Any experience with ELAC's and the Sprout?


#1

Hi All,

Relatively new to the forum but have been an admirer of PS Audio for years and a proud owner of a vintage PS IIIa and PSLCC. I’m getting back into audio and am finding my 30+ year old gear is needing more care and attention than I’m really able to give. That and the WAF for my vintage stuff is pretty low. My re-entry will certainly be at the budget audiophile goodness level. The Sprout has me really intrigued, after-all if it carries the PS Audio name, so it has to be good, right? Anyhow – I currently have a pair of ELAC Uni-fi UB5’s and am considering the Sprout. I primarily listen to Jazz, Indie and Classic Rock via Vinyl, CD, or 96/24 DVD-A on my Denon 3910. I have a small room and my PSIII/LCC connected to a 60wx2 Hafler amp is more than enough umph and sounds pretty good to these old ears. So can anyone give their impressions of the Sprout with the ELACs UB5’s? I want a nice bottom-end without being bloated, airy and spacious rendering of complex and layered mid-range instruments and voice and a nice highs without it being fatiguing or brittle. Just want to bring out the absolute best I can with the ELACs.

Thanks!!!

Note: I’m also considering a NAD C326BEE and continuing to use my PS IIIa phono pre-amp for vinyl. I’m old-school and from the bigger-is-better generation, so I’m really having a tough time wrapping my mind around the diminutive Sprout. Where are they hiding the paint can sized toroidal transformer and the soda can sized caps?? If anyone wants to chime in, I’m all ears.


#2

The NAD’s a good one but in direct comparison to Sprout I can personally attest Sprout beats it hands down and those tests were on Elac speakers. So, yes, I would encourage you to pick Sprout - and use our easy money back guarantee where we pay to ship the unit to your house and give you a month to play it and compare against the NAD or whatever. I think you’ll be more than impressed. It’s a great integrated.


#3

I had that combo for a while to check out (before giving it to my daughter). I think you will be happy. Not that Paul’s biased or anythingitwasntme_gif


#4

Thanks for the reply. To which combo are you referring? The NAD / ELAC or the Sprout / ELAC?

The ELAC Uni-Fi UB5 is not a really efficient speaker as compared to the PSA kitted Debut 6 option (and other competitors models). My primary concern is the Sprout running out of steam with high dynamic music at moderate to loud levels. While the NAD has Power Drive and can peak at 120-150w at 4 ohms, the Sprout is capped at 50w max at 4 ohms. That coupled with the 60Hz bump and then steep fall-off below that causes me concerns. It seems to be a great piece of gear, I’m just not sure if I’m the right buyer, since BT and DAC are not important to me a this point – although it would be cool. Given my concerns and the fact that DAC and BT only move the needle slightly, is the Sprout a real possibility for me?


#5

Ripper - I have not heard the C326, but compared the D3020 (which would seem to me to be a closer comparison - Class D, also has BT, similar form factor and inputs, etc.) and have owned NADs in the past. I was talking about the Sprout. I’d say the “house sound” of the two is different, and the Sprout is closer to what you describe wanting.

I’d also say you’re getting awfully far into it on paper, when you could just try out a Sprout for 30 days. I can’t really speak to it not getting loud enough for you, as I wasn’t keeping it for myself, and I haven’t been in your room. I just thought it was very impressive: great sounding, good looking, AND had a “Vinyl” input, which my daughter and her roommate both wanted, and that the D3020 did not have.


#6

I certainly understand – I’m asking a lot of questions that only I can answer. It seems that a trial is the best route to go and will likely move forward with that soon.

Thanks!!


#7

Update: Just when I was getting ready to pull the trigger on a Sprout trial, Massdrop announces a Sprout II for Nov. 10th. More power (50w / ch steady-state into 8 ohms w/ peak reserves to 100w / ch for up to 10 seconds at 4 ohms), available in silver or black, and it has a remote control. Hopefully it also supports Apt-X HD. Everything that caused me to hesitate on the Sprout seems to be on the verge of being addressed with the Sprout II. The price is $599, but for the additional features, it represents an even greater value in my mind. If it’s received anything like the original was, they better start clearing wall-space for the additional industry awards!!

(BTW – Paul sure knows how to keep a secret. 77_gif )

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-ps-audio-sprout-ii


#8

“Paul sure knows how to keep a secret”

You’re thinking of Scott McGowan…; )


#9

Impressive updates. Back panel also changed quite a bit (in good ways). I assume this will be generally available and not just through Massdrop (previously unknown to me)?


