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RE:"you guys can't tell me that NONE of you know the Caspian integrated...."
I know the Caspian series well,and have used Caspian IA as an stereo integrated, as a pre-main stereo combo in conjunction with the Caspian PA,in vertical & horizontal biamp and triamp configurations with the IA as a pre and up to 3 PA's.I'm quite fond of them.
No idea about Kandy other than some sessions with Kandy mk1 in less than familiar surroundings a few years ago and no comparison against the Caspian series at all and therefore felt unqualified to answer your original post.
ok , excellent, someone with first hand experience with the Caspian...
I have a pair of NHT 2.5i's rated at 86db/w/m. nom. 6ohm.
Do you feel that the Caspian IA would be able to drive them properly to higher than moderate levels? (I normally listen at low to moderate levels, but on occasion I like to crank it up)
How would you characterize the sound of the unit? The Kandy MkII ran my speakers very well and was very smooth and controlled, but it lacked air and transparency, which i'm hoping to obtain with the Caspian.
Any comments on the driveability and sound character?
You shouldn't have any problems driving your NHT's with the Caspian to fairly high listening levels.
Tonally, the Caspian is slightly warm in overall balance with excellent tautness,control and authority on the bottom, sultry lower mids,a liquid midband, a smooth fleshed out upper midband that leans toward the slightly dry, and a sweet extended top-Good air but lacking somewhat in transparency.The current Caspian mkII betters the mkI to a significant degree in this area.Even so I'd call Caspian mkII "open" rather than truley transparent.
They are highly rhythmic,tuneful and expressive-Good boogie factor, much in the Naim/Exposure mold with a presentation that falls neatly between those 2 lines(ie-closer to Naim Nait5 than Nait3)
Very articulate and refined.Speed, articulation and paceyness are it's forte'.
Staging is broad and expansive,favoring width over depth.
Adding a Caspian PA fairly well transforms the presentation and you get more openness,crispness,refinement,authority, dynamic contrasts, improved low level resolution and expands the soundstage in all directions.
The combo of Caspian IA with PA compares favorably with the best separates at an equivalent expenditure and represents an excellent value.I think the Caspians amoungst the most musically accomplished and versatile of it's genre.The only quibble is that slight lack of absolute transparency.Switching speaker cables to 47Labs OTA reduced the complaint to the level of "who cares?"I'd also advise upgrading the power cord.
well, i tried the Caspian mkI with my speakers, but it just didn't do the trick
it had firm control of the bass and was very smooth, but it was too recessed in the midrange
the treble was either too rolled off OR it simply didn't have enough transparency...not sure which...
I think the Kandy mkIII was a better match...but still not perfect...
the struggle continues..
Does anyone know if the Caspian MkII has remedied these issues that i have mentioned?
I own a Roksan Kandy MkIII. Why do you seem so determined to have the Caspian work? I recently brought home 6 different amps for home demo, and liked the Unison Research SR1 most of all. Check out posting at http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/amp/messages/15459.html. I expect that the Unico may be as good if not better. It has made me a believer in hybrid amps. Heard the Pathos Logos at a shop and it too was impressive. I would suggest the Logos if your budget can stretch that far, or the Unico if it can't.
well, i picked up a Unison Research Unico to try out at home.
Open, very wide, quite detailed (but not hyper-detailed like some others)
Quite good imaging...sometimes it seems a bit 'phasey' (certain details seem to come from 'odd' placement points - not sure if it's a funtion of the recordings that I just didn't notice with my previous equipment)...
Biggest concern - Bass. Seems to be a bit sloppy. I suspect that it's because my speakers are ported. I've heard that using the Unico with ported speakers may produce this type of result... I imagine it would be much better with regard to bass using sealed speakers.
I don't think I'm going to keep this unit. I realize that it is in a 'higher league' than the rest of my equipment, but because I cannot afford to switch all my associated gear, I think that I'll have to find something more in line with what I currently own.
Any comments? thoughts? thanks
I use a Caspian int and all I can say its one of the best all around amps I had listened to. Comparing it to Naim, Musical Fidleity, Sim, Creek and others. I found to be very musical, detailed and natural sounding with pretty good imaging and soundstage. It will be more of what the kandy is. I have a problem with amps making my B&W's P5's sound harsh and bright so with NHT's being a bit bright the caspian would tone it down. I have to say its was quite an experience listening to Caspian compared to the others.