The next two upgrades have been to change the speaker cable for NVA LS6 and change the interconnects to SSP. This change brought about a whole opening up of the sound, that is the only way I can describe it, voices now sound so real its unbelievable. The only problem this has caused me, is that I have felt the need to change other parts of my system i.e. my tone arm on my Gyrodec, I found a guy in New Zealand that makes uni pivots for a really good price, this change brought even more change all for the better.
This set up is so revealing, thanks Doc. I just need more funds so I can upgrade the phono amp and buy the balanced mains unit. Merry Crimbo.
Post by flori123 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:42 pm
Hope my limited english is enough for short impressions.
Bought a pair TIS MKII interconnects for connection between phono2 and P50sa.
I already had 2 pairs TIS MKI, so the whole way from turntable to power amps is now
a mix of old and new TIS. The TIS MKII replaced an SSP MKII.
I immediately noticed a big improvement in sound and musicality when TIS MKII was in place.
I had to move my Cube1 20cm away from the wall, there was more bass with TIS
and more dynamics, detail, space, better highs and more insight into the music etc.....
I like to use TIS the whole signal way, as it is much better as when mixed with other
interconnects (my experience).
Now I enjoy phono very much. The next step will be TIS in the digital section.
Thank you Richard for making such a good interconnect.
Not cheap but worth every penny.
Post by Quarknosis
I received my P50sa yesterday. This is the second NVA item that I have with a stepped attenuator, I already own an AP70 which I sent back to Doc to have the attenuator fitted. It was difficult with that one to assess the improvements in sound quality due to the time between sending the amp to Doc and getting it back but the sa is better. Even if improvements hadn’t been apparent was worthwhile for me though because it resolved an issue with channel imbalance at low levels that bothered me with the standard pot.
With the P50sa replacing the P20 and feeding the A20x that I recently bought from eagwok the difference was immediately noticeable. Even with only a few hours listening to the music it was immediately apparent that it was more vibrant and enjoyable. Cymbals are clearer with improved decay. After further listening over a few hours reed instruments sounded closer to the real thing. I’ve not heard a lot of string instruments in my time but they sounded closer to what I hear through the AP70sa than they did before using the P50sa. I also own an AP20 that is currently doing duty as my headphone amp, when it was used to drive speakers I remember it sounded a lot closer to the P20/A20x combo than the P50sa/A20x, for me this underlines the benefit of the stepped attenuator. I don’t think the sa is an option with the AP20 which is a shame as it would make a nice upgrade for it.
For info the source was CDs spinning in a Panasonic Blu Ray player through a Beresford Caiman Mk2 DAC, I was surprised by how good this was as I always thought that most mass market DVD and Blu ray players would be useless as transports. I will be comparing this with a dedicated CD player soon.
NVA BMU - NVA Phono 1 - Systemdek IIX/Rega RB250/Denon DL160 & Philips CD 104 with NOS mod - TIS & SSP mkii - NVA AP70sa - Epos ES11.
It's a few month now I bought the P20/A20 combo with LS2 for my daughter's small commune room she lives in during her studies. I gave her my Pioneer SPL-40 with an Ortofon 2M blue and TSM 1000 speakers, too. First it was coupled to an ArtDj Pre, what already was fine. Then I couldn't resist the "not-yet-shielded-with-copper-foil-offer" of a Phono 1. Much better! Before I passed the amps to her, I had two weeks of trying them by myself. And it was a surprise: I had a lot of fun with my Braun LS150 speakers and the LS3, which I didn't expect with a not that powerful amp like the A20. The music was clear and lively, kicking like I got used to since getting the AP70. My thoughts went to the direction if I really needed that stronger amp, but putting it back in the system, the answer was clear. To not have to think about that anymore I used the equipment with the LS2 for watching TV, which was great: Having increasing hearing problems, the sound was that clear, that there was no need to extend the volume a lot or do strange grimaces to open the ears which I normally do in front of that TV. I was enjoying that! But as I don't watch that often, it doesn't really matter, that the equipment finally went to my daughter's home. She likes it, the sound is great in that small room, and the best is listening to records (thanks to Phono 1 and Pioneer, too!). When she first watched a movie and listened over the P20/A20 she said: "Wow, it's like in the cinema!". So, thank you, fine stuff again!
