Musical Fidelity X-Can V3 upgrade
Thanks so much for the uber upgrade carried out on the X-Can!
Early impressions are... stunning!
Works very well with my Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic cans but pairs magnificently with the QUAD ERA-1\'s. Actually, I am blown away by how good the pairing is - a match made in audio heaven!
I wasn\'t prepared for the huge leap in audio quality your upgrades have brought! Thanks also for the new power supply. I think that\'s really pushed it to the next level.
The sound seems to improve daily and there isn\'t an area that is lacking. The upgrades have fulfilled everything I was looking to achieve (and beyond). It\'s really brought the QUAD headphones to their full potential.
Thank you for the Demo CD. It sounded spectacular through the X-Can. I was very impressed by the clear separation; Powerful and clear textured bass that goes so low, its subterraneous; Sparkling and shimmery highs; Lush, rich and full bodied mids. It also achieves that magical 3D imaging / holographic soundstage I was hoping for. Fantastic.
So happy I didn\'t bother buying a brand new headphone amp to power the QUAD\'s and instead upgraded the X-Can V3.
Money well spent.
New life for a veteran CD player
On the back of John's superb upgrade to my Nu-Vista 600 amp, he assured me that a repair and upgrade to my 2005 MF A5 CD was going to be money well spent.
The player had been failing to read discs for a while until it got so bad it was unusable. It always had a great sound, tending toward being laid back rather than exciting or dynamic, but always musical.
John explained that the circuit in this player was an excellent design and that the problem I had was undoubtedly the laser pickup. He explained what he was going to upgrade and this included a higher spec valve.
I left it with him for him to complete when he could fit it in and it duly arrived back via courier.
Not only do the transport and laser now work properly, but I was absolutely staggered by the sound quality. It retains the musical and sweet nature it always had, but instead of a somewhat flat soundstage and slightly polite character, there is now real depth in imaging and dynamics are greatly extended. It still has a less forward character than many more modern electronics, but is never fatiguing or brash like many digital sources can be.
My perception upon first listen, was that it now sounds like a high-end vinyl front end and it continues to impress each listen. It sounds way better than CD players I have heard costing thousands of pounds.
Money well spent methinks! Now it looks fabulous and sounds fabulous.
kw550 takes a deeper breath
kw550 takes a deeper breath
My beloved kw550, after more than 10 years of service, blew some transistors in a heart wrenching pyrotechnic display.
Along with the quote for repair and a upgrade to the kw550, John gave some sound advice on why the load might be the cause of the demise of the amp. The upgrade guarantees the amp for a year and turns it into 'something special'.
I was using KEF reference 4's with Chord Odyssey 4's with bare wire connection onto the speaker terminals. Upon investigation using Johns advice, I found the Chords were arcing at the load end and at the amp end, as was evidenced in the discolouration of the sheaths and the ends of the cable.
The load had become simply a bit too much as the 30 + year old Kefs could do with a refresh of electrolytics and the cable was causing a mismatch. John had already used the Chord cable before and also had found it too bright and found evidence of it arcing across the silver plated strands. The characteristics of this was the sound had turned incredibly bright, so the bedecked Gibson guitar Stereophonics were absolutely impossible to listen to. The kw550 was also running hot.
The sound characteristic of the kw550 previously was it could get a bit shouty very quickly. The Kefs required current to sing but that meant the amp was getting a little too loud. The sound and scale was breathtaking but quite quickly, the kw550 just used to run out of breath and composure.
Whilst waiting for the repair, I borrowed a YBA amplifier from a friend and changed the cables to the recommended Supra 3.4's and banana plugged the system. I also purchased an IFI SPDIF reclocker with Johns advice.
The kw550 came back from repair and first impressions were impressive. What is evident straight out of the box is that it drives the Kefs at a much lower volume. The sound and scale is back and the amp seems much more composed. It simply has a larger set of lungs to drive the Kefs.
The £5k YBA was 'polite' in comparison. Queens of the Stone Age meets the teletubbies. With the JS kw550, Josh Homme has raided your fridge for your beer and has ordered takeaway which, by the way, your paying for. QOTSA are in the room with you. The YBA becomes muddled very easily, losing its way through the passages of music. Everything is just tame sounding and lacking scale and presence.
The JS kw550 positions everything just right and there is no evidence of shoutiness, even when the volume is turned up. It also knows where the bottle opener is.
The previous kw550 would have pinned you to the back wall but it was much harsher, louder and less composed. A worthwhile upgrade.
Very happy with the upgrade, the service and the advice. John is a treasure and its no wonder he is incredibly busy. In confidence for Johns ability and value for money in the JS kw550 upgrade, I will look to upgrade the Tri Vista 21 with him in the New Year. Repeat business speaks volumes.
Never sounded so good!
I just received my 2 Musical Fidelity A3 units back today from John and it's like Chrismas here in Stockholm. I did have a back up system running all summer, but to get my A3 amplifier and A3 CD player set up again afer a stage Two upgrade in just fantastic. I don't think the system has every sounded so good as it does now. The units were 20 years old when I sent them to JS Audio and now they are better then new and I have only had them up and running for a few hours. The next few weeks will be very exciting to hear as the sound improves.
Thanks again John.
Nu-Vista Pre repair
Thanks for the repair to my Nu-Vista Pre today. Appreciate the time you gave me and the discussion about upgrade options for the NV Power amp.
Fantastic service from a nice guy. Thank You.