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Johnseye

Reference 2 Channel Speaker Recommendations

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I am. I liked it better than the McIntosh. It drove the Personas well. If I ever wanted more power I could add another for bridged mono mode. The noise floor of this amp is next to nothing. Now is it better than my Emotiva? Yea it is, at a cost. There is a significant difference. The best improvement will come from these speakers however.

 

If anyone gets a chance to listen to the Personas please post your experience. I'd like to hear other's opinions.

 

Great, that's nice to know when you invest in a component. Good luck with the speakers

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ctsooner   

Whichdoctor, I am still shocked a bit as I've never heard that feedback from a Treo IRT lack of detail on top. I said in my post that I understand we all hear differently, I get that and have always said that about any component. As for rooms sounding different etc, that's why I asked what he was listening to etc... Been putting systems together for folks since the late 60's.

 

I've found that no matter what folks think of a speaker or speaker line, that they have a definite house sound that most hear if they are set up properly and run with the right gear. Wilsons, B&W and Magico's can be very detailed on top. Many of us don't like them as they are turned up a few db on top to make them sound more open. Just a trick of the trade that most know about, but it's real. Vandersteen, Dali (since OP auditioned them) and many others run flat on top, but are still very detailed and give you micro and macro details that it often takes some listening to in order to hear. Neither is right or wrong as folks often want that house sound if you would.

 

Obviously, this is why there are so many companies who make a nice living selling their gear. This also is another reason why matching and buying as a system is SO important. I realize I"m not telling anyone what they don't already know and believe. Just sharing that I fully understand that OP felt the way he did, but still surprised, which isn't a big deal one way or the other. It's all good. Just happy that he's getting to where he wants with his system as that's the only thing that matters. I may love Vandy's, Ayre, Jadis, Audioquest and so many other lines, but I have no dog in the fight :) Pete

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Whichdoctor, I am still shocked a bit as I've never heard that feedback from a Treo IRT lack of detail on top. I said in my post that I understand we all hear differently, I get that and have always said that about any component. As for rooms sounding different etc, that's why I asked what he was listening to etc... Been putting systems together for folks since the late 60's.

 

I've found that no matter what folks think of a speaker or speaker line, that they have a definite house sound that most hear if they are set up properly and run with the right gear. Wilsons, B&W and Magico's can be very detailed on top. Many of us don't like them as they are turned up a few db on top to make them sound more open. Just a trick of the trade that most know about, but it's real. Vandersteen, Dali (since OP auditioned them) and many others run flat on top, but are still very detailed and give you micro and macro details that it often takes some listening to in order to hear. Neither is right or wrong as folks often want that house sound if you would.

 

Obviously, this is why there are so many companies who make a nice living selling their gear. This also is another reason why matching and buying as a system is SO important. I realize I"m not telling anyone what they don't already know and believe. Just sharing that I fully understand that OP felt the way he did, but still surprised, which isn't a big deal one way or the other. It's all good. Just happy that he's getting to where he wants with his system as that's the only thing that matters. I may love Vandy's, Ayre, Jadis, Audioquest and so many other lines, but I have no dog in the fight :) Pete

 

I think I am a little less shocked because of reviews I have seen in the past that were glowing. I order the component, let it burn in and it just fizzled. Not to say the gear was bad but it just didn't suit my setup.

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ctsooner   

If it was treos they need a good 400-500 to fully break in. Also set up is critical for a speaker like that. Easy to do but I've found the tilt is critical for the high end to be portrayed properly. As I have said all along we all like different things. Heck I didn't like the Vandys until the last 5 years or so. My local dealer just wasn't into them like he was Proac and he never gave me a decent audition. Happens at all stores. We are all biased at times

 

 

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What fizzled? Don't understand ur post. Sorry.

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

 

By "fizzle" I mean any type of semblance to an outstanding product. I was expecting audio fireworks and all i got was a fizzle or sub par performance. This has happened to many times to report.

