SE-P900

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SE-P900

Postby stchedro » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:43 pm

Really enjoying my SE-P900 quite an amazing device. For those of you who don't know it the SE-P900 is the ESRPIT sweep parametric eqaliser.

Currently I have set up DAS-R1a - TA-E900 - SE-P900 - TA-N902

I can honestly say that the signal chain benefits from its presence. Usually I would simply say that less components in the chain the better but this does something very special.

My feeling is that the ESPRIT input stages were made set up and tested on systems that had the P900 in them and it is how the stages interact. To my ears the D900 (the four way cross over always had a pretty negative impact). I think I am going to drag it out and see if driving with the P900 is the transformational step.

The slight darkness of the N902 (which can be tuned by the bias) totally disappears and the whole thing comes to life. The grain in the sound of the N900's also totally disappears - if you don't stack them on top of each other - the secondary cause being the power supplies talking to each other.

In fact the P900 is a game changer and catapults the line up into sounding what I always thought it should sound like. BTW it also makes the leads pretty much irrelevant sonically.
TA-E900, TA-E88, TA-E901, TA-N900, TA-N902, TA-N7, TA-D900, SE-P900, DAS-R1a, Sonus Faber GPII
Looking for a spare TA-N902 now and maybe some R1, R10 gear...one day.....
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Re: SE-P900

Postby Stoffie » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:53 pm

Cool to read, I've been hunting one of those for quite some time, but never had the right budget when one came up :(

One day...

So what's up with that ESPRIT meeting ? Is it ever going to happen ? :D
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Re: SE-P900

Postby stchedro » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:36 am

I was lucky it came up at not too silly a price in London (£550) so I just bought it out of curiosity as Axel had said the SE-P900 was so good.

I have to confess I doubted Axel: silly me. He is absolutely right it is a piece of sonic genius. The guy I bought it from had it from new and had the box and everything so it is a good piece and is in nice condition and is a good colour match for the my E900.

Yup I have a few things on at the moment but it is in my mind and I am gently trying to organize things so that when it does eventually happen we can hear the DAS-R1 against the DAS-R1a and a few other goodies. :)

I also need to find someone with a pair of decent multi ampable speakers who will bring them along. Then we can get the D900 setup.

If we are going to do the ESPRIT meeting we had better do it properly. :D

Of the original ESPRIT I have got everything except the N901 I have tracked down an E1/N1 combo which I would be interested to hear although I really yearn for the ER1/NR1-10 lineup.
TA-E900, TA-E88, TA-E901, TA-N900, TA-N902, TA-N7, TA-D900, SE-P900, DAS-R1a, Sonus Faber GPII
Looking for a spare TA-N902 now and maybe some R1, R10 gear...one day.....
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Re: SE-P900

Postby Gibraltar » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:14 pm

Man, wish I lived closer to you guys! Sounds like a great gathering in the works. I've never seen the Esprit components in the flesh. If you ever make over to Tokyo though, I have an ER1/NR1/G777ES setup that I'd be happy to demo for you :)

The R1s are on par with some of the best 'modern' systems I've heard, and in terms of looks and build are still way ahead of most! The speakers share the same amazing build quality (they weigh as much as the amps), but do show some coloration on certain female vocals. Aside from this though they're very nice performers, with a deep 3D sound stage rock solid bass. They're excellent for jazz. I swapped out a pair more expensive modern speakers when I got them and just can't bring myself to switch them back...just doesn't seem right to separate them from the amps :)
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Re: SE-P900

Postby Unda Maris » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:45 pm

Guys,

I have to confess, that I own one, but I never had it running because it is defective and I really don't like to find out, that the defect is in one of the blue modules (arggghhh) ...

From my personal experience, adding additional gear into a chain never improves transparency and detail, but can make it sound more pleasing, because of a change in balance of overall distortion.

IMO, crossovers are somehow an exception, because they influence a system in a much more complex way (Going active gives some huge advantages, but the crossover also adds its own negative signature and issues ...)

