SSM

solidsblog: handsome small speakers and other stuff...

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That's lovely, Neil. I certainly get your late-nite listening comment. The rDAC's super clean background and wide soundstage makes 3 a.m. sessions very pleasurable.:stereo:

A few weeks down the line it may be time to kick up the performance with an aftermarket regulated PSU of higher current (>1000mA). You may be as pleasantly surprised as me and Imattersuk.:):)

SS

Thanks SSM - I'm a little broke this month - have a few commitments I need to set funds aside for - plus I splurged earlier in the month on the rDAC, but next month I'll be getting the Maplin PSU mentioned by Imattersuk.

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Been running the FMJ A18 and rDAC combinaion for two months now and love it to bits! I've still not sorted the Maplins power supply - this will happen once I finish my super powerful PC and the slew of family birthdays etc. stops.

The smooth, detailed and punchy sounds from the FMJ and rDAC are top drawer - listening sessions of an evening go on far later than they ought to!

From Metallica to Thw Who, Crosby Stills and Nash, Chicago to the sultry sounds of the gorgeous :love::love: Diana Krall, the Arcam handles it all with aplomb!

Going through 3 bottles of Pol Remy tonight with a long Bee Gees listening session - its a Bank Holiday here tomorrow. Absolutely superb!

BTW, for UK peeps, Audio T have some great bargains on Arcam amps and CDPs at the moment - the FMJ A18 is £470 along with discounts on other models!

The rDAC takes a good 100 hours to run in, but the wait is worth it! Partner with one of Arcam's amps and you'll not want to stop listening!

How are you enjoying your Arcam kit, SSM?

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Still in love with mine too.:)

I've demoed a fair bit of kit over the past few years and its fair to say the Arcam sound isn't geared to throw out the most show-stopping sonics , i.e. that kind of sound (explicit treble, "midrange-on-zoom", gratuitous bass) which makes some audiophools buy on impulse but later regret their purchase.

The FMJ presentation instead, is full of subtlety and nuance which stands up well for long-term listening and ownership.:^Have the A28 for four months now and I've not been that motivated to check out other amps; the Rega Elicit visit has been postponed a couple of times.:P I reckon I'll prolly grab the A38 later on, so that I can bring the A28 to be reunited with my Spendors at the office.

And oh, did I say Arcam's FMJ offer very excellent reproduction of vocals?:love: Ahead of Naim, most MF:( or any Primares IMO.

SS

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wow this blog looks gold! I , too own an arcam a28 and was wondering what to pair them with as I have recently sold off the MA RS6s (way too bright, sub-par soundstage/imaging). Guess this thread will keep me busy at work!

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I demoed the A38 with B&W CM9 and this combo produced sterling sound.:^ Arcam synergized well with B&W's favoured Kevlar woofers , which I have heard produced thick muffly sounds with less-disciplined/clean amps. None of that MA tweeter brightness either. Have a look at the CM8 or other B&Ws IMO.

Arcam FMJ coupled with a thoroughbred Spendor mini gives the ultimate in tonal smoothness which is very seductive to listen to, especially for acoustic and vocal music.:love:

If you're planning to live dangerouslykaboom.gif, the A28 coupled to ELAC rockets like the BS243/BS244 sounds anything but safe and cuddly (as with Spendor). Resolution, speed and dynamics outstrip the A38/CM9 combo, yet the sound stays balanced at all times. Just listened to Tchai's 1812 Overture for the first time thru' the glossy Germans and was just blown away by the razor-sharp imaging and powerful bass (those cannons!:nerves:)

Michael Tilson Thomas' Swan Lake is spinning now and the spacious hall ambience is astounding.:shock: The reproduction of cymbals is brilliant!!!:^:cool:

cheerSS

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I demoed the A38 with B&W CM9 and this combo produced sterling sound.:^ Arcam synergized well with B&W's favoured Kevlar woofers , which I have heard produced thick muffly sounds with less-disciplined/clean amps. None of that MA tweeter brightness either. Have a look at the CM8 or other B&Ws IMO.

Arcam FMJ coupled with a thoroughbred Spendor mini gives the ultimate in tonal smoothness which is very seductive to listen to, especially for acoustic and vocal music.:love:

If you're planning to live dangerouslykaboom.gif, the A28 coupled to ELAC rockets like the BS243/BS244 sounds anything but safe and cuddly (as with Spendor). Resolution, speed and dynamics outstrip the A38/CM9 combo, yet the sound stays balanced at all times. Just listened to Tchai's 1812 Overture for the first time thru' the glossy Germans and was just blown away by the razor-sharp imaging and powerful bass (those cannons!:nerves:)

Michael Tilson Thomas' Swan Lake is spinning now and the spacious hall ambience is astounding.:shock: The reproduction of cymbals is brilliant!!!:^:cool:

cheerSS

Thanks for the recommendations mate; will try to audition them when I can. Interestingly enough, there is a 2nd hand B&W cm7 floating around now. They look dead sexy, unfortunately I have read that their metal tweeters might wreak havoc on my sensitive ears?

My research has led me to soft-dome speakers such as Dynaudio and Totem. Have you any experience with them? I am seriously considering Totem Arros/Sttaf or the Dynaudio Excite series

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PS: You got the MF V-Link coupled to the Rega DAC :love:

Is the sonic performance better than the Rega DAC fed directly from a PC's USB output?

SS

TBH I did most of my listening from day one using the V-Link. But if memory serves me right, the straight-up rega USB implementation was slightly less "air-ier" and focused than the v-link. Again, there are several factors at play here such as the software drivers used as well as the digital coax cable used (I use winamp with WASAPI output at 96khz and van den hul integration hybrid coax cable)

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Doh.:doh: I knew I needed to do something but kept forgetting... i.e. implement the WASPI output on my USB. Will do that now.

