George 47

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About George 47

  • Rank
  • Birthday Private

Personal Info

  • Location
    United Kingdom

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Voyd Ref 0.5
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    SME V/ IoII
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Audionote s2
  • Digital Source 1
    Auralic Aries
  • DAC
    Audionote DAC2.1x
  • Integrated Amp
    Nord One NC500DM
  • Pre-Amp
    Pass Labs XP12
  • Power Amp/s
    Pass Labs XA30.8
  • My Speakers
    Audionote E/HE
  • Headphones
    Stax 303
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. George 47

    Pet Hates !!

    A grunt, a grunt....we used to dream of a grunt.
  2. George 47

    John Wood KT88 amp,what valves do you use?

    KT 88s?? Sorry, couldn't resist getting Show happy....
  3. And Done. Will we see the outcome?
  4. George 47

    New documentary on vintage audio

    Chronicals: language in 2 channel.
  5. Exactly, the electrons do NOT move down cables. Their motion in cables is too slow. And as we are sending AC all that moves is a signal that can be outside the cable. Having said that I don't think your suggestion is viable as the heating is tiny and not enough to change the physical properties of the insulator or conductor. As has been said there does not appear to be any physics explaining it although in discussions with the guys at Vertex/Quintessence they said they have measurements to prove this effect. I asked for a copy of their data but so far nothing. They were doing some work with guys working on defence measurements but no data so far.
  6. I am sorry I do not play those key swapping games anymore, ever since I got the key for the AA Box outside Basingstoke.
  7. I expect you do Of course, expectation bias works both ways, people hearing differences they aren't there and then not hearing them when they exist. Oh, what fun. My big worry is: If I hear a difference and then do a double-blind statistically significant test and then the two cables sound the same.....does the extra music I heard before disappear or does it appear on the cheaper cable? Don't want to lose my music.
  8. Between 8 to 10 years. When I asked Pass Labs how long it was before they updated an amplifier they said, on average, it was between 8 to 10 years. They normally wait until there are enough small changes or a few significant ones to make a big improvement to the sound quality. So, with this update to their XP20 preamplifier, Pass Labs thought there was enough of an improvement to the sound quality to warrant an update. We’ll see. Pass Labs has been very busy of late releasing updates to a few of their amplifiers and preamplifiers including the XP22 preamplifier in for review. This new swathe of new amplifiers came about because Pass Labs set themselves a target to produce some no holds barred amplifiers and preamplifiers. The power amplifiers were designed by Pass Labs’ chief architect and patron the indefatigable Nelson Pass and the preamplifiers were designed by Wayne Colburn. These amplifiers would be designed using the best circuits these guys could think of using the best components available. They looked at a whole range of designs and components and built test amplifiers and preamplifiers which were then put through comprehensive listening tests. As you can imagine this was an exhaustive process and they learnt a great deal of additional information on what works with what and which circuits gave the best sound. Once released the new XS range (Nelson has a sense of humour) set a new benchmark for top amplifier’s sound quality. They were necessarily expensive and for a lot of people, they were the subject of dreams. With four boxes for the pre and power amplifiers, weighing the same as a small planet and giving off enough heat to keep a city the size of Reading toasty they were not the most practical amplifiers but the reported sound was fabulous. Lessons learnt from all this work was put into developing their range of amplifiers and preamplifiers. Pass Labs had a range of three preamplifiers the single box XP10, the double box XP20 and the three box XP30. I reviewed the updated XP10, the XP12, last year and it was a brilliant preamplifier and for the money much better than the competition I had heard. So good in fact that I bought the review preamp. The review is here: A few thought the XP12 sounded better than the older mid-range XP20. Not having an XP20 to hand I could not confirm that. Since then Pass Labs has released the XP22 the updated XP20. It is rumoured that there may not be an updated XP30 as it is proving to be very difficult to improve on the XP30, economically, without getting close to the XS preamplifier’s sound and price. We shall see. The XP22 is a two-box preamplifier with the control circuitry being in the main box. This box looks remarkably similar to the XP12 box with an additional power supply socket on the reverse side. The second box, which looks like the control box minus the display and volume control, houses the noisy components including the power supply components. There is a really chunky cable connecting the two boxes with professional screw connectors. Some people have said that the older computer cable was not ideal and there have been a few aftermarket cables produced for this specific purpose. Pass Labs say the new XP-22 uses double-shielded, low-noise toroidal transformers in the external supply connected via aviation-grade circular connectors using silver coated oxygen-free copper. The power supply is dual mono, with two transformers offering lower radiated and mechanical noise. Noise is the most prominent part of THD+N at low levels, so by lowering noise, there is better resolution and dynamics. The gain circuitry uses Pass Labs’ favourite transistors from Toshiba with a larger, higher-biased output stage like the XS Preamp, and auto bias. The larger output stage makes longer and multiple cable runs easier to drive and simplifies the single-ended output circuitry while increasing performance. The volume control is a single stage instead of two stages and has more range; it is