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Unread post by CN211276 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:41 am


Having not seen pictures I was immediately struck by the thickness and weight of the cable. It looks a lot different to the SSP Mk 2 which it replaced between my pre amp and mono blocks.

From the off it was apparent that the sound was better. The main difference was the sound stage in terms of width and to a greater extent depth. There is more space between everything, something I have experienced with every NVA purchase. Drums are further back, allowing more room for other instruments and vocals to “breathe”.

Most of the music I listen to is dominated by the electric guitar. With the TIS Mk2 instrumentation lower in the mix is more prominent, increasing enjoyment. This was very much apparent with Mick Ronson’s guitar solo at the end of Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream”, the piano being a lot more to the fore front. Another example is early Whitesnake albums where Jon Lord’s keyboards are often low in the mix behind the guitars.

I have also detected a slight improvement in dynamics with cymbal crashes having a bit more “bite”. Bass also seems to be slightly better defined.
The SSP Mk2 is now connecting the Phono 1 to the P50 SA. The improvements to vinyl reproduction are similar to those described above, but in addition there is noticeably more detail, especially with higher frequencies. My review of the Phono 1 on page 14 did not do it justice because the interconnector I was using was holding it back. This might seem strange, but to my ears the sound from vinyl is now more digital. I think there is a two way effect with digital sounding warmer and less clinical with the TIS Mk 2.

In the context of my system I am very pleased with the TIS Mk2 and it is a worthwhile upgrade.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, Chord Mojo, NVA P50SA, NVA A80sMk2, NVA Cube 3s, NVA LS6, NVA TIS mk2, NVA SSP mk2, Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110 cartridge, NVA Phono 1, NVA BMU, Grado SR 325e headphones.

Second system
Arcam Miniblink Bluetooth DAC, Marantz pm 5004, Wharfdale Diamond 121, QED 79 strand.

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Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:15 pm

P20/A20 - some thoughts 6 months on

alfafan123 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:27 pm

I see that the P20/A20 Loan Scheme is back up and running again so thought that some potential purchasers might like to hear my thoughts (warts and all) after six months or so of ownership and after the initial euphoria has worn off.I hope this might encourage potential buyers of the P20/A20 package to take advantage of the loan scheme and try it for themselves.

I expect that like many people who count hifi and music as their hobby I have owned many different products and makes of gear over the years. However some make me feel like why on earth did I buy that? or Hmmm not bad but doesn't really engage to Wow! or this is a grower and/or a keeper.

After a small initial problem with a bridge rectifier which RD sorted (thanks Doc) I have now owned my P20/A20 for a little over 6 months and in frequent use it has worked flawlessly. However reliability although laudible it is not what makes me keep gear and neither is value for money. It has to communicate emotionally to me and make me want to listen to music.

I use my P20/A20 in my small study hooked up to my iMac as source and via the suppled LS2 cables into JBL Control 1 speakers (89Dbw) in a near field desktop configuration. My initial reaction was Wow! it is so easy to hear everything without any grain or harshness with bass notes that stop and start and that is still true after 6 months but I would add now that music just sounds right. It is like the musicians/vocalists are well rehearsed and playing together. Not the most dramatic of comments I grant you but it is rare that I now think oh that is a terrible recording so it reproduces musical timing exceptionally well. I find that I can relax while listening and simply enjoy the music which sounds open, dimensional and dynamic. Cymbals and percussion sound clear as a bell but are not bright or fatiguing and do not get drowned out in complex or busy mixes. Similarly vocals have an organic coherence that makes intelligibility of lyrics easy.

Another comment is I find the design and appearance of both items classy, understated and yet also attractive and something I have not tired of. IMHO it makes some of the gear on the market just look ridiculously over-styled/over-engineered.

A few further thought re living with it everyday..the A20 is very very quiet both acoustically (inaudible at >2ft) and electrically (important for near field listening) and despite its modest power happily drives my Rega RX3s (also 89Dbw) in my main system in a much larger room. It is also gentle on switch on emitting only a very soft "plop" and virtually silent to switch off...so no nasty loud pops or clicks. I have found it good practise to keep my mobile phone away from the units to avoid occasional interference.

