Mob-handed, rented Luton tail-lift van, big boxes, here we go again with deep sense of deja-vu…
Another outing today, closer to home this time, delivering the second pair of Ovator 800s in just over a week. This time, it’s into what has got to be the ultimate kitchen music system!
We’ve known the customers for a few years now and this is a very significant transition from passive bi-amped via Naim NAP500 Kudos Titan T88 loudspeakers.
The line-up is now CD555 with 2 x 555 DR power supplies, NAC552 Ovator 800 SNAXO fed via Supercap DR and running into three NAP 500 amplifiers. There is a DAC sitting there too, mainly used for the iPad.
Another of our customers, the famous, in Naim circles, Darke Bear had hosted a listening session a few weeks ago with his not exactly dissimilar system and the clients were hooked. The Ovator 800s have all but ceased production, so it was a case of now or never!
Mind you, fully keeping up with ‘The Bear’ would involve some more SuperLumina cabling. For now at least there is ‘just’ one set from the CD555 to the pre-amp. But even mentioning this is selling the system short. As progress over the already impressive bi-amped T88 Titan system, it really is rather special.
With tiled floors, reflective surfaces everywhere, a vast fairly live floorspace and lowish ceilings, there were fears that the Ovator 800s would not quite replicate what they do in Darke Bears system. Of course, as will always happen in a different room, the system sounds different here but it really does work magnificently, blending serious dynamics and spirit with refinement and finesse.
As we have progressed with these clients with their curious choice of listening room, we’ve noticed that the better controlled the speakers, the less the room characteristics seem to be involved in the sound. Bi-Amping the Titans was a revelation but the large listening space still asked a lot of them. This afternoon’s listen confirmed that a seriously large active system – and these make the previous speakers look decidedly small – can overcome surprising amounts of adversity.
It’s so benign too. We were playing a known to be less than stellar live recording of Level 42 and somehow, and I suspect for the first time, the limitations of the recording failed to get in the way of the ‘liveness’ and the scale of the performance. It sounded great but better produced recordings sounded proportionately more spectacular.
Still, more can always be achieved and we completely forgot to suggest that maybe the rectangular rug would work more effectively if rotated at 90 degrees!
The upshot of all this change is that there is an absolutely perfect, and suddenly diminutive, pair of Kudos Titan T888 in birdseye maple looking for a new home.