quieter and more accurate. This is the same volume control that's used in the XP-30. Setup In my system of Audionote CD4T transport, Audionote 4.1x DAC, Pass Labs XP12 and XA30.8 and Audionote E Silver Signatures speakers with Cut Loose Audio silver ribbon cables it was easy to replace the XP12 with the XP22 with the PSU box being housed out of the rack to keep it well away from any sensitive control electronics. Take care as the two boxes weigh 55 lbs. The preamp arrived during a very cold spell in the UK so I had to let the preamp literally warm up as well as burn-in. I gave it a good few hundred hours burn in before doing any serious listening. In the early stages, I found I had to be careful over the selection of mains cables as my normal cables did not let the XP22 to show what it could do. I eventually settled on Audionote ISIS, good quality copper cables that seemed to work really well with the XP22. Sound So how did they sound and what were the differences with the XP12? I normally have a set of tracks that I use to test a review product using a wide variety of music that tests certain aspects of the sound as well as their ability to make sense of the music. So off I went with these tracks. The XP22 is an excellent preamplifier and for me, it was a big step up from the XP12. The overall sound was much bigger with a larger 3D soundstage but without making every instrument supper-big. A trait that is favoured by some preamplifiers with 25’ pianos and 8’ singers. No thanks. With the XP22 the people making this music were human-sized but in a larger soundstage, when the music was recorded that way. When the music really got going the sound did not congeal or become loud and indistinct. The preamplifier had that great property of allowing you to hear the whole cohesive musical message but still allow you to focus your attention on individual musicians and hear the details of their playing, it was easy to hear how the whole band knitted together or the coordinated power of a full orchestra. On the two cellos Game of Thrones Medley, the developing power of the track came through clearly as well as the details of the individual cellos. Some preamps make the cello sound super smooth but there is a rasp to them and the XP22 allowed that to be heard. At the same time the XP22 lets you hear the melody changing from a nice cello sound to one where there is a sense of danger developing and when the orchestra comes in the overall power builds and builds. The track finishes dramatically letting you down suddenly, awaiting the drama that unfolds in the programme. I’ll stop there before I end up in pseud’s corner 😊. The bass (electronic and string) in Elsiane’s Vaporous and Ember’s Ember really shows how the XP22 has developed over the Xp12. It is more powerful but still very tight and tonally accurate. So many preamps give a big fat bass that is tonally indistinct but the XP22 has hit the right balance of weight, speed, power and tonal accuracy. It also flows and allows you to hear how the bass not only sets the foundation for the music but can alter its impact and drive. Ahead of the beat to add tension, behind the beat to release it. That came through clearly on Snarky Puppy’s Culcha Vulcha. And the deep bass. Whether it was James Blakes Limit to Your Love (electronic and very deep) or Jean Guillou’s Mussorgsky or his Bach Fugue the real deep bass is reproduced with the correct weight, power and articulation. With bass guitars, there is also a large amount of harmonic detail which allows you to hear the differing tonal characteristics of bass music rather than just have an amorphous thud, thud in the background. On simpler music with female voices, the naturalness of the voices was easy to hear and it was possible to turn the volume right up as there was no edge or artificial sharpness to the music. Yet despite that naturalness bell instruments had a natural sharp sound to them, which you hear whenever you are in front of a big band. On Casey Chambers Hell of a Way to Go and Rhiannon Giddens Birmingham Sunday, both really different recordings of female voices, are easy to hear, yet the emotion they put into their songs is not lost. Listen to Antony and the Johnsons Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door and the closely recorded emotional voice will connect with you emotionally with the XP22 unless your pulse has stopped. Quite different from Slowhand’s version. Compare that to Eilen Jewell’s Dusty Boxcar Wall (Live) which is just a bunch of musicians having a great time with some great instrumental solos. This is a nicely recorded live concert and the XP22 just seemed to let the music flow and all the fun of the concert come through. No ultra-high detail thrown at you with no musical message or heavy blurry music with a bit of the message but few musical details. A great balance of both. So how did it compare with the XP12 remembering that the XP 12 is £ 5,495 and the XP22 £9,495? Well, the XP12 is still one of the best preamplifiers that I have heard but the XP22 is better at conjuring up a 3D image with the right bass weight and tonal range. The XP12 has a smaller 3D sound, the bass is as fast as the XP22 but it has less impact and weight. The XP 12 is a bit lighter in the mid-range making voices a little less human. Is it worth the extra £4K, only you can decide that? In summary, I would say that Pass labs have succeeded and the XP22 is a goodly jump up in sound quality from the XP12 and as such must be one of the better preamplifiers on the market. I appreciate £9K is not cheap but considering the cost of some alternatives, it is very reasonably priced. In fact, I would say the XP22 is one of the best preamplifiers below £15K. Pass Labs is imported into the UK by Select Audio at: XP-22 Specifications: Power consumption 40 watts Gain 9.6dB Balanced, 3dB single-ended Output Impedance: 25 Ohms RCA, 50 Ohms XLR Input Impedance: 22K Ohms Frequency response: +/- 0.05 dB 10Hz to 20KHz, -2dB @ 150KHz Crosstalk > 100dB THD < 0.001 @ 1V 1Khz Max out 33V RMS 0.1% Residual Noise 2uV RMS, SN -125dB ref max out Dimensions: 17"w x 12.5"d x 4"h each chassis Weight: 55LBS
  9. George 47

