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 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:40 am

Quick comments and thoughts on SC vs. SSC
Postby _D_S_J_R_ » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:32 pm

Just thought I'd add a few comments on these two while I still have the T.I.S.

At present, I can't listen through speakers and have spent a goodly while listening through my old HD25SP's, which are not kind to treble distortion, or treble excesses in general ;) The SC's found a great home here as MY general-purpose value-for-money interconnect. The cable itself is rather more expensive to buy than most screened coax cables and although the plugs don't look very posh, they actually do the job really well. My feelings on the SC remain that it's a straight down the middle kind of cable. All the musical clues are there and for detail freaks, subtle production and mixing clues can be easily heard as well!

So far, so good! I had the chance to get some cable to make my 1m (more like 1.3m as purchased) SC into an SSC. As recently discussed on AOS and here, the SSC only uses the inner cores and two cables per mono length, as using the outer screen, which is supposed to filter out rf and so on, can in theory (I understand) just transmit the interference into the system via the signal return. I dutifully got going with the soldering iron and heat gun, using small diameter heatshrink on each cable end and a larger diameter heatshrink down the length of the cables to 'tie' them together. I don't have any of that swish black woven stuff to finish it off, so didn't bother to wait to get some. PLEASE don't worry Doc, this cable ain't being passed on to anyone on the future!

OK, what's it sound like? "Really good!" is my answer. Like the SC, but more of it, I just felt the soundfield opened up a bit and just made things even easier to follow for me. I can't give reams and reams of descriptive prose about it, since it just does the job even better than SC, which can be readily upgraded by NVA should you wish to.

Next, I have to say that while I was busy with the soldering iron, I was listening through a T.I.S. interconnect, which offers a useful (necessary in a top end system) increase in musical timbre (ease of identifying) and 'texture' in the playing of said instruments. It's difficult for me to say much more, because I know that a really musically revealing system will lap up T.I.S. but for me and the gear I have, the SSC does an amazing job and I love it..

Since it's topical, I also happen to have an infamous Klotz 5000 with MS phono plugs courtesy of Brian. Pretty dire sounding from the off (worse I think than the AC110 coax they make), this cable definitely seemed to subtly get better over a good few hours' use and has ended up really good (as 'everyone else' has stated ;)). This one and the SSC offer two sides of the T.I.S. in my opinion, the Klotz (just the inner cores connected) sounding now very sweet, musical and spacious, whereas the SSC is just as 'musical,' but offering a precision to the mix that I and my gear like a lot!

Hang on a minute, cables are all supposed not to offer any character or 'sound' at all aren't they and only audiophools claim to hear any differences at all? These differences are admittedly very small in the scheme of things, but, for a while, if you get 'tuned in' to these types of differences, it's possible to 'get' the impressions quite well I think and I found my experiences consistent and repeatable - so there! :lol: :guiness;


Forgive the clumpy writing style, I'm knackered today and when I'm like this I get a bit dyslexic too - my spell-checker works just fine thankfully - cough!
_D_S_J_R_

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:38 pm

NVA PHONO2 ans PSU REVIEW
Postby lonergan2468 on 2010-03-05, 06:46:23 pm

System:
Roksan Xerxes/Audio Origami Pu7
AT 440MLa
Opera Con M800 Valve power amps/ultra linear mode
Martin Logan Quest Z
Stereo Vox Firebird loudspeaker cables
Nordst Red dawn interconnect from the NVA to
Musical Fidelity A308CR pre.
Isotek Orion power supply/conditioner

The NVA phono2 and PSU arrived yesterday morning, and I immediately set it up in the system. I let the record spin a J J Cale record which was already on the tt, and with the volume on very low, and occasionally returning to replace the arm back to start. I did not pay any attention to what the NVA was offering at this stage; albeit to ensure that both channels where working.
The NVA required running in, and I started my listening session from 23.00....my favourite time...less noise, internally and externally.

My first record was Soul to Soul: A new decade: I was not impressed here, I found the overall picture lacking life, muddled bass, and recessed vocals. Hmmmmm, ok I thought, the bit I hate, cartridge checking. I was right the alignment was inaccurate. Using the Audio Origami protractor I realigned the head shell, and then set the cartridge. I also applied tracking weight at 1.6.12. (earlier I had removed the Townshend paddle, and this involved removing bolts etc, I did not re check alignment) Tut Tut..
There was a big improvement, and the ball started to roll from here. On Soul to Soul the sound was presented in a different manner over the Trichord, vocals projected well in to the soundstage, and on a few occasions I could get the impression of the main female vocalist moving away from the mic......ahhhh...ok...this baby is analytical. The album is not exactly the all together recording that I thought it was.

Yello: Flag: The race: The race: Speed was excellent, dynamics excellent, imaging excellent, and fast. The bass lines appeared and disappeared in that slightly ethereal manner. The motor bike went around the circuit and gave the impression of a race track. Transient information was impressive.

Grace Jones: Warm leatherette: I was impressed with timbrel resolution in the vocals, great I got Ole Gracie back…her Jamaican intonation on “Breakdown” fantastic. I enjoyed the rest of the record. My fav track “the hunter gets captured by the game” was reproduced with great clarity, bass lines and imaging excellent, electric guitar on “bullshit” was a joy and over the Trichord not gritty and ear piercing! “Pars” with its hypnotic bass lines and French vocals was conveyed beautifully, I love the climbing tense bass on this track, and it was tight..nice one.

Andy Sheppard : Soft on the inside: my favourite tool for checking out equipment. Track "Carla, Carla, Carla, Carla", a big band attempt, massive structures, very complicated with its strange sounds that creep from the background and disappear. Over the Trichord I enjoyed this, and it was presented with fantastic dynamic structure, imaging was excellent. I noticed that timbrel resolution was superior to the Trichord...the actual sound of percussion, brass, drums....very together performance.
I felt that the NVA offers a more solid structured performance over the Trichord which can at times be a bit thin sounding with less better recordings, and this was apparent with The Eagles: Greatest hits: vocals were more present, bass much improved, the timing on "lying eyes" was quite impressive, and I could actually perceive the attempt of the vocalist to paint a picture.

Jazz at the pawn shop: the ultimate test. Fantastic…and at this point I noticed the signature of the NVA, it presented a clear sound, quiet background with excellent timbrel resolution, with a very easy natural presentation on Jazz at the pawnshop. Don’t get me wrong the NVA can rise to the occasion to convey that this is a live pub session, with background noise. The xylophone was rendered in a beautiful manner that was breath taking, I thought with the Trichord that this was “hypnotic” the NVA conveyed this but it just simply sounded like a xylophone should. Dynamic structure was impressive, Instruments are clearly defined, and in addition the actual human contact with the instrument, that reed sound that belongs to a particular musician etc as he fades off, it makes more sense of the actual information within the groove.

Conclusion

Very impressive. Over the Trichord Dino, the NVA is analytical, but forgiving in its performance. I was stunned with the more natural and easy presentation that I heard with “Jazz at the pawnshop” The signature of the J7 tone arm was now apparent, silky. In a previous review of the J7 tone arm I did state therein that I could not discern a signature of such, however the silky nature is now apparent.
A very well structured presentation, and with a good front end this beauty will give the ultimate performance. The AT 440MLa is not a high end cartridge, however the NVA and the J7 combination is breathtaking, of course the J7 is extracting everything from the AT and to the benefit of the NVA.
A real class act.

Verdict: Excellent, goodbye Trichord, I knew one day a new lady would just walk in to my life, and she did.
lonergan2468

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:40 pm

NVA Cube 1
Postby docfoster on 2010-03-21, 10:59:04 pm

Before I attended the excellent Scalford show recently, the biggest single attraction was the chance to hear the new NVA Cube speaker range. For a few years now I've been very impressed by the neutral and accurate performance of various pieces of NVA electronics and wires, the prospect of witnessing the arrival of NVA speakers excited me as I drove over the the East Midlands.

When I actually sat down in that voluminous NVA room at Scalford, I was like many others disappointed by the sound. To my ears the sound coming out from the vinyl system and the Cube 1s was washed out and insipid. I heard a lack of dynamics and frequency extension. As most of the rest of that system I own, I was confident that the blame for the perceived flaws was to be laid at the door of the new speakers or the vast room.

I revisited the NVA room several times during the day, and was able to play several of my own LPs, all of which sounded worse, often considerablyt so, than they do in my own lounge. Very disappointing. "At least I've saved a grand" I thought. "...And affirmed my belief in my treasured Dynaudio Audience 82s..."

