Yeah sorry, I'm trying to keep my reviews from being sooooo long winded these days... for your benefit and for mine. But that format sometimes omits desired details, so I'm always open to questions like this.
I think the dual mono CMA800R setup is better than Taurus in several instances. HD800 (obviously), but also LCD-3 and LCD-2. Taurus still has the edge with HE-6 and possibly with Alpha Dogs too. The sound signature of the Questyle monoblocks is more airy and quick, while the Taurus has a bit more tonal richness. Different strengths for sure, but neither of them has significant weaknesses to speak of. And that's what makes both options so exceptional. Even though Taurus is better with HE-6, the CMA800R combo is very good. And the monoblocks with with LCD-3 and HD800, but the Taurus is excellent with those as well. So it's not like one blows the other out of the water.
I suppose I give the ultimate sound quality nod to the monoblock Questyle setup, thought Taurus wins on value (ie pricing) and simplicity of connection.
I was curious if any CMA800R owners has heard the new Bakoon HPA-01 and might comment? Particularly using the current output with planars such as LCD-X? I've been reading through the HPA-21 thread but there is precious little about the HPA-01. I also read the 6moons review, but I fear that Srajan's reviews are becoming even more unsubstantial.
I did hear the HPA-21 with the HD-800 briefly but it was long ago and all I can recall was that it sounded very good.
Anyways the same vendor where I bought my CMA800R has a great deal on the HPA-01 and I think I may not be able to resist.
I liked the SQ of the HPA-21 but the short battery life was a dealbreaker for me. Not sure if later revisions had better performance or at least allowed one to listen from AC power while the battery charged. So I'm curious to hear how much of that SQ the HPA-01 can manage. But no, so far I haven't heard it yet.
If you pick one up, definitely let us know your thoughts.
Just wanted to post that I had a VERY good experience with Bruce Ball and questyle in general. I brought a used CMA800R. One of the screws on the top plate wasn't fitting correctly and looked out of place. Amp was working fine. I contacted questyle initially to get a replacement screw and they decided to replace the whole unit for me for free. I should be getting the unit today. Great customer service in my book!
That's great to hear. I've dealt with Questyle a lot but never with Bruce Ball (he's a relatively new add on). I seem to recall him being a top dog at Halcro so he's been around for a while and knows the biz. Glad they went out of their way to help you out. That says good things about their service and even has a theoretical impact on resale value.