Hermanns System

Share your journey!

Moderator: Staff

Post Reply
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

I think sharing a little insight into my system and upcoming changes will perhaps bring new findings.

My System:
LP12 Klimax (Torqued)
Naim Phono SL and SC/DR
Naim NDS/PS555
Naim 552/DR
ECS Monos (Prototyps)
Briks

A Tundra Stereo amp 2.5 is playing in my system for two days now.

But first a big thanks to Marco /Hexagon Audio who provided the amplifier. A very friendly person who sent along the amplifier to the Entity for testing purposes without any complications. Once again, many thanks Marco.

But before I try to describe impressions of the amp, a few questions.

- What is the musical difference between the stereo amp and the monos?
- Is there a "better", a "more musical" somehow audible with the monos?
- After all, the monos are offered at twice the price of the stereo. Is there any added value with the monos compared to the stereo amp?

I'm still playing the Isobarik, which still doesn't push enough bass into the room. Even though I have come much closer to my ideal through many measures. How this will develop is not foreseeable currently.

- Hence the question: how do the amplifiers react to more difficult loads?
Trust your ears
User avatar
Ron The Mon
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 301
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Trudging Through The Tundra

Post by Ron The Mon »

Hermann wrote: 2021-01-27 12:11 A Tundra Stereo amp 2.5 is playing in my system for two days now.

- What is the musical difference between the stereo amp and the monos?
- Is there a "better", a "more musical" somehow audible with the monos?
- After all, the monos are offered at twice the price of the stereo. Is there any added value with the monos compared to the stereo amp?
Hermann,
This is an old post of mine, but will answer those three questions.

- Hence the question: how do the amplifiers react to more difficult loads?
During the Battle Of The Isobarik contest, there were three older versions compared (which I believe were):
A really old pair with the non-veneered baffle.
A Cannon connector pair from the early 1980s.
A pair from around 1986.

We were playing quite loudly at times. These older version Isobariks are notorious for overheating poweramps. After about 20 minutes of playing at high volume with the Tundra Stereo, I walked up to the racks and put my hand on top on the power-amps' case. It was just slightly warm, which amazed me.

After listening to the Tundra Monos for about a half-hour, cranked (in a large room), the cases were at room temperature to the touch.

The later Isobariks you and I have are a much easier load to drive. How hot did the amp get under your brutal testing?

Ron The Mon
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

Thanks Ron, that's exactly what I am interested in.

There seems to be a difference between the mono and stereo version. Whereas the mono version is said to have something special.
While he was connecting them I asked his opinion on upgrading the (original) tweeters in my Isobariks as the only minor complaint I had was there was a slight hash to the high end.
I also notice this and it was not audible at first. After several hours it is annoying at higher volume level and has given me food for thought. Especially since it only became audible on the 2nd day.

Despite high volume (Tundra can not be played quietly), the amplifier is just a bit warm. And yes, the listening volume has increased dramatically.
Trust your ears
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

It was last Monday around 1 p.m. when the Tundra was turned on. My first impression immediately put a huge smile on my face. My wife just said, oh, what is that? And that started a 14+ hour listening session, along with my wife.

Now it's not that new components immediately blow me away or even come close to triggering the "want to have" factor. In fact, with very few exceptions (Naim preamp NAC552 or LP12 and upgrades), this has never happened. And over decades with music and its playback chains, quite a bit of equipment has been heard.

I am particularly surprised, as the ECS amps had a service just 6 years ago and not remotely thought of a swap. Until Marco offered me to test the Tundra in addition to the Entity. The simple result, it blew me away! Now I'm what PRAT concerns quite preloaded and certainly about 99% of heard systems fell / fall directly through. But this amplifier whirls everything upside down. In contrast to the Tundra, the ECS seem lame, hung up and less precise. Mind you, in a test against the NAP 500, the ECS monos won a good 20 years ago. And that makes me think. Naim claims to deliver what is musically possible, as does every manufacturer. But what Fredrik delivers here is far from what could even begin to make a trade in the Naim world (NAC552 excepted). And I have done many of these over the years in Naim systems and many in my environment have turned to me for new systems or upgrades.

Currently the music is playing through the streamer, as the LP12 is in the jig for a new setup. The Tundra got in my way, because the LP12 was supposed to play again already on Monday!?

And now some back problems, the LP12 have to wait....

