hifinutt

Bel canto thread

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Hi All

Having acquired M300 mono blocks about 9 months ago, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to pair them with. Recently, I acquired a Modwright SWL 9.0se and to my pleasant surprise, they sounded great together. In fact, compared to my other system of Naim Nac72/FC2/Nap200, the 9.0se/M300 combination was, overall, better sounding to my ears at least. It was not a case of hands down better, as the Naim system was slightly better in some areas and the 9.0se/M300 better in others, but overall, I would give the 9.0se/M300 the nod if I had to keep just one of the combinations. This is largely down to the 9.0se/M300 sounding smoother and slightly more musical as well as throwing off a subtly bigger sound stage. I've been doing this comparison for about 5 months now before posting this thread so as to make sure I had listened to both systems side by side properly. Speakers are Harbeth SHL5s and Totem Hawks.

As an analogy, the Naim sounded more like me sitting close to the stage in a concert hall - getting the sound projected to me with pin point accuracy whereas the 9.0se/M300 sounds more like sitting in the middle rows where you experience the whole "waterfront" - side to side, top to bottom of the stage.

For certain types of music (e.g. electronica like Massive Attack's Karmacoma), the Naim has it. The 9.0se/M300 cannot match the punchiness of the bass of the Naim system, but for acoustic and vocals (especially female vocals), the 9.0se/M300 is just lush (in the nicest way). In non-audiophile speak, the 9.0se/M300 sounds sophisticated and grown up.

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I'm having a bel canto dac 2.7 and a ref500s coming my way (soon I hope). They are going to replace my parasound halo that I'm using on my kef reference 201/2 speakers today. I have not demoed them so I'm pretty excited

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hope you are using a pre with them as the 2.7 straight into the refs will not sound its best . if you are then it can sound magnificent 

i have tried it many times !

Edited by hifinutt

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How bad would it sound using the 2.7 as a pre? The hifi store actually adviced me to just use the 2.7 as a pre to the ref500s and did tell me that those to are made to match each other.

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it would sound very detailed and it would be fine . however its worth experimenting with a pre amp and see what you prefer . it is perfectly fine to use as it is volume controlled

some years ago I took my music first passive to a friend  running big b&W speakers using ref 1000 . he ran a dac 3 into them . the sound was perfectly ok but very slightly digital in sound . it was a very big room . we introduced the mfa mark 1 classic into the loop. immediately the soundstage became very wide and the bass made various things vibrate in the room . that had not happened bofore . it was just much more musical and real . they soon bought this pre amp for themselves [not mine]

I have the 3.5mark 1 vbs and have often tried it but I find when you turn up the wick it is not always as enjoyable as a good pre amp . its playing right now with a velleman pre amp and sounding good

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Interesting! I will take that into considoration. If I like the sound of the dac and the poweramp, maybe a designated pre could be the next step. I don't think I can sell in the need to use more money on hifi to my better half just yet

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the good news is passive pre`s can be be bought from as little as 75 quid s/h . plenty of choice with passive pre amps . also other active pre`s around that don`t cost an arm and a leg

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On ‎2‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 19:22, KjetilA said:

I'm having a bel canto dac 2.7 and a ref500s coming my way (soon I hope). They are going to replace my parasound halo that I'm using on my kef reference 201/2 speakers today. I have not demoed them so I'm pretty excited emoji16.png

Sent fra min SM-A510F via Tapatalk
 

wondering how you got on . I am using my bel canto 3.5 dac straight into power amp currently . not bad at all . big deep bass , extremely detailed and enjoyable . it does not have quite the same musicality as using a pre amp but still perfectly enjoyable . very realistic sounding

listening to hugh masekela , the trumpet is slightly strident , drums have good sense of realism . have to turn it down slightly . if I had it running through the modwright there would not be that strident sound and you could wack the volume up more   

Edited by hifinutt

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wondering how you got on . I am using my bel canto 3.5 dac straight into power amp currently . not bad at all . big deep bass , extremely detailed and enjoyable . it does not have quite the same musicality as using a pre amp but still perfectly enjoyable . very realistic sounding

listening to hugh masekela , the trumpet is slightly strident , drums have good sense of realism . have to turn it down slightly . if I had it running through the modwright there would not be that strident sound and you could wack the volume up more   

Hi,

I received the bel canto dac yesterday and have set it up with the 500s. Having just tried it for less than a few hour my first impression right now is that it is just slightly better than my parasound hint. It do have an impressive bass, but so does the parasound. I think the vocals are a bit more clearer and that it is a bit more detailed. But there is no "wow, this was really better" factor. Not just yet anyway. I have read multiple places that the dac has to stay on for about 50 hours before it "opens up". Is that your experience too?

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so I do think any component needs running in so perseveare . I soon got a pre amp back in as I do find it not so good with dac as a pre . it does not cost much for a reasonable pre amp to see how the dac performs . if you are ever in brum you are moost welcome here . I am using a pre amp here currently from Italy that most certainly has that WOW factor 

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Super Wammer

Thanks to info from Hi Fi Nutt I have had a new Bel Canto Ref 150s for a week or so now and it is just coming on song. Very detailed, almost delicate rendition. Was listening to Mexican guitarists Rodriguez and Gabriel this afternoon, a CD I know well. Lots of detail I had not noticed before. Possibly need more bass, but that could be my speakers, Spendor S5e which are small floorstanders.

Any 150 users on here? Be interested to know which speakers you have found best with this amp. I'm very happy with it, particularly as I got it at a bargain basement price.

Richard A

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I have just bought an S300i, not got it yet. 

I actually had a pair of Quad 11Ls in the sitting room with a Sonos Amp, used to listen to the radio on it. 

Main room is Meridian DSP5200s with G68 doing room correction and being fed with an MS200 for ripped and Tidal. 

However, I heard the Quad S2's, the little bookshelf standmounts with the ribbon tweeter the other week and had to have them. 

Last passive box speaker I had was the Roksan TR-5 ribbon bookshelf, and I loved that. So I bough the Quad S2s and have really liked them, but obviously the Sonos is holding them back, so I bough the the S300i, thought it would open them up a bit. 

Having said that, I then heard a pair of Logan Electromotions the other day and thought they were stunning for the money. So I have bought a pair of those now as well. 

My thinking is try them instead of the Meridian DSPs with the Bel Canto and see how I get on, having the HT Bypass I could then pop a nice valve pre in front of it if I wanted to. 

I have been 10 years now with various Meridian DSP speakers and still love them, but I have itch to try something different, and the next step up for me is DSP7200SE's if I stay Meridian and they are now £25,000, which is not going to happen. 

So fingers crossed the Bel Canto and Logans sound a good match. (or have a pair of Rel subs to go with them too). Just need to sort of source. Either Meridian MS600, or maybe try a RPi3 with a DAC on the end of it? We'll see! 

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will be very interested how you get on with the logans , they are rather good . be great to hear your thoughts on how they compare with your meridian 5200 , I suppose you discounted the se version. [I see there is a pair on hifi for sale at 6250]

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