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Another Perth Get Together (Accuphase^Accuphase + ATC)

My apologies for not getting around much these days - hopefully I'd be more active soon. Today I've spent some time at another Snakeoiler's place - and what do you know, he's into Accuphase too Heart!

His setup comprises of: 
  • Accuphase C-2850 Pre Amplifier
  • Accuphase A-45 Power Amplifier
  • Accuphase DC-37 DAC
  • Accuphase PS-530 Clean Power Supply
  • Snakeoil OS powered by modded JS-2
  • Living Voice Speakers with Custom Duelands Crossovers
  • Interconnects: Studio Connections - Black Star
  • Power Cables: Studio Connections and Ansuz Acoustics
  • Speaker Cables: Ansuz Acoustics

Yes you have read that right. Seated in the left middle shelf is the brand new PS-530. This is as hot off the press as one can get for audiophile equipment. Here's the closeup of the beautiful dial. So excited with this beauty my hands are shaking like a little boy. Big Grin


The PS-530 is beautifully made and beautifully engineered. Although we've only spent about 2 hours listening to the system, thanks to my positive Accuphase bias I already favour the PS-530 (and the previous PS-520) over any PS-Audio power generators. As a PS-Audio P5 owner myself, personally I find the PS-530 Clean Power Supply gives a more analog, slightly warmer and a less grainy high frequency presentation when compared to the PS Audio products. If anybody is looking for a power station, do audition an Accuphase if you can Thumbs Up. The Accuphase engineers really do know what they're doing.


Nothing less than the C-2850 preamplifier is tasked the responsibility of volume control and input switching. The younger brother of the C-3850, this control amplifier still packs a punch, giving this system more spatial height/width the previous preamplifier simply cannot produce. A good pre to me will literally bring a new dimension to a Hifi system - bring spatial width/height and and increased imaging depth. The C-2850 certainly did not disappoint me here.


Did I say Accuphase is beautiful? Here's the pop out control panel of the C-2850 - a classic design that will stand the test of time. This preamplifier has a phono card option. Hopefully the Snakeoiler will fit one soon, or perhaps he's thinking big with a a C-37 instead Dodgy?

Do wonder if the gain should be set to 24 dB though, probably better to just dial up the volume control instead? There's still 35 dB of headroom to give Think. If not wrong this is the gain setting used for the second pair of speakers (see later part of post).


Power amplification duty is handled beautifully by the Accuphase A-45 power amplifier. This amplifier handles the two sets of speakers on show today effortlessly. With a claimed output of 45 W per channel, this amplifier will definitely embarrass some of the bigger amplifiers offered by other manufacturers.


And we are not really stressing the A-45 at all Bored. Seems a pity to not let all the Accuphase watts loose. The Living Voice are very efficient speakers and this is all that's needed to get to normal listening volume. Cannot find any material on the day to max out the gauge, may have to re-visit this another dayshrug.


Two new toys are brought along for the ride too - an Accuphase CDP and a pair of ATC speakers! What mystery CDP do we have, you say?


It's an Accuphase of course Kiss! Thanks to Don's generosity in bringing his DP-550 over, now this system is complete. Using the Accuphase HS-Link to connect the CDP over to the DC-37 - the new combo instantly transform the system up a few notches!. Immediately lifting the sound stage higher up and wider too.

Certainly a a wake up call for me to continue to work hard to improve the Snakeoil OS Cry.


The second toy is the British made ATC SCM40. Here is a comparison of the two speakers side by side. Similar dimensions but different driver configuration. The living voice is more MTM like while the SCM40 is more traditional? I must admit I'm not fully clued in on these two speakers so I'd leave it at that.


Here is a close up of the ATC drivers. Think those hairs in the mid-range drivers are from JD's pet - Toby, Tony? His name escapes me now for some reason Confused! I wonder why the two wires are sticking out the mid-range. And no, you will not electrocute yourself when you touch those wires, perfectly safeLOL.


After a few tracks on the CDP we swapped out the Living Voice and try out the ATCs, these are the SCM40s - passive speakers driven by the A-45. Being less efficient I believe this is when the gain on the preamplifier is bumped up all the way to 24 dB.


We listened to a single track as shown in the setup above. Reckon the imaging and focus isn't right, the bass is a bit off too. So asked if we can play the same track again, but with the toppers placed back on the speakers. That was a positive change - better focus, better imaging and a marked improvement with the speed of the attack. The bass notes have a better tone definition to it now and is less boomy.

And for a lack of a better description, this improvement is brought about by placing two brick like devices on top of the speakers ROFL.

After the Toppers experience, we all agreed the spikes need to be put back on the SCM40s. And we found out the reason why the sound is off the first time - the speakers without spikes can be moved back and forth easily on the carpets. Here is another picture of the speakers - now spiked. Look almost identical as the previous picture, but the sound is very different. With a better foothold the SCM40s sound more commanding, more authoritative and with pretty good clarity and punch. So the Toppers doesn't just weigh the speakers down, they do work in canceling out the rocking movements of speakers. I expect one has to really dial the volume up all the way to 11 to really see the Toppers in action. Again something that is best done when I'm not present - gotta protect my ears and all.
[Image: not_listening.gif]


Here's the Snakeoil machine for the day, powered by a SoTM PCI USB card, and the modded JS-2.



All in all it was a nice session and I thoroughly enjoyed the time today. The time flew by so quickly but it was still a great day. The takeaway from today's GTG for me are: 
  • Gotta focus on improving the SQ of Snakeoil OS
  • Little things like speaker placement and spikes can affect the SQ in a big way. Thought we can get away without spiking the speakers. I'm really surprised that we can't.
That's all for now.
[Image: bye1.gif]
Stay tuned for more GTGs in Perth. Hopefully one day I have the time and opportunity to travel and visit overseas Snakeroilers' systems too Kiss .
Snakeoil Operating System - Music, your way!
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