Icepower 1200AS2 (Takachi case) listening impressions thread

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bacobits1

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #20 on: 14 Jan 2018, 10:05 pm »
brother love, thanks for the updates. The more resolving the system is, the less you need the iTube2 as it takes away what superb definition you have and messes with too much. This was my finding when I had it here. Carry on............  Good maybe for a desktop system but not the big rig. My opinion. Yup I'm a cheap bastard too. :duh:

Captainhemo

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #21 on: 14 Jan 2018, 10:30 pm »
Hey that's two of us with GR Research speakers and this amp and we're both cheap bastards (you more than me though - I went with black) :D

gab

Been running with GR speakers for  quite a while now .  The  new NX series loves  this amp . both  the  NX Oticas and  NXtremes.   I need to drag the NX Otica MTM's in one of these days and see how  it goes  with them as well  .

jay

jay

brother love

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #22 on: 14 Jan 2018, 10:44 pm »
Captainhemo/ Jay,

What an embarrassment of riches you have!  You make us all have "speaker envy".  Let me know when you feel like a starting a speaker lease program.  :lol:

gab

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #23 on: 14 Jan 2018, 11:16 pm »
Been running with GR speakers for  quite a while now .  The  new NX series loves  this amp . both  the  NX Oticas and  NXtremes.   I need to drag the NX Otica MTM's in one of these days and see how  it goes  with them as well  .

jay

jay

when you gonna make me my Super V baffle? I want the first one :D

gab

Captainhemo

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #24 on: 14 Jan 2018, 11:19 pm »
Captainhemo/ Jay,

What an embarrassment of riches you have!  You make us all have "speaker envy".  Let me know when you feel like a starting a speaker lease program.  :lol:

LOL,  well we like to have a pair of each for demo's.  The  NX-Tremes / triples are up at  Don's place, the  NX-Ottica / duals are here..  When we designed the  flat packs for the NX line,   we sorta had to buld at least one pair of each right  ?  :D
My first pair of  GRs  were a pair of Danny's N3's as well, my folks have them now, I  love hering them everytime I'm over there ,  they are a great speaker.    Let me know if you ever make it out this way

when you gonna make me my Super V baffle? I want the first one :D

gab

they are on the list man   :thumb:

jay

monte

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #25 on: 14 Jan 2018, 11:20 pm »
Thanks for your impression of the amp, can’t wait to hear how my vandersteen ‘s will sound.

brother love

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #26 on: 14 Jan 2018, 11:48 pm »
LOL,  well we like to have a pair of each for demo's.  The  NX-Tremes / triples are up at  Don's place, the  NX-Ottica / duals are here..  When we designed the  flat packs for the NX line,   we sorta had to buld at least one pair of each right  ?  :D
My first pair of  GRs  were a pair of Danny's N3's as well, my folks have them now, I  love hering them everytime I'm over there ,  they are a great speaker.    Let me know if you ever make it out this way

jay

Believe me, if I had enough room to have 3 ft. behind one of Danny's open baffle kits with your flat packs, I would have been all over it. Unfortunately I don't have the room set-up to do OB properly, & why I have kept the N3's (18 in. behind speakers in a nearfield layout).

Before the N3's, I had N2x's & X-LS Encores. I loved them all, just kept moving up the chain. The man sure knows how to design speakers.  :thumb:

bavmike

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #27 on: 15 Jan 2018, 03:33 am »
Bunky’s Assembled Takachi amp ready to ship!




SFDude

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #28 on: 15 Jan 2018, 06:01 pm »
SFDude's Listening Impressions

8 hrs after assembly and burning in via playback overnight

Amplification: The Mivera Icepower kit amp is replacing a Line Magnetic 216a amp, with Gold Lion KT88s, plugged directly to the wall outlet
Speakers: Spatial M3 Turbo S open-baffle speakers
Source: an Exogal Comet Plus DAC/preamp fed by a Sonore microRendu, powered by an Uptone UltraCap LPS-1, with Roon managing my digitized media
Cables: Nordost Blue Heaven interconnects, some old Dedicated Audio power cords
Network:Hardwired ethernet through Ubiquiti Networks gear
Room treatment: I don't have any room treatments at all
Power Conditioning: An ancient Transparent PowerLink Ultra conditioner is being used for just the Exogal, UltraCap and microRendu

The first thing I noticed was the amount of control this amp had over the bottom end. HOLY SH*TBALLS this thing has pretty absolute command over lower register notes. I usually play Electronica music to test this out, favorites being Sync24's stuff. Going through a few more albums by Aes Dana, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Daft Punk has confirmed that this was not a fluke. I'm actually feeling the punch of the lower end notes more with this amp than the previous amps I've had to drive the Spatials.

