Atma-Sphere MA1 3.2 vs Pass XA60.8 amp

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Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 92 total)
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  • #689
    Loudspeaker7
    Participant

    To Chungh: As I mentioned, I have the PS Audio BHK Mono Blocks and they are excellent and I heartily recommend. Very transparent, fast, dynamic and very musical. I did roll the input tubes to Bugle Boys. I have not compared them to the PS Class Ds, however I have to imagine that they are better.

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    #691
    D10
    Participant

    I would keep all solid state amps turned on all the time …. eventually not if you away for prolong period of time.
    I tried several class D amps with SL – not good combo for my ears. Sound was typical hifi – dry, analytical, thin, without real life dynamic swings. On other side sound was clean with good PRAT. Different people – different tastes…

    #692
    D10
    Participant

    Hpfish10
    Would you consider selling your Wolcotts?

    #694
    lotus123
    Participant

    @loudspeaker7, are you running 2 pair of SL or just 2 separate systems in the same room?

    #695
    John V
    Participant

    Hi lotus123,

    The rear speakers look like Acoustats to me. Maybe he is running them as surrounds.

    Lovely room and system, I like the custom grille color and finish.

    #696
    Massimo Stefanizzi
    Participant

    Maybe QUAD 989?

    #697
    hpfish10
    Participant

    Hi D10, thanks for asking but I do not plan to sell my Wolcott at this time since I use them to alternately drive my Wilson Maxx2 and SL.

    #699
    lotus123
    Participant

    @Massimo & John V,
    Loudspeaker? had custom grill on a pair vintage SL-A1s (early 80s) that I also have. I was thinking about pairing it up with my main Majestics to add ambience. But didn’t know how to properly hookup the speakers.

    #700
    Loudspeaker7
    Participant

    Hi, Yes, they are Quad 989s. I am using them for ambiance retrieval. Let me explain: Back in the early 70s, while in college, I had a “Quad” system with Tannoy 15″s in the front and 10″s in the rear. I was using a Marantz 7C and Marantz 9s in front and 8B in the rear. I was using an EV SQ decoder as I recall for the rear channels. Quad was being pushed, but there were not many Quad recordings but the decoding, as the simpler Hafler DynaQuad circuit, did a good job of pulling out the ambiance information and sending it to the rear. If properly set up it was subtle but excellent. I eventually replaced the Tannoy Quad set up with KLH 9s driven by Futtermans, and that clearly sounded better, even in plain stereo.
    Fast forward to 2003. I had Quad 989s. They had replaced Martin Logan CLSs, which I still had in my storage area. I was speaking one day to Dave Gordon of Audio Research who brought up the ARC SDP 1 to me. This was a unit which had basically a line level Hafler circuit along with an adjustable digital delay line. It was originally intended to get ARC into the home theater market, and failed miserably at that. But Dave mentioned that he had a few friends that were using it in very high end music systems to extract and deliver ambiance information to the rear. I located one, set it up, with the Quads in front and CLSs in the rear, and was not overly happy and abandoned that project, but kept the SDP 1. As I found out later, I had not set the system up properly, using too much delay and having the level of the rear speakers too high.
    Again fast forward to the summer of 2020. I had retired from GoldenEar and with the pandemic, was basically hunkered down in Maryland, not exactly bored, but looking for projects. For whatever reason, I thought I would try the SDP 1 again: nothing ventured, nothing gained. I spoke with Dave about it and he forwarded me some set up tip info, and I set it up again, this time with the Ultimate 845s in the front (which I love) and the Quads in the rear. The rest of the system is an Acoustic Signature Ascona turntable with Kuzma 14″ FourPoint arm and Lyra Etna cartridge, Channel D Lino C current based phono preamp, PS BHK preamp, PS BHK mono blocks, Atmosphere amp in the rear. As you can see, I listen very nearfield, maybe 7.5-8 feet from both the front and rear speakers.
    And the sound is extraordinary!!! As I mentioned, the level of the rear speakers should be very low: you should not be able to identify discrete sound coming from them. Having the ambiance recovery speakers in the rear helps to take the room out of the equation, and overall the effect, if you want to call it an effect, is to improve the three dimensionality of the front soundstage and overall give a more relaxed and natural musical sound to the presentation. I wonder what the system would sound like if I dug out my old EV decoder and put it in the system? And clearly, what the SDP 1 is doing could be done better with updated technology. Here is a link to an article that Gordon Holt wrote about the SDP 1 in 1995 which helps give more insight. https://www.stereophile.com/tubepreamps/844/index.html

