Joe , Audio
Enthusiast from California.
Price Paid: $1495 at Decware
Product Model Year:
Hi folks- I had a rare opportunity last night to compare the SE34I
against a Consonance M99+ integrated amp. A friend of mine learned that I
just purchased The SE34I and wanted to know how it will stack against his
His amp uses KT66power tubes with ECC83 as the drivers. It also is a
push pull rather than SET. (This is just as much as I know) I invited him
over last night to do a A-B comparison. He had his amp for about 1 month now,
using it daily, and mine
was just 6 days old. The source used was a Pioneer
Elite CDplayer, and speakers are Dunlavy SC3. The interconnects are Kimber PBJ
and speaker cables are Kimber 8TC. music by Diana Krall (look of love CD) and
Telarc Eric Kunzel's (magic world of Disney).
First off, this is
not a exhaustive comparative test but just a simple "how does it sound versus
the other" test. I have not heard different Tube amps before so this is a
first for me and him. The music between the 2 units are different. That was
obvious. Which was better? Depends on your taste!. The following comments are
just my personal taste.
The Bass of the M99 was stronger, more solid against
your chest. The Se34 bass was smooth and calming. The Mids (vocals,
instruments, background singers) are more "in your face" with the M99, with
energy and authority. The SE34I on the other hand, seems to have a layering
effect, Sort of you can position each singer in space and the instruments
you can localize it on the sound stage. The orchestra seems more laid back.
What's weird is Diana's voice sounded different from both amps. On the M99
it sounded full bodied, while the Se34 sounded more "3D" like her voices
coming from her throat, chesty feeling. (pardon me, but this seems my best
explanation). The piano on track 3 (or 4) also sounded different. The M99+ sounded
very similar to my SS (from what I recollect) but on the SE34 it sounded like
you can hear the hammer hitting the chords (seems like it). you could hear
the decay of notes.
Lastly, the highs.
The SE34I has a more extended high
frequency response. The amount of detail the amp puts out is impressive. It
makes the listener engage the music more and "attracts" one into getting
involved with the rhythm. The M99+ reproduces music very musically. every
instruments comes out clearly and it sounds liquid. But one thing we both
noticed, it gets tiring to listen to on loud or complex passages on the M99
versus the more "I want to listen again" feeling we get with the SE34.
Well that's it, from a newbie's perspective. I may not be eloquent in using
words like airy, space etc, but I try to use simple words I felt when I was
listening. And my friend also felt the same way, but he has a liking towards
the "more forward, clear" type of music. I guess, in the end we both have amps
that suited our listening taste.
Decware is a trademark of High Fidelity Engineering
Copyright © 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
2007 2008 by Steve Deckert