• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

81 Excellent

About Jules_S

  • Rank
    Are we there yet?

Personal Info

  • Location

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Pro-ject Essential +
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Goldring 1042
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Tube Tech M.A.C.
  • Digital Source 1
    Cambridge Audio CXC
  • Digital Source 2
  • DAC
    Cambridge Audio 740C
  • Integrated Amp
    Gato Audio DIA-250S
  • My Speakers
    QAcoustics Concept40
  • Headphones
    Etymotic ER4
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. I'm liking this very much. I feel a purchase coming on....
  2. "When the Party's Over" was alright but the rest I just flicked through. Not my thing. Over-processed, formulaic and un-memorable I'm afraid. I don't think Ms. Eilish has any sort of voice to speak of. And quite frankly, the lyrics to "Wish you were Gay" are downright disgraceful and offensive.
  3. I listened on Radio 2 to quite a chunk of the entire festival. Being mainly 80's it was right up my street anyway, great to have a little sing along to myself at home (the dog didn't quite agree....). PSB were a worthy headline act and put on a really good set with a mix of well-known hits and a few lesser-known ones too. Didn't rate the collaboration with Olly Alexander though - I quite like Years & Years but this didn't really do anything for me. Bev Knight was in fine voice though. Shame the radio feed (internet radio unfortunately) was such awful quality but despite that I found it hugely entertaining. I'll check out the link to see what I missed out on visually!
  4. Steve, I think I might have got a bit trigger-happy clearing out my inbox, I have nothing. Would you mind re-sending? Sorry to be a pain! Jules
  5. As I found out when I started looking! There were only about two advertised anywhere that I could find, both in Europe, and I'm not even sure if they were still available or not. Typically, I took my eye off the ball for about four or five days and that one cropped up! Had it not been for the eagle eyes of the kind Wam family I'd have missed that too. And the timing was perfect, the day I sent the Audiolab packing with its tail between its legs. It even turned out to be the same price! Now that's serendipity I'm certain... Thanks for the kind words, I'm not sure that's much of a review of the Gato, more of a set of early observations. I'll post some more once I've had more chance to formulate some longer term thoughts about the amp, although it will I suppose inevitably be a combined review of that and the DAC as they've both arrived at the same time and I have no real previous experience of either. Nevertheless I hope it will be useful for anyone else considering one of these beautiful units. If I didn't already have a CD transport I'd pick up one of the matching CDD-1 CD players, just because it looks so gorgeous, matches the amp, and I've always had a bit of a hankering after a top-loading player!
  6. Evening gentlemen Thought it was about time I invaded another owners forum I seem to have monoplised the Q Acoustics thread recently with talk of new amplifiers to drive my Concept 40's, and now that I have made my decision, I thought I'd say hello. So after considering a number of amplifiers I have cut my search short and settled on the wonderful Gato DIA-250S (non-network version). I bought it directly from Gato and I have to say that I have had the same positive experience that it seems everyone else has had in dealing with them. I couldn't ask for better so far, and have just completed the product registration for the 5 year warranty - happy days! So much has changed recently in my system as I begin building back up from a low base. Having owned some pretty esoteric equipment in the past and had to get rid of most of it, I'm now indulging my love of recorded music again, and seem to be building a new system pretty quickly! Time will tell if that's a rash way to do it or if I've made sensible decisions. So far, so good. So my current system is as described in my profile, with the one exception of the DAC. I've just bought an Arcam FMJ D33 to try out as a replacement for my Cambridge Audio CD player, which I've been using purely as a DAC. Had a brief experiment with an Audiolab M-DAC+ before it decided to die on me, not impressed. So far I have to say I am LOVING the new combination of CA CXC transport, Arcam DAC, Gato 250S and Q Acoustics Concept 40s with a mixture of Chord and Van den Hul cabling. My toes haven't tapped this much for years! I've been spending some very happy evenings over the last couple of week trawling back through my CD collection while my phono stage is away having some TLC and therefore the analogue source is out of action. I've been going through all sorts of music, albums that I know very well (or thought I did) and thoroughly enjoying re-discovering them! And a huge chunk of this new-found enjoyment is down to the Gato - what a fantastic bit of kit it is! Built like a tank, beautifully finished, hugely stylish, wonderful to operate (all of which build confidence and pride in ownership), and the SQ is proving to be every bit as good as I'd hoped for. I admit that my first few hours with it disappointed me. What I heard didn't match at all with the descriptions I'd read about it - I wondered if my hearing was worse than I'd thought! It sounded hard, bass-light, unpleasant to listen to at higher volumes, not at all what I was expecting. Roll forward 50-60 hours or so of use, a change of DAC, interconnects and speaker cables and the difference could barely be bigger. I'd originally intended to audition the 250S against the Peachtree Audio Nova 300, Primare I25 and NAD M10. Well I managed the first comparison (and the Peachtree is a great amp, just not as suited to my environment as I'd expected). But to be honest, I'm so happy with the Gato that I don't really think there's anything to be gained by continually comparing it. OK, I might find something I prefer in one or two ways, but honestly, I just want to get on with enjoying my music, and that's exactly what I'm doing now. @CnoEvil - thanks for your advice on the selection of the Gato, it's turned out to be right up my street. Looking at the rest of your system compared to mine, and thinking about what you've written about the Gato versus what I hear, I suspect that this amp just gets out of the way in any system and lets the rest of the equipment get on with it. I do agree with you about its abilities with female vocals (it's