My CH Precision/Magico System

spiritofmusic

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Peter, you're using the kind of language that I thought you found inconsistent w your promotion of Natural Sound...seperate, distinct, pinpoint, black, halo, outlines, precise, etc etc. I don't have any issues w reviews using these terms, but I thought you felt that these typical descriptive jargon and attributes weren't what you were looking for in a Natural Sound presentation.
For me however, I could glean a lot from your descriptions.
 
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PeterA

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Peter, you're using the kind of language that I thought you found inconsistent w your promotion of Natural Sound...seperate, distinct, pinpoint, black, halo, outlines, precise, etc etc. I don't have any issues w reviews using these terms, but I thought you felt that these typical descriptive jargon and attributes weren't what you were looking for in a Natural Sound presentation.
For me however, I could glean a lot from your descriptions.

Marc, I am not trying to promote anything, certainly not a particular type of sound. People are free to enjoy whatever it is they enjoy.

I was simply trying to describe the differences I heard and the sounds of the two different cables. I definitely have a preference, and I think one sounded more natural than the other, that is in the way it presented the music to the listener.

I have been pretty clear about what I hear from live music and the audiophile glossary of terms defines pretty clearly how it’s authors and some reviewers and listeners want to describe what they hear.

When I hear pinpoint imaging, stark outlines, and black backgrounds, it does not sound natural to me and does not remind me of the real sound of instruments. However, I fully understand and appreciate that that type of sound is popular and many search for ways to achieve it. It’s pretty cool and impressive. I was pretty surprised that these two cables sounded so different in Ian‘s system. It was a real learning experience.

I am looking forward to getting that Stravinsky record.
 

PeterA

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Thank you, Peter, for that wonderful report!

Which interconnect cable presentation did you prefer?

I enjoyed them both very much, but one sounded more natural to me and that’s the one I would choose to live with.
 
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microstrip

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(...) The first presented the instruments in the Stravinsky piece as very separate, distinct, sounds, each with a kind of black space/halo around it. Imaging of each instrument was pinpoint in relation to the rest on the stage, and outlines were precise. The sounds came from specific locations in the room and remained distinct. The second cable presented the sounds of the various instruments from fairly clear positions on stage. There was laying and localization, but the sounds filled the space and overlapped with the other sounds. Eventually they blended and reflected around the hall in which they were recorded. The sound flowed outward and expanded toward the listener to a much greater degree. The imaging was not as precise, and there was no black background or space around the individual instruments. One presentation was full of life and energy. It was organic. The other seemed impressive but somewhat flat, almost like a painting.

Peter,

Good analysis, but black background dos not create halos around instruments - on the contrary. It is just semantics, but black background means continuity and contrast - both at the same time! It is why we valuate it.

Excluding semantics it seeems you are first presenting the performance of a cable that does not match Ian system and a next of one that seems to match it. Addressing the first cable you explicitly write "the sounds came from specific locations in the room" and use "stage" and "soundstage" to address the second. It is enough for me! Anyway, if a cable makes a system sound "flat like a painting" I would take it out after five seconds - it means it is reducing stereo to its physical properties, failing to involve the perceptual tricks needed for our illusion. I am sure it was not the intention of the DG recording engineer who carried the recording in 1975!
 

PeterA

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Peter,

Good analysis, but black background dos not create halos around instruments - on the contrary. It is just semantics, but black background means continuity and contrast - both at the same time! It is why we valuate it.

Excluding semantics it seeems you are first presenting the performance of a cable that does not match Ian system and a next of one that seems to match it. Addressing the first cable you explicitly write "the sounds came from specific locations in the room" and use "stage" and "soundstage" to address the second. It is enough for me! Anyway, if a cable makes a system sound "flat like a painting" I would take it out after five seconds - it means it is reducing stereo to its physical properties, failing to involve the perceptual tricks needed for our illusion. I am sure it was not the intention of the DG recording engineer who carried the recording in 1975!

Fransisco, with one of the cables the instruments in the Stravinsky piece stood out in stark relief from each other in isolation and separate and we’re clearly defined. This was a really nice effect. But when we put on the other cable this sounds blended as they expanded into the listening room filling it with sound in a much more natural way in my opinion.

