Closing the gap

S1 pre on trial here over the Weekend …surprisingly not an insignificant upgrade :roll_eyes:


Wow! Do keep us updated @Charlie.

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Nice one! :sunglasses:

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Looking at a picture I cannot ignore the huge gap between the cost of the electronics versus the speakers. Personally, I would close the gap by getting myself a pair of quality modern speakers instead of dishing out another fortune on a preamp. My guess is that the sound improvement would be greater.


@Haim it may be the perspective of the picture. Pretty sure those are DBLs, not SBLs.

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I suspect with what looks like 3 x 500’s feeding them, the speakers are indeed dibbles with a particularly attractive veneer.



I have initially posted this pic without much comments. So here are my thoughts. Thera are several gaps I have intended. Over the recent two years I have moved from a passive 500 nonDR DBL system to fully active 3x500DR/DBLs. My front is a maxed out tangerined LP12 with Stiletto/Skorpion/Eklipse/Keel/Javelin/xv1t into SCDR/SL. also the Snaxo is powered by SCDR. The fraim arrangement is triangular which seems at first awkward but actually fullfills the purpose quite nicely with an “opening” between the left and right stacks where one can pysically step in between and hande the record player on the wall shelf. I have been given some heat on this forum for my unique setup, but I personally think its brilliant.
All these upgrades were fun and each brought a significant increase in musical performance. Given the most recent renaissance and interest in big active systems with the availability of Snaxos for non naim speakers I was just curious as to what an S1 would do in my system.
Now, physically the S1 closes a gap between my fraim stacks. Initially I was very sceptical about the disruption of the fraimed appearence, now it turns out it looks quite harmonious with the S1 tower in between in the middle.
More importantly however the S1 closes a gap between the source and the amplification in my system. I am not good at descrtibing sonic performence, but it turns out that the 552DR is actually a bottle neck, seemingly a limiting factor. The S1 is not just better by a small margin but it is hugely impressive. There is so much more refinded musical information thrown out by the deck brought to bloom with the S1 which the 552 just seems to obliterate and leave behind. It may be of note that in my impression the SL/SCDR does not seem to constrain anything. The 500DRs are in full control bringing to life the subtlest nuiances of musical emotions,voices guitar strings, painting just an incredible rich and detailed musical picture. Now for the DBLs although an old design they come all the way never giving the impression to struggle and they project a huge stage. I am not sure if more modern speakers ie Kudos 808 will perform as big as DBLs albeit they may be even more refined. The S1 will go back soon, so the real test will be the step back to 552.


What about proper “decluttering” and getting two more of those black towers? :rofl: :joy:

P.S. I bet your insurance broker loves those updates too. :wink:

It would count for Downsizing indeed.

:rofl: 500DR active outperforms Statement passive :innocent:

@Charlie - as ever in awe of your set up and system, S1 a keeper?

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He’d need three or is it six?

Haim, the point I was trying to make is that the S1 instread of the 552DR in the context of my system does convey a huge improvement. The DBLs come all along effortlessly without any limitations I am well aware of Kudos 808s and have heard them multiple times. They are fantastic speakers as close to DBLs as you can possibly get, maybe even more refined but do not convey the enormous musical skale DBLs are capeable of IMHO. A direct comparison with 808s in my setting of course would provide a difinitive answer.

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Thank you! The S1 unfortunately is quite a temptation, but the outlay is enormous. So ill take my time :upside_down_face:

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Foot in mouth syndrome I suspect. I hardly think that DBLs active with 3x 500s constitutes sub-standard speakers!


@Haim yes I agree at least to some extent. That said they are a classic design and if they are the right speaker for the room then if improvements are sought then the pre is the right place to start, probably!

The only reason to move on your DBLs would be to sell them to me Charlie! They look wonderful… Bet they show clearly the improvements of the S1 too.


Look, it was there in ‘2001, a Space Odyssee’ too:

Reminds me that I need to watch that movie again.


Careful you don’t over damp that Snaxo,
nor the superline for that matter.

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Only just noticed the second base level at the top also! I wonder if this would provide sonic benefits for CD Players and streamers??!! Not seen this done before!