Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
I've been hemming & hawing & obsessing about my 25 year old front end ever since I took my equipment out of moth balls in November of 2017. Last Monday I finally went with a marked down "factory refurbished" SA10 from MD; It arrived Wednesday in the AM but I was working on one of my amps during the day, so I didn't open it up until later in the evening.
Wednesday night, first impression: "Wow, this bastard sure is big." Also: no power cord. Also: I wanted to read the owners manual tonight & that's not there either.
Thursday evening after moving one amp in & one amp out, second impression: "Wow, this bastard sure is big." (Also, no remote.) Wouldn't fit where I wanted it to fit. I felt like someone who went out & bought the monster truck he had been perseverating about for a year & then found out that not only wouldn't it fit in his garage, the driveway was too small as well. Oh well. Make it fit. It looks ugly, but everything is hooked up. Put in one of my Sheffield Labs Test CDs & listened to Rodger Skoff & Doug Sax do a walk around. Things are louder than before. But I also hear footsteps clearly that I never noticed before, & I can hear that shaker thing rattling a tiny bit as he walks to the rear of the room, & I never noticed that before either. I started listening to the DCC redbook L. Ronstadt Vol. 2 & really didn't feel like listening to an awful lot of it. I put in SACD "Cafe Blue Unmastered" & wow, it sure is loud. & there's some grain & edge that I had been hearing before my amp went down a couple of weeks ago & I got it back up, but now it sounds like it has teeth & it wants jump at me & bite me. Buyers remorse? Possibly. Probably should have been drinking wine instead of whiskey.
Saturday evening after rearranging and redoing the garage and the driveway so everything (SA10, the amp, the pre, the wires, the cables) fits nice & (by my standards) sanitary AND after replacing a pair of I don't know how old EL34s that are power source for the input tubes with some brand new reissued Mullard EL84s that I was keeping for spares, 3rd impression: Did the walk around again with Doug & Rodger & the contrast of depth of the room vs closeness to the microphone is more apparent than before. Listened to some more redbook test CDs with reference musical tracks. Quite dynamic & snappy & detailed, but since I don't listen to them often, nothing to compare with (but they sounded great). Redbook DCC L. Ronstadt Gr Hits Vol 2 sounds much sweeter & cleaner than last night even when I put the pedal down a little bit. Listened to the whole CD & the bass at the beginning of her cover of "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" comes on strong & tight again so I turn it up even more & everything holds together. MFSL SACD Cafe Blue: (on redbook play back this always used to sound real nice until the sound started degrading a while back ago, but) tonight it is an extraordinary thrill. Detail was there before, but tonight even sharper & I feel as if I am hearing more air in the room. Nothing is what I would personally define as warm, it does play significantly louder than what it replaced, but it is not aggressive as I perceived it to be yesterday. Buyer's remorse starting to fade.
Edits: 08/16/20Follow Ups:
I've had its close relative, the SA KI Ruby, for about 4 months now and it's fantastic. I expect that once you have the remote, manual, and the SA10 gets some playing time, there'll be no more remorse.
In about an hour or so I'll be back there doing it again!
Sunday evening/night: I am loathe to preface this by typing that I am intoxicated; however, I will follow that confession by adding that when things are not right within my system alcohol only exacerbates the bad otic experience. Everything was right & glorious tonight. I started out with a redbook Chesky demo/sampler & concluded with MFSL SACD "Modern Cool"; the conclusion made me say, "OMG that was good. Wow."
Since I do not yet have a remote control, I am using whatever the defaults are set to. I am dying to get my hands on the remote so that I can play with some of the settings.
The Outputs on the Back of the unit.
There may only be Balanced and Unbalanced, but May have a Variable Output.
That's for running directly into an Amp.
Fixed Output into Preamp is the way to go.
Keep us posted!
Okay, I see what you were asking.
A variable output (if it had one) would be like a digital preamp built into the unit?
There is nothing I have seen (yet) in the on-line owners manual indication that I can switch between a a Variable or Fixed Output, but I'll get back into the literature to be sure.
Therefore I would say that I am running into my preamp via a Fixed Output.
The glass bottles were roasting tonight & all was good.
Did the redbook Steve Earle "Train a Coming" & then a few MFSL SACDS. "Blood On The Tracks," "Excitable Boy," (then by Dire Straits): "Love Over Gold," "Making Movies," "Brothers In Arms." Palpable punch is how I would describe this evening. Everything sounded great, but those MFSL Dire Straits remasters are incredible!
Anyhow, I am thinking it is a keeper.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: