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Dan_C
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Dec 7, 2016
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Run the Cardas Clarifier app, giant improvement, maybe as good as tube rolling. Keeping volume control between 11 and 1 seems to balance hf detail (lost in lower settings) and lf dynamics (lost in higher settings). Soundstage is taking time to open up but it is opening up. Best audio bang-per-buck in my life.
Dec 7, 2016
Dan_C
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Dec 15, 2016
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Mine has needed quite a bit of break-in. It was very congested at first with indistinct highs and minimal sound stage (HD650 phones already broken in). After a week running the Clarifier break-in tone sweep daily and leaving the amp playing overnight I am now getting some beautiful, enjoyable sound especially on acoustic music and jazz. First the highs cleared up and the bass gained (some) definition and dynamics. In the first days the tone sweeps produced mids and highs with almost too much definition - instruments had a sharp outline as if each was its own separate photograph pasted on the stage. Over the next few days the etched edges on instruments diminished and the sound stage became continuous. The stage was gaining some depth (not a lot). Sound stage improvement seemed easiest to hear in the morning after an all-night burn-in.
For the first few days I noticed the sound lacked drive or pace - that sense that music is flowing forward; now at about 8 days things are gelling and I'm getting some of that toe-tapping head-nodding sense of movement that had been missing. I am also getting a few more layers in the sound stage and I am hearing subtle dynamics in instruments that had sounded flat before. I've heard small dynamic variations I don't recall ever hearing on some of my favorite recordings.
And tonality!! Especially on live acoustic recordings I'm hearing distinct unique natural sounding tone colors that I have never noticed before. It's a simple tube circuit in OTL with no negative feedback, theoretically this is the holy grail. While I was waiting for the drop I was running simulations and planning circuit mods. Now I think I'll listen and continue breaking it in - this amp is continually getting better. It takes time to notice sounds you haven't heard before, especially subtle things like micro-dynamics and tone color. I'm giving this baby a good long time to show me how it sings.
Dec 15, 2016
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