Many months ago I bought a DAC to use with my computer in the bedroom to connect to my Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 for some headphone listening. I have used it, but not been impressed by it at all. But when surfing around, I got into this crazy page about installing a tube amp output on CD players and DACs. And he listed the cheap one I have as one of the best DACs he ever heard. The guy bypasses the output stage and replaces it with a simple tube buffer/amp. That got me interested.
So finally my new ProAc Response 2.5 clone playing music. And how they play! I got myself a new Class-A amplifier to have something nice to drive them with. At first they sounded a bit short on the bass side, but now after about 20 hours of listening, the bass starts to improve. I’ve never believed in the “burn-in” of speakers, but I have to say I’ve been mistaken.
I invited some friends over for a music listening party. A lot of records and an even larger amount of beer made for a beautiful evening.
At the same time I ordered my new amplifier, I also ordered a new DVD player with DVD-Audio and SACD playing capability. So I rush out to get my hands on a SACD record, but the only one I could find was the slightly overplayed Dark side of the moon by Pink Floyd. But it was a good test record because I have two different mastering versions on cd, so comparing was easy. And to my surprise the CD (actually Flac played through my Squeezebox) sounded better than the SACD one! So I had to check that the player didn’t play the normal cd layer, but no, it played the SACD layer. The singing voices on the SACD sounded muffled compared to the Japanese pressing of the CD. Also the pinpointing of instrument placements in the stereo image was not as good an coherent from the SACD. The player a Pioneer 696 is a low budget player so it could be it. But I’ll crank up the manual and check so I haven’t done something stupid with the settings.
More testing tomorrow…
So I finally decided to go with the Proac Response 2.5 clone speakers. The original speaker costs $4400, but a very good copy or the original is possible to build for around $1000. It uses high quality Scan Speak speaker elements, and I bought them today. My friend Micke is also building a pair at the same time. So now I have four speakers standing in my livingroom. Everything is covered in MDF dust. Thankfully I have a very understanding wife.
So far we have put together the side and top walls. Today we glued the Bituben dampening material to all the walls (except the front baffle) I still feel faint and feel a stinging sensation in my fingers. Next time, gas masks. Anyway, we are moving along in a good pace. Hopefully we will have a pair of working speakers finished this weekend. The plan is to first finish the speakers, but not glue the back end so we can make adjustments to the stuffing and filtering. I also want to try different lengths of the bass reflex tube. Coming along nicely. But I’m still worried about doing the veneering.
Here’s a quick picture of my finished Cyburg Needles speakers. First time I ever done any wood crafting, and they sound great! They are really easy to build. You can find the plans for them here (PDF warning).. Next up, a pair of Jordan Transmission Line speakers.
Update: I built a couple of ProAc Response 2.5 clones instead. They are incredible and sounds absolutely amazing!