If you're sensitive to metal tweeters, Dyn's soft domes could be your cuppa tea. Heard the Excite X12 prior to buying my latest speakers, it's a real sweetie - a small speaker with a big sound. That said, I wasn't offended with bright treble when I demoed the A38 with the CM9s. The Arcam's well-controlled top end might have reined any excesses in.

Ta for the notes on the R-DAC/V-Link.:)

cheerSS

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Audio-wise, 2011 is turning out to be one where I drool for weeks over webpages of new kit, go out to shop but come back with something else that's off the radar.:P

I decided to reward myself today for all the hard work done since Jan with a new integrated amp. I demoed a quartet of brit integrateds (all lovely in their own ways:^) but had a nagging feeling that they weren't going to transform the sound of my main rig in a significant way (from the Arcam FMJ A28) that I wanted.

At the last dealer, my eyes wandered to the Quad 909 power amp sitting forlornly in the corner. It looked so cute and compact.:love: I could not resist asking for a hearing, but not with the fugly 99 preamp but the lovely compact QC Twenty-Four tubed preamp. This would make for hybrid amp combo akin to my MF X-T100 & X-170PSU setup.

When the first notes wafted through I knew I had found the perfect partners for my ELACs!!!:oj:

I decided to grab the 909 first and try it with the preamp outs from my various integrated amps. The pre-outs from my tubed MF X-CAN v8P got first dibs and the combo sounds divine already. My heart is set on the sublime Q24 though and after I've satisfied myself with all other pre-outs at my disposal, that little tubed beauty is coming home.:) For £1.8k this combo kicks butt with the newer brit integrateds. For comparison, Naim's wonderful NAIT XS sounds like it has holes in its midrange:roll:, and the vocal reproduction offered by Arcam's stunning FMJ A38 now takes second place.:?

Pre-power is definitely the way forward.:cool: QUAD has now atoned for the horrendous 12L speakers I had in 2006.:zip:

sSD4kA_WYw6LFqlipjAXgaDRMO8zvbvXcG3NSq7eLGDreraKvD6MHVPWhcUdRei4RyZTuX09LbekADh2ut00MKP-tw=s512

^ Madame Sade never sounded more divine!

Helloooooo Tones-baby.:D I finally did it and joined you in your Quadophilic old age. But I ain't playing a note of Bach on it.:P

The ELACs were beguiling singers with my Arcam FMJ A28 but the MF X-CANv8P/QUAD 909 just took them to a whole new level. The soundstage is HUGE and now it seems my room's walls are the only bondaries to the positioning of the musicians. I am so ELATed.;-)

SS

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Helloooooo Tones-baby.:D I finally did it and joined you in your Quadophilic old age. But I ain't playing a note of Bach on it.:P

Good buy, ol' spud. As you have now perhaps attained hi-fi maturity, I can but hope that one day you will also attain musical maturity. This, I realise, is a long shot, but perhaps the age of miracles is not yet vorbei. In the meantime, you can join with us in the Quad anthem, not written by Bach, but he knew and used Johann Crüger's marvellous hymn melody:

How thankful we’re for Quad, for instruments and voices

It wondrous things hath done, in which sound world rejoices

From Walker’s earliest steps that sent Quad on its way

With innovative gear that still sounds good today

O may this bounteous Quad through all our lives be near us,

With ever joyful sounds that never cease to cheer us;

And keeps us from the craze to upgrade when perplexed;

And frees us from the ill about what to buy next!

All praise and thanks to Quad, which gives musical heaven

Quad II, three-three, four-four, 303, fifty seven,

Although we find it sad that Huntingdon’s no more;

The Real Thing soldiers on, and shall for evermore.

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I don't want to say this..............................................but I did tell you that the only way to go for fidelity was a separate pre and power.

NA NA NA NA.:cool::cool::cool:

S

ps Peter would be proud of you Tony!

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Read your replies quite a while ago, mates but I couldn't respond... because I was lulled into a state of utmost musical satisfaction thanks to the glorious sound pouring forth from the QUAD and ELACs. Ahhhh... :stereo:

Someone ought to email Tones' Quad Anthem to the company.applause.gifapplause.gifapplause.gif They should reproduce it in their next Quad product brochure.:D

And no, our new QUAD solidarity is not going to induce me to listen to any Bach on it. Already the 909 has been put to the task of glorifying the music of the greatest of masters --- Wagner. Listened to Siegmund's and Sieglinde's incestuous love duet in Act I of Die Walker, errr, Die Walkure.:P The resolution in the midrange is just sublime. This is as close to a perfect performance that I'd ever need.:)

Will post more thoughts on the 909 and the brit integrateds over the week. Meanwhile, I'm continuing to listen until dawn!

SS

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Hi SSM, glad you are enjoying your new purchase, I once gatecrashed someone's demo of Supernait v AVI Lab Series v Quad 99/909. The Quad combo was much more satisfying than the other 2. I couldn't live with the looks of the Quad Pre though. Black 909 is :love:

Looking forward to reading your fortcoming round up.

My Evo amp is sick at the moment, intermittent right channel drop out, got an old Nad doing amp duties at the moment.

Cheers BB

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Hi BB,

Sorry to hear your EVO is ailing.:( Five years old but it has had a good run.:^ Hey, time to upgrade.;-)

Will do up the Roksan, Rega, Sugden and Arcam report... when the 909 releases me from its clutches.:nerves::D

cheerSS

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