The MusicWeb Listening Studio
Most reviewers review from their own equipment but we do have high-end
equipment for analytical listening where this seems appropriate. [None
of this equipment is held at Len Mullenger's address]
major upgrade was recently made to our equipment with significant improvements
to the quality of sound now enjoyed…which is just as well considering
the cost involved!
most significant change has been the replacement of the trusty Chord Electronics
and DSC1100, along with the Proceed CD transport. These three items have
now been replaced by a Meridian 808i, a CD player incorporating a digital
result stated simply, is that the system, which is strictly two channel
and used primarily for CD / CDR / DVD, now sounds superior in virtually
every respect, and achieves better sound than we had dared to hope from
our domestic environment. An additional bonus has been the result achieved
from analogue cassettes replayed by a venerable Nakamichi BX300, the output
of which benefits significantly from the processing effected by the Meridian.
The reduction from three boxes to one, admittedly large,
box has also tidied up and simplified the racking required which could
improve domestic harmony in some households.
Since May 2021 there has been an enforced equipment
change, The Jeff Rowland amplifier, which has served us so well for
several years, suffered some kind of seizure, just before the first
UK lockdown in March 2020. The amplifier literally went out with a bang,
Fortunately, it was in standby mode at the time and, even more fortunately,
no other components were damaged. The dealer lent a replacement integrated
amplifier, a Marantz MA10r. What was meant to be a short-term amplifier
loan extended through some 12 months. Meanwhile, the damage to the Jeff
Rowland amplifier proved to be irreparable. As a permanent replacement,
a new amplifier, a Bryston-14B3 has recently been installed. This delivers
600 watts/channel into 8 ohms. Coinciding with the installation of the
Bryston, the opportunity was also taken to make some other significant
enhancements. The Meridian 808i CD player’s in-built digital amplifier
is now used as a pre-amp. To maximise the Meridian’s pre-amp contribution,
it was decided to upgrade the balanced output leads from the 808i to
the Bryston, and also feed the digital audio outputs from each Humax
recorder into individual inputs on the 808i. Audioquest cables were
used for both the balanced and optical leads. For a first audition John
Quinn, Len Mullenger and David Dyer gathered in the listening room and
expressed them selves delighted at the improvement on sound in a system
that was already pretty matchless.
therefore now comprises:
808 Series 5 CD player with integral digital pre-amplifier. [~£11,000]
PDR-609 CD recorder [~£400]
14B3 power amp (Power output: 600 watts/channel into 8 ohms) [£15,000]
BX300 audio cassette recorder / player
Oppo BDP-105D DVD / Blu-ray player
Audioquest Interconnects. Pre to
Power Audioquest Water XLR.
Nautilus 802 speakers (bi-wired) [~£17,000]
NOTE: None of this equipment is located
at Len Mullenger's address
So: a major return from a fairly hefty cash layout,
albeit eased by the good people at Music Matters in Solihull
whose co-operation regarding part-exchange made the venture possible.
thanks to all the staff at Music Matters who have patiently endured the
trauma of this particular sale.