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  1. #1

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    Default OK, let's hear everybody's impressions on their A-L 1000VA AI-1

    I've had mine in the system for about 100 hours now, maybe 150. I'm coming from using the A-L 800VA Dreadnought.

    My review has to be tempered a bit 'cause I made another significant change at the same time as the new tranny: I had my amp upgraded to dual mono, with new circuit boards, resistors, transformers, caps, and cap capacity (doubled from 120,000 uf to 240,000).

    Both the amp and the new AI-1 sound like they're still improving. The new tranny has taken much longer to burn in the other one, which I felt was pretty much 100% at around 50 hours. What I'm hearing is slightly better imaging side to side, i.e. wider and slightly taller, and a fairly large improvement front to back.

    Instruments sound a bit more realistic, more organic. There is a little better resolution in complex passages with instruments, harmony vocals, percussion, keyboards occupy a more definitive place in the soundstage. For example, if a piano is playing deep in the background it's easier to hear. The sound stage also sounds a little larger with instruments and vocals less tied to the speakers and more out in the room.

    Instrumental tones sound more pleasant, more like they sound when you're in the same room during a live performance. Female vocals sound smoother with slightly better tone, and a very slight increase in the midrange. This may be why vocals sound more realistic.

    The bass is stronger without being overemphasized. I'm pleased about this as my room does not allow for ideal placement of my speakers for the best bass. I can't get them close enough to the back wall.

    I also made one other change: new built in cabinet and shelving. While these were built for LP and CD storage and to clean up the living room, improve WAF, etc., they also have reduced a major bass node behind the right speaker. That may have contributed to the improved bass response as well.

    As I said, all the improvement in sound quality can't be attributed to the new AI-1, and I don't know how brak it down between the new amp and Dreadought. My best SWAG (sophisticated wild ass guess) is 50-60%.

    OK - what have others experienced?
    Last edited by drumminman; 09-30-2012 at 10:40 AM.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer

  2. #2

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    I'll let you know in the new year when mine's here/built.

  3. #3

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    No one has their new A-L dreadnought connected into the system yet? Or wants to comment?

    I can't believe it
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer

  4. #4

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    I'm looking forward to breaking mine in at Christmas time.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.

  5. #5

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    Sorry, I didn't see this thread until now.

    I have well over 200 hours on my 1000VA AI-1 Dreadnaught now. I am also coming from an 800VA AL transformer for a comparison. What I noticed:

    The soundstage width is without a doubt wider by a good foot or more. Along with this width also came a good amount of clarity of the vocals and instruments outside the speaker width. The soundstage depth also increased, as well as the height. I agree that the bass was slightly tighter and deeper than the 800VA AI-1 and the full audio spectrum and increased in clarity slightly. Imaging is a little better with instruments and vocals being more pinpoint and image panning is smoother and more precise. Image weight is increased slightly as well.

    I also agree with what Raife said, in that the soundstage is more like a crecent shape (especially when the AI-1 is breaking in) with the 1000VA opposed to the 800VA which is more "flat" accross the soundstage opposed to a crecent shaped. This is my short description of what I noticed between the 800VA and 1000VA AI-1 Dreadnaughts.
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion."

    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee

  6. #6

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    How much of a crecent shape are we talking about here? I'm not so sure that's a good thing.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  7. #7

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    Let me define what I mean by crecent shape. This means that the soundstage outside the speaker width comes to a defined "tip" but can be lower or higher in height. But as the sound image approches the center of the stereo image the sound has more depth (that is, appears to come from behind the speaker or in front of the speakers given the mixing of the music (meaning concave or convex crecent)) than the 800VA tranny. Does this make sense Jesse?

    As for how much, I would say the image appears to be about a half foot to three quarters of a foot further forward in front or back further behind the speakers.
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion."

    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee

  8. #8

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    Thanks Greg. I guess I'll have to hear this for myself when I put all the pieces together for my AI-1. If I don't like it I can always get the 800VA instead.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  9. #9

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    No problem Jesse. It is somewhat hard (for me) to describe what it's like although hopefully you get the idea. The soundstage did seem a little unnatural when the 1000VA AI-1 was breaking in, but either I became used to it or more likely I think the "crecent shape" decreased making for a more natural soundstage. I will say that the image is not always a half to three quarters of a foot in front or behind the speakers, but can be directly in the middle of the two speakers as well depending on the mixing of the album.
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion."

    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee

  10. #10

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    The 1000 is more natural and well rounded in image and depth then the 800, and the bass feels deeper yet tighter as well.

    There will be no reason to get the 800 IMO.

  11. #11

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    The 800VA definitely burned in with fewer hours.

    The 1000VA has really relaxed and improved over the last 10-20 hours of use. To my ears it sounded a bit pinched when I first put it in the system. There was still a soundstage, but music lacked the emotional quality I'm used to hearing through my SDA's.

    Looking forward to spinning some tunes tonight
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer

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