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About Chivas

  • Rank

Personal Info

  • Location
    Knebworth, Herts

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    OL Resolution mkII
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Conqueror 3c/AN IO 2
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Copper Slagle
  • Digital Source 1
    Oppo UDP 203
  • DAC
    AN DAC2.1x Balanced
  • Pre-Amp
    AN M3 Phono
  • Power Amp/s
    IA 845MB sig
  • My Speakers
    Harbeth M40.1
  • Headphones
    Grado PS1000/ Icon HP8 mk2 Sig
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

Recent Profile Visitors

696 profile views
  1. Bargain!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Chivas

    I think I may be turning into a believer...

    No I did not. That is slightly concerning given my recent experience. I can now think of at least one way to improve these speakers If I was not worried about warranties and resale value Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. Chivas

    I think I may be turning into a believer...

    Not that comparison will make any sense since they are not side by side, but both my cables are terminated, so cannot get a cross section pic Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Chivas

    I think I may be turning into a believer...

    The 6mm is the thick version of the Van Dammes, that is why I went for it. The Van Dammes have a much larger “conductor” area than the AN’s Van Damme Audio Note Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Chivas

    I think I may be turning into a believer...

    Apologies, sent this prematurely. Anyway my dad called me last night (to reiterate he is more sceptic than I am) and said he could not believe his ears. It opened his system up, gave it more sparkle and generally he found it very positive. Look, I’m not saying all cables will make a big difference in all systems, but I have two data points now where speaker cables made a profound difference and surprised two cable sceptics massively Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Chivas

    I think I may be turning into a believer...

    What is even more puzzling is that in my pursuit for new speaker cables I called Mark Baker of Origin Live fame regarding his Linear Flow cable which I know he rates highly. I have always found Mark to be forthright in his advice and he has never given me bad advice. In his opinion Litz cable can be hit and miss with valve amps and suggested that a solid core cable would be a safer bet. I still had some solid core (anticable) cables left from a precious life which Mark reckoned would do the job. The AN lexus cable that made such a profound positive difference is ironically of the Litz variety. Perhaps they were specifically designed for AN valve amps, dunno? Another interesting development is that I gave the anticable speaker cables to my dad to try in his system. As said earlier, his system is a little dark sounding Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. Chivas

    845 replacement valves

    You can read my thoughts here: I think I may be turning into a believer... But in summary I'm very happy with the valves and I'd say the reviews on the web are accurate. Like I said on the link above, it's hard to say whether the improvement came about because I replaced my old valves (which were near the end of the road) with new ones, or because the Psvane's are so much better. But there are sweeter, fuller, there is more weight to the sound, still oodles of details, but not as dry and harsh. It's got a nice 3D sound and fills the soundstage top to bottom, side to side and front to back. It's a weird way of describing it, but it's as if the soundwall is smooth all over with no "dry spots" - not sure if that makes any sense. The reports on the burn in period are also accurate. They sounded great out of the box, but fairly inconsistent between sessions. There were session where I thought my system sounded crap, but now after about 70 hours they seem to have settled down Hope it helps C Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Chivas

    I think I may be turning into a believer...

