Easy Like Sunday Morning

I spent perhaps a total of ten hours in my apartment this weekend, and for about eight of those, I was asleep. So, unfortunately, I didn't have the time to make any real comparisons. I faced no problems, however, in disconnecting the Arcam Solo and bringing the A3.5 units into my little system. It was an easy-breezy piece of Key Lime pie. I didn't even feel bad about it; the Musical Fidelity pieces are so attractive, I couldn't wait to get them going. Though the setup required merely sticking the AC cords into the appropriate sockets, making the simple connection between the integrated and CD player, and hooking up the speakers — black to black, red to red — I felt some small amount of pride for getting it all done without a hitch. Anyone could do it, really.

Despite it being almost completely foreign to me, I had been listening to our October 2005 "Recording of the Month," Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall, all morning (great stuff for an easy Sunday), so I figured I'd just stick with that.

Initially, all I noticed was that everything was louder. I was surprised to find that, when I used the A3.5's remote to control the volume, I kicked the Arcam, which had been powered down, immediately back into action. I tested the Arcam's remote in turn, but found that it wouldn't control the Musical Fidelity pieces. This proved somewhat informative, however, as I could set both players to the zero volume position, and raise the level on the A3.5 until I got to what seemed like my usual listening level on the Arcam. I rarely went over a lovely, soft-blue "50" on the Arcam. Now, with the A3.5s in place, an Arcam "50" would have been far too loud; I wouldn't be able to hear the ambulances and police sirens down on Monmouth Street at all. And the people banging on my apartment door would just never make themselves known. An Arcam "50" was now something like a MF "30."

I hope I'm making sense here. [Maybe one of you more audiophilic dudes out there can help me with this.] I'm not sure if these numeric comparisons mean much of anything, as I don't even know if the respective volume controls of the Solo and A3.5 are being manipulated at the same rate, but I think you know what I mean. Everything was just louder.

And then I had to go out...

Oh, by the way, I started with the cheaper interconnects, and I'll tell you this:

So far, they know all the words to the song.

Buddha's picture

Congrats on your first Hi-Fi Spinal Tap moment! Back when I was a kid," those volume controls only went up to ""10"," with some rare and serious equipment that actually went up to 11"". Your units go to ""30"" and even ""50?!?!?"" Dude", you must be a Rock 'N Roll Animal!!!! Seriously, though, the Arcam and the Musical Fidelity are both British," so your volume units should have been the same. The Arcam must have been left ""Imperial"" for importation here and the Musical Fidelity was most likely changed to ""Metric.""

Monty's picture

Not to mention the MF is a more powerful amp than the Arcam and probably behaves quite differently with the speaker load. I don't know what load the Devore's are placing on the amp, but I suspect that they are closer to 4 ohm than 8. The MF probably doesn't even blink at a 4 ohm load where the Arcam might be slightly annoyed.

Buddha's picture

Heh," heh. Heh heh heh....Monty said ""MF.""

TEvo's picture

Have AD loan you his MF kW amp and let us know how that compares. Course, you may need to hire a moving company to transport it to you. :)I rarely exceed the 10'o'clock position on the A3.5's volume dial for most listening. If I feel the need to risk eviction, I might nudge it to 11 o'clock or thereabouts...

Stephen Mejias's picture

>I rarely exceed the 10'o'clock position on the A3.5's volume dial for most listening. Cool: I found that to be my highest setting, as well.