and amplifier shootout. We did that last year at someone else's house and this time they came to my house. Yes, a fortune of amps at my house

    So, whats the idea... a few people get together and take their amps with them. We do listening tests, switch between amps, do talking, listening etc...

    All for the purpose of getting to hear other equipment and what other people like and dislike. Also learn from eachother about ways of listening.

    So, yesterday they came to my house.
    My own setup is:
    B&W N804
    Parasound A51 amp
    Parasound C2 pre/pro (temporarily unavailable due to a firmware upgrade gone wrong) temporarily replaced by a Meridian 568.2
    Nordost Blue Heaven speaker cables
    Onkyo (= Integra) DV-SP800 player
    Kimber Hero XLR interlinks

    The guest amps where:
    Krell KSA300, 2x300 watts and weighing 90 kilos !!!!!
    Chord SPM1200E, 2x350 watts and just 15 kilo or so
    Mark Levinson no331

    Here are some pics ...

    The Chord amp ... small but terribly good.



    Here is the krell arriving:


    Carry it inside


    On floor in the box


    Half out of the box


    Look at the blue transformer inside


    Here is the Mark Levinson... nice nice


    Open it up offcourse




    First up from the guest amps: Mark Levinson


    Then the krell


    Last, but not least, the Chord



    Inside the krell (for comparison a CD)


    Top to bottom: Krell, Mark Levinson and Chord (together worth> $20k )





    Finally the Chord when its dark ... looks like a casemod, but its factory delivered this way:



    Test results

    We found some problems with the power polarity on my own set and this was quickly fixed by turning the power cables. After that my set sounded very good and was good to listen too.

    The Mark Levinson wasn't a good match to B&W. Its bit too dry and doesn't sound like its very happy.

    The Krell is incredible power.

    The Chord is terrific. Very fast and very tight. Overall an amp that seems to fit B&W perfectly (so does Parasound btw).

    I can recommend such meetings to all of you ... try getting a few people together and bring over your equipment. Especially with experienced listeners you will learn a lot
  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16507

    #2
    Wow now that's impressive 8O So are you keeping the Meridian?




    Comment

    • Bam!
      Super Senior Member
      • Jan 2004
      • 2458

      #3
      Hey Scarp!

      I am with Andrew very very impressive...I`ve done that kinda thing last year with one of my buddies and I must say it was great..I`d do it all over again anyday!




      Bam!
      Got a nice rack to show me ?

      Comment

      • David Meek
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 8938

        #4
        To bring those amps out of their homes to an audio meeting is truly amazing. 8O

        Scarp, could you go into more detail on the differences between the amps themselves and not so much how they related to the B&W's?




        David - HTGuide flunky
        Our "Theater"
        Our DVDs on DVD Tracker

        .

        David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin

        Comment

        • Chris D
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Dec 2000
          • 16877

          #5
          :drool: :drool: :drool:

          Nothing else to say... VERY impressive event.




          CHRIS
          Luke: "Hey, I'm not such a bad pilot myself, you know"
          CHRIS

          Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
          - Pleasantville

          Comment

          • Scarp
            Senior Member
            • Mar 2003
            • 632

            #6
            Originally posted by Andrew Pratt
            Wow now that's impressive 8O So are you keeping the Meridian?
            Nah... it was brought along by one of the people that came over. But my C2 is temporarily not usable, since I am waiting for a new flashchip (don't discuss this here, I'll open a topic about it on club parasound later when its fixed).

            For the amps ... here is a bit of my idea about them:
            Parasound A51: offcourse, my own amp, so am bit biased. Its the cheapest of all the amps and the only multichannel amp. We tested my amp on JBL TIK10's a while ago and it didn't sound well there. Too much compressed and didn't come lose from the amps. On my own set this is a lot better (also it had more time to break in btw).

            The Mark Levinson had a dark layer on the sound. Somewhat compressed.

            The Krell has a better rhythm, good speed and detail. But it seemed to be limited in the lower regions by the speakers. Also it has great authority which the Chord had a bit less.

            The chord is more detail, more speed and fluid. Its terrific for voice reproduction, but less on metal music.

            (I used various comments of the people that where present here).

            Its clear that what your music or listening preference is, is reflected in your amplifier you chose. If you like bass and authority then Krell will be your thing. If you like neutral sound, great in voices and overall a seemingly friend for all speakers, then Chord will be your choice. Mark Levinson seems to be an acquired taste, thats a bit between the Chord and the Krell.

            The Parasound, is a great amplifier, that has good rhythm and musical abilities. It doesn't sound wrong in any way, but still it needs to be matched with something that it likes.

            Comment

            • David Meek
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2000
              • 8938

              #7
              Thanks Scarp. Sorry to hear your C2 is ill. I hope everything works out to your satisfaction.