#10

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badbeef said

“Paul sure knows how to keep a secret”

You’re thinking of Scott McGowan…; )


Sure Scott can keep a secret too, but I was expressly referring to Paul. After all, Paul is the one encouraging me to ‘buy and try’ the original Sprout in this very thread 5 days BEFORE the Sprout II hits Massdrop. He could have hinted or something, but noooooooo. 65_gif

#11

But you could have returned the Sprout 1 at no cost if you wanted it’s big brother. Hopefully Paul will have something to say about this tomorrow. I’d like to know what Massdrop means by “Sprout II was made in collaboration with PS Audio”? Collaboration with whom? Massdrop? Sorry but I don’t know anything about this company.


#12

Why, they’re a, “community-driven commerce platform”, to quote their definition.1_gif


#13

Massdrop and PS Audio have been working together in that they wanted the addition of certain features like remote control and a bigger amplifier and then once that work was completed by Scott and our engineering team, they become the exclusive seller of the product. It’s a new sales channel for us and something we’re experimenting with in the hopes of greater outreach to a different audience - yet the same audience is able to easily purchase, just not directly through us.


#14

And to ripper2860 and me telling him Sprout and Elac is a great combo I don’t think I would change a thing in my advice. It is a great combo. The extra wattage of Sprout II isn’t needed with this combo and gives no advantage. Plus, I didn’t know when Massdrop was doing their “drop”. That there’s a new model of something’s always going to be on the radar but it does not diminish the sound quality of the first one, which is truly excellent.


#15

Very interesting Paul. For an extra $100 you get quite a package. I’d pay that just for the RCA connectors rather than the stereo mini-plugs. I wonder how your other dealers will react to the exclusive arrangement (rhetorical question). Does it also have the same bass bump? That’s been a problem for a few users who used the Sprout with larger speakers (not with my old Thiel 1.5’s though, and they’re not that small). With most of the smaller speakers that would be used with the Sprout it actually helps.


#16

This is truly surprising, given that in the past we (the forum members) have been given heads up on lots of things. Sometimes it has caused much angst, but most agree it’s nice to know when something is coming down the pike to plan for. Then this pops up out of nowhere … Wow. That’s not a complaint, just surprise. Anyway, I had thought of getting a Sprout when I was in need of something for my work area, I had a Wadia iPod transport so when I missed out on the Kickstarter lowest price I just went with the Wadia 151. Never really been happy with it (took forever to break in and is still bright), but haven’t used it much either. When the price of the Sprout was dropped I started rethinking this, but now I have another option. Oh decisions, decisions … My hesitation is I went to the Massdrop website and it wouldn’t let me in without signing up (I don’t have a Facebook (boo, hiss) or Google log in) so I couldn’t get any information. Is this the right way to do business? Makes me hesitate …


#17
Paul McGowan said

And to ripper2860 and me telling him Sprout and Elac is a great combo I don’t think I would change a thing in my advice. It is a great combo. The extra wattage of Sprout II isn’t needed with this combo and gives no advantage. Plus, I didn’t know when Massdrop was doing their “drop”. That there’s a new model of something’s always going to be on the radar but it does not diminish the sound quality of the first one, which is truly excellent.

Paul,

My post was intended as tongue-in-cheek and not as a barb. I do respect your opinion and also fully understand having to keep things under wraps until the time is appropriate. The Sprout II looks like quite a fabulous piece and something that really addresses all the concerns I had with the Sprout I. Assuming similar sonic attributes, the Sprout II really seems to be more of what I want… I suspect that it will be a rousing success.

I would love to see a comparison and opinion article detailing the pros and cons of the I vs. the II – both sonically and feature-wise. I’m sure that will be available in the future.


#18

@pmotz, you just need to give Massdrop an email and create a password to get access. I found their log-in screen a bit confusing too (no Facebook for me either and not sure I have the right kind of Google account–have gmail account but only use it for a few things).


#19
pmotz said This is truly surprising, given that in the past we (the forum members) have been given heads up on lots of things.
My guess is this is a requirement of working with Massdrop.

#20

I would add that even if purchased through Massdrop the units have never been built. They won’t be available for deliverey until sometime in April of 2018