I have a very good friend who has already moved back home to the Lake district but has now divested himself of the house he had down South. As part of the move he had some hifi the he just could not house (apart from the LP12 which did travel with him🙂!) and knowing that I was into ‘that sort of thing’ offered his kit to me. So, I ‘inherited’ a Linn Karik (which I later discovered was knackered, possibly power supply failure), Nac92/90 combo, Nakamichi DR3 & some speakers which he could not identify - no label but were an interesting shape & upward firing drivers. I did some digging & identified that these were Shahinian Compasses (the original - the kit was quite old).
Very intriguing I thought so I firstly hooked up the Compasses to the 92/90 fed by the music I have on my MacBook - the result was that the r/h speaker was blowing like the morning after a night of beer/curry. Great I thought, knackered.
Just to check further, I then replaced my Epos ES14s with the Compasses in my main system (272/555/250 DR) in my 5m x 4M family lounge.
I then ran thru a quick selection of the music I try to check out components - Melody Gardot, Nils Lofgren, Malia, Roy Harper, And Brun, Amos Lee, Sean Rowe, Beck, Pink Floyd, Voces 8, a Cantata Dominum album, Norah Jones, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Grimes, Ledfoot and then some older albums that suffer with compression - there were more but I won’t bore you with just a list.
In a word, wow! Now my EPOS 14s are no slouch but in comparison the music from the 14s, as good as the charity and soundstage were, was rather recessed. The compasses just brought everything forward, closer to me but also presented a 3d soundstage with wonderful imaging - piano just here, guitar over there, no fizzing, no sibilance. The vocals were very much as if the singer was in the room with me. I heard detail that I had never heard before. The mids were nicely balanced and the bass was wonderfully present without overpowering (which was my fear). I am not the best at describing in strict hifi terms so this is the best that I can do. The compressed albums still sounded compressed.
In the back of my mind I was looking at doing something with my 272 (perhaps heading back to a 252/PS fed by NDX2) &/or maybe the speakers since I was enjoying the music but I just felt it lacked an edge and some depth. The Compasses have made me question such a move (for the time being😀). The lesson for me here is the impact that speakers can have - this has been covered on numerous forum topics so I am just adding mine. Instead of looking at your source components, consider the impact a change of speaker can have - the Compasses have actually elevated my system front end and this is with a speaker that is likely 25+ years old (as are my 14s). I also think that the Compasses were about 8 times the price of my 14s which were about £500 if my memory serves so should be bringing something extra.
I appreciate that thiese are all comments that others have professed after component change so I am not presenting anything new here.