Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

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Red Chris
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Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by Red Chris » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:26 pm

I intended to write a short story of my first visit to Cymbiosis last week - but it is going to be longer than I thought it would be so I will just do part now.

I arrived at Brook Park much later than I had intended. It was mostly my fault but with some help from the traffic on the M1. I strongly advise anyone traveling to Cymbiosis for the first time to read the hugely helpful notes and directions on the website and not necessarily rely on your Sat Nav - the built in one in my wife’s car didn’t work well. Despite me being late I received a very warm welcome and a nice cup of tea - and we had a good catch up with music playing in the background to relax and get familiar with the room.

Peter let me choose the direction and detail of the demo and the music and kit that I listened to. He knew that I had been pondering a possible change of interconnect from my Urika to preamp, and had already heard what a Karmen could do. These were strong possibilities if I chose to upgrade. I was going to be getting a new outer platter mat and belt for my LP12 so I was not going to be returning home empty handed but I was also looking to guage the direction of where to go next.

However, I was also conscious that my Lyra Kleos had reached the stage when a replacement should be considered. My system had changed quite significantly since I got the Kleos but at that time I had listened to the usual suspects from Lyra Delos up to DV XV-1s including the Akiva - this was a little before the Linn Kandid was released though. I had listened to and loved the Kandid on numerous occasions since and in my head it was my next cartridge - I described my cartridge replacement savings as my Kandid Fund.

I was looking forward to listening to the Kandid again, but also wanted to take the opportunity to hear the Krystal as well - so at least I would be able to express an informed view about it if anyone asked. My expectation though was that I would go for the Kandid when the Kleos needed replacing, but not quite yet. A Chord Sarum Super ARAY or perhaps Super Lumina phono to DIN interconnect might be an interim step though but not a new cartridge just yet.

Firstly we listened to my Kleos in my Aro arm tube on Peter's LP12 Radikal Keel/a Urika using my standard Aro counterweight for consistency, rather than my sKale, into a system that was essentially similar to mine - and it sounded really good. Peter did not know the Fink album Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet that we were listening to so had no reference to work to, but I commented that it was a very familiar sound and feel to being at home. So all good. :smt023

The next step was to swap Aro arm tops to try a Lyra Delos as a benchmark - a cartridge I like, although on a head to head I would favour a DV XX2 MkII. This was to put it into the price context of the Krystal but also to see how my Kleos was performing relative to it. I was expecting my Kleos to be better as it had just given a convincing performance - and we would then be looking at a Kleos v Krystal shoot-out.

I was wrong. The Delos was, disappointingly to me, rather better than my, obviously now, tired Kleos.

We had played all the way through the track and the decision was more obvious as you listened longer. It was not so dramatic that it made it sound broken but it showed that the Kleos' performance was - let's say - suboptimal. The following day I reflected that I had been listening to my Naim CDS3 more in recent weeks and had started a CDS3 appreciation thread and I wondered whether this was a symptom of the Kleos losing a little of its sparkle.

Anyway, having had my mindset adjusted to think the cartridge change would be needed sooner rather than later I was thinking something like - Hmmmm I doubt Peter will have a Kandid sitting in stock, so what is the current waiting time?

I wanted to hear the Krystal next to judge it against the Delos. I knew that I much preferred a new Kleos to a new Delos and that the Kandid was better than the Kleos. My pre-conception :smt018 was that the Krystal was going to be a little better than the Delos, but it would not be anywhere near a fully functioning Kleos and the Kandid would be out of sight.

The arm top was duly swapped and we started to listened again. Now this time it was a much quicker and easier decision - the Krystal was giving so much more. The Krystal was clearly a cracking little cartridge - musical and natural. It is actually quite reminiscent of the Troika but with an added sophistication and panache. So the preconception was not quite correct - the Krystal is much much better than Delos

I was trying to recall whether the Kleos ever sounded this good - but my Kleos was already over two years old before I heard it with a similar system so it was not really a fair comparison. However, I was pondering whether a cartridge in the Kleos / TKR price band would now be competitive and cost effective anyway as the Krystal was so competent and considerably less expensive. I knew though from previous experience that the Kandid is better than the Kleos.

