3B cubed better vocal elocution than 4B SST2 with Thiel CS 3.6 speakers.

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masi61

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I love my 4B SST2 amp with my Thiel CS 3.6 speakers for instrumental and acoustic music. Very well delineated, punchy, engaging sound.

But then there are vocals. I used to think that I was just preoccupied and this is why I was not attending to the lyrical content of music. So I have been trying harder to give undivided attention to my listening sessions so that I can follow the meaning behind the lyrics and thus enhance my enjoyment of vocals in my music. But, once again - even when concentrating intently, I'm only deciphering about 50-75% of the lyrics.

As I mentioned in the thread about the BIT-15 vs the BIT-20, I was fortunate enough to have the regional (?) sales rep - Gary Dayton come to my house for a consultation on a speaker imaging issue I was having with my (mostly) Bryston system. He helped me re-arrange my speakers to restore proper bass response. After this task was completed he got to audition some of the newer gear. He brought a 3B cubed amp and also the new pre-amp and hooked these up to my Thiel speakers and we listened to several agreed upon tracks and analyzed the sound quality.

It turns out that I was able to hear more detail, and thus experienced increased clarity from the 3B cubed amp. Gary said that the 3B cubed had sufficient power to handle the lower impedance loads presented to it by the Thiels. I was impressed.

Of course, now I'm wanting to swap out the 4B SST2 amp for the 3B cubed or better yet the 4B cubed amp. Finances are in the way a bit and really, there is nothing wrong with the 4BSST2 amp. I think I paid about 4200$ for it. I don't want to take a huge loss on it so I'm not sure what my options are.

I might just go ahead and place my order for the 4B cubed amp and finance it on same as cash financing. I would then need to decide what to do with the 4B SST2 amp. I am still in awe of that amp, it is way way better than my previous NAD 2200 amp that I used for years.

Please feel free to offer advice on how to gain that extra 25% of image focus that will help my short attention span self take away the full meaning of the vocal music that I so want to be able to say I really get the meaning of.

Nordkapp

In my humble opinion, those 2 amps are too similar to justify purchasing a cubed amp. Consider keeping you 4bsst and purchasing a tube amp if mid range vocals are your present priority.

Elizabeth

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I own a 4B-SST² I bought to go with my Magnepan 3.6 speakers eight years ago. This year I upgraded the Maggies to the 20.7 Magnepan. Kept the 4B-SST²
I also had not so great vocals.
In the past year I have also upgraded all AC duplex (including inside the two power conditioners) to Furutech GTX-D (some Gold, some NCF Rhodium)
Upgraded powercords to the better Pangea.
Huge increase in clarity of Rock vocals.  :thumb:
Now just like via headphone. no kidding.

When I bought all the Furutech, they were on sale. Now at full price I doubt I would swing for them all. But even a few helped a lot.

gberger

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What are you using for a preamp? It could make a difference, also.

masi61

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What are you using for a preamp? It could make a difference, also.

BP-26 with Bryston external power supply. The system is dead quiet. My interconnects are mostly all XLR high grade. My digital resolution is quite good. My Sony XA 5400 CD player is connected to my Bryston DAC with a high quality digital co-ax cable.

masi61

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 19
I own a 4B-SST² I bought to go with my Magnepan 3.6 speakers eight years ago. This year I upgraded the Maggies to the 20.7 Magnepan. Kept the 4B-SST²
I also had not so great vocals.
In the past year I have also upgraded all AC duplex (including inside the two power conditioners) to Furutech GTX-D (some Gold, some NCF Rhodium)
Upgraded powercords to the better Pangea.
Huge increase in clarity of Rock vocals.  :thumb:
Now just like via headphone. no kidding.

When I bought all the Furutech, they were on sale. Now at full price I doubt I would swing for them all. But even a few helped a lot.

Upgrading my outlets sounds interesting. I might upgrade a couple of my power cords as well. I haven't been real motivated to optimize my sound quality that last little bit but may help me to get closer to spot on. I'm not there yet.


gberger

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Strange: I've been running a 4BSST2 for several years, using a BP6 and, later, a BP17c. Use a a BCD-3 for classical CDs. Thiel 2.7s with a SS2.2 sub. I've been able to understand both the soprano and alto voices with little trouble.  Since you and Elizabeth both use the BP-26 preamp, her suggestions might be appropriate.     Just a thought: YMMV

Elizabeth

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I've been able to understand both the soprano and alto voices with little trouble.
Reads like Opera... Classical opera voices no problem. Solo singers, no problem... I am talkin' Rock.. There are tons of Rock lyrics so hard to understand... amazing. Though usually you CAN figure them out with earphones...
I'm saying Rock lyrics which are usually clear as mud, are now CLEAR and can be understood..

masi61

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Reads like Opera... Classical opera voices no problem. Solo singers, no problem... I am talkin' Rock.. There are tons of Rock lyrics so hard to understand... amazing. Though usually you CAN figure them out with earphones...
I'm saying Rock lyrics which are usually clear as mud, are now CLEAR and can be understood..

With the covers removed from the Thiels, the clarity is just a wee bit better. I don't like to leave these covers off though, since they look more finished with them on. Now I'm going to have to conduct a test of different types of music vocals, male rock, female rock etc... Simpler vocal material is easier to follow but strangely I end up day dreaming during a lot of my music so I'm not in the moment enough to tell you what story is being told by the lyrics unless they are quite blunt about it like say, Lucinda Williams style.