I don't know any other way to describe, but the step into the musical world is enormously opened by this amplifier. Still it stands on a Mana Reference table, which shows very clearly the qualities of audio equipment and predestined substructure to make PRAT perfectly audible. Tomorrow (I hope) it will be placed in the FRAIM, then possibly differences will become clear.

As further there is the extension of the bass range. Again incomprehensible, because the ECS are real bolides that can deliver power in excess. But the Tundra tops that tremendously. Despite the bass problems in the listening room, the pushes out a lot that almost makes me think there has never been a problem.

Marco suggested testing for 2-3 weeks and I replied 2 weeks would be enough. Actually, one day and more precisely a few minutes is enough to understand the quality of the amp. In other words, timbre, depth, clarity, transparency, all attributes are significantly improved. If it was sometimes necessary to strain the brain when wanting to follow a musical line, the amplifier shows that it is possible otherwise.

To pick out individual instruments and describe the qualities of the amplifier on the basis of them is actually pointless. It manages them all. But unfortunately the isobaric typical discolorations in the upper midrange are more noticeable.

Nevertheless, pianos and voices are reproduced in a way that also evokes a bit of annoyance at not having taken notice of the amplifier years ago. That's how it is when you stick too much to old habits.

Everything is still a provisional arrangement. Tomorrow I hope to integrate the amplifier into the rack and finally set up the LP12 again. Because the Entity is already waiting.

Power cables will also be tested later. But I will report.
Trust your ears
User avatar
lejonklou
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 6504
Joined: 2007-01-30 10:38
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Hermanns System

Post by lejonklou »

I'm delighted to read about your impressions, Hermann. This sentence in particular will make me smile all day today:

"the step into the musical world is enormously opened by this amplifier"

Regarding your questions, apologies for answering them so late, but here are my two cents:

- Tundra Mono and Tundra (stereo) are two different designs, so they perform differently. The sound character is by many regarded as similar, but the way they play music differs. I remember an early customer describing it like this: Tundra is going fast and skidding a little in the corners, while Tundra Mono follows the track precisely. I like that description.

- In terms of power and playing loud, the difference is in most situations rather small. A pair of Tundra Mono has twice the current available (as it will have four power supplies instead of two in Tundra stereo), but the maximum voltage out is the same. It's a matter of which runs out first and often it's the voltage. But when it's the current that runs out, Tundra Mono will play a little louder.

- The circuit topology in Tundra and Tundra Mono is exceptionally good at handling difficult loads. Not just low impedances, but also strongly capacitive or inductive loads. You can basically drive anything but a short circuit (which it's not protected against, because I have so far not been able to design an instant shutdown that both works 100% and doesn't significantly influence the musicality).
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

Thanks Fredrik, this is very helpful.

I had just sent Marco a request regarding monos and stereo. Since that is now clarified, I will probably enter the acute negotiation phase...
lejonklou wrote: 2021-01-28 13:13 I'm delighted to read about your impressions, Hermann. This sentence in particular will make me smile all day today:

"the step into the musical world is enormously opened by this amplifier"

[...]
Well was the first thought right after the first notes.
Trust your ears
User avatar
ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 4345
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Hermanns System

Post by ThomasOK »

Well, Hermann, I think you are hearing what many of my customers have heard. The Lejonklou amps just get out of the way of the music better than anything else we have heard. One of my dealers said he had a hard time telling customers what a Boazu sounded like because it really has no sound of it's own. Or the comment from David Abramson at Stereo TImes who, in awarding the Boazu a 2020 Most Wanted Products award. said the Boazu "did more nothing to the signal than just about any other amplifier in my memory, easily revealing even small differences between sources and cabling. Moreover, within its power envelope, it is dynamic, engaging, absolutely grainless, and quiet as a zen master in samadhi." I have customers who have replaced Naim electronics with Lejonklou, as well as Linn units, passive preamps, tube units, etc.

I will warn you that the Tundra Mono amps are indeed something special. As good as the Tundra 2.5 is, the Monos are even better and drive the Isobariks to a higher level of musicality than I have heard even from active setups with quite good amps. I think you will be highly impressed once you hear them.
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

Thanks Thomas, as always very informative.

Today's a mail out with the question to what extent it is possible to test the monos. Let's see what Marco thinks. Hope he finds a way.

