Test: behold PSD192M im HVT Dezember 2006 von Bert Oling
De jonge Duitse fabrikant Behold heeft haar sporen verdiend in de wereld van de datacommunicatie. Maar men heeft, niet zo gek, wat met muziek. Vanuit die digitale invalshoek hebben de mensen van Behold bij muziekweergave ook naar nieuwe oplossingen gezocht. Daarbij schuwt men niet de implementatie van digitale technieken: zie hun website voor een bijna complete modulaire digitale weergaveketen.
Download des Auszuges HVT Dezember 2006 (Holländisch)
Auszug aus dem Kurzbericht:
In erster Linie bot die HIGH END natürlich den perfekten Klang.
Beispielsweise bei behold unter dem Motto "true digital audio" mit dem ersten hochauflösenden und volldigitalen Audiokonzept mit 768 kHz
Taktung. Dieses Konzept geht so weit, dass sogar das analoge Signal der Schallplatte direkt auf dem Headshell des Tonabnehmers digital gewandelt wird.
Damit auch HiFi-Gourmets mit vorhandenem Plattenspieler und ohne behold-Anlage in den Genuss der perfekten Vorverstärkung und Frequenzgangentzerrung
kommen, bietet behold nun auch eine separate digitale Phonoentzerrervorstufe mit genauso hoher Taktfrequenz an, wodurch die schwarzen Scheiben dank neuster
Digitaltechnik in bestmöglicher Qualität wiedergegeben werden.
Test: Copulare, behold APU768 und Sehring S 703 im HVT April 2006 von Paul Delissen
Download des Auszuges HVT April 2006 (Holländisch)
by Paul Delissen
Together with Rannel de Cock of the importer RA-Vision i was allowed to unpack a not so commmon (not for me anyway) set of equipment, to install that in our HVT listening room in Baarn and listen it. A set of which the electronics can not be called conventional, based on the many technical innovations that have been implemented, and the almost to the extreme use of digital signal processing. You have grown curious for the test? So please read more.
Than the Kruidvat(!) originated 3-cd Organ Spectacular comes into play. These are Dorian recordings, not just any record label as you may know. Jean Guillou plays the famous organ of St. Eustache in Paris. I play the piece "Récit de Tierce en taille" by Nicolas de Grigny. Some sort of peace and quiet falls over the room. With ambiance the whole acoustics of the church is replayed, almost automatically i close my eyes. The bass does not seam to go as deep as at home, but looking at the qualities of this set up to now, i begin to wonder whether mine is not too pronounced.
At first i give you a short summary of what was unpacked: from Copulare a twosome of heavy audio racks. From behold (no capital !) the APU768 modular pre-amplifier (with external power supply), the BPA768-484 stereo power amplifier and an AXIM bluetooth remote control. Together with the Sehring Audio S 703 SE loudspeakers. For the connection to the mains power, sturdy looking power components made by HMS. The Copulare elements are heavy, very heavy. Panels are filled with lead and sand, with spikes resting on a heavy frame, that can also be filled with lead and or sand. The electronics is heavy too, is stylish and clean looking, with a minimum of control elements. First we assembled the racks, then we unpacked the electronics from their flightcases, and last we aligned the speakers. The Marantz DV-7600 that was available for another test, was used as CD/DVD source, using its S/PDIF output. Now it was time for Rannel to connect the behold-components with cables as thin as shoe laces? After lifting the 45 kilogram amplifier out of its flightcase with two persons, the cables look a bit out of place. How to combine the heavy components, supersolid, with its front made out of thick massive aluminium, with this? A little bit of technical explanation is needed here.
A behold setup is unique as this brand is the only one in the world to process the music signal from beginning to the end digitally. From the CD-player or transport the signal is transported digitally to the preamp.
Here the ODI768 module receives the signal, it is processed and converted into 192kHz and after that into the 768kHz, 24 Bits signal, then transported by the SDO768 to the BPA power amplifier, where it is converted at the very last moment to the analogue signal needed to drive the loudspeaker. If you are in awe now, hmmm, we can understand. But it is clear a least that NO losses can occur in analogue cables, simply because there aren't any analogue connections present here. And that explains the thin cables, of high quality of course, but we don't need thick ships cables. Than the power amplifier itself. It is equipped with two separate switched mode power supplies, left and right, with a power conditioner and filtering. An ample two kilowatt is available and if you play Madonna's Confessions on a Dancefloor a bit louder, you can see it in the rhythm of your room lighting.
