After in hiatus for last 6-7yrs, this covid thing brought that darn itch back in me. To cut story short, after amp searching for past 6 months or so, decided to stay with FMA..
Amongst others in/around the price range considered were Mephisto Solo, Boulder 3060, Pilium Hercules, Audionet Heisenberg and CH M10. All renowned great amps, more of personal taste.
The 711mkII which was the base of comparisons, was then loaned to me by my good dealer for 3 long months whilst awaiting new 711MKIII ordered.
And now I know..
711 MkII vs MKIII is not merely designation sake bestowed upon their newer model.
Although more of the same (agree with most of the descriptives in a review of the 711 MKII+268C in some hifi mag few years back), there’s real and serious improvements—almost sounded like a different amp, dare I say, in a different league.
My system sounded like a subwoofer or two been added to it, deeper, weightier more controlled bass.. I hear better subsonics, as well as recorded ambiance because of this major (to me) improvement.
Older recordings such as Dean Martin, Elvis, Nina Simone etc that at times hard to listen to, came through with such lifelike presence, sense of vigor/density, analog like ease, and emotion.. Did I say ‘emotion’??—hell yeah Elvis is in the house! These results I suspect are culmination of the aforementioned (bass) quality improvement, plus lower noise floor and also significant uptick in resolution..
So for now, no giant nor multiple boxes for me, this tiny stereo thingy earned quite a rather special place in my heart..
Did peaked my curiosity as to what magic potion was sprinkled in there that made such difference, but FMA anticipated that well, to avoid prying eyes and hands, ‘one’ of the top 8 screws is unique enough that I cannot get a pass through it (yet) at the moment.