I am surprised that the amplifier reacts the same way as equipment on Mana racks/stages but without them. And in this regard I am very spoiled. There hasn't been a piece of equipment over the years that didn't get a musical boost on these racks. The more stages, the more music, the concept was coherent and very expensive.

Fredrik has developed something that I didn't think was possible. Which again proves, nothing is set in stone. Anyway, the amplifier changes my perspective on certain things considerably.

About the LP12
As mentioned earlier, I have not been able to get the armboard aligned correctly. Today I exchanged the springs against each other. First the front one with the left one. No improvement. Then the left with the rear, also no improvement. Only when the front became the rear, it was possible to align the board parallel. Unfortunately, it squeaks during the bounce test. This is still to be solved now. Anyway, after all the turning (springs to swap are not available) the rear one causes the biggest change. If the rear spring swings cleanly up and down, without rocking movement, the other two no longer have much effect. The logic behind it remains for me in the dark.
Trust your ears
User avatar
ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 4345
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Hermanns System

Post by ThomasOK »

The rear spring is carrying more weight than the others. This causes it to be more compressed and it does mean it has more responsibility for the overall bounce in my opinion. It is also the place where you are more likely to have spring/grommet noise although that can happen in any position.
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.
Defender
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1266
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:35

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Defender »

great to hear you are making progress and I am happy you found a solution to test the Entity- I am sorry that Covid didn’t let me fulfill my promise and bring the Entity over for a weekend - but I see you found a solution.
My bet is it will involve spending „some“ money but having a big smile in the end.
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

Thank you very much for your kind words. When everything goes back to normal, maybe we can communicate directly.

Regarding the Tundra. Unfortunately, the current Monos are not available, because according to the descriptions here and also on the I-Net should fit much better. I hope Fredrik has a sense and produces as soon as possible.

The decision has not been made yet. For this, the Monos irritate too much. I want to play first extensively the remaining days the Entity and also test other tables. Not to mention the cable to the preamp. That is currently made of silver and could contribute not insignificantly to the picture. Unfortunately I am not so well equipped with cables from Naim to Chinch. Two are still available, one I have to re-solder.

Entity, first impression
Since one week the Entity is ready and, after old Naim manner warms up. Nothing has changed in the setup, Tundra is still on Mana Ref-table. Already with the first piano strokes it becomes clear, the Entity changes the entire presentation of my system.

Surprisingly, it is also immediately clear, Entity spends a little more on information. Still, the entire soundstage seems wider and narrower in depth. It also seems even brighter and once again pushes out a bit more bass!(?) Unfortunately, the Entity currently plays against my setup. It is indeed the impression, it lacks some of the substance and volume is less pronounced. The body of a piano to represent as they SL from Naim does not manage.

Here the Superline from Naim is ahead, quieter, more full-bodied, deeper in the room with just the same musical enjoyment. However, the Entity again shows the behavior implanted by Fredrik, to follow the musical line a little better.

Still, I'm amazed that a unit at about the seventh/eighth of the price of the Naim Phono I have playing comes so close. I currently rank the Entity at a good 80-85% of the Naim. With a changed sound image, ok but is also a matter of taste.

I record a piece of music tomorrow ...



I forgot to mention the LP12 is connected to the Superline via a RCA BNC adapter, which has considerable influence. The reason for this are the RCA jacks of the SL. They are slightly too big for a normal RCA plug. A not inconsiderable effort is necessary to connect the plugs. This is counterproductive in that the connectors including the board is suspended on springs.
Trust your ears
Defender
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1266
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:35

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Defender »

mmh your conclusion of the Entity being bright and what you wrote about the bass let me ask if this is a new device or if it run before. Mine stabilized after 75h playtime (not just powered on) till that time it was changing - sometimes better - sometimes worst. After 75h it continuously improved.
I also have a suspicion a lot of soldering on cables have been involved - maybe what you hear is not the Entity but a new solder joint
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

First impressions changes.

After several hours, the situation is somewhat alleviated. It seems the Entity needs a signal to warm up.

I don't want to judge too early, there are still days to listen and possibilities to change the setup. We'll see how it plays when ECS monos are reconnected.

I know the cable very well and had long time non Naim devices connected to pre. Regarding soldering, one cable is missing a channel.

Just received the message from Marco, the monos can not be delivered quickly...
Trust your ears
User avatar
lejonklou
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 6504
Joined: 2007-01-30 10:38
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Hermanns System

Post by lejonklou »

Hello Hermann!

