Hello Folks,\r\n Well, this is my first proper post, so I hope it's of some interest as it involves a comparison and an evaluaton of various components in my system and a friends system at my house last weekend. (It took 2 days, lots of swapping of cables, components, ets, etc as well as lots of alcohol and take away food.) It involves old & new and large & small components and so makes an interesting insight into the components used.\r\n\r\nAnyway, fisrt the two systems involved.\r\n\r\nMy System\r\n\r\nNad C370 (Its Big) (Newish)\r\nTeac VRDS-T1 (So is this) (Old)\r\nTeac D-T1 (Average) (Old)\r\nMordaunt Short MS 25i Pearl (Smallish for a floorstander) (Old)\r\nGale Xl 160-2 Cable\r\nQed 2 Interconnects\r\nSoundstyle 5 Shelf Rack Thingy\r\n\r\n\r\nMy Friends System\r\n\r\nNaim Nait 5 (Small) (New)\r\nNaim CD5 (Small) (New)\r\nMonitor Audio Silver 8i (Medium sized) (New)\r\nStandard Naim Interconnect\r\nChord Odyssey\r\n\r\nMy Living Room 4.5 x 4.0m\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe first thing we did was set up both systems on the equipment rack at the same time, so that we could hear them side by side. The speakers were positioned about 2.8m apart (each pair side by side and we swapped them around).\r\nThis involved the removal of my Project Dedut turntable and my Sony tuner followed by an awful lot of pissing around with cables (It was spaghetti back there)\r\n\r\nInitially we used we used two CDs of the same album at the same time, played both at the same same time and used the remote to "mute" one system, then the other.\r\n\r\nAt this point, I should really list the music that was used to evaluate the two systems. (In no particular order)\r\n\r\nBeth Orton\r\nAudioSlave\r\nJudas Priest\r\nMorcheeba\r\nNickleback\r\nMahler 4th & 5th\r\nLimp Bixkit\r\nFun Lovin Criminals\r\nSibelius (Finlandia)\r\nNorah Jones\r\nCoal Chamber\r\nRage Against The Machine\r\n\r\n\r\nAnyway the first impressions were that the two systems were radically different in their tonality and presentations of the same piece of music, stereo separation on soundstaging being of a similar capability.\r\n\r\nFirst the Naim, MA 8i system. This is the only Naim system I've ever heard, but compared to my system mid range drive and attack are simply superb. This is totally apparent on Rage Against the Machine. On my MS 25i, Teac, Nad set up the guitars in some parts are very much quieter. The Naim system also really does do rhythms well and drives rock music better than most (well mine anyway). \r\n\r\nThe small Naim amp did not have any problems driving the MA 8is to decent volumes in my room and dynamics were never in question in either system. Womens voices were also presented without any hint of harshness, were well balanced and neutral.\r\n\r\nPart of this may be due to the fact that I found the treble of the MA 8is to be subdued compared to what I am used to. Cymbals on rock materail seemed to be less sparkly and crisp than on the MS, Nad, Teac set up. \r\n\r\nBass power, extention and speed were OK but never really came to life, but some tweeking later on helped improve this.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNow, my MS, NAD, TEAC setup.\r\n\r\nWell, this may be controvertial but there was more low bass power and extention on tap with this setup in my room than the previous set up. Now this really did come as a surprise as we were expecting greater extention and bass power from the MA 8is, but never really managed it. I think the MA 8is are basically a much trickier speaker to set up (with 3 bass drivers and 2 reflex ports).\r\n\r\nTreble performance I found to be superior on the MS, NAD, TEAC setup, but this may well be down to personal preference as my friend thought it to be harsh (although we sorted this later).\r\n\r\n\r\nThe midrange performance of my NAD based system however simply cannot compete with the MA, Naim setup, which really does bring out the tone and the aggression of the guitars on Rage Against The Machine.\r\n\r\n\r\nRight, that was a basic summary of the two systems.\r\n\r\nNext we tried swapping the CD players, amplifiers, speakers, cables etc in various combinations.\r\n\r\nWe got a wide range of sounds here but the overall impession was that the Naim had a much more cultured treble than the NAD and that it had more midrange bite. (I should bloody think so too given the comparitive prices and power ratings).\r\n\r\nNow, obviously with two amlifiers there is the possiblity of Bi-Amping the speakers). Did we do it?...... Well, read on.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDAMN RIGHT WE DID, now this proved to be the biggest surpise of our 2 day experiment.\r\n\r\nDid we piss off the neighbours?\r\n\r\nDAMN RIGHT WE DID\r\n\r\nBased on our intuition of the sounds of the varoius components we did the following first.\r\n\r\nMS 25i Pearl\r\nNad C370 for bass duties\r\nNaim Nait5 for treble\r\nGale Cable Bass\r\nChord Cable Treble\r\nTEAC stuff source.\r\n\r\n\r\nResults?... Simply astounding, Big soundstage, big rich bass, expansive midrange and simply stunning detailed yet smooth treble that left both of us in tears. \r\n\r\nI had never expected such a big improvment by using separate amplifiers for bass and treble, but the set up above represented the best sound we achieved over 2 days of experimentation with vastly varying types of music (Stunning). We also tried the Naim on Bass duties and the NAD on treble but the results were, in comparison poor. Also tried the MA 8is both ways, cables swapped etc but still couldn't get close to the setup above. Midrange still subdued compared to the all Naim source and amp but much improved.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNaim Nait5 (Superb Midrange, smooth bass, very nice treble, tonality and soundstaging excellent)\r\n\r\nNAD C370 (Lots of power, Good bass, average midrange, slightly less than average quality treble)\r\n\r\nNaim CD5 (Tremendous midrange drive, attack, not too neutral)\r\n\r\nTeac VRDS-T1, D-T1 (Very Neutral sound, not the most rythmic, good reference source)\r\n\r\nMA Silver 8i (Big dynamics available with the NAD C370, difficult to set up, probably need a larger room to shine, hollow boxy bass in my room, not convinced by the treble) (Erm ...Look nice)\r\n\r\nMS25i Pearl (Nice big bass )contrary to reviews on audioreview.com), detailed sparkly treble, could do with more midrange, they sound poor in larger rooms, i.e. 5m x 6m and above) (Erm... Look like shit without the grill).\r\n\r\nChord Cable (Smooths off the slight aggressivness in my system without killing the detail or dynamics)\r\n\r\nAnyway it was an intesting combination of large vs small components and old vs new. Bi-amping really does seem to work and I can only think its because each amplifier has to deal with a much more simpler electrical load over a narrower frequency range. Blah,... Impedance,.... Blah,.....Phase angle,..... bloody resistance, capacitance, inductance, reactance and other electrical stuff)\r\n\r\nAnyway mine cost \r\nTEAC VRDS-T1, D-T1 £400 \r\nNAD C370 £250 \r\nMS25i Pearl £100 \r\n\r\n\r\nMy Friends cost \r\nalot more\r\n\r\nWell, I suppose it's time for another smooth sounding amplifier for the top end in my system, then I'll be in heaven. \r\n\r\n\r\nAnyone else done this kind of stuff?, and can anyone recommend a suitable power amp for the top end? cos that's my next purchase, along with cable for the speakers.