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bhobba

Best System Yet Heard - Continuation of Magnesium Speaker Thread

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On 4 June 2018 at 5:07 PM, bhobba said:

I will not post the review of the ML1 Reference - its been discussed to death - one loved it, the other - blah.  I know you don't like the ML1 that much, but even you thought the blah one was  a bit harsh.  Who is right and who is wrong?  Who knows - although the discussion that followed about the ML1's was interesting - it flushed out a number of people who like you don't like it that much.

I have to say, when I heard that really run in pair at the GTG I went to, I have largely reformed my opinion of the ML1 - I guess the pair Mike demo'ed to me were just too new. Then and again, I heard the first pair of ML2s at every stage of Mike's build, and thought they sounded great from the get go. I think just being a bigger speaker gives the ML2 a bit more breathing space, so running it in isn't as critical as with the ML1s. But that well run in pair I heard were very much up with the ML2s IMHO.

Edited by ljmac

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36 minutes ago, Somethingclever said:

Any updates on this @bhobba? How far off are you from getting these now? Heard them lately?? Any new pictures to share? 

 

Not yet.   Mike is waiting on some pass resistors.

 

Bill

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19 hours ago, Lenehan Audio said:

The Magnesium Ltds are just a bit smaller than the ML2’s.
Cheers Mike

 

But strangely produce as good or maybe even better bass,   They are about halfway between an ML2 and ML1 price-wise.

 

Thanks

Bill

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On 28/05/2018 at 7:14 PM, bhobba said:

Hi All

 

Well the last post on the Magnesium's was a while ago and Mike was at very late prototype stage.   But since then has been very busy putting in more work to the ML5 design and building them so the final design was only done as a few bits here and there as time permitted.  Now its finalized and I heard the final prototype with just breadboarded very ordinary components.  He found it just as hard as George Short and had even more prototypes before the final one.   Just like George he found a trap wasn't the way to go - probably the double Q issue he talked about in what I posted in the Magnesium thread and ended up 4th order on the bass and third order quasy treble.  It has a 30db null.

 

So Mike called me and said come and have a listen.  But I have some new gear I likely will be carrying - Grandinote which he had mentioned before that I should hear.   So I went on down - after reading overseas reviews of course.  Anyway here is the information:

Dac: http://www.grandinote.it/volta - en.html

Amp: http://www.grandinote.it/shinai - en.html

 

This stuff is not cheap - its probably the most expensive products that are not speakers Mike sells - the DAC $13.5k - the amp $18.5k.  The BHK amp and pre together is more expensive I think,  and this amp has its own pre - so if looked at it this way maybe slightly cheaper than the BHK.  Either way it aren't cheap mate.

 

I was not prepared for what I heard.  It is simply the most clean, clear, pure, transparent, detailed sound I have yet experienced - its like a window to the performance - transparency like you are there - its that good..   This is the system I want - I fell in love with it immediately.   What was the reason - well the speaker has a sound different to Mikes normal speakers.   His normal speakers has what Rawl99 calls harmonic resolution - they produce a rich full sound.   This speaker is not like that - it not harmonically rich, organic or adjectives of that nature - its simply uncolored transparency.

 

We listened to a wide variety of music.  We played some Yello which I dislike - it is not to my taste and has this spity treble.   Was it in the speaker?  Well someone I know that can be sibilant is Louis Armstrong.   Played that - no spityness or sibilance - just Sachmo.   Now the real test - the music I listen to -  I listen to Sachmo a bit but what about things in a similar vein I listen to more.   My standard Diana Krall - A Case Of You - flawless with detail I  have never heard on other speakers - it really is a window.   Peggy Lee - Fever - beautiful.  Sammy Davis - he was there - that's all I can say.  Nat King Cole - well he started out as a Jazz pianist and played one of those he recorded - the piano was natural and very realistic.   But then we played his better known vocal stuff.  His voice just floated there - again he was 'real'.

 

The only issue is what was the Grandinote contributing and what was the speaker contributing.   I don't know - further listening will be necessary with different gear.

 

I have spoken to Mike this morning about what capacitors to use.   The ones in the tweeter that are in the signal path will be Jupiter Copper bypassed by Duelund silver bypass capacitors.  The ones not in the signal path will be Jantzen Superior bypassed by the Duelund.  Then what really floored me.   An audiophile on the Gold Coast called in while we were playing with my Magnesium's.   He had borrowed the DAC and Mike said he comes around all the time to here it - he was obviously smitten.  This DAC is expensive but IMHO is genuinely above the others.  Clay the maker of the Gross has heard it - I will not put words in his mouth but speaking to him he is looking into how he can improve his DAC.

 

Another interesting thing Mike hadn't discovered, but I did is this has Bridge functionality like The Direct Stream built in and I was able to stream Tidal.  Normally I find non-MQA Tidal veiled - this was not.   It sounded exactly the same - me and the guy that called in said - I cant tell the difference.  Well this needed careful listening with the standard test track Case Of You.  So I blind tested it.  The Tidal version was just ever so slightly 'thicker' - but boy was it small.  This is the best Tidal I have yet heard.   I dont think it does MQA - but you cant have everything - maybe a software update like PS Audio did for the Bridge.

 

Well that's it.   The best sound I have heard.  I have however set the rule - no more gear until I have sold what I already have.   I will not even think about the Gradinote until that's done.   But boy is it tempting.

 

Thanks

Bill

 

 

Hi Bill,

so the GN Volta is the best DAC you ever heard?

Better than Killer and Chord M-Scaler + DAVE?

Thanks

 

Matt

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On 07/01/2019 at 2:13 AM, matth said:

Hi Bill,

so the GN Volta is the best DAC you ever heard?

Better than Killer and Chord M-Scaler + DAVE?

Thanks

 

Matt

 

First just got out of hospital from falling and badly breaking my distal Feumur.  I will not be able to do too much of anything for a while,

 

Yes the Gradinote is the best overall DAC I have heard so far.   Because of being in hospital I have not had a chance to hear or compare the Chord stuff to it so cant comment yet.  At the moment I have lent out the Chord TT2 and M-Scalar but nothing has been done yet because everyone is busy busy with other stuff.

 

Regarding the Killer its a different beast - to my ears its slightly, ever so slightly Euphonic, and on certain music is entrancing (er Peggy Lee Fever - its the kind of music I listen to) but on other music (eg Lenard Cohen) I don't like it.   The maker of the Killer says its simply garbage in garbage out.   I do not know - except I do not like it.  From my listening to the Gradniote it's even all the way through.  Is it better on Peggy Lee than the Killer - only a direct comparison can say.

 

Thanks

Bill

 

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Just looked what that bone is - oouuuch. I hope you have a speedy and not too painful recovery Bill, get well mate.

 

The Grandinote Volta DAC intrigues me.  It's actually quite a large beast.

 

Has anyone had a look under the bonnet to see what's in there? 

 

T

 

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