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Integrated Amps: An Addicts Guide.

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#271 Cafad

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 03:13 PM

Thanks for the heads up mate.  I noticed that the new Z200 series was out entirely by accident a week ago, I jumped on Myryads website to check out some specs on the Z162 power amp and found that it wasn't listed as a current product anymore.  I am hoping a few reviews of the Z200's will show up soon, maybe then we'll find out just how much has changed from the previous series.  I hope they show up in Oz soon too but apparently we don't have an official importer for Myryad at the moment so it could take a while.


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#272 Cafad

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:08 PM

I ordered 2 more integrateds today (and I'd been doing so well!) so I'll have to get back into the swing of things next week.  I'll probably have to change the review equipment too, I've moved the Eclipses to the back of the room so that the S2s can have pride of place and swapping things around regularly just doesn't sound very attractive when placement is crucial and everything weighs so damn much.  Maybe I can do an S2 and an ML1 test on each amp?


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#273 Cafad

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:33 PM

My Cayin 220C arrived this morning, let the games begin once more!


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#274 Jventer

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

Signature looks like good news



#275 Cafad

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

Hi JV, yes, things are looking good.  Good enough that I ordered another integrated yesterday :)  If I get the job it's all good, if I don't I have a fall back position that should be available. 

With plan A in action and plan B in place I'm confident enough to start having fun again.


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#276 Luc

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 07:51 PM

I'm confident enough to start having fun again.

 

Well then, after you've had the requisite fun of a pay packet again perhaps you then can contact Lindy@Redgum and get a lend/buy these for a test session, yes they're not integrated but they can do the job and they need to be put into connection with Lenehans speakers down south/up north...RGM300ENR MonoBlocks.... forget those McInToshs of the Gold Coast workshop...connect up something Australian with them...

 

I'll start a petition if you wish... :thumb:


"attenuate the self-generated reflections" - "to absorb and dissipate"...sounds like a mirror to me and why put one of those on top of a speaker?


#277 Phantom

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 07:58 PM

$18.5K Luc?

 

Waddya been smokin' :lol:


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#278 Cafad

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:01 PM

I haven't forgotten Luc (like I could forget a suggestion like that!!!!), I will contact Lindy and see if such a thing is possible but I'd like to coordinate the procedure with Burson as well so that I would have the Redgums and the new Timekeeper power amps/monoblocks both present at the same time. 

But the Timekeeper has yet to arrive on the market so the whole idea has to wait a while yet.

 

Does that sound like a comparo worth waiting for?

 

 

Edit:  Yes I know there will quite a price disparity, but that is no reason not to do it!


Edited by Cafad, 12 March 2013 - 08:02 PM.

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#279 Luc

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:31 PM

I'd love to hear it and hear about it J, I'm quite surprised about Redgum's low profile (apart from the now finished SoNof'aGum and the smaller 120/160's) in the Aus Hifi scene and of course these pages here.

 

Is there a kind of reverse snobbery because they have a pretty good USA presence?  Or is it that they are dealing out old technology? Not quite up to SGR and it's street cred amongst those who can afford it? Or are they completely different to say SGR + VAF + Legend ?

Their website is certainly old school and very clunky, dated...gives the impression of ennui to tell you the truth.
Ennui from the developer and perhaps the manufacturer?

 

I wonder if it's a bit like Legend Speakers for instance? No presence here apart from a few members who own/know them and are prepared to put their chests out and say they are better than most things Australian made and just wipe the floor with comparable stuff from imports? 

And they leave it there.

 

Would a "Best of" of Aussie audiophile manufacturers and the relevant discussions (phew...who'd wanna be a Mod there...) be a good thread title/discussion?

 

 

*Think I got sidetracked... :unsure:


"attenuate the self-generated reflections" - "to absorb and dissipate"...sounds like a mirror to me and why put one of those on top of a speaker?


#280 Cafad

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:00 PM

Good question there, I'll have to ask Lindy about it when I call Redgum up. 

 

Also, that would be an awesome thread title, though it might not fit in the title box.


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#281 zipstartcanoe

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:21 PM

Can't see it on their website either. The one I heard was in a HK clients home.

 

On their site now;

 

http://www.technical...zero_int_e.html

 

 

tb_zero_int_F.jpg


Edited by zipstartcanoe, 12 March 2013 - 11:22 PM.


#282 bhobba

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:06 AM

Maybe I can do an S2 and an ML1 test on each amp?

 

Go for it I say :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:

 

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#283 Cafad

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:35 PM

I see that zipstart, thanks mate.  Checked out the site and that must be their new model as it is marked as 'coming soon'.  I doubt I'll ever get the chance to hear one but I'll certainly keep my eyes and ears open for one.

 

Good to hear that you approve Bill, I'd better get my act into gear and get started then.  I'll try to get this Cayin 220C review done before the weekend, and then it'll be at least 4 days to run in the amp that should be delivered on Friday, and then, with a little luck, another one will show up next week! 

