It's not a single component. It takes a whole system (and detailed setup) to be able to naturally render fine detail. There's also a school of thought that argues that the type of detail you use as examples are more an artifact of the close microphone recording process than what anyone would hear from live instruments in a performance hall.
Most good CD players/turntables deliver plenty of resolution. Cables and Power cords that eliminate contamination and lower the noise floor will allow that fine low level detail through. The best cable and PC should be on the front end. Speaker cables play a huge part as well...matching an amps characteristics to the speakers demands is crucial. I like MIT products because they address all these issues (and more) and allow all of the music to come through in a most natural and dynamic way with all of the detail. The speakers must be resolving enough of course and be made with quality parts i.e...audiophile grade crossovers. Most crossovers today are circuit boards, so naturally they suck the life out of the music. My most natural sounding and detailed speakers have been ones with crossovers made with large scale discrete parts such as my Totems, Wilsons and Magnepans.
Onhwy61, I agree with both assertions. The components have to work together as a system, and the stars has to align correctly, then it will start sounding magic. The type of detail I'm after could ver well be the effect of close mic'ing. However hearing those effect conjures up the feeling of hearing the utmost detail. It may not be realistic, but it makes you wonder. Also it's something that I haven't be able to reproduce in my system, and I'm curious as for why.
Dave_b, I'm not much of a detail freak when it comes to the cables. I have moderate quality cables and power cords. But the systems with the sound I'm after don't always have better cables and cords either.
By the way, I don't feel the sound of my system is lacking any detail compared to other systems that I've heard. My system is better in PRAT, dynamics, and extension, piano, percussion, etc. Not so much in string instruments and woodwind instruments. I wonder if I'm missing some kind of pixie powder for string and woodwinds.
IMO to achieve what your after you need a more transparent preamp and amp. I have no personal experience with your particular equipment but I would think you could get better performance from a dedicated 2 channel preamp. Also I have owned and auditioned a few Rotel amps and although good for the money they aren't the most transparent.
Sorry, I reread your system page and realized you do have a 2 channel preamp. I thought you were using the Unidisc SC as a preamp for 2 channel.
Wow I missed the Pass amp also. I'll shut up now. ;D
Sean, thanks for the input. ;) None of my component has earned immunity, and I'm open to any suggestions.
With a very good system like yours, I have to agree with Dave_b that cables and power cords will have a major impact on the amount of detail and also the harmonic texturing.
Right now, I am comparing two Synergistic Research power cords, a Precision AC and a T3 UHC. Both are excellent power cords but each sounds different on my amp. Using your violin/cello scenario, I can hear more emphasis on the plucking of the string with the former (more detailed and leaner) and more of the body of the instrument with the latter (less detailed, warmer and richer).
Although you have good cabling currently, you might experiment with others to see what the effect is. You can guess which brand I prefer.
Try Jade Audio gold ICs and SCs. You probably need the hybrid gold over the vermeil gold IC for the description you desire. HiFi gold fuses also. You should be very close to getting the sound you want...
What speakers and components were in the systems that had the effect you are after? If you could borrow one piece at a time you might be able to figure out what would work in your system.
Jylee, are you lacking midrange texture and looking for the source of it in your system to achieve it?
As you know, I have 1027 BE speakers and I have plenty of the midrange texture you are talking about. Focals are very revealing.
I achieve this with Synergistic Tesla cables and power conditioner.
Vibration control is another avenue to explore. I just installed some Herbies Iso-cups with lampblack balls under my tube preamp. I can not believe the improvement in my system. They seem to have lowered the noise floor. I can hear more low level detail. Also they reduced some glare I had. I'm a very happy camper. I think I will try some Herbies Tenderfeet under some of my other equipment.
Hi Sarcher30, I use Herbies Iso-cups with lampblack balls under my integrated, CDP and Powercell. I agree with your comments.
Jylee, this may be a cheaper option you can try before you do any cable upgrades.
Jylee, have you tried different tubes in your CJ? I have a premier 14 and use a combination of Hitachi's and Mullards and love the sound. The GE made in Britain 6GK5's that CJ stocks are the worst tubes I have ever heard!
You should pick up a used PV10 for fun if you don't mind sacrificing some detail - midrange texture all over the place! I think that's one reason CJ is intro'ing the new classic innovation - alot of their more current offerings don't have that famous CJ texture and bloom.
IMO, there are two ways to address midrange texture: you can introduce tubes into the signal pathway, and/or you can introduce gold into the signal pathway. Tube rolling is also good advice.
Footers/isolation, contact enhancers, and audio-grade outlets will increase detail and lower noise floor.
Powercords will increase speed and lower-end heft.
There are generalities, of course. Also, as a generality, silver will decrease midrange texture in favor of speed, detail, and upper frequency extension.
Tube rolling, new interconnects, and the isolation are all something that I would like to try out. Pops, my preamp came with six Amperex 6922 tubes from the previous owner. The markings and silkscreens on the tubes are not identical, and I'm not sure what affect if any they have on the sound. Should I be using six identical tubes? This is my first tube gear, so please send me any recommendation of the type and make of the tubes to use. Sean, Joey, please share your impression on how the isolation device improved the sound. As much as I would love to try out those tweaks my left brain is telling me otherwise. For example I tried lifting my speaker cables off the carpet today using CD jewel cases. I can't be sure if it made any significant difference and I just feel goofy about doing this. :)
Jylee don't feel goofy about the CD technique - I have tried as well and my hearing is not up to noticing an improvement - but I did manage to make my system look silly!
I haven't used 6922 tubes and am not familiar with the configuration of the premier 16 but others will surely have recommendations who have experience with both.
I understand your skepticism.
They seem to lower the noise floor. I can hear more low level detail. I don't hear any change in tonal balance just more details.
I don't have much experience with isolation devices. The only other device I have tried were a set of 3 aurios bearings. I tried these under every piece of equipment I own and noticed nothing benificial. I also hated how wobbly they were.
The Herbies are cheaper and actually work in my system. I tried one set and am very impressed. I've ordered enough for the rest of my system.
I suggest trying a set and if you don't like them your just out shipping because he has a 90 day return policy. I know of no other company that sells isolation tweeks that has a return policy. Its about $65 for a set of four. Compared to the prices of some of the other devices on the market these are a bargin and a half.
Well, well, well.
I've bought three of the Herbie's iso cups with lampblack balls and put them under the preamp. The sound changed A LOT. It's been only a few hours, and I need more time to understand what all these change means, but I just wanted to drop by and express my amazement.
That's cool. I hope they are positive changes. Let us know what you conclude.