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Simaudio 740P, Part 19

Posted on January 13, 2024 at 00:27:49

Posts: 7218
Location: Bay Area
Joined: December 11, 2000
In the mid-2000s, an audiophile named Paul traveled the Midwest, to install and repair walk-in refrigeration units. He had all-Musical Fidelity electronics, and reached out to me about Nordost. He writes: "I loved reading your posts. I found them fun & informative, and loved how you gave some history, and did comparisons. Like everyone else, I thought of you as a kid. But when you wrote back, you were organized, thorough, honest, and professional. And not an a-hole, like so many others."

"You told me to go for the Red Dawn ICs and SC. You said they gave the most bang for the buck. You said that, for many people, they were good enough. You said that the Red Dawn was cheap enough, that you should skip Nordost's intermediate models, and wait until you could afford their best offerings."

Paul writes, "I've been reading and re-reading your top-notch series on the [Simaudio] 740P preamp. You're what my wife calls 'deceptively mature.' Everyone still thinks of you as a kid, but that's 'cuz you've never lost track of your roots. Despite all your decades of audio experience. And I'm so jealous that you've handled hundreds of thousands of dollars of cables."

Paul continues, "I think you're right. I've been to several Simaudio dealers. Their demos are almost always in that black middle with silver checks. I see exactly why you'd get yours in all-silver. I, however, like the all-black. I just think it looks sharp and menacing, with that red display. Since the 740P is discontinued, I hope it's not too late to get a good deal on closeouts or demos."

Audiophiles have been peppering me with questions about Kimber's obscenely-expensive Naked line-level interconnect. Paul writes, "But c'mon man. The Naked costs more than the 740P itself. No way. Even the [$4100] KS-1136 is a stretch. If you like Kimber, what's the next best to use with a 740P?"

In Spring 1986, as a high school freshman, I became an audiophile. All my friends were boys, and we just wanted to play sports. Because there really weren't any girls, two teams could differentiate themselves, by going "shirts versus skins." That is, one team wore shirts, while the other went topless.

I actually purchased the June 1986 Stereophile. It was this ad, which, for me personally, was my introduction to Kimber Kable. Note that the ad listed the 4PR, 4VS, and 4TC, but did not identify them as speaker cables.

As that school year came to an end, my friends would hang out after school, at the basketball courts. But one day, I went over to my friend Elias' house, which was on 47th Avenue near Judah. His stepdad was fixing what I think was an NAD receiver. The family also had an NAD cassette deck. The stepdad commented that, if you kept the electronics all one brand, because of design and parts selection, you'd end up with a "house sound." So with an all-NAD system, the stepdad smiled, "You either like it double, or hate it double."

Elias' sister had a cassette of the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. Instead of waiting for a radio station to play it, I fast forwarded to Suzanne Vega's "Left Of Center."

Ah, the January 1987 Stereophile. I did not realize that, at the time, Chesky made records and cassettes, not CDs. As for Kimber Kable, instead of, they had a Telex number.

During that Spring 1987 semester, my fellow sophs, Andy and Danny, would use our Muni Youth fast passes, to venture out to San Francisco audio stores, such as Eber, Good Guys, Harmony A/V, Performance Audio, Whole Earth Access, and World of Sound. But cables were down the list. After all, if you did not have a stereo, what good were cables?

Just as Elias' stepdad had mentioned, the default thought was that you were supposed to keep the electronics from the same brand. Thus, you thought about and lusted after "rack systems." We were not into "high-end audio" yet, so Andy, Danny, and I dreamed about rack systems from a/d/s, Akai, Carver, Nakamichi, Pioneer Elite, Proton, Sony ES, and Yamaha.

But. In those days, your speaker could and should have been from a different manufacturer. Andy, Danny, and I longed for Advent, Infinity Kappa, NHT, and Polk.

Here's the thing. Because the Simaudio 740P does not have a strong sonic personality, feel free to use non-Simaudio sources and power amps.

Paul points out, "If an audiophile is just coming across a 740P, he most likely won't have much money left over for cables. Your coverage of the Naked and KS-1136 really got me going. So if one is to go with Kimber, what are the affordable alternatives?"

For RCA operation, the old Silver Streak with WBT-0147 RCAs is killer. It is livelier than current-production Hero, Carbon RCA, and Select models (whose WBT-0114 neuters the sound). The Silver Streak does not roll off the to octave, as does the PBJ. The Silver Streak does not have that bronze-like glaze of the Timbre.

For XLR use, the Carbon interconnect is outstanding. It isn't boring and sleepy, like the KS-1116. It isn't jiggly and glossy, like the KCAG. The balanced Carbon IC is so good for so little, you might just shrug your shoulders, and be done with balanced interconnects. Or, it'll buy you time, until you can afford that KS-1136.

All those years ago, when Paul asked me about Nordost, he stayed with AudioQuest and Kimber. In the mean time, we are getting the most out of his Kimber Silver Streak and Carbon, by properly treating them on the Cable Cooker. And if he does acquire a Simaudio 740P, he will be all set.

Kudos to the 740P, for being sonically accurate, clean, quiet, and transparent. It prefers to stay in the background, and let the other audio products speak. That said, it gets out of the way, and lets the bang-for-the-buck Silver Streak-0147 and balanced Carbon make your music, podcasts, video games, TV, and movies fun and engaging.

-Lummy The Loch Monster


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RE: Simaudio 740P, Part 19, posted on January 25, 2024 at 08:44:38
Don Reid

Posts: 883
Location: Rural NW Georgia
Joined: February 2, 2001
April 1, 2010
A Luminator post without at least one or two photos of beautiful women is like a day without sunshine.
I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having it's motives questioned.


A day without sunshine, posted on January 25, 2024 at 10:36:58

Posts: 7218
Location: Bay Area
Joined: December 11, 2000

Some of my former Property Management coworkers from the late-1990s and early-2000s are not just still in the industry, but still with the same companies. That was when high-end audio got bloated, and did not expand the customer base. Bay Area commercial real estate, never affordable to begin with, became prohibitively expensive. Thus, B&M audio stores, never plentiful to begin with, fell by the wayside.

I recently went back to Santa Cruz, met up with old college friends. We're middle-aged moms, but going back to Santa Cruz made it feel like we were college kids.

I've been fielding a long line of questions about preamps, cables, and speakers. As always, future posts will incorporate some of these ideas, suggestions, feedback, histories, music, product combinations, and life events. And of course, I always get asked, "Where are the guys?!"


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