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Thread: Boulder 866

  1. #51

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    essrand.
    Have had the Boulder plugged in for almost a week now, using it mainly for streaming and TV so far. Just a couple of CD's .
    My main impression is it has a bit more clarity compared to the E650. This can be a double edged sword in my opinion, tho. Poorly recorded music is even more obvious, voices in a harmony seem more separated, which while more "real" may not be as pleasant to listen to. I believe this is an issue as the equipment gets better in all of audio, tho. And it may be an indication of issues in other equipment ....time will tell as I listen more.

    Great imaging, unquestionably.Possibly better than the Accuphase, but they both are excellent in this regard.Layers of sound, very subtle sounds on the recording are more obvious with this amp.
    Not sure yet on the DAC section.....would like to listen to it with the Directstream as well, soon,. and see if I can hear any differences. Need to get a better ethernet wire in any event , and when I do will try do some serious listening.

    Wondering if I should run this directly from the wall, or from my Denali?..Any advice appreciated from those who have much more knowledge about this than I ever will.

    Not completely sold on the "no Remote"...a pain to have to enter the password into my phone to wake it, and think I'll order a cheap one to try.

    Great dynamics for sure, seems to have more headroom than the E650...and my speakers are very efficient. I do like it loud at times, and this amp doesn't disappoint. Like the "sleep" mode as opposed to having to either leave the Accuphase on all the time, or powering it off manually.

    Not what you need help decide, I'm sure...will add what I can as it breaks in . Definitely worth a demo if possibly. One of the problems with the lack of dealers now....if you live in a major market, you can hear these...otherwise it's risk.
    HI maxdog923,

    Any further updates as your Boulder 866 is breaking in, or are you too lost in the music?

  2. #52
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    Re: Boulder 866

    I don't agree "more real" is a double edged sword. If your experiencing fatigue then something is not set up correct.

    I would not put that amp in a Denali. I would figure out what is wrong with your power if its having hum/buzz/loss of power plugged direct into rhe wall, or address room issues if that is the culprit..

    And don't go buy a pile of $5k each cords. I doubt that will fix anything.

    When you figure that out, real will be much better than whatever else you are hearing.

  3. #53

    Re: Boulder 866

    essrand, Honestly haven't had a lot of time to listen in the past few weeks, due to work getting busier, and I work a lot of evenings.
    Will say that I'm pleased with what I'm hearing as far as dynamics, detail, and imaging. And I do need to do some room treatments , as the room is very sterile ....need to definitely treat it ...all speakers I've had here could benefit from some carpeting and some corner sound diffusers, I think...

    As to the comment on "more real", I meant that as a commentary on some harmonies I've heard on music with singers who accompany the lead vocalist, and who's skills to messed to distract from the quality of the lead. Not every singer has that crystalline clarity of delivery as someone like an Alison Krause, and I'd rather listen to her voice, for example, that her dieting or being backed up by others. My preference...

    I am not using the Denali with the amp....was just looking for advice one way or the other as to what might be best.

    Also using my Directstream with the latest upgrade to see if it makes a difference, or I have a preference....still trying to decide.

    Carl

  4. #54
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    Re: Boulder 866

    My attempt at describing "Real" is it's just that. It sounds more like an actual instrument is in the room, or a person is speaking in the room. Natural. More emotion. Less Hifi or stereo ish. You know it when you get it right. Its kind of like Charlie Brown when Lucy explains his issues. THATS IT.

    Don't get me wrong on the Denali. If I had one, I would try it both ways. You never know. But it will change the sound. I had one for a few days and I definitely heard it alter things. When you try it, let it run a couple days in, a couple days out, a couple days in. Live with it a little. See if your more engaged one way or another. See if you have the desire to turn it up and sit longer, or turn it down and walk away. Sometimes we try to hard to ascribe attributes to what we hear instead of letting our subconscious tell us what it feels.
    First Sound Mark3SI preamp. Audion Black Shadow 845 SET Monoblocks. Mojo Audio Deja Vu Server. Mojo Audio Mystic 3 DAC. Linear Solution Ethernet Switch. Gigafoil with LPS. STST Motus II TT with Vertere SG1 arm, Hana ML Cartridge, Allnic H1201 phono pre. Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Horn speakers with Mundord Supreme oil caps. Power via 10 awg Oyaide cable from panel to custom distribution strip feeding front end. Oyaide dedicated10 AWG branch circuits from panel to each amp. Inakustik speaker and interconnect cables, Genesis Interconnect.
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  5. #55
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    Re: Boulder 866

    What - No digital co-ax in? Seems a silly thing to leave out, but at least it offers AES, although some associated kit won't have an AES out, so users may have to resort to optical. No unbalanced analogue in either, so vinyl users with phono preamps will have to find one with an XLR out.


