AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.

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avahifi

AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« on: 13 Sep 2019, 01:51 pm »
So I recently sold a Vision SET 120 power amp to a now retired audio reviewer. I was hoping he would like it.

Evidently he does!  Here are his comments back to me.

Right out of the box, no warm-up ...

incandescent, beautiful.  My Harbeth P3ESR's are very happy and so am I.  I'll be listening a lot since I am recovering from surgery.

More thoughts later.  Thanks, Frank.

The Vision SET 120 exceeds all expectations.

I had been using several integrated and pre/power combinations with my Harbeth P3ESR speakers.  None were quite satisfactory, one reason being that these little speakers like power, especially solid-state power.  They have this in common with many other mini-monitors, including the LS3/5A and the Sonus Faber Minima (which is back in production).  On the other hand, these speakers seem not to require too much power.

The AVA/Harbeth combination is superb with well-recorded piano.  I hear the leading edge, the attack of the notes in almost full, lifelike force, along with the decay of the notes: the air, the ambiance, the trailing edge, as it were.  It is truly miraculous and anyone who says that mere hi fi cannot get close to live hasn't heard what great hi-fi can do.  In the case of Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong or Luciano Pavarotti, it can raise the dead.  I suppose that is what art is about: touching the transcendent.

You have captured what seems to elusive to other hi-fi designers: a lifelike, luminescent, illuminated from within quality.  It is the difference between you-are-there and they-are-here, they being recorded performers who defy distance and time.

The Harbeth speakers with the AVA amp make a good case for hearing more by listening to less.   Does one really need the new $236,000 Wilson speakers?  When I turn on my system, I don't want to be blown away, I want to be drawn in,  to be engaged, not entertained.
[/i]

maty

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Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #1 on: 13 Sep 2019, 02:09 pm »
https://www.stereophile.com/content/harbeth-p3esr-loudspeaker-measurements

Quote
Harbeth specifies the P3ESR as having a sensitivity of 83.5dB/W/m. My estimate was slightly less than this, at 83dB(B)/2.83V/m, but this is within experimental error of the specification...

but


Fig.1 Harbeth P3ESR, electrical impedance (solid) and phase (dashed). (2 ohms/vertical div.)

To me, they need same power than other speakers of 86-88 dB but with the true impedance between 4 - 5 Ohms.

https://www.doctorproaudio.com/content.php?2273-calculators-proaudio-sound-dmx&langid=1#calc_spl

Very good recordings with high DR (DR15) and 3 meters to each speaker must be OK at high volume levels (95 dBSPL peak) if I am not wrong.

"The magic" should be caused by the harmonic profile created by the SET topology. Monotonously decreasing harmonic profile -> very good with acoustic instruments and natural voices (without Autotune).

Question: H2 level? About -73 dB?


Moral: do not buy speakers without knowing at least the frequency response, impedance / phase graph and spectral decay.

abd1

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Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #2 on: 13 Sep 2019, 03:28 pm »
The Vision SET 120 exceeds all expectations.

The AVA/Harbeth combination is superb with well-recorded piano.  I hear the leading edge, the attack of the notes in almost full, lifelike force, along with the decay of the notes: the air, the ambiance, the trailing edge, as it were.  It is truly miraculous and anyone who says that mere hi fi cannot get close to live hasn't heard what great hi-fi can do.  In the case of Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong or Luciano Pavarotti, it can raise the dead.  I suppose that is what art is about: touching the transcendent.

You have captured what seems to elusive to other hi-fi designers: a lifelike, luminescent, illuminated from within quality.  It is the difference between you-are-there and they-are-here, they being recorded performers who defy distance and time.

The Harbeth speakers with the AVA amp make a good case for hearing more by listening to less.   Does one really need the new $236,000 Wilson speakers?  When I turn on my system, I don't want to be blown away, I want to be drawn in,  to be engaged, not entertained.[/i][/i][/i]

That last statement says it all... "When I turn on my system, I don't want to be blown away, I want to be drawn in, to be engaged, not entertained." Sounds like a tag line in the making...

