twwen2

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About twwen2

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  1. Of course, but the improvements are only marginal. Two "high-end" amps that I've owned previously with the C1's include the Parasound A21 and the Pass Labs X250. Yes they were both better than the Nait, mainly with regards to what I would call "control" of the speakers in the sense that no matter what the music or volume level, they would never sound harsh or "shouty". The X250 in particular is just sublime in that sense - it's a special bit of kit. However, having now experienced those heights I can honestly say that the Nait gives me 95% of that experience at 20% of the price, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Enjoy the Contours!
  2. I use a Nait 5si with my Confidence C1 II's and it's great. Your XS2 won't hold them back at all - it'd be a fantastic pairing.
  3. That would be missing the point. Why spend this sort of money on speakers and not feed them with high-quality amplification? It's not like budget is a constraint if you're able to afford these...
  4. I'd be interested in hearing these - will send a PM.
  5. IMO they've really dropped the ball by leaving HT bypass out of the Saga/Freya. Sure, it would add complexity and a little cost. However Schiit's whole mantra is about simplicity and no BS - do they really think their target market are going to have their Hifi setup completely segregated from their AV setup?
  6. The Naim Nait 5si is a great little and can be had for $1500 used.
  7. I gave the Isabellina a full charge and put it into my main system last night - wow. There really is very little separating it from the newer Isabella DAC that I have. In fact, some aspects of the sound were better. The ability to tube roll opens up the opportunity to tweak the sound to suit your preferences. This really is a great DAC, and with the headphone output and remote volume control provides flexibility.
  8. Item: Red Wine Audio Isabellina HPA (LFP-V edition): Battery-powered R-2R tube NOS DAC with passive volume control and headphone amp. Location: Mount Waverley, VIC Price: $700 pickup or buyer pays postage Item Condition: Fair: Unit is in good working condition, however the black anodised aluminium faceplate has faded to a purple tinge - this is common on these units. Reason for selling: No longer in use - I upgraded to the Bellina Renaissance edition. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only. Extra Info: The Isabellina HPA takes the 16-bit R-2R tube NOS DAC from the standard Isabellina and adds a headphone amplifier circuit with passive volume control via remote/knob. My unit is configured with variable RCA line-level outputs, making this a great DAC + passive tube preamp to put in front of a power amp (NAKSA anyone?). Most will know this already, but being a battery-powered unit it can run completely isolated from mains power (flick the switch at the rear to "BATT") which is a great way to get rid of any unwanted mains noise at the source. The unit can also run while charging from mains (and still operates using the battery), which allows some flexibility and is predominantly how I used it for convenience sake. The RWA Isabellina ended my year-long merry-go-round search for the ideal DAC. I'd owned a number of units prior to finding this one (Stello DA100, PS Audio DLIII, Rega DAC, Audio-gd DAC-19, Audio-gd Reference 5.2, Bryston BDA-3), but once I finally discovered the RWA it quickly made itself at home in my system. I've since upgraded to the Bellina Renaissance version (mainly for cosmetic reasons; it has the same DAC circuit), and can honestly say that I've never felt the need to look further up the market for a better DAC; it just sounds right to me. The NOS R-2R DAC chip is the foundation of all things good; I find myself drawn to these type of designs. The tube circuit adds richness of tone, meat on the bone and a soundstage that has to be heard to believe. Battery power is icing on the cake. Be warned, this is no modern DAC. It is 16-bit only (undisclosed R-2R chip) which means no hi-res, DSD or MQA inputs allowed (phew, you can forget about those rabbit holes!). The USB input works fine but I wouldn't bother with it; the BNC RCA input is where its at. If these things don't bother you, I think you'll find this to be an amazingly capable unit which produces some of the most natural, effortless and fulfilling sound you're likely to hear from any DAC this side of $2k. Here's some reviews so you can benchmark my thoughts above: http://www.soundstage.com/equipment/redwine_isabellina_hpa.htm http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/redwine12/hpa.html https://www.cnet.com/news/the-worlds-best-headphone-amplifier/ http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2011/01/red-wine-audio-isabellina-lfp-v-edition/ (this one is for the standard Isabellina DAC, no HPA). The unit will come in its original box & (fantastic) packaging, along with the manual, remote, mains charger + power lead. Pickup is available from Mount Waverley or buyer pays shipping (shouldn't be more than $80). Pictures:
  9. Item: Rega Apollo-R CD player (black) Location: Mount Waverley, VIC Price: $500 pickup or buyer pays postage. Item Condition: Very good. Reason for selling: No longer using. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: We're a streaming household now, so the Apollo-R is not getting any use these days. It's in very good condition and will come in its original box with manual, remote and power cord. I'm located in Mount Waverley, VIC - pickup available after hours or buyer pays postage. Pictures:
  10. Not my article, but definitely my photo!
  11. +1 The setup shown in the photos is ludicrous. Those big Dyns need to be pushed right back towards the wall; I'd have them level with the front of the equipment rack to start with. And go easy with the toe-in; in my experience with Dynaudio speakers they sound best firing straight ahead without any toe-in whatsoever. IMHO, your room is also far, far too small for speakers of that size. A pair of large standmount speakers would be more appropriate, and I think you'd find them to sound more coherent as well.
  12. I've just started a Tidal "Hifi" trial after years of using Spotify Premium (which I've been very happy with from a quality perspective). I've just listened to one of my favorite albums, and can definitely hear a difference - here are my initial impressions of Tidal lossless: - It sounds hollowed-out compared to Spotify which I think has a meatier midrange; - High frequencies (treble) are unpleasantly emphasised. I can listed to Spotify for hours with no fatigue, but Tidal has me reaching for the remote often to turn the volume down as things become too aggressive; - Timing seems out. Firstly, the tracks sound like they're playing faster (at a higher beats-per-minute) than what I'm used to in Spotify; it's unnerving. Secondly, on a couple of tracks I'm hearing a disconnect between percussion and vocals; the percussion is too early in relation to the vocals (at least compared to the same track in Spotify). Could this be due to the use of different master recordings? - The Tidal desktop app buffers a few times every song which is bloody annoying. My ADSL2+ connection syncs at 16Mbps, so I should be fine for 16/44.1 streaming. Netflix FHD works with no issues... Overall, I'm not sold on it. Factoring in the absolute nightmare of registering an account and getting the app to function properly, Tidal have some serious work to do before they can compete with the Spotify experience.