My other speakers are 15" coax, but with cubes I can hear things I didn't hear before.
I read that cubes take a long time until they play at their best, but I enjoy them very much even with
only a few hours playing.
A friend had a short listening to the Cubes and was impressed.
He already has p20/a20, I gave him sound cords to try and he was shocked how good it sounds then.
I suggested to order a phono1 and a cube3, he has a small room and limited money.
Anyway, thank you for your great work and service.
I took advantage of the Docs excellent pre Xmas deal to upgrade my speaker cables from LS5 to LS6, not because I was unhappy or dissatisfied with the LS5. You know the temptation was always there and the deal just tipped me over. They are biwired only because another forum member was selling a set of biwred Cube 1's some while ago, another bargain I just could not resist. Anyway so as I said I absolutely loved the LS5 with such detail and presence so had seen the various reports here and was very keen to hear what the LS5 could do...
I use mainly Flac files with some Spotify mixed in, Vinyl is very much secondary so this is written about listening to digital only. First impressions were mixed, on the positive side vocals seemed to have more grain and texture, an example being Genesis P-Orridge on Psychic TV's Snakes, and upper bass seemed more tangible, great but on the negative side some recordings I was very familiar with sounded splashy and harsh. Oh no had I made a big mistake? Well I knew from the forum here that the general view was that the cables would need some time to burn in so I persevered. It took about three weeks before improvements began to show. The harshness faded to be replaced with lush detail, in fact there was more detail everywhere. I was hearing things clearly that seemed either to be previously back in the mix or absent. The degree of texture (timbre?) also stepped up in fact there was more of everything - amazing.
The net result is that when playing music now I am completely absorbed, I have been told of this tendency before but even I am aware of it.
In == Vortexbox + Raspberry Pi + BOSS DAC/ Goldring 1042 + SL-1210MK2 + Phono 1
Shaking it all about == P50SA + SP + A80s
Out == LS6 biwire + Cube 1
Bubbling under == BMU
I had originally purchased an A30 as a temporary amp pending the arrival of some cash to fund an amp further up the range.
Upon arrival at NVA towers, the Doc said that the A30 was no more so I took home an A20. I already had the P90SA which was controlling a pair of Teddy Pardo monoblocs. I love Teddy’s amps but I was using his pre which does not have any form of balance control. A hearing problem means that some form of balance is now important.
Having started my NVA journey with a phono 1 and now a phono 2 with twin psus, it was inevitable that I was going to try a NVA amp (my speakers are cube 3s).
The P90SA and the Teddy power amps are a very nice combo. All I am interested in is a system that sounds a bit like people playing musical instruments. To be honest, this combo ticked the box and I could happily live with it.
However, the full NVA is an itch I have to scratch. The Teddys have been sold and the A20 has been up and running for a couple of weeks.
Firstly the bad. If you think that replacing circa £2K worth of Teddy Pardo with £200 worth of NVA is a good idea then you might be disappointed.
The good news is that the A20 gives a stupidly good account of itself. I would say about 85% of the Teddy performance at 10% of the price. Yes I missed the finer points of the musical performance which the Teddy reveals and the A20 hints at but on a performance per pound basis, the A20 is a gem and deserves to be more widely heard. For some, this might be all they ever need.
For me the combo does 2 things and they are the only things I value.
1. It makes bands or groups of musicians or whatever you want to call it sound like they are playing together. I have heard systems which sound “disjointed” as if one of the musicians is slightly out of step.
2. It is able to demonstrate those little nuances so it sounds like somebody is playing a musical instrument. I have just ordered a 2nd stock TSS and I’m hoping for some significant improvements in this area.
Apologies if my description sounds like a load of nonsense but it’s the best I can do.
During my visit to collect the A20, the Doc pointed me in the direction of a dac and psu combo for less than £50. Yes £50 - it’s not a typo. The dac arrived first and is quite good. The addition of the psu is taking things to a new level and as the supply beds in so the music improves. It’s going to be interesting using this with the TSS.
Thought I'd share some impressions of the BMU following my recent loan. Equipment used: Rega P6 TT with Goldring Excel GS MC cartridge; NVA Phono 2; Rega Elicit-R integrated and Kudos X2 speakers.
I'd previously had all this kit running through a Tacima 6-gang extension, and was well used to the presentation, so I unhooked that and replaced it with the BMU straight into the wall socket and connected the amp; Phono 2; TT PSU and (unused) CD Player.
