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Spukee

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  1. Hi Stephen, congrats on your purchase! Build quality is very nice. Not sure what finish yours is, but mine is matt black. It looks more grey than black due to the finish. It is very well put together and the binding posts are high quality. What may surprise you though is the weight - as relatively lightweight speakers do not give a good impression of quality. The youtube reviews are also what made me purchase this - and when I got it thought how big of a mistake I had when I listened to it. Bass was nowhere near as good as the reviewers hyped, it sounded shouty and shrill and the midrange sounded muffled. The quick decay of the treble was overly quick. I was so disappointed I even re-purchased an LS50 I sold. When friends came over, I would connect the LS50 - as it was immediately more impressive. I kept breaking it in however - pink noise+frequency sweeps - and after a few weeks (and playing around with toe in) - it started coming together. The sound started to open up, bass tightened and it was no longer shrill nor shut-in. When I hook up the LS50 now, it only stays connected for a few days - I miss the S400 immediately. I loss more than I gain. I think it was Zerofidelity who said Buchardt should offer a break in service - I agree because itseriously sounds pretty awful out of the box. I can't imagine how many returns they'd have because the break in time is so long and many people will give up in the 30 days out of frustration. The most honest review I have seen - and describes the characteristics I have heard (good and bad) is the below. His observation is spot on. Thomas and Stereo's observation regarding system matching and treble decay preference is also spot on. When you get yours - please allow it to break in and reserve judgement for a few weeks. PM me should you want the pink/frequency sweeps I use. And do not buy new hardware until it is fully broken in. If still unhappy - you are welcome to come over and have a listen to one that is fully broken in and see how it sounds powered by a different amp/source.
  2. Second Al.M's suggestion and would buy second hand to get value for money. The LS50 needs to be powered up with beefy gear. On the weekend for fun, I paired it with a Marantz 110Watt receiver which runs the home theatre pretty well - and it felt lost in a 3x5 room. The amp just did not have enough grunt to run the speaker. If you like the sound of the LS50, make sure you power it well. One option is to get more efficient floorstanders - in the above room the Marantz powered a B&W 683 floorstander better - and sounded way more balanced for the room than the LS50.
  3. Glad you are enjoying it. I had the non-luxury version and thoroughly enjoyed it with vocal-centric music. The sound was truly holographic and smooth. To me though, it lacked the punch which made rock and modern music sound quite slow and a little bit too refined. Do you feel they fixed this with the Luxury edition? Loved the VU meters and never tired watching them.
  4. Just wondering if there is anyone in Sydney who can lend me a "newer" DAC for perhaps a week? I am quite curious if a newer DAC/Preamp can add any appreciable value to my setup. I have an Eastern Electric Minimax tube DAC, ESS9018 which I enjoy, but am wondering how things have progressed since 2011 with newer DAC chips, FPGA or R2R DACs. Happy to lend you the Minimax in return if you'd like to hear an old legend. 🙂
  5. Ishiwata san's What HiFi acceptance speech is worth watching - only filmed a few weeks ago I believe. Seemed like a very forward thinking man. I have owned Marantz amps but have yet the opportunity to own one with his contribution. One day. RIP.
  6. Welcome Stephen! I myself am getting back into HiFi. Same situation, child, career, other hobbies etc - and I was happy with my setup for a while. 2 months back into the hobby and several thousand dollars later and I'm enjoying myself with the new developments. 🙂 The Buchardt S400 sounds big (bigger than my B&W 683 full standers it seems) - but 50m2 is a large space to fill with sound. It may be best to stick with the larger floorstanders depending on your distance to the seating position. I feel you may also want a higher powered Class A/B amp should you go for the S400. One other to try out - Dynaudio Contour 20 - goes down quite low and has good punch - Lifestylestore had it connected to a 20K front end however. You may also want to consider adding a sub - especially if you like how your current speakers sound. It may just provide the punch you are after - specially for a room the size of yours. Lookout for REL subs that come up often in the classifieds.