    Doing time.

    No change then.
  10. George 47

    Newbie Intro's

    Welcome and please fill in your profile so we can get to know you sooner. Classifieds is here to help people buy and sell and sometimes people sell items and that is it. Nevermind there is a great throughput so another one may appear soon. If you are near Kegworth it will be worth coming to the show. The guys will be there and they are a really social group, the systems are well set up and most of them sound better than what you hear at shows. There is a bring and buy sale and I have seen some cracking deals at them so get there early.
  11. George 47

    Doing time.

    Joined on Jan 2006 and enjoyed every single minute. But then I do lie a little.
  12. It is. The number of monthly visits has gone up from 250,000 to 350,000, so there is an increase in traffic. Although it was helped by the What Hifi guys. Variety of threads is controlled by contributors and that is really in your hands.
  13. I have e-mailed W A James and he has sent me a copy of the 'revised book'. It is much reduced and five chapters have gone. It has also undergone revision to make it more focused and easier to read. I like the overall message which is a criticism of the modern ultra-detailed speakers/systems that are in vogue with some helpful advice on speakers/systems that do not suffer this affliction. Overall I agree with this assessment and wonder why there is a vogue for these unnatural systems. The super detailed systems are great for a few hours but eventually, they are wearing. However, where he goes further is naming names, based on his extensive listening. I have to admit he is braver than me in naming the names of the Good, the Bad and the downright ugly. Of course, being from the US there is a bias of naming US gear but it is good to see older style BBC speakers being questioned and Tannoy and Audionote getting a thumbs up. No personal bias there of course. Give it a go, it ain't that expensive and might save you a bob or two. Provocative....yes.
  14. George 47

    What Music Will You Be Playing at Kegworth?

    I will bring 5 tracks from Mike Valentine's recordings for anyone who wants them. Two are the same recordings at 24/192 and 16/44.1 for those who want to compare some music and hear if high rez recordings make an audible difference. The second set is another two tracks recorded at 24/192 and 16/44.1 comparing a modern high-quality SS microphone and a 60-year-old valve microphone, which do you prefer? And the fifth track is a 10-minute excerpt from his recent recording of Beethoven 5th Concerto, which I managed to blag my way into. The dynamics are a great test for those of you claiming to have high dynamic systems. Remember these comparisons are for fun and discussion and anyone wearing a blindfold will be taken out and shot. A good use of blindfolds.
  15. George 47

    John Darko appreciation thread

    Oh no.....I was told when in Scotland that all good Scotches need a few 'angels tears' to release the esters. But not too much but just sufficient.