    A little more design thought for maximum flexibility may have offered:

    Digital - 2 x coax ins and 2 x USB in place of the 4 x USB

    Analogue - 1 x XLR in and 2 x phono in instead of 3 x XLR


    I'm sure it sounds great, but it rather restricts what can be connected to it.
    Sources - NAD M50.2 (streamer, CD player, CD ripper, hard drive music store)
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  6. #56

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    My attempt at describing "Real" is it's just that. It sounds more like an actual instrument is in the room, or a person is speaking in the room. Natural. More emotion. Less Hifi or stereo ish. You know it when you get it right. Its kind of like Charlie Brown when Lucy explains his issues. THATS IT.

    Don't get me wrong on the Denali. If I had one, I would try it both ways. You never know. But it will change the sound. I had one for a few days and I definitely heard it alter things. When you try it, let it run a couple days in, a couple days out, a couple days in. Live with it a little. See if your more engaged one way or another. See if you have the desire to turn it up and sit longer, or turn it down and walk away. Sometimes we try to hard to ascribe attributes to what we hear instead of letting our subconscious tell us what it feels.
    I must agree...moved the speakers a foot more toward me last week, and a much better sound ....high end much smoother ,and sound is almost there....Amazing what a change it affected....

  7. #57
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    Re: Boulder 866

    It will get easier to move them as you get closer to “locking in “ your setup, speaker movements will be down to 1/4 “ ...



  8. #58
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    I must agree...moved the speakers a foot more toward me last week, and a much better sound ....high end much smoother ,and sound is almost there....Amazing what a change it affected....
    Some guys on whatsbest told me to move mine out at one time. It made a really big impact. I went from about 36 inches to 48, then back to about 44 inches out. Then I was reading the Natural Sound thread and saw the speakers at a 45 degree angle. And on another youtube saw a guy tuning horns by turning them crossing to the listener. I tried that and it was a massive shift. Much more clear and impactful. I would not do as such with a conventional speaker. Only point is that speaker setup is really important. I have tape on my hardwood in a couple places to bring the speakers back to best listening positions. I have to shove them back to the wall when not in use as they are out so far they get in the field of view of the TV behind them.

    Keep us up to date on the Boulder. And if you like it in or out of the Denali.
    First Sound Mark3SI preamp. Audion Black Shadow 845 SET Monoblocks. Mojo Audio Deja Vu Server. Mojo Audio Mystic 3 DAC. Linear Solution Ethernet Switch. Gigafoil with LPS. STST Motus II TT with Vertere SG1 arm, Hana ML Cartridge, Allnic H1201 phono pre. Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Horn speakers with Mundord Supreme oil caps. Power via 10 awg Oyaide cable from panel to custom distribution strip feeding front end. Oyaide dedicated10 AWG branch circuits from panel to each amp. Inakustik speaker and interconnect cables, Genesis Interconnect.
    Kingrexelectric.com Lyncole certified grounding specialist.

  9. #59

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
    Some guys on whatsbest told me to move mine out at one time. It made a really big impact. I went from about 36 inches to 48, then back to about 44 inches out. Then I was reading the Natural Sound thread and saw the speakers at a 45 degree angle. And on another youtube saw a guy tuning horns by turning them crossing to the listener. I tried that and it was a massive shift. Much more clear and impactful. I would not do as such with a conventional speaker. Only point is that speaker setup is really important. I have tape on my hardwood in a couple places to bring the speakers back to best listening positions. I have to shove them back to the wall when not in use as they are out so far they get in the field of view of the TV behind them.

    Keep us up to date on the Boulder. And if you like it in or out of the Denali.
    Running it direct from the wall at present....As my speakers have powered woofers drawing power from The Denali, thought it might be too much of a draw all together. SR suggested I run the speakers from the Denali...when I retire and can spend the time screwing with this I'll try several combos. ))..Right now it's sounding much better than a few weeks ago....May have to slide the Accuphase back in and see what the difference is . Or if I can hear it!!...

  10. #60
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    Re: Boulder 866

    For what it’s worth, the FAQ’s on the Boulder 866 web site recommend plugging directly into the wall:

    ● “Do I need or should I get a power conditioner with the 866?”
    We do not recommend using power conditioners with our products. There have been times we have heard of power conditioners making our products perform worse or even creates operational issues. We feel it is best to go directly into a wall outlet.
    Dylan
    System: Qobuz, Boulder 866 integrated amplifier/streamer, Wireworld Eclipse 8 speaker cables, Fyne F1-10 speakers, Isoacoustics Gaia 1 footers.

  11. #61

    Re: Boulder 866

    Yes I had seen that.....Wonder if that applies to all conditioners , tho, given the variety out there...Everything from a power strip to a $20k box....but I think I'll stick with the wall as well...seems to work to my dusty ears....if it ain't broke......

    Must say I do appreciate the ability to probably sell some cables, maybe a DAC, etc, and that's one of the big attractions of this unit....given it's sound, it's made life simpler, and I don't have as many remotes to dig out of the sofa!


    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    For what it’s worth, the FAQ’s on the Boulder 866 web site recommend plugging directly into the wall:

    ● “Do I need or should I get a power conditioner with the 866?”
    We do not recommend using power conditioners with our products. There have been times we have heard of power conditioners making our products perform worse or even creates operational issues. We feel it is best to go directly into a wall outlet.

