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Considering the new Buchardt A500 Active system


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7 minutes ago, k3here said:

I have some Isotek EVO 3 premier cables (I think that's the model) I bought ages ago. I will try these on the speakers first . Hopefully these will be ok and fit!

 

Not sure whether I have a power brick thing to fit the hub. I am sure the iFi products will be good, based on reviews. I have a @Gieseler Audio linear power supply but it is 12v, maybe I will order a 5v version.... 

 

Your Isotek cables should be fine.

 

I'd caution against spending too much on a power upgrade for the hub too soon.. might be money better saved for the 'premium hub' that will be offered soon :)

'

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Unboxing pics below.   The box weighs a total of 24.2kg's so they've managed to get everything in the one box and under the 25kg limit for many carriers.   The speakers are more sv

Look, I really take terrible photos. My wife takes much better photos on her Pixel 3 than I do on my Note 10. I intended to ask her to take some pics, but we had a little bit of a Barney, so didn't go

I'm trying not to jump out of the gate too quickly, but straight out of the box they're sounding great!   Went through the set up process. Link the hub with the remote, then the hub to the s

 

2 minutes ago, wikeeboy said:

I'd caution against spending too much on a power upgrade for the hub too soon.. might be money better saved for the 'premium hub' that will be offered soon :)

 

oh good point! ?

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4 hours ago, wikeeboy said:

 

By this do you simply mean using a power cable with a C15 rather than C13 connector? The speaker itself will accept either? Excuse my ignorance but what's the difference?

 

EDIT:

 

Ok i've done a quick google and can see the C15 has a higher rating for temp which is good, but isn't it a bigger connector and the inlet on the speaker would need to be suitable?

 

So I'm not an expert, but from what I have researched, the amo plate is fitted with a C14 inlet. This is designed to accept a power cable with a C13 connection (the same set up as on the back of computer). I am planning to use a cable with a C15 connection (the same as what is on a kettle cable). While this is designed for a C16 inlet, it will connect to the C14 inlet on the amp plate just fine. 

 

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Had a look at the back of the speaker in the pic on their website and it does seem to be a bigger inlet that would accomodate the c15. Good tip!

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Hi folks - wondering if anyone who's got/had/expecting these come from using the passive s400s?  Will be interested in any comparison thoughts.... I know s400s are gear dependent, but I'm guessing with room correction and DSP the 500s will definitively trump them.

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8 minutes ago, wikeeboy said:

An exciting new box arrived today....

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Fantastic! Looking forward to listening impressions!

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such a small box  - they say good things come in small packages.

 

It is truly remarkable that so much can be contained within that carton.

Looking forward to the oohs and aahs.

 

did you get the hub as well?  Is that in a separate box?

 

Benje

Edited by Benje
extra question.
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4 hours ago, wikeeboy said:

An exciting new box arrived today....

IMG_8145 copy.jpg

Remind me, when did you place your order...?

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5 minutes ago, Gee Emm said:

Remind me, when did you place your order...?

 

Ordered on 5th October 20.

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Unboxing pics below.

 

The box weighs a total of 24.2kg's so they've managed to get everything in the one box and under the 25kg limit for many carriers.

 

The speakers are more svelte than i thought, easily fitting in that box. They're going to look funny sitting next to the 8351's!

 

Looking forward to firing them up :)

 

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6 hours ago, wikeeboy said:

An exciting new box arrived today....

IMG_8145 copy.jpg

 

Question, did it come with EU or US cables? I'm just going to use travel adapters until I sort out a final solution. Want to be sure I get the correct ones. 

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1 hour ago, Bomber Rock said:

 

Question, did it come with EU or US cables? I'm just going to use travel adapters until I sort out a final solution. Want to be sure I get the correct ones. 

 

EU & US from what i can see (not opening any of the cables as i won't be using them).

 

The power cables are your usual $2 stuff. No different to getting some cheapie IEC power cables from Offcieworks/JB with AUS plugs.

 

The wall wart for the hub has interchangeable plugs, but no AUS version. Thankfully i have a power board at home with universal outlets so i've been able to use the EU plug.

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I'm trying not to jump out of the gate too quickly, but straight out of the box they're sounding great!

 

Went through the set up process. Link the hub with the remote, then the hub to the speakers, very quick and easy. Then set up the hub through your wifi with Google Home, an extra few minutes.

 

I've plonked them down on the TV bench, and fed them a digital signal from an M5 Bricasti streamer using Roon as the control. Super simple set up.

 

Was just aiming to get some sound out of them so i know they've been set up properly.

 

Quick initial impressions.... they sound really nice at low listening levels with the bottom end still full and weighty, not anaemic at all  (like there's a loudness effect). The speakers are not easily located, seem to disappear easily and throw up a very large soundstage for such a small pair of speakers. Play much bigger sound than they look. Not sounding harsh/bright at all with the selection of tunes i quickly ran through. Wasn't able to push them as the family are asleep, but at low levels at least the bottom end is huge :)

 

A great start from a pair of speakers not positioned correctly, and only beginning their 50-300hr run in. 

 

Looking forward to having a good run with them tomorrow!

 

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12 hours ago, wikeeboy said:

Quick initial impressions.... they sound really nice at low listening levels with the bottom end still full and weighty, not anaemic at all  (like there's a loudness effect).

 

There is loudness or they call it Low Level Enhancement (LLE).

From: https://www.buchardtaudio.com/a500-detailed-description

 

Automatic ISO 226:2003 Compensation = Low Level Enhancement - LLE

It is well known and documented in research, that the perceived sound balance is dependent on the level at which sound is reproduced. Best example is that with traditional loudspeakers, when listening at quieter levels, there is very little experienced bass and treble reproduction, although at louder level the bass and treble is clearly present. Since we are in control of the entire sound-reproduction chain of the speakers, we can predict the exposed level of sound at the listeners ears, which means we are able to compensate for this effect completely and very accurately. However, we will only do this compensation at low levels (<70dB), where we know most listeners will not perform their critical listening. The outcome from this compensation is a smooth and constantly adapting timbre to the sound, so that it will also sound dynamic and impressive at lower levels, where you can have conversations at the same time during listening. This is a very well engineered feature primarily aimed at professorial use in studios. It allows the mastering engineers to work at lower volumes and still get a precise representation of the music. This allows for much longer work sessions without getting fatigued. For HiFi use, if you often listen at lower volumes this would be a game changer for you!

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9 minutes ago, Satanica said:

 

There is loudness or they call it Low Level Enhancement (LLE).

From: https://www.buchardtaudio.com/a500-detailed-description

 

Automatic ISO 226:2003 Compensation = Low Level Enhancement - LLE

It is well known and documented in research, that the perceived sound balance is dependent on the level at which sound is reproduced. Best example is that with traditional loudspeakers, when listening at quieter levels, there is very little experienced bass and treble reproduction, although at louder level the bass and treble is clearly present. Since we are in control of the entire sound-reproduction chain of the speakers, we can predict the exposed level of sound at the listeners ears, which means we are able to compensate for this effect completely and very accurately. However, we will only do this compensation at low levels (<70dB), where we know most listeners will not perform their critical listening. The outcome from this compensation is a smooth and constantly adapting timbre to the sound, so that it will also sound dynamic and impressive at lower levels, where you can have conversations at the same time during listening. This is a very well engineered feature primarily aimed at professorial use in studios. It allows the mastering engineers to work at lower volumes and still get a precise representation of the music. This allows for much longer work sessions without getting fatigued. For HiFi use, if you often listen at lower volumes this would be a game changer for you!

 

Thanks for that! The LLE feature definitely does its job.

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Looking forward to your continuing reviews!

Buchardt's shipping and returns policy is generous, isn't it.  A relatively small fee to send them back within 45 days if you'd not satisfied  and they wear the GST import cost that is paid by them as well!:cool:

 

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2 hours ago, wikeeboy said:

 

Thanks for that! The LLE feature definitely does its job.

 

Great job with running update and pics wikee.

 

Question for all - I take it LLE is a fancy dynamic way of simply boosting bass and treble, proportional to volume?  Is there anything more nuanced to it, does anyone think?  I take it you can roughly achieve the same thing with some EQ adjustments/presets, if your amp allows...

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9 minutes ago, mundabble said:

Question for all - I take it LLE is a fancy dynamic way of simply boosting bass and treble, proportional to volume?

 

Yes.

 

10 minutes ago, mundabble said:

Is there anything more nuanced to it, does anyone think?

 

It doesn't appear to be but I can't think of why it needs to be "more nuanced".

 

11 minutes ago, mundabble said:

I take it you can roughly achieve the same thing with some EQ adjustments/presets, if your amp allows...

 

It could kind of work I suppose but I can't imagine that being a solution that would be easy to configure and obviously it needs constant input from the user.
I think I would find it cumbersome.

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13 minutes ago, mundabble said:

 

Great job with running update and pics wikee.

 

Question for all - I take it LLE is a fancy dynamic way of simply boosting bass and treble, proportional to volume?  Is there anything more nuanced to it, does anyone think?  I take it you can roughly achieve the same thing with some EQ adjustments/presets, if your amp allows...