    #701
    lotus123
    Participant

    Marvelous Loudspeaker7, I too reminisce the dimensionality produced by ADS, I think, a time delay not bigger than a preamp that allows you to select the ambience of a small club night club, concert hall or inside of a cathedral church. I got to look it up SDP1.

    #703
    Massimo Stefanizzi
    Participant

    Thank you for sharing your experience Louspeaker7!
    I deeply appreciate your expertise!

    Massimo 🙂

    #705
    chungjh
    Participant

    @rluciano and Louderspeaker 7,

    I am seriously considering PS BHK 300 mono’s. One comment that I heard was that it is lacking clarity in the high end.

    1. do you think this is true?
    2. Can this be remedied with tube rolling?
    3. Why are there so many BHK300 on the used market?

    #707
    Loudspeaker7
    Participant

    Hi, I find the BHKs extremely natural, transparent and very clear sounding. I find it difficult to imagine anyone feeling that they lack clarity in the high end, but perhaps these listeners are looking for a more aggressive and accentuated high end.This might relate to their loudspeakers not being as transparent as the SoundLabs, or perhaps their associated equipment as well as wires. And of course, there is always the differences in personal taste. I am using the top of the line Audioquest speaker wires. I find that my whole system is very revealing of the differences in program material and of course I do not know what these listeners might be listening to in terms of program material as well as sources.I am currently listening almost exclusively to vinyl, however when I listen to digital, it is CDs through an MSB DAC and transport. Although some listeners feel that streaming delivers the same quality as CDs, this is not my experience, even with higher quality streaming. And of course less than the best streaming, which many people listen to, and lower quality DACs, of course, might be an issue with some listeners experiences, and they might be looking for “bright” electronics to juice up the high end. I like it natural and believe me, with my system, there is no problem with high end clarity. In terms of the tube rolling, this of course can make a difference. Honestly, as I had the Bugle Boys around, I switched out the tubes as soon as I got the amps, so really have no experience with the stock tubed. There are some other tubes PS recommends, I believe Tungsram. In terms of why there are so many BHKs on the used market, I don’t follow this so I was not aware and really have no explanation. Perhaps there were a large number sold and so that may relate. I believe that PS has a return policy so that would enable you to try the amps in your system. BTW, I have also used the BHKs with the Triton References that I designed, and they sounded excellent with those as well.

    #708
    chungjh
    Participant

    @Loudspeaker7, are you using the BHK preamp to go with your BHK 300? Do you recommend this pairing?

    #709
    Loudspeaker7
    Participant

    Yes I am and do. The PS BHK preamp is relatively low gain and I had originally bought it to go into a system with a First Watt SIT 3 driving the Triton References. The SIT 3 is VERY low gain and it just did not work. I was basically running the SoundLab system with the phono preamp going through the MSB DAC, so basically no preamp, which gave me enough gain and sounded good. Paul from PS has aggressively espoused the concept that adding a preamp into this sort of system, even when you have enough gain, would improve the sound, which I took with a grain of salt. In any event, having the BHK preamp, I decided one day to try it in the system, and guess what? Paul was correct and it sounded great. I had also rolled the tubes in it and am currently using Bugle Boys. I also tried some 1950s long black plate RCAs which also sounded good. I find the Bugle Boys a little more transparent, and the RCAs a little warmer.

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