 

It feels good to be back in the integrated fold!


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#284 Cafad

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:55 PM

Things are a bit complicated in the audio sanctuary at the moment, I'm having a bit of a reference issue in that I have changed over from the Osborns to the Lenehans and now have to recalibrate my "audiophillia".  The S2s are more of a forgiving speaker in some regards, no metallic break up in the highs, smoother bass and clearer imaging mean that all my previous listening is not nearly as relevent as it was 6 weeks ago.  I have some more work ahead before I get back to the full-on 'score out of 100 quantitative style' reviews so I'll stick with a qualitative description for now and work my way back up a little later on.

 

I have only given three amps a work out on the S2s, these are the Myryad Z142, Cayin 220CU and Anthem 225i so the comparison of these three with each other is about all I can comment on just at the moment.

 

Myryad Z142, 50W into 8Ohms, 1 Toshiba 1943/5200 transistor pair per channel

The Z142 is a great amp, it's quick, gives good fast and tight bass and has a 'zing' to its highs that brings a smile to my face.  It doesn't lack in the bass department as such although I will say that the other amps have a more expressive bass region and it will play up to deafening levels without apparent strain.  Also, when it comes to stereo imaging and 2D soundstage this amp is up there with the best.  The only thing that it gives away easily to the other two amps is the width of the soundstage.  It is speed, energy and fun all in a small form factor and currently being replaced with a new model so it is available at half the RRP of $1600.

 

Cayin 220CU, 100W into 8Ohms, 2 Toshiba 1943/5200 transistor pairs per channel (although on the website it claims they are Sanken transistors)

The Cayin has a deeper and wider sound stage than the Z142 and it resonates more with the bass frequencies in that the bass feels like it has more power backing it up even if it isn't using that power at that moment.  It has a very musical midrange, nice and flexible though not quite as fast as the Z142 with a nice natural 'breathiness' to female vocals.  Also the bass region has more definition within it in a similar way to the NAD Silverline that I heard a while back, a very impressive bass presentation.  The highs are almost as nice as the Myryad (not quite so much zing) not quite as well defined but just as well delivered, however they do have a very clear and smooth feel to them a feel that they will never be harsh.  The Cayin also seems to be more sensitive to ICs than most amps, something that I discovered completely by accident, I will have to dig into that a little more down the track.  Where the Myryad has its strengths in its speed and energy the Cayin does smooth and mellow so well I feel I should be spelling them smoooth and melllow.  All in all an excellent amp with a more interesting than most internal layout.  The 220CU also has a USB port which will accept sticks of MP3s, I gave it a try and they sounded rather good, certainly better than I expected MP3s to sound.  I don't believe that the amp will accept wav files or a computer connection but I could be wrong, the details are glossed over pretty quick in the manual.

I'm not 100% sure on the local RRP of the 220CU, I think $2K to $2600 would be about right.

 

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Anthem 225i, 225W into 8Ohms, 3 Toshiba 1943/5200 transistor pairs per channel (I know this looks deliberate but I swear it is just coincidence!  A pretty cool coincidence though, since all three amps are using my favourite transistors.)

I feel like I should introduce the Anthem with a small round of applause, after all it is the most powerful amplifier I have got my hands on to date and that makes it the most powerful of about 42 integrated amps in this already lengthy and slowly growing thread.  The Anthem sounds very similar to the Cayin with a further small drop in zing from the Cayin to the Anthem, it has that same 'breathiness' to vocals and an even wider and deeper bass region, it also gives you the feeling that it is even less likely than the Cayin to ever sound harsh or raspy.  And the bass, the glorious, never ending source of bass!  The entire presentation (from highs to lows and everywhere inbetween) is delivered with such power, precission and confidence that you can't help but sit there and listen with a big cheesy grin plastered across your face.  The Myryad can play as loud as you will ever want to listen to music, and the Cayin can go louder with a smoother bass presentation, but only the Anthem can supply the power needed to push a pressure wave across the room strong enough to make your hair flutter in the breeze!

The 225i sells for just shy of $2K, but my piece is an ex demo unit on sale for $1400.

 

The Anthem also has the largest pair of "Kahoonas" I have ever seen in an integrated amp!

 

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As I have said a few times now, I watch TV with my amp-of-the-moment on audio duty and I very much enjoy the clearer sound and sound effects I get from the stereo, it improves the TV shows quite a bit.  The Anthem takes that "incidental music used for emotional effect" to a completely new level.


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#285 Cafad

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:18 PM

Sometimes this audio hobby can get you down a bit, costs involved and improvements sought don't necessarily correlate with gains that can be heard after all.  And then something unexpected comes along, for the price of bugger-all, and makes such a profound difference it drags you back into the "excited audio" state that makes you feel like a little kid with a new bike all over again.