              David - HTGuide flunky
              Our "Theater"
              Our DVDs on DVD Tracker

              .

              David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin

              Comment

              • Lex
                Moderator Emeritus
                • Apr 2001
                • 27461

                #8
                Sounds like a fun day Scarp. Man, you guys ever heard of a hand truck? LOL.

                Interesting. I know one thing, if my "dark" levinson was in a shootout, it would be at my house. Because there's no way I am packing that beast up and taking it anywhere I don't have to, lol.

                Ok, I was jesting about poking at your opinion of the Levinson. It's a pretty well known fact the 336 I own is a class above any 330 series below it. That doesn't excuse the lower powered albeit somewhat long in the tooth Levinson from loosing this shootout. I do think there are reasons outside the amp quality itself. Largely due to synergy as you eluded to. Of course, in the end, it is synergy that matters most, and I have heard it said some B & Ws can be rather up front. In fact not making it a great match with somewhat analytical, if not slightly sterile sound of some Mark Levinson amps. On the other hand, when paired with somewhat warmer speakers. The detail and clarity of hearing everything in the music, is leveled out some by the speaker's warmth creating a seductive sound all it's own. I know this because I have experienced it first hand with my Extremas.

                Lex
                Doug
                "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

                Comment

                • Scarp
                  Senior Member
                  • Mar 2003
                  • 632

                  #9
                  This was a ML 331 btw

                  Comment

                  • Lex
                    Moderator Emeritus
                    • Apr 2001
                    • 27461

                    #10
                    Yeah, I got that. I was just saying there are several 330 series amps under the 336. The 336 was just under the 33H in the lineup.

                    Lex
                    Doug
                    "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

                    Comment

                    • Scarp
                      Senior Member
                      • Mar 2003
                      • 632

                      #11
                      First of all, none of the amps sounded bad.

                      But we all got the general feeling that the ML wasn't in its place in this setup. It again shows how critical the other components are to making something sound its best. Synergy indeed.

                      Also it was run by a Meridian 568.2 which is somewhat less forward also. It was generally heard that this influenced the result, although the tell-tale signs of the specific amps can still be heard.

                      Btw, we are planning a 3rd meeting and this time we'll have Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy's as speakers!

                      Comment

                      • Lex
                        Moderator Emeritus
                        • Apr 2001
                        • 27461

                        #12
                        No offense was taken, truly. I am well aware that different amps can perform better in different setups.

                        Wilsons should be a fun demo. Same amps?

                        Lex
                        Doug
                        "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

                        Comment

                        • Scarp
                          Senior Member
                          • Mar 2003
                          • 632

                          #13
                          Most likely we will do some pre-amp tests there and not poweramps, since we heard those twice.

                          The pre-amps available for this shootout:
                          Parasound C2, Theta Casablanca II, Rotel RSP1066, TagMclaren AV32, Mark Levinson 390S and Lexicon MC12
                          (sounds like an impressive lineup )

                          But this will be just stereo and not surround. The poweramp will be the Krell KSA300.

                          We do want to do a full 7.1 setup (all Martin Logan and SVS Subwoofer setup) with these pre-amps for a pre/pro shootout But this is somewhat in the future planning.

                          Comment

                          • aud19
                            Twin Moderator Emeritus
                            • Aug 2003
                            • 16706

                            #14
                            As much as I'd love to own the MC12 (or, really any of those pre/pro's :P ) I can't wait to hear how my "lowly" 1066 does in comparison. I'll be satying tuned

                            Jason




                            Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide
                            Jason

                            Comment

                            • David Meek
                              Moderator Emeritus
                              • Aug 2000
                              • 8938

                              #15
                              Scarp, I must say that you certainly run with a well-equipped A/V group! :drool:




                              David - HTGuide flunky
                              Our "Theater"
                              Our DVDs on DVD Tracker

                              .

                              David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin

                              Comment

                              • Chris D
                                Moderator Emeritus
                                • Dec 2000
                                • 16877

                                #16
                                7 Martin Logans and SVS subwoofers?

                                :drool:

                                Wow, that would be a dream.




                                CHRIS
                                Luke: "Hey, I'm not such a bad pilot myself, you know"
                                CHRIS

                                Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
                                - Pleasantville

                                Comment

                                • Scarp
                                  Senior Member
                                  • Mar 2003
                                  • 632

                                  #17
                                  Chris,

                                  His full system is:
                                  Lexicon MC12 pre/pro, Chord SP1200E stereo amp, Chord SPM 1900 multichannel amp, MartinLogan Aeon fronts, MartinLogan Scenario side surrounds and back surrounds, Martinlogan Theater i center, SVS CS-Ultra passive subwoofer power by a Bryston 6B and two REL Q100E as side subwoofers for music.

                                  I'll ask if I can post a link to his website for showing some pics.

                                  Comment

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