1110 & 1160

Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
890
268
63
Melbourne, Australia
#61
1160 arrived this morning...
Congrats naim! The 1160 is a great amp & I’m sure will bring you mega joy. The Boulder’s power, neutrality and input impedance means it will partner well with a wide variety of system configurations. And it is built to last a lifetime.
 
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Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
890
268
63
Melbourne, Australia
#62
You’re famous :cool: ..

99725AFB-AFE5-47C8-831A-0E396B0A833C.png
 

Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
890
268
63
Melbourne, Australia
#64
Boulder Amplifiers shared the post also. Lol, why not, see if you can squeeze a nice discount on the 1110! ;).
 
Likes: shakti

Hamburger

New Member
Nov 6, 2018
18
2
3
51
#65
HI Naim,
Congratulations on getting the 1160.
I notice you have the PMC speakers, great stuff.

What speaker cables do you use?
How does the PMC partner with the 1160?
Can the 1160 punch the PMC well? I am interested in knowing this aspect.
Does the 1160 create the holographic illusion well?

Thanks
 
Mar 6, 2019
30
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Italy
#66
Hi Hamburger,
yes, I have a pair of BB5i (now the SE series exists).
Honestly, I have never been a cable fanatic, at least until now... and at this time, between 1160 and PMC there is a Zavfino cable: https://www.zavfino1877.com/the-prima-speaker-cable
nothing super expensive, then I also have a Bryston cable that I have left over from the previous amplification, and lastly I have a Kimber 8TC that I rarely use.
Right now I have two options: connect the 1160 directly to the Bricasti in balanced, or connected to the pre Convergent in unbalanced mode. I can tell You that with the dac alone, with some recordings of not very high volume, I found myself playing close to the maximum (0 db on the display of the dac), BB5 are 91 db of efficiency but they are able to swallow several hundred watts without problems, and the Bricasti has a low gain to fully exploit the potential of the monitors. I believe that in the future, probably, I will replace the CAT with an 1110.
It is understood that with my pre (which has a very high gain), the power seems more than enough, also You keep in mind that I entered 1160 in my system on Friday afternoon and listened to it only a few hours, so my judgments are still unripe. But I can say that I like the way of playing a lot, and I feel I have taken a great step forward in many parameters, PMC was born above Bryston amplifiers, so I certainly didn't lack synergy, but the grain and the articulation, as well as the resolution and the way to turn the music, the most focused voices, are all improvements that I have already heard.
I still have to assess whether the live impact I got with the Bryston 7B's is equally noticeable with 1160, it may be that from this point of view the Canadian mono with their 900w on 4ohm had a little more strength ... sure with a Boulder 2160 I would have been more covered, but I trust that even 1160 has satisfying muscles with its 600watt peak on 4ohm.
About the holographic illusion, leave me a few more days of listening, the scene and the depth will already be excellent for me, the BB5 tweeters are located quite higher than the classic position (120 cm), and this helps a lot the height of the stage , I owned several pairs of ATC monitors in the past and the height of the scene was much more limited when compared to the BB5s.
To return to the question you seemed most interested in, the piloting of the PMCs by 1160 is promoted, however I will have a way of being more precise after the next plays.
I also have to wait for my neighbors who live above me to be away for a few hours to push the engines … :p

I hope my English is at least partly understandable ... I know it sucks :rolleyes:

Regards
Roberto
 

Hamburger

New Member
Nov 6, 2018
18
2
3
51
#67
Hi Naim,
Thank you for a long reply with details and trying your best in English. I appreciate and understand your points.

Interesting that you mentioned the Bryston 7B, because a friend who uses ATC speakers suggested that I try the 7BS3 (cube-series), but I would like to know how the Boulder 1160 compares to your pair of Bryston 7B.

I pray that your neighbors are away for a very long time so that you can push the engine and let me know...
;)
 
Mar 6, 2019
30
6
8
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Italy
#68
Hamburger, I don't know which speakers You need to amplify, the Bryston 7BSST2 has played at my home more than good since 2011 until last Thursday (and if audiophile were not capricious, I could have lived with it for as many years), I can only speak well, but Bryston it is very congenial to PMC, and it is natural that the combination is excellent (in reality I also use a pair of LS3/5a and one of LS5/9 and Bryston is also excellent with these).
The Cubed series will sound even better, so I'm sure they are very honest products. That being said, I expect a leap forward from 1160, and as I wrote to You in the previous post I am already appreciating a superior general quality, certainly the 7B's have the ability to push any speaker, with even more than good quality, it's not a casuality Bryston is so much used in important mastering studios.
 
Mar 6, 2019
30
6
8
56
Italy
#69
Before I do a damage:
can I connect a Kimber 8TC speaker cable to 1160 amp?
I know Kimber is a highly capacitive cable (346 pf/m) and for some amplifiers it can be a danger.
I have at home this speaker cable and out of curiosity I wanted to try like it play, but I don't know if it's suitable for Boulder, and I would not burn it...

I tried to ask also on the Facebook page of Boulder, but I don't know if they respond to technical info there.
 
