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PS Audio about to ... (Read 115344 times)
will
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #250 - 07/09/14 at 00:45:48
 
6 feet out does seem pretty clear of the walls. Sounds like a difficult setup indeed, and intuition needs attention!

My 944s are not a perfect reference as I have modified them so the mid-bass and low bass are less resonant and dominant in the balance, revealing more upper-mid to high information. This did wake up the image though. As far as my experiments have shown, this area in balance determines subtle definition throughout, (including bass definition) and thus imaging potential. When the mid to upper info is missing or masked too much, it seems the image just can't come out fully.

It is good to hear the DS has increased your depth. I found this also, if the source brings out more fine detail musically, it improves the image while being more engaging. Along with room considerations, I think this illustrates the solution.

This room is very wide, and not too difficult in that way. The speakers are close to symmetrical given that the room opens in various ways on the right side being a small T rather than a capital L. The image of the modded 944s (with low EQ cut) was deep, wide and saturated, player placement and space around them clear. I could not identify the speakers as having sound coming from them. With big space recordings, the image was as much as 30 feet wide and as deep as 15-20 for the actual players, and boundless for ambience. Singers or horn players were clear in location and height, only moving when they moved in relation to their mic. Deep bass, now moderated to fit this space was felt in the body with natural sound.

The HR-1s, also needed to be modified similarly for me, in this room. They did change my sound...more refined, but not so much the imaging. This could be well be this room and arrangement though.

The modded MG944s in another room, the sound is warmer and image a little dreamy, but wide, deep, and saturated also. Sometimes when I hear this drum or that rattle or bell it shocks me it is so of itself in space. I am running a Rega Apollo to a Blue Torii with a ZSTAGE there, and no EQ to the modded 944s. The bass is strong, but quite good with that amp, and a bit domineering with the MKIII, but it images well there too. That room is not treated except by the chance of design, and darker than this one, but nice. Both rooms have ICs and speaker cables that do not smear or bring out excessive bass, and vibration is managed.

I think it must be very difficult to design great audio gear since no matter what, most rooms are untreated, a crap shoot....But then, treated rooms are treated with chosen design and tools (of many), and space limitations, and finally to each person's taste....better, but also varying a great deal in the ultimate sound.

Thank goodness for the transparent and revealing front end stuff, but speakers, they seem an extraordinary challenge to me when in fact, no room is either perfect or uniform to others. Like a lot of us, seems all that has turned me into an experimenter in all areas of the sound.
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« Last Edit: 07/09/14 at 01:00:52 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #251 - 07/09/14 at 03:50:24
 
Quote:
The image of the modded 944s (with low EQ cut) was deep, wide and saturated, player placement and space around them clear. I could not identify the speakers as having sound coming from them. With big space recordings, the image was as much as 30 feet wide and as deep as 15-20 for the actual players, and boundless for ambience. Singers or horn players were clear in location and height, only moving when they moved in relation to their mic. Deep bass, now moderated to fit this space was felt in the body with natural sound.


That sounds amazing - that's what I'm looking for. I'm working on getting some HR-1 to try out next.
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will
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #252 - 07/09/14 at 05:15:56
 
I look forward to hearing how they sound there. Good Luck!
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will
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #253 - 07/09/14 at 18:32:52
 
LR,

To be clear, those spectacular big sound stages are as good as it gets here, not the usual by any means.

My references are 28 wide walls (at the widest area) and the far bedroom wall beyond the living room wall behind the speakers. With the voice a foot or two in front of the speakers, that wall is roughly 19 feet. My speakers are a little less than 5 feet center to center, often a better side-to-side reference for most recordings I listen to.

I do more whole room listening by far though, maybe only a recording a day in the seat, or sitting there when I am checking stuff out. I am in it for the music, mostly adjusting things for what sounds like "real" to me, but this does seem to correspond with better soundstage. I do get a big rush when sounds get close to or through my wide and deep references though!

But then it is imagination. At times I close my eyes and locate the instruments in space, then eyes open, place it in the room. Eyes closed tends to increase the stage sense for me, the visual turned off allowing a more a whole body/mind experience. Being more the norm for my serious listening I trust and enjoy the eyes closed sound...illusion or not, it is consistant!!! It gets a step better for me eyes closed and the room dark!

I would have to do some measuring, but more typical recordings I listen to might be more like 10-20 wide, and maybe 8-16 deep, some wider and shallower, some squarer, some wide and deep...

Not a perfect room, beyond speaker and room setup, it also depends on tubes, cables, feet, and synergy here. When I was experimenting with integrating the CSP3 with the Torii MKIV, an Ana Caram recording I use a lot, the guitar could be 2 or 4 feet right of the right speaker, and from just a little back to maybe 2 feet behind the speaker plane, and the horn could vary from maybe 7 feet left of the left speaker, and 3-4 back, to 12 or so left and 5 or so back. This was playing with tubes, cables and feet!