At the end of show I got chatting to Richard Dunn, who "persuaded" :shock: me to take the Cube 1s home for a couple of weeks for a proper listen. I capitulated (due to either fear or pity, I'm not sure) and carefully stuck the black boxes in the back of my tiny Daihatsu.

For the past 2 weeks the NVAs have been performing a merry square dance with my Dyn's, swapping in and out of my system several dozen times.
My initial feeling was that in my lounge (8mx4m), with a very similar system to that used by NVA at the Scalford show, the sound of the Cubes was significantly better. The familiar chiselled NVA spatial accuracy was present, and more so than with my Dynaudios, but there was a slight lift in the upper mid range when listening to vinyl. The infected the sound with a brittle character that was annoying, and negated any spatial improvements over my Dyn's. I began to plan my journey to return the Cubes, and my tactful 'thank but no thanks' speech to Mr. Dunn :?.

However, Mr. Poirot, I noticed that this tonal inaccuracy this was absent when I put a CD on.

Inspired to hammer out the problem I got to work on the TT. I switched headshells and lowered the arm to change the VTA. Hey presto - that inane grin so prized by audiophiles crept across my face.

I love NVA kit - it is just so natural and effortless. Everything is there - without emphasis and without additon or subtraction. Tonally and spatially transparent.
To my ears, NVA kit finds the music in the signal. A bit like that urban myth Michelangelo quote about his David ("He was already in the stone. I just had to find him").

To find that the NVA Cubes posess this same rare tallent was a real relief. The fact that they had sounded so poor in their cavernous space at the Scalford show is a great shame for all those who heard them on the day and may have liked them had they been performing in more accomodating surroundings.

If the only place you've heard the NVA Cube 1s was at Scalford, they are well worth a second chance. As long as they're making music in a room closer to the size of your lounge than to the Alber Hall! ;-)

DF
docfoster

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:46 pm

Yes - I have heard the new TSS Mk3 !!!
Postby 29mile on 2010-07-12, 01:20:06 pm

Having bagged the last TSS Mk2 it was time to collect the finished article from Muppet Labs. I was luckily priviliged to both listen to my Mk2 and have a surprise back to back comparison with the spanking new Mk3. This was only a very brief introduction but revealing and pleasurable.

With an Ortofon SPU shod PL71 as source and P90SA as the ‘go between’ first up my the Mk2 took to the task of driving the Cube 1’s with consummate ease. All the hallmark NVA attributes were there of course and as Alan B noted previously in his excellent review the Mk2 just seems in total control of the music. Unphased by any of the Doc’s eclectic album playing it handled all with distinguished aplomb. Despite the butch ascetics it does not manhandle music but lets it naturally swing and flow using the dynamics of the PL71 to maximum effect. The downside ( if that’s what it is ) is that the Mk2 does what all NVA amps do in revealing a recording in its true unadulterated state – warts and all. Hence sublime recordings sound just sublime and rubbish recordings well just that. No hiding away here.

Then came that world exclusive moment – switching to the Mk3. When I previously have moved up the NVA amp hierarchy somehow ‘less becomes more’. On cue the Mk3 did exactly that. It somehow sounded quieter than the Mk2 while conversely not taking away any of the music but merely adding to it’s detail and clarity. It removed the background noise and haze as it were – yep that Windolene effect again ! This was done in a very refined and accomplished way again at odds with those ‘manly’ ascetics ( they look much better in the flesh by the way ). With a deeper soundstage the Mk3 displayed all those firmilar NVA family traits in a very polished and dare I say it audiophile manner. Stereo and focus were pinpoint and incrementally better than the Mk2. One initial thought was that this extra control may have taken a little away from the musicality and dynamisms of the Mk2. A little less swing and exuberance perhaps. But I suspect given more running in time the amp will ‘loosen up’ and display the same sheer joy of playing music that NVA’s I feel uniquely revel in.

By adding extra poise clarity and control to the Mk2 the new Mk3 in my opinion represent another progressive development for NVA amplification. On value for money that is in the eye (or pocket ) of the beholder. Personally I will aspire to them finances permitting ( about 2020 probably !) but for now my bargain Mk2 is more than enough.

So three cheers for the Doc in a non-fanboyish way of course ! (and many thanks for giving up your Saturday morning for the demo.)
29mile

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:37 am

Re: Gert yer finger oot Soveriegn
Postby Sovereign » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:04 pm

OK, Ok here it is.

