Since you're not getting a reply may I ask how it's going for you on the break in? I know you've got a way to go. What speakers do you have? I ask because I run Harbeths and I've heard so many good things about the LFD.
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Hello Donjr. I have Joseph Audio RM7 XLs a neutral speaker for sure, not bright, but certainly detailed. After running a signal, (cd on repeat) through the LFD 24/7 for the past 6 days, I'm beginning to think a soft dome tweeter speaker such as the Harbeth may be the way to go with this amp. As it sounds now, I'm disappointed to report that the LFD is just not rounding out as I had hoped, sounding every bit as bright, thin and brassy as any other solid state amp. If your interested, I'll give you a great deal on a week old LFD NCSE Mk II. Thanks
Hi Jayh31, I could be wrong be I think Donjr has Compact 7ES-3 which have a metal dome tweeter ( and he likes his). Conversely when I tried the NCSE mk I with my soft domed Harbeth M30's I also didn't care for the sound ( similar result to what it looks like your experience)
I possibly didn't spend enough time 'burning 'it in. ( personally not that convinced it'll make that much of a difference). But as you now have it. I would give it a bit more time just in case it does change/settle down more to your liking.
Selling it after a couple of months as opposed to a few weeks won't changed its resell value.
Yes, I have the C7es3. I love my speakers. I've been trying to find a ss amp to replace my Rogue Cronus Magnum that fills the room like the Rogue does. I have the Ayre ax7es right now (in home demo) and it's too bass shy. I'm not a big bass guy but i need more than I'm getting now with the Ayre. I don't have a space for a sub. The only reason I want to lose the Rogue is that I listen to more music when I run solid state because of being able to leave it on. I'm not so sure I'm ever going to be able to find a ss amp to replace the Rogue.
Jay. I would give it a little more time. If you live anywhere near Rochester ny we could swap for awhile. You might love the Rogue. I know I do. I just want more detail and the ability to leave the amp on so I can listen more often.
Thanks fellas, appreciate the voice of reason, I'll give it some more time but like Pcoombs, I'm incredulous that it will change that much. My mistake, for some reason I thought Harbeths were of the soft dome type. While I've never heard them I know they have a strong following and Donjr you're right, they're seem to be a whole bunch of people that swear by the LFD/Harbetth combo. I also had the same impression of the Ayre sound, i.e. wonderful, delicate air in and around the musicians but a bit bass shy indeed. No where close to Rochester and I swore off years of tube dedication which led me to my first SS piece a Bryston and now the LFD.
Jay maybe worth a look at (though terribly unfashionable!) some SS integrated amps with tone controls. Mcintosh , Accuphase and Luxman come to mind.( can you still trade exchange with your dealer?)
Complete opposite to the LFD philosophy but probable much more practical in obtaining the sounds you/all of us wants in the real world.
That's crossed my mind Pcoombs however I'm afraid my inner audiophile simple won't allow for such a filter to be introduced. Interestingly enough, I just heard from Howard Popeck of Sound Now, Howard may be the leading authority on LFD gear, he was adamant that the NCSE would indeed continue to improve and implored me to give it at least 200 hrs and was surprised that my dealer did not make a point of this when I bought it. I have actually heard the 200 hr rule before as it pertains to this amp however was a little skeptical knowing what it sounds like after a 100 hrs. I'll be sure to keep you posted as I continue to run a signal through. Thanks, J.
Hope it works out Jay. I like you have that ( indoctrinated?) audiophile fear that those extra 'filters' will destroying everything!
You can see from my system thats its the hight of the minimalist approach. No tone controls anywhere in sight!...and it does sound great.
But I'm also a frequent visiter /contributor on the Harbeth HUG forum. Where Alan Shaw really tries hard to talk some sense into us obsessive audiophiles.
I mean how much 'Purity' do we really need in our audio signals! If the end result is that on this piece of music it sounds a bit harsh or bright or too bassy when possible with a little turn of the tone knob would probably fix most of the problems we actually encounter with real world recordings and rooms with the end result being we enjoy the experience even more.... I must try it sometime!.
Luckily one of the Harbeth's (a couple are soft domed by the way) strength is that it doesn't highlight flaws on recording too much.. it is a relatively easy listening speaker.
However I still didn't (contrary to most/all opinions I accept) enjoy the LFD with them.
But then again I certainly didn't give it 200 hours playtime.
Good luck. Philip.
While I have always believed that a suffcient amount of run-in time to hear a particular component at it's best a reality, (especially when it comes to speakers) Like you, I was a bit skeptical how much audible difference it would make with this amp since it already has 100 hrs or so under it's belt, but, the 200 hrs, (minimum) isn't the first I've heard regarding the LFD so we'll see and I'll certainly post my impressions. I was a bit surprised to read that you found the same characteristic when paired with the M30s, was the LFD you were listening to new?
Yes Jay my NCSE was new and I certainly didn't give it the required?! 200 hours. Another deal breaker for me was how manual volume control had a much too restrictive useable range ( from quiet to loud was between around 7 to 8 o'clock if I remember correctly)
Interestingly and it obviously didn't put me trying the LFD I have some recollection of an rare UK HIFI plus review on an LFD int amp that commented on a particular quality ( on the cooler? side of neutral) in a particular frequency range. Can't remember exactly but maybe this is common to the range as a whole that some/most like and others/few don't?.
On paper it should have been a match made in heaven with my Harbeths and again as I mentioned before I'm very much in the minority. There are dozens of very happy LFD Harbeth users out there.. Sam Tellig at Stereophile for one.
But what I learnt the hard way is that a home audition on equipment is much the best way to go to avoid such disappointments.
Home audition is absolutely the ideal way to go, however, unfortunately often times next to impossible to arrange. The NCSE has definitely improved over the last 100 hrs although still a bit on the cool side as you referenced from the article. While this amp is demonstrating some very positive qualities, I am just hoping that within the next 100 hrs or so to hear a little less bite and a little more bloom. Stay tuned!
Hi Michael, thanks for reminding me to follow up on this thread. Yes, thankfully my new NCSE began to come into it own in a very obvious and to a very noticeable way, (as suggested) once it hit around 200 hrs. This was a bit surprising because even though I had read to be patient, I couldn't imagine it would improve as much as it did from 100 to 200 hours but it certainly did. What initially sounded like a thin, mechanical, ordinary presentation absolutely blossomed in a 100 hour time period to a very well balanced, liquid, and human sound, great amp. I can't ever recall experiencing a component with such an obvious response to break in,
Hi. I found this which although focuses on break-in on the Zero LE Mk4 it is probably relevant because the Mk2 NCSE came out around the same time. http://lfd4u.com/blog/2013/05/01/break-in-period-for-the-lfd-audio-zero-le-mk-4-integrated-amplifier/