I have the most trouble with depth differentiation. When they stack some instrument/voices close to a relative line front to back, with some recordings, I wonder if it is even possible to be clear. But with others it is clearer even with this stupid mix. I suspect in the right room and setup this could be notably better. Relative to this, I have been impressed at times when recordings I did not consider to have great staging have improved notably as I get a better handle on my system/room. All is easier for me when instruments are have spatial differentiation front to back and side to side.

Here, it is always good at this point, but aspects are a little fragile, requiring specific balance.

Hopefully once you get your room and system done....speakers sorted, and the DS optimized and burned in, yours will be a lot better than this!
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« Last Edit: 07/09/14 at 18:36:47 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #254 - 07/09/14 at 19:42:34
 
What Ana Caram recording do you use?

Like Palomino did in his thread, I'm putting together a collection of tunes for demo and imaging purposes.

I've been using vocal harmonies with my MG944 because that's what they are good at. Percussion as well now that I think about it. Very distinct location of high frequency percussion like wood blocks and stuff.

Since the DirectStream represents things differently than my Oppo, I'm noticing I like the feel of some different songs now - so now is a good time to try and track down some new demo tunes!

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« Last Edit: 07/09/14 at 19:57:32 by Lonely Raven »  
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will
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #255 - 07/09/14 at 20:56:00
 
The recording is blue bossa and the tune in my test list is "Intuil Paisagem." It is good for tuning in many ways...nice airy voice, sort of soft, a little mushy bass and soft kick so a good reference for sorting bass sound and placement of the drums and bass. Guitar has nice natural finger feel...sax is sweet but pushes hard at one point, and the stage too.

If you like old school Bossa Nova, check out the whole recording. It has a traditional core played without self consciousness of trying to be new, or trying to be old...pretty honest music to me. I think I got it from Chesky.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #256 - 07/09/14 at 21:17:02
 

I'm pretty sure I have that one in my digital collection somewhere. I tried, but I just couldn't get into it. It does sound like a good test tune though!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #257 - 07/10/14 at 04:54:34
 

Wow, scratch that - great tune! I do have this in HD, but I don't recall having listened to it. This is some wide soundstage!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #258 - 07/10/14 at 05:09:43
 
Glad to hear it!
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #259 - 07/11/14 at 14:28:56
 
I had a great listening session last night. I was honestly supposed to be doing some testing of the Oppo vs DirectStream and the Oppo with the video out setting set to 720p vs 1080p while doing critical listening (supposedly makes a difference). And I was supposed to be trying out new software like Foobar and/or working on the issues with my JRiver/Win8.1 software.

But what happened was I received a .5m Pangea USB cable from Amazon to replace the 10' generic one I've been using (wasn't sure if generic cable was causing software problems or not) - and the system simply sounded great last night - DirectStream playing CD Rips and HD Files -> Mystery Amp -> MG944. It was so vibrant, live sounding, and detailed - very enthralling! I pretty much sat there for hours playing through some great albums, and putting on some single tracks looking for new demo tunes. Played through Abby Road, Dusty Springfield - in Memphis, Queen, Steve Ray Vaughan, I don't recall what all. I was all over the place just letting the deep cuts play. Oh yeah, I even played Michael Jackson - Thriller while Brianne cooked dinner. What an amazing sounding album on a good system! Edit to Add: Queen hurts - I love Queen, I grew up on it, and it's the one band I regret not seeing in their hayday. But their recordings are *painful*. Somebody to Love is just so screechy and harsh. Bohemian Rhapsody was OK, and newer ones like I'm Going Slightly Mad was highly compressed and loud, but good to listen to. I guess even the DS/ZMA combo can't fix what is simply poorly recorded music.

What a great friggen session that was! I got absolutely nothing done last night except to spin tracks. And honestly, this happened after replacing the USB cable - so either it was just one of those great listening nights, or maybe USB cables do have something to them? More to test and play with I guess!

I have a critical listening session with some friends on Tuesday - one's been listening with me for 15 years now, and the other enjoys music, but is very new to this "audiophile thing" and is simply blown away by my setup. Let's see what they think of the new DAC! Edit to Add: My newbie audiophile friend knows I have the DS DAC, but my long time listening buddy does not. I'm not going to say anything, and just press play and see what they say.  :)
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« Last Edit: 07/11/14 at 20:38:07 by Lonely Raven »  
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will
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #260 - 07/11/14 at 18:36:27
 
LR,

That is really exciting!

Funny, with revealing gear like we have, conceptually it seems obvious that everything in the system reflects the front end (and everything that is a part of it...transport, player software, computer, feet, cables, power supply etc). The whole deal is enlivened or inhibited by what makes up the front!