Thank you for your detailed reports on Tundra and Entity. I'm following your tests with interest, as your experiences, and perhaps preferences, are partly different from mine.

One thing I'd encourage you to try is various physical positions for Entity. It's a small case that is easily stowed away where it's convenient, but to squeeze out the last bits of performance, it really benefits from an optimal support. Put in other words: My small cases are sensitive to the shelf below them. I find that not only does the shelf material matters, but also the position on the shelf. Please do share your findings if you encounter anything of interest regarding this.

There's also the matter of running things in, to which I have found some people being very sensitive. Personally, I seem to "hear through" what happens during the first couple of weeks, I kind of enjoy the raw sound of a new unit. I have however learned that others find it unbearable and can't wait until the unit settles.

Tundra Mono is currently out of stock in Europe. I believe there might be some pairs left in North America. The reason is lack of cases, something I've been wrestling with for well over a year and the pandemic hasn't exactly sped things up. I may now have found a qualified manufacturer to make me another batch. But so far I haven't received the first prototype, so I'm relying only on their work for other very reputable companies (and those cases were immaculate, so it seems very promising). At the moment I'm stocking up on components, which has proven rather interesting, as some semiconductors are currently running out of stock and it turns into a bidding contest at the trader's. Particularly the car industry seems to be buying massively, and several of the key semiconductors I'm using are labeled 'auto' (and amusingly two of them also "not suitable for audio", but the key to very successfully using them in audio is to measure and select each device and use only the minority that meets the exact specification). I've so far been very lucky in this endeavor, meaning I have components for years to come on my shelves. But the cases are currently missing.
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

Hello Fredrik,

Thank you very much for your comments, very interesting.

No question, the view about the Entity has changed. But that is the process of listening, going back to experiences and looking for new impressions.

The Entity rest on the Radikal and this again on a Fraim. It will be placed on a Mana Rack later. How sensitive to part electronic devices on different tables / racks react, is known since the late 70s, when we built a table for the LP12. In addition, the amplifier shows very clear differences. Not to use this would be almost negligent...

But is difficult to judge. On the one hand it matches the Tundra perfectly, but on the other hand there are some areas on the Naim SL that appeal to me more. Perhaps listening habits need to be changed.

According Marco, the amp ist new. He also wrote 24 hours is enough, which is about right. Nevertheless, small changes were still audible on the 3rd day. The Entity is its demo device.

The musical direction of the Tundra is exactly what I expect from my system. I had all of this in our last apartment. For me, one of the three best stereo system ever heard. So I am on a very good way. Interesting also with all the effort over the last few years, with setups, rack rearranging and acoustical measures up to swapping the Falcon crossover for original Linn, that an amp throws most of that out the window.

As I understand you, things don't look so bad after all. A request for reservation of the monos is out today.
Trust your ears
User avatar
Ron The Mon
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 301
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Information Withheld?

Post by Ron The Mon »

Hermann,
I have been following your hi-fi journey online since 1997 or '98. You have been interesting (including on this thread). However, it seems you've been withholding pertinent information.

Is it true you abandoned the "in-stand" stock 4Ω Linn crossover, original to your Isobariks, in favor of the ancient Falcon Acoustics version? If so, that is probably your "lack of bass" issue. I will comment why after your response.

Can you please take photos of the Lejonklou Entity on a Mana stack? The Entity is really cute. I'd love to see it holding court at the seat of Mana. There are many here, including me, who would love to hear a comparative recording of Super Line vs. Entity. I can understand you not doing it as it would affect resale value of your Naim.

Ron The Mon
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

Ron,
I don't know exactly what information you are referring to.

It is true that the external was exchanged for the internal Falcon and later for the internal Linn. The swap was around '96/'97, first as a test, then the Falcon stayed until about 6 years ago.

When we moved into this loft it was immediately clear that there would be problems. Since then I have been looking for solutions and am now on a very good way. That the change to Falcon is not the bass problem is shown by my previous flat. The Falcon was still installed there and, as I wrote, it was one of the three best sounding systems I've ever heard.

Only in this loft did bass problems occur. Therefore, I first reworked the Falcon with other capacitors and later I had the opportunity to buy new internal Linn. All this did not bring much in terms of bass. Nevertheless, I am glad to have the internal Linn, because despite all the prophecies of doom, they are better suited for this room than the Falcon.