I was very impressed by the Krystal and I was now really looking forward to hearing the Kandid - bring it on 8)

To be continued ..........
Currently Cymbiosis LP12 Woodsong Wenge, Klimax Radikal/Chord Sarum T, Keel/A, Khan, Tranquility, Urika/Chord SSA, Aro, sKale, Lyra Kleos SL - Sondek owner since 1982 - the rest is Naim, Chord and Kudos 8)

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evil_C
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by evil_C » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:56 am

I'm gripped, waiting for the next instalment! That's a great write up, Chris, particularly as I hope to be getting a Krystal when Peter gets his new stock of Keel/A next month.

I'm not looking forward to reading what you thought of the Kandid though as that may dampen my enthusiasm for the Krystal :? If you did then try a Chord SSTA vs. Linn silvers in the demo, I'd be keen to read what you thought of that though.

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Red Chris
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by Red Chris » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:02 am

A photographic interlude ......... Krystal tethered but soon to be unleashed :D

Image
Currently Cymbiosis LP12 Woodsong Wenge, Klimax Radikal/Chord Sarum T, Keel/A, Khan, Tranquility, Urika/Chord SSA, Aro, sKale, Lyra Kleos SL - Sondek owner since 1982 - the rest is Naim, Chord and Kudos 8)

Wenge1
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by Wenge1 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:38 pm

.

Nice write up Chris and very reminiscent of my own Krystal demo. Of course I have a little prior knowledge of what comes next but I promise not to spoil the suspense for the other folks ... :smt023

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Harban 'Wenge' Cymbiosis Signature LP12, Klimax Radikal / Urika, Karmen, Tranquility, Rubikon, Ekos SE, Skale, Krystal. Sarum Super Array IC's. Chord Signature speaker cable

dCS Puccini CD Player

KK/1(D), Klimax Twin (D), ProAc Response D2's
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Coyote Jim
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by Coyote Jim » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:23 pm

Wenge1 wrote:.

Nice write up Chris and very reminiscent of my own Krystal demo. Of course I have a little prior knowledge of what comes next but I promise not to spoil the suspense for the other folks ... :smt023

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Likewise as a member of that special club " I'll have to start a thread where we all disclose our special number " I'll get my coat. :oops:
Chris that's a great write up it even makes my posts look short. :wink:
Have you ever fancied a career in journalism. :smt017
It certainly digs out that gut feeling from memory well done. 8) :smt023
"Cymbiosis"
Analogue Klimax LP12, Linn CD, Analogue Linn Amp, Kudos Speakers. 8) :smt023
Coyote Jim :wink:

Wenge1
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by Wenge1 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:29 pm

Coyote Jim wrote:
Wenge1 wrote:.

Nice write up Chris and very reminiscent of my own Krystal demo. Of course I have a little prior knowledge of what comes next but I promise not to spoil the suspense for the other folks ... :smt023

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Likewise as a member of that special club " I'll have to start a thread where we all disclose our special number " I'll get my coat. :oops:
Chris that's a great write up it even makes my posts look short. :wink:
Have you ever fancied a career in journalism. :smt017
It certainly digs out that gut feeling from memory well done. 8) :smt023
.

From what I remember Chris is involved in some sort of lawyering so that post will be well short of some of the paperwork he deals with normally LOL ... :smt037
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Harban 'Wenge' Cymbiosis Signature LP12, Klimax Radikal / Urika, Karmen, Tranquility, Rubikon, Ekos SE, Skale, Krystal. Sarum Super Array IC's. Chord Signature speaker cable

dCS Puccini CD Player

KK/1(D), Klimax Twin (D), ProAc Response D2's
.