But then with so many options out there ...the opinions and language for descriptions all pretty much similar for the popular stuff.... financial thoughts, can it be enough better than what we have?

Then we introduce Decware, with the potential to go beyond in terms of subtle revelation...introducing another layer for the necessity for really complete beginnings, middles and endings!%^&* ....while also revealing gear insufficiencies when the system/room is capable of all the sweet micro stuff that completes music...... It seems a little daunting.

Then it shows up, offering all the usual sound attributes really beautifully, but also the subtle details, the stuff between the lines so to speak....Holy crap, life changes!

In turn, system/room refinement gets easier and more exciting...

All toward the amazing captivation by the love of music like last night!

It is so amazing we get to do this! So amazing....Thanks for the story.
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« Last Edit: 07/11/14 at 18:43:51 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #261 - 07/11/14 at 20:43:05
 

I'm hearing talk of some people saying the DS DAC needs 300-500 hours of burn in. Ted wouldn't comment on how long burn in needs, but he did say the low temp parts he spec'd probably makes the burn in longer. I think either the USB cable change last night either made a bigger difference then I expected, or maybe the DS DAC leveled up (so to speak). I'm probably close to 100 hours with one week behind me, and letting the DAC play 5 hours on 5 hours off with the occasional overnight random-track burn in.

Eventually I'm going to get the room cleaned up and get back to using the Herbies iso-cups and cones and all that stuff...I've been so busy with other things, I really don't have my equipment situation cleaned up, sorted out, and in best "setup". Let's hope that sorting out the setup will improve on micro-details. Then, if all works out well, in another week or two I might have some HR-1 to try out.   Smiley

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #262 - 07/11/14 at 22:14:54
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 07/11/14 at 20:43:05:
I think either the USB cable change last night either made a bigger difference then I expected, or maybe the DS DAC leveled up (so to speak).

It might be a bit of both but I bet that the cable made a bigger difference than you expected and there's still more burn-in to follow.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #263 - 07/12/14 at 18:58:13
 

Quote:
It might be a bit of both but I bet that the cable made a bigger difference than you expected and there's still more burn-in to follow.


I hope your right, Lon. The one thing that could make the DS better right now, is if it sweetened up a bit. It's not harsh or edgy (except for maybe the first few hours of life), and not clinical like the Oppo - but a little sweetness would be just the right topping on this ice cream.  :)
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #264 - 07/16/14 at 18:02:52
 
Well, I got my first real listen to the DS.  I don't count the cluster that happened at AXPONA.  Anyway, I went over the Raven's nest last night for a short listening session.

We listened to Summertime - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Summertime - Wailin' Jennys, Tin Pan Alley - Stevie Ray Vaughn, Lucky Man - ELP, Here comes the Sun - Beatles and Billy Jean - Michael Jackson (yes, Michael Jackson)

To be honest, I am not sure that I can differentiate between what was being added by the Mystery Amp or the DS, but I can say that these two paired together produce some wonderful music and some great synergy.

Focus, timbre, air were all fantastic.  All of the instruments were extremely well separated, distinct and all real sounding.  Most of all, I was impressed with the way it let the true mix (or at least what I perceived to be the true mix) come through.

Billie Jean is not a song I listen to, nor do I own, but after hearing that mix, I really could understand the brilliance of Quincy Jones.  That mix is just excellent and downright fun.

Lucky Man is a fairly dated recording, but the mix and the sound of the bass drum behind the lead singer was extremely engaging.  The clarity of the mix even on Here Comes the Sun really of draws you in.

Not wanting to give in to the hype, I didn't tap my toes, but I certainly found myself wanting to.   Damn, its true.

So again, I can say this is a killer combo.  Next step will be to listen to it again with Raven's HR1s, but it was already killer with the 944s.

Also, I want Raven to bring this DAC over to my place so I can hear it in my room and get a better sense of sound stage.  Raven will admit he needs those diffusers built for his room and they could take it to an even higher level.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #265 - 07/16/14 at 18:43:48
 
Thanks for posting that. Another great listening session!

I'm glad you brought me to reality by reminding me how important the ZMA is. I'm just so used to it doing everything right, that I don't even question what it's doing anymore. The Oppo/ZMA is a great mix, especially with XLR - the DirectStream sure takes it up a notch!

Nate and I continued listening for another half hour after you left, then reviewed what he heard/learned. He had a great way of describing the Oppo compared to the DS. He said the Oppo was like taking a photo and running it through a sharpening filter in Photoshop. It's  got lots of detail, but at the expense of sharp edges. Whereas the DS is just presenting the music as it is. Even cranked up as loud as we had it last night, it wasn't edgy or fatiguing. After 4 hours of listening, I had a slight ringing in my ears at the end, but was really ready for more!

