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CSP2 Review NEW 2-3-07 Update (Read 10734 times)
Parker
Ex Member



CSP2 Review NEW 2-3-07 Update
12/23/06 at 01:53:44
 
Yesterday I received a call that my CSP2 is on it's way. Sweet I can't wait. I'll try to have a few "non-audio" types listen to it vs my normal ss pre set up and try to report what they hear.

I find that many times the people (like myself) who make different boxes, exp. with speaker placement, room treatments, etc. Have a bit more critical ear than the average person but I think just a normal member of the public would also be good as a reference.

A friend of mine is a very talented musician and has been in music schools and training throughout his life. He usually just says it like it is without regard to cost, hype etc.

Of course my experience and subjective listening will be the most important to me.

Drum Roll for what speakers will be used>>> Or do you want to wait for pics? Here is a teaser, no mdf anywhere in the speakers, and one of the woods is named after an animal.
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« Last Edit: 02/04/07 at 20:34:10 by Parker »  
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Lon
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #1 - 12/23/06 at 10:53:37
 
Congrats!  Be sure to let us know what YOU think.  (You can let us know about the opinions of other hearers TOO!) Smiley
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Mike W
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #2 - 12/23/06 at 23:32:03
 
Quote:
Drum Roll for what speakers will be used>>> Or do you want to wait for pics? Here is a teaser, no mdf anywhere in the speakers, and one of the woods is named after an animal.


Come on dude the suspense is killing me
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Parker
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #3 - 12/24/06 at 21:26:23
 
You didn't even guess the animal. I'll give you another hint, the animal normally lives in Africa.

As for the speakers I'll say this much: active 4 way.

Too bad my best source is a cheap 8 year old dvd player. I'm working on that...

I thought pics would be cool so I might wait until everything is set up.
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Rap
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #4 - 12/24/06 at 21:52:11
 
If your talking about a Dynacord "Cobra" then I think those mostely live in Asia Roll Eyes they have some in Africa but that is not a great hint.

Rap. Smiley
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morpheous85
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Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #5 - 12/25/06 at 05:33:16
 
Zebrawood?

Jason
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The Tish
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #6 - 12/25/06 at 16:39:34
 
    Von Schweikert?   I second the zebrawood guess.   Tish
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Parker
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #7 - 12/26/06 at 18:44:51
 
Yes, you win the Xmas cookie. Zeebrawood it is.

Zeebrawood sides and Curly Maple Baffles.

Looks pretty sweet, should be here within a few days.

Pic of Zeebrawood.

http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=711
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Parker
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #8 - 12/29/06 at 03:18:11
 
Okay, UPS man said January second then I get a call today that they missed me for the delivery. Long story short I have my CSP2 now.

1. So far I plugged in the power cord and let it run for about 5 mins.
2. Turned unit off, unpluged cord, moved it and turned unit back on with all connections made.
3. Getting crazy loud very low frequency from speakers, nothing like a 60hz buzz more like 2-5hz full excursion peaks on woofers. Makes the lights dim the amp is working so hard.
4. Didn't like the above so turned off the amp, kept the imput's hooked up, took the outputs off and listened to headphones.
5. Nothing impressive to report at low volumes, doesn't sound bad but doesn't best my ipod either (headphones are Senn HD650's). Not getting the super low frequencies now, but I can't see the drivers in the headphones.
6. I can go to 1/2 volume without any real problems in terms of clipping or poor sound but past that i get crazy loud crunchy sound. Still curious if the very low bass is present.
7. Have it hooked up now with no imput, yes output, no headphones just making the tubes glow a bit at half volume.

Any ideas, I could imagine a 60hz buzz (even though I've never heard one before in my house on any of my gear) but a super super low freqency at way way high volume. Any Help?

Do they test these things before they leave? Could a bad tube do what I have mentioned above.
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Lon
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Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #9 - 12/29/06 at 13:00:13
 
I would call Steve, rather than guessing or taking guesses from us.

Does NOT sound as if this is as it should be.

Bummer!
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Parker
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #10 - 12/30/06 at 17:56:06
 
after some trouble shooting here is where it's at. the super low freq problem isn't the csp, it some incompatibility w the analog signal processor in my system. linkwitz lab orions. tried th csp w a 'normal set up' pair of passive bookshelfs and amp, worked fine can't comment on sound bc just briefly hooked gear up to test didn't position them in the room etc. Not happy w the quite apparent 60hz hum that i'm getting. doesn't change w volume, only really noticable on low volume and betewwn songs, nonetheless still want to get rid of it. more comments on headphone sound later.
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Mike W
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Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #11 - 12/31/06 at 00:33:58
 
[quote author=Lon  link=1166842424/0#9 date=1167397213]I would call Steve, rather than guessing or taking guesses from us.

Does NOT sound as if this is as it should be.

Bummer! [/quote]

Good advice
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morpheous85
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Re: CSP2 in the Mail, Can't Wait
Reply #12 - 01/02/07 at 20:50:08
 
Perhaps there's a ground loop problem? Decware products, if nothing else, are always very quiet as far as noise goes. Maybe another incompatibility.

Jason
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Parker
Ex Member



Re: CSP2 Review by Parker
Reply #13 - 01/04/07 at 01:00:19
 
CSP2 Review By Parker

Well Iíve put a few hours on the CSP2 so I thought I would include a few of my initial impressions. Note that the problems I mentioned earlier were of no fault of the CSP2. I would guess that I have had the unit on with a signal going to it for about 5 hours total of which I have listened to it on headphones for at least one hour the other 4 hours I didnít listen to the unit at all. Listening to bookshelf speaks and normal 2-channel set up was not done for more than 1 minute bc I only used to this to determine that the CSP2 was not the culprit of the previous problem.  

Input signal is coming from normal low-mid grade cd/dvd player (about 1 year old sony unit) only used original cds so far. RCA cables are very low-mid grade monster etc. Home has no power bumps or otherwise oddities in the electricity. Using the normal tubes that shipped with the unit.

Iíll start with the negative or so far the least desirable things I have noticed (these may be fixable but at this point I do not know). Prominent 60hz hum is clearly audible on quite passages and in between songs or when I hit pause. A general consumer would be unlikely to hear this but I believe I am a bit more trained on picking those types of things out. Note that Iíve never heard a hum this loud from any mid-high quality headphone amp or my current preamp (adcom 450) and I really doubt it is the power in my house making the hum since no other gear hums this loud when plugged into the same sockets. Tried using a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter to see if that changed anything but it yielded no help. Note the only other item pluged into this circuit was the cd player (note hum still there if cd player is turned off). If the hum could be eliminated this would be the cleanest pre amp with the lowest amount of hiss (note that for me hiss and hum are two different things) I have ever heard. The 60hz hum does not change with the volume and there is no audible hiss and it doesnít change with volume either (Iím very very impressed by this).

Another issue that I would like to isolate is the CSP2 clipping at fairy low levels. I believe my cdplayer has a two-volt output, when I get past half volume the unit clips very hard. I wouldnít normally listen to headphones this loud but if you compare the clipping point of the CSP2 and my Adcom unit I would say that the adcom is subjectively 4 times louder before clipping at the same level. I guess the clipping really isnít a problem if it is out of the normal range I use but I read this thing can do over 30volts without distortion, I thought that meant it could do 30 volts without clipping (yet I donít know where 30 volts would be on the factory trim pots and volume knob). Perhaps something is wrong with the unit, but other than that and the 60hz hum nothing is seems wrong.

The main negative for me so far is that the CSP2 is not compatible with my Linkwitz Lab Orion speakers, very big disappointment but there might be a remedy somewhere.

So now I have to decide if I will justify the cost of the CSP2 as a headphone amp or a future second room set up pre amp. The Orionís are so amazing I have no thoughts at all about replacing them,

Okay so back to the CSP2. Build quality looks first rate, although this is my first piece of tube gear. Super smooth volume pot. Donít like how the power cord sticks up out of the back, I wish it went out the back like a normal unit but I can see the reason it was built this way. Anyway the most important thing is how it soundsÖ

Headphones are Senn HD650ís w about 50hs on them (these are 300ohm). The first thing that I noticed about the sound is that it seemed less fatiguing than a normal headphone amp. I donít necessarily mean this in terms of peaks in frequency response but it almost sounds like the csp2 has a cross feed. Normally when I listen to headphones I get this hyper isolated two channel that I find kind of obnoxious and distracting. Overall I like the sound of nice headphones but without a cross feed I find them fatiguing. The CSP2 makes the sounds seem like they are coming from directly inside my head rather than from the headphones placed outside of my head. For a moment I thought that the CSP2 might sound so good on headphones bc it didnít have good channel separation (thus acted like a cross feed) I checked the unit isolating each output and this is certainty not the case. I donít have measurement tools but I would estimate that the CSP2 has the highest degree of channel separation I have ever heard from a preamp or headphone amp. As far as imaging it usually takes a good 5 minutes for my brain to become used to listening to headphones; the vast majority of my listening is on a home two channel system. With headphones I just donít get the front to back depth and front stage image as well as I do on a good two channel in a room. I donít think this is a criticism of the CSP2 itís just how headphones are compared to speakers in a room.  To itís the credit the CSP2 created the most enjoyable headphone reproduction I have heard. To me headphones seem to have a great ability to sweep from side to side yet they have a bit of trouble making a center image. The CSP2 has a far better than average center image (perhaps it is not the CSP2 but itís the headphones and my brain but for argument sake lets leave it at that). Typically this sweeping from side to side can sound a bit forced at times since each ear is so isolated, the CSP2 was less pronounced in this way but I didnít sound rolled off or anything like that. One of the biggest things I noticed about the unit was that I seemed to hear not only the music sweeping from side to side but also up and down. Normally I donít hear this on headphones but I do hear it on good recordings in a normal two channel home set up. This sliding up and down isnít like a fader or anything like that, it just sounds like the instruments are separated by more space and they are on a different vertical plane. I am curious to try the CSP2 with an input from a Dolby headphone source. Iíve played around with dolby headphone a bit and I find it sounds far more like a real room than straight two channel playback, Iíll report back on this if I give it a try.

Iím also thinking about using the mono out to run a sub near my listening position to add a little physical bass, might prove interesting.
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morpheous85
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Re: CSP2 Review by Parker
Reply #14 - 01/04/07 at 04:58:10
 
Your CSP2 might still have some issues with it. You initially mentioned super low bass noise. I wonder if that is still there, and causing the clipping. The spec sheet says it can take up to a 5v input and put out up to 36v.

The 60hz hum, is it still present when the cd player is unplugged from the power? Or when the cd player is unplugged from the CSP2? I've dealt with groundloops before in pro-audio situations and it's suprising where they turn up. I had one amp that hummed whenever a VCR (power on or off) was connected to the soundboard. Neither caused problems by themselves, only when used at the same time. Muting it didn't help. Fortunatly, the cables were balanced and cutting the shield at one end killed the hum.

I'm glad the rest of it is enjoyable! Good luck!

Jason
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