I would like to dedicate a thread to comparing and contrasting various amplification options for TAD speakers.
Impressions have started popping up in various places, I have kept track of those particularly where multiple amps were compared relative to one another.
Note that obviously this is all subjective stuff, commonalities in listening impressions may allow shortlisting of amps that generally seem to work well. Hopefully this list can be expanded over time as more people chime in with their findings.
- Class 'D' gets a hard time with the Audiophile community, as with all pieces of equipment it is in the implementation that is the key. The TAD M2500 is a bit of the dark horse, it delivers in spades.
- This amplifier is purely about getting to heart of the performance with no additives or artificial enhancements, very open sound, neither warm or cool, superb dynamic contrasts. The speed of this amplifier is quite special as well. The 2500 does have soul too, not a clinical or analytical portrayal of music just realistically honest. Presentation is grain free and projects a large sound stage behind the speakers, large scale material was handled exceptional well as was the more delicate Vivaldi and Kate Rusby compositions. It did require some time to fully present its best intensions, though in fairness all of the other quality pieces did as well. The 2500 strengths are power, poise, superb detail, great staging, dynamics and a very low noise floor; it gets to the music via another route. Again this amplifier will appeal to people seeking a greater reality and intimacy in their music, Oh did I mention the bass prowess of this amplifier, it is rather immense.
- These are without doubt in the Dartzeel NHB 458 league.
- Utopian in nature.
The Krell Evo series
- These produced nice results.
DarTZeel NHB 108
(Note that I personally now use this amp now after living with a burmester 911mk3 for around a year. I absolutely love how this amp sounds on these speakers. I have included some of my listening notes comparing the 911mk3 to the 108B at the bottom of this post.)
- Matches well just lacks real outright power.
- I find it lacks texture and depth, it has superb the speed, detail and dynamics without question, I just feel it has no real musical soul with the TAD's.
- Seems to be hit and miss depending on models.
Mark Levinson 532
- Those looking for a slightly more laid back sound with the CR-1's - an inviting sound that appealed to number of people.
D’Agostino’s Momentum monoblocks
- An interesting pairing; they did make some very enjoyable sounds with real dimensionality plus a good natural pace. First class equipment.
- It's big open and lush sound compliment the CR-1's with grace; it does gravitate a touch on the warm side, but does that matter? My suspicion is for 85% of listeners, not one jot. This amplifier will / is going to win a lot of individuals around with its very special combination of power, texture and listenibility. If you are in the market for a serious stereo power amplifier, the momentum stereo is a must audition.
The Power modules incorporated LA-01 and MB500 monoblocks
- Sterling performance with amazing dynamic shading and sheer freedom from the speakers (totally effortlessness).
- Did an admirable job of driving the TAD's well (though not at more realistic volume levels) A few rated this combination, a great all round package, though I feel ultimately will not show the CR-1's in their fullest light.
- This pairing did not produce the great things I was expecting of them (They worked very well with the Wilson Sasha's). Certainly not a match made in heaven, I also listened to them on a pair of Q1's, that also did not produce a satisfactory result. These amplifiers are very good, pair them correctly and they will sing.
- It failed to ignite the real passion in the music which the CR-1 conveys so well with the correct pairings. Fast and dynamic sound, with large scale and great presence: big hifi sound. All the positives, just missing the vital ingredient: an engaging and musical presentation. The 948 conditioner did generate a more open and slightly sweeter sound it again took the sounds away from real music reproduction into the realms of Audiophile Hi Fidelity.
- The pairing for me embodied all that is good about hi fidelity, great dynamics, large sound staging, sweet top end, totally grain free presentation and effortless power. Very fine pieces of equipment, bar none. The missing links for my preferences were simple: The combination just failed to engage me musically, I found it lacked the liquid fluidity of the music that captures the rise and fall in tempo, rhythm, being there sensation and overall emotion. Follow-up: As I’ve mentioned before its performance with the TAD is very good, it does compliment a great number of the TAD’s fortes. A big, open and powerful sound. Yet delicate when required, a very nice detail and tonal balance with quality articulate bass. It delivers pretty much all the traits audiophiles ask for in a quality piece of equipment easily, though as good as it is, and make no mistake it is very good it is not for me. However it does tick a lot of boxes for great many people, in this arena that does count a lot.
- Not a good match at all, something very odd there
- All sweetness and light, not much music. Would be better suited to Focal's
- With the right speakers can sound nice, not with TAD
Technical Brain (TBP-Zero/EX mono’s)
- Produced a sound that offered superb scale yet with equally superb microdynamics [JA]
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DartZeel 108B vs. Burmester 911mk3 - impressions by AudioExplorations.
- The dart portrays music in an incredibly natural and un-electronic sounding fashion. There is zero form of listener fatigue.
- The dart has a much less ‘aggressive’ presentation, much less bothered by lower quality recordings which on the 911 can sound harsh and fatiguing.
- The 911 sounds more precise, however in doing so lowers the ability to engage with the music, particularly with lesser recordings. Hard to describe... maybe the 911 sounds more accurate to the recorded material, but the dart sounds more accurate to the recorded event... if that makes sense.
- Micro-detail: dart extracts much more detail out of the recording. It is more resolving and far more extended into the treble.
- Imaging: The dart conveys a very deep soundstage depth which results in an almost holographic presentation, 911 is flat and 2 dimensional in comparison; everything occurs on the plane between the speakers.
- The bass on the dart sounds (ever so slightly) thicker, slower and less dynamic. In my listening room which is not very large, this is essentially a non-issue, the bass on the dart is excellent, deep, detailed and dynamic. If I had twice or 3 times the air volume to cover I could see this becoming a relevant shortcoming.