I purchased an NVA P20/ A20 starter kit in the summer of 2018 , just to have a listen you understand . In all honesty I was really taken aback by how good this combo sounded and could have lived with this starter system for a very long time . However , recently the Docs special deals meant that the P50SA came up at a very good price , especially when the trade in offer is also incorporated into the deal . I have now lived with the P50SA long enough to get a really good handle on what it's doing , or more accurately , isn't doing to the music .
I currently stream Spotify and also use a Lenco GL75 for vinyl duties . As previously stated , I was very happy with the P20 / A20 combo and had no desire whatsoever to change things . The NVA trade up deal meant that I could try the P50SA in my system and either return it or return the P20 for a refund . The upgrade to the P50SA was immediately audible and brought another grin to my face . Voices were now in the room and instruments placed in their own space . New detail was immediately evident and bass was tighter and cleaner . So what does this mean to me in musical terms ? Another big increase in musical enjoyment , that's what . Every album I have played so far has been a joy to listen to and old favourites have taken on a new plethora of musical enjoyment and realism .
Dire Straits ' Brothers in Arms ' is now much more enjoyable to listen to with more detail coming through and the bass is now cleaner and deeper . I've now listened to this album in full several times where I previously skipped tracks in Spotify . On vinyl , this album sounds like I've bought a new phono stage .
Tracy Chapmans self titled album ' Tracy Chapman ' is another old favourite . However , some tracks could sound a little bit shrill to these ears . Not any more . It is now smooth , detailed , and very real sounding in my system . Again , I now listen to this album in it's entirety and find it difficult to leave the room when it's playing . No tracks skipped here now .
I could go on and on about the improvements which the NVA P50SA have made to my system and , more importantly , my listening pleasure . However , I'll stop there as I think I've got my message across . The NVA components are excellent in terms of value for money and musical enjoyment full stop .
I will , hopefully this year , be taking up the Doc's offer of an upgrade to the A40 monoblocks and I'm pretty sure I'll be in for another musical treat . If you're not sure about trying NVA just go for it as I did . I'm pretty sure you will keep it , and enjoy it , as I did .
Big thanks to the Doc for bringing us such fantastic gear at bargain prices .
I confess to deliberating for several weeks before making my mind up and eventually purchasing the Cube 2’s. My NVA set up is a mixture of old and new units, cables and interconnects which has replaced mainly Naim equipment. Like many others I’m sure the eBay offers play a major role and likewise Cube2’s were available at a very generous and welcome discount.
Up to that point it was becoming very apparent to my ears that the outgoing Neat Motive 3 speakers are far more suited to Naim amplification. I believe Neat ‘voice’ their speakers using Naim, whether this is true or not who knows but I wouldn’t be surprised. Feeling that a change was necessary and having previously heard and being impressed by both Cube 1 & 3’s, it seemed the logical choice. A little sorry to see the Neat’s go as they have been great fun but they weren’t the right match for me with the NVA amplifier.
It may be worth mentioning that why bother and just go back to what I had previously? Until I discovered NVA I was perfectly happy with the system I was using. Having heard and then owning NVA, my ears are telling me that NVA brings you closer to the music, it’s all about the music not meaningless specs. If I couldn't hear any differences or more importantly improvement then I would have left things as they were but the changes haven't been subtle, the new Amplifier and Cables set up is the best I've ever had and give so much enjoyment to my listening experiences.
Owning a few different makes of speakers over the last 40 years I’ve come to the conclusion that ported speakers are a design compromise that I prefer less in comparison to infinite baffle. Sealed enclosures are very thin on the ground these days, my last pair of IB speakers were Heybrook HB3’s, wish I never sold them but WAF and all that and it was a very long time ago.
Onto the Cube 2’s. They are beautifully finished, any worries about being too large for my small listening room were groundless as they blend in perfectly.
What is immediately apparent during listening is what you don’t hear, to my ears the Cubes are very neutral, sounds flow effortlessly and the music comes though unhindered. Listening sessions became a lot more extended as the music plays on into the evenings. There is no flabby booming bass to control however I’m still experimenting with small adjustments in positioning. At the moment very close to the back wall which is great for space in a small room. To preserve domestic harmony, I have the listening levels quite low, the Cubes excel at this, no need to crank it up as the music does not suffer and you feel connected to the performance. So far I’m finding the Cubes a very easy listen and you’re quickly immersed into the recording. I’m not listening to equipment I’m listening to music.
