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Naksa vs others, again

I know this must have been asked many times before but I'll ask anyway.

I have an active loudspeaker system build around a DEQX crossover/preamp a pair of w-baffle woofers driven with UCD700 amps, a pair of Phy-Hp semi-fullrange drivers on open baffle and air motion transformer on top.

For years I have been driving the mids and highs with tube amps (ECL82 pp on mids and 300B SET on tweeters) Thsi sounded very good. Problem is that I had to swap tubes almost every year. I listen to music all day and when I'm not at home my family listens to music all day. It's on for about 4 to 16 hours a day. So I wanted to get rid of the tubes.

After trying a lot of ss amps I settled down on a Hiraga le class A 20W on the tweeters and an Audiosector lm3875 gainclone on the mids. As always I end up using the best sounding amp on the tweeters. I'm pretty allergic to bad highs, spoils all the fun of listening to music.

The ss combo does not sound as good as the tubes but it comes close. The mids are a bit too dry (the typical ss dryness I guess) and could use some more body in the lower midrange and highs are sometimes a bit shrill at louder volumes. At lower volumes everything is just fine. Resolution is pretty good as is soundstaging. even if it is not as good as the tubes I can at least listen to it as long as with the tubes, fatigue is very low.

For some time now I've been reading up in the Naksa 70 amps. The six million dollar question is offcoarse: Would the Naksa's sound closer or maybe even better then the tube amps in my system.

I have been reading every review I could find on them but in general I think most owner/reviewer are using a completely othe loudspeaker system then I do. The Phy-hp are like 50's radio loudspeakers on the wrong amp. On the right amp they are marvelous. They do not like typical ss amps, and the don't like amps with very a high dampening factor. They sound at best with an amp that has a combination of speed and a bit of bold character.

Too bad I can't hear the Naksa by myself, I'm realy interested but 4 channels of Naksa from down under is affordable when I like them but very expensive if I don't.
 

gaetan8888

Member
2007-04-08 5:11 pm
Hello

Before designing SS amps, Hugh Dean (Aksa) work for long times with tubes amps, one of his tubes amps was the Glass Harmony.

So, wen Hugh design an amp, he do it to sound as good or better than the best tubes amps, the Naksa are very involving with crystal clear sound and a superb soundstage.

You could find somebody who have a Naksa and who are not too far from your city to meet him and listen by yourself to a Naksa amp. Ask Hugh for that.

Have you read those reviews of the Naksa ? :

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2010/10/naksa-70-power-amplifier-module/

http://tirnahifi.org/reviews/?page_id=207

Bye

Gaetan
 
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Hi Sjef,

Thank you for your post, and my thanks always to Gaetan!

Tragically I do not believe there are NAKSA 70s for listening in The Netherlands, though there are in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

I can almost guarantee that the sound of a N70 would be an outstanding replacement of the Audiosector LM3875 for your mids.

The advantages are:

1. Quieter
2. Stronger upper bass
3. Better resolution
4. No music fatigue.
5. Much more power; 64W into 8R.
6. No intrusive protection which degrades the musical presentation.


A N70 has two channels and a single, bifurcated power supplies, ready to connect the transformer. It's a complete stereo/psu combination.

Cost is $AUD870, with around $135 for shipping to NL. Have a good look at the reviews, and then email/PM me for a further chat!

Cheers,

Hugh
 
Hi Sjef,

I have two NAKSA 70s in my active speaker system, each feeding a treble and mid driver. I think they are doing a very good job indeed, superb in fact. :)

Should you by any chance find yourself in Copenhagen or thereabouts, please feel free to stop by and have a good listen!

Link to my thread about the system: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/aksa/199699-equilibrium-project-powered-naksas.html

Cheers,

Jens
 
Thanks for the replies,
Unfortunatly I'm not very often in the neighbourhood of Copenhagen but many thanks for your invitation.

Hugh, I have read somewhere that the Aksa amp was in fact inspired on the Hiraga le class A. Is that correct ? And if so, is the Naksa really better. I like the Hiraga for it's resolution and a bit euphonic sound but if possible I would like to get rid of this room heating device as well.

I have tried an all hypex UCD solution but was pretty dissapointed in them, flat boring hifi sound, like you hear on many of the audio shows.
 
Hi Sjef,

That is an indeed flattery, but the topology of the Hiraga is very, very different to the NAKSA. However, I have heard the Hiraga Class A and it is a fine amplifier with superb sonics. I have studied most amp designs over the years, and have eventually reach a rational correlation between design and sound. I have come to this be starting with tube amps, which like you I do appreciate but find the ageing of large, thermionic output stages unacceptable.

The great trick is to enhance even harmonics while diminishing the odd harmonics.

I bought a UcD180 some years ago and carefully auditioned it. I cannot say much about the later versions, but certainly your assessment with quite accurate for my old model.

Jens, thank you very much for your kind offer, I much appreciate it. Copenhagen is MUCH closer than Melbourne!

Cheers,

Hugh
 
Hi Sjef,

Depending on your patience, there could be one opportunity of listening to a NAKSA70.

I have a trip in planning to go to Amsterdam at the beginning of June. I might be persuaded to bring one of my NAKSA70 modules to your home, so you could listen to it in your own system ... ;)

Cheers,

Jens
 
Wow Jens, don't know what to say. That's a generous offer. Offcoarse I would love to hear them in my own system. PM me when you know you are coming to Amsterdam, you are welcome

Well, as I said, it is still in the planning stage, so nothing is certain yet.

But current plans are that I will be in Amsterdam 11-13 June, give or take a day at each end.

The installation of my NAKSA70s at the rear of my speakers is quite modular, so I just need to unsolder a couple of wires, unscrew a few power wire connections and the heatsink from the aluminum fittings holding it in place, then I can pack the amp in my hand luggage. The toroid will go into the suitcase.

I will get in touch with you when I know more about my travel plans.

Cheers,

Jens
 
Hi Jens,

Are you going for a holiday or on a buisiness trip ?

Ayways, do not feel obliged in any way.
I am in town in that period.
Would be nice to here the Naksa's.

Just recently I realized that I have been running in circles for the last 7 years. My system always returns into the state it was 7 years ago despite the introduction of class d amps, hemp cone drivers, raal ribbons, and more of the latest fashion. Didn't like all of them. The JBL woofer/ Phy mid and AMT combination might not be perfect but it is the most fatigue free system I can come up with. That's my main criterium. Other combination had more defenition, some had more dynamics or better lowmid performance but in the end I keep coming back to my lightweight alnico drivers (very low Rms, that's the secret I guess)

What atracts me to the NAKSA's is the fact that they where designed with that very same criterium in mind, fatigue free listening to music. yes, let us all not forget it's all about the music and nothing else. But afterall, hearing before buying would be great.
 
Hi Jens,

Are you going for a holiday or on a buisiness trip ?

Ayways, do not feel obliged in any way.
I am in town in that period.
Would be nice to here the Naksa's.

Just recently I realized that I have been running in circles for the last 7 years. My system always returns into the state it was 7 years ago despite the introduction of class d amps, hemp cone drivers, raal ribbons, and more of the latest fashion. Didn't like all of them. The JBL woofer/ Phy mid and AMT combination might not be perfect but it is the most fatigue free system I can come up with. That's my main criterium. Other combination had more defenition, some had more dynamics or better lowmid performance but in the end I keep coming back to my lightweight alnico drivers (very low Rms, that's the secret I guess)

What atracts me to the NAKSA's is the fact that they where designed with that very same criterium in mind, fatigue free listening to music. yes, let us all not forget it's all about the music and nothing else. But afterall, hearing before buying would be great.

Hi Sjef,

Yes, this is a business trip - which is also why there are still some uncertainties about it.

I agree with your sentiments about systems - it is only you who can decide for your system how you want it to sound, and it is usually necessary to prioritise some aspects, because even with the best drivers there are always some sort of compromises.

Please be aware that I will only be able to bring one NAKSA70, but since this a stereo module, we should be able to try it out on both the mid and top of your system, just not at the same time ;)

Cheers,

Jens
 
Just recently I realized that I have been running in circles for the last 7 years. My system always returns into the state it was 7 years ago despite the introduction of class d amps, hemp cone drivers, raal ribbons, and more of the latest fashion. Didn't like all of them. The JBL woofer/ Phy mid and AMT combination might not be perfect but it is the most fatigue free system I can come up with. That's my main criterium. Other combination had more definition, some had more dynamics or better lowmid performance but in the end I keep coming back to my lightweight alnico drivers (very low Rms, that's the secret I guess)

What atracts me to the NAKSAs is the fact that they were designed with that very same criterion in mind, fatigue free listening to music. yes, let us all not forget it's all about the music and nothing else. But after all, hearing before buying would be great.

Can I make a suggestion, Sjef, given your "running in circles" and your search for "fatigue free listening to music". :)

I can listen to my music system all day (although I don't often get the chance to listen for more than a couple of hours!) - no listening fatigue at all. :( I have active Magneplanars, driven by Hugh's amps (but not NAKSAs, as I need 6 mono amp modules) - so can I suggest after hearing Jen's NAKSA on your system, you audition some Maggies? (There are certainly some Dutch inmates on the Planar Asylum, even if there isn't a Maggie dealer in Amsterdam.)

