Yesterday, one of my client’s and a good friend, Andy dropped in to our store and picked up 2 new components – a brand new pair of Dark Horse MB 200 Mono Block amplifiers and a new Pro-ject RPM 5.1 turntable with an Ortofon 2 M Bronze. I knew a couple of weeks ago that Andy wanted the amplifiers but the turntable was a bit of a surprise as Andy had decided to purchase another vintage turntable but after listening to the effect the amplifiers had on his music system, decided on the Pro-Ject.
To back up a wee bit. Andy had built up a system using mostly vintage equipment except for a nearly new Cambridge Integrated amplifier and Phono Stage. He also owned a pair of newly re-furbished KEF 104ab loudspeakers, a couple of vintage turntables and a CD player. Andy would go back and forth on this system with different vintage products but was never quite satisfied. To make a long story short, Andy called me rather “out of the blue” as he had decided to try the Dark Horse MB 200 Mono Block Amplifiers.
“No problem” I said and sent him home with the amplifiers, interconnects but as his Cambridge Integrated had outputs for attaching outboard amplifiers, we decided to use it as a pre-amp.
After a couple of minor problems, the system was running and I thought it best to let him contact me with his experience. His words were something like ” Gord, I’m simply dumbfounded. I have been told by everyone that my KEF 104s were good but I had no idea just how good they were”. The addition of the amplifiers simply let the speakers play “with abandon”. They were faster, sounded great on all kinds of music (previously Andy had a couple of systems set tp to play his music), simply magical. The improvement was so vast that he decided to buy a good quality table and cartridge because he knew he would hear the difference.
To me, the extent of change, from a musical perspective is that Andy’s total musical experience changed in just a few precious minutes of listening. Yes, he changed the amplifer, but the entire system bonded. The loudspeakers simply soared in their musicality, even CDs sounded fantastic but the only disappointment was from his turntables – hence a new playback system.
Sometimes in the fray of things, we can’t see the forest for the trees in that we can lose sight of our goal of great musical reproduction. Just buying an amplifier or any other component just to add something new can be a “road to musical hell”! Just some advise – Buy to improve your listening experience not just to fill an extra hole in your hifi rack!
Lot’s more stuff on the way.