Running a system in active mode with a simplistic active crossover like the TA-D900 needs speakers, which are pre-equalized (time aligned and flattened out) already for each driver, otherwise one probably gets quite a rough tonal response. The APM-8 and SS-G9 would be such speakers and a few other speakers as well.

Marc, how do you use your SE-P900, I hope it doesn't run in a flat mode but does some EQ instead ... :D

Btw.: One of the few SE-P900 units I saw on eBay came from Sony Music Studios (Classical) in NYC and the seller pretended that it was used in their mastering facility.
So probably some very fine recordings were produced with the SE-P900 ...
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Re: SE-P900

Postby Unda Maris » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:57 pm

Gibraltar,

you are indeed a happy guy. I never seriously started to go into Sony speakers, but this was not due to snobism or negative experience, only the fear, that the aging of classic speakers is not an easy thing to handle, especially if the brand is Sony and you don't get any support (here in Europe).

I wish all Sony Hifi friends of the world could meet some day, probably we would fit into a single small room, but this is all about class instead of mass ...
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Re: SE-P900

Postby Stoffie » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:19 pm

Sounds good Marc! Would be awesome to actually do a Sony meeting with some true and tried Sony hifi lovers :) I'll be attending with a properly vintage car as well :P Mirko has a TA-N901 he could bring, if he can make it...

Mirko, hi! Glad you're still alive :D

Gibraltar: you have SS-G777ES ? :shock: I'm green with envy...if you ever do want to swap them out, let me know! They'd look great next to my SS-G333ES 8-)
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Re: SE-P900

Postby Axel » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:14 pm

this is all about class instead of mass ...

;)
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Re: SE-P900

Postby stchedro » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:27 am

Unda Maris wrote:Guys,

I have to confess, that I own one, but I never had it running because it is defective and I really don't like to find out, that the defect is in one of the blue modules (arggghhh) ...

From my personal experience, adding additional gear into a chain never improves transparency and detail, but can make it sound more pleasing, because of a change in balance of overall distortion.

IMO, crossovers are somehow an exception, because they influence a system in a much more complex way (Going active gives some huge advantages, but the crossover also adds its own negative signature and issues ...)

Running a system in active mode with a simplistic active crossover like the TA-D900 needs speakers, which are pre-equalized (time aligned and flattened out) already for each driver, otherwise one probably gets quite a rough tonal response. The APM-8 and SS-G9 would be such speakers and a few other speakers as well.

Marc, how do you use your SE-P900, I hope it doesn't run in a flat mode but does some EQ instead ... :D

Btw.: One of the few SE-P900 units I saw on eBay came from Sony Music Studios (Classical) in NYC and the seller pretended that it was used in their mastering facility.
So probably some very fine recordings were produced with the SE-P900 ...


THe D900 does use IC's for the output buffers so a failure may not be fatal but I would suggest replacing all of the IC's as they were definitely the weak link. I suspect the reason they didn't use the magic modules was simply space.

I totally agree with the time/phase issue that you raise on the speakers. Another issue to consider is time/phase on the amps if you are using different models even.

Indeed the SE-P900 isn't quite set to flat but not far off it.

The point I am making is that it does add focus to the soundstage in quite a surprising way. I was expecting the reverse when I plugged it in and it completely dispels the slight haze, often termed a bit of an 80's sound, that the ESPRIT is accused of. The biggest compliment I can pay it is that music sounds right and comes into focus at comfortable listening volumes.

And there may be a good reason for this. If the frequencies are divided and buffered separately, as they are in the SE-P900, there could actually be a reduction in the offset phase distortion caused say by low frequencies pumping and you will also not get harmonics all the way up (or down) as the critical frequency ranges of the modules are quite different.

So in conclusion what we are saying is that the ESPRIT power amp input modules were not in fact very frequency/load blind but did measure well on a swept frequency test. And the clue to that may be in the TA-E900 which may be why SONY used such a long chain of modules?
TA-E900, TA-E88, TA-E901, TA-N900, TA-N902, TA-N7, TA-D900, SE-P900, DAS-R1a, Sonus Faber GPII
Looking for a spare TA-N902 now and maybe some R1, R10 gear...one day.....
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