First CD’s –
If I have anything new to demo (not happened too often) I always start with one of my favorite albums of all time, ‘’Low’’ – David Bowie
First 4 tracks kick in – ‘Speed of life’, ‘Breaking glass’, ‘What in the world’ then ‘Sound and Vision. Initially each song to my ears is slightly slower than what I am used of. However come the end of each track I am not noticing it. Bass and kick drum are banging away together well which is what makes side 1 of the album for me, so no disappointment there. Bowie’s vocals are slightly back in the mix too, but none the less, still in charge of the music, if you could picture the stage, I would say he is more in with the other musicians. On the Valve system his vocals are more prominent and forward of the instruments, making him stand out perhaps a little more than intended. His voice is also sounding a little sweeter rather than darker. Last time I saw Bowie live (one of his last concerts), I was in row 3 centre mic and he was ‘hangin 10’ most of the time – Very forward.
Next up ‘D’ White Denim
First 3 tracks – ‘It’s him’, ‘Burnished’, ‘Down at the farm’
I love this album, it’s in ya face, full on, looping mental all or nothing guitars, with a splattering of strings and woodwind here or there, however it’s not an album I can sit in front of the speakers and listen to, I normally have to leave the room, turn up the volume and get on with cooking tea or something. It sounds rubbish at low volume and at high seems to lose the musicality and sounds too loud and messy. With the P20/A20 though, I was able to sit and listen, and what a listen, everything was pushed back and positioned into its place, I could pick out the guitars, loops and heavy production work in the mix, it was no longer too ‘loud and in ya face’, but just ‘in ya face’. Cut the descriptive crap, it was a blistering listen, especially ‘Burnished’- poo’d all over any other listen of this album. Top marks. (Should buy it just to hear White Denim as I think they were intended) Everyone else was disappointed though, as they had to get their own tea.
Then Records –
1st up, ‘Low’ Bowie. Side1 - It sounded exactly the same as the CD, which I was not expecting, I really couldn’t detect a difference between the CD and Vinyl.
‘Never mind the Bollocks...’. Sex Pistols. Side1 – Very easy to listen to, I can pick out the instruments, Guitar, Bass, Drums, making it easier to follow the songs. Again, Johnny’s vocals are back in the mix and more relaxed than usual. This is another album I find it hard to listen to without upping the volume, making my ears bleed. I do have to push the volume on the NVA, but it makes it less loud and powerful and more detailed instead. I found this happened with a couple of other albums I tried.
‘Transfomer’ – Lou Reed. Side 1 – I had stopped analyzing by now and just got on and enjoyed the music. It did sound good though, nothing lacking to how It normally sounds.
One thing I think I have learned with listening to the P20/A20 is, what ‘detail’ is. I always thought detail meant more sort of sharp splashy treble with less head nodding, foot tapping rhythm and rocking. Wrong! I think detail is less loudness, more musicality and space, so you can hear the instruments without losing any of the stuff that makes it rock.
The P20/A20 is just great, and stands up well to my system. I will definitely recommend it to a friend of mine who is just starting out. Will I be buying one? No! But that’s because I will be buying an NVA amp further up the ladder.
Can you email/PM me an address to send the gear to.
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- Location: The end of the road in Suffolk Coastal.
On a standard stereo it just sounds weird (I love it!). On a decent one it sends shivers down your spine with its otherworld beauty......
I live alone in this my heaven, in my love (and) in my songs.
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way
NVA BMU, Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Qutest, NVA P50SA, NVA A80sMk2, NVA Cube 3s, NVA LS6, NVA TIS mk2. Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP Mk2, Grado SR 325e, headphones, Chord Mojo.
Arcam Miniblink Bluetooth DAC, Marantz pm 5004, Wharfdale Diamond 121, NVA LS2.
Out and about
Oppo PM3, Audioquest Dragonfly Red.
Only available to UK members of those forums.
Would I be ok to share this with a few people on a turntable Facebook group? Obviously they’ve have to come and join the forum etc...