Postby Rick » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:17 pm
Had my A70's a couple of months now but this is the first chance I've really had to sit down with them.
Firstly, they look great. Had reservations on the design when I initially saw the picture but glad to say they really look the business. They are approx half standard width and double height. They have a much more 'heavy duty' look about them without looking industrial. In terms of engineering, fantastic. Weight is usually a good sign and they feel reassuringly heavy. The new heatsink is a good move. I came from Mk1 A40's and though they didn't have a difficult load, I was always conscious of heat. Of course the old design had its limitations, its nice to now have something without those problems to think about. It'll probably help with resale value too.
Sonically, its a big step from the A40's which are a stand out amp anyway. The A70's have a great range and seem to deal with any type of music with ease. They clearly have a bit more beef to them but it doesn't feel overpowering. Accuracy, clarity and drive just where you need it. I'm not one for HiFi speak as I don't understand it and mostly think it's rubbish but can honestly say (Kind of Blue) I've never heard trumpet like it, my heart did actually skip a beat! Overall a really great amp, excellent value and does what it's supposed to do without fuss.
I have had new the LS6 speaker cables for a week I guess and here are my impressions. I generally don't like writing reviews as I read them with a pinch of salt, but here it is straight and true.
My hi fi currently consists of Wired4sound DAC-A80's-ATC scm 35 speakers.
When I replaced my LS5 with the LS6 the first thing I noticed was unusual, it was that of fresh air, as if the speaker cable wasn't there at all. A very strange discription I know but that is the easiest way to describe it.
The second most obvious difference is it is as if I am no longer listening to hifi but instruments and musicians, that is not listening to black boxes and speakers but dynamic and passionate people expressing themselves through voice or instruments. A bass guitar has more texture making it sound not replicated but real etc... The Imaging is incredible, you don't just hear where a note starts and stops but also where the image of one instrument is and where the next one begins, nothing merges together but everything is well planted and all works together and you can hear strands of detail all over the place, what speaks to me the most is the shear transparency, natural and full range of the cable, as I said it is as if it's not there.
There is a Jack Johnson song called Pictures of people taking pictures, and it starts with such quiet quiet detail, you can hear Jacks voice dead centre really quietly starting off the sound it is quite incredible.
After a couple of days I popped the LS5 back in. Comparatively the LS5 sounded a bit harsh and nasal, it was too forward, I had to turn the volume down a bit. LS5 obviously a great cable, but the LS6 is so open, relaxed, honest and enables music to have this staggeringly realistic sound.
I also popped a pair of TQ black in after the LS5 that I had in a second system. Comparatively the TQ is a rich Phat sound, with round and controlled bass. I immediately thought this sounded nice but coloured. The more I used the TQ black the more I liked it. After a couple of hours I popped the LS6 back in, then i realised how muddy and blurred the TQ is, again a great cable but it's not an honest picture. The full bass I love with the TQ is there with the LS6 but controlled and there isn't the bloom you find with the TQ, just a confident solid sound.
To me the LS6 really is a new reference cable and for £210 for a 1.5m pair is a no brainer if Richard will trade in my LS5.
Postby Ubik-energy » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:35 pm
Although according to NVA advise, being this amp my first NVA product I forcefully intoduced it in my system, based on an active preamp. The nva replaces a reference class D diy power amp of 50 watts per channel, on which i had happily settled previously.
Already at first glance, and cold, the nva gave me the feeling to be smoother and much better balanced in frequencies reproduction. In fact I always had the feeling the class D amp was outstanding in the bass department, but a bit over dark in the mid band.
Anyway, NVA left connected and planned the morning after for a a serious listening. Done it, and the impression is of pure silk smoothness, really extended at the band extremes. The music flows with easyness and the soundstage is wide and deep, a true 3d impression, while the class d was just 2d.
Nuances and musicians presence is both dispensed in large amounts. Oh, another thing i noticed, is how easy this amp fills the room with sounds. Timbre is top notch and as many others noticed in reviews, there is not any sign of artificial sibilances in vocals, unless present in the recording.
