Waiting on my SET 120 . . .

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opnly bafld

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Re: Waiting on my SET 120 . . .
« Reply #20 on: 25 Jan 2021, 10:52 pm »

Today, don't worry about the damping factor............

Thanks Frank, I wish more people understood this.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Waiting on my SET 120 . . .
« Reply #21 on: 26 Jan 2021, 12:11 am »
I can tell  you that the amp has firm grip on bass.  No boomy, flabby or slow bass.  It is musical and punchy.


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Re: Waiting on my SET 120 . . . continued . . .
« Reply #22 on: 19 Jun 2022, 03:56 am »
After a considerable lapse, I have decided to continue my AVA adventures.  This is copied from another fora I terrorize.
Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:53 pm   

One ejaculatory audio review seduced me into a new Class A/B amp.  Yup, some magic happened at the last minute and I resolved to stay with the AVA SET120 amp.

In the beginning, I auditioned it for nearly two weeks using only my Tab 10's. I talked to Frank about the return and he acted incredulously about me sending it back.  "These things just don't come back."  Yeah, yeah.  Told him they weren't giving the Tabbies the soundstage width I wanted, rolled off treble, etc.  Then I said, "To be fair, I will pull my Souls forward and give them a shot for a day or two."


I have never liked my Zu's and regretted buying them but the SET120 made a hell of a difference.  I guess Zu's don't like Class D.  Now the Zu's had a lower and more visceral bass, there was more treble, and the soundstage started opening up!  Had I achieved break-in? Or, was this the magic of MOSFETs outperforming NuPrimes Class A/D?  The Souls finally had a more upfront sound that I had never heard.

So's the SET120 be a keeper, the Tabbies are shoved back, and audio begins anew.  If the Schiit boys knew their gear was pushing an older design they would kick me off the Schiit pile.  The NuPrime has twice the power (120 per side) and features balanced connectors whereas the AVA has 60 per side and is single-ended.  None of that seems to matter,  the AVA is gutsy and visceral with a good soundstage and plenty of reserve for the 99db Souls.

Frank really pushed his preamps saying that I would get a fully balanced (frequency) sound with one of his.  I find nothing wrong with the Freya so I just "nodded" and said maybe later. 

So, I am a happy camper with my "new" Souls and SET 120.  Time to retire and enjoy for a while.

Recess over, there's more.

For yuks,  I decided to try no preamp.  I've thought about it and when I discovered the Apos website I became fixated on DAC/preamps and the chips they use.  Apos is a very slick organization that shills the best of dacs and headphone amps from the Yellow Peril.  I bought a Class D amp from them using a German power chip and got it in about six days!  I was very impressed with its sound and the Tabbies loved it.

Why not go minimalist and try an inexpensive DAC/preamp?  After hours of glorious research, I  ordered an SMSL M200 DAC from  Bezos in case I need a quick return.  The M200 used the formerly top-of-the-line AKM4497.  My Schiit DAC was using the AKM4490 which sounded good.

Once I got the 200 installed I started with some music and was not impressed.  Closed-in, kind of a constipated sound.  I was already shopping for a more expensive DAC when "the breakthrough" occurred.  The sound stage started opening up and getting deeper.  The upper mids and lower treble punched forward and the M200 added to the SET 120 the same qualities as before only more so.  The system provides vivid channel separation, a wider soundstage, and great imaging.  I am mesmerized by the sound that has no tone control input and sounds just right without them.  Now, these are the "happy times" and I will not make any changes for a long while.

For less than $1500, I saved a pricy pair of speakers, got a minimalist system going, and am Schiit free for the moment.  The Chinamen can make nice sounds out of chips over $99.  US manufacturers can make wicked-sounding stuff for under $999.

The SET 120 is all black and crinkly to the point of disappearing in a cabinet.  It's invisible and that's good because purdy it ain't.  The M200 is a small black aluminum case with a large display on the front.  It is slanted (like the Parthenon?) but not noticeable at listening difference.  This becomes a small package not requiring real estate.  The SO will never know until she spit shines the cabinets and shelves.


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Re: Waiting on my SET 120 . . .
« Reply #23 on: 19 Jun 2022, 04:09 am »
Jul 23, 2021 7:34 pm

 I decided to try Topping and am getting their D70s which use twin AKM 4497 DACs.  One thorough reviewer said it is as good as the top-of-the-line D 90s. The 70s has fewer parts and a bit better treble.  So now, we are at a stopping point.  The D70s should be, theoretically, my resting place.  We'll see.

Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:34 pm

Well, that was a short-lived rest.

Nervosa never sleeps and as long as there are a few Yuan in the pocket you gotta spend it.

I got onto some hype about Audio Envy cables.  I followed trails of fora chat and never found
a negative comment or review.  I mean, I read so many comments I almost couldn't sleep!

After visiting the Audio Envy website I recoiled in horror at their prices!  The cheapest thing  I
could afford would be a pair of four-foot interconnects at $200.  Short speaker cables would
be $900!  Now, I spend $900 on a considered piece of gear a'la SET 120.  But when you
turn that onto pieces of wire that's different.  Well, my knees were wobbly from
so much info that I settled on their interconnects for $200.  (I realize that is cheap stuff
to the more financially blessed.)

I placed my order and received it about a week later in a plain white USPO bag.  Very
humble introduction.  I took the directional wire and installed it into the D70s and the
AVA SET120. I kickstarted my system and hit play on some electronica.


It sounded different! Then I realized I was hearing details in the upper treble and treble
I've never heard before.  It was showing me transparency in the mids and uppers
and the stereo image started to extend beyond my speakers!  This was right after
hitting PLAY for the first time!  I began to wonder how you make, bend, weave, or
configure a wire to produce MAGIC.  And, it's got about 200 hours of break-in before
it fully fills out the bottom and lower mids.  I was astounded.

I pulled out one of my favorites, "Man-Machine"-Kraftwerk, which was originally
recorded in the late '70s.  It was like listening to it for the first time!  The detail of
the entire spectrum was refined, sharpened, and full.  It was a call to listen to
every CD I have.

The Audio Envy has acted as a stand-alone component as if it had a metal
case, a plug, and a power switch.  This $200 wire shows me what my D70s
and SET 120 can really do.  They can reproduce critical information at higher
and higher levels.

I've made this my electronic Second Coming on the back of two pieces of wire.

This is pure synergy.  YMMV.


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Re: Waiting on my SET 120 . . .
« Reply #24 on: 19 Jun 2022, 04:20 am »
If I were the new Chuck Heston, I would raise my 120 up to the sky and proclaim, "Out of my cold dead hands."


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Re: Waiting on my SET 120 . . .
« Reply #25 on: 11 Jul 2022, 07:18 pm »