The talk in reviews is that they adopt a "Fletcher-Munson" curve. Here is the first thing that comes up when I google it Fletcher Munson Curve: A Must-Know for Audio Recording (ehomerecordingstudio.com). Might be worth a read, or your own googling.

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1 hour ago, Satanica said:

 

Yes.

 

 

It doesn't appear to be but I can't think of why it needs to be "more nuanced".

 

 

It could kind of work I suppose but I can't imagine that being a solution that would be easy to configure and obviously it needs constant input from the user.
I think I would find it cumbersome.

Yep would sure be much easier/nicer/more convenient of course if it's all integrated and taken care of!  the beauty of active, I guess.  Though I'm watching the space for reviews of their I150 amp, meant to be shipping soon, with LLE for existing passives (like me s400s)... 

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9 hours ago, tims said:

Looking forward to your continuing reviews!

Buchardt's shipping and returns policy is generous, isn't it.  A relatively small fee to send them back within 45 days if you'd not satisfied  and they wear the GST import cost that is paid by them as well!:cool:

 

 

Yes it is a very good offer, almost too hard to pass up (as i found!).

 

Thanks for the kind words @tims & @mundabble, i will definitely keep everyone in the loop. I'm just cautious as the manual and video by Mads Buchardt say the drivers do need burn in time and the sound will develop so i'm being cautious with my judgement. So far however i am really liking them :) 

 

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14 minutes ago, Bomber Rock said:

Mine were delivered today. In about 2hrs I'll be home from work and listening to some fine tunes.

Congratulations! Which color did you go for?

 

Will be great to hear your thoughts on these speakers. 

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I got the Walnut. I'll post a pic when set up. My listening space is far from optimal - partially the reason I bought these instead of a passive system. 

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Look, I really take terrible photos. My wife takes much better photos on her Pixel 3 than I do on my Note 10. I intended to ask her to take some pics, but we had a little bit of a Barney, so didn't go there. Anyway, attached.

 

How does it all sound, I've only listened to a couple of albums, one on vinyl and one streaming digital. Certainly, sound is much bigger than the speakers they replaced, even though the buchardts are about a 1/4 of the physical size. When I say bigger, not sound stage, but more the scale and weight of the music, if that makes sense. Look, it's early days, and I need more time. I haven't done room correction yet (need to borrow an iPhone - we're an Android family) and I haven't looked at the master tunings yet. So, like Wikee, I'm going to hang 5 on reporting anything.

 

Most weekends, a mate of mine (who is an iPhone man) comes over and we drink beer and listen to music. We will certainly put the speakers to the test. 

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Hey Bomber Rock your pictures are quite fine mate, thanks.  Neat and tidy environment for them and you.

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7 minutes ago, Bomber Rock said:

How does it all sound, I've only listened to a couple of albums, one on vinyl and one streaming digital. Certainly, sound is much bigger than the speakers they replaced, even though the buchardts are about a 1/4 of the physical size. When I say bigger, not sound stage, but more the scale and weight of the music, if that makes sense.

What speakers did the A500 replace?

 

Suggest getting an Isoacoustics stand or Iso Puck Mini under the A500.  They do make a difference

https://www.storedj.com.au/search?ProductSearch=isoacoustics

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5 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

What speakers did the A500 replace?

 

Suggest getting an Isoacoustics stand or Iso Puck Mini under the A500.  They do make a difference

https://www.storedj.com.au/search?ProductSearch=isoacoustics

I was thinking the same thing. Would surely make a positive effect on the sound, congrats on the arrivals, they are a nice looking speaker for sure.

 

Sounds like they are getting quite a bit of weight out of them, like a mini Dutch & Dutch 8c.

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Snoopy8, see here for the system it replaced.

 

So, no name speakers, paired with emotive pre power combo. Augmented with a sub. Bit of history if you also go in link in speaker ad.

 

I bought some vibration absorbing pads that Bunnings sell. See post 22 here

 

But yeah, certainly will be looking at final solution for power cables and isolation into the future. Funds a but tight right now, and these bloody speakers already cost me a fortune as they are... Hahaha 

 

 

 

 

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So right now I'm listening to Alt J - An Awesome Wave. When I was considering, I auditioned the wireless Kef LS50 ii and also a pair of Dynaudio Evoke 20s with a Peachtree integrated.

 

Early stages, for me, the buchardts are a much more enjoyable listen than the Kefs. But my memory of the Dynaudio's, they seemed more exciting and angaged me a listener more.

 

Volume is certainly not similar and I'm not in a hi fi show room here. But for the little but more money, yeah the Dynaudio's I reckon are better.