  12. #62
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    Running it direct from the wall at present....As my speakers have powered woofers drawing power from The Denali, thought it might be too much of a draw all together. SR suggested I run the speakers from the Denali...when I retire and can spend the time screwing with this I'll try several combos. ))..Right now it's sounding much better than a few weeks ago....May have to slide the Accuphase back in and see what the difference is . Or if I can hear it!!...
    We run our 866 into a Shunyata Power Conditioner since they don’t limit current and we really like the results.

    But Boulder definitely prefers it into the wall direct.

    YMMV.


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  13. #63

    Re: Boulder 866

    Mike, From your post I gather you prefer the sound that way....good to know...Will give it a try soon. thanks

  14. #64
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    Re: Boulder 866

    I toured the Boulder Amp Facility on Friday. (I've driven by their facility twice a day for several years on my way to work, but had never visited). I came away extremely impressed with the unpretentious professionalism and perfectionism of this company. They had the 866 hooked up to Grand Utopias in their reference listening room, but I ran out of time to listen! Hope to go back this coming week. They are very proud of the 866. I am also interested in the new 812 pre/dac. Think it might be a good fit for my Gryphon Essence. After visiting, hard to not want to work my way even farther up their component ladder. That said, I wonder if the 866 is so good that I should just trade out my Tambaqui and Essence for this convenient solution. The hobbyist/problem solver part of me, though, has some issues moving into an all in one....

  15. #65
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    Re: Boulder 866

    If I was in a better position, I’d make your life easier and take that Essence off your hands!! Good luck sorting it out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky64 View Post
    I toured the Boulder Amp Facility on Friday. (I've driven by their facility twice a day for several years on my way to work, but had never visited). I came away extremely impressed with the unpretentious professionalism and perfectionism of this company. They had the 866 hooked up to Grand Utopias in their reference listening room, but I ran out of time to listen! Hope to go back this coming week. They are very proud of the 866. I am also interested in the new 812 pre/dac. Think it might be a good fit for my Gryphon Essence. After visiting, hard to not want to work my way even farther up their component ladder. That said, I wonder if the 866 is so good that I should just trade out my Tambaqui and Essence for this convenient solution. The hobbyist/problem solver part of me, though, has some issues moving into an all in one....
    _______________

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  16. #66

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    Running it direct from the wall at present....As my speakers have powered woofers drawing power from The Denali, thought it might be too much of a draw all together. SR suggested I run the speakers from the Denali...when I retire and can spend the time screwing with this I'll try several combos. ))..Right now it's sounding much better than a few weeks ago....May have to slide the Accuphase back in and see what the difference is . Or if I can hear it!!...
    Any final thoughts? Was the 866 a sideways move or an upgrade from the E-650?
    I am hoping you say sideways because I just bought an E-650

  17. #67
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Heard the 866 through Grand Utopias in the Boulder Amp listening room yesterday. Very nice unit. It is voiced slightly warmer then it's bigger brothers/cousins. Also had the chance to play with the new 812 pre/dac/headphone amp. Love having a rotary volume control, and the aesthetics are very nice. Trying to rationalize spending $8K and having it on my desktop as my headphone amp...

  18. #68

    Re: Boulder 866

    Final thoughts..they are both fine amps...put my E650 with PS Directstream back in yesterday..it sounds great too,,,,...hoping to switch back next week and see if I can define the differences...I'm sure you made a good choice tho....as long as there's a grin on your face, you chose correctly!!...

  19. #69
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Great review of the the 866 in the September 2021 edition of Stereophile.
    _______________

    Mike

  20. #70
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    Great review of the the 866 in the September 2021 edition of Stereophile.
    Using ours to break in my speakers right now. Just terrific.


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  21. #71

    Re: Boulder 866

    Yes I have heard. It allows factory direct software updates by Ethernet or USB memory device.

  22. #72
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    Re: Boulder 866

    The Stereophile review of the Boulder 866 is up on their website.

    One thing that's not on the website, but in the print magazine, is Boulder's response in the manufacturer's comments. There wasn't any comment by Boulder with respect to the measured difference in THD+N between the left and right channels, so it's still unclear if the results are normal for this model or if it was a the result of an "out-of-specification output device" in the right channel as speculated by John Atkinson.
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  23. #73
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Seems like an anomaly , as suggested by JA, maybe an issue with the feedback circuit on that channel , obviously its at its best above 2 ohms , lovely industrial design, as per most Boulder .

    A good compare would be against the Humboldt ...




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    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  24. #74
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Seems like an anomaly , as suggested by JA, maybe an issue with the feedback circuit on that channel , obviously its at its best above 2 ohms , lovely industrial design, as per most Boulder .

    A good compare would be against the Humboldt ...





    Regards
    Given that the Humboldt is about 3 times the price that would be an interesting comparison!
    Buddy

  25. #75
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Very much in consideration for my FL house.

    I want to take my EMM stack down, but my wife wants me to keep it in MN.


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  26. #76
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Phishphan View Post
    Very much in consideration for my FL house.

    I want to take my EMM stack down, but my wife wants me to keep it in MN.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    What Speakers would you team the 866 with ..... ?




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    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

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