Another Super 7 owner checking in here. Guess we are up to 5 now
The Super 7's are amazing. How good? Well I have had a ton of speakers in my life (including some very good DIY ones I built), and there is a thriving audiophile scene here in CO so I've heard a ton of great speakers. Plus I've done a little bit of listening to some speakers at Rocky Mountain Audiofest over the last 10 years
The Super 7's are the best speakers I've ever heard, except for the OB Line Array's that Danny built for Mockingbird Audio. How good are the S7's? Well if you haven't noticed, I went from a fairly prolific poster here on AC to posting pretty much zero. And it's mainly because I no longer have that little nagging voice of doubt in the back of my brain "Is my system really
that good? Could it be even better?" Nowadays I know, in my gut, that there's nothing better for my to aspire to. So I mostly just sit back and enjoy the tunes. Which kills my desire to post, or even read about audio.
I will say this about the S7's. They are supremely transparent, so you have to feed them a good signal for them to sound their best. But they are not unforgiving like some other speakers are with less than perfect electronics. You can have a good-but-not-great system in front of them and they don't scream at you. In fact they still sound incredibly engaging and musical. But as you put better stuff in the chain, they just get better and better. Amp:
I'm using a custom built First Watt Burning Amp 3, which I built. This is the best amp Nelson Pass has designed, IMO, and I've heard all of them at this point. You can see the whole build process (and a lot more details on the BA3) here - http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/258301-ba-3-amplifier-illustrated-build-guide.html
Of course, I also had to hot-rod it with super premium parts (not shown in the build guide). Things like an ultra-low noise Plitron transformer, physically isolated from the chassis using Herbie's Audio Grunge Buster mat. OCC ultra-pure copper wiring used throughout. Input caps swapped out to the awesome Jupiter Copper/Paper/Wax capacitors, low mass Eichmann RCA & Binding posts, etc.... The BA3 is also very cool in that it has a pot on the input board that allows you to leave in or dial out the even order harmonics. I've adjusted mine so that there's a maximum of 2nd order harmonics. The whole thing sounds like the quietest, most dynamic, most beautiful and transparent amp I've heard. Preamp:
My preamp is a custom built Mike Galusha special - we adapted a K&K Audio Mir Preamp customized for octal tubes (6SN7 & 6BL7) and an LDR volume control. 6SN7's and 6BL7's are the 2 best sounding line level tubes out there, again IMO. We basically created it as a cost no object design. I've only heard one preamp that's better, the First Sound preamp Emmanuel brought to RMAF 4 years ago. Mine also doubles as a freaking amazing headphone amp for my Beyer T1's. DAC:
My DAC is a very modestly priced iFi Micro iDSD Silver. The iFi is the best I've heard up till you get to the Auralic Vega. The Vega is they best I've heard till you get to the MSB Analog DAC.
But here's the funny thing - I know that the Vega is better than the iFi and I can easily afford it. BUT I JUST DON'T CARE! What????? How the F' did that happen? I'm a serial "upgrader" and I have been all my life. My only possible explanation is this - there's a certain threshold of quality that, once you attain it, just satisfies you and you stop worrying about the rest. The iFi is SO musical and punches SO FAR above it's price point, that I just don't feel any upgrade it, at all.
Here are my S7's, which I listen to every single day: