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Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!! CSP2 preamp (Read 14400 times)
Randy in Caintuck
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Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!! CSP2 preamp
03/02/07 at 18:54:30
 
According to the UPS tracking system, my CSP2 is out for delivery .....  8-)

I hope that Steve's packing job is up to the usual standards ..... UPS can be a tough bunch .....  :-?

Looking forward to an interesting weekend.

Randy
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« Last Edit: 10/27/08 at 16:31:47 by Steve Deckert »  

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Lon
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #1 - 03/02/07 at 20:12:56
 
I'm sure it will arrive fine. . . Steve's crew packs like no one else!

Good news. . .maybe mine will ship soon!
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #2 - 03/02/07 at 20:33:23
 
Randy,

Couldn't have you had it sent to me for a couple of days to pre break it in for you first?

Always willing to do a favor Dave Cheesy Cheesy
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« Last Edit: 03/02/07 at 20:34:19 by hurdy_gurdyman »  

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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #3 - 03/02/07 at 20:38:57
 
Hi Lon,

I'm thinking that we placed our orders somewhere around the same time.
It was good news that Steve still had one of the original chassis to build your CSP2 .....  :)

Have a great weekend and my best wishes to your family,

Randy
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CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
"Darth Baffles" OBs - with Hawthorne Augies, Saba Green Cones and Heil AMTs
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #4 - 03/02/07 at 20:45:10
 
hurdy_gurdyman wrote on 03/02/07 at 20:33:23:
Randy,

Couldn't have you had it sent to me for a couple of days to pre break it in for you first?

Always willing to do a favor Dave Cheesy Cheesy


Dave,

You are a true friend .....  ;)

When can I expect you to make a trip to Caintuck ?

As I remember it, the last time I saw you was at the MichiganFest .....  :-/

Regards,

Randy
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CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
"Darth Baffles" OBs - with Hawthorne Augies, Saba Green Cones and Heil AMTs
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Lon
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #5 - 03/02/07 at 20:50:20
 
I think you're right, we ordered about the same time.  Of course, demigod mods come before forum regular new builds!  :)

I'm glad too, though the only thing that presented difficulties for me with the new version really was the power cord coming in at the top.  That just flat won't work unless I got another shelf for my Samson rack and reconfigured and . . . well. . . that's an expensive fix.  I would have welcomed the non magnetic material chasis really!
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #6 - 03/02/07 at 20:50:20
 
Waiting is the hardest part Sad
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Lon
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #7 - 03/02/07 at 20:59:03
 
Yes, especially the last day or so!

I have been having fun "getting ready" though. Bought a new style Decware Silver Referrence interconnect and have been breaking it in---I can highly recommend these.  And I bought new style Mapleshade brass feet to try. And cryo'd 6N1Ps to use.

Also I spent ten days or so out of town (not having fun but oh well) which helped shorten the wait.
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« Last Edit: 03/02/07 at 21:00:44 by Lon »  

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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #8 - 03/02/07 at 21:47:01
 
I posted earlier, asking members to suggest what amp to mate with my Valencias.  However, the Valencias mated with my Select sounds oh-so-good (I'm currently using a ZSLA-1)

But I did get info about the new CSP2 preamp, suggesting that it, mated with my Select, might better the bass repsonse of my Valencias.

So I'm very interested in readng what you have to say about yours.  Please include any info about bass response as compared to previous preamp.

BTW, other suggestions to my inquiry were great.  Still looking into some of those.

Jim
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #9 - 03/02/07 at 21:59:59
 
Randy in Caintuck wrote on 03/02/07 at 20:45:10:
Dave,

You are a true friend .....  ;)

When can I expect you to make a trip to Caintuck ?

As I remember it, the last time I saw you was at the MichiganFest .....  :-/

Regards,

Randy

Randy,
When are you having another Cainfest? There will be lots of dark beer, right?

Dave Cheesy
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #10 - 03/05/07 at 21:59:58
 
hoosier1 wrote on 03/02/07 at 21:47:01:
So I'm very interested in readng what you have to say about yours.  Please include any info about bass response as compared to previous preamp.

Jim


Hi Jim,

When I got home from work Friday night, I was crushed to see that UPS had left an "attempt to deliver" notice on my front door.  Undaunted, I contacted them and made arrangements to pick the CSP2 up at the UPS depot that night.

As you can imagine, I was in a big hurry to put the CSP2 in the system ..... and when I did, there was a very noticeable hum from the right channel .....  :(

After checking a few things, it appears that one of the tubes got whacked in shipping.  I replaced all of the 6DJ8 type tubes and the expected quiet background appeared ..... Smiley

I will post my initial impressions later tonight.

Regards,

Randy
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #11 - 03/05/07 at 23:00:13
 
3 days and waiting Randy,  or have you taken a "sick day" and simply been too enthralled to get to the keyboard yet?   Cheesy

of course, if that's the case, then you can't reply to this either



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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #12 - 03/06/07 at 03:37:53
 
I think I'm going to read some favorable impressions tomorrow morning!
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #13 - 03/06/07 at 12:25:23
 
Okay. . . I lost that bet! Grin
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #14 - 03/06/07 at 12:36:10
 
Lon wrote on 03/02/07 at 20:50:20:
I'm glad too, though the only thing that presented difficulties for me with the new version really was the power cord coming in at the top.  That just flat won't work unless I got another shelf for my Samson rack and reconfigured and . . . well. . . that's an expensive fix.  I would have welcomed the non magnetic material chasis really!


Just curious, couldn't you have gotten a right angle power cord?
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #15 - 03/06/07 at 12:48:01
 
Yes, I could have, but I already have a PS Audio power cord just like all my other ones all broken in (was using it on my Alera Technologies cd burner) which saves me at least one hundred dollars, so that combined with the fact that the original chassis version would match all my other black Decware components I went that route when Steve said he'd be able to.
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« Last Edit: 03/06/07 at 12:48:34 by Lon »  

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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #16 - 03/06/07 at 16:31:45
 
Lon wrote on 03/06/07 at 12:25:23:
Okay. . . I lost that bet! Grin


Sorry about that, Lon .....  :)

I started listening last night and after 4 hours was too tired to post .....  :-/

I'm at work now and am up to my neck in alligators.  As soon as I get a break, I will post a few thoughts.

Thanks for your patience.

Randy


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Lon
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #17 - 03/06/07 at 16:42:20
 
You know, I GUESSED that was what happened!

I'm kicking alligators myself.  Thanks!
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #18 - 03/06/07 at 20:40:24
 
As I mentioned previously, I have never been a big fan of active preamps.  Most of the ones I tried over the years created a "haze" over the music that I simply could not ignore ..... even some of the more costly ones.

Steve Deckert suggested a couple of years ago trying one of his preamps in my system, saying that I might be pleasantly surprised.  The Camelot Uther DAC that I have been using for the past few years was designed to be used without an additional preamplifier ..... and I had the factory bump up the output voltage to 4+ volts.  Since it has remote volume and balance control in the analog domain, I felt that I was good to go.

Based on the first few hours of listening, I would have to say that Steve is telling it straight about the CSP2.  The first thing I did was play a couple of familiar well recorded tracks with cymbals.  Good news ..... the shimmer and delicacy was intact ..... and better yet, the body of the cymbal was much more evident than without the CSP2 ..... fuller and more realistic sounding with better presence.

In fact, the presence of all instruments and vocals is greatly improved.  The dynamic contrast is much better as well.  I'm thinking that it was Zygi who said that the CSP2 improved the instruments at the back of the soundstage ..... improving the clarity.  I can vouch for that.  It's now easier to follow all of the instruments and vocals in a recording.

The tonal balance is much more natural.  As an example, the body of an acoustic guitar is now in much better balance with the strings.

