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Old 05-04-2018, 12:30 AM
mulveling mulveling is online now
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Default AQ Hurricanes finally arrived

A full nine weeks since ordering, I've finally received the pair of Hurricanes for my tube monoblocks! These are replacing AudioQuest NRG-1000's. This was the "last, really last" cable upgrade, so my completed (really) loom is:
3x Hurricane (I've had the 1 from wall to Niagara 7000 for months now)
2x NRG WEL (for preamp and phono stage)
2x WEL LP
WEL Sig XLR
WEL Sig RCA
2x Kilimanjaro (double biwire - that makes for a full pound of PSS silver in these, lol)

The only non-AudioQuest cable I have is the ClearAudio six-stream that's bloody hardwired to their Universal tonearm. And of course a Niagara 7000 anchors everything.

I just listened to my first LP side with the amps' new Hurricanes; it sounds a lot more robust and powerful in the low end, which is working very very well for my system. I mean it's audibly quite significant; there's been a little rattle issue in my right speaker that's a whole lot more noticeable now at same volume with these cords (I'll have to get my tech on it soon). The midrange is incredibly smooth and meaty; seems like solid improvements there too. Feels like I went from a nice sirloin to a great ribeye. Further listening may reveal soundstaging and treble enhancements.

To be fair I've had a lot of things happening at once in my system, so in this round I'm also hearing the effect of my new SMARTractor, perfectly aligning my ClearAudio/Shelter Harmony to Loefgren-B DIN. I really doubt the re-alignment would be affecting the bass like this, but the image is now dead-center across the whole record and that part's probably from superb alignment.

I'm a happy boyo here; these last few toys have made a difference! Just crappy iphone pics here, sorry (audio makes up 100% of the toy budget):










Last edited by mulveling; 05-04-2018 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:17 AM
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Mikado463 Mikado463 is online now
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I like your Apollo's Mike, IMO the best tube amps for the $$ out there !
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:06 AM
mulveling mulveling is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
I like your Apollo's Mike, IMO the best tube amps for the $$ out there !
Thanks, they are awesome amps! I've been running Apollo's for 8 years now, and just upgraded to a new pair of the "Dark" model last year. The original Apollo blew me away when I first heard them on my dealer's Tannoy Glenair 10. I've never strayed to different amps, but after 8 years of consistency there I do get a little curious from time to time!

That said, I know I've got a good thing going with the Apollos. I get to hear some very nice high-end VAC amplification at my dealer's, and it sounds great, but runs at a VERY high premium per Watt. I'm extremely satisfied with the Apollos.
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:55 PM
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johndoe21ro johndoe21ro is offline
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Nice system! May you enjoy it in good health!
Cable-wise seems that our systems are very much alike!
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Cables: AudioQuest WEL XLR 72v DBS, AudioQuest Everest DBS 72V, AudioQuest Hurricane High Current 72V DBS, AudioQuest NRG-10 72V DBS, AudioQuest Diamond USB 216V DBS, UpTone ISO Regen w USPCB A>B Adapter
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:38 PM
mulveling mulveling is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndoe21ro View Post
Nice system! May you enjoy it in good health!
Cable-wise seems that our systems are very much alike!
Thank you - I plan to do just that! Yep, I've been climbing the AQ ladder for years now. Great stuff!
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:58 AM
robd2 robd2 is online now
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I LOVE the setup Mike. Can I ask you an unrelated question? Your alignment with the Smartractor, why Loefgren-B DIN vs Loefgren-B IEC or whatever the second Loefgren-B option is? I've been trying to decide this for myself.
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Old 05-05-2018, 10:15 AM
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Happy to hear your digging the system with the new cables. What’s up with the rattle, hopefully not the cone.
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Old 05-05-2018, 05:47 PM
mulveling mulveling is online now
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BEST listening session ever last night. I'm thinking maybe these cords have their greatest effect on amplifiers (more than from wall to Niagara). Bass is definitely punching harder and fuller. I listened to both my tightly SMART-aligned Shelter and Graham-aligned Koetsu last night, and heard the same improvement on both -- so this particular sonic increase is due to the cords, not alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robd2 View Post
I LOVE the setup Mike. Can I ask you an unrelated question? Your alignment with the Smartractor, why Loefgren-B DIN vs Loefgren-B IEC or whatever the second Loefgren-B option is? I've been trying to decide this for myself.
Thanks Rob! Looking at the distortion curves, Loefgren B has significantly lower distortion than Baerwald, Stevenson, and UNI-IN over the majority of the record surface. That's why I chose it; I'm OK with the tradeoff on the outer and inner grooves. As for DIN vs. IEC, the difference is that DIN assumes a smaller inner radius, so it keeps the distortion a bit lower for the inner grooves at the slight expense of distortion in the other grooves - but Loefgren B still keeps the distortion very low there. And with a 12" ClearAudio Universal, the overall distortion is even lower yet.

My plan going forward is to dump the Graham (my Koetsu arm); it can't be properly aligned with the SMARTractor anyways because its pivot center is not accurately measurable from outside. You really need a MINT LP to precisely align a Graham. I have a beautiful Fidelity Research FR64S I'll be mounting in its stead for running the Koetsu collection (the SMARTractor manual even uses a FR64S in its picture illustrations, lol). The plan there is to go for Loefgren B IEC, because as a 10" arm, here I will be totally sacrificing the inner grooves on the FR64S setup to keep the distortion across the middle of the record as low as possible. If I have content that needs better inner groove response, I will play it on the 12" CA Universal Loefgren B DIN. So there is some method to this madness

Given my listening last night, it is amazingly clean from outermost to innermost groove on the Loefgren-B DIN'd 12" Universal.

Last edited by mulveling; 05-05-2018 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 05-06-2018, 12:16 AM
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Mike,
Dang, man. You've really taken your system up a bunch of notches over the past year. Those AQ cables look sublime. Definitely eye candy. Your setup looks fantastic and I'm sure it sounds even better. Nicely done. Two thumbs up!
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:21 PM
mulveling mulveling is online now
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Thanks Terry! We've been listening to SO much music since the upgrades; it's awesome!

The Hurricanes on my tube monoblocks continued to bowl me over all weekend. This was a significant cable upgrade; its effect is on par with a major component upgrade. They're so incredibly authoritative and detailed, yet still so smooth sounding (edging almost into "creamy" territory, but not quite). Over the past year I've upgraded my 2 interconnects from AQ Fire to Wild Blue Yonder to WEL Signature, and going from NRG-1000s to Hurricanes on the monos seems like a notably bigger improvement than going from Fire to WEL for both links.

Now I'm looking at the two WEL NRG cords on phono stage and preamp, and wondering if I should just go all Hurricane in case there's some extra performance to eek out with an all-'Cane system.
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