Yes, finally I have completed the phase one of the evaluation of my audio equipment.
(Phase two and three to follow in the weeks to come.)
List of the equipment used/tested :
Speakers : GR Research V-1
Amplifier : Niteshade Audio NS-15 (10wpc)
Volume most of the time set at 11 o’clock or 3 to 5 wpc.
Tubes supplied with the amplifier :
Raytheon 5U4GB (USA)
Motorola (NOS) 6SN7GTA (USA)
Sovtek 6L6WGC (Russia)
Alternative/tube rolling :
(Purchased from Tube Depot)
Sovtek 5AR4 (Russia)
Realistic 6SN7GTB (UK)
Sovtek 6L6WXT+ (Russia)
Interconnects : Signal Cables model : SilverRes-SilverBullet.
Speaker cables : Signal Cables model : ClassicSingleWire-C. (Spade/Banana)
Rega Apollo CD player
All the above listed equipment only has a few hours, therefore not yet broken/burn in.
Power supply : 230V/50Hz, no power conditioner.
Room treatment : 50% carpet, sofa, curtains…
50% concrete wall & ceiling w/ceramic floor
Room size :
(Including living room, dining room, entrance hall and large stairs) 27 feet X 28 feet.
Actual listening area is : 12 feet X 15 feet.
Ceiling height : 9 feet 6 inches.
Distance between the V-1 is 8 feet in an equidistant triangle.
Distance from the back wall 5 feet.
Music used :
Bob Marley and the Wailers – Uprising (Reggae)
BABATUNDE OLATUNJI – Circle of drums.
The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time out – Jazz.
Fanfare for a common man – TELARC DIGITAL (Drums)
Planet ZOUK – Maldon (Reggae)
Andreas Vollenweider – Behind the gardens – Pyramid (Harp)
I hope I have not forgotten any information, statistics or data.
If I did, please feel free to ask.
Now the BIG question. How does it sound ?
I will start with the bass : I love bass.
Natural, deep and tight. Perfect.
Mids and highs : Natural, depending on the recording.
A good system will sound bad if the recording (CD/LP) is badly recorded.
The highs are a little aggressive at times, probably due to the room acoustics, also complex music is a little fuzzy, lack details.
I mean a little, I can live with that.
If the CD is well recorded, then the listening pleasure is at its maximum.
Tube rolling did not make much difference for me in the sound quality, it was a little better with the tubes from Tube Depot (See above) but maybe it’s my imagination.
I am a believer in switching boxes for amplifier and speakers. When switching from one to the other within 2 to 4 seconds, you can really hear if there is a difference.
My overall impression goes for all the equipment and the whole system and it’s…
Well, almost perfect for me and that’s because I am very demanding, otherwise, it would be perfect. I still have to compare the V-1 with the V-2, but for the amplifier, no problem, it’s doing his job beautifully, dead quiet, enough power and dynamic for my 97db efficient V-1.
I still need to try later on a NS-30 push pull Niteshade Audio amplifier to see if I can improve the dynamic, but for now, the NS-15 keeps me happy and for under : 1,000 USD it’s a deal.
In the past I had a Naim 60wpc for which I paid twice the price of the NS-15 and did not sound better, yes it had a very detailed sound, but also a very aggressive sound.
Tube is my cup of tea.
That’s all for now, more later…
Again, I must say, if you have questions, please ask.