The CSP2 works very well with my new Zanden DAC, which only puts out 1 volt.  Out of curiosity, I put the Camelot Uther back in the system ..... first with the CSP2 and then without it.  Despite the fact the Uther was made to work by its lonesome, it sounded a little "dead" after the CSP2 was removed.  Since I make no claims as to knowing why this would be the case, I won't try to explain the reason ..... but I have no reservation in saying that the CSP2 made the Uther sound better ..... a lot better.

The only "downside" I have found to this point is the tendency to push the Select a little too hard.  With the nicer tonal balance, the temptation to crank up the volume is very real.  Running the Parker Audio Behemoths and Decware SO Imperials in parallel, the impedance is somewhere around 2.66 ohms.  The Select loves a low impedance load, but that is a lot of speaker for a power amp with 2 watts per side.  With the potential of 36 volts, you can not only drive the Select to clipping ..... you can launch it from the audio rack .....  :P
Since the Select clips so gracefully, it's not too hard to get into dangerous water before you are aware of it .....

This will not be a problem once I am used to the total system.  The volume will be more than adequate for my needs and the CSP2 makes the overall sound better by far.

Ah, yes ..... the bass ..... I know that everyone wants to know about the bass .....  :)

Well, if you have speakers that are capable of producing it, the CSP2 will make you happy.  Using only the Parker Audio Behemoths without the SO Imperials, the bass is very nice indeed.  I am now plainly hearing instruments in the lower registers that were previously "background instruments".  With the Imperials in the system, the bass has a wonderful presence that "pressurizes" the room in a very pleasant way.  The CSP2 also adds a nice amount of well controlled bottom end to Ed Schilling's Horns ..... which were in the system for a good portion of the listening sessions.  In fact, the CSP2 might very well be the icing on the cake for owners of The Horns and a Decware amplifier.  The Horns sound a lot "mightier" with the CSP2 pushing them.

Like everything else, I'm sure that the CSP2 will improve with break-in ..... but, based on what I have heard so far, I'm just sorry that I did not make this move sooner.

Randy
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Lon
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #19 - 03/06/07 at 20:55:34
 
Randy, thanks for sharing these impressions.

Sounds as if you're going to be pleased even more as breakin occurs.

I'm looking forward just a bit harder right now to mine!  ;D
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #20 - 03/06/07 at 21:08:09
 
Awesome Smiley Thanks for sharing and happy listening. You may have to start sleeping at work
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #21 - 03/06/07 at 21:47:54
 
Steve -
Looks like you owe Randy a nice dinner for the Ad....... Or he owes you a high end cartridge of your choice for the unexpected significant improvements, at a budget kind of price.  Margaret says I have to at least hear Randy's CSP2 before sending mine in  [smiley=cry.gif]

Randy -
Is this in addition to the VCap change? How do you even work  [smiley=cloud9.gif]

Joel
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #22 - 03/06/07 at 22:01:07
 
Joel wrote on 03/06/07 at 21:47:54:
Randy -
Is this in addition to the VCap change? How do you even work  [smiley=cloud9.gif]

Joel


Howdy Joel,

I'm thinking that the V-Caps do nothing but help me hear what is going on in the rest of the system .....  8-)

Work only exists for the purpose of buying audio gear and music .....  ;)

Randy
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CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #23 - 03/06/07 at 22:15:27
 
Nice review Randy. Maybe Select mono's might fit the place just right for thoise higher volume occaisons. I am still considering getting my CSP upgraded.   Cheesy I am more interested in your thoughts of the difference the CSP2 makes with your horns. Does it enhance the single driver as well

Mr C Smiley
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« Last Edit: 03/06/07 at 22:47:39 by barfind »  
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #24 - 03/06/07 at 22:42:31
 
Randy, great review! I'm glad it all worked out for you.

Happy Listening...

- Ray
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #25 - 03/07/07 at 06:16:32
 
Very cool, Randy,

Thx for taking the time for such a rounded impression.

Lon's in for a treat, I b'leeve.

Karl
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #26 - 03/07/07 at 16:39:15
 
Mr Content wrote on 03/06/07 at 22:15:27:
I am more interested in your thoughts of the difference the CSP2 makes with your horns. Does it enhance the single driver as well

Mr C Smiley


Howdy Mr C,

I took my Horns to the DecFest two years ago.  We hooked them up to an EX version of one of the Decware amplifiers and it sounded pretty good.  We then inserted a CSP into the mix and there was a huge improvement.  Everything was bigger, better defined and more effortless and controlled.  It sounded very much like when The Horns are driven by a more powerful amplifier ..... which I truthfully don't understand .....  :-?

The CSP2 gives me the same impression as what I heard at the DecFest.  IMHO, anyone who owns any of the Decware SV83 based amplifiers and The Horns would be well pleased with a CSP or CSP2 ..... the whole system becomes a "different animal" .....  :)

Regards,

Randy


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CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
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Mr Content
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #27 - 03/07/07 at 18:28:11
 
Thanks Randy, Maybe my csp is in for a journey.  :)

Mr C Smiley
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #28 - 03/18/07 at 00:23:53
 
Randy, is it safe to say you're enjoying the music too much to post?   Huh

Looking forward eagerly to mine in that case! Grin
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #29 - 03/24/07 at 16:10:39
 
Guess you really ARE listening away!  :)
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #30 - 03/30/07 at 20:51:49
 
Well, Steve emailed me last night that he was listening to my CSP2 and it was sounding really good, and DeVon shipped it today. . . !

By next weekend I may be as under the CSP2 spell as Randy seems to be!
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #31 - 03/31/07 at 03:26:04
 
 Good stuff Lon and very excited for you, betcha can't wait Smiley Looking forward to your review when your all settled in with the new Pre..  

 Randy you have to eat and sleep remember Grin, and also log in to give some updates once in awhile Wink..       Dave Smiley
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #32 - 03/31/07 at 12:25:19
 
To be honest Dave, work has me so flipping stressed out and worried that I can wait. . . I'm like in a haze half the time.  When i called DeVon back I could hardly focus on the fact that a CSP2 was on its way to me. . . I was thinking of the next meeting I had to attend and hhow crazy the situation is. . . I hardly got three sentences out to DeVon.  

And I'm sitting here listening to my system and marveling at how wonderful it currently sounds.  How can it get better?  But knowing Steve and his designs and his excellent personal handiwork, I know I'm in for a surprise!
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #33 - 04/02/07 at 02:47:13
 
Hi all,

Sorry I haven't posted lately.  It's due to a combination of things ..... I was recently assigned to a different building at my job and the work load has tripled. I don't know what Lon is going through at his job, but I can sympathize ..... because my situation has just about had me curled up under my desk in the fetal position a few times .....  :P   I will survive, but it will take some time to get up to speed and learn how to play the new "game".  When I get home at night, blissing out to some music is a lot more attractive than looking at another computer ..... even to check out the forum.  The other thing that has kept me busy is March Madness.  College hoops is the only sport I have any interest in these days ..... and I have been watching as many games as possible.  Tomorrow night will be the end of that for this year.

Despite the mental turmoil of work, I have been thoroughly enjoying what the CSP2 has done for my system.  There are still only about 100 hours on my CSP2, but the sound is without question better each day.  One of the most amazing things to me is how loud the system can play without clipping the Select.  I am listening at a higher volume than before ..... not nosebleed levels, but louder for sure ..... and the sound is much more realistic.  Before putting the CSP2 in the system, when I increased the volume past a certain point, the focus and coherency deteriorated.  With the CSP2, the opposite happens ..... the focus and coherency get noticeably better.  I do not understand why this happens ..... but I'm grateful .....  8-)

The CSP2 improves the dynamic capability of the system remarkably.  Small details and nuances in lead vocals "project" toward the listener while background instruments and vocals are much more detailed and easier to follow.  The lower registers of piano have a lot more weight and move more air.

I have experimented quite a bit over the past couple of weeks with different combinations of gear and can't see doing without the CSP2.  I'm sure it will sound like heresy ..... but, if I had to choose between the SO Imperials and the CSP2 ..... I would keep the CSP2.  It makes that much of an improvement in my system .....  :o

When things get better for Lon at work and he has some time to settle in with and burn in his new preamp, I have to believe that he will be one happy camper.

Anyone who owns a Decware power amplifier should seriously consider the purchase of one of these puppies .....  :)

Randy
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #34 - 04/02/07 at 11:38:59
 
Randy,  I'm sorry to hear you're working so hard.  But glad to hear you're enjoyiing the music so much!

In my case it's politically activated shuffling around and bringing in more "buddies" with improper qualifications and experience at the expense of employees that is gonig on.  Many of my coworkers have had to reapply for their jobs and many won't get them.  A lot of sadness about to come rolling along.  And it's more work for me. . .and no security for me either.  I wish a certain group of clowns had never been elected in some years ago.

My CSP2 should be here Wednesday or Thursday, so I have that to look forward to!
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #35 - 04/05/07 at 01:48:37
 
CSP2 is in the house!

Either it came with a dead fuse, or it blew the fuse the instant I turned it on (I never saw even a flash!) but it's in place and running.

Sounds good.  I don't hear magic yet. . . but I bet I will.

I'll start a new thread of impressions in a day or two.
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #36 - 04/06/07 at 13:52:24
 
Okay. . .more details in another thread over the weekend. . . but the magic is there. . . this was a nobrainer good purchase.
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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #37 - 04/08/07 at 04:03:42
 
Lon wrote on 04/06/07 at 13:52:24:
Okay. . .more details in another thread over the weekend. . . but the magic is there. . . this was a nobrainer good purchase.  


Indeed .....  :)

My last post to the CSP to CSP2 Upgrade thread concluded with :

Steve made the comment to me a while back (about the original CSP) that I really had not heard the full potential of my system without it.  I honestly thought it was funny at the time.

I'm not laughing now .....  :-?

Seriously ..... if you don't have one, buy one.

You can thank me for the recommendation later .....  ;)

End of quote

Each and every time I fire the system up, it sounds better.  I'm not sure how much break-in time will be required before the CSP2 reaches its full potential ..... but "no brainer" is a term I would also use for this pre-amp.

I invited a friend over a couple of nights ago who has heard the system many times.  I sat him in "the chair" and fired off the second cut (Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most) on the Rickie Lee Jones CD "Pop Pop".  When the first bass note hit, he spun around in the chair and grinned like a 'possum.
In times past, the bass on this track was in the background instrument category.  It is now a major player ..... robust, tuneful and wonderfully detailed.
When I told him that the SO Imperials were not hooked up, he just shook his head .....  :)

Have I mentioned that I really like the CSP2 .....  8-)

Randy
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« Last Edit: 04/08/07 at 04:05:40 by Randy in Caintuck »  

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Re: Happy, happy ..... joy, joy ..... !!!
Reply #38 - 04/08/07 at 12:19:47
 
Well, I certainly don't like it as much as you do yet. . . . But I do really like it.

I'm not getting quite the "bass metamorphosis" that you are, and that disappoints me a little.  Maybe it's the room and maybe it's the set up.  I'm still tweaking a bit on how it's place in the system.  Lots of factors to play with.  And I'm beginning to think I need to continue playing with gain int the amps and the CSP2 to find just the right compromise.  

Having the ZBox in the loop also is quite interesting.  I actually love the sound of the tv from the Sony dvd recorder into the CSP2 A LOT.  No ZBox there.  Adding the CSP2 to the system before the CSP2 I've lost a bit of "mellowness" that I lament.  I really really love the "mellowness" I had.  I probably will find it again. I'm entering into a time frame where it's going to just break free a bit of its prebreakin nature.  

It's definitely fun to listen to.  Just to be able to watch tv through the system is a joy.  And lets me use the system more.  My wife doesn't say much but she likes it more than running the tv through the B&O system before, which she would only occasionally sit still for. She listens to the tv through the Decware system and just relaxes.  That's great!

So. . . more comments soon.  Listening to do!
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