sorry, this is gonna be long, but if you’re curious…every now and then I just have to retell my journey of audio. or at least with my latest system. first system was 1990 - 2006 Audio research ls3 pre, audio research D100 amp, adcom dac, California audio labs Delta transport, monitor audio m700 speakers and sunfire 11" sub. lost my job in 2006 sold off the stereo vowing to build better next time!!
My comment about the “hard to listen discs” may be tainted with a mix of different experiences melding together. for about 10 years ('07 to '16) I was using the bryston b100 as a preamp. during the last few years ('14-'17) I was using alot of headphones, mostly Grado 325e and GS2000e. my dac with the bryston was the m2tech young dac. then I finally got rid of the bryston (about 2016) and got the creek evolution 50a (integrated amp with ruby dac card). In dec 2017 I bought the kef ls50 speakers and started listening to more to speakers than headphones. after I got rid of the bryston I also had an electrician install two dedicated 30A circuits for the stereo. I try to plug my big amps and furman power conditioner into the wall directly. I one of the biggest failings of my old system was the bryston. I started out using it as an integrated amp with built in 96k/24b dac in 2007. I bought some Dynaudio Audience 72se (special edition w/drivers from their contour line) it took me 9 years to really admit I made an expensive ($3,700) mistake with the bryston. I was still learning to “listen”, as we all are, and slowly came to realize that the amp section of the bryston was maybe dry and not well focused as a soundstage. around 2009 on a whim I ordered a little chinese tube/hybrid amp off amazon. the qinpu a6000 mkii (16 wpc) for $300! even though I used the bryston pre outs into the qinpu (double pre?) it was still more enjoyable than the bryston on its own! Then I wanted to dabble in hires files and wanted to have a 192/32 dac, so i ended up getting a deal on the m2tech Young dac. I was reasonably happy, although I had a funny feeling I should have really gone for the Rega dac. I guess I kinda faked myself out with the qinpu amp and thought I’d like a larger “real” tube amp. I wanted to buy american and ended up with the rogue atlas and bought the upgraded “magnum” version with kt120 tubes and higher output. mind you, all this time I’m listening to the dynaudio audience 72se. I liked them for their fast, lively punch and focused revealing highend with out being hard on most good recordings.
moving onto headphones: Then in 2014 I bought a house and was going to have two roomates. I still picked the best room for my stereo, but also started dabbling more into headphones. for years and years I had Sony mdr-v6 and then latere several pairs of mdr-7506 headphones. way back in 2000 I tried to go back to school for music recording. our teacher recommended the 7506’s for studio work and tracking, NOT MIXING. So I figured they were probably pretty good, but it took years to find out they’re actually “ok”. When I got a new job in 2006 a coworker recommended I try Grado headphones. I was leery of expensive headphones because of questionable quality of Bose and Beats headphones for the $300 price tags. I started with the SR-125e grado headphones for $150. then in the next 4 years spend over $4,000 on headphones chasing tone!! CRAZY RIGHT? I had worked my way through about half of the dozen or so grado headphones and earbuds at the time, plus a few other brands Etymotic, PSB M4u2 headphones. I forgot what a rabbit hole audio can be.
Anyway, I should probably wrap this email up…SOME IRRITATING DISCS I’VE OWNED… Worst offender is The Jimi Hendrix experience: are you experienced (2010 “remastered” experience hendrix Legacy label 88697 62162 2) I like the music, but the audio coming off the disc usually, literally gives me an ear ache after a song of two, even at lower volumes. it seems all of the sound is edgy, dry and brash. The next most offensive is The Fixx: walkabout (1986 mcad-5705 JVC-452) great album for fixx fans, but dry early cd sound. last, but not the only other cds Genesis: Genesis (mama cd 2007 remaster) and Genesis: Duke (2007 remaster) most of the 80’s genesis remasters were just a little brash? all these cds sound better, EXCEPT the hendrix cd. It’s a bit better, but still fatiguing and dry.
overall some of my perceptions are improved with the Kefs and others from the M700s and switching back over to speakers for serious listening. In early june I with have a week off and I plan on seriously testing back and forth with the m700s and the rogue and between kefs and dynaudio speakers and I’ll try separating the m700s to see if I can hear a difference.
In closing, Thanks again for your great work on the m700s!