  7. Congrats Gregmacc!!! You will love it with guitar - just position it right. Play with toe-in, so you get a good mix of a wide soundstage and a centred image. I'm not across John Abercrombie - and have just put on Banshee from the Third Quartet. The first 5 seconds was an instant wow moment. Thanks for that :-). Now a fan. The S400 is an all-rounder and excels at live music in particular, in that it can somehow recreate the acoustics of the environment. Vocals are great - you are in for a treat. I find other speakers (like LS50) may be warmer/clearer - but does not have the density of the S400. It doesn't mean the sound is thick - just that it is palpable and has real weight. It's intoxicating. The presentation of the vocals is not overly forward, but certainly not recessed. Once broken in, it should sound smooth. I have not listened to the AS1100 so cannot comment on the synergy, but I think a class A/AB power amp may be the way to go. I have mine connected to an A23 Parasound 125W Power amp and I find it powers it well with a neutral to slightly dark character (dark due to the DAC/Preamp I'm using). The speaker goes down to 4ohms, and I think this is less sensitive than the stated 88db. It is at least as "insensitive" as my 85db LS50, so you may want to get an amp with grunt (current+watts) to allow for headroom. Low volume - they sound fine, but not if you would like to do any critical listening at low volume. I feel there are better speakers for that. The S400 will be head and shoulders above the Krix regardless. Break in - it spent at least 3 days playing pink noise mixed in with low to high frequency sweeps to break in the driver/radiator/tweeter. Even then, I felt that it needed another week or 2 to truly settle in. My one was about 3 months old already and was purchased from a person who did not like the sound and did not have the time or patience to break it in (he also drove it with a low powered amp). I took it home and was not enamoured with the sound either at first. The high end was piercing and dropped off too quickly, bass did not have the punch I was used to - and it was brash sounding. Vocals sounded muffled too. Just be patient - after about 2 weeks, things start coming together. I also found that I way playing it at higher volume inadvertently in the beginning - to the point where my wife started complaining - but as the sound settled down, the details start revealing themselves at lower volumes a bit better - to reiterate, finding the right toe-in is the key (or was on mine). I suggest break it in with your existing equipment and upgrade when fully broken in, if you are finding you are not satisfied with the sound still. To tell you how happy I am with the speaker - I have pretty much lived in the lounge/listening room since buying it a month ago. It's 1:44am and I'm still listening to it while typing this. Congrats again and let me know if I can help with anything.
  8. Hope I can help. I previously owned the Krix Equinox and a NAD amplifier (C316Bee), as well as currently owning and enjoying the Buchardt S400. Your room is actually bigger than my listening space - which is about 3x3.5 (open plan however). What concerns me is how far you can separate the speakers and it's distance from your listening position. I have maximised my speaker distance and am about 3m from the speakers. I feel this is just about minimum. Maybe you can space them out? These speakers, unlike all others I have owned, needs space and a bit of volume for the sound to come together. But when they do, they are absolutely first class. It's the only speakers I have owned which gave justice to John Williams and large orchestral pieces, but is equally as happy with smaller ensembles, Jazz or even modern music. They play fine at low volume - but played louder, you feel the music more, and it has the power to surround you (ie. you hear things beside you and behind you), without any breakup. To be honest, in the same listening space, I thought the Krix to be an "OK" speaker, but somewhat limited to what genres it could play well. I also found no amp that played well with it (Sony/Cambridge Audio/Yamaha) - the NAD being the best fit for warmth. Have you considered or auditioned the BW 606/607? These should play well with the PM8006. I hooked up my BW685 recently and was surprised how good it was (but the missus still preferred the Buchardt). Good luck. And if you do buy it, please allow it to break in, and play with toe in. It can get shouty depending on your placement and without the proper break in.
  9. Not direct comparison, but from recollection only and different models. PMC TB2i, as natural sounding, but S400 sounds much larger and punchier. Proac 1SC, S400 timbre not as good and treble not as airy, but better in all other respects. Proac D2, only had limited time with this. D2 sounds thinner and does not have as much weight to mid range. Bottom end tight but not as punchy.
  10. The Opera Callas certainly do not sound small - they are on the larger side of bookshelf speakers however: Opera Callas WWW.APOLLOHIFI.COM.AU <p>The new Callas speakers use techniques and components that represent the state of the art in electroacoustic, starting from the... They sounded great when demo'd against the Audio Physic floorstander. The Audio Phsyic sounded boxy and small in comparison. May have been a sales strategy :-). I can wholeheartedly recommend the Buchardt S400. I am no bass head either, but it is incredible how much the low end completes the music experience. The bass is not prominent, but is there when needed. It is the largest sounding bookshelf I have owned and it puts out a wall of sound. It does take a lot of hours to break in however and needs careful placement - so if you do buy it, break it in as it sounds compressed out of the box. Have fun in your search!
  11. Will look for this one too, appreciate this suggestion!
  12. Thanks, just started reading up on the d50s and d70s. How would you compare the Topping sound to the EE Minimax Plus? I quite enjoy the body and sound stage on the EE and would not want to lose that.
  13. I should have put that down. Preferably in the $1-2K mark only.
  14. Thanks for the suggestion Kev, I will try and audition this. It's getting pretty old now too, maybe it will start hitting the classifieds :-).
  15. Hello Stereo.NET experts, Wondering if you can give me some suggestions for a decent DAC-preamp? My goal is to consolidate my sources (Turntable/TV/PC), have a volume control and have better sound quality. I am coming from an Eastern Electric Minimax DAC with the ESS9018 chip. This is currently connected to a Parasound A23 Power amp, powering a Buchardt S400 / LS50. I am very happy with the DAC, but would like to see what else is out there. It's been a few years :-). I also have a few requirements for the DAC/Preamp: - Optical In - An upgrade from the ESS9018 chip - Remote control - Phono (ideally) - Balanced outs (ideally) - To consolidate 3 sources: PC-->Audiophilleo-->iUSB-->EE Minimax.-->Amp Or TC-->EE Minimax-->Amp Or TT-->Phono-->Amp Not sure if a product as such actually exists in one unit that would be a sizeable upgrade to the Minimax?
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