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Congratulations on the build Steve!SteveTheShadow wrote: ↑Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:52 pmReview
The word that keeps coming up, with everything I'm playing, is "Authority"
This amp is effortless on my omnis. It takes whatever I throw at it and just plays without fuss or favour.
The presentation is very detailed, but never hard nor nasty, no matter how complex the mix gets, which means that it digs right into the core of the music and brings it out into the room.
Because I use omni speakers, it means I am into the "they are here" aspect of hi-fi rather than "you are there" and this amp certainly brings the music into the living room with aplomb. The top end is clear as a bell, utterly devoid of any hardness, fizz or grain and deals with all the subtle and complex percussion details of Latin jazz with a deft assuredness that is captivating.
Cymbals shimmer, rivets rattle, hi-hats tsssk, like live ones do. Shakers shik-a-shik and bongos start and stop on a dime....lovely.
The bass performance is detailed, fast and goes as deep and powerful as my speakers will go. The amp would certainly shift some air if it were connected to a set of 12" drivers.
Through my own speakers, electric bass plays tunes way down, whilst maintaining the attack of finger or plectrum on strings. This is particularly good on Bert Kaempfert, where he often uses an acoustic bass and plectrum played electric bass at the same time. The amp makes it easy to tell which is which, without the acoustic bass becoming lost in the proceedings...again lovely.
In the midrange, vocals are correct, with no nasality on females or hardness on black male singers of the Levi Stubbs and Dennis Edwards variety. Electric guitars, bark and growl and are beautifully textured, with the creamy distortion generated by Marshalls and Fenders, coming over unsullied. Big band brass blares convincingly, again with a subtlety and lack of distortion, that makes it very easy to turn the wick up to high levels without the music becoming conjested or muddy.
Nothing stands out and everything hangs together like few amps I've heard. I'm loving what it does.
This seems to be a keeper. And great review, too!
If it sounds that good from the start, I believe it will be superb after a week of playing music through it.
Seems so that it's a good idea to try a NVA power amp one day on my horns
Waiting for the A20x to be an available product...
Tubes and Vinyl rule, Music rocks!
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I'm not very good at descriptions of this nature as 'audiophool speak' rears its ugly head, but I found the A20X just sounded a little clearer - better delineated? - than a standard A20, which I still love to bits for its engaging musical nature and the way it disappears from the reproduction chain as long as you're sensible with it. The 20X just helps make the music a little easier to follow I thought.
You need to move on from LS2. I will have a search in my can't use or sell odds and sods box, what do you need in terms of length.
Compared with the A20 , the "NVA Inside" has a more solid presentation; more of the NVA characteristics, which means more detail, but at the same time, more musical, with a wider dynamic range. Maybe it is the big 225VA transformer and more capacity in the power supply, separate supplies for each rail?
Compared to the valve amp, there is more at the frequency extremes and more tune playing with a bigger, deeper soundstage. I would probably have to spend four figures on output transformers, to make the SET equal the performance of the "NVA Inside" amp.
I'd only need a 2m set of proper NVA cable.
Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, AppleTV4 with Apple Music subscription, ripped CDs streamed via WD MyCloud Home Duo NAS, with PLEX media server.
Speakers - Large sealed cabs, with Fane 12-250-TC 12" full range drivers.