May 21, 2012


This system not only sounds "noble" but more likely aristocratic too!

During our recent Seremban foray, we listened to a few high end systems, but this particular one just took my breath away and redefined what deluxe(is this what some other blogger call NOBLE?) sound is like. It wasn't the most expensive system of the day, nor it was the most ambitious, but it sounds so musically luxurious, not to mention classy, I just had to share my experience. Hence the title for this posting De-Luxury!

This system is also about what is achieve able when one puts his complete trust with his hifi dealer. I am sure by now, most keen eyed readers won't need me to tell you that this is a complete system put together by CMY Audio & Visual.  The system owner is Mr T(I can tell you he doesn't spot a Mohawk hair do!), who over the past 2 years have been consulting with Steve and Richard from CMY Audio & Visual about charting his hifi and musical journey. Just in case you're wondering, what musical journey? I tell you because CMY Audio & Visual not only supplied the hardware, they also supplied Mr T most of his music software too!
The ProAc Response D38 is not a small speaker, and just fits tightly in to this dedicated listening room. 

The back view of the ProAc Response D38 reveals the Siltech 770L Classic 25th Anniversary speaker cable(bi-wire version) in use. Combine this with the 770i interconnect from the same series and it becomes understand able, why this system sounds so polished and classy.

Coming back to the system, what can simpler than a single CD player for source, feeding a pre/power amp combo to drive a pair of speakers? That's actually the beauty of this system, it's an epitome of less is more. However, Mr T makes sure all his hardware are top notch equipment from the finest stables. A Wadia 381i CD player serves as source feeding signal to a Jeff Rowland Capri pre amp and a Model 625 power amp, JRDG's latest thinking on power. A pair of ProAc Response D38 loud speakers complete the big picture. All equipment are placed on an acrylic rack, with nearly all Siltech Classic 25th Anniversary 770 series interconnects and speaker cables taking care of the delicate audio signal routing. Mr T has a pair of Richard Gray's RGPC 400 Pro doing PLC duties and a mixture of top grade Siltech and Harmonix power cords transmitting cleaned power.

The system is set up in a dedicated, non acoustically treated listening room measuring 14 x 21ft. About the only thing that could be considered anything near acoustic treatment is that curtain running across, covering the whole sound stage wall. The simplicity theme continues in the tweak area with only the use of Symposium Rollerblocks(3 per equipment) and Ultra platform to isolate the pre amp and CD player from the hifi rack.

The system is set up is clean & tidy, with minimal thrills and accessories. Top shelf is JRDG Capri pre amp, mid shelf is Wadia 381i CD player and bottom shelf is JRDG Model 625 power amp.

The back view reveals it all.

A pair of RGPC 400 Pro for parallel power delivery to the system. 

The sound of this system is thoroughly modern. It's crystalline clarity quality, highlights detailed harmonic textures & timbre and linear dynamic shading. The highs belong to the classy category of "Noble" sound, which is smoothly super extended and liquid. The ring of cymbals and the triangle becomes highly addictive, once experienced. However, that doesn't mean this system is all highs and nothing else! The mids are slightly coloured in the ever so vocal centric British fashion, which is no bad thing in it self. The bass doesn't particularly dive to the lowest octaves like the big bad ass American speakers, but the ProAc Response D38s are a supremely tight fit with the room, acoustically speaking of course. There's no trace of boominess, boxiness or over whelming bass characteristics. Whatever bass that is available just sounded natural and tuneful. Top to bottom octave coherence is about as good as can be for a system of this stature. It's as if this system has gone to finishing school for audio etiquette.

The walk thru sound staging is another impressive area of performance for this system. The imaging is big boned, with the backing musical instruments scattered all around behind it. This system not only ticks all the right audiophile check boxes, but also sounds musically right and enjoy able too. 
A closer look at the JRDG Capri, sitting on top of the Symposium Rollerblock and Ultra platform for total isolation from the hifi rack. The JRDG Capri will soon make way for the Corus!

One particular area that Mr T is considering when improving his system next, is the pre amp. He has his eyes set on the outstanding Jeff Rowland Corus, bigger brother of the Capri. I know where he's coming from, after all I've personally experienced both pre amps before in my own system. The Capri certainly punches way above it's weight, in terms of sound quality vs price value ratio. It certainly did not embarrassed it self in the company of this system, even if it's the cheapest component here. However, I do agree with Mr T's assessment that by replacing the Capri with the Corus, the whole system's audio performance would be further lifted, from it's already fine form. I am not sure when, but I do hope the next time I visit again, the JRDG Corus would've already being part of the system, and I just, somehow know, that it's gonna be awesome!

Congrats to Mr T for setting up such a fine sounding system, and thank you for allowing me to share your joy with our readers.