Replaced some 90's vintage gear Apr 1, 2019 15:14:43 GMT -5
Post by soundvark on Apr 1, 2019 15:14:43 GMT -5
So after the problems I had with my XSP-1 (1st Gen), I played with an old Denon AVR-4306 as pre. My set consisted of 2 Sony TA-N55-ES power amps in mono, the XSP-1 / AVR-4306 and a pair of Infinity Kappa 7.1. I also own a Technics SL-1210 MK3 with Audio Technica MLX150 cartridge and a Teac NT-503 USB / Network DAC.
I really loved the XSP-1. I tried a couple of other pre's including a McIntosh C38 but none lived up to the sound quality I was used to with the XSP-1. I had it repaired several times (out of warranty) but it kept breaking down and when it finally worked for a few weeks, I had a power spike which blew it to oblivion. I threw it away and put the Denon back.
It is really hard to get an all analogue pre with a good phono stage MC/MM, balanced ins and outs and the features it offers. Musical Fidelity offers something similar but its twice the price.
Overall, I was really happy with the setup. Bass was prominent though, sometimes a little overwhelming. I figured it had to do with the relatively small room and the fact that the Sony's in mono require 12-24 ohms (speakers are 6, maybe damping factor has a play in it too?).
Anyway, there are dealers all over Europe now and I got a really good deal from a German shop who had stock. I ordered the XSP-1 Gen2, got crazy and ordered a XPA-2 gen3 along with it! 5 years warranty without having to send it to the States is a good deal.
It got delivered today, hooked it all up a few hours ago and been playing non-stop. The experience is awesome! The XPA seems to really like the Infinity's, show perfect control over bass and transparency and clarity are all a couple of notches up from the Denon/Sony combination. It does sound a little brighter/clearer, not harsh or anything, CD/digital sounds as good as it gets, but the MLX150 cartridge is a tad bright from itself and now sounds a little too bright. I can turn it down a notch on the controls, but I may shop for another cartridge.
And then it did give me a real scare, I reached out to push mute but it turned quiet before I touched it ... no idea what happened (mute wasn't on) but after switching inputs it was good again. No idea what happened there.....
All in all, very happy here and let's hope this one doesn't break or pop any ELCO's.