Stereophile review of M700 mono amps

Thank you, Robert

And welcome!

jeffstarr said

Instead of asking someone else to move their amps around, you should do it. If you don’t trust Deutsch, why would you trust some guy on an audio forum? If you are serious about getting the best out of your system, it may be time to get rid of the cabinet and get some decent dedicated racks. Audio Advisor sells a rack for $100, that would be a good starting point.

As soon as I read the review I moved the amps. Between getting the DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II and the two M700's I was feeling a little poor so I made my own isolation feet after reading several DIY attempts. I'll get the official isolation feet when I can. I'm loving my system and music has never sounded so good. I had no problem with the review but after I mentioned how great the amps were at AudioAsylum and AVS forum and referenced the review the skeptics started seeing who could make the funniest comments. I don't need to make funny comments, I'm listening to fantastic music. I started this thread to see who else around here has re-positioned there amps and what their results were.

As for my cabinets, I built them myself. They are built of maple plywood with a satin finish and are very sturdy. I’m sure isolation feet would help. I also built matching OB subs that give a wonderful bottom to my big Maggies. The M700’s are a perfect match for the Maggies. My next project is to treat the room with the help of Nyal Mellor and http://realtraps.com/art_measuring.htm.

I wonder how different the Orea is to their IsoPucks which I got for around $100 for all 4 under my integrated. They look the same, but the new Oreas are probably fancier in some way. I hope they are, as price in the UK for each Orea puck seems to be 69 to 89 GBP each, depending on the weight they can carry, according to this site:

https://www.audiologica.co.uk/isoacoustics/orea.html

oneartist said As soon as I read the review I moved the amps.
I am confused. You previously stated "It is too cumbersome for me" (post 12) and "it’s not possible for me" (post 15), and have repeatedly asked others to try listening to the amps placed side-by-side and to report their results.

Did you listen to the amps both stacked and separated? If so, what did you hear?

Thanks Bob! Really appreciate your participation in the forums.

Thanks very much for chiming in Robert. I bought my M700’s long before the review came out but it’s always nice when a reviewer hears what I hear. I have very much enjoyed your reviews over the years.

Here is my 2 cents worth:

We have a pair of M700’s on order to go with our recently received Stellar Gain Cell Pre/Dac (which I already love).

I also ordered a pair of Pangea amp stands for them. After living with the amps for a month or so, I will be doing a blind test with them stacked and separated. The method will be fairly simple - My (now grown) son will leave them stacked for a week, and side by side for a week. I won’t be able to see which is which. I will listen to them for a week, and decide if I heard a difference and also was there a preference.

The wild card is my son may also leave them both stacked for both weeks, or separated. I won’t know until after writing up results. This way, If I do hear a difference, and they were both stacked, it’s clear I was hearing things that didn’t happen. This type of testing isn’t quick fix, but it’s pretty reliable.

A good blind test and, in my experience, long term listening is the best way t discern differences in equipment. I would find it helpful however to go back to scenario 1 (whatever it is/is not) after the second week. Often I find what is missing is more apparent than what is there - making the third round helpful.

Robert Deutsch said

There is an additional tweak, one that I did not try until after the review was submitted: placing a VPI DB-5 “Magic Brick” on the top of each amplifier. The VPI web site does not list this product, but it’s available from http://www.elusivedisc.com/VPI-Magic-Brick/productinfo/VPI-BRICK/. It’s supposed to redirect stray magnetic fields from the power supply and, weighing 5 lbs. 6 oz., it provides for some chassis damping. I found these (one per amplifier, placed approximately above the transformer) to provide another increment of transparency. But again, YMMV.

Is it wrong to conclude from the fact, that such devices work, that it would be an even bigger improvement to put power supplies out of the electronics chassis into a simpler separate one at least for phono and preamps?

It’s always interesting to see some manufacturers separate components like phono, pre and power amps (which are then not rarely stacked again in order to save space, which partly eleminates the positive effect), others separate power supplies even from integrated amps and again others rather strictly separate channels within one chassis (double mono).

I guess to do it all would be best (if somewhat expensive). So far I would have assumed, separating the power supply from electronics would be more effective than the rest, but I might be wrong.

Elk said
oneartist said As soon as I read the review I moved the amps.
I am confused. You previously stated "It is too cumbersome for me" (post 12) and "it’s not possible for me" (post 15), and have repeatedly asked others to try listening to the amps placed side-by-side and to report their results.

Did you listen to the amps both stacked and separated? If so, what did you hear?

Yes, I had the amps stacked for over two weeks. I started another thread called "M700's unstacked" after I unstacked my amps. I tried to find out how other users here were experiencing their amps "unstacked." My bait caught no fish.

The reason it was too cumbersome for me to do an A/B test is because my cabinet is large and heavy. I had to move it and take the back off to move the amps. I took one amp out and placed it behind a 65" OLED, put the back (which is full of quiet ventilation fans) back on. It would be very cumbersome for me to do an A/B test. It’s a matter of bad communication on my part. Sorry.

That is an A/B; you compared one to the other. An A/B need not be quick, or repeated X number of times.

Here is his earlier thread, click

I agree, but this was a one time test. My cabinet arrangement doesn’t allow for a retest. I’m sure there are others here who could more easily go back and forth. After reading the review I’m surprised we didn’t hear from M700 owners doing their own A/B testing.

I know some are fascinated by continually testing, but I would much rather spend my time listening to music and engaging in other interests. That is, I am a musicophile over audiophile.

Thus, if I perform a test as you have, finding a definitive positive difference, I go with it. Similarly, if a reviewer I trust indicates a positive results, as here, I incorporate it into my setup.

Others here may be the same.

I think I may be a bit more of a tweaker than you Elk, but like you . . . if I get positive results from a bit of tweaking I go with it, especially for a while to see if the results seem consistent over a long term. And if “ears” I trust explicate or recommend something that leads to significant improvement I consider giving it a shot.

Veneet said

I wonder how different the Orea is to their IsoPucks which I got for around $100 for all 4 under my integrated. They look the same, but the new Oreas are probably fancier in some way. I hope they are, as price in the UK for each Orea puck seems to be 69 to 89 GBP each, depending on the weight they can carry, according to this site:

https://www.audiologica.co.uk/isoacoustics/orea.html


I suggest you email Dave Morrison (dave.morrison@isoacoustics.com), the designer. He’ll be able to tell you how these products compare.

Bob

Admit it, you are a confirmed unredeemable musicophile. :slight_smile:

Robert Deutsch said

I suggest you email Dave Morrison (dave.morrison@isoacoustics.com), the designer. He’ll be able to tell you how these products compare.

Bob


And if you find out any good info, share it here. :wink:
Elk said

Admit it, you are a confirmed unredeemable musicophile. :slight_smile:


I’ll freely admit that. . . no one that knows me would entertain a denial!
Elk said

Others here may be the same.


This is the part I don’t understand. It seems like very few if any have tried setting the amps side-by-side. Let us know if you notice a difference. Speak up!

There’s probably more than you think. How many owners post here, what percentage? I bet it’s a low percentage. There’s no way to be sure, but odds are a number that don’t post here have tried it. . . in fact most audiophiles I know would prefer NOT to stack components, especially amplifiers (though many modern designs don’t produce heat like older designs, many audiophiles. . . I won’t call them old, but they’re familiar with older designs and wouldn’t necessarily stack.