I have a week's holiday and then I start with Intercall UK in Gloucester. However, it looks like some of my Grandfather's arrangements might fall on the Monday or Tuesday that week. When I know exactly what the arrangements are I shall call the new place of work and ask them if I might delay my start so I can attend. Fingers crossed this doesn't cause a problem.
dylan finally managed to get a pleasant sound out of his hifi by the end of the three day session. It turns out the DNM preamp is just too edgy to use in the setup; perhaps due to mismatched input voltages and/or complex wiring requirements. The sound using the Meridian 541 Surround Controller as a pre-amp is a lot more listenable to without losing too much detail or excitement. We borrowed a Primare CD player from Audio-T, kissycat1000's favourite hifi dealer who she's on first name terms with. I suppose I must mention the amusing incident where they asked me for ID and I showed them my driving license and the photo of myself and kissycat1000 I keep in my wallet.. they seemed satisfied as they let us wander out with 1500 quids worth of CD player with just a signature, and not the full credit-card swipe and utility bills / passport check they normally do!
We discovered the truth about the expensive Ixos leads - to our ears they purposefully take out a frequency range around the human voice range (they sound quieter apart from anything else)! Presumably to make the response curve sound more flat to human ears (which of course are more responsive to sound around the human voice range). The result with cheaper hifi would probably be positive, but with the sorts of kit we were playing with it just made the sound flat and lack-lustre. A cheaper cable restored Suzanne Vega to the room instead of sounding like she was singing from inside a bucket..
The two best components of dylan's system seemed to be the JMLabs standmount speakers and the DNM monoblock power amplifiers. In my room certainly the speakers were able to reproduce faithfully anything that was thrown at them without a problem. Punch, poise, dynamic range and stability were superb. They could sound relaxed where appropriate but still be really involving.
We won't mention the horrific sound when the DNM pre-amp and Meridian 203 CD player were used - it was so harsh that you felt like the hifi had got up and strangled you with the sound! Seriously unpleasant.
So now dylan is seriously considering the Primare CD player as it fitted in very well with his system; and the software upgrade that we heard about will allow it to play CDRs. It handled every type of music it was asked to play and played them all engagingly and appropriately.
We played about with my 'hifi' and I learned a few things: My Marantz PM-80 amplifier is not as detailed as the DNM for example, but it was able to give a good dynamic sound that was stable and pleasing; a little splashy on the treble perhaps, but considering its age and what I paid for it (£220; £450 new) it's not bad. It shows how bad the Sony 200 disc CD changer is as a source, and how badly I need a decent pair of speakers. *sigh*. I feel an expensive time ahead..
One last thing I should mention is that upon returning the loan equipment to the shop after 6pm (late opening until 8 for them on Thursday) we brought in some CDs and proceeded to have some fun :) The shop has a complete NAIM system connected to some LARGE BLACK PMC speakers worth ~5k opposite the sales desk. Andy started proceedings by mentioning there's a competition to find the track with the deepest bass. I laughed, as anyone who knows me will know I'm a bass-junkie. I just happened to have the CD with a good track on - Track 7 from the Higher Learning soundtrack, some track by Mr. Grimes. They were suitably impressed I think, although I have a feeling the problem with the track is there is one point in the bass line that has two notes playing; you can only tell there is a second lower note from the sub-harmonics that you CAN hear. I should rip it and try to calculate a frequency for it by looking at the waveforms *grin*.
I finally managed to play the Tori Amos Boys for Pele album to Andy which I've been promising him for months. He liked it and looked forwards to taking it home to play on his decent system at home :)
Andy played me a prog-rock band that sounded very Zeppelin; Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle. A link including MP3 preview is here. jessie_pup I strongly suggest you have a listen! kissycat1000 is in the middle of trying to procure it for me from Ebay :)
Lots of geeky fun and re-grounding which was much needed; thanks for the company and the fun dylan :)
Onwards and upwards!
UPDATE: Oh, and anyone who thinks they have a mobile number for me - delete it. It was a company phone and has gone back. Thanks.