There was no empty space around the instruments. One was more about the beautiful sounds of the individual instruments. The other was more about the instruments playing together and filling the space with music. Both were quite appealing. Just very different.

I heard a similar affect in my old system when my magical speakers were toed in at the listener compared to toeing them out. The black backgrounds and space in the system started to disappear with other changes to set up and cables and acoustic treatments.

It’s just a different way in which the music or sounds are presented in the room.
 

microstrip

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Fransisco, with one of the cables the instruments in the Stravinsky piece stood out in stark relief from each other in isolation and separate and we’re clearly defined. This was a really nice effect. But when we put on the other cable this sounds blended as they expanded into the listening room filling it with sound in a much more natural way in my opinion.

There was no empty space around the instruments. One was more about the beautiful sounds of the individual instruments. The other was more about the instruments playing together and filling the space with music. Both were quite appealing. Just very different.

I heard a similar affect in my old system when my magical speakers were toed in at the listener compared to toeing them out. The black backgrounds and space in the system started to disappear with other changes to set up and cables and acoustic treatments.

It’s just a different way in which the music or sounds are presented in the room.

How was toe-in in Ian system?
 

PeterA

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How was toe-in in Ian system?

Pointed at the listener. I preferred them pointed straight ahead but back then the system did not have the tonal balance and bass quality it has now. As it is not my system, I am not at liberty to play around with set up or speaker positioning. Ian plays with his system, I play with mine.
 
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christoph

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Pointed at the listener. I preferred them pointed straight ahead but back then the system did not have the tonal balance and bass quality it has now. As it is not my system, I am not at liberty to play around with set up or speaker positioning. Ian plays with his system, I play with mine.
Playing together is more fun than playing alone :D
 

PeterA

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Playing together is more fun than playing alone :D

Good one. We did some of that together with the cables. Ian Is now having fun experimenting with set up and other stuff in his system.
 
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MadFloyd

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Over the past 5 to 6 months I've been getting to know my new electronics and have done a lot of experimentation with power cords and speaker cables. I was fortunate enough to be able to demo AudioQuest's Dragon line (speaker cables and power cords) and I have to say I loved them. There are other CH owners who use these and so I was curious to find out what I would think of them in my own system.

The speaker cables are OUTSTANDING. To my ears (and to various audiophile friends who have lent their ears) they are clean, neutral and honest. The quality of the bass that I get with these cables is incredible.

The power cords are also very, very good. Given the cost, they need to be, but they do deliver. It's taken me a while to both pull the trigger on these as well as afford them. Thankfully my dealer has been very patient with me. I still don't have a FULL loom but I'm close.

Apart from cabling, I've always known that one day I should address my rack & amp stands. I have owned a mid-fi product for years and have heard so many positive reports about HRS (not just reviews, but from people I know and respect that have added their isolation bases and footers to their systems) that I knew I wanted to go there. They are not inexpensive and it was a bit of mental challenge for me to accept investing a lot of money in that area (and power cords fall into this category too) but having invested a lot in my electronics I wanted to make sure I wasn't holding them back.

Shortly after I got my M1.1s, I tried putting them on my (mid fi) amp stands. I was shocked at the difference (especially in the bass). So my first step was to order two M3X2 isolation bases (with G7 footers) that would simply sit on the floor (i.e. no frames) and when I received these, I couldn't believe the difference they made. Yes, they improved the bass, but they improved everything and brought a calmness to the sound that improved the 'realness' of instruments along with beauty and musicality. It made me a believer pretty quickly lol.

My next step was HRS Nimbus footers under the amps (between the amps and the isolation base) and that further improved the sound, tightening up the bass and making the entire presentation cleaner and more incisive. I already had these HRS footers so it was easy to try but I also wanted to try HRS Vortex footers so I ordered two sets (to accommodate both amps). These, in my opinion, took what the Nimbus footers did and improved everything. I'll stop short of trying to explain it all as this isn't so much a review but an update to my system progress and there is more to say.