So the P20/A20 is a keeper that has grown on me and continues to do so. Just use it with efficient speakers and you will have dynamics in spades that you never have dreamed of from a 25wpc amp and it has never sounded weedy with my speakers.

IMHO the P20/A20 package is exceptional in todays market not only for value for money which is pretty obvious but more importantly for its musical performance which is extraordinary and is something that puts a smile on my face as its many engaging qualities continue to become apparent to me.

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Unread post by karatestu » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:13 pm

I bought one of the Doc's TIS mk2 (the interconnect statement) cables he had on offer a little while ago.Only just got around to installing it :roll: . As i have multiple power amps which have interconnects hardwired at one end i thought it would be easier to try the cable between my Naim CD3.5 and Avondale DIY preamp. After changing the stupid din sockets on the Naim cdp and hooking up the TIS we were good to go.....

The following is copy and pasted from my thread on the TIS............................

TIS cable is in and I am currently listening to Stevie wonder Innervisions :dance: That bus is in the room again doc :lol: Very interesting but I have not listened any way near enough yet to make any comments apart from I can hear more of the music :guiness; . I have replaced a cable and sockets in one go so I don't know what did what between them.

More listening to do..............

I am currently playing Weather Report Domino Theory. Yes I know , AGAIN. I have a about 15 cd's I listen to when playing about with my system and this is one of them.

I have just had one of the longest tingling, hairs stuck up on the back of my neck moments. Very emotional - I almost wept with joy the music moved me so much. It was the last track on the album - Domino Theory. All of you who don't like Jazz (or Jazz fusion as this is known) are probably shaking your heads thinking how can I be moved by a "random collection of noises". Well I can and it has just happened. Being a drummer helps I suppose and jazz is the pinnacle of drumming.

In the track Domino Theory I am suddenly very more aware of Wayne Shorter's saxophone. In places his parts are exactly the same as Joe Zawinul's (RIP)keyboard parts - so very together that sometimes I could not make out the full tone and sound of each. I most definitely can now. It brought tears to my eyes listening to how well those two interacted and played together, and the increased information around each instrument brought some magic moments where the full intention and brilliant technique of the musicians were brought over.

More later when I have listened more. It's karate training tonight though which will put a spanner in the works........................

I am currently sat captivated in my listening chair, unable to move with mouth open a lot of the time. Reminds me of being stoned, it is that good :grin: . I never thought that cables could make such a difference, but they can :shock: I have obviously never heard a really good cable up to now. Eyes wide open.

There is much more information present with this TIS between CDP and preamp. Call it information, detail or whatever you want but it is not the kind of upgrade that would happen if improving a regulator or power supply and it is never in your face or unpeasant. It is a different kind of detail where the instruments sound more like the real thing rather than a faxcimile of it. The whole of the instrument is there - resonating, harmonic detail which is so beautiful I want to weep again :roll:

I am finding most improvement in the mid and high frequencies. The shimmer of cymbals, sound effects put on instruments etc etc. I can hear further into the recording, even the room where it was recorded. Soundstage and imaging have been improved. Even though my semi Omni speakers are not well known for their imaging the improvement is clear to the ears :dance:

Once again the atmosphere of the recording and the beautiful, technical playing of the musicians is what shines through with this cable.

More listening to do........

Another observation.

I am hearing the best vocals I have ever had. So clear and natural. Also less sibilance which is nice. I can hear the individual parts in multi layered vocals better. Listening to Sheryl Crow (the track "Home")at the moment and I have never wanted to screw her more than now :whistle:

Earlier I was listening to Portishead Dummy and I never thought that Beth Gibbons was that good a vocalist. Now I can clearly hear that she is better than I had given her credit for :dance:................................

Back on topic......

These TIS really are someting special. The music has never been so good.

Lets see how many i need...

