21 August, 2012

The Yumcha Diaries: Tannoy Canterbury, YS Audio

The Yumcha Diaries 飲茶後記 : 18-08-2012
Tannoy Canterbury, YS Audio

On this day, our friend Charles brought over three friends. I was happy to recognize 2 friends from the PRC, 喜見稀客,三水的黎先生和錢先生。

I hardly write about home auditions these days. The main reason is because I am severely backlogged; the other is, frankly, not much interest me these days. But when a fellow Canterbury user extends an invitation, it would be impolite not to pay a visit!

You may remember SG, whom we visited last year. He has just moved to a beautiful new home. His equipment also underwent significant changes. He is now bi-amping Tannoy with two tube amps, and he has added another tonearm and upgraded his phono amp too:

Digital: Cary 306
Analogue 1 (stereo): SME 20/12A with SMEV-12 arm-Kondo IoM to Kondo KSL SF-Z
Analogue 2 (2 arms): TW Acustic Raven One-SME M2-12-Audio Technica AT33 mono; SME M2-12R-Ortofon 2M Black
Phono preamp: YS Audio The Real 4-piece flagship
Preamp: Audio Note M8 (phono  no longer used)
Amps: YS Audio 300B SE and KT120 PP bi-amp
Speakers: Tannoy Canterbury SE (spikes used)
Rack: Symposium

When we got there, the sound was kind of "phasey", and the image was weighted down by rather slow bass. Puzzled, I surmised that the volume of the KT120 amp used to drive the bass should be trimmed a bit. After a bit of experimentation, turning down the volume by 3 notches, sound regained some speed and clarity. The bass too, was cleaned up and no longer one-note. This illustrates that for bi-amping it is very critical to arrive at the correct volume. Personally I am not a fan of bi-amping - no amp is completely linear at all volumes and all frequencies.

Overall, the sound was still somewhat subdued for my taste. I noticed his main rack is Symposium, which I am weary of. IMHO, Symposium subdues and limits dynamics, and is usually not too suitable for tube users. Still, the sound was better than before (using Goldmund).

The apartment is new and the audiophile power supply rail may not be run-in yet. I also think the speakers would benefit from being further apart. As before, I don't think the supplied spikes should be used at all - it damps the sound.

No comments:

Post a Comment