I then ordered a partial HRS rack (did I mention that prefer to move slowly with expensive gear?) which arrived this week. I not only wanted to replace my existing rack but I also wanted to lower the height of gear between the speakers for soundstage reasons. I only ordered a single three shelf frame (with three isolation bases, one of which required some extra support for my heavy turntable) but I was shocked when I got a 400lb delivery!
400 lbs.jpg

Peter graciously offered to come help me install this - thank you Peter!

Before we did, we listened to three tracks so Peter could get a baseline of the sound (like any audiophile, he was curious to hear the difference with the new rack).

My plan involves having the turntable lower than it appears here (pic taken just after Peter and I finished installation) and it will ultimately move to sit on the top shelf of a two-shelf frame, but I really wanted to hear the benefit of the HRS rack on my turntable now so this is the temporary configuration.
SYSTEM DEC 1.jpg

In the above pic the rack is supporting my CH L10 preamp (two pieces) and the turntable. To the left is a single HRS M3X2 with my CH phono (P1) and power supply (X1) with HRS Nimbus footers between. This is temporary.

No digital at this point. This is the configuration that Peter heard.

Both Peter and I were impressed with the workmanship of HRS. Everything is machined perfectly and it seems they have thought of everything - the packaging, the presentation, the tools you need, etc. This is an SRX frame - it offers all the performance but they offer other (more expensive) versions that look gorgeous in photos. I can only imagine what they must look like in person because everything I have so far just shouts 'quality'.

That evening I added my digital components as I have a lot of test tracks that make it easy to discern changes.
SYSTEM DEC 2.jpg

Finally I removed the window treatments and found that I not only didn't need them but that the midrange sounded fuller without absorption there.
SYSTEM DEC 3.jpg

So there you have it. The sense of space is so much better. I really like to hear space around instruments - it gives me joy :) I also like it when speaker disappear and you just get lost in the music. I'm really enjoying the results and looking forward to ordering more HRS components. They certainly work for me!
 

jeffrey_t

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You system looks fantastic Ian, congrats on the upgrades. I have HRS record weights and I've always been very impressed with the fit and finish, I can only imagine what the racks sound like.
 

ctydwn

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Great to hear about the experience with HRS. And gorgeous system btw. The M3X2 shelves really can be transformative. Have yet to try the vortex vs the nimbus couplers. What surprised me as well was the improvement in noise reduction and resolution by adding HRS damping plates to the components.
 

MadFloyd

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Great to hear about the experience with HRS. And gorgeous system btw. The M3X2 shelves really can be transformative. Have yet to try the vortex vs the nimbus couplers. What surprised me as well was the improvement in noise reduction and resolution by adding HRS damping plates to the components.

Thanks, I have two HRS damping plates to experiment with. :)
 
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Al M.

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Congratulations, Ian!

As I also heard when we did the comparison, the HRS amp stands alone made a large difference in sound compared to your mi-fi stands. Among others, timbre became much more believable (e.g., on solo violin, but also other instruments); it was a magical transformation, I would say, nothing short of stunning. The HRS footers between HRS amp stands and amps yielded another significant improvement.

I can only imagine what the difference between the new HRS rack for your other components and your mid-fi rack might be. If it goes in the same direction as just with the HRS amp stands, it must be spectacular. I hope to hear it soon!

Now that I am almost done with power cords in my system (a loom of excellent ZenWave Audio power cables from WBF member DaveC will be on its way soon), I am looking -- in time -- for HRS platforms to be my next upgrade. I would probably be starting with an HRS amp stand, and HRS footers between amp stand and amp. After what I have heard in your system, there is no doubt for me that this would be my next priority.
 
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LL21

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Congratulations, Ian!

As I also heard when we did the comparison, the HRS amp stands alone made a large difference in sound compared to your mi-fi stands. Among others, timbre became much more believable (e.g., on solo violin, but also other instruments); it was a magical transformation, I would say, nothing short of stunning. The HRS footers between HRS amp stands and amps yielded another significant improvement.

