And so it begins. The journey continues. Bowers and Wilkins just announced their new 700 series and I’m loving what they’ve done with the 702 S3. They haven’t hit the local showrooms yet but I can’t wait to check them out.
Wow, where does the time go? I have lived with the Rotel RB-1590 for a year now. I had listened at length to it several times, so I knew it was a great amplifier but was still apprehensive about making such a large purchase and wondered how it would ultimately sound in my system.
Ha, I shouldn’t have worried but like many I’ve had a few disappointing journeys along the way trying to achieve good sound. It’s mated well with my preamplifier and sounds great in the system. The music sounds correct and complete. Tone, clarity, dynamics, all there. Great soundstage and the system now sounds like it belongs in the room instead of sounding too small.
Anyways, good stuff and I’m content. So, how will I feel in six months. We’ll see….
Made it to the six month mark with the RB-1590. Usually at this point the strengths and shortcomings are pretty evident with a piece of gear. I’m sure most of us around here can relate.
With my fifty watt Arcam or NAD music always sounded pleasant at low to moderate volume through the B&Ws. In our large room the sound would become strained at around mid to high 70 decibels at the MLP 13ft away; Which was actually mid to upper 80 decibels at three feet. In fact pushed a little further and the Arcam lost control of the woofers. It is no fun to hear a woofer make that loud whack when it bottoms out.
I tried a 200 watt Class-d amp. And while there was more control of the speakers and you could play music louder and to the edge of the comfort zone of the speakers the sound was not nearly as enjoyable as the Arcam and NAD when they played within their limits. The best way to describe the sound would be flat and hard. The sound stage was not stable with imaging that floated around a lot, very frustrating.
All those concerns have been put to rest with the Rotel. We now have good tone/timbre, very good dynamics and an excellent stable soundstage with great detail, imaging and layering. Really couldn’t ask for more.
One month in and very pleased. The RB-1590 works very well with the Freya S. With the RB-1590 the system has very good tone, fantastic dynamics and nice big soundstage.
One interesting thing is that the settle-in/break-in has been very subtle. It sounded great out of the box. During the first week the soundstage opened a bit more but it has really sounded fantastic from the get-go.
In a nutshell, everything sounds right. We’ll see how I feel in a few more weeks.
The Schiit Freya S has been in the system for two weeks now. It has exceeded all expectations from packaging to performance. So much so that I am contemplating a complete Schiit system by adding a Gungnir MB DAC and the Vidar amp.
Of course all this is the very early stages with a new piece of gear. I’ll try to be patient and see what the future holds.
I will add a few more impressions of the Freya S after I have lived with it for a couple of months.
I have to say, I am a bit confused as to what you are currently using for amp/preamp. Your photos show an Arcam integrated, yet your text indicates NAD, though your components list includes the Arcam integrated.
The reason I bring this up is due to me adding an Arcam AV-9 preamp/processor, and DV 139 universal player. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how good these two units have turned out to be. I bought both of them used, to replace higher-priced components that quit working, so it makes me happy that the Arcam units have acquitted themselves so well.
Nice system, and a very nice room. Regards, and enjoy,
Well, after replacing the power supply on my IDA-16 in February it made a loud pop and died last week. Not quite three years old, very frustrating.
Alas, I have recommissioned my trusty 15 year old NAD c320BEE integrated and it is working great. In a few days I will be pairing it with a Schiit Freya S preamplifier.
I’m very disappointed that the NuPrime failed however I’m delighted how good my little NAD sounds. Been running it about a week and it is sounding so good.
About a year after getting the C320BEE I added a deHavilland Ultraverve Jr 6SN7 tube preamplifier to it and it was some of the best sound I have had.
Honestly, I should have never replaced that set-up. But that was many years and lots of lessons ago. Even though the Freya S isn’t tubed based I have high expectations that putting a better pre in front of the C320BEE amp will again produce excellent results.
Thank you, milpai. The thing about a large room is it can be tough to fill it with music. At this point I finally have very satisfying sound and I don't sit around wondering what I have to do next to get respectable results.
When I was looking into new cables for my system I came across your power cable post from '15. The feedback from it steered my in the direction of Cullen, thanks.
Whoa, I said I'd post more impressions after the Cullen Cables accumulated more hours.
Well, eight months later I think everything is finally settled in. The addition of the Cullen cables tied everything together beautifully.
For the first time in a long, long, long time I am simply listening to music. My brain has finally turned off (in a good way).
The Nuprime IDA-16 along with Bowers and Wilkins 683 S2s is natural, neutral, dynamic and balanced. It presents all the music in a complete cohesive manner and the Cullen cables let them do their jobs.
An indication of how much I'm enjoying my system is the dozens of CDs from my collection that I have ripped and added to my Blusound Node 2 streamer. What a great piece of gear and a tremendous value.
Over the last four months I've acquired a full set of Cullen Cables. They are one of they best audio investments I've made.
I have the Cullen Avius power cable to my power conditioner, the Avius C7 cable to my streamer, Nitin Coax cable on my streamer and universal player, Crossover ll power cable to my integrated dac/amp and the Crossover speaker cables to my speakers.
Instead of going on and one about how they sound I'll just say the Cullen Cables simply make my system sound right.
After living with them a few more months all add additional comments. If you come across this post and are considering cables give Cullen Cables a look. Patrick Cullen has an extensive background in the HiFi audio industry. His cables are well made, sound fantastic (neutral and balanced), and are a great value.
The Cullen Cable Avius power cord is approaching the 300 hour mark. I can only say that it is has been a revelation. I have been enjoying my Nuprime IDA-16 for six months. Since adding the Cullen pc the sound coming from my NuPrime has improved in every way
As the Cullen cable settles-in my amp actually seems to be going through another stage of break-in itself. The tone, timbre, dynamics and refinement have all improved. The music is propelled into the room and at my listening position with the music has added weightand body.
Cabling is so system dependent. The Volex 14 gauge pc and WireWorld Stratus did not work in my system at all with my amps; which is strange. There are many people that use the Volex and Stratus with great results in their systems I'm sure.
I've just ordered another Cullen Avius pc and Nitin Coax cable for my Bluesound Node 2 streamer. I'm really looking forward to how they will sound. I really like the gear I have. But I was dealing with a flat, hard midrange and brittle highs; with the music feeling constricted and fatiguing to listen to at length. Switching one pc has changed all that.
If you have settled on your system and it is appropriate for your room size and listening habits and you have addressed cable management but you are still not satisfied with the results; you might want to try different cables. Beginning with power cables might be the best place to start. It has really helped my system.