Two things I took away about my setup in last nights listening session: Garbage in - Garbage out.  The Who's - Who's Next (Steve Hoffman mix) was good to listen to, but not much difference between the Oppo and DS was minimal. But then on a great recording the DS really shines and leaves the Oppo in the dust with clean detail, timing, timbre and accuracy. The second thing: good recordings, even in my crummy L shaped room with beamie 944 speakers with small sweet spot, sounded HUGE. Even sitting back and slightly off center as I was, everything sounded HUGE. It must have been amazing for Nate in the sweet spot, even if we pushed him up a bit - bobsled style.

I'm glad I'm going out of town for a couple day, I really feel I need a break from music for a bit. Last night was almost overwhelming. LOL
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« Last Edit: 07/16/14 at 18:44:34 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #266 - 07/17/14 at 08:40:36
 
Hi,

I want to just to share my experience. I am 52 years old now and start listening to hifi stereo system all Luxman system and Altec speakers  with vinyl record player 40 years ago, then move to Nakamichi tape and finally CD. But for CD, I still feel that it is not analog or organic sound like vinyl record or tape.

I just move to Mac mini as audio comp server to replace my Accuphase CD player. I am finding the music software which is fit to my system and my taste. It is Pure Vinyl music software. Now the point is that when I try Pure Vinyl, there are two modes for you to select
1) Maximum Fidelity.
2) NOS. (Classic).  NOS = Non-OverSampling.
Mode Maximum Fidelity gives you sound quality as current modern Hifi sound as same as all other music software like Amarra, Audirvana and Bitperfect. It is excellent but I feel that it is not analog or organic sound. It is a digital sound, very accurate, details, very extending high and low bottom. Very pin point precision sound stage but it is not floating. I feel that the sound is dry, no live. If I compare it with photo. It like very sharp picture, very details but edgy. It is not smooth natural color gradient transition. The picture is not 3D looking as picture from film era.

But when I play with mode NOS Classic. I know suddenly that its sound is what I am looking for. It is the same character of sound quality when you are playing vinyl record and tape. Its sound is more dense and round. Its sound stage is like 3D, the instruments are floating but not precise location as mode fidelity. The sound is not deep as fidelity but it is wider. I feel that its sound is more live, not dry even its details is lower than mode fidelity. But I hear more ambient sound, more trimbre, particularly classical music.

I want to share this information because you can try Music Vinyl with 15 days trial period. You will know two types of sound characters between Max Fidelity and NOS Classic. Then you will know which direction of sound you should chase.  

If you like Max Fidelity, then your DAC should be sigma-Delta type and DSD.

If you like Tape and Vinyl record sound character, it is NOS Classic type. Then you should use Pure Vinyl with mode NOS. (there is only this software with this function as I know).  And DAC should be NOS DAC type, not delta sigma DAC and not DSD.

It is free 15 days trial of Pure Vinyl of different modes of Max Fidelity and NOS Classic. You can do trial at your home without any extra cost. And you will know what kind of sound character you are looking for.

For me, I am analog guy with digital era. I use Pure Vinyl software. Now my DAC  is still Accuphase DAC which is delta sigma DAC. I have already ordered Audio Note DAC 3.1 fully upgrade to try later. (Audio Note uses NOS DAC chip, not delta sigma chip). Now I know which sound I chase and which equipment I should chase.

Last ZMA is awesome!  It is a great great great amp.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #267 - 07/17/14 at 12:43:21
 
I definitely think there is something to what you've said about determining what kind of sound you like.  I had a conversation with Steve along those same lines but focused on speakers.  He talked about the Hifi sound (classic) versus audiophile sounding speakers.  The latter being more precise. Currently I have assembled a system which mostly provides the classic Hifi sound.

What impressed me about the DS was that it was neither too open and airy nor to precise and sharp.  With the ZMA it produced just the right amount of each and gave me the sense of being what the engineer intended with an instrument reality that I haven't heard before.

Upon listening to my system after returning home it sounded too open and unfocused where I thought I had been getting acceptable clarity and openness at the same time.

I have a bit of a bias against high end because I just can't put money In to that right now but this seems to me to be a great example of getting what you pay for and giving you reality and not a bias in one direction or another.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #268 - 07/17/14 at 17:29:27
 
Palomino wrote:
"What impressed me about the DS was that it was neither too open and airy nor to precise and sharp.  With the ZMA it produced just the right amount of each and gave me the sense of being what the engineer intended with an instrument reality that I haven't heard before".

......and with the ZMA (so exceptional)....Timbre/Tone!

I just got back from vacation last night...an taking this day to catch up on everything around here...and getting nothing done...the open door to my Listening room....keeps bringing me in an sitting me absorbed in the music.  I am afraid to do the FW update... . I am in no hurry...even though I keep saying to myself do it!  

Yes, big expense...but I am not returning it.  I can't be without it-I can't go back.  

