Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review

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Tyson

Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« on: 2 Jan 2020, 07:02 am »


Preamble
Had a chance to visit Danny recently and spent a few days listening to ALL the most recent OB offerings and thought I'd write up separate reviews for each of them.  This review is for the NX-Ottica Tower.






Initial Impressions
Ah, the speaker I was the most reluctant to listen to.  As many of you know, I own the Super 7 from GR Research which is fully OB and uses planar magnetic drivers for midrange and tweeter.  And it is one of the very best speakers in the world, IMO.  A big part of what I love is the blazing speed and transparency of those planar mids.  I was sure that the NX-Ottica tower with it's heavier mass midrange drivers simply would not be able to keep up.  And Danny's sitting right next to me during the audition.  If it's not great.... awkward!

Visually however, this is a beautiful speaker - the copper baffle really sets off the copper phase plug on the midrange drivers.  The crazy thing is Danny said he was able to get this finish/look out of a can of spray paint!




Listening Notes
Started out with them using the First Watt BA3 amp and it sounded good, but my fears were confirmed, it was definitely slow compared to the planars we'd heard earlier via the Super Mini.  :(  Oh boy, how am I going to tell Danny I don't like his design?

After a bit Danny suggests we switch to his battery powered chip amps.  That certainly picks up the resolution, speed and imaging.  But it sounds tonally thin vs the BA3. 

Almost as an afterthought, we decide to hook up my Elekit Japan 300b amp.  What a transformation!  NOW there's speed, resolution, soundstaging, dynamics galore and also that beautiful 300b glow that just brings everything to life.  OK, so now I'm eating crow.  These speakers, with the right amps, are really, really good.

Also, even though they are a tower speaker, they really need the servo OB subs for full range sound.  We had the triple OB subs hooked up and man these speakers sounded huge!

Edit to add:  Here's a link to the recent New Record Day visit to Danny's and their impressions on several speakers, including this one.  They heard stuff very similar to what I did:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xxFKVC2Xro
« Last Edit: 13 Feb 2020, 06:48 pm by Tyson »

Jon L

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #1 on: 2 Jan 2020, 08:18 am »
Elekit Japan 300b amp.  What a transformation!  NOW there's speed, resolution, soundstaging, dynamics galore and also that beautiful 300b glow that just brings everything to life. 

Does that Elekit TU-8600R 300B amp have the Lundahl transformer and/or Mundorf Silver/gold/oil cap upgrade?

Tyson

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #2 on: 2 Jan 2020, 05:04 pm »
Does that Elekit TU-8600R 300B amp have the Lundahl transformer and/or Mundorf Silver/gold/oil cap upgrade?

Nope.  I actually have the prior version that uses the octal 6SN7 tubes, picked it up for a song here on AC ($650 used!).  Lundahl transformers are not an option on this version.  But I have upgraded the amp by:

Bypassing the volume pot entirely
Replacing all signal and output wiring with pure OCC hookup wire
Replaced the RCA jacks with high purity copper Furutech jacks
Replaced the biding posts with low mass, high purity copper WBT posts
Put in a Furutech IEC connector
Replaced all input and coupling caps with Miflex copper
Bypassed the power supply electrolytics with Miflex copper

So it was a great design before but hamstrung by average level parts.  It's a real beauty now. 

Jon L

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #3 on: 2 Jan 2020, 07:34 pm »
Ohhh, the Elekit TU-8233.. nice.
I wish my TU-8600r used 8233's chassis with traditional removable bottom plate, etc.  As it is, the amp has to be practically disassembled just to get to the bottom and change out coupling caps  :duh:  Hope Elekit is listening for the next model...

Tyson

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #4 on: 2 Jan 2020, 08:00 pm »
Ohhh, the Elekit TU-8233.. nice.
I wish my TU-8600r used 8233's chassis with traditional removable bottom plate, etc.  As it is, the amp has to be practically disassembled just to get to the bottom and change out coupling caps  :duh:  Hope Elekit is listening for the next model...

Part of why I bought it was because it ran octals instead of 9 pin tubes for the input board.  The other reason I got it is that it run both 2a3 and 300b tubes.  You just plug one in and it auto-senses which tube it is and adjust internal voltage accordingly.  That's very rare for these 2 particular tubes.

mlundy57

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #5 on: 5 Jan 2020, 06:08 pm »
Tyson,

Were you able to listen to the monitor version also?

Mike

Tyson

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #6 on: 5 Jan 2020, 10:32 pm »
Tyson,

Were you able to listen to the monitor version also?

Mike

No, only the tower version.

Captainhemo

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #7 on: 6 Jan 2020, 01:03 am »
Tyson,

Were you able to listen to the monitor version also?

