New Adventures in Chi-Fi

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Fretless
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

Just for fun, found this very enthusiastic guy trying out the Aiyima A07 Max in mono mode.
Video review here:

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slinger (Mon Jan 15, 2024 2:57 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Latteman
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Latteman »

Very entertaining
Roll on pre amp
Analogue Source -
Denon DP47f; AT-VM95SH
GL-59; ARB uni pivot; AT- Signet
Ifi Zen Phono
Doug Self balanced Pre amp
Akai 4000DS mk2 R2R
Digital Sources- Argon Pi4 v2; IfI iUSB 3.0, Ifi Neo idsd Dac;
Tidal / Radio Paradise
Amplification Nva 300va mono blocks
Speakers Lii Audio F-15 in Open Baffle; Ls6
Weiduka AC8.8- for digital sources
Mini BMU for analog sources

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Fretless
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

There's a new kid in town that is receiving a lot of attention on the Web; the Fosi ZA3.

Image

A direct answer from competitor Fosi to the Aiyima A07 MAX, the ZA3 is also stereo/mono switchable and uses the same TPA3255 Class D chipset. In addition, the ZA3 also has XLR inputs and is physically bigger than the A07 MAX; in fact it looks remarkably similar in spec and price to my Sabaj A10a 2022 amps, although they are based around a German-designed Infineon chip.

However, the initial 2000-unit production run of the ZA3 has sold out (probably to online reviewers) so if you want one (or two :grin:) you will have to pre-order for the next batch shipping in March/April. Price is probably about 150 pounds per amp - for which you can get a pair of A07 MAX ! :mrgreen:

On the litttle Aiyima's in my downstairs rig - they are sounding incrementally a little better each day. There is a lovely rich and creamy midrange from these amps with the treble smoothing out nicely. Imaging and detail are incredible! Still a bit of artificial sheen overall and I'm missing deep bass extension. But they have only been in place for 3 days and it took the Sabaj amps a good 10 days to come on song. Chip-based hifi undergoes a process whereby the most-used pathways within the chips need time to, literally, burn-in and open up. This audibly improves the resulting sound quality - but it does take a while.

Image

Initially I had them stacked but they felt rather warm, so I have put them one behind the other and they now feel cool even when running. Wiring is DH Labs Air Matrix interconnects (DAC => NVA P50 preamp => A07 amps) and Supra Classic 4.0 speaker cable. Running a €120 i/c into a €80 amp might seem like overkill but experience is showing me that this is a good way to get the best out of components.

-------------------------------------------------

What in heaven's name (you might ask) has happened to hardcore NVA Fanboy Fret? Playing with strange toys after keeping the faith for 40 years - is he losing his religion and turning Japanese or something?

Well, yes and no. You will never hear anything but praise for NVA equipment from me - these amps are the basis from which I judge all other Hifi and the older and current models represent the absolute best that British audio has to offer. So there.

:snooty:


However - like Kipling's Elephant's Child - I am full of 'satiable curiosity and just like playing around with Hifi gear. Also a lack of infinite financial reserves means that I have to restrict my interests to the affordable (read: cheap) end of the spectrum so it is a process of sifting through the mud in search of the occasional gold nugget that might appear. Chinese Hi-fi, certainly at the moment, is a rich seam of bargains as companies strive against each other to produce great-sounding devices at low prices - from which we audio-nuts can benefit.

The bargain-hunter in me also gets extremely satisfied when such a 'hobby' purchase far exceeds expectations and gives high-end components a run for their money - see recent purchases like the SMSL M300se DAC. Okay, there are still clunkers and mistakes to be made - but Amazon has an excellent returns policy. :dance:

And the music - it's really all about the music innit? NVA amps are rather 'introvert' in that they create a space that invites you to step in and bathe in the music. Class D amplifiers are distinctly 'extrovert', pushing dynamics and detail right up close and personal. This enormous difference in presentation makes it actually quite impossible to compare the two experiences and it comes down to what you (or I) are wanting at the time of listening.

Maybe over a year I have had enough of instruments being shoved in my face and noticing that the third piccolo has just blown his nose in the middle of Mahler's 2nd symphony - maybe not. For the time being, I am thoroughly enjoying a fresh voyage into a new (and affordable) sonic universe, appreciating what new technology can bring and giving respect to the masters by whose qualities all others must be measured.


Rant over - as you were. :ugeek:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post (total 3):
TheRealAleman (Wed Jan 17, 2024 11:58 am) • slinger (Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:41 pm) • Grumpytim (Thu Jan 18, 2024 3:53 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

Swamper68
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Swamper68 »

Fretless wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2024 2:35 pm
karatestu wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2024 9:02 am So what's the best way to tame the top end (if required) of this type of amp Fret ? With the source or speakers ?
Mainly speakers. Shrill/bright speakers are not good with class D.