 

I drove down to Mackay to visit ellrotts (who at the moment is the geographically closest SNA member for me to visit) on Monday, to have a listen to his set up, and a bit of an audio chinwag, his B&W800s sound completely different to anything I've heard previously, that mid range is so sharp and detailed, and they image like a stand mount, cool.  I took down my Krell KAV300i just on a whim, and since it made a big difference to the mid range sound of the B&Ws, I left it there for extended testing.  I also borrowed a Rotel RB 1070 and an NAD integrated, for listening and evaluation purposes.  (Man it's good to have someone 'local' that I can loan gear to and from, it's just as much fun as buying it yourself, much cheaper, and you have someone who knows the gear to discuss the performance of it with afterwards.)

 

Last night I plugged in the Rotel, but since I was lazy, I left the Anthem 225 in the system as a preamp.  When I fired things up I heard that tell tale Rotel sound, a bit bright, a bit metallic and brittle but fairly fast and punchy too.  It reminded me of a much more thoroughly run in RA1520, which was pretty close to what I was expecting.  So, everything going according to plan so far, I saved up some energy and decided to swap in a dedicated pre, but I still haven't checked out the Burson from when it dropped a channel on me and the Halcro is still in its flight case at the other end of the shed, so I made a decission based on convenience and swapped out the Anthem for the Myryad Z142. 

And am I glad I did, wow, what a combo!  The brittle sound was gone, the brightness and metallic tendencies were pulled back into line and the Myryads control and speed remained with a little aditional sweetness to vocals.  Prior to this combo I would not have described the Myryads sound as closed but the addition of the Rotel opened that sound up so much it is difficult to believe, offering far more open mids and highs than its offering as an integrated.  And since its offering as an integrated is first class that is really saying something.

 

If there is anyone out there thinking of getting rid of their Z142 and upgrading for more power, you should really consider adding a Rotel power amp.  Second hand Rotels frequently show up on ebay and the sonic characteristics of Myryad and Rotel augment each other very nicely (although that will depend on the character of your speakers).

 

So in one visit ellrotts has something new and different to listen to, I've got something new and surprising to listen to and we both had a listen to a few different musical styles that we otherwise would not have.  Talk about a win-win situation.


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#286 Jventer

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:49 PM

Good news  cafad,. 

(Maybe ellrots can also start testing different interconnets? ;) )

 

I finally put the Wadia 151 on my Osborns and fed it digital files from foobar and jplay and I was quite impressed. I had to bring the volume up (as this is how it works) to about 70% and more. It was a lot sweeter and warmer sounding than I thought it would be. I would not say that it is a dac/amp to critcially evaluate music but very nice to listen to.



#287 listenup

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:22 PM

Dussun V6i review

 

Hi,

 

I purchased this Amp recently from Cafad and he asked if I could post some comments on what I thought of it.

 

The speakers are Wharfedale Evo 30’s, floorstanders with an 8” midrange , 8” bass  and a 1” tweeter. They are rated up to 200 watts.

 

The source is a Marantz SA7001 SACD player.

 

I have used several different amps but they are relatively low powered (a vintage Pioneer SA7500 rated at 45 wpc and the excellent Weston Acoustics Topaz EL34 rated at 35 wpc). I like the sound from both Amps but I’ve always wondered what sound I would get from the speakers from a more powerful Amp.

 

I’d read some good reviews about the Dussun Amps – especially regarding the power they generated and their value for money. When this one came up I thought it would be worth a look.

 

The Amp looks good, it has a simple volume control knob in the centre of the solid aluminum face plate, a small power button and a small blue light that indicates which source number (5 inputs) is being used. It’s also built like a tank, tipping the scales around 30 kg. A well constructed remote for selecting the source and volume control is a handy inclusion.

 

I’ve got a small selection of SACD’s, but rather than basing my listening on them I thought it would be best to at least start with conventional CD’s.

 

I started with one of my favourite albums, Fat Freddy’s Drop “Based On A True Story”. Fat Freddy albums are a combination of vocals, electronic sounds and musical instruments and they are terrific to listen to up loud. The first thing I noticed was the bass, not chest thumping, but pretty solid at a modest 3 on the dial. The definition of the individual instruments from this Amp is just incredible.

 

Another favourite is Robert Palmers “Some People Can Do What They Like”. It was released in 1976 but sounds like it was recorded yesterday. On the track “Hard Head” there is an array of instruments (including steel drums, a penny whistle and a harmonica) that combine for a rich and intricate sound. The crispness of the individual instruments is a revelation. I’ve played this album so many times over the years and I’ve never heard it like it sounds through this Amp.

 

My partner, who isn’t a hifi sucker, commented on the crispness of the sound. A sort of unbiased opinion really…

 

Another thought I had was that the Amp was mining the CD, in the sense that it was burrowing deep into the CD to extract everything it had to offer.