I can only imagine what the difference between the new HRS rack for your other components and your mid-fi rack might be. If it goes in the same direction as just with the HRS amp stands, it must be spectacular. I hope to hear it soon!

Now that I am almost done with power cords in my system (a loom of excellent ZenWave Audio power cables from WBF member DaveC will be on its way soon), I am looking -- in time -- for HRS platforms to be my next upgrade. I would probably be starting with an HRS amp stand, and HRS footers between amp stand and amp. After what I have heard in your system, there is no doubt for me that this would be my next priority.
Big fan of HRS having used their shelves, damping plates and Nimbus Couplers for many years...creating 'isolation sandwiches' where the component is literally sandwiched in between the shelving/footers underneath...and the damping plates on top. Fantastic...and yes, your description fits here as well with the results. Would be great to go all out some day with M3X or their latest reference rack.
 
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microstrip

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(...) I was fortunate enough to be able to demo AudioQuest's Dragon line (speaker cables and power cords) and I have to say I loved them. There are other CH owners who use these and so I was curious to find out what I would think of them in my own system. (...)

Great post Ian. Are those the second cables Peter refers in his listening?
 

gds7368

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Ian,

Very excited for you and REALLY enjoy hearing about your updates. Your passion comes through in your writing!

Have you tried separating your components so each has its own shelf? Any demo HRS racks - or even your prior racks - for a quick test run?

Last week (in anticipation of setting up my turntable next week) I put my transport on top of its powerbase on the same shelf ... and wow the transport lost its magic.

IMG_4654.jpg

Separated the transport and powerbase back to isolated shelves which *immediately* improved everything!

IMG_4672.jpg

Enjoy in good health, Greg
 
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MadFloyd

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Congratulations, Ian!

As I also heard when we did the comparison, the HRS amp stands alone made a large difference in sound compared to your mi-fi stands. Among others, timbre became much more believable (e.g., on solo violin, but also other instruments); it was a magical transformation, I would say, nothing short of stunning. The HRS footers between HRS amp stands and amps yielded another significant improvement.

I can only imagine what the difference between the new HRS rack for your other components and your mid-fi rack might be. If it goes in the same direction as just with the HRS amp stands, it must be spectacular. I hope to hear it soon!

Now that I am almost done with power cords in my system (a loom of excellent ZenWave Audio power cables from WBF member DaveC will be on its way soon), I am looking -- in time -- for HRS platforms to be my next upgrade. I would probably be starting with an HRS amp stand, and HRS footers between amp stand and amp. After what I have heard in your system, there is no doubt for me that this would be my next priority.
Thanks, Al. Since you heard the improvement with the amp stands, you can imagine 'more of the same' result with the preamp now having the benefit of the HRS (as well as the turntable), but either way I look forward to having you visit soon!

And yes, hopefully HRS will bring similar joy into your life, as have the ZenWave power cords. :)
 
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MadFloyd

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Ian,

Very excited for you and REALLY enjoy hearing about your updates. Your passion comes through in your writing!

Have you tried separating your components so each has its own shelf? Any demo HRS racks - or even your prior racks - for a quick test run?

Last week (in anticipation of setting up my turntable next week) I put my transport on top of its powerbase on the same shelf ... and wow the transport lost its magic.

Separated the transport and powerbase back to separate shelves which *immediately* improved everything!

Enjoy in good health, Greg

Hi Greg, thanks! You already know what I have just experienced. Thanks for sharing those pics!

As for everything on its own shelf - I could not agree more! I plan to have 3 frame units (similar to you) with nothing stacked; I just wanted to proceed cautiously (and as budget allows). My dealer talked me into 10" spacing between shelves (versus the default 8") which I'm not sure I'm happy with. As soon as I decide on the spacing, I'm ordering more. :)
 
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MadFloyd

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Big fan of HRS having used their shelves, damping plates and Nimbus Couplers for many years...creating 'isolation sandwiches' where the component is literally sandwiched in between the shelving/footers underneath...and the damping plates on top. Fantastic...and yes, your description fits here as well with the results. Would be great to go all out some day with M3X or their latest reference rack.

Lloyd, you are one of the people that influenced me, so I thank you for that.
 

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