Video: The Audio Couple
The Audio Couple what do you do?
We (The Audio Couple) review audio equipment and share impressions obtained from various auditions and listening sessions. We interview local experts and members of the audio community. So please join us on our journey to get you closer to your music! See their Facebook page and YouTube channel.
What inspires you? Or in other words what is your purpose...?
We have a huge passion for music and the reproduction thereof especially in the home environment, may it be in a lounge and or in a dedicated listening room. Don't tell anyone but we also very much like or have an appreciation for audio equipment especially if they can reproduce music with the same or even better experience than you get at an intimate live venue. In short, we love listening to a variety of music in the comfort of our own home.
So I am curious , why "The Audio Couple"?
Me and my wife Theresa decided around 14 months ago to start our own YouTube channel because we are enjoying the music (as reproduced by our two systems) so-much-so that we wanted to share our experiences with a larger audience. We originally started the YouTube channel to document our journey in search of the ultimate audio experience, but we soon realized that the channel can contribute towards the audio community and wider community at large to get insights on audio reproduction performance levels of audio equipment and associated ancillaries.
Another reason motivating us starting the channel is that many of our audio friends are continuously telling us how fortunate we are for enjoying our hobby together listening to music and enjoying the reproduction thereof, as many of the audio friends do not have a significant other who actually share the same passion for enjoying or listening to music. You know what I mean the dedication and time spent to hear the music and make it part of your 'being'.
Tell us a bit more about Nimrod.
I grew up in a home with plenty of music with my father being an audio fanatic. My father owned plenty of audio gear especially from Pioneer with the SPEC-1 and SPEC-4 pre and power amp combination together with the HPM-1500 and HPM-1100 speaker systems. Yes and with the now-famous CT-F1250 cassette deck and gracious PL-L1000 linear tracking turntable. In those days (the golden age of hi-fi) it was well... fantastic! Later on, he owned the Pioneer C-90 and M-90 pre-power amplifier combination with the S-1010 (with Beryllium ribbon tweeters) speaker system, and don't forget Laserdiscs etc. This inspired me to find the ultimate audio system for me, and hence my audio journey started... at the age of around 6 years young.
Tell us a bit more about Theresa.
Theresa grew up in a home full of musicians, with both her sisters playing a variety of musical instruments. Theresa can play piano and percussion instruments. After many years growing up and living in the same hometown - one day after many years of not being aware of each other's lives, Theresa was fortunate enough to see me at a local Mall which was within a few kilometers from our homes now in the metropolitan area of the city of Pretoria. Here I used all of my charms to wow Theresa into what turned out to be a beautiful marriage. We are soulmates and enjoy spending time together.
You have two systems why two systems? Please tell us more.
Yes, we are fortunate to have two systems One dedicated towards two-channel or stereo music reproduction, and another dedicated towards multi-channel surround sound.
The stereo systems consist of the following:
· Duntech 'Sovereign 2001' loudspeakers fitted with custom-designed Audio Technology 12 inch bass drivers from Denmark.
· Manley REF-600 mono-block valve or tube power amplifiers.
· Valve Audio Genesis pre-amplifier (locally designed and handcrafted audio equipment from South Africa)
· Alternative pre-amplifiers: Schiit Freya+ and Mark Levinson No. 380S
· Benchmark DAC3 - DAC
· Alesis ML-9600 high-resolution disc recorder currently used as a CD-transport
· Interconnects from Furutech and Van den Hul
The Manley REF-600 power amplifiers were originally used in Bop studios, the lavish studios situated in The Republic of Bophuthatswana, formerly an independent 'homeland' in the Northwest Province of South Africa close to the border with Botswana. Three world-class studios, designed by Tom Hidley, all in one complex! All three studios feature control rooms that are identical in volume and layout. The difference is equipment selection and the size of live rooms. Each control room is equipped with a set of flush-mounted Kinoshita RM-7V monitors by Rey Audio featuring T.A.D. transducers, capable of 130 dB. Bop Recording Studios is also the place where the first Infra-Sonic systems were installed by Kinoshita. This system is capable of reproducing 9 Hz at 105 dB a world first! Please see this link and this link.
The stereo setup as listed above produces such involving sound that it is hard to shut the system off at night... we spend hours here listening to a wide variety of music genres. But it took me many years to find the right or best amplification for the Duntech Sovereign speakers because they are so dynamic (very low compression even at high volume levels) and they are very accurate (flat in-room frequency response) while being a true time aligned speaker system.
I had many amplifier designs within my home to find the ultimate in reproduction such as, for example, amplifiers from Mark Levinson No.53s, No.333, No.432, No.532, and finally the No.532H. Some others worth mentioning were the McIntosh KW1.2 monoblocks, Classé CA-M600's, Krell Evo-402, Evo-403e, and Krell FBP-700cx. I finally settled on the Manley's and they remain my favorite amplifiers after many years of musical enjoyment.
So why is this setup important to you Nimrod?
I've had my Duntech Sovereign speakers for more than 14 years now and they still reproduce music with a scale and lifelike presence that few other designs are capable of achieving. This let's call it familiarity with the performance of the Duntech's enables me to quickly determine the actual sound signature of equipment in the audio signal path, especially now since I am reviewing "new" equipment and or interconnects.
How about the other system?
This is a 5.2 surround sound setup with Krell pre-amp processors (S-1200 and the Evo-707) they are not the latest regarding features but hey - they do the music justice! They are in a word fantastic! I have to match them up with Mark Levinson power amplifiers No. 533H and No. 532H. These amplifiers from ML are excellent and they excel on both swiftness (or speed) and dynamics. Speakers although a bit of a mix-up are Dynaudio C4 Mark II on front channels, B&W HTM2 D2 center speaker with sub-woofers from JL Audio F113, and the B&W DB1.
I mostly enjoy listening to music on the surround setup, and thus the reason for the let's call it a bit of "a mix up" of equipment the actual combination provides for plenty of musical enjoyment. Every now and then (when I get the urge) I swap out the Dynaudio's for the Duntech's on front channel surround duties and here the B&W HTM2 D2 is also a good match for the Duntech's performance.
So in short this is us, plus we are also huge fans of Enjoy the Music.com mainly due to the large variety of equipment, good reviews, and interesting articles.
Have an awesome day and thanks everyone for reading!