NVA Reviews (THIS THREAD IS ONLY FOR STASHING REVIEWS)

All reviews of NVA here.
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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:46 am

Re: Balanced line mains
Postby terrybooth » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:26 pm

I've now had a chance to have a decent listen with this in the system (I have all the amps plugged into it, previously they were plugged into a couple of two gang extensions - not standard mains but screened 4mm cable). As ever, I think I'll really find out what it is doing when I take it out of the system. But for the moment my conclusion is that it improves just about everything.

The music is more 'in the room', the soundstage is bigger, there is more distinction between the different performers and parts to the music, each bit of the music has some more of it's own character, there's more dynamic range, little grace notes and pushes to the music are more apparent, the highs and the lows are clearer.

There is a downside. And that's that there's someone playing a didgeridoo quietly in the corner of the room - the noise floor of my listening room is now around 4db more that is was (measured on an app on my tablet). This is not noticeable most of the time but it is in quiet passages of music. But this is an 'undoped' transformer, I think, and it will not be helping that it is sat directly on a wooden floor - maybe I need some 'state of the art racks' to sort this. :mrgreen:

I suspect that my amps are now buzzing rather less than they were but I haven't really listened for that.

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:52 am

Re: Balanced line mains
Postby Gromit » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:03 pm

Ok, then - what does it actually do?

We all know (DSJR espesh ;) ) that the 42.5/110 isn't exactly what you'd describe as a shrinking violet. Violent is perhaps a more apt description. Still, I quite like it and enjoy its front-row presentation. Adding the BMU...

If you've heard what a HiCap does to a Naim pre-amp, this will be fairly familiar but not only does the presentation with BMU added gain scale, it's as thought someone has put a metronome behind the music. Best way I can try to describe it is this - without it, there's less sense of the time domain in music being wholly accurate. Imagine a turntable playing at varying speed, but without changing pitch, and you'll hopefully get the idea. Add the BMU and the timing is restored to clockwork precision, the temporal smearing being removed. Of course, music still ebbs and flows against this, but in a much more accurate and realistic way. I'd also say taking the BMU out of the system makes its contribution all the more obvious.

Sonically (as opposed to musically) it's a shot in the arm for the amp's ability to portray colour. Acoustic piano (which I listen to 50% of the time) gains body, it resonates for longer and its physicality is improved too. High frequencies integrate better into the mix, and are no longer a separate sprinkling on the top just to give a sense of extra detail - the HF of the Sapphires is now sweeter, less obvious. They were always clean at the top, it's just that there's always been a little too much of it. :mrgreen:

At the risk of 'gushing' now I've experienced what the balanced mains can bring, I'm not not wholly sure I'll be happy to live without it.

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:53 pm

Phono 2 / dual PSU - My thoughts
Postby zebbo » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:48 pm

Hello all
Well I've had my Phono 2 in place for a couple of months now so thought I'd let you all know what I think.
I'd been using an Anatek MC1 for a couple of years and was really happy with it, but I do like trying stuff out and constantly pitched it against other phonostages amongst which were - Graham Slee Reflex, EAR 834P, Puresound P10 & a Whest TWO. The Anatek sounded better, to me, than all of them.
Throughout all of this I kept looking at the little black box on E-bay that was the Phono 2 but at £490 it couldn't compete surely.
Anyway, curiosity finally got the better of me and I ordered one, with the additional power supply. It was on 30 days home trial anyway so how could I lose?
It arrived a few weeks later and I unpacked everything. I have to admit that I was more than a little disappointed to discover that the case of the head unit wasn't a good fit, being about 1-2mm proud on one side, and also two of the rubber feet had fallen off! Regardless I set it all up, powered it up and left it to cook for a while. I didn't call the Doc about the casework at that time as I figured I may as well try it out first, then if, as I suspected it would, it failed to beat the Anatek it would be returned anyway.
I like to use Paul Simon's Graceland LP as a good test for the phonostages so pulled it out and cued it up with the Anatek - lovely, as usual, all nicely balanced, punchy but not overbearing, good detail and nice vocals.
I switched everything over to the NVA and cued up again, expecting any differences to be subtle and probably negative, well, how wrong I was! :shock:
The vocals were noticeably cleaner, though seemed to lack a little of the Anatek's warmth, but the detail and textures were something else! I sat mesmerised as I listened to familiar tracks that sounded so much fresher and cleaner with deeper, more textured bass. At the end of the album I thought to myself "that couldn't have been as drastically different as I thought it was, surely". So, back to the Anatek and play it again...... yep, nice vocals, a little warmer than the NVA, but everything else now seemed to be submerged in a sort of "fog", as if the singer was on the stage in front of the curtains and everyone else was playing behind them! The decision was simple.
To double check my findings I invited a couple of friends, who are into hi-fi, around for an evenings listening and, despite both being sceptical of possible improvement, they were both amazed and impressed.
Having decided to keep the Phono 2, I phoned the Doc regarding the dodgy casework and he immediately agreed to build a new one to replace it and said I could continue using the original one until it was ready, superb all round, I'm a very happy camper! :dance:

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: Roll on the weekend!
Postby tinturkey » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:17 pm

Music listened to over yesterday afternoon till now (excerpts from!):-

Shostakovich 5th Symphony (Bernstein NY Phil. 1979 CD)
Mahler 2nd Symphony (LSO Kaplan 1988 CD)
Respighi Pines/Fountains of Rome, Roman Festival (Montreal SO Duthoit 1983 CD)
Band of the Grenadier Guards (Hands Across the Sea 1998 CD) - One of the many recordings I perfomed on with this Band.
A CD named Fantastic Journey performed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Erich Kunzel 1990 Telarc)
James Last/Astrud Gilberto - Plus (1986 CD)
Level 42 (Level 42 1981 CD)
A few tracks from Naim Sample CD's listened through lossless files - mainly modern jazz.

Well, what can I say? After spending probably thousands and thousands of £'s since I was 17 (I'm now coming upto 60) on hifi (if you can be bothered I've listed what I've been through on the AoS forum), I think I may be finally 'there'. 'There' being the sound of music, pure music, a true representation of what the recording engineers put down when the music was recorded, eminating from my speakers.

I have used most of the recordings for years to 'evaluate' hifi equipment.

The Shostakovich. I listen for the timbre/fullness of the double basses at the beginning (perfect). About 3\4's through the first movement there is a double bass pizzicato combined with piano section, these are joined by the brass section, notably the bass trombone (perfect again - the bass trombone player projecting massively just the way the recording engineer wanted it to). The second movement - more full bowed double basses (can't you tell I was a double bass player!). Third movement - massed sweeping violins (always a test for fatigue to ears - no fatigue here, just sweet sounds). Fourth and last movement - exhilerating brass, always listen for the part where the xylophone joins in hammering out semi-quavers (brilliant, the xylophone protrudes from the rest of the orchestra - excellent). The last part of the fourth movement full strings, big, big brass, tympani and bass drum (the immediacy/strike of each tympani and bass drum beat - scary!!). The wide soundstage, the depth created, the dynamics (attack/bite of each note), the sweetness of the high violin notes, the heft of the brass and basses and the might of the tympani and bass drum - all absolutely perfect. The listening on all of the music mentioned above was similarly - perfect.

I could obviously go through the rest of music, but I'd bore everyone reading this to death, although (just one more example) on the Hands Acrsos the Sea CD, on a couple of marches (I played tuba on this recording), there are quite a few pedal Bb's (for the not knowledgable in music here, these are really low notes that I ued to enjoy putting in - hard work but enhanced the sound of the tuba section). This is the first time I have heard them properly portrayed - since 1998!

After hearing equipment like this (NVA), you wonder why everyone else doesn't have the sense to buy it. I can truely say, after all these years, that this last day and a bit have been spent listening to the nearest thing that the recording engineer at the time of recording wanted us to hear. Not only the best sound, brilliant customer sevice. Richard really went to town to get my amps finished for this weekend (wife still away till about 5 so more listening - then work again).

Thanks very much Richard for getting it so right. Long may you carry on manufacturing this incredible sounding gear. The question being now, do I really need to buy the T.D.S?

Just read through the above and have got to put on record - perfect being in my opinion, although, I would challenge any other hifi manufacturer to beat the NVA sound - especially for the price!

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: NVA LS6 loudspeaker cable
Postby jandl100 on 2012-06-25, 01:37:25 pm

Thanks to a loaner pair from the Good Dr BH, I've been listening today, comparing the LS6 with my own Tellurium Black. The Blacks, in fact all of the Tellurium cables, have been getting some rave reviews on some of the forums and magazines, and they are very good. Similar price to the LS6, the LS6 being a bit more expensive.

The LS6 wins by a fairly easy margin.
Better rez, better focus, more powerful and better defined bass.
It's a bit brighter, which may help with the rez, or maybe the Tellurium is a bit darker. Same thing!
The LS6 are easily worth the slight price premium, imo. A very fine cable ... hmm, I wonder what the LS7 sounds like ... :?
jandl100

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:43 pm

Re: NVA LS6 loudspeaker cable
Postby 29mile on 2012-07-09, 10:38:27 pm

LS6 review – bl**dy good I say so good I just bought it ! ( sorry to those in the queue for the delay but the good Doc has agreed to make up some more for beta testing ).

Slightly more seriously there is little more that I can add to the comments already made and I can only compare them against my resident LS5’s. As a seasoned NVA user I am used to upgrades simply adding more of the same and here the LS6’s did not disappoint. Sound wise more resolution better separation enhanced mid-range and albiet not deeper bass but tauter and crisper. Music wise is where they score by adding more timbre sharper dynamics and just a better sense of performance. Vocals shine particularly ( all NVA kit seems to excel at this btw) and that sense of realism is really enhanced. Which comes to the crux – you become more involved in the music the whole point of the hifi exercise for me. NVA gear just sits in the background unobtrusively and its sheer transparency just lets the music shine through unimpeded. LS6 just adds to this and for any NVA user the synergy LS6 provides means I would simply go for it !

Mervyn
29mile

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:45 pm

New TDS's no they are not going back
Postby applemarc on 2012-06-23, 05:58:58 pm

:D I pick these up on Wednesday I had them powered up while I was finishing the installation of my 15 amp power points. On Thursday I set them up and played a cd on repeat one thing I noticed was how good female voice was right from the start.

Sat down to have a listen and this is just the initial thought’s, Outstanding, now I don’t know if it’s the TDS’s or LS7 but probably both compared to my well run in Conrad Johnson Premier 350 and Purist audio Design cable at about £20,000+ the new barely used amps leave these for dead. I’m not yet ready to go into too much detail as Richard says that it will take them a month to burn in but I have only once heard voice this clear and that was with a pair of Jadis JA 500’s, at the time these sold for £22000 and these where not as good as the TDS. Top and bottom end are really good this is what I have listened to so far.

Enigma MCMXC ad
Tracy Chapman 1st
Pink Floyd Dark Side and Wish you where Here
Bebel Gilberto Tanto Tempo
Peter Green Splinter Group Best of
Leontyne Price Blue Album
Puccini Madama Butterfly and Tosca
T Rex Electric warrior
David Bowie The man whole sold the world

I know it’s an odd mix but I just wanted to play a variety

Tomorrow I will start with some serious listening I am planning on getting my mobile fidelity UHQR’s out these rarely come out of their box
applemarc

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:45 pm

Re: New TDS's no they are not going back
Postby applemarc on 2012-06-27, 03:36:35 pm

OK OK I get the message but with listening to music and trying to get more work done so I can buy more NVA statement amps how much time does that leave me to write a report. I work with computers all day. Anyway here is an update.

I have decided to get rid of the Martin Logan’s and keep the PMC PB1i’s, as with the TDS’s they sound great. Oh you wanted to hear about the TDS’s.

I have now had a serious listen to the following LP’s

Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman Mobile Fidelity MFQR 1-035
Alan Parsons Project I Robot Mobile Fidelity MFQR 1-035
Pink Floyd Dark side of the moon Mobile Fidelity MFQR 1-017
Holst The Planets Mobile Fidelity MFQR 1-510
Santana Abraxas Japanese Pressing
Kraftwerk Minimum-Maximum UK Pressing
Carl Orff Carmina Burana
Poulenc Concerto for Organ
Dave Brubeck Time out

This is what I have noticed, so when listening to Carmina Burana the difference between the quietest passages and the loudest was noticeable bigger, I think this is what they call dynamic range, but this was much more noticeable than with any amp I have owned. Also I noticed how quiet the background noise was compare to the Conrad Johnson.

Tea for the tiller man was crystal clear and again dynamic range was wider than before. I could also hear more clearly the plectrum on the acoustic guitar.
Kraftwork’s Min-max the bass is exceptional deep and the whole recording is again better than my previous amps.
Dave Brubeck Time out I can only say that the saxophone has never sounded so good.

So here it is I have changed my speaker cable for LS7 my interconnect to SSP and my Amps to TDS’s so I can't say what each individual item has done to the sound but what I can say is I’m getting a sound that I did not think was possible. I have found that the volume on my preamp has crept up to a point I have never had it, the sound is relaxed no hint of any edginess and no real heat from the amps. I have started selling my cables and my used Apple computers to I can buy more NVA.

Sorry this is not a proper review but it’s not something I am any good at. Give me a Mac with a problem or a network issue then I am at home. If anyone has a specific question please ask.
applemarc

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:51 pm

Really impressed with NVA
Postby Sovereign on 2012-03-24, 12:56:16 am

I have recently bought a second hand pair of A80's and A40's and I am very impressed!!!!!
I am coming from using a top of the line John Farlowe Expo set up (II pre amp and IX PSU and a IVDR 2 Power amp) I have never heard resolution, separation and tonal balance like this. I just can't believe it, and the price , Richard should be a Millionaire, maybe he is.
If your reading Richard, thanks for pioneering your methods and producing such good amps and thanks for keeping the price down so we can all enjoy the high end.
Sovereign

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:37 am

Re: Quick comments and thoughts on SC vs. SSC
Unread postby kimangelis » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:28 am

I used to build my own sound-pipes, bought the raw aerospace tech. control cable lengths from RS. Easy to build but a sod to install.

Just swapped over from SC's to SSC's and the difference was quite marked. I did the usual swapping back-and-forth, and came to the conclusion the SSC was allowing more through rather that 'sounding' different. The overall sound (signature?) remained the same whichever (SC or SSC) I used, it's just there was more of it with the SSC. Also got hold of a used SSP as an interconnect. Before I broke it (now re-soldered), again there was more coming through albeit with the same signature as the SC/SSC.

Used to use a fancy silver interconnect between the CD player and P50. The SC matched it (and then some). The SSC blew it out of the water. So oddly the fancy silver cable was adding something to what is otherwise a very neutral set-up (Rega Brio/P50).

So... objective subjectivity.
kimangelis

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