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Specifying the preamplifier and the speakers used.
My Electrocompaniet AW3x120M sounded better then the 1200AS2 I have.But.... I do like the sound of the AS and with the benefit of the auto sensing turn on and off and the much much much lower power requirement.I do think I made a good choice in switching.Actually now that I have this auto turn and off I think I never want to go without anymoreNever heard the NC500, very curious what the difference would be.
In the meantime I am very satisfied with my Apollon NC500 based monoblocks. They took ages to burn in - like all Class D things - but after about 400 hours of active amplification (i.e. I also attached 8.4Ohm/50W resistors to the binding posts and let it run during the night at very high volume for several nights), the sound has become eerily natural and transparent. The stage is wide, tall, and deep, with good placement of sound sources with a clear size and some air between them. Great layering. Bass control is excellent. The piano is extremely good, and I guess it is not perfect only because my loudspeakers are not made by Wolf von Langa (absolutely the best piano and cello reproduction I have ever heard).The amps themselves are absolutely silent with the Sonic Imagery 994 opamps and the only noise you can hear with the Sparkos SS3602 is if you nearly glue your ears to the tweeters and have a da*n good hearing in a very silent environment. The sound is absolutely realistic, rich of detail. Transients are precise, and they are in exactly the same place as the instrument generating them (listen to a clarinet and the sound of its keys...) ...
Something I found very interesting about a week ago. Another audiophile came over with his DIY 1200as2 in a Takachi case. He brought it over so we could compare it to Michael's SE. We didn't realize until we got together that the Takachi amp was balanced and Michael's SE was single ended. So an apples to apples comparison wasn't possible. My Lampi has both outputs but we elected to use the balanced output for our listening session with both amps. What came as a surprise is the Takachi amp sounded better than the SE amp even though the SE amp has upgraded connectors and wire and the case is a lot thicker. The conclusion we came up with is that the 1200as2 amp works a lot better using its balanced connection rather than its single ended connection.At first we thought it was because the guy who came over with the Takachi balanced amp brought a $5000.00 silver XLR interconnect. So, we swapped that for a Mogami XLR interconnect which was the same wire that's in my single ended cables. The Takachi cased amp still sounded a lot better than the single ended amp. We have no idea if the case, wire and connectors make a difference or not. What we do know is if they do make a difference it isn't enough to make up for using the balanced input on the amp.
Any opinions on Pascal modules?
I have a pascal made up by Lee at MG Audio Design. We did comparisons against the Hypex modules, and everybody preferred the Pascal's over the Hypex. The Hypex has a mid range warmth the Pascal does not, but seemed to be a bit rolled off on top. The Pascal however was much better in the controlling the low frequencies and has much better upper frequency extension. Overall the Pascal's sounded better, with the best control of the drivers I have experienced. I sold my Odyssey Stratos glass ceiling mono blocks because the Pascal's were so much better. (Sorry Klaus) At least 3 of the Hypex modules had to be sent back for replacements due to issues with the modules. The Pascal's on the other hand had no replacements needed. Lee did mod the input board, and change out key opamps on the board. Even without the mods, the Hypex was still better, and the modded one made it no contest. The Hypex do sound good and I like them, just the Pascal's are superior IMHO.JCarney
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