Regards,

Andy
 
Hi Jens,

Yes I know it's only one stereo module but that's enough to get an impression of the amp.

Hi Andy,

I'm not in the search for a fatigue free listening system. I would like to ugrade my system while maintaining the fatigue freeness of it. That's allready hard enough. These are parameters that are almost impossible to measure. Hugh seems to understand this in amp design, or at least part of it. that's why I'm so curious about them.
 
Not a particularly helpful post in the NAKSA forum, I have to say...... if I were Bose, I would think carefully about your post!

However, Sjef, I have many people who love the NAKSA, and have written a great deal of praise of the implementation. Johnny Darko at digitalaudioreview thought it very, very good and he is at least as experienced as anyone.

Nontheless, bear in mind that I am constantly improving my amps, and the latest, the 80, is outstanding. Can I suggest your disillusioned audiophiles tastes might enjoy this amplifier tremendously?

Thank you for your post. Disappointing, but your considered opinion. Despite buying NAKSA 70s at a low cost, and not from me, you seem to be happy to diss the product in its own forum. Would you like this if you were in my situation?

Ciao,

Hugh
 
hi Hugh,

thanks for your reply. I in by means want to diss the NAKSA, I just want to give my unbiased opinion. Well I was biased at first because I really wanted to like them. I was at the point of bying them from you when I got the offer to buy a pair second so that the seller could buy your NAKSA 80's wich he did and would have never done if he couldn't sell the 70's in the first place. Where did you think all the old NAKSA 70's went from customers who switched to the NAKSA80 ? In the dustbin. No, people upgrade, people sell to afford the upgrade. So the more you develop the more second hand amps are going to be around.

Anyways, I understand you are not waiting on a negative review and like I said, things go slowly here nowadays and I guess there must be something wrong because I cannot believe that they can't sound any better then this. I will figure it out. Offcoarse you are making progress in amplifier design but this design had such a high claims of it's quality, these claims if true should easily survive 5 years in audio. Why on earth would it otherwise be possible that it gets beaten by a 30 year old design (The Hiraga). Again, something must be wrong in my case and I'm on to. The amps where on the shelf for quite some time due to the illness of my girlfriend but now I have time again

I don't want to get in the way of you buiseness so if you want I'll just delete my posts, no problem whatsoever. It's not my intention to diss ASPEN, I only post my findings. And I just want to figure out what the hell went wrong, did you really think I wanted to write a negative review, no absolutely not. If i would to sell the NAKSA's again people will google them and will find this review. So it's in my own interest to get this figured out.

Just asked the moderator to delete my last two messages, don't want to get in the way of your business. Will report new review in other forum when things are sorted out
 
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Sjef,

Thank you for the reply, you were very clear and I see what you are coming from, and very polite. Nothing will be deleted. Thanks for that...... it is very easy in the forums to break out WW Three, and you avoided this with respect.

I am a small outfit and most of my profits are poured into R&D. In recent years the market has been dominated by Far East product, and the only way to go forward in a high cost country like Australia is to try to be ahead of the technology, which very soon are absorbed in the public domain, coming back to us in Ebay for $20 pcbs! All I can say is that I believe I AM in the front runners, I DO have outstanding amps, and that I continue to expend my energies in making even better amps...... and no, I never did assume you were trying to ruin my business, but you may not be aware how sensitive reviews are because we are all human and we are attracted to the negative!

Ciao,

Hugh
 
Hi Hugh,

Yes I understand how sensitive reviews are. That's why I asked the moderator to delete it before someone doesn't understand what I'm saying in the review and comes to the conclusion that ASPEN amps aren't any good.

Best regards,

Sjef

From Hugh:
Thank you Sjef, I will take your offer, appreciated
Hugh
 
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That's why I asked the moderator to delete it before someone doesn't understand what I'm saying in the review and comes to the conclusion that ASPEN amps aren't any good.

This is the Aspen Forum Sjef - who on earth do you think is the bloody moderator? Or don't you think? :confused:

Hugh could delete your posts ... but he's not that sort of person. He's happy for people to write their reviews - and only a very small number are negative, like yours was.

I can't help feeling there is a self-congratulatory point in coming out so negative ... because automatically, you are dissing the listening capabilities of other people and putting yourself up as the only one with 'golden ears', who can hear what these amps really are. You are saying, in effect, Jens A - who has posted here about his very high-class, resolving system and the great sound he's getting from his NAKSAs - must be a shyster. Or cloth-eared ... or simply confused. Which I, for instance, know he's none of these.


Regards,

Andy