 

I followed up with the recently released LA Woman on SACD. The introduction to Riders On The Storm is hard to beat anytime, but with the Dussun the sound of the waves crashing in and the delicate piano/organ over the top is astonishing.

 

I plan to work my way through all of my CD’s now to hear what may have not been picked up in the past. It should be fun.

 

I’m also planning on keeping the Dussun for some time.

 

NB: I think a bit of credit for the excellent sound should be given to the Marantz SA7001. Even conventional CD’s sound better on the Marantz.


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#288 Cafad

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:00 PM

Sounds like it's a good match to those Wharfedales of yours mate!  Glad to hear you're enjoying the Dussun experience (don't forget to try swapping out the stock jumpers for a pair of ICs, it certainly made a nice change in my system).


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#289 listenup

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:02 AM

Hi Cafad,

 

Yes, the Wharfedales are grinning. I swapped the jumpers for interconnects before I turned the Amp on - I was prepared for that as per your review...


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#290 Cafad

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:29 AM

Decky's Pimped out Dayens Ampino (the Decky Ampino?) arrived this week and it is spectacular!  Compared to it all the other integrateds I have heard sound stressed, like they are trying hard to emphasise some part of the spectrum or gloss over another part, but the Ampino just lets everything flow in a very natural way.  The music sounds much more lifelike, much closer to what someone looking in the window of the recording studio would be hearing (if they had windows of course).  Since it's a modded amp I can't give it an official ranking as such, but if I did it would be in the top 3, probably 1 or 2.  I'll get into more detail later in the weekend.

 

Edit: 

I went back to a couple of amps from the past and did a little re-listening, the results were definitely different to my memories of them.  The Tonewinner AD3 sounds very sweet in the mid range and nicely expansive in the bass through the S2s, but it does this by avoiding any sort of harshness so things that should be a bit harsh, trumpets, cymbols, Norahs voice, etc, just don't sound quite right.  It certainly sounds far better than I remember it sounding on the Osborns, the Tonewinner and S2s would be a good combo for pleasant background music in a restaurant or for a card night or something similar.  Very low key, easy on the ear and in no way exciting.

 

The Xindak A08 sounds far better through the S2s than the Osborns, the S2s kill quite a bit of the hard "class D" signature sound.  However they don't kill quite enough of it, it still sounds a bit harsh and the bass is so fast it seems to forget that it should also be deep.  Still not an amp I could enjoy, which is a pity because it has tons of power and a good mid range but the hard glare and the harsh highs are prominent enough that they are hard to look past. 

Actually it's a double pity because if I could find a few more nice things to say about it then someone might want to buy it off me, as it is I think I'll have to look after it for a long while yet.  I see many "beginner" mods in its future, likely the Tonewinner's future as well.

 

End of Edit:

 

Happy Easter everyone!  And watch out for that pesky rabbit.


Edited by Cafad, 29 March 2013 - 06:59 PM.

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#291 Decky

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:10 AM

I appreciate your comments mate and I glad you enjoy it. The biggest improvement to my ears, over the stock Ampino, brought the volume control since it creates constant impedance load to the pre-amp side of the Ampino. Also, the PSU helped to unlock a bit more bass. The power is still limited by the design but with above 90dB efficient speakers it should be more than enough. 



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#292 Cafad

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:56 AM

I appreciate your comments mate and I glad you enjoy it. The biggest improvement to my ears, over the stock Ampino, brought the volume control since it creates constant impedance load to the pre-amp side of the Ampino. Also, the PSU helped to unlock a bit more bass. The power is still limited by the design but with above 90dB efficient speakers it should be more than enough. 

 

Yeah, on the S2s (86db) loud, hard rock is asking it to push itself fairly hard.  Lighter music though is just fine.  I'll have to give it a try on the Osborns (93db) it should drive them extremely well.  Unfortunately running it through the Osborns means lugging the Osborns around the room and setting them up again, so I might leave it a week or two until I have two or three amps lined up to try.  It is certainly an excellent piece of kit Decky, I'll be holding on to it for a long, long while.  Cheers mate!


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#293 Cafad

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 10:37 PM

The 30th of March!  Wow, it has been a while.  Now that I've swapped over to the S2Rs and basically rendered direct comparisons of amps already heard to new amps yet to hear completely useless I'm thinking maybe a new thread is in order. 

Once I've run through a few more power amps and the Redgum and Burson system offerings I'll circle back to my "first love" and start on an Integrated Addicts 2.0 thread. 

 

Just thought I should let everyone know that the Integrateds are not dead, just resting, and they will most certainly be back!


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#294 mikey d

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:35 PM

Caf, I have followed this thread & a few other comparo's & it is real highlight for me when I see a new post come up. Such gentlemanly conduct occurs here. Entertaining & illuminating. I consider that you are doing us all a wonderful service & may your amp rolling continue with gusto & enthusiasm. Your reviewing & objective assessments are becoming more refined with every post. Onya cobber :thumb:



#295 mikey d

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:36 PM

p.s. You are so bloody open-minded & fair, it's an example for us all. Cheers, mikey



#296 Cafad

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:17 AM

Cheers Mikey, thanks for the kind words mate.  I plan on keeping this hobby up for as long as possible, so while there is a way for me to buy, borrow or "shadily acquire" new amps I'll be here listening, evaluating and typing up my opinions of them.

