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Review of the new Classic One Twenty SE.

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roberto
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Review of the new Classic One Twenty SE.

Post by roberto » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:57 pm

Hola. It looks that the reviewer did like a lot this new power amplifier by CJ.
Here it is: http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/e ... fined.gbpl

Enjoy!
Roberto.
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Review of the new Classic One Twenty SE.

Post by Big Dog RJ » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:47 am

That's a definite spot on Roberto, and I must say your ML CLX's will bring out the best of any recording as long as it is high quality.

As I had posted about the Classic 120 partnered with the GATS2 driving a pair of the new ML hybrids- Ren15A. I was really not sure where the overall high quality and high power was coming from... whether it was the CJ gear or the Ren15A due to its high powered bass amplifiers. Therefore, I would have preferred a system where the Classic 120 was driving a speaker full range and not a hybrid. Something like a maggie MG20.7 or the CLXArt, would be superb to listen to and make that final comparison.

The only comparison I have so far, is of my previous Quads with the ARTsa and LP125sa, which is no longer in production. I did find the Classic 120 to be similar to the LP125sa stereo amp in every regard but with a certain classic sound that like the reviewer stated in his article "engagement." Yes, the Classic 120 does engage you in that sound and this is exactly what I'm currently experiencing with the CAV45. Of course on a much smaller scale but with hybrids being so efficient, I don't think 120w is really required to get the best out of your favorite recordings and especially for musical enjoyment.

If it is for loudness and sheer power output then perhaps 120w of tube power is inadequate. Hence, another reason I just happened to learn from the chap who just had this amp. He now claims that the Classic 120 is not enough to power his Ren15A's and feels that he must order the new ART150 special anniversary edition. That's excellent! goodness knows what else he would find inadequate...
I sincerely think he's better of with ART300's, since the primary motive is to blow off the roof, and believe me the Ren15A can do just that!

Overall, I didn't find the audition to be pleasant due to the sheer volume/ level of play back, way to loud for me. When he switched over to the Kondo Overture, obviously that was much more relaxed, simply because the levels were turned down. Why on earth can't people enjoy recorded music at decent levels? High levels are also experienced on horn systems, and nearly every horn system I have listened to was played over the top. For what reason I'm not sure, perhaps they're trying to recreate the live event...

Having the GATS2, Classic 120 with EL34's and driving the Ren15A would have been my dream system, although I would have sincerely preferred the CLX's. I guess at the end of the day, there will always be different preferences with varied flavors but to me, abusing the system to such high levels is a crime, it is not enjoying music, rather creating the loudest possible noise in your home.

When I get a chance to finally listen to the Classic 120 properly, either driving a speaker system full range electro-stat or ribbon, that would be a good review and experience to share. For now, I know you're really enjoying the Classic 120SE with your CLX's, it is right up there with the best transparency and audio quality you are ever going to achieve. After all, that's what I call true high-end audio!

Cheers mate and enjoy those CLX's!
RJ

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Re: Review of the new Classic One Twenty SE.

Post by roberto » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:51 pm

Hola Mate...well the truth arised at last. Somebody that has good ears and knows how to express the joy of listening this beast had said it right. If you read me, you will see how we agreed on the behavior of this amp. Its like not having an amp, because the signal is almost untouched. The bass is robust but, the bass player remains at the stage on every note. You can understand the musical notes, you can hear the difference between a F and a F#. All is so natural with an outstanding balance. The cymbals are projected to the room as if the drummer is playing there. The clarinet has the ebony wood singing and superb clarity on each musical note too. Strings are mellow with a sweet sound characteristic of the strings it self. The size of the instruments are very real, and the sense of 3D thousand times much better than my beloved ARC VT-100MKIII. Very dynamic, here is where the power shows off. The power is for reproduce every musical note, clean, effortless, crystal clear, as an example, in a piano. All notes are there, singing magnificent well. At the guitar, plucking the strings are where the musician is playing, not next to you. While I listen to a Magnepan (with much respect to the owners of Magnepan speakers), the sound of the pick plucking the strings, are next to me, and the guitar is there...I hope you can understand what I am trying to say. With my CLXs, all the musician(s) are always at the stage, and in a certain place, with air between each musician. This really blows my mind. The harmonic structure of each musical instrument and vocals are a gasp! I am getting a lot of goosebumps while to listening to the music, or better say, listening to those wonderful musician(s) playing their instruments. The holographic presentation is more open from L to R, I do have a very good wide stage now. Also, the overall sound is less ear fatigue. With my previous amp, the ARC, the stage is narrower.
I am thinking to talk to a friend who speaks very fluent English, to help me to write better my thoughts about this wonder! The new capacitors are another league from what I had before. They keep the voices without any glare and very and are precise with the timbre. Vocals are very, very, very good! Listening to small combos, soloist, or trios, quartets are more life like. Big orchestras still are missing the live thing...its not the level or volume, its something that still lacks, I think, at the recordings. Yes, I know that big orchestras, symphonic music, the recordings on these days had being improved a lot. But when you go to the Theater, and then, you listen in your system, is where you say that there still is a lot of work to do for the real thing. With small orchestras or camera philharmonics, the result is excellent. The cello, the viola da gamba, the double bass are excellent too.

