I am still burning in my updated amps. Stay tuned.
I am still burning in my updated amps. Stay tuned.
A quick post after 130 hrs things are getting very very good. Ultra solid bass the kind that you feel, low and deep and detailed. My concern so far the mid range has softened up and is delivering very real sounding voice and instruments. The upper spectrum has what i notice the most sibilance is so much better along with air and a real holographic presentation. The super quiet background along with a stage that is deep and with a good vinyl lp extends well past the outsides of my speakers, i have a wall of sound. At this point i could not be any happier with what
i m hearing and i believe things will get better as the 200 hr mark approaches.
I had a chance to do some critical listening to the V3 vs a V2. Equipment was a Marantz CD player feeding a Benchmark DAC, a Joule Electra 300 ME preamp and a pair of Revel Studio 2.
The first thing that struck us was the large increase in height and depth of the sound stage. Much taller and deeper with the V3.
The instruments and voices had more depth and dimension. There was less sibilance (mike you nailed it with your explanation). The high frequency information is more articulate without any sense of grain. Bass was in my opinion a bit better in definition. This is NOT a small upgrade in my opinion but a transformation to the next level. No other $800 upgrade I could think of would make such a positive effect to the system we listened.
Ck thanks for your detailed post that included the other equipment used. Sounds very positive. I have heard that the manufacturer now feels the V3 demonstrates many of the positive qualities of expensive tube amps - would you agree? I am particularly happy to hear that there is reduction in grain and sibilance which I think were a bit present with the V2. Also sounds like the splendid bass control and overall ultraclarity are still intact
It has been a while since I have heard a top flight tube amp in a system. Most people I know with nice systems use tubes on the preamp and some sort of solid state for the amps. I think I will go out on a limb and suggest that we would be hard pressed to find a tube amp within the V3 price range that can do what this version presented to us. Hey, just one tube rolling session with a high power amp may pay for the V3 upgrade!
Yea Nuforce is really going to show the cards with Ref 18 and i believe that knowing there upgrade process they most likely will have some sort of trade in program for Ref 18.
The improvements between V2 and V3 are very audible and worth every cent it cost me. Ref 18 is going to be better than V3 i would have to guess but only time will tell.
The only thing REF 18 will still be based on V3. They will make larger power supply, split the boards, and have nicer aluminum. The only thing i am wondering is if it will sound better much better for $8000. That is a large step up from Buying used V2 and upgrade to V3 for $800. You can buy new V3 for 5K. Looks to me like REF 18 should be much better amp, i hope!!
Ptm you need a signal to get the job done and in my case i did not get better than V 2 sound till the 130 hr mark. There very listenable with a large and deep stage right out of the box. Bass is good but mids and highs need burn in edgy and flat IMO. I used STS burn in cd running while at work and did listening time in the evening hours for a ears on listening for changes. Now after more than 200 hrs boy oh boy for me a highly recommended upgrade.
While your not listening why not run a cd with a good sweep and breakin sounds at a medium volume level. This will not only work on your amps but all else in the audio chain. Its a good idea to do this on a regular basis for your gear. Though the organ and drums in the STS cd is really nice to listen to its not a favorite for front and center listening.
Mark burn in is a bumpy road. Ups and Downs i thought right out of the box all was not to bad. a nice stage as things went on mids were on the shrilly side at times hi end was cut off but bass was good through 135 hrs. then things started really sounding good bass became very solid mids warmed up and upper end sounds became open and spacious. the thing i found is timber of voice and instruments became real good with sibilance compared to v 2 much better with v 3. let us know your thoughts as your amps break in.
Break-in is a real issue with the V3. Please read my review on 6moons. My rollercoaster ride mirrors what many are also experiencing. For me 'out of the box' was quite good although not that much better than the V2. Then it all turned to mush and pretty much as described above by 'Stltrains'. After about 150 hours it's all become rather extraordinary.
I read your review on 6moons the day it was published. Well done. BTW, I purchased some Cerious Technologies speaker cables to try them simply because you were using them as a reference cable.
I, however, am on a different roller coaster; I just hope the ride ends at the same place. This upgrade should come with a warning label: Do not listen to these amps until burned in for 150 hours.
I have my ia7 v2 upgraded to v3.
Yes too, I have been experiencing a hugh roller coaster during the breaking in. I have never had any gears before that can fluctuate so much before they settle down. And you just could not believe how "bad" sounding the v3 is before reaching about 150 hours, even after this mark, the amp still starts to improve. The main area of complaints from me is the attentuated treble response which makes everything sound slow. I felt asleep a couple of times during audition which never happened to me with the v2.
I am not sure if it is merely a psychological illusion as a result upgrade syndrome or part of that placebo effect, or that the v3 break in is real.....
I burn it in continously over a week of 24 hours playing xlo burn-in track.
After 130 hours of burn-in, my amps sound fantastic. What a difference from their out-of-the-box performance, where my initial, gut-retching reaction was that I had blown a voice coil. I did not chart the course of the burn in, but am thrilled with the 9V3SEs performance now. I moved from V1 to V3, so this is a little off the point of the thread: the 9V3SEs midrange is liquid, and the top end smooth and grain free. I, however, am not crazy about the impedance change. If you have not taken advantage of this upgrade, do it at your earliest convenience.
To my ears, v2 is not clinical and it is close to prefection. I tend to think that in some mellow sounds set up v2 would work magic, and in other where the sound is already on the lean side V3 will be the right pill. I use open baffle employing vintage paper cone speakers and tweeters and v2 has that extra dynamics and speed that my drivers lack.
Having said that, I think the high frequency of the V3 is more silky and extended....but this is only after 150-200 hours of break in. Before this mark, i was actually thinking whether the tweeters were blown, no kidding, it was that bad.
I believe another thing that V3 has over V2 is more detail. Along with better imaging. The space between voice and instruments is present and gives those sounds better focus. Details and micro details are present which adds to very enjoyable music sessions. On very good vinyl recordings it amazes me just how wide and beyond my speakers the stage is with V3.
I believed V2 was very good but once you have V3 broken in you will most definitely hear why V3 takes a big step further into the music.
Please be patient withe v3 burn in. It is frustating having to wait so long to get a new toy to sing properly, but the waiting is worth.
I am still amazed by the difference before and after. Now I wonder how the designers themselves tune the sound during the course of the design? Did they too have to wait 200 hours each time they made some change to the board???
Gammajo ounce you get to the 150 hr mark and on you wont care what V2 sounded like. You will be spending a lot of time listening to V3 because its that much better. If you dont want to listen to the breakin process run a cd on repeat and get the time in. I enjoyed breakin but did get worried at times but that did pass and now its rock and roll time. Mike
I listened to some Vienna Boys christmas carols cd last night via my v3 and open baffle loudspeakers...
The depth of the soundstage is spooky...so real.....when the boys pitch reach the highest octave, it just sounds so shimmering and has a sense of wetness. In lesser system it will get a bit edgy and forward at that part.
All the voices seem to come from the room behind the front wall......
Merry Christmas to all of you!
Well, I bit the bullet and lined up in the cache for the upgrade. Thank you all for input as I obsessed. BTW there is a Nuforce room over on Audio Circle that is also discussing the V3, including Chris Marten's initial thoughts. I have not found much on Asylum. Again the folks at Nuforce were super nice on the phone, prompt, clear, and helpful in communication. So Merry Christmas to me! And of course Merry Christmas to you'all as well.