 

The opposite has happened too. i picked up a Carver AV 505 amp on Craiglist for less than $200 to bi-amp my wide channels in my HT. I tested it in stereo first and was stunned, OMG those speakers can sound like THAT?! I promptly moved it to my desktop setup and get those "fireworks" every time I hit play.

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ctsooner   

Did you get it new? Did the dealer help set it up? What electronics did you use? Honestly, mine were as good as it gets for the cost and the guy who purchased them from me loves them too. He's using Prima Luna tubed gear and I use and Ayre integrated and it's digital from an Ayre QX5 and served from a very high end server. I also fed it from a Basis TT with Benz cart and Aesthetix Rhea phono.

 

I find, like anything, it's all about what it's fed. Not sure what qualifies as fireworks, but to say sub par, well you are the first person I"ve heard that from. It may not be for some folks obviously, but never heard the words sub par until you to be honest. So I guess that's why I'm shocked, but that's all good. I"m glad you get fireworks from your desktop system. Always good to have what you love.

 

By "fizzle" I mean any type of semblance to an outstanding product. I was expecting audio fireworks and all i got was a fizzle or sub par performance. This has happened to many times to report.

 

The opposite has happened too. i picked up a Carver AV 505 amp on Craiglist for less than $200 to bi-amp my wide channels in my HT. I tested it in stereo first and was stunned, OMG those speakers can sound like THAT?! I promptly moved it to my desktop setup and get those "fireworks" every time I hit play.

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Did you get it new? Did the dealer help set it up? What electronics did you use? Honestly, mine were as good as it gets for the cost and the guy who purchased them from me loves them too. He's using Prima Luna tubed gear and I use and Ayre integrated and it's digital from an Ayre QX5 and served from a very high end server. I also fed it from a Basis TT with Benz cart and Aesthetix Rhea phono.

 

I find, like anything, it's all about what it's fed. Not sure what qualifies as fireworks, but to say sub par, well you are the first person I"ve heard that from. It may not be for some folks obviously, but never heard the words sub par until you to be honest. So I guess that's why I'm shocked, but that's all good. I"m glad you get fireworks from your desktop system. Always good to have what you love.

 

Yes, let me give you am example. The JBL LSR 305 and 308 speakers have nothing but great reviews. I had the bar set high for expectations. I went to the local Guitar Center to audition them expecting to take them home and when I heard them they "fizzled" to my expectations, too bright in the setting i heard them in. I order the JBL 230's which also use tricle down tech from the M2 monitors with a 30 day return period. For the first day or so just so so but after the break in WOW. I preferred these greatly. Now that does not mean the 305's are bad, but maybe i just didn't like the class D amps that drive them.

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ctsooner   

ok

 

Yes, let me give you am example. The JBL LSR 305 and 308 speakers have nothing but great reviews. I had the bar set high for expectations. I went to the local Guitar Center to audition them expecting to take them home and when I heard them they "fizzled" to my expectations, too bright in the setting i heard them in. I order the JBL 230's which also use tricle down tech from the M2 monitors with a 30 day return period. For the first day or so just so so but after the break in WOW. I preferred these greatly. Now that does not mean the 305's are bad, but maybe i just didn't like the class D amps that drive them.

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ctsooner   
Great example of products that "fizzled", the bar is set high, mucho dinero, great brand reps and then-

 

SoundStage! Access | SoundStageAccess.com (GoodSound.com) | Price, Performance, and Disappointments

 

Witch, that's fine and dandy, however it's just THEIR opinion and you have your opinion and everyone else has their opinion. Personally, I think the Parasound products fall into this category for MY EARS. We all have likes and dislikes. As I've stated over and over in many threads I post in, reviews are just that. Do you like the same or similar products as the person writing or do you even know? (not you wich, just a general) If so, great, then start with their recommendations and if not, move on.

