Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:38 pm Post subject: NSP break in process all the way to the TAVES 2012
When I have finished the NSP a week ago, I gave it to a local dealer to break in to prepare for the TAVES 2012. Since it has over 5,000,000 uF, it would take a long long time to break in.
I have the prototype NSP with batteries supply in one of my personal system in my house for over a year. The battery supply system and been throughly tested. We may bring some batteries to TAVES this year to run a complete off the grid system. It will depends on how many strong backs we can get together in order to do that.
Anyway, I have ask the dealer to post some of his thought in this thread. From day one he has gotten the ampy. When he got the NSP, it has about 100 hours on it. Just be aware he is our dealer, whatever he said is going to be bias. May be more or less bias than what I would say but I rather someone do the dirty bias talk than I do. I think he is going to post perfect English instead of my chink ga lish so more people will understand.
Ahh fahkeet mon! Won't be no farking perfic eenglish. Mind you, I can't keep up the Chinglish for too long so it won't be much of that either. I'll be posting passing thoughts weekly, more often if an extraordinary occurrance... well.. occurs... :/
Some background info; the NSP is using the same input stage as the 1022, and the new output stage that will likely replace the the one currently offered in the BC200 series amplifiers. It is completely solid state, and looks to be priced about halfway between the BC202 and BC204.
As for first impressions...
The amp arrived just over a week ago. Gilbert set it up, and I let it bubble away for about 2 hours before I sat down to listen. Honestly, the amp seemed a little out of sorts - kind of the way you would feel after waking up with a badass case of jet lag. It sounded okay, just not all there yet. There was one thing that was immediately clear though, it has an incredibly smooth top end, and instruments such as saxophone and trumpet were a joy to listen to.
The NSP has since filled out it's sound. There were some mild balance problems in the first few days, partly due to the amp waking up, and partly due to the fact that I had to fiddle with speaker placement and levelling. I am using a set of BM2 speakers which can be incredibly good sounding, but dish loads of attitude if not placed properly. Oddly enough, once they are sounding good, they work well from almost any point in the room.
At this point, the NSP sounds like a very quick, very lively amp. It might be just the thing to liven up a pair of more polite or laid back speakers. Double D, if you're checking this out, I think it would have been a champ with those Veritas speakers you had circa Y2K. I don't think the NSP is anywhere near it's full sound potential yet - the bass, while punchy and accurate has not reached it's full extension, and I hear some compression of the usual sort when breaking in a Blue Circle amplifier - this has everything to do with those 5 farads of capacitors getting warmed up and ready to rock.
I'll try to post impressions of the amps progress, and if anyone has questions or musical requests, please toss them out. As well, if you are in the area and curious, drop in and have a listen - maybe wait another week or so for the NSP to settle in a bit more.
On page 2 of my system thread I had this to say when I had the prototype of the NSP here for a visit...
"Ironically, I said to Gilbert that while I had the NSP at my place I sort of wished that I still had the Verity's .. I suspect there might have been a bit of magic in that combo ! timing is as they say.. everything."
Although they weren't the Energy VERITAS 2.4's ... I believe the consensus could still apply.. I also got the VERY distinct impression that the NSP would have been a delight with my now long gone VERITY'S too.
As the saying goes.. it's all water under the bridge. Something like the NSP wasn't even on the "board" back then. Ironically, some of the thinking in the NSP is now inside my 206-NST, which has - to my mind at least - made it a more even tempered amp.
So much for trying to post weekly Due to the amount of thunder and lightning my system has been an "on again/off again" proposition for a number of weeks, throw in a fishing trip, a little time spent with the olympics, some exterior painting, and the summer has pretty much come and gone. But mostly, the NSP has stubbornly refused to sound much different. Between the down time, work time, and play time, I've had a number of opportunities to sit down and listen, but every time I've come away with the impression - likely because of the ridiculous number of caps in the power supply - that very little had changed. Until about 10 days ago...
I think a lot of folks are going to be very impressed with this amp. With a price tag of about $10K, you can't call it a bargain, but man does it produce. First off, it is clearly a solid state amp. It exhibits a little more jump, drive, focus, and dynamics than a comparable tube amp (think BC200 series). Finally the whole tonal spectrum has filled in. The upper mids and top end are very smooth, there is very nice upper extension without edge. The NSP images really well, and has a well balanced tonal response throughout it's useable frequency range. Excellent PRAT for those who wonder about that. And it goes deep - solid tuneful bass fo sho.
Short version, I love it. It's well worth a listen, and well worth the price.
This has been a good week of listening - everything I said last week holds true, but there is increased clarity and focus this week, particularly in the bass range - this amp can really drop a phat beat. I get the impression that there is still a ways to go to break this thing in properly, but it's worth a serious listen right now.
Well, apparently the NSP is still here. It's also still improving - starting to really hear inner detail now, and the soundstage is quite impressive. It also has the ability to manage a really wide range of music well.
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