Friday, 3 August 2012

Should We Be Isolated?

The observant amongst you will have noted a proliferation of Isoplats under all my Linn gear, on top of Quadraspire Q4 racks (of the non-bamboo variety).

Well HoL were at sunbeam towers again today to deliver another pair of Majik 140s (first pair had a minor fault in the cabinet finish) and they brought an ADS/1 with them for me to compare against the ADS/0/D as a taster for the ADS/0 to ADS/1 upgrade offer.

Maybe I will write about the ADS issue in another post.

But the point I wanted to report here is that we put the ADS/1 on an Isoplat so that it was in exactly the same circumstances as the ADS/0/D.  So we also took the opportunity to try the ADS/1 with and without the Isoplat.  I was expecting to hear virtually no difference.  Wrong.  There is a clear difference.  Just to put this in perspective I would say that it was about 20% of the difference between the 2 DSs.  I have to describe it in terms of preference because I preferrred it with, Trevor preferred it without.

Trevor's view was that the music flowed better and sounded more of a piece without the Isoplat.  I think that removing the Isoplat robbed the music of some of its dynamic range.  We were listening to a laid back blues track (Cold Rain by Blues Company, highly recommended) and for me the dynamic range in the transition between the laid back "feel the pain" passages of the track and the more forthright "I'm angry now" passages were somewhat reduced, removing some of the emotion from the music.

So there you go.  Does it make a difference?  Yes.  Is an Isoplat better or worse under and ADS/1?  Well it seems it depends on who you ask!  Will have to try the same experiment with my own ADS/0 when I get a few minutes to mess about.