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Red Chris
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by Red Chris » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:07 pm

Thanks guys. I'll work on the conclusion shortly :smt023
Currently Cymbiosis LP12 Woodsong Wenge, Klimax Radikal/Chord Sarum T, Keel/A, Khan, Tranquility, Urika/Chord SSA, Aro, sKale, Lyra Kleos SL - Sondek owner since 1982 - the rest is Naim, Chord and Kudos 8)

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Coyote Jim
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by Coyote Jim » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:22 pm

Red Chris wrote:Thanks guys. I'll work on the conclusion shortly :smt023
image.jpeg
[SHOW]
Just joking :smt005
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"Cymbiosis"
Analogue Klimax LP12, Linn CD, Analogue Linn Amp, Kudos Speakers. 8) :smt023
Coyote Jim :wink:

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Red Chris
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by Red Chris » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:04 pm

So to continue ........

At this point it made sense to discount the other option that I had been musing about. I've always felt that the Akurate Radikal looked a little incongruous with the rest of my Naim gear and I've admired the look of the Klimax casing - particularly in black. However, the conventional wisdom was that the casing makes no difference and that it would be better to get a Powerline for the Akurate or better still a Sarum Super ARAY power chord - but next up was a Klimax Radikal.

Now I’m going to really struggle to do this justice but it was one of those instantaneous jaw-dropping moments - I literally felt my jaw drop and turned to Peter completely incredulous. I think I then just started smiling inanely and enjoyed listening to the music. There was a palpable sense of a performance in the room that was amazing. What the Klimax Radikal did for the musical enjoyment was simply stunning.

Sometimes when I have been listened to the relative performances of kit I have not really appreciated much difference on the way up, but have found it easier to notice the lesser performance when it’s changed back and we are listening on the way down. That was certainly not the case here - the Klimax effect was far from subtle - a definite WOW or, more accurately, a WTF moment

Next Peter changed the power supply from the Klimax Radikal back to the Akurate Radikal but he also swapped the arm top again - this time to go from Krystal to Kandid. This was going to be interesting.

The Kandid is a great cartridge - but this combination was immediately obvious as simply less good. The difference that the better cartridge brought was nowhere near sufficient to make up for the loss of the Klimax Radikal gave. There was more detail with the Kandid than the Krystal, but what the Klimax brought was much more fundamental to the enjoyment of the music, the sense of performance and simply being in the room with the band.

The Akurate Radikal / Kandid was of course still very good indeed - but there was a significant drop in my enjoyment. I was genuinely very surprised that the difference was as obvious and fundamental. However, we had not actually compared the Krystal to the Kandid directly and I still wanted to do that.

Rather than swap the Aro back to the Krystal using the Akurate Radikal, Peter indicated that he was going to switch back to the Klimax Radikal to demo it with the Kandid first. From the first note - and probably even from the silence that preceded it, we were instantly we were back in the room with the band. The fundamental improvement was back but we also had the benefit of the Kandid - and it was an absolutely brilliant performance.

It was so good that at that point I was a bit scared for the Krystal being put up against it as we were about to swap back, but yet again my expectation was confounded.

Yes of course the Krystal it is not a Kandid but the quality drop was not as large as I had feared and certainly not as fundamental from my perspective as the drop from Klimax/Krystal to Akurate/Kandid. Not really a change in hierarchy but more a reinforcement of the importance of the power supply before the cartridge - but still a bit of a surprise that it wasso clear to hear.

I already new that I needed a new cartridge. I knew now that I was not going to get a Kandid or a new Kleos unless it came with a Klimax Radikal as well - and economics came into play. So in view of its quality it was going to be the Krystal - and in view of Linn's Krystal promotion offer it would have been rude not to go for a new Radikal too 8)
Currently Cymbiosis LP12 Woodsong Wenge, Klimax Radikal/Chord Sarum T, Keel/A, Khan, Tranquility, Urika/Chord SSA, Aro, sKale, Lyra Kleos SL - Sondek owner since 1982 - the rest is Naim, Chord and Kudos 8)

The Flatearther
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Re: Krystal Kandid and beyond .......

Post by The Flatearther » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:00 am

Good write write up Chris but you haven't said if you bought an Akurate or Klimax Radikal. Very interested to know.
Steve.
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