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Old 19th September 2011, 04:13 PM   #111
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Default Listening with the big rig

So the big system is back up and running. The Lowther field coil driver, with a RAAL dipole ribbon on the top in an open baffle configuration. The bass is provided by a Rythmic subwoofer built into the baffle, with a 80 hz low pass filter.

Because the woofer is active, and not driven off the Rythmic, I will revert back to the first system to talk about the bass. That system used a Tone Tubby 12 Alnico, so deep bass is not present, but what was present was quick, well defined, tuneful, and with the proper amount of weight and umpf. It was at least as good as any other amplifier I have had with the Tone Tubby. The lone exception being the F1-J which, by virtue of being a current source, provided deeper bass response. Surprisingly, the S2 low bass was somewhere between that of the F1-J and a J2 in terms of extension. I do not know why the S2 extended the bass response, but it did.

I was initially afraid that the speed of the S2 would be overwhelming with the Field Coil (FC from now on) and the RAAL. Both of these are exceedingly fast. Instead, there was no apparent jump in speed, things just resolved very nicely into music. Just plain, natural, big, open music with no sharp edges. One of my classic test of a system is how long can I play music before it makes me want to turn it off. Pretty well went for 12 hours before my wife informed that I would be going to bed. Could have listened for longer. What this tells me is that there are no sharp edges, i.e. ringing and other artifacts that can create a the false impression of speed. These cause listener fatigue, and it was not there.

What changed in the system was the feeling of space. Images were big, yet precise. A definite "I am there" as opposed to a "they are here" type of sound. The FC/open baffle combination creates a large soundstage with most amplifiers, but the S2 enlarged and clarified it at the same time. Neat trick.

Dynamics were totally natural. As noted earlier, the harmonic overtones and details of the music were all present, but at there proper amplitude. The net effect is a very natural flow to the music. Playing big, bold music worked fine, no congestion or slowing down when playing loudly. The FC is about 98 dB efficient, so I did not expect a problem. But even some larger amplifiers tend to shrink down when driving complex passages and music. The S2 showed no strain whatsoever. The difference between loud and soft was simply volume, nothing else.

Female vocalist are totally natural. Just there. You can easily tell the difference between young Ella and old Ella, with the shift from sweet and soft to a more husky sound over the years.

Transparency of the amplifier was somewhat ruthless in revealing upstream errors. A slight mistracking of the my phono cartridge, which I did not hear before, was not only obvious, but annoying as hell. As soon as the phono system was properly dialed in, everything again became musical and natural. A change in the digital front end, from PowerMac/Lynx L22/Pure Music to the Bryston BDP-1 and Havanna DAC, showed both the advantages and problems with each.Most digital recordings lack warmth, the low resolution format wipes out a few digits too many. The Havana adds in a slight amount of 2nd order distortion that helps fill in what Redbook leaves out. Puts a little meat on the bones. The PowerMac/Pure Music/Lynx system is clean, and with high resolution material is pretty as can be. But it is a little lean with Redbook.

I use the Pass XP25 phono-stage, and the XP20 line stage, and saw no reason to change either of these.

A friend/audio professional was over Saturday. His parting words were "I hate you". Of course, I had to ask why, as it was out of character. The reply was simply, "Because you have sound like that in your home, and I don't."

To summarize, the speed of the amplifier is what first grabs you. But really it resolves itself to a very musical presentation. If you want to add some color to the music, or slow things down a bit, you can do that with your front end. But as far as I am concerned, it is like putting a plush suspension on your Ferrari, whats the point? This tells you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Tea Bag has asked to come by for a listen later this month when he has to come to Chicago for business. Maybe he will say a few words afterwards.
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Old 19th September 2011, 04:25 PM   #112
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now you have just one problem - wife .......



tnx for report
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Old 19th September 2011, 04:34 PM   #113
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Default Wife, no problem!

I have been married for just over 35 years. My wife is one of the true blessings of my life. She not only tolerates me and my hobbies, but encourages me and helps me. Nope, not a problem.

She won't let me turn the living room into a dedicated stereo room. And if I wanted to get picky, I could complain about that. But I choose not too.

Worded differently, my wife is better than my stereo. May you all be so lucky.
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Old 19th September 2011, 06:43 PM   #114
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Jon ..... don't be so serious ......

fact that you are mentioning her in your post , speaks for itself .....

love first , gadgets after .....

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Old 19th September 2011, 06:50 PM   #115
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Default Not so serious anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Mod View Post
Jon ..... don't be so serious ......
Does that mean I can revert back to "My GM70 is bigger than your itty bitty 300B", or "My SIT is hotter than your J2" (the S2 does run really hot), or is that too far in the other direction?
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Old 19th September 2011, 07:15 PM   #116
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Thanks Jon for the description!

Slowly I understand that it is not easy to find the right words for every amp and not easy not to blame the "old" ones and not to be driven by the idea "the new Pass product must always be the better one...."

greetings Gerd
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Old 19th September 2011, 07:20 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Ver Halen View Post
.........


maybe you can use one like this : Babysitter for Papa's Koan
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Old 19th September 2011, 07:25 PM   #118
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Default That was in poor taste

Those are Feastrex in the large open baffles.
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Old 19th September 2011, 07:31 PM   #119
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it seems that I'll stop posting replies to you ...... I'm not so serious as you have impression .

I didn't meant on Papa's OBs

what I meant , and what's Babysitter per se is : ( Babysitter for Papa's Koan , post #3 )
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Old 19th September 2011, 08:03 PM   #120
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Default Hey, I gotta have my fun!

My last post was meant 100% in humor, not a serious note in it. Unfortunately, you could not see the smile on my face as I typed it, indicating that it was meant in fun.

That is a problem with e-mail and such - no personal interaction to let you know what is serious and what is not. I am not a serious person, and now that my wife stopped reading this thread I can make fun of her too.

Please continue, and do not worry about a thing.
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