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The Audacious B-52

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
The B-52 has landed in my home office and I am enjoying all of my favorite music in a whole new way. There is no genre that does not get more dynamic and enjoyable through the B-52. The B-52 is a meaty machine with the audacity to shine with anything I throw at it.

I characterize it's sound as velvety smooth, warm, transparent and emotional. The B-52 sound stage is expansive and deep. Bass is represented in a very palpatory manner. You can feel it but it's not boomy or artificially boosted, it's just there with precision and thrust. Highs are silky smooth with not a sniff of graininess. Mids are transparent but not too analytical. I learned a long time ago that grace is defined as an undeserved gift. The B-52 gives grace to poorly recorded music. My dac is known as being super analytical but not when it feeds the B-52.

My B-52 is as enjoyable as listening to my favorite speakers (Legacy Whispers). I am lucky enough to have a dedicated home theater adjacent to my home office and find myself ignoring my favorite actors/directors in favor of my favorite singer/songwriters, conductors and musicians, all without shaking the picture frames off the wall to get goosebumps. The only thing I miss is my mechanical home theater chairs versus my task-like office chair. This discomfort will have to go.

I hope you don't mind a few pics.

My set up includes all ripped Apple lossless tracks which originates in my Mac mini and gets converted from digital to analogue via a Benchmark Media DAC1 USB. The analogue sound then heads over to the B-52 via apuresound balanced XLR interconnects. My cans are apuresound balanced Denon D2000s and single ended DT 880s. Alex did a great job with my Denons. I only wish I had other balanced headphones to see how the B-52 performs because I can tell you that balancing makes a difference. My SE DT 880s have deeper base through the B-52 and what used to be a very analytical sound to me became more musical and even more dynamic. I need to consider either balancing the 880s or finding some balanced Senn's or maybe even Ultrasone Ed. 9s.

Amp by Ray Samuels
Stand by Steve Blinn Designs

post #2 of 29
You're from Jersey? I'm from Jersey!

Can I come drool on your B52?


post #3 of 29
want to see pics. not working.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Pics not working? I see them without problem. What do you see instead?
post #5 of 29
both pics have a red x in them.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 


I switched to photo bucket...can you see them now?
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GAD View Post
You're from Jersey? I'm from Jersey!

Can I come drool on your B52?


I am afraid drool may impact some of the sonics...
post #8 of 29
yes. that second pic is lovely. the B52 in terms of looks really is in a class of its own.
post #9 of 29
I'll bring a towel.

post #10 of 29
Now that is a nice looking setup. Hope you can decide on which cans to get balanced and give us some more impressions!
post #11 of 29
Very nice. I've read nothing but good things about the B52.
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Someone PM'ed me asking for more pics of the stand:

post #13 of 29
Hello dmk005,

If you can post some more pictures of the amp and more listening impressions, I will be VERY grateful to you. I am planning and working towards acquiring one and would love for some encouragement to speed things up

Beautiful setup my friend! Absolutely love the silver and wood theme. Aesthetics aside, I am SURE it sounds marvelous!


post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Classical Day

Listened to classical only today with my B-52 set up. Detail was great both single ended with my DT880's and My balanced Denon 2000s. The DT 880s bass never sounded better than with the B-52. Most of my experience with the 880s was with the Opera, straight out of the Benchmark DAC1 and I even owned an Apache for a few weeks. I always appreciated the 880s for their detail and very accurate bass response although compared to the Denon's they were quite lean. The B-52 adds punch and depth to the 880's bass response. With this effect, I actually found myself listening 2/3 of the time single ended with the DT880s! I am seriously considering getting them balanced, however, I do enjoy them as they are perhaps I should just keep them as a single ended standard to continue in my comparisons.

The B-52 continues its trend with me as a very emotion evoking component. Of course, a well recorded classical piece like the 1812 Overture by the Israeli Philharmonic is as emotional as it gets but WOW I experienced such an emotional thrill listening to much of my familiar library as if it became new to me and was very moved. I also experienced very little (if any) exhaustion after many hours of classical listening and this is rare for me.

You know, I feel I need to find something negative about the B-52 just to build some credibility as a somewhat objective observer. Of course, if I didn't think it was worth the $$$, I am still within the window of no consequence return but you would get burned by the front four tubes as you try to peel it out of my hands...

A few more pics from the set I took the other day since they were requested. One of them features Tucker, my dog who loves to sleep underneath the bottom shelf of my Steve Blinn Designs equipment stand. The stand, by the way is just absolutely beautiful in person with 2'' thick maple butcher block shelving and 4 bumpers each shelf so that there is no vibration. The aluminum component are thick and substantial. The shelf distances are only limited by the length you choose since you can adjust them to any level. Steve is a real perfectionist and I recommend working with him to anyone who wants a stand that will last a lifetime.

Thanks for the positive comments since you all are the only people who really will see this stuff other than me and my family. I rarely have people other than them in my home office. Head-fi is a really great community and I have enjoyed learning from all of you. I am still a nOOb, however, and wish to learn a great deal more about how to listen critically to both music and the components used to present it.

post #15 of 29
more great impressions. the B52 sounds like a reference amp. can't wait to hear it again at the next meet. should be interesting to do some informal comparisons between it and my Apache. as for your DT880s, i can't imagine they would sound worse balanced - give it a try.

oh ... and the dog. as i was scrolling through the pics, i had to do a double take. i was like. wait. was that a little dog under all that. and it was.

cute little guy.
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