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-   -   Seeking advice building stereo system with Sabrina X (https://www.audioaficionado.org/showthread.php?t=50562)

Blackfield 12-12-2021 12:15 AM

tldr; I placed an order on Sabrina X today in Quartz, I was quoted 12 weeks wait time.

Today I auditioned B&W 802 D4 that was paired with McIntosh MC611 and C2700 at BestBuy. The room is very well setup and treated.
The 803 is more appropriate for my room and the price at $20k is comparable to Sabrina X. but my local BB has 802 that shares similar cabinet design with 803 (smaller mid and woofers).
Then I drove to my Wilson Audio dealer while my impression is still fresh to re-auditioned Sabrina X that was paired with Luxman L-590AXII. Here, the room is actually open and not treated.

Some tracks that I used:
1. Luminol - Steven Wilson. This is a busy track that has a lot of things going on, Sabrina X handles it amazingly well, instruments were well separated while I found the 802 were surprisingly sound jumbled up.
802 can go down lower, which is expected, however Sabrina X is no slouch either and I feel - tighter/rounder.

2. Wish you were here - Pink Floyd. I heard some of the acoustic guitar notes on 802 that were sometimes on the far left and center and left again.
I play guitar both acoustic and electric guitar and this bothers me, while in Sabrina, I didn't notice this.

3. Blue Train - John Coltrane. The cymbals sound on 802 was harsh (to me) that during this song I was thinking if I could live with it for long listening session while with Sabrina X, wow, its tweeter is just so sweet to my ear.

4. Both side now - Seal (Joni Mitchell 75th). 802 vocal presentation is much forward thus much closer to the listener vs. Sabrina X. Perhaps 804 is more fully bodied but I prefer Sabrina X presentation.

TBH, I thought it was going to be a tough decision but across above four tracks, I much prefer Sabrina X, YMMV.

Now the hunt for the amp begins, considering:
* McIntosh MC462 and C2700
* McIntosh MA12000
* Luxman L-590AXII - I am suprised 30wpc(8ohms) and 60wpc(4ohms) can power Sabrina X nicely, not sure if the Luxman turns to AB class at higher load.
I forgot to ask the dealer if he put it on 8 or 4 ohms tap.

Charles 12-12-2021 02:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackfield (Post 1050715)
tldr; I placed an order on Sabrina X today in Quartz, I was quoted 12 weeks wait time.

Today I auditioned B&W 802 D4 that was paired with McIntosh MC611 and C2700 at BestBuy. The room is very well setup and treated.
The 803 is more appropriate for my room and the price at $20k is comparable to Sabrina X. but my local BB has 802 that shares similar cabinet design with 803 (smaller mid and woofers).
Then I drove to my Wilson Audio dealer while my impression is still fresh to re-auditioned Sabrina X that was paired with Luxman L-590AXII. Here, the room is actually open and not treated.

Some tracks that I used:
1. Luminol - Steven Wilson. This is a busy track that has a lot of things going on, Sabrina X handles it amazingly well, instruments were well separated while I found the 804 were surprisingly sound jumbled up.
802 can go down lower, which is expected, however Sabrina X is no slouch either and I feel - tighter/rounder.

2. Wish you were here - Pink Floyd. I heard some of the acoustic guitar notes on 804 that were sometimes on the far left and center and left again.
I play guitar both acoustic and electric guitar and this bothers me, while in Sabrina, I didn't notice this.

3. Blue Train - John Coltrane. The cymbals sound on 804 was harsh that during this song I was thinking if I could live with it for long listening session while with Sabrina X, wow, its tweeter is just so sweet to my ear.

4. Both side now - Seal (Joni Mitchell 75th). 804 vocal presentation is much forward thus much closer to the listener vs. Sabrina X. Perhaps 804 is more fully bodied but I prefer Sabrina X presentation.

TBH, I thought it was going to be a tough decision but across above four tracks, I much prefer Sabrina X, YMMV.

Now the hunt for the amp begins, considering:
* McIntosh MC462 and C2700
* McIntosh MA12000
* Luxman L-590AXII - I am suprised 30wpc(8ohms) and 60wpc(4ohms) can power Sabrina X nicely, not sure if the Luxman turns to AB class at higher load.
I forgot to ask the dealer if he put it on 8 or 4 ohms tap.

Blackfield, absolute congrats! Both the 802 D4 and Sabrina X are very fine speakers. However, I think you made a wise choice. It would seem that the MA12000 and L-590AXII are the direct competitors. It would also seem that he favors the Luxman over the Mac. I have found Mac and Wilson have good synergy. Again, congrats on your aquisition! :thumbsup:

Best

Charles

PeterMusic 12-12-2021 11:19 AM

Great comparison, Blackfield--thanks! Too often our discussions on fine products omit any kind of shortcoming or unfavorable comparison. I agree that these are both excellent speakers with the B&Ws having an edge in fullness and the Wilsons having an edge in sweetness. As Charles suggested, I think you'll get a fuller sound on the Sabrina X with a McIntosh amp

Formerly YB-2 12-12-2021 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackfield (Post 1050715)
tldr; I placed an order on Sabrina X today in Quartz, I was quoted 12 weeks wait time.

Now the hunt for the amp begins, considering:
* McIntosh MC462 and C2700
* McIntosh MA12000
* Luxman L-590AXII - I am suprised 30wpc(8ohms) and 60wpc(4ohms) can power Sabrina X nicely, not sure if the Luxman turns to AB class at higher load.
I forgot to ask the dealer if he put it on 8 or 4 ohms tap.

Congrats on your purchase. :thumbsup: The Pass Labs integrated amp I ordered last week was also quoted at 12-13 weeks.