I had a bad thurnderstorm yesterday and today as well, so i had unfortunately to plug it off, stopping the break-in process, but more music and sensations to the next sessions. To conclude, i was skeptical before hearing this amp, or better said, I was not attracted as usual by that marketing hype, that accompany big names of audio. I only had a kid ingenuity for a strange black cube. After hearing it I must admit its not only seducing, it goes further....it conquers you with the power of music. This amp stays here, Mr Richard ! Thanxs so much for your fabolous work full of passion, and i dont know if it will be for a cable upgrade or another nva amp, but you will hear again from me:-)
I was already perfectly happy with LS6 between my A80 Mk1's and Cube 1's, and doubted how much they could be improved on. But I was intrigued by the comments in praise of LS7 and decided to give it a try (especially with the generous upgrade option and 30 day returns policy).
For a brand new cable, first impressions were very positive. Music was immediately more dynamic, bass and treble more prominent and the flow of the music noticeably easier to follow. The sound just seemed to fill the room more, as if the 156 cores had opened the floodgates.
LS7 is very revealing of whatever it's presented with. I had been making adjustments to my PL-71 and at first vinyl sounded bright and harsh. It turned out that LS7 was highlighting the effects of misalignment in the arm and cartridge.
Differences in recording and pressing quality are also more apparent. I never knew just how much detail was hidden in the grooves of some of my old LP's. Again, presentation was vibrant and involving. As impressive as LS7 is at resolving detail, it's the ability to convey the spirit and emotion in a recording that draws me in. This was already apparent with my NVA setup, so I imagine that LS7 is allowing more of these characteristics to come through.
The usual NVA qualities of space, dynamics and realism were enhanced with LS7. Any initial brightness was short-lived with the sound becoming smoother as the cables were run in. LS7 will not hide any deficiencies, as I found with the Pioneer, but will be transparent to upgrades and other changes.
I only needed to switch once between LS6 and LS7 as the improvement was all too obvious. I find that I soon stop trying to listen to a new cable in its own right and start to think of it as an integral part of the system. In this case, it appears to be the "missing link" in my system, allowing it to show its true potential. NVA products are designed to complement each other and my experience of SSP, LS5, LS6 and now LS7 confirms that a cable upgrade can make a significant contribution to the overall performance.
The price may be quite a jump from the more affordable NVA cables, but for me its performance and construction more than justify the price, and reinforce the benefits of following the NVA upgrade path.
It will be interesting to see how much and for how long the LS7 continues to improve with use. What I do know is it won't be going back after the 30 day trial.
Postby daws0n » Fri May 30, 2014 6:48 pm
I've recently taken delivery of a pair of LS6 speaker cable. I don't own any NVA gear, but my Exposure amplifier has low capacitance requirements as well so I thought I would give it a try. I've been a bit of a cable skeptic and have rarely delved into the expensive stuff but comparisons to (previously owned) TQ and Mr Dunn's straight talking got my interest.
It's replaced some cheap and cheerful Linn K20 (which I was perfectly happy with) and the difference is really something unexpected - there's an improved perception of transient response / immediacy dynamically speaking. It's not in your face, it's subtle but worthwhile.... Everything is clearer across the board with a bigger sense of scale. My dynaudio speakers now have a plumper low end too which is never a bad thing
Very pleased all in all and still bewildered as to how something as simple as a length of cable can improve sound so much when done right. I've experienced close before, but not this good.
My gripe however is that it's quite inflexible and difficult to hide away unlike the k20. Any tips on how best to achieve this?
Postby guy » Mon May 05, 2014 4:04 pm
Wallace was right, told me that I would soon be looking for an NVA Phono.
Well, a Phono 2 came up on ebay at a good price (nearest and dearest thinks otherwise!) and I couldn't resist. unfortunately, I misunderstood the item description and needed to get it converted to MM input.