 

If I ever slack off you let me know!


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#297 Cafad

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:48 PM

Somewhat unexpectedly Nissman has leant me his "Honey Badger" integrated for the evening (thanks mate, love the amp, and the story behind the name!).  I know this one won't be a direct comparison as I'll be using the S2s instead of the Osborns and it isn't a standard retail amp, but it seems like a good way to finish off this particular thread. 

 

I've got a bit of construction work that starts on the 'coldroom' late next week.  My listening room is changing from a 5m by 2.75m coldroom to a 5.5m by 8m coldroom :D  :D  :D , well, coldroom/two bedroom flat but with the kitchen, lounge and one of the bedrooms all combined into the one room) so this will be the last integrated to be heard in the same room as well. 

 

I'll be back this evening with the details.


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#298 Cafad

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:39 AM

Wow, am I glad Simon left me with his Badger for the evening.*

 

The Honey Badger seems to have gained quite a reputation in certain circles, and I can tell now that this rep is well earned.  It has a nicely sized 600VA TT and is rated at 150 watts, has 4 unbalanced inputs and looks fairly "Badger-ish" (or so I am told).

 

For the sake of this review the HB was fed from my Consonance cd120 via Ribbonflex ICs and then fed in turn via Ribbontek speaker cables to my S2R standmounts.

 

To summarize I have to say that this amp sounds absolutely brilliant.  I would call it excellent but that one word just wouldn't do it justice.  I swapped from a Burson PRE 160 feeding an Exposure Classic 28 power amp and I noticed that the noise floor actually dropped away, it improved drastically (7 or 8db would be my guess, I don't have the equipment to actually measure it but the change was palpable) moving from pre/pwr to an integrated.  Isn't that meant to happen when you go the other way?

Out of my 10 chosen categories this amp tops 6 of them, tops them so effectively that I have actually awarded it 6 nines, where a score of 9 is "the best I have ever heard" on my scale of 1 to 10.  I want one of these for my very own!

 

Attached File  honey badger 1.JPG   86.3KB   91 downloads                                 Attached File  honey badger 2.JPG   91.13KB   96 downloads

These shots were taken of the Honey Badger in its natural habitat.  No photographers were harmed in the taking of these pictures.

 

My notes say the following.

Highs:  Best piano yet, triangle has an awesome "crisp twinkle" to it, brass is sharp and "prappy" but not harsh or hard (or I could say that brass was exactly as hard and harsh as it should be and it still sounded very pleasant to listen to).  9.0

Mids:  notes ring true, excellent hang time and decay, transients that almost seem to chase each other as they loop around the room.  9.0

Bass: Deep and clear but never warm, smooth when it should be.  Very nicely detailed, notes have a beginning, middle and end and the bass decay is just a beautiful thing.  Actually deeper and stronger bass than I recall from the Exposure 2010S2, also faster and more effectively controlled, but not as smooth 9.0

Vocals:  Female - so natural it is difficult to believe, not artificially sweet or breathy but very naturally so.  Not Norah, Enya, Dido or Amy Lee have ever sounded this good before.  9.0

              Male - Extremely good, smooth and a little "peaky" with Freddy, mellow and little rough with Knoffler, all as it should be but not quite good enough to rate above an 8.5.

2D Soundstaging:  9.0  On several amps now I have heard channel separation so sharp that you can hear the vocals coming out of each speaker and it almost sounds like there is a time delay there because you can hear them so clearly, well the HB gives you that level of separation but makes those words meet seamlessly in the middle of the soundstage.  Drums dance around in front of you as they are hit and cymbols sound just that bit higher than the drums that are being played at the same time.  Freaking Brilliant!

3D Soundstaging:  8.0  Still extremely good but it doesn't quite rate as the best I have heard in this regard.  Probably about 5th or so, I had to mark it down because it didn't make that guitar on Eric Carr's "Car Jam" growl from far enough behind me.

 

Overall Performance Integration:  9.0  Bloody fantastic!  A very rhythmic groove to the music but at the same time it has such a range of tonal diversity.  It manages to be very neutral in its presentation (so it doesn't emphasise any one area over the others and gives them equal presence within the music) but at the same time it seems so flexible that it can throw several tonally different instruments at you and have each one stay separate but accurate and enjoyable all at once.

 

Ability to Emote:  8.0  Suffering a little from its success here, I'm so busy listening to the individual instruments and notes that noticing the some takes second place.  Still extremely good, just not quite up there with the best in the known universe.

Electric Guitar Test:   Slightly disappointed with Joe Satriani's electric guitar solo so I gave it an 8.0 but was forced to revise up to an 8.5 once I heard the "wandering electric guitar" in the middle of Oriental Melody.  Is it the best I have heard here, not sure, maybe in the top 3 or so.

80's Rock Test:  9.0  Even fairly raspy, feral guitar is not harsh to listen to.  All the plusses of the style are present but none of the minuses.

 

Personality summary:  Pleasantly dry, invigoratingly crisp, beautifully clear and refreshingly rhythmic. 

(Like diving into a cool, clear mountain pool underneath a waterfall at a rock concert and being handed a world class beer by a tall, blonde, gorgeous, Scandinavian member of the band that teaches aerobic classes in her spare time as you wade out of the water.  What more could I want?   I mean, what more could you want?)

An excellent range can be heard within each note, a drum strike can be crisp, dry, deep and smooth as it passes from initial impact through to full bloom and then decay.  Cuts out glare so well you would swear the amp was polarized, even pop hits come out without any trace of their trademark attention-grabbing-in-your-face-style-presence that I personally dislike so much.

 

What more can I say except;

 

"Hail to the Badger."

 

 

 

* Yeah, I know it sounds wrong, but it's funnier that way!


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#299 niss_man

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 03:32 PM

Man. I definitely wasn't expecting this but these comments have made me very happy. I can not write into great detail here as I am on a phone with a crap keyboard interface. When I get back from this paradise called Bowen I'll write some more. This amp was developed by a fellow called ostripper on diyaudio forums. He provided a myriad of options in designing his pcb's/circuit. When first built this thing sounded quite analytical but since then I've experimented with different vas options and finally some different input capacitor changes to come up with the current combo. Having borrowed Jeff's yaqin amp actually helped with this amps final tonality. Will write more when I get back to brissy. Happy happy joy joy. Simon

#300 niss_man

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 03:53 PM

Thanks Jeff for your hospitality and for giving a diy amp a thorough testing. As a maker of diy stuff it was finally great to have someone who has had a large experience with many variety of off the shelf amps to compare this one to. It certain gelled quite well with lenehans gear. Your audio room is great and will only get better once the upgrade has occurred. As my lovely wife Kylin put it "Now this is a man cave and a half isn't it." Simon

#301 Cafad

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 05:53 PM

More than happy to have you visit Simon, it gets a bit lonely up here in the north so visitors are greatly appreciated when they do arrive.  I think your good wife summed me up in a single glance, (I guess I'm just not as complex a person as I thought I was!) just a mate of Simons with the same silly hobby, she was very nice about the silly hobby though.

 

I'll search out the details on the Honey Badger just as soon as I've got those accusound cabinets up to scratch and the whole listening room rebuilt, rewired and retreated.  After that I may change my sig to "Hail to the Badger" or something similar.


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#302 niss_man

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:03 PM

Am now back in Brisbane and it looks like the rain is still going. A far cry from this

Attached File  DSC_0707.jpg   135.02KB   68 downloads

 

This amp was designed by a member "ostripper" on the diyaudio forums. The design goals of the designer are (taken from other forum written by ostripper)

 

- 150W/8R - 250+W/4R , 3 pair easily obtained BJT output devices run in a Self EF2 configuration. (to-3p or to- 247)

- "All in one" construction - A pair of Apex Jr. 8200uf's , or just about any 10mm or 22mm 4 pin snap-in capacitor can be mounted on the main board. I looked up the panasonic line of 35mm caps and one could even grace this amp with 22,000uf X 2 @ 63V.

- To avoid some of the layout "issues" in common with some DIYA amps. Grounding will be fully starred with voltage stage/input stage "lifted" and brought to the star at center point. I could also implement separate or "boosted" supply points which could be used if desired. Output feedback take off point and speaker tap are also "dead center". All semi's will be thermally coupled for almost "military" reliability.

- Compensation and other aspects of the basic design will be user defined (miller - tmc - 2 pole) , I have tried all 3 with success. The basic design is quite documented already in both D. Self and B. Cordell's books. My oldest DIY amp is similar and has been used for 2 1/2 years.

-Cost , this would be up to DIYA - There are no "exotic parts" , all are readily sourced. Even as this is so , the amp generally will have -110db noise , 1-2mv offset , and near PPM distortions with 80V/us slew.

 

This particular amp was one of the first few to be built. The designer had helpfully provided all electrical schematics, pcb etching layouts, pcb parts layout, BOM and even LTSpice (electronics simulation software) files to anyone wishing to build it. Very glad I did. It was originally called "ostrippers diyAB Amp" but after posting a pic of the amp with the stripe down the middle a moderator on the diyaudio forums likened it to a honey badger and the name stuck.