First LP to be spun was Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On'. Being a bass player myself, Jamerson's playing on the title track especially is one of my go-to reference points and I did notice a little more depth to the bass and focus to the sound in general, which also lent greater dynamics to the presentation too. To my ears though the improvements were incremental rather than drastic, and this was borne out in subsequent listening to a variety of female vocals - Aimee Mann and Kate Bush amongst them - and some Beatles (Sgt Pepper reissue).
One thing I have experienced since I introduced the Phono 2 (swapped for a previous, new Rega Fono MC) - apart from the vast improvement in every respect - is that I get an occasional, low-level 'popping', usually unnoticeable during normal playback. I'd put this down to a mains issue which the Phono 2 might have been more susceptible to and had hoped the BMU might resolve it, but I noticed it was still there. No big deal usually anyway, but also not one the BMU was able to eradicate.
As a matter of interest I then swapped the BMU for a bog standard 4 gang extension (from Argos, I think) with no switches or lights etc., and was pleasantly surprised to find that it really didn't suffer too much in comparison with the BMU. In other words the improvements the BMU offered over the Tacima were present with the Argos jobby too - maybe not to quite the same extent, but I felt there wasn't enough daylight between the two to justify the outlay on the BMU for me.
All of this tends me towards the conclusion that my 54-year old ears are no longer quite as 'golden' as they may once - if ever - have been. Or, of course, my mains is relatively trouble-free. In fairness we did have the old fuse box swapped out for a new consumer unit recently so I don't know if any issues we may have had were stabilised at that time. All-in-all though I felt improvements - though present - were marginal and was a bit frustrated not to have experienced the more significant differences others have reported.
The main reason for my trying the BMU is because I suffer from buzzing/humming transformers. It’s not that the buzzing is very intrusive, but I can just hear them between tracks from my listening chair and I sit approximately 10 feet from the housing unit. I’m concerned this buzzing is not helping them mechanically or electrically and is perhaps also affecting replay performance. I will add that I can hear them clearly buzzing away when I change a record or CD, so too loud as far as I’m concerned.
The BMU arrived from Berty Bass via UPS on Friday and I installed it in the system that very evening. Considering my initial hope for quieter transformers I was somewhat disappointed as my initial perception was they seemed as noisy, but I left it all powered up overnight. The BMU was put it in to an adjoining room - just the other side of the wall so I could close the door on it. I did notice though that the buzzing transformer issue appears to be dependent on the day/ time of day, sometimes it is acceptably quiet at other times it’s just too loud.
So my initial thought was that it may not be making much of a difference to my mains issues but OK, what about system performance…?
I have a particularly sensitive ear to sibilance, but I must admit since I have gradually moved over to NVA products, adding each be they cables, amps, phono stages or power supplies each has had the desirable outcome of reducing that particular personal annoyance whilst also ensuring my musical enjoyment is fulfilled.
First up I decided to play Dire Straits debut album, in particular the track Six blade knife - a track that I find to be particularly offensive for sibilance. I sat there awaiting it to grate on me but it didn’t so I was very pleased. Cue some more sibilant material I have here, all now played perfectly well with sibilance well in check to the point it no longer grates on me, this is good!
Now of course this is not all, NVA audio is very sweet treble wise with very tuneful and well controlled bass and the addition of the BMU seems to be reinforcing these excellent attributes in my system. The presentation of Santana’s Abraxas album is amazing! Sound staging is huge, left to Left to right presentation is wall to wall in my listening room which measures approx 18’x 12.5’. For an LP12 to produce a stage this wide and high is simply staggering. I also feel the soundstage now extends further toward the listening position.
Santana’s Moonflower album can be quite sharp and strident over many tracks, but I’m delighted with the reproduction of this album in my system with the BMU installed. To those of you considering this unit, it certainly is worth a try. Like some members you may not find the positive attributes I have but for me it will certainly be on my list of further NVA additions to my system In the near future.
I cannot understand why the BMU has had his effect on my system but I tried it in place for a few evenings then removed it but then added it back in just to be sure, its positive benefit is very real to me, so to list the benefits imparted on my system by the BMU…
Clarity and control, quiet passages are almost silent, smooth n’ silky presentation and authority. All NVA attributes duly reinforced. It’s on my list of future upgrades.
Yes I am one of the 'Black Friday' purchasers that owe you a review, for an AP70 integrated. Apologies, but I have hardly had time to listen to it yet!
Now that I have ordered a Phono2, I shall be able to write a review of the 2, seperate and together, it may be a couple of months time though.