Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy

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forzainter

Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« on: 2 Dec 2014, 09:16 pm »
This is my first post in AC  and I am glad to start with a review of the Daedalus Ulysses/ Bow's loudspeaker system.

Just some background  information about my longlife  interest in music and HIFI.
My name is Ugo and I live in Italy; I have  been  loving music since I was a child and this led me to learn playing guitar (both classical and acoustic), drums and  percussions.

I grew up listening all genres of music with a special interest in Blues, Jazz and rock; later  in my life i started loving  classical music and opera too.
My passion for  music was the main reason why I developed also a strong  interest in the HiFi world more  than 25 years ago.
As part of my  system evolution I have been changing a lot (I mean a lot!!!) of gear  during these almost 30 years in this hobby
.
To make the story shorter , this is my current system:

Source: Playback Design MPS-5

Preamplifiers: Dartzeel NHB-18NS and Coincident Technology Statement Line Stage

Power Amplifiers: Dartzeel NHB-108 and Coincident Tech.  Frankenstein II monoblocks (SET 300B)
                           ( that I use in turn to drive the Ulysses)
                            Absoluta Janus monoblocksto drive the Bow's

Speakers: Daedalus Ulysses V2 + 2 Bow's + Daedalus active crossover

AC Cables: Audience AU24 power chord, Coinc. Technology power chord

Speaker Cables: WyWires Platinum and Skogrand Tchaikovsky speakers

I/C cables: WyWires  Platinum (from Dartzeel preamplifier to Frankenstein monoblocks) and Dartzeel BNC zeel cable (from source to Dartzeel preamplifier, and from Dartzeel pre to Dartzeel power amplifier)

AC power regenerator: PurePower 2000 (all equipment plugged in there)

Acoustic treatment: ASC tube traps, DAAD and Polifemo from Acustica Applicata

My dedicated listening room is 6.4 x 3.8 mt, with a shape of a trapezium scalene that required  an heavy treatment to achieve good acoustic results.

First time I heard about  Daedalus speakers was  reading AudioCircle 2 years ago'; i got an increasing interest and curiosity by reading many posts from  AC users; I want to thank all of you Daedalus owners bcz your posts in AudioCircle were very helpful.

One day I decided to give Lou a call to share with him what I was looking for and why I thought that the Ulysses could  fit well to my needs. We went through several phone calls in the following days and I felt, from the very beginning, that I was dealing not only with a very skilled professional (like Lou is) but also with a candid ,supportive,  honest and nice person.


After a couple of weeks and tons of quesions I shared with Lou (specially regarding the size and shape of my room that  is not very easy to deal with) we came to the point  that (with a little patience and attention for speaker positioning)  the Ulysses and Bow's would be the  speakers system I was looking for!!!

Few months later I got the Ulysses at home.

Installing the Ulysses was a pleasure and a joy at the same time since  I find them just gorgeous to look at (people outside Italy say that italians have a special taste for beauty and design; who knows if this is really true.....).

Connecting the Ulysses, right out of the box, ..... wow ... it was a love at first sight!!!! 

Speaking to Lou and reading around,  I knew   they needed a long burning time: I knew it well, but in my experience I also  know that a very  good product  start singing right from the very first moment....the Ulysses indeed  showed their huge potential from the very first minute I listened to them.

After 400-500  hours of heavy listening through the Ulysses this is my summary:

the  Ulysses/Bow speaker system is the most musically engaging speaker I have heard in my life!!!!!

I don't want to bore anybody with HIFI terminology.

All I can say is that if u really like music and you are used  to go frequently to live concerts, what the Ulysses can do for u
is to help creating at your own home   the magic atmosphere that you breath and  feel in  live concerts.

The sounstage is  just realistic; the instruments play just right and after listening for hours to your favourite   music,  you find yourself completely absorbed inside the same music you are listening too.