I have had the pleasure of using a pair of MG Oyaide FTVS-510 pure silver stereo cable fitted with WBT 0110 Ag a truly superb cable, one I would highly recommend. I have also used the Mark Grant G1500HD Precision audio cable - Neutrik - and found them to be blisteringly good particularly starting at £65! You really can't go wrong.

The MG silver interconnects to me are very open, detailed and give a very full and weighty sound, not fat and heavy but very well balanced, a very open presentation and very impressive. The MG Silver interconnects don't belong to me and I had to get them back to where they belong, but before I did I wanted to compare them to a pair of NVA SSP Neutrik, as I have had my eye on these for some time.

I must add at this point that I run a bi-amped system. The interconnects leading to my tweeters were MG G1000HD at all times. The cables that were changing were leading to my bass and mid drivers only, so please bear this in mind.

I popped in the SSP's and the first thing I noticed was an even wider and more dynamic presentation. Strings that were plucked, drums that were hit or voices that were sung stood out more, there was seemingly clearer definition between other voices/instruments and the SSP's were slightly more tonally accurate. I love the mid band texture and realism. To me the SSP's are very NVA, they get out the way and the music is presented 'live' before you; really fruity and full of texture and realism.
Sovereign

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:42 am

Re: LS6 Speaker Cable
Postby Neilardo » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:37 pm

Here are my impressions on upgrading from LS3 to LS6 bi-wire.
Really happy. :D
LS6 is quite a bit stiffer than LS3, so a fair bit of shaping and molding required specifically to ensure that the spur to the tweeters is properly inserted. My speakers are about 30cm from the rear wall and I need all that space ie. the cables are touching the walls.
However where it counts, SQ, it's thumbs up across the board. :clap: No need to strain your ears to perceive subtle improvements. Best bits; the sound-stage front-to-back is alot more focused, bass notes have a bit more start and finish, higher frequencies are stronger but less harsh (previously using brass plate jumpers supplied with speakers)so less tiring .
Will wait a couple of days before returning the LS3 just to quickly back-check the changes, but it's a no-brainer really. To me £100 on cables is alot of money, but easily worth the upgrade cost.
Moon CD.5>>SSP>>P50sa>>SSP>>A80>>LS6>>Royd Prior>>> and on the whole very pleased about it.

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:45 am

Re: LS6 Speaker Cable
Postby Tim Jones » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:28 pm

Anyhoo, having had my LS6 running in since Saturday, here are my first impressions:

Good stuff. My TQ Blue worked fine in a sort of inoffensive and cuddly way, but it's that whole cleaner window analogy. Much better separation and stereo. At first there just seemed to be a lot more treble information, but it's really sorted itself out now (though whether that's the cable burning in or my brain getting acclimatised I'm not sure). Lower down I wouldn't say there was more extension (hard to tell; my speakers are pretty limited there), but everything seems to stop and start with more definition.

Because of this, a lot of the tracks that I used to just skip on albums have suddenly taken on new meaning because I can hear a bit more clearly what the intention was, while there's a much stronger sense of the recording acoustic and/or studio effects.

Money very well spent I think.
Rega P9/RB1000/DV Te Kaitora Rua; Clearaudio Balance; Rega Saturn; NVA P50SA; NVA A80s; Rega RS3s.
Tim Jones

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by kimangelis » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:39 pm

Been settling-down with my AP10H a lot recently given my (downstairs) neighbours and their offspring have returned from holibags.
Sounded sort-of well, fine for a while until I got out side a nice Chenin Blanc one evening and went to bed without switching off.
Following day was a revelation. Said offspring were trampolining (noisily) so used the headphones rather than the speakers. Huge difference.... Blew me away actually.
Previously the headphone unit wasn't letting me forget I was listening to headphones, and sounded little different from my old set-up using the headphone output of an Audiolab 8000A.
Now it's very special, lots of front-to-back imagery and the like. Even more so in the dark where voices come from the corner of the room.... Also find I turn the volume down a tad as the detail is quite overpowering.
Anyway, I leave the headphone amp (and the power amps) on all the time now (yes I know... as recommended). I run all my kit through an APC UPS, as the AC power where I live (Scottish Borders) can spike now and again.
Primare CD22. Primare DAB/FM radio. NVA TCS. AP10H(JS), with Denon AH-D7100's. A70 MkII's. Cube2's. LS7. BMU. Interconnects all TIS.

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Re: NVA Reviews

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:20 pm

Re: Cubes / Cubix
Postby jimkempton on 2010-08-08, 10:19:59 am

I've heard the NVA system before so am familiar with the "house" sound so to speak, and I get very much what Richard is trying to achieve. But on Friday I heard it sounding the best ever. The Cubix were driven in biamped mode by two huge stereo amps, TDS I think or was it TSS - can't remember what you said mate? Anyway they were massive! These were driven from the stepped attenuator passive preamp. The PL71/SPU was the front end - sorry guys it was a joyously 11010100101 free day 8-)

The first thing that grabbed me was the very low level of overhang, due I'm sure to the cabinets. I felt them while the bass was pounding and they moved of course BUT the important point is how quickly they release the energy. They do not rely on over-damped lossy cabinets as most wooden cabinets do hence the low overhang. This leads on to them timing incredibly well. I thought they reproduced piano as well as I've ever heard. Again I reckon this to be down to low energy storage whereby the piano note decay is free from blurring and smearing - a common problem with most other speakers IMV. At first I thought they were bass light for a largish box with 2 bass drivers but when we played some music with very deep bass they reproduced it very well with weight and attack. Again I put this down to low energy storage. It's very common for poor speakers to appear "bassy" when there's no need for it, i.e. it's not in the signal. The obvious conclusion being that the Cubix is adding very little. They go very loud, Richard's current room is not massive but it's more than big enough to accommodate them. I would suspect they'd be fine in a larger room also. The system was perfectly able to differentiate between the drums in a kit, the size of the drum and the skin tension being really obvious. Many, many speakers fail here IMV. I took Tom Waits Blue Valentine with me which is a good test for sibilance, it's easy (or should be!) to tell if the spit and sizzle in his voice is real or artificial. This system reproduced his voice as well as I've heard ever.

I also took a mint copy of Charles Mingus Pithecanthropus Erectus (Uglymusic as Richard says - I reckon he enjoyed it really). The rhythms and melody were easy to follow - no mean feat. Stan Kenton Solo is just him and a grand piano. I heard a big sonorous piano with all the body resonance you'd expect of the real thing. Easy to hear the hammers striking and the note and chord decay was first rate.

Here comes the but!! I felt I could hear a small amount of resonance in the speaker. I'm sure it's not the cabinet for all the above reasons so I reckon it's air resonance which is an all but inevitable result of putting dynamic, acoustic suspension speakers in a cabinet. Let me qualify this by saying it's very small and not that bothersome and Richard has asked for feedback. Let me also say that I'm very attuned to this as I normally use open baffles, and although they have many problems, do not have any trapped air to resonate. I'm probably a bit hyper-sensitive to this issue.

A very good day was had. Thanks to Richard for the invite and Nadia for a terrific lunch!

JK
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Re: NVA Reviews (THIS THREAD IS ONLY FOR STASHING REVIEWS)

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:17 pm

As far as effective mains treatments go there seems to be two current options, balanced line mains and mains regeneration. In the past, hum and other electrical nasties proved an issue at my home. An AG1500 sorted this, much to my delight. The lack of background noise was fantastic, but the units impact on the systems musical presentation was otherwise hard to discern.

Fast forward a bit and I've now got a BMU in place. Initially I used this in tandem with the regenerator, which again did its trick in terms of silencing the transformer noise. I had the system set up like this for quite a while, but on a whim thought I'd try the BMU on its own once more. It was at this point that I began to understand the sonic benefits of the BMU. To me, this is all about opening the music up by giving it more space, air and definition. When I put the AG1500 back in, some of this openness was lost. As a layman, I would describe it as filter like- great if you have a serious noise issue as the result of bad mains, but ultimately restricting in terms of sonic fidelity.

I continue to use the BMU without the AG1500. Transformer noise is variable, although it got significantly better after the transformer was doped. Last night for example it seemed particularly bad, which seemed odd as it was a Bank Holiday and I thought that industry was often the cause of these issues. Perhaps in my case its more to do with domestic demands on the supply?

So, in summary, I would suggest that if you have a mains noise problem, an AC regenerator is definitely worth a try. However, if you are looking for musical gain then you should first try a BMU. Prepared to be shocked however, as this gain is of very surprising magnitude..

kazam

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