My search for a proper streamer is ongoing, but not very active, as I'm not in a hurry: my laptop and Sparkler S503 are doing a fantastic job!
Surfing Review33 used equipment column is my daily chore, just in case there's a decent Streamer selling at a well below market price. One day, I was surfing and trying my luck. Randomly, I browsed various categories and happened to check out the loudspeakers. There was a pair of NAIM SBL selling at a cheap price. It is a classic, well regarded during my LINN/NAIM days back in late 80s. It was next on my list after Linn Isobarik and before Sara! Without a wink, or maybe after a few winks, I grabbed it without deciding how I was going to deal with it! Man, what I really need is a streamer and how can I bring this home while I have my Dynaudio Crafft, which I am so content with?
An idea popped up in my mind! I can put it in my office! Did some measurements and realized it fits perfectly on one side of the wall!! It is an absolute snug fit! But would it be too showy? What the heck, it's staying in my office. OK, what about source? That did not cause me any concern since I have the oh so reliable Taobao K16 BT receiver. For Laptop, I have my Huawei P40 Pro and the company HP Laptop that I occasional bring to work (only when I need to ZOOM); it sees more time at my home, haha.
Well, I did need an amp. My goal was to find an extremely cheap Int Amp or even a NAP140 or 160 power amp directly driven with volume controlled by my P40 Pro phone. Initially, my friend volunteered to lend me his famous frying pan MF A1s to try and I happily obliged. But then I saw an int Amp from Gold Note AP7 Mk2 for cheap, at only $2k, I immediately grabbed it based on: 1) It fits my budget; 2) Rave review of its bigger brother from Darko; 3) Fancy, made in Italy; 4) Compact size.
Nowadays, due to COVID19, you cannot audition and have to press your luck. Well so far it pays off on various purchases.
I also have a pair of Gotham GAC1 and 47 OTO I.C. but 47 is so finicky that I had to revert back to GAC1. What about speaker wire?? Luckily my friend Kwong lent me his Audioplan to use, which is a very decent silver coated S.C.
Finally I was all set to go. Setup was a breeze as it's minimal. I fired it up on a Saturday afternoon to reasonable level (of coz my normal listening level during weekdays lunchtime or afterwork will be much lower). In a nutshell, it does pump out respectable mid bass which rolls off quickly as expected. But it's quite musical and with decent extension of high frequency.
I would say my main system is still superior , more polished, smoother, musical and better in digging into the essence of music, but as a second system, it has far exceeded my expectation for a budget of only 7000HKD!! The combo actually give me great pleasure and provide stress relief to my hectic job, with endless deadlines, one after another non-stop! I can stay in my room with door closed listening to favorite tunes and unlimited choice from Tidal!
Recently been digging songs from Van Morrison and a song from Chan 陳果 's 留下來坐坐! The male narrative part is so magnetic and without it the song is just mediocre and the trest of the CD remains middle of the road (I can focus on just that song)!
Jane Motis in concert
Fever by Musica Nuda
Caledonia Soul Music by Van Morrison