 

I have heard what you own and to me it's not my cup of tea, so I'd say that they fizzled I guess. I respect other products even though I don't like them compared to comparable products. Thanks for sharing what you feel fizzled for you. I'm honestly glad that you have what you love and it's in your budget. That's a great thing. I guess I don't purchase too many fizzled products as I almost always audition a lot before purchases so I know that what I get will fit into my system and that I'll most probably love the sound once purchased and set up. To me, that's the great thing about B&M stores. They know their gear as well as other gear they've sold. They usually go to shows and have reps visit with their products to audition over a few weeks or more. They know what sounds good together (too many folks by products that don't fix together and are disappointed) and they back things up with warrantee and sometimes even buy backs for upgrades over a period of time. I guess I don't mind spending the money for retail to get warrantee's as well as expert advice. The bottom line for me though are my own ears and I trust them as I constantly listen to different systems and components along with my own.

 

I do find it odd that so often folks make their decisions using poor audio feed. Be it the music they are using isn't recorded good or the source components aren't that great. I listen to a ton of 80's rock which is not well recorded overall (yes there are some) but I love it. I'd never use most of it to audition though as I want to hear things the best they can sound and then go from there. I can easily see products 'fizzling' when using poor a poor source.

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Johnseye   
Personally, I think the Parasound products fall into this category for MY EARS.

Which model(s) did you listen to, with what amp and can you provide more detail about what you didn't like?

 

I do find it odd that so often folks make their decisions using poor audio feed. Be it the music they are using isn't recorded good or the source components aren't that great. I listen to a ton of 80's rock which is not well recorded overall (yes there are some) but I love it. I'd never use most of it to audition though as I want to hear things the best they can sound and then go from there. I can easily see products 'fizzling' when using poor a poor source.

I agree. I also listen to a lot of live recorded music, which was someone plugged into the soundboard with their DAT. This is generally not recorded well and mixed to the concert venue. It's good to listen to what you listen to most, even if it isn't amazingly produced audiophile tracks. I wish I had the opportunity to audition everything at home, but that's not always possible. There are so many variables in our own setups from dac to content to room, etc that it's very very difficult to get an apples to apples comparison without the equipment side by side at home.

 

This has been a very fun, educational but time consuming process. I've spent much more effort in auditioning speakers and amps than I ever have. Hopefully I make the right choice.

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ecrimjr   

I disagree regarding the comment on spending the money on an amplifier. Which is not to say they aren't important but making sure your speakers have the transparency to her changes up stream is a priority.

I've had the chance to do several demos between the new B&W 800 series speakers and the Persona line. These were for customers. The personas are beautiful and sound detailed. Bass is nice and tight. The last demo was for a Canadian couple that wanted to her the personas we have the 3f , 5 f and 7 f in the store. For B&W we have the new 805 3D and the 802 D3 .They and I were blown away by the B&Ws. Greater clarity, deeper and cleaner bass and just more involving in the very way. The upgrades made to the new line are not judge st cosmetic but very substantive and well worth a listen. They are a legitimate sign I ant even improvement over every previous B&W speaker and I think they have solved some of the things they have been criticized for the past. I also love Maggie's and I would suggest the 1.7s would be worth listening to as well. Of the electronics the preamp is ultimately more important than the amp. It needs to be s transparent as possible.

 

 

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Johnseye   
I disagree regarding the comment on spending the money on an amplifier. Which is not to say they aren't important but making sure your speakers have the transparency to her changes up stream is a priority.

I've had the chance to do several demos between the new B&W 800 series speakers and the Persona line. These were for customers. The personas are beautiful and sound detailed. Bass is nice and tight. The last demo was for a Canadian couple that wanted to her the personas we have the 3f , 5 f and 7 f in the store. For B&W we have the new 805 3D and the 802 D3 .They and I were blown away by the B&Ws. Greater clarity, deeper and cleaner bass and just more involving in the very way. The upgrades made to the new line are not judge st cosmetic but very substantive and well worth a listen. They are a legitimate sign I ant even improvement over every previous B&W speaker and I think they have solved some of the things they have been criticized for the past. I also love Maggie's and I would suggest the 1.7s would be worth listening to as well. Of the electronics the preamp is ultimately more important than the amp. It needs to be s transparent as possible.

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I've listened to the 802 D3 and yes, they were very well balanced and sounded great. They are also $22k retail. I have 803's now and while they are about 10 years old they sound great. I was just looking for something different.

 

If you're comparing the 803 D with the Persona 5F then you get a comparison at the same price point. Are you able to hear a significant difference between the 3F and 5F? I couldn't. At least not that justifies an additional $7k. I also can't justify the $7k Persona center channel. I even have someone offering it to me at $4500 but that's where my budget's at.

 

There is a level of dimension I never heard before with my Emotiva amp, that I get with the Benchmark. At first I thought it was the Personas that brought it out, and they do help clarify it, but the Benchmark puts the sound in a 3D space. I'm using it with my B&Ws now, and it's there, but different. Now I need to go back and listen with the Emotiva and see if it's there and I just never noticed. Sometimes you don't notice things in the sound until you start paying close attention to the details.

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GUTB   

Coming from headphones (I still own several high-end headphones, including the Focal Utopia), I've really been struggling to get resolution and dynamic power of high end headphone listening. I'm starting to get a little demoralized in speakers, honestly. I knew that amps make a big difference from my headphone journey -- but amps make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in speakers!

 

Speakers: Chane A1.4

 

Teac AI-301AD (ICE module) -- Unlistenable trash.

Emotiva A-300 (class A/B) -- flat, poor mids, bad.

Music Angel XDSE Mk.III (845 SET) -- Holographic, strong mids, good.

 

I rolled in some strong matched RCA NOS 6N7S and 6L7S tubes, and I'm waiting on a pair of new production 845s from China but I don't think they will impact resolution. Simply put, resolution and dynamic power just isn't there. It's really, really, bad. I feel like I'm waisting my dedicated audio PC with Paul Pang V3 card, X20 DAC with battery powered I2S interface, my high end power cables, etc. On the plus side, once I figured out these speakers prefer mid-field listening, center image is very focused, and the stage is nicely dimensional. I put a lot of money and effort into cables, vibration dampening, source tweaking, power delivery, etc. And they are less resolving and dynamic than my $170 AKG K553 headphones.

 

I posted a complaint in the Chane thread in AVS Forum, and the designer himself responded claiming the lack of bass performance is due to the 845, but seemed to not know what I was talking about in regards to resolution. Two different dealers (a high end audio dealer and a Best Buy dealer) didn't know what I was talking about either (the high end audio dealer seemed to think resolution was related to high frequency information). I auditioned a B&W D2 ($9K) at Best Buy, and a pair of ProAc D30Rs ($7k connected to a $10k integrated) at the high end place.

 

 

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ctsooner   

Over the years, I've heard all the Curl designed products they have along with some of the others. I brought their phono stage in a couple of years ago and liked the Ayre and Aesthetix Rhea much better. Better sound stage and better micro and macro detail. The noise floor of the Ayre is lower and the Rhea has much better pace. I went with the Rhea that I"m now selling with the rest of my analog. Their top pre amp doesn't throw as large a soundstage as my old Ayre AX7e and of course it's not in the same league as the AX5/20 I have now, but it's not in the same price category there either. I have always felt their amps and pre amps were on the same stage as NAD separates for similar price. I purchased Quicksilver gear over the Parasound gear back in the 90's.

 

I heard their top of the line amp and pre locally with a pair of speakers that are from upstate NY from a small company. i forget the name, but they were good speakers as I heard them with a Pass integrated too and liked that sound a fair amount. It's just not my favorite company for the price, but I have plenty of friends who feel they are musical and love them. I've just always heard gear that sounds better for a bit less.

 

As for everyone saying that one component is more important than another, it's not. They call it a system for a reason. I read about what folks own and I wonder why they spend so much on speakers and then don't match the electronics properly. All too often folks either run a DAC directly (never sounds as good as with a decent pre) or use a much lesser power amp. I couldn't afford a top of the line separate system, so I went with an upper end company's integrated, that I could afford. It's made me very happy. I've found in audio, that there are not many companies who sell inexpensive components that sound great. Too many compromises from most and they are often way too bright as most folks seem to think that's extension of the music, when in fact, most often it's just distortion and fatiguing. Noting is an absolute, but more often than not, this is the case in audio. These are cases where you can look at measurements and they back up what I'm saying. I know I piss off a ton of folks, but listen to engineers in this industry and many even admit that they have to tweak things on the high end because they need to sell their gear and folks like to run their systems a bit hot, especially at the lower prices. It's cheaper for them than to install better parts to give better bass. That's why Rotel and NAD are still, to me, great great value choices for most speakers up to 5k. It's amazing what type of sound you can get by throwing an Ayre Codex at 1800 into the system (to my ears the best DAC by far under 5k that I've listened to).

 

Amps make as big a difference as a pre or speaker or.....if you get a great pair of speakers, they will sound better and better with much better electronics. Why waste that? I watch so many folks put money into cable and power conditioning with lower priced, high end systems and I shake my head. If they took that extra money and bought a better power amp, they'd have a better sounding system. Cables do make a difference. You don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get a nice upgrade in sound though. As for power cords and conditioners, I've not heard any in the lower ranges that will give you a true component upgrade like a nice new amp or pre would give you. Even in my system, which I consider fairly higher end, I have ONE after market power cable. I'm actually waiting on getting my new speakers in and broken in first. Then I'll bring in the soon to be released line of power cables from Garth Powell at Audioquest. I heard the prototypes 6 months ago and was blown away at how great they sounded and that ws without any shielding. If they hit the price point Garth told me, then it's a game changer for power cables IMHO. I auditioned them with Vandersteen 7's and the 62k Vandersteen amps (please don't tell me amps don't make as big a difference as other electronics) and Audio Research ref pre.

 

I addressed a ton of stuff here. As for headphones, yes I"m there with you. I am running all of mine off my Ayre QX5/20 and I can tell you that I like this headphone amp/DAC better than every Woo amp (heard them all with your headphones as well as the 1000 mk2 and LCD4's. Also much better than the Mac DAC/headphone amp and it's not close (I like the Codex amp better than the Woo amps under 2k also).

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Johnseye   
Over the years...

 

 

It's amazing what type of sound you can get by throwing an Ayre Codex at 1800 into the system (to my ears the best DAC by far under 5k that I've listened to).

 

 

While the Codex is a good DAC, and was one of two I would have chosen. My ears liked the Audio Alchemy DDP-1 better. So did my wife who often can't tell the difference between components. She clearly heard the difference. Have you ever listened to the DDP-1? My thoughts on the comparison audition are here:

 

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/audio-alchemy-ddp-1-and-ayre-codex-side-side-27865/index3.html

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Ralf11   

transducers are much harder to get right - and I'd say they are the most important components

 

when I worked in a physics lab (early gravity wave stuff) the lead prof. impressed this on my young impressionable brain - turn things into an electronic signal as soon as possible

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Dr Tone   
While the Codex is a good DAC, and was one of two I would have chosen. My ears liked the Audio Alchemy DDP-1 better. So did my wife who often can't tell the difference between components. She clearly heard the difference. Have you ever listened to the DDP-1? My thoughts on the comparison audition are here:

 

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/audio-alchemy-ddp-1-and-ayre-codex-side-side-27865/index3.html

 

You most likely preferred the preamp in the Audio Alchemy more. You needed to bypass the preamp in each to compare DACs. The preamp would have a bigger sonic footprint. I don't think the preamp in the Codex is it's strong point.

 

Personally I wouldn't use one of these budget preamp/dac units as the front end on an amp especially if you are planning on spending 10k or more on speakers. I would use the Ayre Codex as a DAC only, I know how good the QB-9 DSD was and many feel the Codex in DAC only mode is as good or better.

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Johnseye   
You most likely preferred the preamp in the Audio Alchemy more. You needed to bypass the preamp in each to compare DACs. The preamp would have a bigger sonic footprint. I don't think the preamp in the Codex is it's strong point.

 

Personally I wouldn't use one of these budget preamp/dac units as the front end on an amp especially if you are planning on spending 10k or more on speakers. I would use the Ayre Codex as a DAC only, I know how good the QB-9 DSD was and many feel the Codex in DAC only mode is as good or better.

The Codex has a built in preamp as well. They were compared in preamp mode side by side. You're right in that if it were possible to completely bypass the preamp and send the source cleanly from the DAC (sans preamp) to the amp, then any signature the preamp has on the sound would be eliminated. It's entirely possible that the Codex preamp (not DAC) falls short of the DDP-1, and that's why the DDP-1 sounds better. I could also put another preamp in front of the DDP-1 to change the sound. Have you personally listened to the DDP-1?

 

 

But the DDP-1 @ $2k and its companion PS-5 power supply @ $600 shouldn't be considered a "budget" dac. Audio Alchemy is a modular component system with monoblock amps @ $2k ea, a phono stage @ $1.8k, a streamer (media server) @ $1.8k. If you put it all together you're looking at the same price point as the Devialet 220 Pro you're using which has all those components built in.

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ctsooner   
The Codex has a built in preamp as well. They were compared in preamp mode side by side. You're right in that if it were possible to completely bypass the preamp and send the source cleanly from the DAC (sans preamp) to the amp, then any signature the preamp has on the sound would be eliminated. It's entirely possible that the Codex preamp (not DAC) falls short of the DDP-1, and that's why the DDP-1 sounds better. I could also put another preamp in front of the DDP-1 to change the sound. Have you personally listened to the DDP-1?

 

 

But the DDP-1 @ $2k and its companion PS-5 power supply @ $600 shouldn't be considered a "budget" dac. Audio Alchemy is a modular component system with monoblock amps @ $2k ea, a phono stage @ $1.8k, a streamer (media server) @ $1.8k. If you put it all together you're looking at the same price point as the Devialet 220 Pro you're using which has all those components built in.

 

Yes, I've heard part of the AA system. I was excited about them when they reissued the name as I had some of the original equipment many moons ago. When I post about DAC's, I'll never post about how they'd sound with their built in preamps, because none of them have a decent pre. I own a QX5 and I'd never use it as a preamp. I don't mean that be be snobbish, but we are talking about decent speakers in this thread I believe. I don't like the AA pre either, but that's me. I like some others in that price range, but not theirs that much. Again, my ear only.

 

As for the AA vs the Codex, it's not in the same class. Codex was built to be a much much more expensive DAC, but they are marketing it at under 2k under a different name than Ayre, which is is in every way. Yes, it sounds better than their former DAC. I know many guys who changed to the Codex over the Q9 and agree with me.

 

When companies cram DACs, integrated's and phono's into a box, there are many many compromises. There is a market for it and that's why they do it. If you are that market, thats' awesome, but I would say that you probably don't need to spend a lot on speakers as you won't get out of them what you want. That's not a negative either and shouldn't' be taken that way. Codex is a great DAC/headphone amp (yes, I'd use it with a pair of LCD3's in a heartbeat and have in the past). You can get an NAD pre or a Rotel pre that aren't too much, but like the codex punch well above their price ranges. You can pick up a strong used one for a similar price, but be careful and listen if you can, as the NAD and Rotel units can be outstanding. I know some folks who work at Vandersteen use NAD amplification for some of the more expensive units and LOVE them. There are some great brands that aren't as well known by newer audiophiles that will blow your socks off for 2k or under. Do you need phono too or if you use phono, do you use a separate pre? Just thinks to know.

 

JMHO and my ears, but that Codex to me is possibly the best buy in all of audio. I have a friend in NY who just got it to run digital with his Vandersteen 7 mk2 and Ayre MRX/20 and KRX/20's. That's some expensive stuff and that 1800 DAC is NOT out of place at all. I won't mention names, but in his system is SMOKED most of the 5k DAC's he had in there over a month's period. Tube and SS DAC's that are talked about on this board all the time. It just shows that some products that aren't going to kill you in price really can outperform.

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Johnseye   
Yes, I've heard part of the AA system. I was excited about them when they reissued the name as I had some of the original equipment many moons ago. When I post about DAC's, I'll never post about how they'd sound with their built in preamps, because none of them have a decent pre. I own a QX5 and I'd never use it as a preamp. I don't mean that be be snobbish, but we are talking about decent speakers in this thread I believe. I don't like the AA pre either, but that's me. I like some others in that price range, but not theirs that much. Again, my ear only.

 

As for the AA vs the Codex, it's not in the same class. Codex was built to be a much much more expensive DAC, but they are marketing it at under 2k under a different name than Ayre, which is is in every way. Yes, it sounds better than their former DAC. I know many guys who changed to the Codex over the Q9 and agree with me.

Here we will disagree. I'm sure there are others out there who like the AA over the Codex or other DACs. Whether it was the builtin preamp influencing the sound or not, what I heard from the AA was clearly better to my ears. I've heard the same said about the AA, being built with high end engineering and components, but sold and marketed for a broader consumer base.

 

This hobby is highly subjective and based on every piece of equipment used, not to mention music and room. I think we also gravitate to opinions that confirm our own, not to mention those that are more publicized. This thread alone is a great example of that. Look how many people have suggested speakers they prefer. I won't go into the amp side of things which this thread didn't even address at first, and now we're talking DAC, but with regard to speakers alone I auditioned many speakers including those way out of my price range. Every single speaker model had it's own sound. There were stronger similarities with like model lines, and brands but that was as close as it got.

 

For the discerning listener, which most of us are in this forum, we analyze and dissect every single thing that influences the sound. I find myself a very analytical listener. The Vandersteen dealer who I met who is also a cellist in the Indianapolis Orchestra for the past 30 years, but also performed in the Moscow orchestra as well as a few others, explained it to me best. I spent the day with him listening to Vandersteen and Dali. He loves the Vandersteen, but I liked the Dali better. He explained listening the Vandersteens were like being in the audience, while listening to the Dalis were like sitting in the orchestra. For him, he preferred listening from the audience because he spent all his time in the orchestra. I prefer being fully immersed in the music, which is why I liked the clarity and detail of the Dalis.

 

In the end I chose neither speaker and bought the Paradigm Personas. They are to me the most detailed speaker I've listened to. I don't think the low end was as deep or pronounced as some others, like the Focus. Some may prefer that over the detail found in treble and midrange. Some also find that frequency range more fatiguing unless it's flattened by a tube, more mellow amp or preamp. The Benchmark I'm using doesn't provide any mellow. It's full on open and revealing. It also has the lowest noise floor I've ever heard. Talking with Peter Madnick, and keep in mind he not only engineered AA, but also Constellation, he's convinced me to audition the AA amplifiers. I will compare it against the Benchmark, but to be honest I'm skeptical based on what I've read. I've listened to $100k Constellation amps running $240k speakers and have no illusions my system will sound like that, despite the engineer involved.

 

I just wasn't impressed with the Codex. I will likely audition a + $5k DAC with DSD512 and MQA for a side by side. I'm interested in DSD512 from an upsampling perspective as well as the MQA technology and the AA can't do that now, however Peter stated it is upgrade-able. I'm very curious to know if and how DAC cost drives sound quality and performance. After all we're talking about a DAC chip, and that same chip can be had for a low cost. It's the engineering involved around that chip that makes the difference.

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ctsooner   

We don't disagree. We all hear differently. You love that in the orchestra sound which is what you chose to purchase. That's cool. I prefer to listen to my music where I normally sit at a concert. That's why there are many products made. Have I purchased speakers like Vandersteen and amps like Ayre that are extreme popular? No doubt, but only after extensive auditioning and enjoying music. I look at it the other way than most. They are popular because they are so good and I just fall into the category that listens that way.

 

Plenty of folks listen the way you do and will chose the products you chose. It's all good either way. You can see what posters like and tell how they've been taught to listen. In the end I always just end up purchasing what I sit and listen and stop auditioning. That's how I ended up with VANDERSTEEN's after all these years. I just kept wanting to go back and hear them. The whole line for me is jsut fun to turn on and relax into the music. I only really listen to that last. It of micro detail when friends ask me to.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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