I am very happy, owning this marvellous amplifier. I am re-discovering a lot of good recordings...this is a truly nice experience!
Happy listening!
Roberto.
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Review of the new Classic One Twenty SE.

Post by Big Dog RJ » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:46 am

Hey Roberto,

Glad to hear from your experience with the Classic 120, and definitely seems like you are enjoying every moment! As is the case with any good to high quality system that can reproduce recorded music close to the source in the intention it was recorded, the two most important pieces of equipment that make the most significant impact are the speakers and amplifier driving it. The rest of the system falls into place nicely, obviously fitting in with budgets, ancillary equipment, interconnects, cables room etc.

The majority of systems that don't get this right is mainly due to amplifier to speaker mis-match or just a bad combination. I have come across far too many that cannot deliver the soul of music right. When you get that combination right, you will notice it straight away and there really is no need for further improvement.

I am not sure if many people have heard the CLX's, however this is truly one outstanding electro-stat transducer ever made to date! Martin Logan have done a completely radical design with this full range stat panel and when partnered with top line amplifiers such as cj tube amps, the musical experience is totally engaging with all the emotions one could ask for. Therefore, as I have said many times before, your CLX's are very special, they are not the regular type of stat panels of earlier designs. I have had quite a lot of experience listening to them with Pass Labs amps at a mates place here in Melbourne, who actually got me interested in ML's once again, hence I sold off my Quads and now I will be heading towards the CLX's in the near future.

Every time I listen to them at his place, I can clearly see why they are so addictive, simply because they are completely natural sounding with no artifices whatsoever. Adding to this glorious stat panel being driven with another glorious amp, such as the Classic 120, the type of sound obtained from this combination would be everything you would ever need and want from top quality music reproduction. This is probably the best it ever gets, believe me! I have always been totally mesmerized esch time I listen to the CLX and in a proper room positioned critically towards the listener, the experience is just superb!

So remember, you cannot give all the credit to the cj amp alone without giving recognition to the CLX's. For those who have not heard a CLXart system in a proper room set up are missing out on this very special kind of stat panel. To me they are the best and simply marvelous!

Btw your English is fine, compared to most aussie's. If I was to talk the typical aussie language, you probably wonder if I was from another planet...
Ritio matie, that's all she wrote, for now I'm off to the sack as an early start in the arvo.
cheers RJ

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Re: Review of the new Classic One Twenty SE.