 

The amp in it's original form, clean and devoid of scratches (unlike the workhorse lab monkey unit Jeff got his hands on)

Attached File  IMGP1227.JPG   75.08KB   80 downloads

 

It was actually painted in my eyes to look like a Ford GT40 in Matte Black and white racing stripes...you know, something with plenty of grunt under the bonnet. Now it's turned into a honey badger, an animal that kills and eats cobras for breakfast not afraid of anything badass.  WHAT!! I just found this thing has it's own app's. Just search the app store for "honey badger".

 

I't wasn't all smooth sailing with the amp at first, I did have some transistors short due to well still not sure on that one, (could have either been fake transistors or setting of the current through them, both have been changed now a ok).

 

Originally it had a volume control/input control board (chines built from ebay) but this was later removed as it had too much noise and also cross talk. Also had a speaker protect circuit (crap chinese again) removed later for noise reasons as well. I found these work much better being simple. Now it goes from a choice of 3 rca's, to a selector sw and then the volume pot and onto the amp. Removing the cheap chinese stuff dropped the noise floor considerably. Thats not to say cheap is bad, I used heaps of components I could get my hands on for free at work including multistranded copper building wire and some cheap banana sockets.

Attached File  IMGP1208.JPG   161.62KB   77 downloads

 

Power supply caps are great 4 x 12000uf 63v caps per side.(elna for audio brand).

Attached File  IMGP1210.JPG   132.96KB   69 downloads

 

As said earlier, the designer provided many options in the electrical circuitry so after testing different options I chose the one that sounded best to me. Around 5 months ago I was able to get hold of Jeffs modified Yaqin valve amp which I liked very much (thanks Jeff). The tone to me seemed lovely so I decided to try and get the Badger to have a similar tone. The modified Yaqin used many clarity caps as part of some of it's mods so I decided to use these in the Badger. Changing the input capacitor on this amp had the biggest change in it's sound. Now it was similar in tone to the yaqin valve but with the oomph and snapiness of a more powerful ss amp.

          This thing sounds pretty good at my place, but with Jeffs setup (S2's , Connsanance cd and lenehan IC's and speaker cables) all I can say is Wow! No more expeimenting with the amp needed I think. I do on the other hand need to do some more experimenting on my room acoustics and sad to say it speakers(though my speakers have much cheaper crossover components then Lenehans). The new speakers I am building will be different beasts altogether. :D

 

Soft start for big 600VA Torroidal

Attached File  IMGP1213.JPG   113.61KB   66 downloads

 

 

Crap volume control now removed

Attached File  IMGP1211.JPG   115.88KB   59 downloads

 

 

Crap input selector board and speaker protect board(can only see a little bit under the right hand chanel amp board) now removed.

Attached File  IMGP1212.JPG   131.31KB   61 downloads

 

What a lovely hobby. Glad my wife is tollerant.

 

Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#303 Cafad

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:09 PM

Well, my dwindling finances meant it had to happen eventually.  The Osborn Eclipses speakers that have given me so many hours of enjoyment and entertainment have been sold.  Tomorrow they will start their journey back down south where I have no doubt that they will continue to entertain for many days and weeks to come.  It is a sad day, but change is inevitable and when you have so much audio "stuff" sitting about that you can't use it all something has to give eventually.   Goodbye sweet Bubinga finish :( .  You may be gone but you will never be forgotten (and you started a bloody damn expensive hobby you little buggers :mad: )!

 

Attached File  IMG_0241.JPG   127.17KB   87 downloads                        Attached File  IMG_0242.JPG   117.52KB   93 downloads                    Attached File  IMG_0244.JPG   95.01KB   88 downloads

Attached File  IMG_0245.JPG   87.7KB   78 downloads                        Attached File  IMG_0247.JPG   84.16KB   75 downloads

 

 

If my finances ever recover to a healthy state I would very much like to acquire a pair of Gregs Eos stand mount speakers so I can compare them directly with Mikes S2s (and of course I'd have to buy them in Bubinga :love ).  Now that is something to look forward to!


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#304 roh008

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:55 PM

Cafad - They will be well looked after, and if I have my way it won't be days or weeks of enjoyment but hopefully years! :thumb:

 

Here is to a safe journey back to their birthplace!

 

Am so impatient  and ridiculously excitable with my wife calling me a kid - Well with this "celebrate Christmas in July" which is totally foreign to a pom like myself I thought I would get in to the spirit and bought myself a Christmas present.  I want them to arrive now so I can set them up and start the listening. :party


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#305 dolphy

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:12 PM

Cafad,

Have you used any Yamaha amps? I'm looking at buying the AS1000.

Main System: AVR: Marantz SR8001, 2CH AMP: Vincent MK236, Speakers: Paradigm Studio 100 v5 DAC: Rega DAC, CD Player: Marantz CD6000OSE, Music Streamer: Sonos Connect, BD Player: Oppo 103AU, Turnatable: Pro-Ject RPM 5.1, Ortofon 2M Blue and Graham Slee Genera Phono.