 I can listen to  the  delicacy of a violin in Alvarez singing Gardel, or the tearjerker Sabina Sciubba's voice  singing Caruso and get chills on my skin; or I can hear the walls of my room credibly shaking when I listen to 3 double basses playing together  in Superbass2 (Ray Brown and co.).....or a full orchestral fortissimo in Carmina Burana making me  feel in the center of an auditorium....

It is really touching to get this level of musical reproduction so emotionally  true  at home!!

Of course I am aware that the entire  system is a very high quality system; the Dartzeel electronics sound  wonderful and look awesome! The Frankenstein SET (300B running the AVVT 32B) are unique and magic  in the middle range; the Playback Design from Andreas is a top class, truely   outstanding player ; cables from Alex (WyWires)  are so damn good and engaging..... cables from Knut (Skogrand) are a masterpiece in managing the music flowing in an ethereal yet visceral way....   the Absoluta Janus (Elia)  are schokingly crisp  and clear with unlimited  power reserve driving the Bow's..... every single piece sounds a little special creature to me.... Last but not least the acoustic device Polifemo from Acustica Applicata (Fabio) were so unbelievable effective in my room acoustic that i thought i was in a different room......

Yet since the Ulysses came at home I feel that every single product of my system has started a new life!!

A life that speaks only  music (not HIFI) and goes directly into your heart.

I apologize if I was long describing my experience with the Ulysses, but i feel it is worth to recognize the passion and esquisite taste that Lou puts in crafting his (my) speakers; sorry  I meant his wonderful instruments!.

Thank you Lou and you know you have a friend in Italy,

Ugo
« Last Edit: 5 Dec 2014, 07:09 am by forzainter »

MegaHz

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Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #1 on: 4 Dec 2014, 12:06 am »
Welcome to AC, Ugo.

Quite a story and a confidence on your part to purchase speakers sight unseen and unheard from Washington state and having them shipped over the continent and overseas to Italy.  And you went "whole hog" with the BOWs purchase as well.  Its a testament to Lou as well.   :thumb:

No surprise you are enthralled with the sound.  But can I ask how you have set them up in your unusual space?  Very uncommon to see a scalene trapezoidal room.  Is a picture coming soon?     

jonbee

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #2 on: 4 Dec 2014, 01:12 am »
the  Ulysses/Bow speaker system is the most musically engaging speaker I have heard in my life!!!!!

I don't want to bore anybody with HIFI terminology.

All I can say is that if u really like music and you are used  to go frequently to live concerts, what the Ulysses can do for u
is to help creating at your own home   the magic atmosphere that you breath and  feel in  live concerts.

The sounstage is  just realistic; the instruments play just right and after listening for hours to your favourite   music,  you find yourself completely absorbed inside the same music you are listening too.
My system is not as refined as yours (I've heard and admire the Dartzeels), but I feel the same way as you do. The sheer pleasure of hearing music through the Daedalus in a home environment does not translate simply in audiophile terms. They do really sound more like live music than most audiophile speakers, and more so as the rest of the system gets more refined.
Congratulations on finding such a satisfying system!

Ern Dog

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #3 on: 4 Dec 2014, 01:34 am »
Awesome review!  Thanks Ugo.

forzainter

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #4 on: 4 Dec 2014, 08:09 am »
Megahz
you are completely right. It was a long process for me, taking into account the difficulty in auditioning the system, to mature a balanced and conscious decision. My first cut was about the sound footprint of he Ulysses. I spent enough time on the phone with Lou to grasp the flavour of the speakers. I consider myself lucky bcz Lou is a musician and I play too and this facilitated our talks. I knew pretty well what I was looking for; Lou has been extremely  effective, open,  honest and accurate  in sharing with me his view of the Ulysses sound and to provide me any useful information regarding  the  technical spec's of the speakers. My biggest concern was if  including or not the Bow's due to my  listening room size and shape. Infact in the very beginning my orientation was  to buy only 1 Bow, instead of 2. A  friend, that works in acoustic treatment, helped me in working  with me on this subject. We made some simulations on paper  based on speakers spec's and room shape  to identify the potential reflections and pressurization issues inside my room. Eventually we decided that by treating well the room we would have been able to effectively tune the whole system in my room.

