Its been a while, with many changes!!!

Shelby1420

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Sooooooooooo, I have moved on from the Spendors and on to the GPA 604 8H ll, and at the same time with some extensive tube rolling finally settled on the Almarro A205a and moved on from the Marantz PM15S2B Limited!! This combo has proven to be the one that has caught my ear and has kept me engaged with the music.... the Altecs put up that wall of sound I have been missing so much since the departure of the Cornscalas but with so much more style and grace, that paired with the Almarro's 'to die for' magical mid reproduction, tis a match made in heaven.
 

marantzfan

Administrator
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Looking good Rick!

I really like the way your cabinets turned out. Also, I'm a little surprised (and not, oddly enough) that you ended up preferring the Almarro. I remember your initial findings being quite the opposite in favor of the Marantz.

Was it just a change in tubes that gave the Almarro the edge?
 

Shelby1420

Super Moderator
Staff member
Continued......Along with the Amp and speakers I needed a phono amp to go with the Almarro and have settled on the Pro-ject Phono Box RS, also at the same time I sold the Ortofon 2M Black and bought a Charisma MC-1!! As if that was not enough I decided to try for the first time ( for me anyway), a unipivot tonearm ( Consonance T 988)........I must say the combo has been delightful, with speed and dynamics and a naturalness to the music I just love!!!! One thing I have learned from this, I can never go back to a Gimbal tonearm, not after hearing this!!! Anyhow, just a quick update bout my system changes.......still having fun and enjoying the tunes..........
 

billfort

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Now why is it I thought you'd end up here? :)

Beautiful system Rick and I think I know where you're at - kind of heard that speaker/amp pairing myself and yeah, nice place to be.

I have to get down to hear this sometime!
 

4-2-7

Smart Ass Member
Beautiful looking system Rick, but I really need to stop looking at nice gear like this. It keeps making my want to change and try (BUY) more stuff. :smile:
 

billfort

Administrator
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I had the Pro-ject Phono Box in my system for a try, very nice sounding piece and super flexible.

How are you liking the Teac 503? Have you done much listening to DSD256? Not much native 256 out there but up-scaling is an interesting option with this DAC, both internally and externally. The VERITA AK4490 chipset used here has that hot-rod path around all the PCM processing - would love to hear this DAC with an 11.2MHz DSD feed direct from HQPlayer.
 

Shelby1420

Super Moderator
Staff member
David;n38261 said:
Oooooh nice lovely arm what is it?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Its the Consonance T 988, my first foray into the world of Unipivot........Its a completely different presentation, with the music jumping out of my speakers!!! Along with he Charisma cart this is by far the best I have ever had vinyl reproduction!!
 

Shelby1420

Super Moderator
Staff member
marantzfan;n38264 said:
Looking good Rick!

I really like the way your cabinets turned out. Also, I'm a little surprised (and not, oddly enough) that you ended up preferring the Almarro. I remember your initial findings being quite the opposite in favor of the Marantz.

Was it just a change in tubes that gave the Almarro the edge?

100% correct Anthony!!! Feel kinda dumb admitting this but had not even thought the tubes were getting on in age, they came with the unit.......A very gracious friend leant me a plethora of different tubes to try out in the Almarro and let me tell you I learned very quickly that tubes made huge impact of the sound!! Further to that when I popped the EL84's into the tube tester that came with the unit both tested at about 30%.....no wonder it sounded off to me!!!! After all the tube rolling I have settled on a pair of Tungsram EL84's from Upscale Audio as well as a Mullard box plate 12AX7, also from Upscale Audio and am delighted with the outcome!!!! Having said all of this I must admit that the Marantz surprised the hell outta me in terms of how bloody good it sounded with the Altecs, brilliant really........until I re tubed the Almarro that is!!!!
 

Shelby1420

Super Moderator
Staff member
David;n38274 said:
That Charisma is one pretty cart


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Agreed David, and it sounds bloody marvellous, hitting a very long way above its price point!!!
 

Shelby1420

Super Moderator
Staff member
billfort;n38311 said:
I had the Pro-ject Phono Box in my system for a try, very nice sounding piece and super flexible.

How are you liking the Teac 503? Have you done much listening to DSD256? Not much native 256 out there but up-scaling is an interesting option with this DAC, both internally and externally. The VERITA AK4490 chipset used here has that hot-rod path around all the PCM processing - would love to hear this DAC with an 11.2MHz DSD feed direct from HQPlayer.

Yup, still loving it Bill, completely opened my eyes and more importantly my mind how bloody good digital can sound!!!! Would love to bring it with me next time I'm down your way for a listen. I suspect your digital set up is wayyyyyyyyyy more advanced and ultimately optimal, then mine.


 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
On the Almarro. You know, I was more than a little surprised by your initial impression of this amp on the Altecs - I mean, I was shocked how good that little guy sounded on my old 604-8Gs, and I found it hard to believe your GPAs would be so different that they would sound kind of crappy on it. At first I figured it was just those drivers liking more power or maybe a different flavor preference on your part but I certainly wondered about that amp - was it working right?

Bum tubes - yup, that would explain it. Guess I'm back to being mightily impressed by EL84 single-ended and the Almarro in particular - especially on Altecs. :)

(thanks again for the eye opener Ernie!)
 

JohnVF

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Beautiful and unique setup. I can almost hear how good it sounds all the way out here!
 

Shelby1420

Super Moderator
Staff member
billfort;n38328 said:
On the Almarro. You know, I was more than a little surprised by your initial impression of this amp on the Altecs - I mean, I was shocked how good that little guy sounded on my old 604-8Gs, and I found it hard to believe your GPAs would be so different that they would sound kind of crappy on it. At first I figured it was just those drivers liking more power or maybe a different flavor preference on your part but I certainly wondered about that amp - was it working right?

Bum tubes - yup, that would explain it. Guess I'm back to being mightily impressed by EL84 single-ended and the Almarro in particular - especially on Altecs. :)

(thanks again for the eye opener Ernie!)

I know Bill, I feel kind of silly making such a beginner mistake!!! First thing I check with tube gear of any kind is the tubes themselves!!!! In this piece it makes a substantial difference as well, huge really!!!!
 
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