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About Mutzgoatz

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  • Birthday 15/07/1982

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  1. Great colour choice! I think they look a lot better than the standard gold drivers version.
  2. Anyone know how the DAC in the Bluesound Node 2i holds up? Tempted to invest in one as the streaming front end of a system.
  3. Yeah it's tricky working out reference points, priorities and what things to avoid are for the individual, especially when recordings very so much in character. Lengthy home demos are the way to go if possible, although obviously that can be a hassle. As I said before, the Naim Nova was a very impressive bit of kit. If you can haggle a chunk off may be worth pursuing? Would be keen to hear it through some Harbeths 30.1s, Harbeth P3ser or Dynaudios as they would probably lap up the drive and enthusiasm while keeping things smooth.
  4. Glad you liked it. I definitely found it more engaging and musical than from my memory of the NAD too. It was demoed, only in a shop though, with Kef R5s, PMC 21s, Q Acoustics Concept 300s and some Kef R3s. I did find the top end a touch bright, but, how much of that was the room or the speakers, it's hard to tell, as the Naim wasn't demoed back to back against other amps. Gut instinct tells me I'd find a Kef/Naim combo that bit grating in the long term, as the Kefs just have that (very slight) metallic edge to the highs. And that's even more apparent with the LS50s IMO, as the upper mid/lower treble is lifted (new R series are more neutral and old R series are recessed in upper mids). But a lot comes down to taste. I think the Naim would synergise really well with Dynaudio, which from personal experience are smoother in the highs, with a punchy midrange and natural tonality. They'd bring out eachother's strengths I'd imagine. With the Kefs, Arcam, Creek or Hegel are puportudly ideal partners. But it does sound like the Naim presentation is one you really got on with, which is good. Perhaps you'd therefore find on of the above 3 alternatives dull in comparison.
  5. Would be keen to know how you get on with the Roksan Blak. I demoed a Naim Uniti Nova and Rega Elicit R recently. Both really entertaining but I felt both a little explicit in the high frequencies, as Plastic Penguin alludes to. Primare i35 I found uber detailed but a bit matter of fact and ininvolving. Currently in the same position of demoing more amps to see what works best with some new Kef R5 speakers and Bluesound Node 2i (once they arrive). As others said, proper class A is worth a go for you. Hegel amps are apparantly incredible in terms of clean delivery, detail and tight bass, but are purportedly very 'neutral'. Could be clinical potentially, depending on your ears. Creek 100a could be worth a go. And an Exposure 3010s2 (in some ways apparantly quite similar to Roksan in the warmth, punch and flowing qualities it's apparantly got). Finally, the new Arcam SA30 could be a cracker. But not out until end of the month.
  6. I demoed the Naim Uniti Nova out of curiosity today. It’s a thing of heavy, industrialised beauty – lovely display, tactile volume control and just oozes quality. In terms of sound, it was definitely entertaining. Foot-tapping, dynamic, rhythmic – it really pulls you into the mix. Soundstaging and detail levels were really good. But I definitely found it a bit bright at the top-end. And it’s too expensive for what it is. £4,200 for a 70W all-in one that gives a sound in-line with what one would expect from a £1,500 - £2,000 amp and £500 Bluesound. If it was a bit less bright and closer to £3,000 I'd be all over it. I can see 2020 being the year of a lot more companies jumping on board with this approach to Hifi – having an all in one, slick box of tricks holds considerable appeal IMO.
  7. I've never demoed Naim stuff (and I can imagine I may find it a little forward or tiring), but their Uniti range look stunning IMO, especially the Nova. Just seems so convenient, solid and slick. Plus it gets blinding reviews, although obviously one to listen to oneself.
  8. I have only demoed the i35 at home (out of my price range but all the shop had in stock). Seemed controlled and plenty powerful. Detailed too, if a little steely. I just found it a bit clinical for my tastes; didn't grab hold of rhythms as much as I'd have liked and just lacked a bit of character. I didnt like the way it looked either. It's worth pointing out however, that I only compared it against one other amp (Rega Elicit) and with only two speakers at the time; dynaudio S40 and Spendor A4. It may go better with other speakers, and demoimg more amps would have given more to compare to. So take my view with a pinch of salt.
  9. You may be right about the Focus 160s then. And given you’ve said refinement, ease of listening and smoothness are absolute priorities (over rhythmic dynamics and punch), then it sounds like you’ve found the right solution with the Concept 300s, especially if you've found them for a good price. I remember you also said the Focus 160s were a bit fatiguing with detail (even compared to the Kefs)? On this vein, aren’t the Concept 300s incredibly detailed (and ruthlessly revealing in the mids/highs)? Gonna try and get a home demo of the Concept 300s as what you describe does sound pretty ideal. As for amp choice, fair play on your Pathos Remix driving them sufficiently, given their poor 84db sensitivity. I also wonder whether something rhythmic and musical, but slightly leaner like the Rega Elicit R would be an ideal partner to them, to help bring out. Whereas I’d imagine something like Arcam, Exposure or Roksan may produce a sound too thick, with that purported warmth in the midrange/upper bass that the Concept 300s produce.
