However, I still think beta 11 has a richer and more textured bloom. I found this most evident listening to a solo upright bass, where the vibrato was far more defined and extended. Bloom and decay seem truncated in comparison on every other A+ version I tried (betas, 6, 7 as well as 1.5.1 and 1.5.2).
Am I alone in hearing that great delicacy in the bloom on beta 11? I don't hear it on any other version. I think this is what makes beta 11 so seductive on my system.
I don't know if any of my impressions are valid for others. Perhaps it's just the peculiarities of my modest rig.
What's your take on beta 11?
The leading edge on beta 7 is the most striking on my system for sure. It does help to add a sense of excitement and dynamism. The treble emphasis on this version does help to give air an room ambiance on live recordings. But on my modest rig, the leading edges are so sharp, they pierce my ears. Perhaps slightly warmer than 1.5 releases, it is still too bright. The body of each note seems too short and rather flat (on my rig, with my ears...).
Beta 6 does sound fuller and warmer in comparison than beta 7. Beta 6 does seem to handle complex passages better than beta 11. More coherent, you might say?
The lack of coherence you mention in beta 11, I take to mean resolution. Is that fair? I think we agree that on complex passages, beta 11 sounds muddy, with a poor separation of instruments. So for many difficult symphonies or large jazz groups, beta 7 or the 1.5 versions sound better.
... To be continued...
I was curious to hear more of your experiences comparing different Audirvana versions.
From what I saw in your posts, you seem to like beta 11. Is that your preferred version?
It seems many prefer beta 7. I prefer beta 11, but don't think it has the resolution or air of beta 7 or the current releases.
I exchanged a couple messages with Alex/Superdad to pick his brain from his extensive comparisons. I sent him my impressions and thought I'd share them with you. I am curious as to whether my impressions were shared with anyone else or if they are peculiar to me and my rig. Let me know if they overlap at all with your experiences.
Thanks, Luke :-)
I will have to post my impressions in a second message to get under the word count...