Doc agreed to carry out the conversion (at very short notice) and at a very reasonable price (£30). How many other manufacturers offer this level of service on second hand equipment? So, quick drive to Epping on Saturday morning - sorry for arriving a little earlier than agreed - job done and now connected up.
Strange, but the "warming up"/settling in process seems to be far more pronounced with the Phono 2 than with the P50/A40's. Due to the change in resistors when changed to MM input perhaps?
I could appreciate the extra detail/information, when compared to the Edwards Apprentice, from the word go but today WOW
Detail, pace, coherence above all - different instruments in the mix "hang together".
Dynamics from my Dynavector DV20X are now much more evident. I had missed my 10X5 and considered the 20X to be a retrograde step in this regard, no such concerns now.
I tried my SSC between Phono and preamp using SC between pre and powers but find that I feel more comfortable using them the other way around (short SC between Phono and pre). Not sure why this should be the case, gut feeling made me thing that the "better" cable should be earlier in the chain.
I think that this will be the end to my major upgrades/changes for the moment, honest!
Just very happy with the sounds. Thanks to all involved and to Doc for being very helpful.
All the best. Guy.
Postby _D_S_J_R_ » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:13 pm
Doc and all, thanks so much for allowing me to be here and lately, to be able to turn to the dark side
The SC and LS5 are superb IMO and can easily be used safely in any half decent system. The 'normal' stuff I'm using is a fig 8 version of the old Cable Talk 4.1, which sold for £4.50m. No 'edge' or 'grain' but perhaps a little full bodied in tone (the related 3.1 could be a little stark and 'HiFi' in direct comparison, but still tons better than QED SA). The LS5 reminds me of the heavier duty CT Concert 2 I used to sell, but possibly better, the sound being more 'positive' and better in the bass, yet totally unforced - the way I expect a heavier duty cable of quality to provide.
Put it this way, I'm not sure I want to give the LS5 back, so there! (I'll confirm prices and deal with it accordingly...)
Now to the AP20! Forgive the sort-of mini-review, but some readers may never have experienced the brand hands-on before.
Firstly, the subjective feelings about the box itself HAVE to be stated I think. Carefully unwrapping it reminded me of the Croft stuff I love so much. This sample even looks a bit like an old Croft too, volume on the left and input selector on the right - hell, even my old SMA IVPP has the same bloody knobs on! The feeling that one man assembled it appeals to me as well. The panels fit and are finished nicely too - maybe some info on keeping the finish wouldn't do any harm as shiny finishes and greasy mitts don't mix... The volume control feels very slick and the selector is light to operate.
Connecting up and operating couldn't be easier. Since the ONLY requirement is careful choice of speaker cables, I don't think this is a big deal at all in this instance. The phono sockets are perfectly ok for the likes of SC and SSC and the 4mm sockets happily accept the 'Z Plugs' soldered to the LS5 cables. neat, tidy and no risk of nasty amp-destroying shorts.
Now, I play at very low volume most of the time so any amp I use is barely ticking over. The little system I use in the 'office' comprises of, for CD, Denon 1520 as transport into the 'Ton-Up' Digit, AVI S2000MP+P pre with HH VX300 power amp into Rogers LS5/9 speakers. The speakers were designed 'flat' but something happened post development and all production samples have a 'distant' perspective, along with the larger active LS5/8 model. The bass on these 5/9's can be very 'squidgy' and full-of-itself if not sited properly, but the mid is very open and clear, given half a chance. After giving the AP20 ten minutes or so to stabilise (it sounded a bit 'forced' on first switch-on) I was stunned by how much better the bass quality was. I'm used to tight bass from my old Crown 'D' series power amps - they made a huge thing about high damping factor - and this is something the AP20 does in spades - but recent tellings off on other forums has persuaded me to not think about high damping factor being important. Well, this little amp redresses this big-time! since its output impedance is so low. The 5/9's don't go low enough to see how extended the perception of tight bass goes, but from lower-mid bass upwards, the quality is excellent and almost like going active. This sense of control seems to go into the midrange too, studio effects and reverb carelessly applied in a mix being easily reproduced. ABSOLUTELY NO HARSHNESS! Treble is clean and well reproduced. Can't go deeper as my gear and ears aren't really good enough. Definitely a monitor-grade amp and highly addictive in its sonics.
