Preliminary listening impressions. All observations are made for stereo listening:
I don't have speakers anymore. Virtually every source is now presented as a large, cohesive, 3D acoustic hologram. Even garbage while watching YouTube videos. Spatial cues have been exploded and stratified in all 3 dimensions.
The detail and texture in the mid-range and highs are now really exceptional. Zero sibilance and MOAR detail, but the additional sonic info is somehow less fatiguing.
Bass impact (not level) is heightened and bass texture is even more tightly defined at low and high SPL output. Upright bass performances are something you both feel in your feet and you also get the sense that you can see the player's fingers at work.
The sense that you can just get up and walk around inside the soundstage is palpable. I've got sonic sources literally dancing around my entire room, depending on the track and source (all CD rip or HR FLAC or Tidal MQA via my Bluesound Node 2).
The sense of depth of the Soundstage (both closer to you and further away behind the speakers and even far-past the back wall) is now very pronounced.
In sum, digital sounds smooth and full of body like vinyl. But also better than vinyl because you're swimming in detail and information.
I'm struggling to explain this but it's like a hybrid of a tube amp and class A solid state amp. All the smoothness and body of a tube amp, without any of the occasionally tubby or bloated/flabby bass. And seemingly unlimited current. But that smoothness carries across at as loud of a volume level as i dare. As do all the other things described above.
This thing is playing with the big boys now. No price caveats required.
Also, note that I'm using a Van Alstine Humdinger on John Hillig's and EddyZ's recommendation. This is a non-current-restricting DC blocker. My transformer is now SILENT even when i press my ear against the top grate. Confirming my suspicions that DC was present on my AC line.
Oh, and many thanks to @Eddy_Z
. He and i have shared many enjoyable PMs and he led the way with sending his GFA-5500 to John at Musical Concepts first. So he's just been fantastic and a truly open book. Thanks Eddy!!
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