brilliant), however I would use a completely different set of adjectives to describe the sound. Mine would be punchy, dynamic, expansive, thrilling. That's what leads me to think that our respective systems sound completely different to each other, but in each case the Gato is the common denominator just getting on with the job, and displaying whichever personality the rest of the system demands. I rather suspect my setup would cut your ears in two, and I might fall asleep listening to yours! (joke, no offence intended). Thing is, in both cases the Gato has just allowed the rest of our equipment to flourish and so is an ideal "match". Is it perfect? Well, no. For my own setup I'd have preferred another set of unbalanced analogue inputs in place of the balanced set (although this has, in fairness, given me an excuse to buy that new DAC!). Also I was a little disappointed by the onboard DAC (hence the Arcam) - I found it to be a bit lacklustre to be honest, with a rather flat sound and a shut-in stereo image that didn't capture my imagination at all. The D33, I have to say, runs rings around it in that respect, but then again it probably should at its original price of £2000 versus £2300 for the entire amp. I can't complain really, and it's OK for non-critical listening. The Bluetooth streaming is useful for the odd occasion (my other half uses it for their iPhone) but I'm an old git and I like flat, round discs I can get hold of, so it's of limited interest to me. It sounds OK, in a Bluetoothy sort of way. Probably as good as anyone else's BT implementation. With the currency exchange rate being so dire at the moment, the €2500 price tag turned out to be just over £2300, but this put it smack bang in the same price range as the aforementioned Pimare and NAD. To be honest, I think it's an absolute bloody bargain for the performance on offer. Short of hearing some massively more exotic kit at bake-offs, I truly can't think of anything I'd rather be using at the moment, and I'm absolutely made up to have discovered it. Gato doesn't get a huge amount of coverage in the UK audio press, which is a shame in one way and rather good in another (it's "our" little secret!). I suspect that if it had another more well-known brand label stuck on the front (a company also known for creating unusual-shaped components in the past) it would have been fawned over by the magazines. Gato deserve a lot of success with this one.
  7. Another vote for the Nagaokas here too. Yes, it can be a pain in the ass keeping them straight inside an existing paper sleeve (in the past I've used a tiny bit of double-sided sticky tape to hold them in place) and they're expensive, but they're a quality item and easy to handle. I made the mistake of buying some "cheapies" a few years ago and they were so shit I just threw them away. Flimsy, crinkly and far more awkward to handle. The only other sleeves I've used are the Goldring ones which are a paper sleeve and antistatic liner bonded together. They're good, but even more expensive than the Nagaokas! The 102s are a little bit cheaper on Amazon if you buy in bulk - 2 packs of 50 are £46. There's also these - it doesn't explicitly say antistatis but it does mention that the lining is by Nagaoka and they're much cheaper: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Analogue-Works-70GSM-Record-Sleeves/dp/B00IF5NR1Q/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=antistatic+record+sleve&qid=1568544551&s=electronics&sr=1-3
  8. My much-loved Cambridge Audio 740C upsamples everything (both CDs from the transport and all digital inputs) to 384kHz for the main analogue output. Through the menu options it's possible to set the digital outputs to either pass-through exactly what came in, or to upsample 48 / 96/192 kHz (but not the full-fat 384). You can also select 16, 20 or 24-bit and alter the dither (although as I tend to dither enough myself I've not tried that) Sophisticated bits of kit these budget Cambridge players... Wanna buy it?
  9. If it gives you more listening pleasure, then it's good. Doesn't matter if "someone" tells you otherwise, if they consider EQ to be the work of the devil, that's fine, but they're not listening to your music on your system with your ears. I don't have any form of EQ in my system, but that's not to say I wouldn't consider it.
  10. That's interesting. I didn't know you could select "no filter" - the manual doesn't indicate anything other than selecting 1 or 2. I've just pressed the button, and bugger me, so you can! That's something to play with in days / weeks to come - I really don't want to fiddle too much now until I think I've got the measure of it's basic performance. I've just been been enjoying listening, believe it or not, to an awful quality Radio 2 broadcast over TuneIn via Sonos. And that's quite a good sign, I think, even with a pretty lousy source the Arcam has made it listenable, and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. And thank you for your kind words BTW - I tend to write just as I speak so I hope my thoughts (and humour) come over. Do you know, I'm pretty certain this is going to be a good weekend...
  11. OK, the base part is truly fugly but I'm amazed by the midrange and tweeter sections. Oh, and the Cabasse La Sphère is pretty amazing too
  12. Never owned any of this stuff (and never likely to, given the price tags). Has to be the Tube Technology Synergy amp, in the later anodised red and carbon fibre finish. Art deco style and modern materials, makes me go weak at the knees.... I've sworn I wouldn't have another tube amp in the house, but that one might make me change my mind. And to partner it, that new Metaxas open reel deck. Outrageous, but I love it Also have a bit of a thing for the MBL 101 speakers (the "Teutonic Tangerine" I think they were called). I just love quirky design.
  13. A Nina Simone tribute concert on Radio 2. The sound quality is appalling from TuneIn via Sonos, but the performances are amazing.
  14. To be honest I'm not sure what the discs are! Either way, my CXC transport won't be able to deal with them, it's strictly Red Book standard only.The Arcam will happily deal with up 96kHz via optical or coax but I don't think I've any way to feed into it. Not sure if I can get my Blu-Ray player (Oppo) to read the disc and output 24/96 from the coax. I might give it a go tomorrow if I can tear myself away from rediscovering my CD collection
  15. Good shout for Trent Reznor. Also like to add Mark Hollis, how I forgot him on my original list I'll never know as Talk Talk are one of my absolute faves