    The strange thing is that of all the cables in the chain you'd expect speaker cables least likely to make a profound difference, provided they are of good construction, properly shielded and terminated, which I thought the van Dammes were Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. For context, I consider myself as rather objective (or try to be at least) when it comes to most things hifi. I attempt to use logic when evaluating whether something could work or not, but I'd say I lean slightly more towards the romantic end of the spectrum than say the "Serge" end of the spectrum. I recently made a few changes to my system, and two of those things involved components that I am traditionally more sceptic of than other components: namely valves and cables. My observations surprised me and thought that I would share them. They are completely subjective and as experienced by myself and in my own system. I am not interested at all in starting another "cable thread", and this is not meant to be a review either, but merely an expression of my observations First off: as a Christmas project (and gift to myself) I bought a couple of Audio Note transformers from a member on here. They are the same transformers as can be found in the AN S8 SUT and replaced my copper Slagle SUT, and used with my AN IO2. Pics of the build below. Impression: This was a considerable improvement over the Slagle, it sounded better controlled (especially at the bottom end), cleaner and more airy at the top end, tonally better balanced and overall just an easier listen. Pound for pound the Slagle blows it out the water though, and all things considered, I'd say the upgrade is probably not worth the price differential (most definitely not at AN factory prices). But such is this hobby and I'm glad I did it though Next: valves. I lost 2/4 of my 845 valves a few hours apart and I took this as a sign that all the valves reached the end of life and needed replacing. I used the Shuguang 845B valves in my Icon Audio MB845 signatures and they gave me very good service. I did some research and decided to try something slightly "better" and ordered my new valves from Grant Fidelity in Canada (whose service was superb by the way). For signal valves I got the Shuguang WE replicas of the 6SN7 and 6SL7. For the power valves I got the special (black bottle) edition of the Psvane 845 Tii. According to Rachel at GF they don't sell the standard Tii anymore as they had reliability issues which the black bottles don't have, and according to her the latter sound better too. As said earlier, I tend to be more sceptic when it comes to the improvement that valves can make, so decided not to try the twice as expensive Psvane 845 WE replicas. Impression: it's hard to judge as my previous valves were clearly at the end of the road and started sounding dry and edgy. Replacing them brought a relief as the soundstage immediately became better focused, images more stable, the sound was definitely fuller, more lush and filled the room with a 3D soundstage, without losing any detail. Whether it was because I replaced old valves with new ones, or whether it was just "better" valves that brought the improvement I cannot say. But I am very happy with the "upgrade/change" and would do it again, even though it was not cheap. Lastly: cables. We recently moved home and my new room is quite a bit bigger than the previous one, so I thought I would move the speakers into the room more, which meant that my speaker cables were too short and I had to get longer ones. I used the 6mm Van Damme UP- LCOFC and whilst I was at it I thought I fancied a change and ordered the Audio Note Lexus (copper) cables. Impression: I plugged them in this Friday evening (with the speakers in the same (old)) position, not expecting to hear any change. Besides I was half asleep after a long day of work and thought I'd pass out 10 mins in. Two mins into the session I sat upright with my eyes open thinking "what's going on here?" Had an enjoyable session for about an hour and went to bed. Yesterday my dad (who is an engineer and closer to the Serge side of the spectrum than myself) popped in for a visit. Generally, and especially the last few months he finds my system too bright for his liking (he prefers darker sounding vintage systems). So I told him to sit down for a listen. He was quiet for about 20-30mins and just said: "I don't know what you've done to the system since I last heard it, but it sounds completely different, and that for the better". His observations were the same as mine, and it can be summed up as all the detail was still there, but the glare was gone and it sounded just right, the tonal balance was spot on and it was generally just a very relaxing, enjoyable and right sound. I switched the Van Dammes back in and 5 mins later he said that he could not listen to it, and could not believe his ears. Echoed my thoughts exactly. I have some further experimentation to do, but if you asked me right now, of the above 3 changes which one I think made the biggest difference, I think all of them made a worthwhile improvement, but the one I could not go back on would be the speaker cables. It would be a step back, but I could happily live with the Slagle SUT and std Shuguang valves again, but I wouldn't be able to go back to the Van Damme speaker cables - and it was by a country mile the cheapest of all three "upgrades". I am as surprised as you are!
  10. Chivas

    845 replacement valves

    I've spent some time with the new valves now, but I think it should be discussed in the context of other changes that I made to my system at the same time, so will start a new thread for those interested Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Chivas

    TT Speed, What's an acceptable variation

    To me the questions seems pretty obvious, but I may be mistaken... I believe the OP is asking, if he set your turntable to rotate at a constant 32 or 34 rpm without you knowing, would you notice this. And if not, how far could he push it (fast or slow) before you'd notice. I'll get my coat... Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Don't count on it! 11 years ago I bought a cheapie as I was curious about vinyl. I liked it. A lot. I spent an awful amount of time and money in firstly upgrading the cheapie, then replacing it and then in upgrading its replacement. 99% of my listening is now on vinyl! Enjoy the journey! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Chivas

    845 replacement valves

    Thanks to everyone who contributed. Since my last post, another 845 valve failed a few hours after the first one, so I took this as my cue to get the monos revalved. After considering your responses and doing some further research, here are the highlights: As expected - Icon Audio was not overly enthusiastic on the improvement that better valves could make I got in touch with a number of radio amateurs, they definitely belong in the Serge camp, absolutely swear by their measurements and hate anything related to Chinese made valves (and some also hate the Russian made variety - although I am not convinced that this sentiment was entirely based on technical parameters) I have not come across any Audiophile who has tried one of the better Psvane valves who was not overjoyed with the improvement, including 300B users Some people swear that the signal valves make a bigger difference than the output valves, and then of course you get people who swear by the exact opposite I got in touch with Rachel at Grant Fidelity, who said that they don't sell the Psvane 845 T-ii anymore as they had reliability issues, but rather a special black bottle addition of the T-ii's, which not only improves reliability but also improves the sound according to her Anyway, after getting more confused and in the absence of a clear contender, I decided to order the Shuguang WEplus 6SN7 and 6SL7 (with red bases) for the signal valves, and the black bottle Psvane 845 T-ii's (I'm going to miss the glow!) from Grant Fidelity They were delivered today, so I will plug them in tonight after work and keep the ones interested posted on my findings. Touch wood nothing is wrong with the amps that actually caused the valves to fail in the first instance! I probably won't write a review, but I will confirm whether the reviews are BS or not. Chivas
  14. Chivas

    saga continues

    I take it you've fallen back in love with hifi again..? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Chivas

    audionote thread

    No sorry. But I noticed that AN finally got a decent'ish website if that is of any help... Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk