Took delivery on 2013-01-28
I have been making a lot of changes to my setup lately. I sold my Soulution 710, and disconnected my Berkeley Alpha DAC II and Alpha USB, Aurender S10 and even my trusted Transporter.
My revised setup is as follow:
- Mac Mini with Pure Music
- Soulution 590
- 2x Devialet D-Premier in Mono Block mode
- DSPeaker AntiMode 2.0 Dual Core
- Wilson Benesch Torus Infrasonic Generator with Torus Amplifier
- Magico Q1
The system is much simplified from what I had before, yet, I believe this is giving me the best sound I have ever had.
In my previous post, I talked about the DSpeaker Anti-Mode 8033S-II. It was so good that I ordered their current flagship product, Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core.
So how does it measure?
This is all done with the Torus with 8033S-II (not yet updated with AM2DC yet) and a pair of Q1. This is pretty remarkable. I will be tuning this more, but I am getting a very very smooth response as is. The Q1 alone has plenty of bass extension, but I am currently crossing using the Devialet’s digital crossover, at 100Hz, 2nd order crossover to the Q1. I want to ‘free’ the Q1 up and give it even more headroom and lower the distortion. At the same time, I can place the Q1 where I think they are best in terms of imaging, and let the Torus takes care of the bass.
More to come…
I had the Neutral Audio X-DREI for a few weeks as home-trial.
I decided to return it. While I heard differences, I am not sure if the differences are really ‘better.’
Anyway, I have returned the unit. Jose Jimenez, owner of Neutral Audio has been an absolute gentleman to deal with, despite the fact I decided not to keep the unit.
I began my audio obsession with a simple 2-way. Then I wanted a bigger sound as 2-way can never reproduce the full range that is needed for orchestral music. I have gone through many 3-way and 4-way designs. They surely sound much bigger, but somewhere along the path, the intimacy of a well engineered 2-way is lost.
Last night, I packed up the main modules of the Maestro S as Karl has once again come up with an upgrade that is said to further improve the overall performance of the Maestro S. After 15 minutes, I had the two main modules, weighing over 100lbs in two carton boxes. And as a temporary solution, I took off the center CRM in my HT setup and a spare CRM and put them on my Taobao-acquired, height adjustable speaker stands.
The CRM sounded just fantastic. They were actually better than the Maestro S in some ways, including their slightly less forward, more relaxed presentation. There is a level of coherence that a multi-way design simply cannot approach.
It is ironic. I have always craved for a bigger sound, but it is the smaller sound that I find more comfortable with.
So far, I have had about 6 people listened to the qøl.
All 6 came away feeling positive about it.
Strangely, it was the audiophiles who were less enthusiastic (at least initially).
The non-audiophiles, including one friend with a ‘bad ear’, were all very very impressed by what the qøl can do. I have asked these people do A/B comparisons before, and they could NEVER hear a difference. But the qøl made a definite impression on them.
The audiophile friends, at least one of them, went from ‘I don’t hear it’ to ‘I don’t understand’…ultimately he walked away convinced of it, but as most audiophiles, he never shook off his skepticism completely.
In the meantime, I now listen to my system 100% with qøl engaged.
I really should be a paid reviewer working for BSG Technologies, because what I am about to say here will likely sound like a senseless rave fill with hyperboles. But instead, I am as independent as you can find, at least as far as online reviewers go. I am nothing but a regular consumer who loves to find hidden gems in this hobby.
Even though BSG’s website states that their 30-day home trial offer is only limited to customers who live in the US and Canada, I emailed them anyway to ask if they are willing to send a unit to Hong Kong for a home trial, and in the case that I do return it at the end of the trial period, I will pay for the returned shipping. Within days after I wired BSG the money, the unit arrived.