1) CDP to pre check
2)Phono1 to pre
3)Preamp to poweramp1
4)Preamp to poweramp2
5)Preamp to poweramp3 (when i get round to adding another for triamping)

Looks like i need another four - better get saving up.

Plus, i was thinking of adding yet another amp so each bass driver gets its own amp instead of paralleling the two isobaric bass drivers. This will get expensive.

To conclude, this TIS cable is exceedingly good and probably even better than that. I was not prepared for the jump in the musical ability of my system when adding this cable. I use a super sound cord in my other other system and knew that was good but this cable is so much in a different league it could almost be from another planet. Music has never been so good for me. In the words of Abba:

"So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me"
I love fluffy bunnies

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Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:14 am

Re: P20 / A20 starter pre and power amplifier loan

Post by ArloFlynn » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:52 am

A review of my short time with the P20/A20 NVA loan system.

First CD’s –

If I have anything new to demo (not happened too often) I always start with one of my favorite albums of all time, ‘’Low’’ – David Bowie
First 4 tracks kick in – ‘Speed of life’, ‘Breaking glass’, ‘What in the world’ then ‘Sound and Vision. Initially each song to my ears is slightly slower than what I am used of. However come the end of each track I am not noticing it. Bass and kick drum are banging away together well which is what makes side 1 of the album for me, so no disappointment there. Bowie’s vocals are slightly back in the mix too, but none the less, still in charge of the music, if you could picture the stage, I would say he is more in with the other musicians. On the Valve system his vocals are more prominent and forward of the instruments, making him stand out perhaps a little more than intended. His voice is also sounding a little sweeter rather than darker. Last time I saw Bowie live (one of his last concerts), I was in row 3 centre mic and he was ‘hangin 10’ most of the time – Very forward.

Next up ‘D’ White Denim
First 3 tracks – ‘It’s him’, ‘Burnished’, ‘Down at the farm’
I love this album, it’s in ya face, full on, looping mental all or nothing guitars, with a splattering of strings and woodwind here or there, however it’s not an album I can sit in front of the speakers and listen to, I normally have to leave the room, turn up the volume and get on with cooking tea or something. It sounds rubbish at low volume and at high seems to lose the musicality and sounds too loud and messy. With the P20/A20 though, I was able to sit and listen, and what a listen, everything was pushed back and positioned into its place, I could pick out the guitars, loops and heavy production work in the mix, it was no longer too ‘loud and in ya face’, but just ‘in ya face’. Cut the descriptive crap, it was a blistering listen, especially ‘Burnished’- poo’d all over any other listen of this album. Top marks. (Should buy it just to hear White Denim as I think they were intended) Everyone else was disappointed though, as they had to get their own tea.

Then Records –
1st up, ‘Low’ Bowie. Side1 - It sounded exactly the same as the CD, which I was not expecting, I really couldn’t detect a difference between the CD and Vinyl.

Next up
‘Never mind the Bollocks...’. Sex Pistols. Side1 – Very easy to listen to, I can pick out the instruments, Guitar, Bass, Drums, making it easier to follow the songs. Again, Johnny’s vocals are back in the mix and more relaxed than usual. This is another album I find it hard to listen to without upping the volume, making my ears bleed. I do have to push the volume on the NVA, but it makes it less loud and powerful and more detailed instead. I found this happened with a couple of other albums I tried.

‘Transfomer’ – Lou Reed. Side 1 – I had stopped analyzing by now and just got on and enjoyed the music. It did sound good though, nothing lacking to how It normally sounds.

One thing I think I have learned with listening to the P20/A20 is, what ‘detail’ is. I always thought detail meant more sort of sharp splashy treble with less head nodding, foot tapping rhythm and rocking. Wrong! I think detail is less loudness, more musicality and space, so you can hear the instruments without losing any of the stuff that makes it rock.

The P20/A20 is just great, and stands up well to my system. I will definitely recommend it to a friend of mine who is just starting out. Will I be buying one? No! But that’s because I will be buying an NVA amp further up the ladder.



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