We might not be able to meet people but we’ve had quite a few conversations via phone and email. The flow of products in and out of the place has trickled on, which is gratifying. This could stop us looking for hand-outs for being closed.

The intended high end deliveries to customers this week have had to be put off but we hope to get these done as soon as things get back to some version of normal. More positively, the comparative sense of peace is allowing us to audition various new toys.

PLiXiR is a new brand that has just entered our pages. They offer a range of power supplies that can be used with some Melco (and other) units and, mainly for this reason, it is being distributed in the UK by ADMM, Melco’s UK distribution company.

These were first shown at the Bristol HiFi show and we now have some demo units.

There are three models that are relevant to Melco users. Outputs are rated at 2 and 4 amps, with the lower output unit being ideal for the Melco S100 switch, D100 external disc ripper and E100 add-on store.

The more useful one is probably the 4A, which has two outputs and adding this to the N100 server / player brings massive dividends.

A couple of weeks ago, we ran N100 as a server for the Naim ND555 running through a full 552 / NAP 500 x 3 active system with Kudos Titan 808s.  The basic unit sounds good but, my word, the difference the power supply brings is dramatic. Having just got some new glasses, I can say it’s an audio equivalent of simply seeing everything better. More 3D, far greater spirit, way more musical. The spare 4A channel can be put to good use with a ripper, a store or a switch.

Oh yes, the switch. We’ve wrestled a little with this. Here, have a fairly high end HP switch running straight from the router for all the office equipment. This in turn feeds the very popular Cisco 2960 switch that feeds the music network.

Despite the reasonably high end switching, inserting the Melco S100 into this environment brought things forward a fair way. Discernibly less ‘hash’ more air, greater scale. The usual story.

Changing the power feed over to the PLiXiR, however, was a proper ‘biggie’. What had gone before was grey and constrained. This was dynamic technicolor! Simply plugging the standard rather basic switch mode supplies that feed the switch and N100 into an adjacent socket instantly reintroduced this greyness, so a sizeable part of this is removing what is being fed back onto the mains by the basic supply.

Another listen with a new Accuphase 480 integrated amplifier brought another perspective. Using the rather excellent internal DAC module, we hooked up the bare N100 and ran through Dynaudio Confidence 30 floor-standers. Pretty good too. Playing Buena Vista Social club, a nice natural recording, it was very pleasant good depth, great detail retrieval. We tried the 2A PLiXiR and, right from the first bar it was better. Way more colour, far more interesting . . .  but the bass seemed spongy. Playing more bass heavy stuff showed real limitations. Gradually, the top end felt tediously smooth and rounded off. Are these speakers over run-in? 🙂

Accuphase E-380

We put the more correctly rated 4A supply on and everything made sense. Proper bass grip and tunefulness. Sparkle, air, spirit. Really impressive.

Melco have had the bright idea that dealers should encourage potential buyers to try units at home while they have time on their hands. We are more than happy to involve ourselves in this and would like to add a similar arrangement with PiXiR. Unless you hear these things, you will never know.

We have also ordered a PLiXiR with correct outputs for the Chord Hugo TT2 and M Scaler.

It’s probable that the direct gains through these devices, particularly the TT2 will be negligible. The indirect gains of taking away these horrible ‘wall wart’ switch mode devices? Well, let’s see.

This weekend’s lockdown homework will be playing with Accuphase on home turf. Mike at Naim told me off for using something as low rent as Uniti Nova. This change is not quite what he had in mind 🙂

Since taking on Accuphase at the end of 2019, we’ve had a modicum of success in selling it. Key aspects that we’ve established are that (1) people always want to know what the other models are like and (2) that they take an age to run in with a bumpy journey of change in the process that seems to make Naim look normal!

Stunning stuff, though.

With limited space, some Naim kit there already and too many dogs, Andy is playing with Chord Hugo / 2Go.

More reports to follow.