Regarding Entity on Mana Rack, I just saw that the cable is a little too short, it just fits.

I don't think the Entity will shake the Superline's fan base, even though it comes very close. And that's certainly not because of the quality of the Entity, but for other reasons.

I'm about to make some recordings. As before with Zoom Recorder.
Trust your ears
User avatar
V.A.MKD
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 862
Joined: 2019-10-09 15:33
Location: Skopje / Europe
Contact:

Re: Hermanns System

Post by V.A.MKD »

Nice Hermann, good clips.
First or Second clip of each song, sound to me like the same phono stage ... First is Naim, Second ... Entity ... or ...
Music First ...
Vlado
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

ThomasOK wrote: 2021-01-29 17:10 The rear spring is carrying more weight than the others. This causes it to be more compressed and it does mean it has more responsibility for the overall bounce in my opinion. It is also the place where you are more likely to have spring/grommet noise although that can happen in any position.
My impression too.The influence of the other two springs is less for a good bounce. So far, only the left spring caused the noise on my LP12s and was always possible to suppress.

Thanks V.A.MKD
Now you know how hard it is to make a decision. Clip recorder with 24/96 WAV zoom Recorder and cut at the begin for Noise and at 2min
Trust your ears
Defender
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1266
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:35

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Defender »

thats gone be interesting ... clip 1 for me - most notable on the John Grand clip
clip 2 probably need more burn in ;)
User avatar
Ron The Mon
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 301
Joined: 2014-07-17 17:17
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Hermanns System

Post by Ron The Mon »

Hermann,
Nevermind about my previous comments; it is very difficult speaking with you. I speak Detroit slang and you speak German translated Queen's English.

If what I gathered is correct, you bought late Isobariks. You modified them to accept Falcon crossovers. You realized this was a mistake after 6-7 years of using them. You now run the stock Linn 4Ω Isobarik crossovers. You still have light bass.


Regarding your clips, I much prefer 2 over 1 on every comparison. I don't think it's close.

The photograph I wanted to see was a far away view of a complete Mana stack with just the Entity on top (or just under the LP12?).

Asides;
1) You mention having a rosewood LP12; are you sure it's not rosenut, a stained cherry?
2) What speaker cables and terminals are you using?
3) Are you plugging your LP12 RCA cable through an RCA-to-BNC adapter on the Superline but direct to Entity?
4) How much did it cost just for the "DR" mod to your Supercap?

Ron The Mon
User avatar
Hermann
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 604
Joined: 2018-05-13 06:52
Location: Ruhrgebiet

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Hermann »

Thanks for you commend. You're right Ron. I use the DeepL translator more and more because it's just easier for me that way. I'm sorry if this causes misunderstanding.

Bought the Isobarik around 1996, which replaced an older version with Cannon plug. Replaced the external crossover with Falcon because I found them better.

The problem of the missing bass appeared first in the loft. To be sure that the capacitors of crossover are not defective, they where exchanged. Later (6 years ago) I had the opportunity to install original Linn crossovers. However, none of these actions led to a significant better result. Installing the Falcon was not a mistake and if there had not been the option to install original ones, they would certainly still be in.

Bass has improved over time, but still lacks the proper pressure that I know from the 'briks. Putting the briks right up against the wall was the first improvement. Previously it was about 15cm away. Covering the wall with an accoustic element between speakers the second, Tundra the third. In fact, I don't miss any bass at all at times.

Well Ron I hope you understand that I don't post overview photos of my system. I'm afraid the discussion about Mana will start again. The LP12 is on a 2 tier stainless steel Rack on a bunch of Mana.

The plinth is rosewood and was replaced two yers ago, because the dealer has left a crack in my original (also rosewood).

Speaker cable as before NAC A5 from Naim in several variants. Plugs from Deltron, Naim, RS and WBT. Currently on the speaker are RS and on the amplifier WBT.

As already mentioned, I use for the SL BNC-Chinch adapters to be able to plug easier between SL an Entity. A small disadvantage for the Superline.

I'm afraid the Supercap is only 2 years old...
Trust your ears
Spannko
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2281
Joined: 2008-01-24 21:46
Location: North East of The Black Country, UK

Re: Hermanns System

Post by Spannko »

Clip 1 for me too. As Ron said, it’s not even close!
Post Reply