Moving back into playing some more mellow stuff, I threw on Buena Vista Social Club's amazing representative of local Cuban music (if you own one album of Cuban music, this is it). I have listened to this many many MANY times over, more recently this being background listening over a Sonos system playing in my family room/kitchen area. So I haven't really sat down to focus on actually LISTENING to this album in a while. This time around, I went through the whole album, start to finish, head swaying, toe tapping, just enjoying the entire presentation. As much as I'm a fan of the amp, I'm a HUGE fan of this group and the album. The amp just let me enjoy this album as I remember it the first time I heard it.

I dove into Roger Water's Amused to Death's opening track just to check the staging and imaging of the amp. Sure enough, the dogs barking to the far right (some say it is slight behind your right shoulder but I think I need room treatments to get that effect), the radio starting up way off to the left of the speakers were audible and placed way outside the speakers. Other amps I've heard don't do a great job at spatiality but this Icepower one does. I can't stand the rest of the album long enough to sit through it but tested this track a couple of times at different volumes to make sure the soundstage was consistent.

Listening to Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms (album and final track), Knopfler's voice came through clear, the guitars sounded really crisp in this track and the balanced presentation overall from the Icepower amp was really nice. The Line Magnetic amp used to "soften" this track to a certain degree. Another system I had which consisted of a Cary Amp and Audio Physics Tempo speakers used to render this track with a glaze of syrup over it. Couldn't stand it. I love this track (hey, I grew up in the rise of MTV era) to death and this amp & speaker combo definitely lets me enjoy it immensely.

So for now, things are really nice with this amp. I'll need to play it a bunch more and let it burn in a bit. The amp with the Spatials is an interesting combination. The Spatials don't really do low level listening as well as other dynamic boxed speakers or even electrostats (like the pair of ML Aeons I had a while back). You really need to crank the volume up a little to really hear the dynamics of your music. When you do, you can easily keep going up with volume and the Spatials aren't fazed at all, they keep demanding that you push it as much as your ears can handle it. The Icepower amp seems to just happily acquiesce to these requests. The Line Magnetic would get a bit out of sorts beyond a certain volume level (hey, we're looking at 22WPC in triode mode vs 1200WPC).

So far, I'll likely not put the Line Magnetic amp back into the system. The Icepower amp runs cool (it barely gets warm underneath the case where the amp is coupled to the base of the case. The top is cool to the touch. There is a slight transformer hum when turned on, which is barely audible when you get your ears close to the case. There is very little noise from the speakers while the amp is turned on and nothing is playing. This will be something to solve with more power conditioning I gather but the Line Magnetic amp was definitely fairly noisy by comparison.

I'll post some more impressions later on after a couple more weeks. Looking forward to reading other people's impressions!

-dave

brother love

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #29 on: 15 Jan 2018, 06:44 pm »
Nice review SFDude.  :thumb:

The light bulb went off in my head this morning, & I eliminated hum coming from XLR/ RCA adapters when connecting iFi iTube2 buffer to ICEPower amp. Good ol' electrical tape on the barrel ends of the adapters made the hum disappear. :lol:



I then tried both the buffer & preamp settings on the iTube2 by changing the DIP switches. My final conclusions were the same as what bacobits1 described ... the superb definition of the ICEPower amp connected directly to the higher gain XLR outputs of the Gustard X-20 DAC flat won out.

bavmike

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #30 on: 15 Jan 2018, 06:51 pm »
Awesome review SFdude! The slight bit of noise you hear when music isn’t playing will be coming from the connected source gear. The idle noise floor of the 1200AS is 160dB down:




At Paul’s place with his 98dB efficient Audionote speakers, when we press pause in Roon, dead silence when putting our ears up to the speaker drivers.

I’m glad you’re enjoying the amp!

@ Brother love. Yes those turd polishing gadgets are no longer required when you have superior gear. All they end up doing is hindering performance.

maty

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #31 on: 15 Jan 2018, 06:53 pm »
Speakers: Spatial M3 Turbo S open-baffle speakers

http://www.spatialaudio.us/hologram-m3/

Quote
Sensitivity:  94dB - averaged across 200Hz to 5kHz at 1M - on axis

Impedance:  4Ω nominal, 3 Ω minimum

By the way,

UpTone LPS-1 Linear Power Supply Review and Measurements

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/uptone-lps-1-linear-power-supply-review-and-measurements.1849/

Quote
We see that the mains related contributions disappear. This clearly indicates that LPS-1 does nothing to reduce or let alone eliminate AC mains leakage from the power supply.