Post by roberto » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:13 am

Hey Mate, you are too much! (LOL). Well, the truth is that I am a planar speaker lover. My very first planar was the Magneplanar Tympani IIIB. I drove them with two Bryston 4Bs. Then had the Beveridge 2W, and my ears met the CLS...this was on July, at the Summer Consumers Electronic Show at Chicago. Here, at the Musatex room, my heart started to pump heavy, when I listen for the first time, the Martin Logan sound. I had all models of the CLS family, and in the year of 2009, I had the pleasure to listen one pair at the CES show in Vegas. But was until 2013, in March when I got a my CLXs. Each time I visited a friends who own the CLXs, I could not play my system after a month or so due to the big difference in sound coming from these magnificent and marvellous CLXs. They are not meant for every audiophile, because they lack the big heavy bass punch that you get from other models. I do prefer quality than quantity. The quality of the bass coming from the CLXs are difficult to match due to their precision. Each bass note is clearly defined and the fingering is so good, that you can call from which string that bass in plucked. The CLXs are the dream of any musician! All instruments are projected to the space as if they were real!. Furthermore, one of the best characteristic of these incredible speakers is: how easy is to get the musician(s) feeling and their soul. At the recordings, you can call their names easily. Believe me, my ears are granted with this super high quality sound.
On the other hand, I have a great DAC. Its the latest model by Exasound, the E-32. Just take a look of these lab measurements, that shows the quality of the new chip, the 9028.
Another culprit of the good sound, is this Conrad Johnson power amplifier. It is so good, that you pinch yourself to find out if you are dreaming or awake. I have a coherence with all the electronics, to provide excellent sound quality. I am in heaven. My dad used to say that the music is the bridge between the Heaven and the Earth...and this amp makes me be more at the side of the Heaven for sure!
I am in a journey where the quality of the sound of the musical instruments is a joy. Because the CLXs do not produce any ear fatigue, I can listen hours and hours of music, wanting to listen more...when I go to bed, it's because my body and mind need to rest, but not because I got tired of listening to the music. There is a big synergy with the DAC, CLXs and the Classic One Twenty SE.
Happy listening!
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Review of the new Classic One Twenty SE.

Post by Big Dog RJ » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:58 am

Good stuff Roberto, enjoy matie!

I do believe every word you're describing and your experience with the CLX - CJ combination. Each time I listen to Kostas's system with his CLX's driven with his Pass Labs and Leben tube pre, that sound is superb! Although I do prefer tubes, when I return home, I am at a very favorable point in time being able to acquire the Ethos driven with the wonderful CAV45, which is superb musicality. Therefore, I don't find the need to rush into full range stats just yet, compared to when I previously had the Quads. After listening to the CLX's, similar to your experience, I just couldn't listening comfortably to the Quads anymore... I was wondering where that transparency-speed-articulation had gone? yet alone the dynamism. Those CLX's were like another planet, something from outer space with an absolute stellar sound, such that it is very noticeable upfront and one that cannot be easily forgotten.

There are many high quality speakers out there but eventually you kind of forget their signature sound, unless you were to listen frequently. However, that CLX sound you simply cannot forget!

In my opinion, there really is nothing to beat the full range stat, and like I said before and many times, those CLX's are very special electrostats. They are built like no other and sound totally natural, hence when partnered with top line amplification such as CJ and the Classic 120, no doubt you are in heaven!
As the Aussie's say "good on ya mate!"

Another good bit of dinky die aussie lingo, when I heard the CLX's for the first time myself, I was like "a loose roo on the rafters" ha!
Have a good one Robbo,
Cheers, RJ

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Re: Review of the new Classic One Twenty SE.

Post by roberto » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:55 pm

Hi there Big Dog RJ,
I have to admit two things of the CLXs, they are expensive, and show everything. The bad and the good things. But, if you do comparisons between the speakers that are in this league, they are the winners for sure. You have to put a lot of money if you want to beat them, and these means mega bucks. Perhaps what you get is a different sound, but this does not means ¨better sound¨. Its very difficult to make a speaker that everybody like it. As I always say: Sound is a matter of liking, like food. Some of us like garlic and onions, other just hate it! Being a musician helps a lot for the seek of the sound quality that really match your desires. I have customers that use four subs, because they really like bass energy...I am not into this liking. They do not care about the image. All what they want is a clean sound, having a stage in front of them, but the bass energy does not matter at all.

This new power amp is doing miracles and providing a steady stage, well balanced, wide open, truly sense of 3D, with the right size of the musical instrument(s), vocals, and the feeling of them, playing or singing. Now I had putted several hours, and its sound just began to bloom. The sound is more sweet and precise. The strings have a body that I never had before! The wind instruments are projected different, with more dynamics. Vocals are very natural, and the stage is wider...I really like this beast!
Happy listening to all!
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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