Many DACs these days have PCM filters that control treble roll-off.

And there are always tone controls, equalisers and DSP processing.

My tips: leave Class D amps on 24/7 and give them a week to settle in.

They aren't for everyone but can be serious music -makers.
Absolutely agree with that.
Having owned a pair or Roxsan oxygen's for around 5 years they can be very smooth/ detailed and controlled as long as paired to the right speakers (Roksan Darius S1s) in my case.
I did pair them up to a pair of Fine F1-5s and its was way to much, harsh and completely in your face (like an attention seeking kid).
It lasted around 1 hour before I took them back off.
My only problem with them really was that i have to run them it above 60% for them to get the speakers singing, at low levels they sounded flat.
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Fretless (Thu Jan 18, 2024 4:58 pm)

Grumpytim
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Grumpytim »

We have a Fosi TPA3116 in the dressing room which has been doing sterling service into a pair of old KEF's of some description for a number of years. Would I want it in the main system, probably not, but it does sound really good for it's price.

Plus it means that when you crank it up we have music in the bathroom, no bad thing at times.
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Fretless (Thu Jan 18, 2024 4:58 pm)

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

:think: Hmmm ... interesting.

Last night I noticed a definite lack of extension in the bass of the A07 MAX setup in comparison to the Sabal A10a's - which go really deep. So I tried a little experiment.

I played several albums with serious low end bass-work like UB40 'Signing Off' and PIL 'Metal Box', this to give the low-frequency end a bit of a workout. Firing up the system this morning with fresh ears, I can hear a certain improvement in the fullness and reach of the lower end. Not there yet - but on the way.

So it seems that these amps do need to be 'trained' to provide the full range of frequencies. Treble and mids are sounding quite excellent and I'm really happy so far. For the ridiculously low price, they can certainly satisfy my tired old ears. You can tell that audio engineers have mastered the implementation of Class D and the bright, metallic edge of old has now completely gone.

Tangerine Dream 'Green Desert' - that's another bass-blast!

:dance:

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

Okay folks, after a week of fairly intensive use of the Aiyima A07 MAX monoblock amps I feel that I am able to deliver a verdict on how they perform.

After which I will shut up about them and stop irritating the hell out of you all with my incessant ravings. Promise.

:pray:

So, after starting off a bit brittle and flat, the sound blossomed with sweet highs, a rich, pronounced midrange and a tightly-controlled bass that is still deepening and expanding.

If you didn't know and heard these blind you might well mistake them for a Class A/B design as they sound distinctly non-Class D. Detail, soundstage and imaging are all outstanding and due to the mildness of the treble they are rather forgiving to poorer recordings.

What they do lack is that effortless, spacious refinement that you get from, for example, NVA amplifiers. But for the budget-basement price you get a pair of tiny powerhouses that offer a solid introduction to 'That Audiophile Experience'.

Image

For starters, second systems and those with 150 quids-worth (the pair!) of curiosity the A07 MAX is an amp to consider and I can guarantee that you will have some fun with it.

:dance:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post (total 3):
karatestu (Sun Jan 21, 2024 1:07 pm) • slinger (Sun Jan 21, 2024 2:22 pm) • CN211276 (Sun Jan 21, 2024 7:38 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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karatestu
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by karatestu »

You are starting to become the resident class d amp guru Fret. How many more different ones are you going to try ?
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Fretless (Sun Jan 21, 2024 7:42 pm)
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Fretless
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

I'm very happy for now.

Depends on what is cheap and available.

:banana-linedance: :banana-linedance: :banana-linedance:

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Fretless
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

I promised I wouldn't but I can't help myself - I am so glad to be back home and listening to music through my various installations again!

The baby Aiyima amps were left on for the whole week I was away, although nobody used them. Somehow they seem to have 'bedded-in' in a remarkable way and sound better than they did before.

An increase in fullness with the mids better integrating with highs and lows. Bass has certainly grown in stature and I have no criticism there anymore. These amplifiers project a 'presence' into the room that I simply love.

The rich, mellow sound is different to the more neutral Sabaj set upstairs but oh so enjoyable. You could say the A07 MAX lacks subtlety but it's other characteristics more than compensate.

Happy bunny! :animals-bunny:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post (total 2):
slinger (Wed Jan 31, 2024 5:59 pm) • Latteman (Wed Jan 31, 2024 6:37 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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