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#306 Cafad

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:52 PM

Cafad,

Have you used any Yamaha amps? I'm looking at buying the AS1000.

 

I have mate yes, the AS1000 is an excellent amp and I believe it is on special at several outlets.  Remember to keep your back straight though, it is a very heavy piece of kit.


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#307 dolphy

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:55 PM

Thanks for the feedback....I feel better knowing that it has the "Cafad Seal of Approval" cheers!


Main System: AVR: Marantz SR8001, 2CH AMP: Vincent MK236, Speakers: Paradigm Studio 100 v5 DAC: Rega DAC, CD Player: Marantz CD6000OSE, Music Streamer: Sonos Connect, BD Player: Oppo 103AU, Turnatable: Pro-Ject RPM 5.1, Ortofon 2M Blue and Graham Slee Genera Phono.

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#308 Cafad

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:39 PM

Thanks for the feedback....I feel better knowing that it has the "Cafad Seal of Approval" cheers!

 

No worries dolphy, the Yammy is a nice amp, plenty of power, very smooth, very eloquent and very capable in all areas with a nice light touch to it.  There's not a rough edge to any part of it sonically.  What speakers are you planning to pair it with?


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#309 Jventer

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:55 PM

Cafad - They will be well looked after, and if I have my way it won't be days or weeks of enjoyment but hopefully years! :thumb:

Here is to a safe journey back to their birthplace!

Am so impatient and ridiculously excitable with my wife calling me a kid - Well with this "celebrate Christmas in July" which is totally foreign to a pom like myself I thought I would get in to the spirit and bought myself a Christmas present. I want them to arrive now so I can set them up and start the listening. :party


Enjoy you will not be dissapointed

#310 hyper

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:20 PM

Great right up's cafad! You are one insane mofo! ;) that's a serious little hobby you got there!!!! $$$$$

#311 Cafad

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:05 PM

Great right up's cafad! You are one insane mofo! ;) that's a serious little hobby you got there!!!! $$$$$

 

Yep, and don't I know it. 

 

The second integrated thread that I've mentioned will be a while in starting up but I thought I might share a few plans that I have for it.  I've got the top of the line SS integrated amp by Cayin, the S200 (OK, I've modded it but I can mod it back if I have to) which gives an easy 120W and runs so warm that it has have 10 or 15 of those watts in class A, maybe even 20.  I can hold my hand on the heat sink for about 8 seconds so it is only just too hot to touch.

I plan to put it up against the top of the line SS integrated by Shengya, the 203mk, which is meant to be a powerhouse as it can do 100W in pure class A and 200 in class A/B. 

I'll get the Anthem i225 back off Ellrotts so I can throw it into the ring as well.  Frankly I'm a little disappointed in the Anthem, they claim this 225 Watts but it seems to have lower gain than most so you have to crank up the volume dial to midnight just to get it to sing and a sound that is so deep and dark that it sounds damp, I should say, it sounds Damp (the capital is important).  I predict it will work extremely well with bright speakers (in fact I know it does, that's why Ellrotts has it, but I think he would agree that it is far more Damp than his speakers are bright) but I don't think it will rate very well against the other two (perhaps some mods are in order :) ). 

 

So that's the initial plan for the "Addicts Guide to Integrateds Part II", if anyone would like to suggest an integrated or two feel free (keep in mind though that my finances already have one foot in the grave so it could take a long while before I get to your suggestion).


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#312 hyper

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:34 PM

Id be interested in a review on JADIS orchestra integrated tube amp! JADIS is one of those brands that are quirky and people either love em to death or hate them!!! Great thread mate keep up the good work! :)

#313 greigw

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:42 PM

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on a Quasimodo - http://www.adelaides...amplifiers.html  Australian made, hardwired.  :thumb:


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#314 dolphy

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:46 PM

No worries dolphy, the Yammy is a nice amp, plenty of power, very smooth, very eloquent and very capable in all areas with a nice light touch to it.  There's not a rough edge to any part of it sonically.  What speakers are you planning to pair it with?

 

I have a pair of Paradigm Studio 100s. I'm currently running a Vincent MK236, I'm finding it a little too laid back. I'm taking a big gamble changing amps.....hopefully I won't be disappointed.


Main System: AVR: Marantz SR8001, 2CH AMP: Vincent MK236, Speakers: Paradigm Studio 100 v5 DAC: Rega DAC, CD Player: Marantz CD6000OSE, Music Streamer: Sonos Connect, BD Player: Oppo 103AU, Turnatable: Pro-Ject RPM 5.1, Ortofon 2M Blue and Graham Slee Genera Phono.

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#315 Willco

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:51 PM

Id be interested in a review on JADIS orchestra integrated tube amp! JADIS is one of those brands that are quirky and people either love em to death or hate them!!! Great thread mate keep up the good work! :)

I've owned 4 Jadis Amps and I suggest you contact Dallas Clarke in Melb before venturing into this Sphere.

 

Willco