An additional benefit is a noticeable reduction in background noise, it has just disappeared. There has always been a mild hum from the Phono 1, it was never too much of a distraction but I can’t hear it at all now? Similarly the FM tuner source, which although it gets very little use, was again much clearer.
My main source is the Pi3/Allo Boss, streamer / DAC combo. When auditioned at the ‘DAC bake off’ it only had a few hours of use. Now fully ‘burned in’, it is much more of a refined listen, the liveliness has been tamed and the music has opened up with a rich deep tuneful bass.
Overall I’m very impressed with the combination of the DAC, Amplification and Cubes. The Cubes are different for sure but in a good way. These are keepers and I’m looking forward to getting the best from them for hopefully, many years to come.
...the Gods you worship are steel, at the altar of rock 'n' roll you kneel...
So, having lived with the cables for a long time, and the Cube 3’s for a while less, thought it was time to post a review as promised. All this should be taken in the context of my (fairly modest) system at that time of budget turntable and CD/laptop into a dac and then onto an A60 (1997 vintage) driving wooden Cubettes.
Having owned and sold various bits of kit over the years, the thing I really valued about the NVA kit was the sheer musicality and involvement I felt when listening to it. I have owned ‘hi-fi’ from other manufacturers that cost a lot more money but for whatever reason, there was a solidity and real warmth to the music via the NVA kit that put flesh on the bones of a performance and really floated my boat. It made listening fun in that I was able to enjoy the music without focusing on hi-fi. I also had a real soft spot for the presentation of omni speakers since hearing Shahinian’s (and later Larsen’s) at various shows, less in your face and more natural to my ears. So, the chance to try Cubettes at £250 was ideal for me.
Having moved from LS2 to LS3 previously, I took advantage of a cable sale to try LS6. I have previously been fairly agnostic about cable, LS3 was clearly an upgrade on LS2 but I can honestly say that hand on heart, the move to SSP, and LS6 in particular was a revelation for me in terms of their importance. They are genuinely the biggest single ‘bang for buck’ improvement I have experienced and made me re-think the way I looked at hi-fi – in the context of my system of course, I have not tried SSP or LS6 with other amps or speakers. I would urge anyone with a modest NVA (or other) system to try these cables first before buying a new box. It is a cliché but LS6 opened the window wide and allowed my little system to really shine. Everything just seemed to relax and you could listen in to each musical element individually, without spoiling the event as a whole. Give them a try, the 30-day trial period makes it a no brainier and you may never know how good your system is if you don’t. Not sure what sort of fairy dust is inside but they work!!
I was again tempted in by a sale to try the Cube 3’s. Was not sure how much of a difference it would make, same size bass driver but larger cabinet but needless to say they stayed. I love the looks and they give you everything the Cubettes did but on a larger scale. Bigger (tight) bass, larger scale and the music just bounces along. I am aware that everyone has their own preferences, but I do not get some of the negative comments I have read elsewhere about Cubes. I can only assume it is agenda driven because they are excellent and superb value for money. had a brief listen to equivalently priced B&W’s and Dali’s prior to trying these but there is just no comparison. Again. I come back to the fact that via Cube 3’s, I am listening to real, fleshed out performers in front of me with substance, solid images (not cardboard cut-outs) and above all MUSIC that just bounces along and makes you want to listen to track after track.
I dread to think what the larger amps and speakers bring to the party, may find out one day but if I have to live with these long term I would be happy.
Hi Richard. Once again seriously impressed.
Feel free to use any of the following for your site.
This is the fourth time I have bought a pair of these outstanding cables, a short run from the Well Tempered to the Trigon, another from the Trigon to the (NVA) passive pre, another from the Cyrus CD7Q to the pre, and now a longer run out to the Meridians. Each one has been a breath of fresh air. No hype, no hyperbole, these just get out of the way, they do literally vanish acoustically, leaving you wondering how you ever put up with the now obvious colouration from other cables.
A true hifi bargain, i simply love them.
Best regards. Mike.
Arrived safely,thanks. Well packed.
Very nicely finished, quite heavy, impressive. Too early for an in depth review, just a quickie, already enjoying with an old 1972 Akai hulking tape player..
Bass, rhythm and details all apparent. Open clear and clean. Dusted off an old Gene Loves Jezebel tape...sounding remarkably good.
Well impressed already.
cheers, Spencer. (boxswapper)