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PS Audio about to ... (Read 37164 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Dave1210
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
Reply #287 - 07/21/14 at 02:21:54
 
Thanks for the detailed review guys.  Very helpful.
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beowulf
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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SteveC
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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stone_of_tone
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Lon
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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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Digger
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Palomino
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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deucekazoo
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Lon
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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Palomino
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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stone_of_tone
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Re: PS Audio about to ...
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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