That's how we eventually came to my final purchase decision. I am aware it was a little risky, though  informed and conscious decision process.

It took some time to find out the right speaker positioning once they arrived at home; at first and without the Polifemo (it is an acoustic resonator from Acustica Applicata) the room was a little overloaded.

Then it comes the funny part of the story!

I was lucky again bcz I had Fabio (the designer of Polifemo  and one of the owner of Acustica Applicata) with me at  home experimenting enough  to find the best solution. We have been  literally playing  with the speakers and the Polifemo together.
Fabio  is a very talented and experienced person with a deep knowledge of applied acoustics and room treatment.
He knows perfectly how Polifemo works and the final result in my room was simply extraordinary.............

Based on my direct and personal experience I think that those Polifemo's are the most  effective single upgrade you can
make to  your system; better saying ,  to your room sound.
At least this is my experience.

Back to your question, room positioning of the speaker is the following:

distance of the Ulysses from the front wall  (behind the speakers) is 1.7 mt
distance from speaker to speaker is about 2 mt. (from center to center)
distance of listening position from the Ulyesses is about 3.2 mt

 I plan to post some pictures of my room and system when I will be back  at home next week.

Jonbee,
your comments about lifelike music are so right!!!

One thing that may help in clarifying  about my electronics and the speakers:

I use  2 different configurations to listen to my system:

1 - Coincident Technology Frankenstein II  monoblocks (8 watts) -----......................................> driving the Ulysses 
     Absoluta Sound and Space Janus monoblocks  (150/300/500 w. on 8/4/2 ohms)-------------> driving the Bows

2 - Dartzeel NHB-108 driving the Ulysses

They are 2 different presentations; they are both magic in a different way. I love both because they are pure emotion and joy!!


Ern Dog,
thank you... my pleasure:


Since I am new in this forum, I'd like to contribute a little bit to our common hobby sharing with  you a couple of  very nice and
touching cd:

1 - Meet me in London (Sabina Sciubba and Antonio Forcione)- special mention for Caruso (track n.3) and Estate (track n.9)
2 - Two octaves down ( Paul Bresciani) - special mention for  Abendlied (track n.1) and Elegy Number 1 (track n. 6)


I hope this might  help, somehow, enriching our musical experience.

Ugo
« Last Edit: 7 Dec 2014, 08:26 am by forzainter »

jonbee

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #5 on: 4 Dec 2014, 03:08 pm »
Ugo,
Thanks for the ideas. Some new things to think about.
Your amplifier options certainly are a feast!
Best wishes to you.
John

Ern Dog

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #6 on: 5 Dec 2014, 01:58 am »
I just listened to some samples of the 2 recommended cd's and they are gorgeous pieces of music!  Love it.

jonbee

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #7 on: 5 Dec 2014, 05:45 pm »
(people outside Italy say that italians have a special taste for beauty and design; who knows if this is really true.....)
Sorry if this is off topic....
Well, as an American who has visited Italy (and loves it), I have pondered this question. Why does Italy have this reputation?
It seems pretty clear to me that Italians are born and raised surrounded by an ever present reality of a great deal of the western worlds most perfectly realized "classic" art and architecture. It is distributed over most of the country, so all Italians have a steady exposure to these models. Designers and artists there have a very high bar for comparison right outside their own doors and windows.
So, Italy comes by its' standing honestly, I think.

jimdgoulding

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #8 on: 5 Dec 2014, 09:18 pm »
You put your system together with a lot of finesse it would seem.  Many happy trails.  Just one thing.  Vinyl isn't just for old farts.  It's for lovers of music and if the word organic resonates with you, so should music via this source.  Best.

forzainter

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #9 on: 5 Dec 2014, 09:54 pm »
I thought it might be interesting to post images of my system captured from above listening position.......










MegaHz

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Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #10 on: 6 Dec 2014, 01:41 am »
My, my, that's a lot of goodies you have tucked into the room.   Are those acrylic tubes Hemholz resonators? 

forzainter

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #11 on: 6 Dec 2014, 07:41 am »
MegaHz,  they are a mix  of DAAD and Polifemo from Acustica Applicata.  The Polifemo's  are the big trasparent devices
in front of the Ulysses/Bows; they are Helmotz resonator that work like a ROOM TUNER.

In case you are  interested in knowing more, here is the website link in english:

http://www.acusticaapplicata.com/polifemo.php?lang=en

Yesterday night I was listening to one of my favourite CD (Giuseppe Verdi - Requiem) through the Ulysses, my eyes closed,  and there were moments when I really thought I was in an auditorium .

It is a real  joy to listen to the Ulysses in my system; it is an  awesome  musical instrument!!

Bravissimo Lou!!!

In combination with a so well treated room the final result is pure emotion.

Jim------ You are right about vinyl. I love it too ; I had an accident  4 years ago  with my vinyl SW (lost 600 LP!!)  so from that point  I decided  to invest in cd and high resolution  SW only.

I miss it a little yet, to be completely honest with you, while  listening high resolution CD through my  PD MPS-5 (i find it the most natural sounding CD player that I heard)  it makes me forget about vinyl material.
 
« Last Edit: 7 Dec 2014, 08:28 am by forzainter »

jimdgoulding

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #12 on: 7 Dec 2014, 08:58 pm »
I have pals where I'm at that have very high resolution systems.  God bless em and I'm impressed. but it's not resolution I'm talkin about.  Don't mind me.

Daedalus Audio

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Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #13 on: 22 Dec 2014, 01:21 am »
Ugo, great review and pics. thanks much.
Hope to come visit to hear your system someday :)
best,
lou


forzainter

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #14 on: 23 Dec 2014, 08:53 am »
Be my guest Lou. Hope to see you soon in Italy

forzainter

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #15 on: 13 Jan 2015, 12:58 pm »
One thing I think could be beneficial to any Daedalus speakers owner is that I added an Entreq Tellus Silver ground box to my system. The preamplifier and the CD player are connected to the Ground box  through eartha Atlantis cables (RCA terminated).

The added benefit is an even blacker background and an overall  reduced noise floor.

The Ulysses are just singing gorgeously with a very natural and relaxing emission that is a joy to listen to.
It is a pleasure to give the well deserved credit to Lou about the stunning  musicality  of the Ulysses when exploited at their best.

Ugo



jonbee

Re: Daedalus Ulysses / BOW happy new owner from Italy
« Reply #16 on: 13 Jan 2015, 03:01 pm »
It is a pleasure to give the well deserved credit to Lou about the stunning  musicality  of the Ulysses when exploited at their best.
Ugo
Absolutely. My DA-RMA v2s are a total joy to hear. I thought I had pretty good components before I got the speakers a year and a half ago, but since then I've upgraded everything else in my system, including 3 complete cabling changes, one cable at a time. The speakers clearly display the effects of all the changes, which makes choices pretty clear. I'm continually surprised by how much better the sound gets in response to small improvements, such as swapping XLR input jacks on my amp from Neutrik to Furutech. I wouldn't have thought it would make much difference, but it is clearly audible and surprising, and these speakers let it all through. Most gratifying is the way a seamless soundstage has emerged from these improvements. On most material the speakers cannot easily be localized, an obvious attribute of live music.
In a system such as yours I'm sure the sound is truly awe inspiring.
I'll be semi-retired in another year or so, and am looking forward to spending much more time listening to music over these great musical instruments. 
« Last Edit: 14 Jan 2015, 04:30 am by jonbee »