I wanted to update everyone on the NuForce AVP-18 in my system. I am still having issues with the Auto EQ but do not have the latest bios updates. However, my comments really center on the sound of the system and how, through recent updates of components, continues to excel.
My search for the "perfect sound" within my budget is taking an unexpected turn. With the NuForce and BADA amp, I had very detailed outlines of each musician. I play a lot of Mozart, Haydn and Paganini concertos. Typically 4-6 players although, I have a number of Paganini recordings of just Violin and Guitar. When listening, I had what best could be described as a black background with spotlights in a darkened room on each musician playing his/her instrument. I have seen this in some old time B/W movies where a spotlight is on a particular musician but all around him/her is black. With the NuForce AVP-18 and recently purchased Odyssey Khartago/Kismet mono amps I am getting the whole stage lit up.
The sound with the NuForce AVP-18 and Odyssey mono amps is different and intriguing. It is a more complete presentation. It is detailed without the etched outlines of each instrument or singer. Using the BADA is like turning the contrast up to get the "wow" factor in the picture on a really nice TV. The Odyssey is much different. Even without the etched outlines which I do enjoy, I for the first time could hear different parts of the violin section of a Haydn symphony. Previously, I could hear the violin section, the cellos, bass etc. But now, for the first time, I could hear within the violin section and a few of the musicians playing just slightly different than the remaining players. Very cool and a real testament to the performance of the NuForce front end.
For Magnepan owners, the NuForce AVP-18 with parametric equalizer and very good amps such as the Odyssey amps will transform your system. With the NuForce's flexibility in adjusting frequency response of the Magnepan 1.7s and the new Odyssey mono amps ability to completely control the bass, my system is more musical and realistic than ever before.
One final note on the sound. I mostly refuse to play rock recordings with a little edge on my Magnepan loudspeakers. They just don't sound right. It was as if the Magnepans were so accurate that they would dissect the sound of the rock recording and you would lose the impact and visceral feel of the recording. That has all changed and dramatically so. I have recently purchased some re-engineered Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Beatles and other classic rock recordings. The NuForce allows the rich tonal colors to come through and with the naturalness of the Odyssey mono amps, it sounds fantastic.
I am completely moving over to Wireworld cables due to the improved clarity several of the cables has provided my system (recently introduced RCA analogue cables from the AVP to the Amps, Digital Coax cable from my music server to the AVP and power cables for the mono amps). In the next two weeks I will be installing the Wireworld Series 7 Eclipse speaker cable and an Electra Series 7 power cable for the AVP-18.
With each upgrade in my system, the AVP-18's clarity comes through. Even at low volumes it sounds fantastic and continues to impress.