If I do get to visit hifi dave next week, I'm glad I'd be allowed to take the AP20 over for a comparison with what I still regard as the best universal all-rounder for general purpose use at around five hundred notes. Currently, I'm thinking the AP20 may well be a tier or two above this, but ONLY if you use the recommended cables (the Brio R has to be more all-things-to-all-men I think, so summat will have to give in the process I believe).
Finally, just to say I think that this is the sort of amp Naim should have started making. Clear, tight as a drum without drying the sonics out, superb imaging and totally without the treble grain and thumpy bass the current models have. That ancient RCA PA circuit Naim still use/abuse really has come to the end and things have moved well on now. One day, I'd love to try the bigger NVA amps, but for now, the only other amp manufacturer that comes to mind with a similar sort of presentation is Albarry, and despite the silly prices as dictated by one of the northern stockists, the presentation is very similar. These amps, and definitely including the AP20, make passive speakers sound more like good active ones and even though the Doc loathes BBC inspired designes with a passion, I can honestly say I can think of few other amps and speakers that would do the job as well, let alone better..
Thanks again for letting me try this
Postby Gromit » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:40 pm
Bloody hell Gromit, are you simply out to make us, (me), feel as envious as possible?!
That's the plan.
The Phono 1's been switched on all night since about 7pm yesterday so it had a good few hours - admittedly without signal but with electrons whizzing through it nonetheless.
I've owned an MM Phono1 before, and found it to be a really rounded, enjoyable phonostage but never actually heard the MC version. The MC is noisier - there's no doubt there - but show me a phonostage which isn't (c/w its MM equivalent) and I'd be very surprised. The P1 is more sensitive to hum - plus having its own transformer inside the case it doesn't get isolated as well as the P2 which, once sited properly, is very quiet electrically.
Really it's a case of 'less of the same' vs the P2. It's softer, doesn't hit as hard - there's more warmth to the bass and it's not as quick-footed, as though there's more intertia. In my system the P1 doesn't quite have the 'cut' on stuff like ride cymbal that the P2 has either. You could argue the P1 is 'nicer' to listen to and perhaps less revealing? The P1 still has good drive though, and locks onto rhythms well - insert the P2 though and it's as though the music's tyres have been pumped up. Until you hear what the P2 can do, the P1 feels just fine.
Between all of them I'd stick my neck out here and say that yes, there is a decent jump (and most definitely worth the £ - not one jot of doubt in my mind in fact) from P1 to P2. However - and this surprised me - the real deal is when the 2nd psu is added. There's no real increase in inner detail, but it's the way the dynamic lid is lifted. Everything tightens up - the hifi bits do (yawn) of course, but the important bit - the music - just gains direction and purpose.
For me it'd have to be the P2/2xPSU. The P1 is a great stage, especially as a first rung on the ladder but you just know the P2 is inevitable.
Postby evilC » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:16 pm
Yes, folks I'm the one with the silly grin on his face! :D
When my A80 developed a fault I reverted back to an old (very old) ali cased A60. Upgrading to LS6 (from LS1) and recently from P50 to P90SA meant I wasn't really missing the A80s.
The TSS arrived. With a BUMP. Man, is that P/S heavy!
The first record sounded OK, but I have learnt never to judge NVA kit on first install.
I guess it probably took about 2-3 hours to 'warm-up'. By the next day there was no stopping it, or me. Playing old and new favourites, hearing something and thinking 'I wonder what ... sounds like now?' - so there was a lot of track jumping. It is all those little details at the back of the mix that that are now so clear. Those once complex passages that aren't anymore.
The P90SA added detail, but the TSS added space and character. Although neither has added anything - they are just less in the way than anything else I have had.
I have just got a glimpse of how good applemarc's system must be!