5 hours later and here are my initial impressions:
More extended top to bottom. Actually dialed my 20T's bass back to the neutral position. No other cartridge, table, cable or loading changes from my previous 2008 gold board edition.
More air without any grain, simply amazing top end. Picked up musical cues on familiar records that I hadn't noticed before. Great soundstage, lots of dimensionality. My wife finally kicked me an said enough with the music. I was certainly enjoying myself.
I can't if it's real or not but I swear it's quieter without sounding dark.
More to follow.
I have the version right before the gold board version. What are the differences between the gold board and the latest 2010 version in terms of design and sound?
I am thinking upgrading to the latest version around March 2010. Thanks.
The new unit has resistance settings for both balanced channels. Not to be confused with left and right channel but both positive and inverse signals on the balanced cable. Since I use balanced interconnects this was a big plus. You can now also get top end WBT RCA inputs in either copper or silver. When I get time I'll try my single ended inputs. The new auto feature is great. Leave it on auto and when the needle hits the record it switches to battery. It works fast even on low output MCs. I have an XV-1s and it works every time and is silent. In terms of sound as good as my 08 gold board was this is a step up. Extension top to bottom is even better. I have a large volume room and normally set my 20T Bass at max for digital. I had to set them on the lower neutral setting for the new Exclusive. Not boomy, just great solid extended bass. The top end extension and air around instruments is improved. I don't know how.
Maybe it's even quieter than before. How quiet is quiet? The new model is dead silent without being dark. The instruments and staging just jump out. Lot's of layering and image detail. I'm picking up details in familiar albums that I had not noticed before. I have a great tube hybrid DAC for digital but I wish by digital sounded this good.
Overall I'm very impressed. I've had the last two models and as great as they are this is an improvement. It's more flexible, there are a lot more loading options than the Mk1 that I had. And it it matters there is even more eye candy in the new version. To identify Auto Settings they have implemented a set of LED blocks that are cool looking.
What's important is it sounds great. I really struggled with whether to upgrade. For me it was really worth It. Feel free to shoot me an email.
This is a solid state phono stage? I guess you wouldn't really need a tube phono since you probably get a lot of warmth from those 20Ts...
I'm not sure I'd call the 20T's warm but I'll try and not start an argument. That said I'd also never call the Basis Exclusive solid state sounding. While it's solid state it's most notable characteristic is it's neutrality, tight bass and pristine top end. If your in the Chicago area drop me a line. Your welcome to come over and audition.
Thanks for the offer, Fm540i. I don't live close unfortunatel.
Btw, I didn't mean to sound ignorant (but in hindsight I was).
I've owned Aerial LR5's and Model 9s and found that they mated well with components that were not warm sounding and assumed the 10Ts were similar.
I've heard nothing but good things about ASR and am very curious. When it comes to phono stages, all the ones I've ever heard were tube, so I'm even more curious there...
Not a problem, I have a set of 9's also. The KW Monoblock's are probably a little on the cool side so the combination of the KW's and the 20T's is just right for me. Your probably right on the components mix. I run the 9's with a Chord CPA 3300 integrated. Chord has it's own sound but it's certainly not warm. Sorry you not in the Chicago area.
The new Exclusive 2010 keeps getting better and better. Drop me an e-mail if you want to discuss the ASR further......
If the Basis contains a true balanced circuit internally, which I believe to be the case, why would you even want to mess with the RCA inputs? WBTs or no WBTs, you would be/will be robbing yourself of some of the magic you are now happy with. The WBT-type RCA inputs are no doubt put there for the benefit of those who run such cables from tonearm to preamp and are reluctant to change to balanced mode.
You may be right. I'm very happy with the balanced inputs which I believe are high quality Neutrik AG inputs.
I plan to order ASR Basis Exclusive 2010 soon to replace my Mini Basis. My dealer told me that there are 3 options, the standard model, one with new copper WBT plugs or WBT silver plugs. Silver WBT version is around $US500-600 more than standard version. Which version did you get?
Right now I am running RCA cable between TT to SUT to phono but will see if I will use SUT with the new phono or not.
The ASR Basis E. is one of the three phono stages that I own. My top piece. I have a friend who owns the new 2010, and from what I have heard (in his system which I am as familiar with as my own), I will stay with mine. I see no justification to upgrade.
Also (pardon me for not including this bedore), I have extensively utilized both the RCA and XLR connections. I like both very much for different reasons. I find no audible difference beween the two. In this particualr case FWIW.
The version '2010' has also MM inputs [omited from 2005(?)/ 2009]. From an employee by ASR I heard that when using
balanced in one should use RCA out. But the reasons are to
technical for me. He got this information from Scheafer.
I own the 2009 version and agree with Vandermeulen.
Nandric, I HAVE to hear why the employee suggested this. I dont pretend to have uber-knowledge about many technological aspects of our pastime (...though secretly I strive with endless pursuit of all/any technicalities in high-end audio), but would love to try to get a grip around the explanation.
Mine has copper WBt's but I use the Balanced inputs only.
REgarding the sound eveyone's results will differ but I've owned three generations of the Basis Exclusive and the new 2010 model is so far the best I've heard in my system. It's hard to describe but quiet/dynamic/neutral/ are the simplistic terms to use but this is just right. My Aerial 20T ribbons are unforgiving if there is any noise, etch or glare at the top end. With the new 2010 model top end extension is improved over the previous models and the dead black background is amazing. It works for me.
Dear Fm540i, In his emails to me Scheafer mentioned only 'more adjustments possibilitys' in the '2010' model but not other mods to '2009'modeel. He was particulary proud of the fact that the model 2010 is the same price as 2009 model(4600 Euro in Germany).
The reason for the 'strange' suggestion: balanced in RCA out seems to be the kind of IC's he used in both;the Basis as well the Emitter.So,I assume,this applys only to this 'combo'.