I think there isn't a more fitting way for us at Hifi Unlimited to bid farewell to 2011 than having an awesome listening session with an awesome system.
On the eve of the New Year's eve, AV Designs' James gamely carted his entire TAD system over for us to have a go. I also would like to thank JoKi, Felix, and Big E who came over to help with set up and listening.
The TAD Compact Reference loudspeakers were already playing in my room. To the TAD-CR1, we added the TAD-D600 SACD/CD player, the TAD-C2000 pre-amp and the TAD-M2500 power amp.
As usual, the TADs had to sit on the floor as I did not have the rack space. I also doubted my Finite Elemente Signature rack would take kindly to their total weight (circa 100kg). They sit prettily on the Finite Elemente Master Reference rack in AV Designs' showroom though.
The TAD components were added one by one into the hifi chain. Putting in the TAD-D600 player added heft and scale. The sound became more sure-footed, more poised. Adding the TAD-C2000 preamp evinced a big jump to the system's overall performance. The sound opened up, with transparency going up a few notches; it also expanded in terms of frequency extension and soundstage dimensions. The fond memory of listening to the TAD-D600 - TAD-C2000 combo for the first time a few months ago came back with a vengeance. I was really enjoying myself.
However, TAD was not done yet. The coup de grace came when the TAD-M2500 power amplifier went in. After the initial warming up period, it took a grip on the proceedings and never let go (the TAD-M2500 is rated at 25ow/8ohms, double that into 4 ohms). Unlike some big amp I heard in the past that stamped their authority all over the place, like they were saying, "look at me, I am big!", the TAD-M2500 was most graceful instead. Quiet passages were handled with delicacy and fine strokes, but when the big ones came, the TAD-M2500 just followed suit, pumping up the sound like a big yet smooth V8. The total ease of this amplifier in dealing with any type of music was unnerving. Yes, 'total ease' would be the right words to describe the TAD-M2500.
What a way to close the curtain on 2011.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!