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Cafad

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Cafad last won the day on May 9 2013

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About Cafad

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    Brown Belt in Amp Fu
  • Birthday 18/05/1973

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    Qld
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  1. As it is an English amp the ATC does run a little on the warm side. That's why I cut up some pine and made little chocks for each of its feet, just to make sure it had enough height underneath it to get some unrestricted air movement over those heat sinks. Unfortunately the 9 volt battery from my heat gun was recently used to get one of my smoke detectors back up and running so I can't tell you exactly how hot it gets, all I can say is that it was still cool enough to hold my hand on indefinitely. Let's get the associated gear paragraph out of the way shall we? Source in use was my trusty YBA Heritage cd 100, connected via Aurealis all copper dragon interconnects to the ATC. Speakers were my just as trusty Lenehan S2R stand mounts and speaker cables were Redgums "Audio Pipeline" 7 gauge "you could tow a ute with them" cables. There we go, all done. Now for a little more about the amp itself. I like the fact that ATC have an integrated amp that is all analogue and all unbalanced. No frills, no added bling, just a true and tried design with a serious power supply. Let's not forget the separate torroidal for the preamp section as well, (or possibly just the DC motors) always a good thing in an integrated design, IMO. Much of the 20kg weight is due to the heat sinks but that main transformer is solid enough to make the whole unit just a little front heavy. Now usually I separate out an amp review and write about the top end, mids and bass, vocals and so on. This one is going to be a bit different for reasons I'll get into. You see, most amps treat the different regions of the treble, mid-range and bass differently. So while an amp may have nice clean mids it may back those up with tight or warm or understated bass and the top end may be rolled off or extended or a little hard or sweet. Basically they can all sound a bit different to each other and this is not so unusual. But not the ATC SIA2-150, it plays no favourites at all. So when I say that the top end does not seem rolled off at all but at the same time it isn't softened, it is just well detailed and not harsh to listen to. As is the mid-range and the bass. No favourites. None! To elaborate on that, the top end is at the same time as hard and harsh and ragged as it needs to be but it is still not too much of any one to make it sound unpleasant. I seem to have coined a term here "well detailed", the sort of detail that is considered by the ear to be supplying all the detail that is needed to be heard but doing it in a way that carries very little in the way of anything that could contribute to listening fatigue. Add a character that I can only describe as, slightly on the warm and earthy side of neutral and you've got the SIA2. I do have to say more about the bass because the bass region takes much more power to make it work well than the mids or the top end and power is something that the SIA2 has plenty of. Bass is fast and tight but also full and well weighted. Drums are So! Damn! Good! Even better than the Luxman 507u and that is some serious praise right there. I've awarded scores of 8.75 for the top end, 8.5 for the mids and another 8.75 for the bass. Vocals are also brutally honest in their reproduction. The SIA2 does not give any singers any assistance at all, no extra breath or warmth to be found. Depending on your preferences this could be a bad thing but you have to recognize that this could be invaluable in evaluating the rest of the audio chain. I like it, and I certainty appreciate it, but it does make awarding a score rather difficult. I'm going to go with a flat 8.0 for both but I'll reserve the right to increase that upon further consideration. I just have to talk separation, the SIA2 has it in spades. Every instrument is kept well and truly away from every other one, vocals are separate too and this lets you hear so much more detail in the performance of every one of them. The 2D sound stage assists greatly with this effect. I just have to say, on having listened to the SIA2 I feel like it has gotten something correct that most other amps have not managed to as it not only separates everything out but it does so in such a way as to enhance both the musicality and the dynamics of the music. There's more that I want to say but I think I may be tired enough that I'm not expressing myself as well as I would like. I think I'll pick this up in the morning with a fresh head. TBC.
  2. With a little luck the ATC SIA2-150 review will be completed this weekend. It has been on hold for several weeks now as things popped up that robbed me of time or energy but it seems at least half of this weekend will be free so I'm going to step on the gas and see if I can get this one finished and written up. I know there's at least one SNA'er waiting on it. It isn't a large amp, reasonably weighty though at 20kgs, but it can pump some serious power. As demonstrated at Terry's place it was one of the few amps that we tried on those VA Concert Grand speakers of his that took control and made the speakers perform. This places it in the same category as the Sansui 907 NRA, 907 Limited, ME-240, and Zeus Integrated. And that is some pretty decent company to be in. The ATC suffers a little in my home system in that it doesn't impress as much as it did at Terry's place. I think this is one of those amps that reacts well to being asked to work harder so it will step up on lower impedance speakers. Since my Lenehans are fairly benign in impedance I believe the ATC is coasting a little. Still a very good amp but not quite as "Wow inducing" as it was on those VAs of Terry's. Details to follow once my washing machine has finished it's job and quietened down a bit. There is more info on the ATC SIA2-150 on page 5 of the thread Terry and I started, link below. Some rather nice pics too. https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/263126-terry-o-and-cafads-integrated-amp-challenge/page/5/
  3. For power, I made some power cables for testing purposes.
  4. I'll get into the details of them in a few days (and probably in the thread I started in the speakers section, stupid me, not remembering which thread I was posting in, this speaker path may be a little difficult to follow but I'm sure we'll work it out in the end) but I have opened one of them up and I'm a bit disappointed by what I've found. I suspect I'll be upgrading crossovers pretty quickly, but first things first the drivers have to repaired/replaced. Good to hear Damo. More Sansui goodness in the world is always a good thing. Give us more info and pics as soon as you can mate. Lots more. Of both.
  5. I know what you mean. It's almost as bad as when I visited Mitre 10 and bought three, 3m lengths of different thickness power cable. Oh the humiliation! I won't be making that mistake again.
  6. It seemed like a logical tangent to branch off on from the last time I went "a bit too far" with my audio hobby so yeah now I'm on a speaker journey. A bit more hands on work involved than the amp stuff, but I like it. (less heavy lifting, that's a plus)
  7. My SP-1000's arrived today. No, not those SP-1000's, the ones from 1972, the SP-1000's that hail from 1989. I guess the first were available internationally and the second were only available in Japan so Sansui decided to name them the same. Anyway, these ones. These puppies were supposedly a limited edition (or only available for a limited time perhaps) and were a slightly different version of the SP-100i that was released in 1987. These ones are in pretty poor shape. Both the tweeters are without diaphragms and one of the woofers has no surround left on it at all. The other woofer seems OK. Pics of the right speaker below. So I'm hoping I can swap over the tweeters from one pair of the 100i's. Not sure yet if that's a possibility, have yet to measure up the surrounds and I still don't know if they actually are the same drivers or just very similar. I hope to start finding out this weekend. I had thought that the SP-1000 used polyprop caps and air core inductors like the SP-1010 and the SP-a2000 but it seems that isn't the case, I guess the polyprops and air cores only came with the 1990 models. More pics to follow but probably not until the weekend.
  8. Good Stuff! Looking forward to this one.
  9. Should have been lead lined first. Yeah, I bet that's an option on the next model up but the buyer just had to take a chance on the lower priced pair didn't he?
  10. OK guys, own up, who ordered them? https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-07/ice-seizure-largest-methylamphetamine-bust-by-afp-in-melbourne/11189152
  11. That's some nice gear you've got there Ian. Get yourself a centre speaker and you've got a very nice set up for both music and movies.
  12. Welcome to SNA Rob, good to hear from another Myryad fan. There are a few Z240 amps for sale on ebay for $399 aussie at the moment and I've recommended one to a friend of mine who has no real audiophile leanings he just wanted a good amp to go with a pair of good speakers that he obtained second hand. I didn't hesitate in recommending a Z240 for him. A great buy at the asking price.
  13. 243 to 248 seems to be the norm at my place. Not too bad. Hasn't caused anything to "pop smoke" yet.
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