Birdbrain

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Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #3 on: 19 Sep 2019, 01:07 pm »
That last statement says it all... "When I turn on my system, I don't want to be blown away, I want to be drawn in, to be engaged, not entertained." Sounds like a tag line in the making...
Sounds like a horrible tag line to me. Perhaps years of reviewing audio components has burned this fellow out to the extent that he's incapable of being entertained listening to music. Perhaps it's listening to speakers with a 4.33" woofer, no matter how refined. Perhaps it's just a matter of semantics. I'd think most potential buyers would want to be drawn in and engaged, but also entertained, and when the music calls for it, blown away. Driving a pair of Spatial Audio M3 Triode Masters with the SET 120 is both engaging and entertaining. Sometimes I'm just blown away by how great it is.

Tomtaz

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Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #4 on: 21 Sep 2019, 03:29 am »
I'm driving my Polk lsmi 703s with the Set 120...simply amazing! Nothing in its price range comes close.

SJ David

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Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #5 on: 22 Sep 2019, 05:16 pm »
Sounds like a horrible tag line to me. Perhaps years of reviewing audio components has burned this fellow out to the extent that he's incapable of being entertained listening to music. Perhaps it's listening to speakers with a 4.33" woofer, no matter how refined. Perhaps it's just a matter of semantics. I'd think most potential buyers would want to be drawn in and engaged, but also entertained, and when the music calls for it, blown away. Driving a pair of Spatial Audio M3 Triode Masters with the SET 120 is both engaging and entertaining. Sometimes I'm just blown away by how great it is.

He mentions "entertained" and "blown away" in context of the equipment, separate from the enjoyment of the music, it seems. The old adage of allowing the equipment to get out of the way of the music listening experience.

Birdbrain

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Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #6 on: 22 Sep 2019, 10:37 pm »
He mentions "entertained" and "blown away" in context of the equipment, separate from the enjoyment of the music, it seems. The old adage of allowing the equipment to get out of the way of the music listening experience.
The more the equipment gets out of the way of the music listening experience, the more entertaining that experience is, at least for me.
And I still think it's a horrible tag line. The Vision SET 120. We promise you will NOT be entertained listening to your favorite music.

avahifi

Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #7 on: 23 Sep 2019, 02:24 pm »
Actually, the client said the following:

The AVA/Harbeth combination is superb with well-recorded piano.  I hear the leading edge, the attack of the notes in almost full, lifelike force, along with the decay of the notes: the air, the ambiance, the trailing edge, as it were.  It is truly miraculous and anyone who says that mere hi fi cannot get close to live hasn't heard what great hi-fi can do.  In the case of Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong or Luciano Pavarotti, it can raise the dead.  I suppose that is what art is about: touching the transcendent.

You have captured what seems to elusive to other hi-fi designers: a lifelike, luminescent, illuminated from within quality.  It is the difference between you-are-there and they-are-here, they being recorded performers who defy distance and time.


He certainly did not say that the AVA SET 120 was not "entertaining".  His final comment was only that being drawn into and engaged by the music was more important to him then being entertained.

The SET 120 can give you both at the same time, and even more.

Frank

Tomtaz

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Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #8 on: 24 Sep 2019, 01:32 am »
If you don't own any AVA gear, Frank's description of his gear might sound like hyperbole....understandable as the manufacture. As an owner of the Set 120 I understand his take is spot on. I have a AVA preamp that's 12-14 years old and it developed a problem. Frank said he'd fix it for the cost of shipping...who does that? Great sound, great service...again, who does that anymore?

rockadanny

Re: AVA SET 120 amp pleases a retired audio reviewer.
« Reply #9 on: 24 Sep 2019, 12:07 pm »
+1  :thumb: