January 6, 2012

Most Significant Changes In My Hifi 2011.

For me 2011 was the year the CD format went obsolete, well not totally, only because I still use them in my car for routine drive time listening. I rated the Bryston BDP/BDA-1 combo so highly, I decided to get them for my own listening pleasure. Yes, they require a totally changed mindset in terms of handling, storing and music playback. However, once I got used to the new practices, it just became another part of my autonomous audiophile habit, taken for granted! 
The Bryston BDP/BDA-1 combo is just perfect for me and my digital music files.

Having lived the Bryston combo for nearly a whole year now, I am still in the process of finishing all the rips from my CD collection and storing them in to my hard drives. I've also downloaded plenty of hi-rez files from the likes of Linn Music, HD Tracks, 2L, Chesky, amongst many other legit pay for music sites. The coolest thing about the Bryston combo is that I can access my music via my iPhone 4 any where from my home!
Isn't she sexy? The "cool" iPhone control interface that is!

The Bryston combo can be said to have the best compromises between convenience, sound quality, and life style all in one product. I've never look back towards my CD collection with fondness, only because 16 bit AIFF or FLAC files just sounded better, compared to the original disc it self, playing in a CD player!(I must however, qualify the statement with "unless the CD player is a TAD D-600") Hi-rez music is just icing on the cake, even if some of the files are of questionable quality. 
The Torus Power RM8A twins. The AVR version below is the best for those residing in ares where voltage in-stability is a major concern.  

The next item that took my system performance a few notches up is the Torus Power RM8A AVR. This it self is a further up grade from an RM8A isolation trans, from the noisy and unstable power supply in the Subang Jaya area! While some have questioned my wisdom for spending way too much on what is, essentially a power conditioner, all I can say is this, "to each his own, as in hifi there is no wrong nor right, only what sounds right to my ears, as it should be yours too!" 
The 3 piece Pass Labs X0.2 is cumbersome for sure, but once I heard it, I no longer wanted the X1 pre amp, which was my original up grade target!

The final piece in the 2011 up grade puzzle came in the form of a Pass Labs X0.2 pre amp. If you've been reading this blog for the past year or so, you'd realised that 2011 is the time we went all out to listen to some of the best pre amps in the market today. So why did I choose what is essentially a dated, last generation product when I have tasted some of the latest and greatest? I offer you two excuses. First, all those super duper, latest and greatest high end designs are simply out of my reach financially. The JRDG Corus sounded particularly "out of this world" in my system, but I simply can't afford it. The next excuse is what some audiophiles call synergy. I simply found the older X0.2 to have such complementary synergy when mated to my Pass Labs old dog, the Aleph 0 power amp. While the latest top pre amp designs, including the XP-20 that Odiosleuth bought, have improved lower noise floor, and better low level transparency with overall neutrality, I've always thought the X0.2 brought a degree of warmer tonal palette and romanticism that is more in line with my system's sonic synergy, and audio preferences.

I still love my music in all forms and genre which I consider as most important criteria when assembling, or up grading a hifi system. While I aim to take it slow and easy this year, who knows what 2012 has in stored?

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