- 7166 posts total
- 7166 posts total
Using the lampizator as my source and the Constellation Virgo 3 as a preamp, here are my thoughts:
Classe AMP 2: incredible clarity which also digs really deep into the recording. This makes details that are buried behind the music become more recognizable. I pushed this amp as hard as i could with the neoliths and i eventually managed to make it clip (shut off one of the channels), but it had no problems driving my unforgiving Neoliths. I would say that for the money, it is not a bad amp IF AND ONLY IF the rest of your front end is world class. I dont know if it is because my preamp and dac are awesome, but this amp surprised me which is WHY i am starting to get the feeling that Neoliths might be a better match for Class D than Solid state. I also feel as if Class D just keeps up with the speed of the panels and the bass control is just a tad tighter through the Neoliths. i can't explain it.
Rowland 535: i have not used it with the Constellation Preamp yet. I will try to use this amp in the next few days to see how it compares.
This is EXACTLY why i am bringing the 925s back. I need to see HOW good the Neolith/ 925 combo will be and do a shootout between rowland and Constellation. Both amps are world class, but i think that at this level it is about matching components. I like alot of what constellation is doing with my speakers, but there is something ELSE that class d does with my Neoliths that Class AB does not seem to pull off. It feels as if the panels light up more like a Christmas tree with Class d. There is more stuff happening behind the music that is harder to pick up with Class AB.
One thing i have learned is that WITH THE NEOLITHS, amplifiers with higher gain tend to bring out MORE detail out of the panels than lower gain amps. For example, with the Classe amp which has a gain of 29 db vs the standard 26db of the constellation (as many other amps have), i hear more detail at lower volume through the Class D when the volume is turned down. The constellation amps begin to "vanish" once i begin to take the volume to very low levels while higher gain amps continue to push music. Pretty interesting learning experience !
Of course, i need to sit with the class D amps for hours at a time to see if they engage me as much as Luxman, Constellation, etc, but i think the trick IS for me to use "musical" components in order to reshape the sound of a class D amp. As stated earlier, i feel as if class d still has some "artificial sweetener" which is like Splenda. Some folks hate the aftertaste of splenda while other's dont mind it at all. The trick here is to use smooth sounding preamps or tubes with class D amps in order to reshape its sound signature. This is exactly what i will be doing with the 925s. Time will tell!
WCSS, Thanks for your detailed comparisons, especially the Class D control over the stat panels and your findings on amp gain and low level listening. Your journey keeps us on the edge of our seats waiting for the next episode to be released, thanks for playing at the Summit-Fi level, yet still having some gear in the more affordable arena like the Rowland 535 and Lux integrated. Good luck with the build out of your garage into a dedicated room, and have fun with the new amps arriving soon.
WC, a few comments, if I may. You stated you made one of the 2 Classe amps shut down, based on driving them real hard, but said in the same sentence, they had no problem driving the Neoliths. You have a tendency to drive all of your amplifiers real hard ( you like it pumpin ), but in my experience, a ss amp would clip a little before it shuts down. Did you not hear clipping distortion ? So, I am questioning this. Also, you mention a few other things. The front end ( all of the gear before the amplifier ), is critical and needs to be " first class ", and, " at this level of equipment ", system matching is definitely important. " Any system " will benefit from having better front end gear; and system matching, is the key " at all price levels " of gear. Input gain on amplifiers, between 29 db and 26 db is not much, and I do not think your ears are hearing " that ", especially at the lower listening levels ( I could be wrong ). But the volume level " control " on the preamp will definitely be a bit different in it’s setting. Because you are a loud listener ( and I know loud ), some sort of equalization ( loudness contour ) would be beneficial to you at lower listening levels. I am not trying to be the devils advocate here, but all of this is based on my many years of experience, and this is simply why I have not learned anything here. Maybe it would be best if I no longer post on your thread. I do not know how you would take any of my commentary. But, I do believe telling the truth. P.S. As far as the comments I made about jetter and viber, with riaa’s XA25 situation, they both reminded me of my " nagging " ex wife, so, I spoke up. Enjoy ! Bless you and your journey, and all the best. MrD.