And just in case you think the linear power supply plus ISO regen, plus LPS-1 is the answer, read the graph: I got the same performance not using any of that! Straight plug into my laptop USB bus produced the same thing!

TJHUB

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #32 on: 15 Jan 2018, 06:57 pm »
Nice review SFDude.  :thumb:

The light bulb went off in my head this morning, & I eliminated hum coming from XLR/ RCA adapters when connecting iFi iTube2 buffer to ICEPower amp. Good ol' electrical tape on the barrel ends of the adapters made the hum disappear. :lol:



I then tried both the buffer & preamp settings on the iTube2 by changing the DIP switches. My final conclusions were the same as what bacobits1 described ... the superb definition of the ICEPower amp connected directly to the higher gain XLR outputs of the Gustard X-20 DAC flat won out.

Just an FYI for everyone, using any XLR to RCA adapters like pictured very likely ruin clarity and other aspects of the sound.  I would never use them.  YMMV...

bavmike

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #33 on: 15 Jan 2018, 07:13 pm »
Just an FYI for everyone, using any XLR to RCA adapters like pictured very likely ruin clarity and other aspects of the sound.  I would never use them.  YMMV...

Yes this is why I offer swappable input connector harnesses.

brother love

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #34 on: 15 Jan 2018, 07:34 pm »
Wow, tough crowd.  :lol:   I opted for XLR connectors w/ 1200AS2. The XLR/ RCA adapters were just to audition the iTube 2. If the tube/ iFi processing had still been preferred, I would have upgraded to Mike's RCA connectors.

Wind Chaser

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #35 on: 15 Jan 2018, 07:46 pm »
Just an FYI for everyone, using any XLR to RCA adapters like pictured very likely ruin clarity and other aspects of the sound.  I would never use them.  YMMV...

YMMV - you can say that again! Maybe the adapters you've tried were crap?


Audiogeek2

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #36 on: 15 Jan 2018, 09:14 pm »
The problem is that devices with RCA outputs have lower voltage than devices with proper XLR outputs. Hence the difference in sound.

barrows

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #37 on: 15 Jan 2018, 09:51 pm »
Huh, the voltage will make no difference in sound!  Voltage will be the same for a given volume, as voltage controls volume.

It will be better to purchase the amp with balanced inputs no matter what as this is a balanced amp.  If you must use it with a a single ended source, get a dedicated set of single ended to balanced cables made up, and do not use adapters.  Then all you have to do is have a balanced style cable (twisted pair with shield) terminated as follows at the RCA end:

XLR pin 2 to RCA center pin (hot), XLR pin 3 to RCA outer ring (ground), and XLR pin 1 (shield) to RCA outer ring.  This is the best way (other than  adding really good transformers or a true, active, single ended to balanced stage) of hooking up a single ended source to a balanced amp like this.

Then, you also have balanced inputs on the amp for when you get a better (and balanced) source...

bavmike

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Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #38 on: 15 Jan 2018, 10:02 pm »
Huh, the voltage will make no difference in sound!  Voltage will be the same for a given volume, as voltage controls volume.

It will be better to purchase the amp with balanced inputs no matter what as this is a balanced amp.  If you must use it with a a single ended source, get a dedicated set of single ended to balanced cables made up, and do not use adapters.  Then all you have to do is have a balanced style cable (twisted pair with shield) terminated as follows at the RCA end:

XLR pin 2 to RCA center pin (hot), XLR pin 3 to RCA outer ring (ground), and XLR pin 1 (shield) to RCA outer ring.  This is the best way (other than  adding really good transformers or a true, active, single ended to balanced stage) of hooking up a single ended source to a balanced amp like this.

Then, you also have balanced inputs on the amp for when you get a better (and balanced) source...

I offer extra input harness’s in XLR and RCA in all quality levels in my webshop. Takes 3 minutes to swap. That’s the way to do it if you want to change inputs. No need for adapters or custom cables.

Scroll to the bottom of the page:

https://www.miveraaudio.com/shop

TJHUB

Re: Icepower 1200AS2 (Purepower) amp listening impressions.
« Reply #39 on: 15 Jan 2018, 10:26 pm »
YMMV - you can say that again! Maybe the adapters you've tried were crap?

Several...some borrowed and I don’t exactly remember.  They were not all equal, but none were usable to me.  That said, any metal you put in the signal path changes the sound.  In my experience (not all that much), it’s been bad every time.  I see those adapter and just cringe!  Barrows’ plan of XLR to RCA ICs is what I’ve done with great results, AND they match my current favorite ICs.  But Mike is offering availability to have both with a simple swap, and that is one of the best features of this amp.

I’m not trying to be a know-it-all.  I just think folks should know not to take the notion of using those lightly.