Mike

I think Danny  and myself  have both posted  about this comparison a couiple of  times....
While the MTM's are very good, they  definately  don't have the lower mid bass   of the  full NX-Otica's   . There is quite a difference in this area.  You  also take away a lot of the  workload on the NQQ's  by  passing off sub -200hz  duties to the  4 M165 / M165X's....quite possibly  why I didn't feel the MTM version  had no midrange advantage even  with  no high pass to the NQ's.

jay

Tyson

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #8 on: 13 Feb 2020, 06:49 pm »
Here's a link to the recent New Record Day visit to Danny's and their impressions on several speakers, including this one.  They heard stuff very similar to what I did:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xxFKVC2Xro

Danny Richie

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Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #9 on: 14 Feb 2020, 04:19 am »
Here's a link to the recent New Record Day visit to Danny's and their impressions on several speakers, including this one.  They heard stuff very similar to what I did:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xxFKVC2Xro

Funny thing is that I gave the system a little listen today and realized those Miflex Copper caps have just opened up a bit more. This system has moved up a little bit now since they were here.  :D

Man these things take a long time to burn it, but they sure sound good when they are.

maty

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #10 on: 14 Feb 2020, 09:08 am »
Funny thing is that I gave the system a little listen today and realized those Miflex Copper caps have just opened up a bit more. This system has moved up a little bit now since they were here.  :D

Man these things take a long time to burn it, but they sure sound good when they are.

Last week, xrk971

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/full-range/273524-10f-8424-rs225-8-fast-waw-ref-monitor-post6076154.html



Quote
After many hours of listening with the new Miflex caps, I have to say that I agree with Maty that they do make a difference. It is subtle but the improvement in soundstage and vocal presence is unmistakable. Definitely a worthwhile upgrade/add-on.

Danny Richie

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Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #11 on: 15 Feb 2020, 03:34 pm »
Oh man,  a nice Copper cap in the circuit and yet there is sand caste resistors, Tin connectors with steal screws in them, and cheap PVC coated wire.... Agh!  So much improvement ahead still.....

maty

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #12 on: 15 Feb 2020, 03:46 pm »
Give him time. Years ago, all the amplifiers he assembled, more than fifteen -to practice and know different topologies- used very cheap components purchased on eBay to save money.

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid-state/295286-virtual-audition-simple-quasi-mosfet-amp.html

After he began to design them and bought components in professional stores. In a class A designed by Hugh Dean (AKSA) he detected that according to which resistor he used, the harmonic profile of the amplifier changed: dominant H2 -> dominant H3 -> dominant H2.

I passed the link of the modified Behringer and detected the difference from the phone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmsMGILAYvk

I also had a hard time believing the cap bypass, hence I first did it with cheap NOS styroflex. Or the sand resistor which by definition should be of very low inductance.

Being unable to find a logical explanation at this time I can not ignore the improvement produced.

Tyson

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #13 on: 15 Feb 2020, 07:02 pm »
Give him time. Years ago, all the amplifiers he assembled, more than fifteen -to practice and know different topologies- used very cheap components purchased on eBay to save money.

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid-state/295286-virtual-audition-simple-quasi-mosfet-amp.html

After he began to design them and bought components in professional stores. In a class A designed by Hugh Dean (AKSA) he detected that according to which resistor he used, the harmonic profile of the amplifier changed: dominant H2 -> dominant H3 -> dominant H2.

I passed the link of the modified Behringer and detected the difference from the phone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmsMGILAYvk

I also had a hard time believing the cap bypass, hence I first did it with cheap NOS styroflex. Or the sand resistor which by definition should be of very low inductance.

Being unable to find a logical explanation at this time I can not ignore the improvement produced.

Much respect Maty.  Most people that didn't understand it would refuse to believe it.  But it does sound better!  I'm super impressed you've been able to trust what your ears are actually telling you.  That's somewhat rare in this hobby.

 :thumb:

RonP

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Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #14 on: Today at 12:34 am »
Dumb question on the NX-Otica  / NX-Treme models..

I see the NQ models used in the MTM section only.. Would using the NQ models be an "upgrade" for the other M165 models in the banks of 4?

ie swap the M165-16 Woofers for M165NQ/16 Woofers?

just curious...


Danny Richie

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Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #15 on: Today at 02:15 am »
Dumb question on the NX-Otica  / NX-Treme models..

I see the NQ models used in the MTM section only.. Would using the NQ models be an "upgrade" for the other M165 models in the banks of 4?

ie swap the M165-16 Woofers for M165NQ/16 Woofers?

just curious...

No. The NQ model woofers were designed to be mid-bass drivers.

heywaj10

Re: Tyson's NX-Ottica Tower Review
« Reply #16 on: Today at 02:57 pm »
Hope it's OK to ask here - very new to the forum (lurker mode). How do the NX-otica's perform with more complex prog rock/metal music (if you've had a chance to try some). The design philosophy to these speakers makes perfect sense to me, but seeing as auditioning them would be difficult, a purchase of a set would be a completely blind risk - I'm really picky with that genre's performance on speakers I've auditioned. Thanks!