I will go without a few other things for awhile (a pretty long while).  

Oh, an for me, the ZMA with the CSP3 is a must. Yes, down the road I will try the DAC directly to the ZMA. Right now though....the Synergy of these three (PS Audio PerfectWave DS DAC/CSP3w/Cap Upgrade/ZMA) are all a man could ask for and then some............................... . Cool

It took 30 years Sony/Philips!  But, Ted figured it out!  Our extensive Redbook collections live!

I have also been at this game for 35 years. I have had the NAD 51's...the PWD MkII's... .....the Oppo's in...and out/returned they all went.

So, for a DAC to come along an best my AA gear/Pro32 and 3.0 DAC PMD 100 Filter Chip/Prof Johnson an Prophecy Cryo Silver i2s ...not just equaling it/but beating my AA gear an trashing the above mentioned....is saying something from my perspective.
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« Last Edit: 07/17/14 at 18:28:07 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #269 - 07/17/14 at 20:01:08
 
Wonder when someone will start offering an upgrade for the cheap output
transformers used in the DS.
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #270 - 07/17/14 at 22:46:22
 
Paul and Ted told me they used those inexpensive output transformers intentionally. They wanted them to be a little lossy or something. So that was an intentional design choice, not a corner that was cut.

The only way I would even consider different output transformers is if I could find the same ones, but with a higher output voltage. The Output voltage on the DS isn't as much as the Oppo, and that's my one disappointment with the DS; it just doesn't drive the input of the ZMA as well as the Oppo or my Otari.
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« Last Edit: 07/17/14 at 22:47:20 by Lonely Raven »  
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Reply #271 - 07/18/14 at 06:41:09
 
Ted's prototype used Jensen transformers that cost 10X more than the
DS transformers.

It will be interesting to see JA measurements of the DS Art Dudley is reviewing.

Does your ZMA have balanced inputs?
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Reply #272 - 07/18/14 at 07:26:13
 

Yeah, I brought my ZMA in to Steve and had him add the XLR inputs. I really like them with my Oppo and Otari Reel to Reel - it definitely adds something to the ZMA. But that extra something isn't coming over with the DirectStream DAC - I thought it was voltage, but Ted said the voltage only equates to 3db and has "nothing to do with slam".

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Reply #273 - 07/18/14 at 19:49:40
 
LR,

Appreciate your feedback on the DS.

I was concerned about its ability to drive amps directly.

Glad I waited, I don't want to add a preamp.
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« Last Edit: 07/18/14 at 19:50:09 by kana813 »  
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Reply #274 - 07/18/14 at 19:58:13
 
Quote:
Wonder when someone will start offering an upgrade for the cheap output
transformers used in the DS.


This is what I got from Paul on the subject.


Quote:
PAUL - For two reasons: cost and the need for a 'bad' transformer. The Jensens are hideously expensive and would have raised the price of DirectStream significantly. But had that made a lot of performance difference we wouldn't have hesitated.
A stock high end Jensen isn't the best choice for DirectStream's output stage. What Ted wanted was a 'bad' transformer, meaning a device that has relatively high leakage current and rolls off on the top end above a certain frequency. DS output transformer is custom designed to be our low pass filter, giving you flat frequency response in the audio band, but above the cutoff, start rolling off the noise. To do this you don't want a 'perfect' transformer that extends out too far and has low leakage. You want the opposite. So what we use is custom designed for us, then Ted writes code to match perfectly the response of the transformer.
Perhaps someday, if we wanted to do a 'whack DAC', we would look to Jensen to wind us a custom transformer and see if it was better, worse or indifferent. But bottom line, we don't want a 'perfect' transformer for DS output – because the perfect transformer is one that doesn't measure so good in normal circumstances.


So this gist is that it's part of the circuit and changing it, changes the filter design that Ted work so hard on.
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« Last Edit: 07/18/14 at 20:00:31 by Lonely Raven »  
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Reply #275 - 07/18/14 at 20:54:14
 
Cool response from Paul LR. I knew their was a method to their madness.

Well, I am trying really hard to hate the DS. I keep failing to hate it. I am keeping the Original shipped FW....to try an hate it...still love it... .

I have until next Friday to ship her back....but...so far she ain't bein' packed in her box yet....... . Cool
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Reply #276 - 07/18/14 at 21:36:54
 
I will get the latest FW in this weekend! ....see if I like it.

Peace, have a great weekend-all. If not partying at home...I'm downtown Mpls tonight...Use UBER!  I love them here in Mpls, New York an San Francisco... .  -Stone
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Reply #277 - 07/18/14 at 23:30:23
 

Yeah, for sure, enjoy the weekend!

If all goes well, and I ever make it out of Peoria, I hope to be listening to some HR-1 on my DS via ZMA (I love our secret code language)


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Reply #278 - 07/19/14 at 05:01:10
 
LR,

Sorry, but I don't buy Paul's transformer story.

As you said, "that extra something isn't coming over with the DirectStream DAC."

Like I said, it will be interesting to see JA's measurements of the DS Art Dudley is reviewing.

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Reply #279 - 07/20/14 at 03:20:32
 
LR, did you get the HR-1's?

I have been on a Speaker quest too. I bought the Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 today! Absolutely an incredible Speaker. I can't get them hooked up to my DS an ZMA until Monday night.  Anticipation..... .  They punch well above their weight class.
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« Last Edit: 07/20/14 at 03:21:30 by stone_of_tone »  

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Reply #280 - 07/20/14 at 08:34:27
 
Quote:
stone said,

I have been on a Speaker quest too. I bought the Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 today! Absolutely an incredible Speaker. I can't get them hooked up to my DS an ZMA until Monday night.  Anticipation..... .  They punch well above their weight class.


Those are beautiful speakers (SF always makes sexy stuff)! ... But what happened to the Gallos?
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Reply #281 - 07/20/14 at 14:38:21
 
Gallo's are good...but the Faber's are better.

Some things have to go! I've decided if I'm not using it consistently, I'm Selling it.

I will list in the Classifieds...soon, what I'm selling. At the lowest end of cumulative/lowballed...I have $3500.00 of stuff that needs to go. A good problem to have.
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Reply #282 - 07/20/14 at 15:05:26
 
I exhausted everything from 8k down.  The 2.5 Venere's are literally a loss leader....for Sonus Faber.
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Reply #283 - 07/20/14 at 15:37:26
 
Quote:
LR, did you get the HR-1's?


What, these old things?





I'll post more on them later. I have Palomino coming over for a review today, and I don't want to skew the results in case he's checking the forums before he comes over.

Having a friend listen and review without prompting helps me validate what I'm hearing. For example, if I play a certain song and the cymbals at one part sound simply amazing, I'll play that song for my listening partners, and if they say "wow those cymbals at that one part were amazing", then I know I'm on the right track and not tricking myself into believing there is an improvement when there isn't.

Palomino has been great for this as he's as brutally honest as I am. Helps "keep me honest" as I say it. So when you hear both of us post something positive or negative, that's probably already been through our "peer review" LOL
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« Last Edit: 07/20/14 at 18:41:33 by Lonely Raven »  
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Reply #284 - 07/20/14 at 17:02:32
 
I hear you on the validation. My girlfriend has validated the DS an my Sonus Faber 2.5 Venere's. She can hear.  

Beautiful HR-1's!  Enjoy, I have some family cool stuff to do today and busy until tomorrow night. So, I can't get to my Speakers till then  :'(.

Enjoy!
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Reply #285 - 07/20/14 at 19:08:25
 
OK, so Palo's come and gone. We did a peer review, and without any prompting, he came to the exact same conclusions I did, though I think he uses better descriptors than I do. LOL

This is all in comparison to my one-off MG-944, which I did like the sound of, I just wasn't getting the 3d imaging (speakers disappearing) that I was hoping for. Holographic imaging is a big thing for me - and that was the point of this speakers swap.

When Palomino got here, Bri was making pancakes on the new stove (the purchase I had to make to balance out my spending money on the DS!). So I literally handed him the remotes and went to eat pancakes; told him to setup the speakers and seating any way he liked and have at it. No prompting or discussion of my feelings beforehand - yet, we came up with the same thoughts.

Treble was more detailed - Palo used the phrase "more audiophile" which in our minds equates to detailed to the point of needing to get used to.

Midrange - sounded sexier to me - a bit silkier and more detailed. Female voices sounded fantastic.

Bass, sounded more bloated - less refined. Palo said my 944 "had more grip on the bass", which is a great description of how I feel the 944 sound compared to the HR-1. Neither is lacking, but the 944 seemed to handle it better - it sounded more realistic with better attack and transients.

Intstrument/Vocal separation - they were really close, but we both felt the 944 seemed to separate the different instruments into their individual sounds better.

Sweet-spot; the HR-1 just crush the 944 for sweet spot. I caught Palomino swing his head side to side a good deal and he said he wasn't dropping out of the sweet spot at all. (I think he also setup the speakers better than I did yesterday, further increasing this). Whereas with the 944 you're really locked in a vice.

Imaging - this was the deal breaker here. I was hoping for the speaker disappearing, instruments hovering, while keeping the HUGE soundstage we had during our last listening session with the 944 on Tuesday. As it turned out, no matter how I setup the speakers (and let Palo have at it today), we got a more compact soundstage, with less refined imaging and instrument/voice separation.

To try and improve upon all of these, I tried different speaker placement, different toe-in/out, double checked the amp and DAC settings, tried the other output transformer windings, even swapped out speaker wire and made custom jumpers for the speakers in case the  jumpers weren't giving a solid enough connection.

The speakers aren't bad by any stretch, and the finish is simply exquisite. They just aren't a step up from what I had with the custom 944. If anything, they are equal but different - just not different in a way that suits me.

Now I'm definitely not looking forward to speaker shopping...I was really counting on these being "the one".
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« Last Edit: 07/20/14 at 19:12:40 by Lonely Raven »  
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Reply #286 - 07/20/14 at 19:54:33
 
Interesting. Are these new model HR-1s? (I have older and newer ones, and they are different.) Are they broken in? (The sound is really different pre and post break-in on both of my pairs.)

Anyway, I love my HR-1s and am not going to look for other speakers, but I'm not in a treated room and probably never will be, etc. I find the new pair to have a great consistent frequency response from top to bottom and the imaging to be very accurate (I use tapes I made myself of bands I was in rehearsing in my then garage apartment as the real "test.") Yours sure look nice, though that finish would be too busy for me. I love my maple finish ones, and my silver paint ones.

Just checking in, I'm at my gal's place out in the country through tomorrow and then back to the caregiving grind. I've really enjoyed the break from the internet, may continue it.
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« Last Edit: 07/20/14 at 19:55:42 by Lon »  

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Reply #287 - 07/21/14 at 02:21:54
 
Thanks for the detailed review guys.  Very helpful.
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Reply #288 - 07/21/14 at 03:39:37
 
@ Stone ~ I heard the SF paired with some McIntosh stuff (MC275 and C2500) at Magnolia, aside from being beautiful ... it was the best sound in the house for sure and I could easily get used to the SF sound.

@ LR ~ THANKS for the in depth review, I was hoping these were going to work out for you.  My only thoughts for you would be:

(1) Single Driver ala Omega,
(2) Concentric Driver ala Zu Souls, Tannoy or KEF,
(3) Open Baffles,
(4) Electrostats ... there is a newer design of electrostats made by Essence that look to be pretty cool.
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Reply #289 - 07/21/14 at 04:04:48
 
Beo - true story - while Palomino was demoing the HR-1 on my system, I was already shopping for Zu Audio speakers on my laptop. LOL

That said, I had a nice long talk with Zygi tonight - I was honestly afraid he'd be upset I didn't like the HR-1 in my setup, but we talked it through and he agrees that I should stick with my gut feeling. We also both agree this L shaped room is hurting me.

I do wish the HR-1 worked for me...damn their so beautiful. But they are boxed up in their fancy shipping containers and ready to go back to their previous home and I'm getting my MG-944 back thankfully.
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« Last Edit: 07/21/14 at 04:06:47 by Lonely Raven »  
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Reply #290 - 07/21/14 at 18:08:39
 
A year ago, I would have said "HDTs all the way baby!". Especially because they play well the Torii3. Rather the Torii reacts well to the impedance curve of a single driver speaker.  

But I have to admit, at decfest, I thought the monoliths sounded better on the ZMA than the hdt's.  I was surprised to read (somewhere on here) later that the ZMA is more (less?) damped such that it doesn't react to the speaker impedance as much as a tori.  (so it's not doing that magic dance with the HDT's as much, so they sound different).  

All damping and impedance theory aside, the monoliths clearly sounded best to me last year.   There's a reason Steve keeps playing them on his ZMA.

Until I learn of something better, those are my "next speaker"
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Reply #291 - 07/21/14 at 20:17:41
 
Beo, LR & SteveC, all great examples of finding the sound you like with Decware Amps.

Beowulf, yes the Sonus faber Sound is my kind of musicality for a modern refined Speaker. It still gets it right. But, I also like the Classic raw sound/an musical sound of my Vintage Polk SDA-1's. These two pair are my rotation for my Listening Room.
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« Last Edit: 07/21/14 at 21:49:51 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #292 - 07/22/14 at 00:20:55
 
Interesting SteveC. This reinforces my opinion that I should stand tall with my Torii Mk IIIs and my HR-1s, they are such a great match, and it sounds as if the ZMA is much harder to match speaker wise.

My gal Lucy and I were lying down earlier this afternoon in the bedroom listening to music on my first Mk III and my first pair of HR-1s and she said "Wow this sounds so good, so real." Can't argue with that. And now I'm with my parents listening to my Mk II and ERR, another great combo. When you have great sound, it's time to stop changing things I guess!
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« Last Edit: 07/22/14 at 01:11:49 by Lon »  

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Reply #293 - 07/22/14 at 01:43:18
 
Lon,
Like you I have been to busy for the internet. The summer weather brings up a whole lot of extra work for me not to mention the extra hours of work at my job. Like the old saying goes have to make hay when the sun shines. Anyway, I am happy for now with my sound and will probably leave things alone till maybe next winter when I'm stuck in the house. I may look for a better CD player other than that don't want to throw a wrench into my sound and have to start over chasing the holy grail. Sometimes it ends up involving a bit more time and money than I would want to invest one thing leads to the next if you end up with a mis-match somewhere along the way.
Hope you all are having a great summer! I'm looking forward to getting back here through the winter to keep an eye on what's spinning its great to check it out.


Cheers!


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Reply #294 - 07/22/14 at 02:27:08
 
My visits to Raven's house are a mixed bag for me.  On one hand I get to listen to some equipment that I really feel captures what's possible in hi-fi.  But on the other hand, I hear a system that I just can't invest in right now (4 kids to get through college - one now, three on the way).

I take some solace in how well my room images, but otherwise, his system is about twice what my system offers.  Still, my system is pretty listenable and once the Raven effect wears off, I am pretty happy and don't have any great need to upgrade.

Raven did recommend I check out a Chord DAC that seems to be gaining attention for doing Redbook well.  It's not that far outside my reach and if things go my way at work, I might be able to swing it.  I'm waiting for a guy that reviewed the DS to review it.  It may be the poor man's DS at about $1,800.

My review of the HR1s in Raven's system was an subjective but honest one.  I'd just heard the DS with his 944s and was impressed with everything except the vice grip sweet spot and this listening session was just days later.   The things I heard from that combo absolutely haunt me.

Maybe Raven and I drink the same koolaid, but we hear things similarly and it was uncanny how we both described the sound after I heard the HR1s.  Raven puts me on the spot and asks me to describe what I hear during these listening sessions without any input so it's kind of like a test in high school.  We do trade off on who goes first, but the HR1 test it was my turn given he'd had some time with them already.

Anyway, there are lots of people who like the HR1s, but I think maybe they just don't mate as well with the ZMA as other speakers.  I am still of the opinion (like SteveC) that the ZMA and the 945/companion cabinets was the best combo I heard at Zenfest.  However, the ZMA with the DS and the 944s are now my benchmark.  By far the most realistic, engaging and musical  system I've heard.  I want that texture on all the instruments , that clarity in the mix and that bass grip.

I hope people (Raven/Stone) keep experimenting with speakers and this combo because I don't think all the potential of this combo is captured yet.
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« Last Edit: 07/22/14 at 02:28:31 by Palomino »  

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Reply #295 - 07/22/14 at 04:37:01
 
That is why you have to love this hobby. Everyone has different tastes and synergy is very important. I run the HR-1s off of 2 watts bi-amped and never heard the bloated bass that LR mentioned. But I do run the WO32 for bass and that could be hiding the bloat. One thing I do know is that the first time I heard the HR-1s was on a Torii III and the sound blew me away. Maybe the Mystery amp and the HR-1s are missing the synergy that the Torii has.
LR I think you need to try the DM947s next. They sounded real good with the mystery amp at Tapefest.
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Reply #296 - 07/22/14 at 05:12:38
 
Quote:
I hope people (Raven/Stone) keep experimenting with speakers and this combo because I don't think all the potential of this combo is captured yet.


I agree. After listening to the HR-1, I really do appreciate what the 944 give me. One of those, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone".


Quote:
LR I think you need to try the DM947s next. They sounded real good with the mystery amp at Tapefest.


Yeah, I'm going to see what I can do about that. I'd like to pit the 944 against the Monoliths (or even *just* the 945) on *my* system in my troubled room and see what happens.

I'm also keeping my radar on for anything else that sounds like it might work well with the ZenZilla while improving my imaging. But the truth is that I realize now what a great setup I have, and I think I'd be fine coasting for a while till some great speakers fall into my lap in a very Zen sort of happenstance.
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Reply #297 - 07/22/14 at 08:14:06
 
Yes, I don't hear the bass bloat either with my Mk IIIs (even the very early one that Steve cannot add the bass control too). And a fantastic match. It's all about synergy with the amp and speakers I suppose. Have a fantastic match, sticking with it! The only speakers I've heard that rival the HR-1s are the ERRs.
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Reply #298 - 07/22/14 at 12:45:48
 
Synergy is definitely the key.  One time we put the ZMA on my diy DNA horns and it was unlistenable while on my white Rachael they sound pretty good.  So it's a matching game for sure.
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Reply #299 - 07/22/14 at 13:17:40
 
Oh yeah, put high eff. with the ZMA an it is ruthless. I prefer 89, 90 or 91db at 2.83v Speakers....with the CSP3/ZMA....to bring the magic out. For example, the Jenzen's can be run too. I like overachiever affordable Speakers like my old but rebuilt SDA-1's. My Sonus Faber 2.5 Venere's (just got an very happy/far from burned in too) an the SDA-1's are the ones for my ZMA/CSP3 combo. Synergy for me, also occurs with cables. The Magic goes away without them.
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