 

Having said that, a bit of room correction and change in master tunings might make me re consider.

 

In any case, I'm happy and the wife certainly loves the lack of clutter that the buchardts bring. 

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15 minutes ago, Bomber Rock said:

So right now I'm listening to Alt J - An Awesome Wave. When I was considering, I auditioned the wireless Kef LS50 ii and also a pair of Dynaudio Evoke 20s with a Peachtree integrated.

 

Early stages, for me, the buchardts are a much more enjoyable listen than the Kefs. But my memory of the Dynaudio's, they seemed more exciting and angaged me a listener more.

 

Volume is certainly not similar and I'm not in a hi fi show room here. But for the little but more money, yeah the Dynaudio's I reckon are better.

 

Having said that, a bit of room correction and change in master tunings might make me re consider.

 

In any case, I'm happy and the wife certainly loves the lack of clutter that the buchardts bring. 

Very exciting to have new speakers...hope you get lots of listening time in. It is interesting you say that about the Dynaudios. Dynaudio make a very similar speaker (in some ways potentially identical) in the Focus XD series. There is a bookshelf model the 20XD, but given the additional driver in the Buchardts, you might consider the 30XD a more comparable offering. I would be interested to see if someone has compared them. My impression is that they use the same internal amplifiers (and probably DAC), but Buchardt offers a few more options by way of the Platen Hub being WISA compliant, the Master tunings and the DSP through the hub. Plus a slightly more modern connection interface. the Dynaudios have some customisation available through some adjustments on the back, but it is a much more traditional hi-fi model compared to the Buchardts. 

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Interesting. I didn't hear any of that range. And I also need to muck around with positioning etc. I'm now listening to the strokes - this is it. On the way to the garage to our a second beer I got a little bit of a sweet spot behind my couch and I found myself doing a little air guitar. I also bumped the volume a bit. I'm being quite conservative being a school night, don't wanna wake the kids.

 

But certainly the connectivity and customisation was a massive selling point for me. So I'm looking forward to experimenting over the next month.

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13 hours ago, tfj100 said:

Very exciting to have new speakers...hope you get lots of listening time in. It is interesting you say that about the Dynaudios. Dynaudio make a very similar speaker (in some ways potentially identical) in the Focus XD series. There is a bookshelf model the 20XD, but given the additional driver in the Buchardts, you might consider the 30XD a more comparable offering. I would be interested to see if someone has compared them. My impression is that they use the same internal amplifiers (and probably DAC), but Buchardt offers a few more options by way of the Platen Hub being WISA compliant, the Master tunings and the DSP through the hub. Plus a slightly more modern connection interface. the Dynaudios have some customisation available through some adjustments on the back, but it is a much more traditional hi-fi model compared to the Buchardts. 


Yes I think if you don’t want to wait for the Buchardt’s, the Focus 20XD would be a great option at their current price of $3750. They probably just don’t have the breadth of tunability the Buchardts..

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1 hour ago, Ray H said:


Yes I think if you don’t want to wait for the Buchardt’s, the Focus 20XD would be a great option at their current price of $3750. They probably just don’t have the breadth of tunability the Buchardts..

Well, I cancelled my A500 order and went for 60XDs. I reasoned that for a similar price to the A500, I was getting a similar set-up, but more akin to the A700. But, I do have a relatively small, boxy room and have ended up using the Roon DSP feature to modify the sound to reduce the room effect. I would be dead keen to do a side by side comparison, but the 60XDs are not exactly portable...so I might be reliant on finding a kindly A500 owner who is happy for a few free beers in return for lumping their speakers over to my place! 

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2 minutes ago, tfj100 said:

Well, I cancelled my A500 order and went for 60XDs. I reasoned that for a similar price to the A500, I was getting a similar set-up, but more akin to the A700. But, I do have a relatively small, boxy room and have ended up using the Roon DSP feature to modify the sound to reduce the room effect. I would be dead keen to do a side by side comparison, but the 60XDs are not exactly portable...so I might be reliant on finding a kindly A500 owner who is happy for a few free beers in return for lumping their speakers over to my place! 


Yes I just got 60XD also, they are great so far.

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7 hours ago, tfj100 said:

Well, I cancelled my A500 order and went for 60XDs. I reasoned that for a similar price to the A500, I was getting a similar set-up, but more akin to the A700. But, I do have a relatively small, boxy room and have ended up using the Roon DSP feature to modify the sound to reduce the room effect. I would be dead keen to do a side by side comparison, but the 60XDs are not exactly portable...so I might be reliant on finding a kindly A500 owner who is happy for a few free beers in return for lumping their speakers over to my place! 

 

Where in Melb do you reside? 

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