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The Proprius... According to Dave

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DaveG View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 Jun 2016 at 8:05pm

I've had the Proprius in my system for a couple of weeks or more now so I'll share some thoughts.

I decided to try them out after living with sheer piece of audio genius that is the Accession for a couple of months. I ran the Accession in standard fixed output mode some of the time and also using variable out and bypassing the pre-stage of my integrated - which incidentally, with upgrades to transformers etc, cost almost double the price of a Proprius pair. Hence my disinclination to try the Proprius until now. Anyway, What was clear to me after a while, notwithstanding the fact that fixed out was a slightly better electrical match theoretically, was that removing the pre circuitry from the loop also removed a slight veil from the sound and also lost a very slight tendency to glare or harshness. It was quite subtle, but it was real. This obviously started the old cogs whirring and I decided that as GSP hadn't failed me thus far, it was time to spring for the last link in the full GSP system. Bookended by my source & speakers everything else is now GSP.

Enter Proprius..ta daaah!!

Popping them in the rack was a tiny little bit of a faff mainly because there's a few extra cables to keep tidy (ish) what with the offboard power supplies and all, plus my TT and EXP/Accession all have the same deal going on. Lots of wires. Having said that I'm a big fan of keeping transformers well out the way of electronics so it's a price worth paying. Obviously the Proprius is small, but it's solidly enough built, it's also very light and the Cusats are quite stiff cables, so it took a little coaxing (there's a pun there somewhere) to make them stay where I wanted them.

OK that's all the bad (kind of) stuff out of the way, next?

First off, lets put the low power (non) issue to bed. My speakers are rated at 88dB for 1 watt. A nominal 8 ohm load, dropping to 3.7ohm minimum. Pretty standard stuff, not super efficient. Room is on the smaller side of average. The Proprius have absolutely no problems driving these speakers to volumes louder than I'd care to listen to, without any hint of stress or strain. Unless you are going to use ultra demanding speakers, and really why would you? then the Proprius is up to the job. Most of my listening is done with the amps at around 9:15 to 9:30. There is plenty left in the tank. I'll return to this later. Anyway, Yorkshire watts are clearly, as someone here suggested, somewhat ballsier than the Soft Southern ones I'm used to Wink.

Where it starts to get really good is when you play some music through them. I've tried to make allowances for the fact that when you listen to some new kit, that it almost certainly has a different presentation to your old gear and that in itself can lead to hyperbole.... the “I'm hearing things I've never heard before” syndrome. Clearly that can't be true unless your old gear was a complete crock.. but after careful consideration and keeping schtum for a few weeks, I have to say it's kind of true with these little chaps.

When my system sounds really good music seems to just flow through the speakers in an effortless way. Sometimes I can pinpoint TT setup as being the cause of it not doing so, sometimes I can offer no reason other than that the moon must be in the wrong phase or something - who knows. Drive me nuts sometimes.

Consistently though, the Proprius just lets music flow, full of energy and life & clarity – it really did take me aback... I mean how? There has been talk here about “less being more” i.e. fewer components in the signal path and I can only conclude that it must be true. I mean it's logical isn't it? These things sound fast, meaning timing is spot on. Treble is sweet and goes higher than my ears do for sure. Bass goes deep and seems well under control, only once or twice in the last couple of weeks have I ever suspected that my previous amp may have had better control of really deep bass. It is only a suspicion though, when I fired up my old amp again to check, it sounded smooth and tonally accurate... very hi fi in fact, but somehow a little stilted, lacking the sheer ebullience of the Proprius. What is certain is The Proprius make better music. I have also come to believe that these being mono-blocks adds enormously to their ability to throw up a convincing soundstage, yet again this is entirely logical to me and this is another area where they completely trounce my previous set up. Imaging, if it's embedded in the recording can be truly holographic (yeh I know...hyperbole). Sounds can come from way outside the plane of my speakers, to both left and right, above and beyond. Extraordinary. Listening to something like Roger Waters - Amused to Death with its Q Sound shenanigans, just leaves me grinning from ear to ear, but also a well recorded natural acoustic is very very convincing. Brilliant!

Quite honestly I was confident these would be good.. I don't think Graham does bad. I really never expected them to be this good.

Crikey!!

PS: I've settled on using them from the fixed outs of my Accession and using the gain on the amp, rather than parking them on full volume and using the Accession to control overall volume. Given the way the Accession exposed the pre-stage in my integrated I didn't expect this to be the case, but to me this sounds just a smidge more open and natural – it's a close call but I'm pretty sure I prefer it this way.



Edited by DaveG - 06 Jun 2016 at 8:18pm
Dave

Michell Gorbe + HR PSU -> Cadenza Bronze -> SME V -> Elevator -> Accession -> Proprius -> B&W CM6 s2 | Cusat 50 & Spatia cables ->
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BAK View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BAK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2016 at 9:55pm
Dave, you have got the point exactly.Thumbs UpBeer
 Quote "Consistently though, the Proprius just lets music flow, full of energy and life & clarity – it really did take me aback... I mean how? There has been talk here about “less being more” i.e. fewer components in the signal path and I can only conclude that it must be true. I mean it's logical isn't it?"

 The "less-is-more" equates to: less components in the signal path gives more of the original information is delivered through the circuitry... due to more efficiency gained by the fewer components.
 Graham really is an artist working with electronic circuits to gain the extra percent(s) of efficiency. The physics of the design are only going to give formulas to use to get close to a design goal. An artist gets those formulas to work "his way" and thus gets his desired result...
 In this case, BETTER SOUND !StarBeer And just maybe, THE BEST SOUND !Wink
Bruce
AT-14SA, Pickering XV-15/625, Technics SL-1600MK2, Reflex M, Lautus, Technics SH-8066, Dynaco ST120a, Eminence Beta 8A in custom cabs;; Using Majestic DAC
Enjoy Life Your Way!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richardl60 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2016 at 9:58pm
Good review Dave thanks.

If I am reading this right are the comparisons made with proprius and no preamp?

Rather than just a power vs power amp comparison isn't this a pre/power vs proprius/no preamp comparison? If this is the case could some of the benefit be resulting from the preamp bypass in addition to the power amp benefits?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2016 at 10:49pm
Very good Dave. I think you've summed up the Proprius amps' strengths really well and the direct approach is so rewarding. I had my Genera and Metrum Octave (sold after getting my Majestic) going straight into the loan Proprius amps and was astonished at the music I heard. I could hear the natural ambience/room on some recording and the digital effects on others, but really noticed how solid the bass was. The Proprius helped to distinguish the kick drums and bass lines, and it made toms sound large. I ordered my own amps before the loan was up, knowing they'd sound even better for second borrower.

Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2016 at 10:50pm
Richard

Yes you are mostly right. My amp is an integrated that has the option to completely bypass it's pre stage including volume control. So I used the following setups:
1. Accession fixed out into the integrated, using the various inputs & volume on the amp.
2. Accession variable out, direct into the power amp stage of the above.
I had already settled on 2 as being better, prior to trying the Proprius, so yeah the pre-stage is something I identified fairly early as being a slight weakness, which led me to think of trying the Proprius.

So then I tried.
3. Accession variable out with Proprius parked at full volume.
4. Accession fixed out into Proprius.

I preferred 4 to all other combinations. At some point I will have to get a preamp probably if I want to use other sources than my TT. We'll see.

I dunno, since about 1995 my amps have got bigger, more powerful, more complex, more expensive. More hi-fi. Results could be and often were quite impressive, I'd have given up on this hobby years ago if they weren't. Y'know I never really considered I might be on the wrong track but just occasionally I had this doubt.. why am I continually tweaking and fiddling instead of just listening? Why do I hope this cable or that cleaning solution is gonna make the difference. Why am I not getting the thrill I used to? It's always possible I'm just getting old ofc. But it was slightly disconcerting listening through the Proprius for the 1st time, because I instantly thought ..... aahh there 'it' is, welcome back! Since then I've been trying to work out why this should be and can only think that there is merit in the shortest possible signal path idea .. straight wire with gain I think they used to call it?

ofc this is just one amp vs one other amp, listening with my ears & my expectations and prejudices. I'm not gonna say it's the only way.. but right now I'm having fun like I haven't for ages!




Edited by DaveG - 06 Jun 2016 at 10:51pm
Dave

Michell Gorbe + HR PSU -> Cadenza Bronze -> SME V -> Elevator -> Accession -> Proprius -> B&W CM6 s2 | Cusat 50 & Spatia cables ->
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richardl60 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2016 at 11:00pm
Compelling.

Not sure whether you are vinyl only but any solutions for CD source?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2016 at 11:13pm
I still have my CD player and a separate DAC/ files ripped to my PC. But none of it's plumbed in at the moment. I do need to sort the digital because I have many hundreds of albums that I'm not getting to listen to atm and I'm not (yet) insane or rich enough to go & buy them all again on vinyl. At the moment its not really an even contest, due to the comparitive investment I've made in vinyl replay.


Edited by DaveG - 06 Jun 2016 at 11:13pm
Dave

Michell Gorbe + HR PSU -> Cadenza Bronze -> SME V -> Elevator -> Accession -> Proprius -> B&W CM6 s2 | Cusat 50 & Spatia cables ->
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