Mar 6, 2019
30
6
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56
Italy
#70
After 12 days of pleasant listening and testing, the question appears: preamp yes or preamp no?
I'm listening alternately with both dac Bricasti M1SE directly to 1160, and with the Convergent SL1 Ultimate MKII preamp between the two. I don't find big differences between the two configurations, a little more depth and energy with the preamp, and a greater general silence and transparency with the dac alone.
If I added a Boulder 1110, can be the top solution? Or in your opinion the Bricasti directed to 1160 may not even need any preamplifier? (except in some rare cases of low level recordings in which the maximum volume almost seems to be insufficient).
I can imagine that an 1110 doesn't bring advantages proportionate to the important expense (in hi-end this is normal), but I would like to understand if anyway real advantages can be expected, even just for synergy given by the same brand.
 
Jul 22, 2010
397
20
18
SF Bay
#72
I think trying a true balanced preamp would be interesting. If your dealer can provide the Boulder 1110 pre that would answer most of your questions. An Ayre KX-5 is a lower cost true balanced preamp you could try. Your dac is well designed and may be just what you need.

The high input impedence of the 1160 lets it work well with both your dac direct and the SE preamp.
 
Mar 6, 2019
30
6
8
56
Italy
#73
Try the 1110 is a little complicated, dealer is several kilometers away, I think I will do the test later. In fact, with the Bricasti directed to the amplifier it already obtained a good result, if adding the 1100 I could not find improvements, it would be an expense of a certain weight made unnecessarily. Certainly seeing the neighboring Boulder pair would be a good feeling, but I would also like to have some sonic advantage :) ... In some forums that I attend, many people are of the opinion that, in my case, adding a preamp would not bring any advantage, but could also worsen the signal path ...
doubts remain :rolleyes:
 

Anatta

New Member
Apr 10, 2014
26
3
3
#74
If you listen only to digital sources I'd stay with the Bricasti DAC direct into the Boulder as it has a powerful enough output stage to drive it without problems (check the manual if you need to set a higher output level).

If you also have a phonostage and need a preamp I'd try some more affordable balanced European preamps like the T+A P3000HV (€11.5k in Germany) and the Burmester 088 (€17k in Germany) before getting set on the 1110 at the Italian €27.5k retail price.
 

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naim

Member
Mar 6, 2019
30
6
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Italy
#75
Hi Anatta, I own a Rega P9, although I use it very little. I do however have a Convergent preamp with phono for those times when I wanted to listen to vinyl (apart from the annoyance of changing the connection behind 1160). The list price in Italy of 1110 is what you wrote, but here they make a decent discount: by exchanging my well-preserved Convergent SL1 Ult. MKII, the difference to be paid is around € 15k. What was most interesting to me is the sound quality: in your opinion (assuming only digital listening), using a preamp I would have no improvement over using Bricasti alone, right?
 

Anatta

New Member
Apr 10, 2014
26
3
3
#76
It depends on what you are after. A preamp can add some distortion that can be subjectively pleasing, while driving the amp direct will always be more transparent to the recording.

I'd say, if you value transparency, if you like the sound of your DAC and if you can have a proper gain staging between the DAC and amp so as not to use a lot of digital attenuation at your listening volume, stay without a preamp.

You might as well try a different DAC with volume control like the dCS stuff.
 

naim

Member
Mar 6, 2019
30
6
8
56
Italy
#77
You might as well try a different DAC with volume control like the dCS stuff
The Bricasti M1SE has about 9 months of life, I would like to keep it a little longer :)


if you can have a proper gain staging between the DAC and amp so as not to use a lot of digital attenuation at your listening volume, stay without a preamp.
The digital attenuation is not too much, in fact with some recordings, if I want to listen at high volume, I approach 0dB, which is the maximum of the dac.

A preamp can add some distortion that can be subjectively pleasing, while driving the amp direct will always be more transparent to the recording.
This is a real dilemma...



I read something about T+A P3000 You were talking about: interesting features Tone Control Settings - Room Correction.
But I just took the way to Boulder, immediately derailed elsewhere... :cool:
 

Anatta

New Member
Apr 10, 2014
26
3
3
#78
The digital attenuation is not too much, in fact with some recordings, if I want to listen at high volume, I approach 0dB, which is the maximum of the dac.
The Bricasti has trim pots on the back to raise or lower the output voltage on the XLR outputs between 8dBm (1.95V) and 23dBm (10.95V), which you can use if you find you can't reach your desired SPL (see the Analog Output Sections at p.3 in the manual).

Bear in mind that the 1160 has a gain of 26 dB so it only needs 2.45V to output 300W@8Ohm; if you send to it a higher voltage it will clip and you don't want that.
 

naim

Member
Mar 6, 2019
30
6
8
56
Italy
#79
Bear in mind that the 1160 has a gain of 26 dB so it only needs 2.45V to output 300W@8Ohm; if you send to it a higher voltage it will clip and you don't want that.
So, in my case, it is better to leave the factory values; from Bricasti they wrote me this: '' We set the M1 at 3.5V or + 13.5db as default from the factory ''

Sometimes, with low recordings, may be that 300 watts are at the limit to fully pilot my BB5i, they have a great ability to play at high volume without going into trouble. Fortunately, my PMCs are 4ohm, and 1160 is 600W Peak Power on 4ohm, I hope this helps.
 

Anatta

New Member
Apr 10, 2014
26
3
3
#80
Actually I'd set the max output on the Bricasti at 10dBm or 2.45V to make sure the 1160 wont clip or even at the minimum allowed of 8dBm to have 2dB headroom left on the 1160.

You just have to see if you can get the SPL you want especially with audiophile recordings that have a lower RMS level.
 

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