The last time I auditioned speakers (pre-covid) the dealer used a Luxman L-590AXII to drive three sets of Devore speakers (easy to drive) and two sets of Harbeth (somewhat less easy to drive). A terrific piece that I would not hesitate to own.

joel_hifi 12-13-2021 05:42 AM

Although not an integrated and in a different price range new (maybe worth checking used?), but I wanted to mention that I heard the Sasha DAWs with Spectral amplification at the High End Munich show in 2019 and that combo sounded really very good, uber fast and detailed yet so smooth, one of best systems in show IMHO.

FreddieFerric 12-13-2021 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackfield (Post 1050715)
tldr; I placed an order on Sabrina X today in Quartz, I was quoted 12 weeks wait time...

Now the hunt for the amp begins, considering:
* McIntosh MC462 and C2700
* McIntosh MA12000
* Luxman L-590AXII - I am suprised 30wpc(8ohms) and 60wpc(4ohms) can power Sabrina X nicely, not sure if the Luxman turns to AB class at higher load.
I forgot to ask the dealer if he put it on 8 or 4 ohms tap.

Congrats on the Sabrina's Blackfield.

Unless I missed a post in which you raised your budget, those three McIntosh units you mentioned are going to be well beyond your price point.

Like Charles said on page 1. The MA9000 (used) would be right at your max price and checks every box and then some. It comes standard with the new DA2 module which is an upgrade of the DAC in my MA8000 integrated which I absolutely love.

I personally would not go below any power unit less than 150 watts with those Wilson's. It's not that a lower powered amp won't drive them, but you don't want a 30 or 50 watt amp running out of gas and clipping on high dynamic range recordings. Your soundstage will collapse and damage to the Wilson's is possible.

I suggest you become a subscriber and see if Ivan can turn some rocks over and come up with a mint MA9000 that meets your price criteria.

Best of luck.

Blackfield 12-13-2021 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FreddieFerric (Post 1050866)
Congrats on the Sabrina's Blackfield.

Unless I missed a post in which you raised your budget, those three McIntosh units you mentioned are going to be well beyond your price point.

Like Charles said on page 1. The MA9000 (used) would be right at your max price and checks every box and then some. It comes standard with the new DA2 module which is an upgrade of the DAC in my MA8000 integrated which I absolutely love.

I personally would not go below any power unit less than 150 watts with those Wilson's. It's not that a lower powered amp won't drive them, but you don't want a 30 or 50 watt amp running out of gas and clipping on high dynamic range recordings. Your soundstage will collapse and damage to the Wilson's is possible.

I suggest you become a subscriber and see if Ivan can turn some rocks over and come up with a mint MA9000 that meets your price criteria.

Best of luck.

Thank you. I did raise my budget to around $12k. I can find a used MA12000 or C2700/MC462 within this budget. I am a subscriber and did not know that Ivan can source used equipment.

Given my small room size - 11ft x 13.5 ft, I think at this point I am leaning towards MA12000 and save a little bit of cash for other things.
I am not sure if I would drive Sabrina X loud enough to reap the benefits of MC462's more power and headroom. My only hesitation is I never own a separate, so there is a nagging feeling to not want to miss the opportunity yet I am not sure if I can hear the diff as I never A-B them.

FreddieFerric 12-14-2021 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackfield (Post 1050894)
Thank you. I did raise my budget to around $12k. I can find a used MA12000 or C2700/MC462 within this budget. I am a subscriber and did not know that Ivan can source used equipment.

Given my small room size - 11ft x 13.5 ft, I think at this point I am leaning towards MA12000 and save a little bit of cash for other things.
I am not sure if I would drive Sabrina X loud enough to reap the benefits of MC462's more power and headroom. My only hesitation is I never own a separate, so there is a nagging feeling to not want to miss the opportunity yet I am not sure if I can hear the diff as I never A-B them.

The MSRP of the MA12000 is $14k and will probably see an increase in '22. Given how new it is it may be a while before previously owned units hit the market.

I'm not hanging any new job titles on Ivan. Just saying he's been known to did up a few nuggets from time to time. It never hurts to ask.

Good Luck! I think you're on the right track. :thumbsup:

PeterMusic 12-14-2021 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackfield (Post 1050894)
Thank you. I did raise my budget to around $12k. I can find a used MA12000 or C2700/MC462 within this budget. I am a subscriber and did not know that Ivan can source used equipment.

Given my small room size - 11ft x 13.5 ft, I think at this point I am leaning towards MA12000 and save a little bit of cash for other things.
I am not sure if I would drive Sabrina X loud enough to reap the benefits of MC462's more power and headroom. My only hesitation is I never own a separate, so there is a nagging feeling to not want to miss the opportunity yet I am not sure if I can hear the diff as I never A-B them.

Not to rehash an old debate....But, Charles, did you account for the room being only 11.5x13 when you advised against the MC275? I can't quite imagine being able to strain either the MA12000 or MC275 in a room of that size

Blackfield 12-14-2021 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PeterMusic (Post 1050939)
Not to rehash an old debate....But, Charles, did you account for the room being only 11.5x13 when you advised against the MC275? I can't quite imagine being able to strain either the MA12000 or MC275 in a room of that size

To his defense, he never advised against MC275 for my rooms-in this thread. I only quoted him from a separate thread - in which the person may have a larger room than mine.

To repeat, here are my room sizes:
1. W 11' x L 13.5' x H 10'.
2. W 12' x L 16' x H 12'.

Charles did say MA9000 would do fine-in my thread, so MA12000 would have been better, one would think.


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