  10. @the chronicals – I think it was the Techradar review that mentioned the Q Acoustics Concept 300’s need a large room. HiFi Choice also mentioned they left the bungs in for tighter bass. All relative though I guess, as in the real world, I see you have them in fairly close proximity to corners/walls without issue, and have directly compared to Kef R3. What I’d say about the Special 40’s specifically, is they definitely had less boom, overhang and more speed than the R3, even when close to walls, so I would expect your old Dynaudio 160’s may have been a different beast in this respect (although difficult to know, without demoing in situ in your room). A few comments from the HiFi Choice review of the Q Acoustics Concept 300’s (bought their April issue last night): ‘’First Impressions are of a surprisingly even yet warm-sounding modern loudspeaker, with unexpectedly large amounts of midband detail, a bouncy bottom end and enjoyable musicality…’’ ‘’The standout feature is its combination of tonal smoothness and overall clarity’’. ‘’…few apparent peaks or troughs, save for a slight sweet spot in the upper bass’’ ‘’…bouncy upper bass, which is surprisingly free of bloat’’ ‘’…particularly open midband’’ ‘’Charming sound that puts the accent on civility and smoothness – but never at the expense of musical enjoyment – making it excellent value for money’’ In the ‘How it Compares’ section, they directly compare to the Dynaudio Contour 20, noting the latter to be a more precise sound, with superior soundstage and greater delicacy. Whereas the Concept 300 has better poise and control. Perhaps slightly contradictory!
  11. I used to own a Marantz NA7004 and it was great. Bit limited on features compared to ones these days, but smooth detailed sound and the built in DAB radio got a lot of use.
  12. Interesting, thanks for your insight; very useful as we're listening to similar speakers. You love the R5s, how come you're getting rid? I thought that was only if you move house? To be honest, I'm not sure I'm ever going to decide unless I arrange back to back demo of all 3 speakers (R3, Special 40, Q Acoustics) at home: tricky as from different dealers. They all have qualities I love. It's been too piecemeal so far, with demos in shops, some at home and the latter only being one speaker on loan at a time. At least I've ruled out some (Spendor A4, PMC 21, ATC SCM11, B&W 702), so it's between the above 3. Will get there eventually! Apologies all for the protracted, indecisive waffle.
  13. Argh, what you describe sounds ideal! I think I may need to home demo them. Shop demo of them specifically was only half an hour or so. Question about the bass though - interesting you say the bass is more controlled, as reviews suggest (and I know they're only subjective), the Concepts need tons of space and overwhelm smaller rooms. Do you mean they don't go as low, but are tighter? Or are they simply better all round in the bass? At home I felt the R3s went deep, but for me, superfluous to requirements - some depth is welcome, but control and speed is more important. I know what you mean about dynamics and attack; great for certain music, when in the right frame of mind, but for ease of listening against a spectrum of music, sometimes it's not always pleasing.
  14. Coincidentally, I demoed the Q Acoustics 300s yesterday (see NAD M10 demo thread). It was only in store, but usefully back to back with the KEF R3. An extended home demo, like you're doing, would of course be preferable. Like you say, the first impression of the Q Acoustics is smoothness. They're similar to the R3s in some respects, with nice body to the sound and easy going nature, while also being very detailed. Same kind of overall tonal balance thoygh I'd say. However, on the (limited) demo I did, I found they were just a bit less interesting and a bit less upbeat than the Kefs. They're also nearly twice the price and look a bit hideous with how absurdly deep they are. Nonetheless they left a positive opinion on me and I'd like to hear them again. On the subject of brightness/smoothness in the highs, how would you rate them both, now you've listened for a while? I'll also be intrigued to hear your thoughts following the Special 40 demo. In terms of agility, rhythms and dynamics they remain a cut above IMO. Just depends on how important those factors are to you.
  15. Thought I'd give the NAD M10 a listen at Sevenoaks today, with back to back demos of speakers too (some of which I've listened to at home previously). Very impressive bit of kit. It looks perfectly formed and is refreshingly compact, with a robust but elegant finish. The large screen is welcome too. Very intuitive and easy to use via the Tidal app, although a remote would be nice. Perhaps they'll release one at some point. Overall though, no complaints on user friendliness. Refreshing not having separate, full width boxes as it can be tucked away easily. Sound was pleasing - no problem at all driving the following speakers: - Kef R3 - PMC 21 - PMC 22 - BMW 705 S2 - Q Acoustics Concept 300 I've read reviews saying it's a bit laid back, but I just found it well balanced. It's certainly detailed and picks out all the various strands in a track. It's not as rhythmically foot tapping as the Rega Elicit I tried previously, but it's no slouch either. There's good control over bass and the soundstaging was impressive. To the speakers... When first listening to the Kefs (again), I was reminded at how great they are at imaging, with a pleasing fullness to instruments, surprisingly deep bass when required and tons of detail. Switching to the PMC 21s was a shock...they were dreadful! Quite prominent and rough treble (it put into perspective my previous concerns that the Kefs may be bright), much narrower soundstage, far poorer imaging, slight nasal tone to voices and they just sounded, well, small. Perhaps a bit more lively amd rythmic in the mids than the Kefs but not by much. In every single other respect they were markedly worse. PMC 22 - basically just a larger sounding 21, with more bass authority and a touch more body to the sound. But they remained a firm no for me. B&W 705 - nice and detailed, but for me, too detailed and bright in the highs. I found the presentation a bit tipped up, despite the rest of the frequency range being pleasant and inoffensive. Q Acoustics Concept 300 - I wasn't aware of these speakers previously. Overall i liked them. Nice and smooth in the highs, similar to the Kefs in this respect but perhaps a tiny bit more so. Easy going presentation, but just a little dull in terms of dynamics, rhythms and bass. Soundstaging wasnt up there with the Kefs either. They are also extremely deep speakers for their modest height, which just looks odd. What today showed me, was just how stonking good value the R3s are at £1300, being the cheapest but easily the most accomplished of the lot. They are still a modern speaker though so remain at the analytical side of things. Should I go for the NAD M10, Kef R3s and the matching stands, they've offered to knock nearly £500 off, so it's very tempting as a complete, compact and modern set up for a "mere" £3,320. The bang for buck is exceptional I think. Going to mull it over this weekend, and either continue the demo hunt or commit.