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Dpod4
April 17, 2013, 11:52 AM
cut and pasted from posting in Constellation forum...

I knew in the first few notes we had a (clear) winner...sorry to preempt the voting. Not even warmed up and with compromised cabling, the impact and impression was OVERWHELMING. Last night I listened extensively to Burmester CD 03 thru the VAC and Ref 40, a great way to sonically and musically test gear, in addition to some prized vinyl. I've never listened to a component and immediately felt compelled to grap a pad of paper and pen, but this Centaur made me want to. As I listened here is what I wrote (noting it may be very system and room dependent):

Not hyperbole....I'm finicky and fickle and not easily impressed, I knew in the first few notes, this is as it should be. Left me wanting for nothing (a feeling I cannot ever remember having). I cannot believe what I am hearing. Instant connection like when I met my wife or first drove my R32 (even more instant than my SL600...price doesn't dictate outcome). The Centaur is a game changer, transformative (truly)....as impressive (actually more) of an upgrade than any component change I've made including ARC Ref40 or Magico speakers...and those two were huge upgrades.

In short, more of everything...liquid smooth, all there for the taking, smooth and musical. Only amp that has been able to grab me by the balls and whisper in my ear at the same time.

This is how I want my Magicos to sound, for real. Enveloping; heard detail not there before; all the nuances captured...felt like human beings were singing to me; wanted to kiss the singer of track track one...never heard anything like this before.

What I read about all the potential of my ARC Ref 40 preamp, I'm now experiencing, in spades. I understand its potential now. Makes me feel better about acquiring it by a country mile.

Sound stage laterally is FINALLY balanced and even in height and width and presence. Layers, layers, layers. Round, round, round.

Dynamics finally. Not artificial or hyped but there and in my face (or I should say in my chest). But perfect flow and timing. Fast when needed. Slow when necessary. Transients galore. Everything but never too much, but always climactic and engaging.

Finally, detail and all of it at low volumes.

Totally balanced across the spectrum and continuous not disenfranchised presentation.

Now I understand macro and micro detail and dynamics in perfect tandem.

I'm done, the race is finished, I'm in love finally with an amp (ok that may be hyperbole).

The Centaur's sound is "transcendent, emotional, beautiful, pretty, determined, in control, effortlessly powerful, balanced; and, it conveys the drama and nuance/detail perfectly in the same moment"

Sorry for the rambling, but wow wow wow wow wow. I am very impressed and happy. All the hours researching, dollars spent, and the reach was worth it for sure.

PS, the bass and slam and movement of air from my Magicos is now in a different league, naturally and harmonically correct at same time.

sharkmouth
April 17, 2013, 05:36 PM
Ok then, so it's good? :D

Dpod4
April 18, 2013, 11:35 AM
Yeah, I guess that's what i'm saying! :p


Ok then, so it's good? :D

joeinid
April 18, 2013, 12:17 PM
Ok then, so it's good? :D


Yeah, I guess that's what i'm saying! :p

I trust Darrin's ears very much. It must be outstanding.

Dpod4
April 18, 2013, 12:52 PM
Thanks, Joe. Your journey has been an inspiration for me!

I trust Darrin's ears very much. It must be outstanding.

joeinid
April 18, 2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks, Joe. Your journey has been an inspiration for me!

We definitely feed off of each other.

johnthomas
April 18, 2013, 06:10 PM
We definitely feed off of each other.

627

joeinid
April 18, 2013, 06:27 PM
:)

socfan12
April 18, 2013, 07:20 PM
Great review, Darrin! Really giving me something to think about...;)

Dpod4
April 19, 2013, 12:35 AM
Great review, Darrin! Really giving me something to think about...;)
Listened to Rickie Lee Jones album tonight. She was in the room with me. Don't tell my wife.
Now I want my whole system to be Constellation. When will the madness end?!

joeinid
April 19, 2013, 01:39 AM
Listened to Rickie Lee Jones album tonight. She was in the room with me. Don't tell my wife.
Now I want my whole system to be Constellation. When will the madness end?!