Than the remote control. Can I call it that ? Here we have a pocket-pc with touch-screen. Bluetooth makes sure we don't have to "aim" to get the equipment to do what we want. But that is not all. It is only ONE remote for the whole set, and all software for the equipment is always upgradeable from the internet and is configurable to all components. Right, in this case we don't control the CD-transport with it, but with the behold CD-drive present in the set, yes, right.
Allright, the pre-amplifier can be configured to your own wishes and matching the connected components, and the signal transport is fully digital. Than the finish, in nice English; stunning! The massive front plates, sides, the heavy volume knob, rotating on a bearing of a turntable (!) the blue display in its sleek aluminium housing... i really get the hots for this.
Than the loudspeakers. Sehring is, just like behold, a German manufacturer that brings something special to the market. For 15 years now, they produce in Berlin loudspeakers for studios. But now for instance, they make also modular loudspeakers that, just like the behold pre-amplifier, can be altered to your own wishes or needs. Here plays the S 703 speaker, a three way system. With somewhat different looks, slightly slanted backwards, without the top being made horizontal again. The top-casing appears to be sepearated from the bass module, however they are connected. The neat, matt finish in velvety soft Nextel may be not to everybodies taste, but gives it a sort of industrial look that fits beautifully with the heavy and sturdy behold components.
Because we have here a complete system from one importer, except for the Marantz, we can assume we have a unity playing here, that the brands are not blindly connected (deaf) to one another. That, as a matter of speech we have a good team playing together, and not just a collection of pinch hitters, if you know what I mean. The auditioning is valid for the whole set, whilst at the same time we can judge certain qualities from one component. Well now, how does this system sound?
We start with the CD Rain Tree Crow, a sort of revival from Japan when they allready ceased to exist, a very nice album. We just start with track one, Big Wheels In Shanty Town. The first thing that strikes, is that the sound is fully open and relaxed. And knowing that the whole system is literally still cold from the travel to Baarn, with outside temperatures that don't immediately make you think of "warm" sound. There is a spead and clarity like really nothing hinders the "path" of the signal. Do we right away hear the effect of the fully digital processing? Or better said, because of that we evidently hear more of the music? On tracks 3 and 4, Rain Tree Crow and Red Earth (As Summertime Ends) we establish the sound does not seam to be coming from the speaker, no it is completely free from it. The image is not really wide outside the speakers as concerns the stage width, but that can also be debit to the acoustic damping of our listening room.
From Talk Talk I play The Spirit of Eden, track 1; The Rainbow. The strange sounds are played in an extremely detailed way, and allthough i know this track well, i am startled with the guitar that starts to play ! Like the sounds really hypnothised me.
Followed next by the Burmester demo CD III, the Poem Of Chinese Drums, by Yim Hok-Man. The dynamics remain within the limits of the loudspeakers, i mean to say the speakers are not forced to push out something physically impossible. So also here, not a pompously fat bass, no it is bass with percussional rhythm, with speed and articulation. No swamping of drums here. The qualities of the loudspeakers play a big role here too.
As one of my ears is becoming plugged with an upcoming cold, i decide to end this listening session (to my regret). I do that with Lee Sankeys beautifully recorded album "Tell Me There's A Sun". Of this album I play the last track "Sometimes". A funky, nicely composed song. You simply must tap along with your feet here, it just simply swings. All is clear, a controlled definition without even resembling soft or dull. The volume just asks to be turned up a bit more !
To conclude I can say I have enjoyed this session. The unpacking and setting up was allready promising and I was not dissappointed. RA-Vision delivers products that on their own are extraordinary. The system that we installed here allows for us to hear that everything performs to its maximum. And allthough there will always be people that say you should not allow too much to happen in the digital domain; the behold approach (in this system anyway) appears to bear fruit. I did not hear anyting analogue, I did not hear anything digital. I have listened to something very musical. Isn't that what we all want ?
Normally i would list here the technical specifications. Concerning the behold equipment that is not simply done. The stereo power amplifier delivers you two times 600 Watt into 4 ohms, amply sufficient for any loudspeaker you may want to hook up. I would like to direct you to the behold website for a complete list of specifications: www.behold.eu.
From the Sehring S 703 SE loudspeakers the usual details:
||3-way Variovent QB3
|Frequency range (-3db):
||38 Hz - 33 kHz
|Recommended amplifier power:
||30 - 200 Watt.
Importer: RA-Vision, Hoogerheide (NB)
Other sites: www.behold.eu, www.sehring-audio.com, www.copulare.de.