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Old 7th September 2005, 02:56 PM   #1
Electrons are yellow and more is better!
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Default A real big review Xono, X2.5, XA100

Danish/swedish "High Fidelity" Issue 6, 2005 has a real massive review on these products above and also real nice photos of the inside of the products (better than Nelson's own?).

I have not read the review to 100% but it is good but they don't wet their pant of excitement. It's also a sign of integrity if they can find both pros and cons.

If/when I have got the time I can translate it into english. I'll let you know where you can find the translation.

Nelson, it looks nice, nice pcb's with even SMD parts!

Just wondering, are the holemounted parts mounted by hand or by a machine?
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Old 7th September 2005, 10:10 PM   #2
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By hand.
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Old 10th September 2005, 09:36 AM   #3
Electrons are yellow and more is better!
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The translated review, see my sig below. It's a quite big article in 8 full pages.

From the pictures of the inside I see that most of the parts are "normal", which means normal high industrial quality. I see also that the relays seem to be NAIS (former SDS) DS type which is "Spitzenklasse", one of the best relays I know especially when it comes to switching low currents.
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Old 10th September 2005, 11:18 AM   #4
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Thanks for the effort, Peranders.
I wonder where that strange buzz came from. I note you thought it was from American to European conversion.
I'd be happy to see some pictures as well.

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Old 10th September 2005, 04:15 PM   #5
Electrons are yellow and more is better!
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It's not a good idea to have mains filter connected to chassis in environments where it's not standard to have grounded outlets. In Sweden we have in all new installations in houses grounded oputlets but this rule started only 5-10 years back and most people have grounded outlets only in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms.

I'm pretty sure that Nelson not have investigated what conditions there are outside the US and also the necessity of a mains filter from a technical point of view. It's a bit alarming that expensive high-end gear can't meet up with a normal home environment.

The main reason for using a mains filter is to block noise created by the apparatus not the other way around.
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Old 11th September 2005, 09:51 AM   #6
Electrons are yellow and more is better!
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I have translated more and now there are only two pages left. Keep check my sig for latest update. Left is also all test mesaurements.
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Old 11th September 2005, 10:59 AM   #7
Buhl is offline Buhl  Denmark
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Default Test continued...

I take myself the liberty of adding another chapter of the test, the part about the Xono - taking over where PA left. Being one of those in here that dosent have the wits and knowledge to add anything constructive about electronics, one use the advices of the very skilled people in here, translating a test from my native language (danish) to english so all of you Pass freaks can have a peak is a modest contribution.

I would like to post it on PA's forum, just after his part, but i can not. I must add, just as PA, that some of the subjective superlatives used in this test is a little hard to translate - keep that in mind.......

Here it comes:

... and then with the Xono

There are inputs both for MM and MC cartridges but you can't use them at the same time. This way you have the advantage of avoiding switches in the signal path. During the use of this unit we didn’t experience any noise – buzz or hiss. You find yourself unwillingly playing a little louder than normal, because everything seems so effortless and fluent. The sound is almost tube like with a wonderful effortless and spontaneity. Yes, those are the exact words, because everything sounds as if the music flows through the RIAA without being squeezed or forced. Everything seems easy and with plenty of energy reserves. On the classic “Sultans of Swing” from Dire Straits, the guitar pickings has new life and dynamics. At the same time there is a spontaneity that would prove characteristic for everything we played through the Xono. On Jennifer Warnes “The Well” it is the size of the soundstage and the treble range that draws your attention. Once you hear how a good pickup through this MC/RIAA manages to reproduce the highest octaves with weightlessness and plasticity, you’re sold. We can very well understand why many regards the Xono as being amongst the best available on the market. Though, the Xono can seem a little more cool and sober than most of really good tube RIAAs that typically uses a MC transformer at the input. Compared to those, the Xono, as well as the X2.5, can be said to lack a little bit of warmth and roundness, but on the other hand you get almost all other qualities that you can think of. The Xono will be missed on our shelf.



I will be back with the test of the XA100 later today....

Cheers!
Buhl
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Old 11th September 2005, 11:04 AM   #8
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Thanks to Per Anders (also enjoyed your website, more visits from me in the future) and Buhl for interpreting and sharing the review and pictures.
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Old 11th September 2005, 11:05 AM   #9
Buhl is offline Buhl  Denmark
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Oh, seems as we posted about the same time......
Are you working on the XA100 test Per, if not I will continiue translating it - but no reason the two of us doing the same job.......


Cheers !
Buhl
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Old 11th September 2005, 11:49 AM   #10
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Default Half way through the XA100 review.....

A little bit more - have to go and eat now.....


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After about one hour of heating up, the two XA100 are ready. Not just ready, but impressing from the first notes, with a large, very open soundstage, where especially the important midrange is wonderfully present and three-dimensional. Musicians seems physically present in a way we only have heard from the best single ended triode amps. Already now we have found these amps strong side. They simply have an almost organic way of reproducing the whole large fundamental keynote range – the same qualities we found in the X2.5 preamp, but still in a slight different way.
Here we have a little bit of the roundness and warmth, that very distinguished completes the preamp.

Take for example the new CD with Allan Olsen/Gæst (Danish artist). It is very well recorded, and you very much hear recording room, and wholeness in a very captivating and “poisoning” way. By poisoning we mean in relation to everything else we have heard. This is very much the well known openness and spontaneity you hear from the very best tube amps, in a way that make these amps a dangerous competitor to almost all other amps in the very highest class.

Moving up in the tonal spectrum, its safe to say that the XA100 is a little bit forgiving. It never sounds direct or harsh. Its laid back and compared to other alternatives in the price range also a bit on the nice side. You can also say that it holds back a small part of the details. We are talking about wholeness instead of focusing on single instruments or parts of the music. We have heard our ribbon tweeters deliver more air and detail, but again, this was with amps in the same price range as the XA100. Another way of putting it is to say that reverberation of the recording room fades out more rapidly. Its like there’s missing a little bit of air in the highest octaves.

Cheers !
Buhl
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