Hopefully never :hyuk:

johnthomas
April 19, 2013, 06:14 PM
I asked my dealer about the Centuar. His response was and I trust his ears.

"I love the Centuar. Amazing amp. Probably the best solid state I have heard. The best way to describe would be delicate. Not being a girl here, but it just sounds delicate and effortless. We have a guy who purchased centaur. Has Magico and vac amps. Lost his mind. Smokes his 40k vac amp.

Dewster
April 19, 2013, 06:40 PM
I asked my dealer about the Centuar. His response was and I trust his ears.

"I love the Centuar. Amazing amp. Probably the best solid state I have heard. The best way to describe would be delicate. Not being a girl here, but it just sounds delicate and effortless. We have a guy who purchased centaur. Has Magico and vac amps. Lost his mind. Smokes his 40k vac amp.

We might know the same guy, but he did move from VAC 450 to I think the Constellation mono's with new Q5..

Dpod4
April 19, 2013, 06:43 PM
Your dealer sounds spot on. I have the VAC Statement 450S, too. Probably the best sounding large watt tube amp on the market. But with the Magicos, the Centaur is in a completely different (better) league. I felt all my previous purchases were good solid incremental improvements and for the most part worth the extra dough (e.g., VAC 300.1a to VAC 450S), but the Centaur was a startling, completely unexpected and quantum leap in improvement. I feel like Constellation Centaur is the drug Bradley Cooper took in the movie Limitless....my Magicos are experiencing their full potential!


I asked my dealer about the Centuar. His response was and I trust his ears.

"I love the Centuar. Amazing amp. Probably the best solid state I have heard. The best way to describe would be delicate. Not being a girl here, but it just sounds delicate and effortless. We have a guy who purchased centaur. Has Magico and vac amps. Lost his mind. Smokes his 40k vac amp.

jwhite613
April 19, 2013, 07:41 PM
Darrin... It's great to hear when somebody reaches audio nirvana!!! :woot:

Dpod4
April 19, 2013, 08:21 PM
Darrin... It's great to hear when somebody reaches audio nirvana!!! :woot:

Long journey on the amp front but finally nirvana for sure. Listened to Count Basie today and was so grateful what the Centaur was delivering

MDP
January 15, 2014, 01:31 PM
Darrin, I just re-read your post on the Centaur. It got me thinking that it was the Centaur that made me go insane when I demoed the S5's at Goodwins. I initially thought it was the speakers, after hearing the S5's with different amps I'm convinced now that it was synergy with the Centaur that made me write about the S5's being game changers.

Damn hobby, the more I learn, the less I know.

VT Skier
January 15, 2014, 01:57 PM
I'm afraid you might have had the same experience if you had heard the Q3 with Constellation, which I did in NYC at Ears Nova. Just a great combination. But so are Vitus or Soulution with the S5 or Q3. All state of the art in performance.

Dpod4
January 16, 2014, 04:11 PM
Darrin, I just re-read your post on the Centaur. It got me thinking that it was the Centaur that made me go insane when I demoed the S5's at Goodwins. I initially thought it was the speakers, after hearing the S5's with different amps I'm convinced now that it was synergy with the Centaur that made me write about the S5's being game changers.

Damn hobby, the more I learn, the less I know.

I loved the S5s on their own but when the Centuar was installed it was only then I realized what the S5s were capable of, especially low end grip and presence as well as finesse and touch on mids and highs. Interestingly the air tight ATM-2 is pretty darn close on all fronts too at a fraction of the price. I think impedance matching and current are the keys along with an SET amp type harmonic approach

MDP
January 16, 2014, 06:49 PM
Thanks Darrin !!

Dpod4
January 16, 2014, 08:06 PM
Thanks Darrin !!

Anything for the man with the best avatars