These were my findings from a posting in this thread way back in April 2017:
Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:13 pm
*** Warning: Long Posting ***
My findings so far on the Tranquility after a home dem and then a week’s elapse before a home loan over the long Easter weekend.
On my home dem my dealer came and after a listening session of mainly The Beatles (Abbey Road), John Martyn (Church With One Bell) and Neil Young (Harvest) and a slight adjustment to the tracking weight I felt the system sounded excellent and I think my dealer was happy as well. So, we fitted the Tranquility and sat back. It was obvious straight away that it was different with a lot clearer separation of instruments and the vocals were a real joy and upfront in the presentation. It was good, in fact very good and presented a more ‘warmer’ almost valve like sound (I had recently been listening to a valve system elsewhere). The base was tighter although I was not sure if it was too dry and maybe lost something but the cymbals and their decay was stunning. In summary, I said it was certainly different and I sought of like it!
When we switched back I was instantly hit by a different sound stage that whilst not as clear and positioned perhaps it was full of swing, boogie, that feeling of a live band with a full base. A few A-Bs and I came to the view that both are excellent and I said that I would have to live with the Tranquility before I knew whether I wanted to give up my existing sound… typical me! I also wanted to hear some full on live rock recordings and some deep reggae as well as some gentle female vocals, Jazz 50’s/60’s LPs and some orchestral music.
A telling observation was from my wife who had been remotely listening to us all afternoon and came in for a blind A-B test for which she felt she preferred The Beatles with the Tranquility as it had more about it, was more harmonic with a fuller sound and that she preferred the vocal of John and Paul. But she preferred John Martyn without is as it sounded more like John (we have seen him many a time) and had that real live sound. Then she said ”…well, it all depends what you are looking for in your system”. I felt that expressed it all very well!
Anyway, the Tranquility went back with my dealer but there was a sound still resonating in me that I liked and wanted to explore sooner rather than latter. So, I borrowed if for the long Easter weekend. I spent Thursday evening, Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday listening to it without an A-B at all with the intention to live with it to get its sound and feel before seeing if I missed it when I took it off.
I played a range of my LPs from Hendrix (boy his guitar on Little Wing then Red House – Hendrix In The West, was just so there man!), Neil Young (acoustic and full on with Crazy Horse), Tom Petty, Kevin Ayers, Bob Marley, U-Roy, Steel Pulse, Third World, The Beatles, Moody Blues, John Martyn, Carol King, James Taylor, Joan Armatrading & Pam Nestor, Youngbloods, Ben Webster, Louis Armstong, Hank Mobley, Dylan, Steve Winwood, Traffic, Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, Cpt. Beefheart, Free, The Who etc. etc, (guess what era I come from!)
I loved it all apart from one Steve Winwood LP (Arc Of A Diver) which really puzzled me. But my wife observed that whilst you could hear all the instruments and it was like Steve was in the room with us (we have also seen Steve many times) it was all very well positioned but it missed a certain rhythm and flow. I thought, I wonder if this is because Steve plays most of the instrumental and mixed them together and as a result it lost that band together sound?
After an enjoyable 3 days and some great music with the Tranquility, I reverted back during listening to some Tom Petty (Damn The Torpedoes and Wild Flowers) and guess what… without it the system still sounded wonderful. It missed some of the details, positioning, clarity and vocals tended to be set back but that live swing, groove and presence was there in spades!
So, I intend to listen tonight and tomorrow without it and then refit for one last session on Monday afternoon/evening before returning it on Tuesday.
What I can say is that it is a really good product, I like it and it certainly gives a great insight into the music. But my existing system still sounds mighty fine without and just flows along with that real live sound/vibe that I have been building over the decades.
I am now listening without it to Neil Young’s Time Fades Away which sounded absolutely stunning with the Tranquility in a way that made me think this is the killer track and that I would buy it! But then without it it still sounds superb and may just have it in terms of excitement (get up and play that air guitar with Neil and the band!). Another example is prior to this I played The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Past which I have not heard for years (maybe 10’s of years) and it sounded great with the Tranquility and flowed nicely esp. the orchestral bits but now without the Tranquility it just moves rhythmically along and everything is together as the story beautifully unfolds with emotion.
So, my plan is to have one of my regular services and checks on my deck and then live with it a bit longer before I borrow the Tranquility again as it certainly has something, if not everything, that touched my soul!
But Neil’s’ – Last Dance is sounding mighty fine right now without it as did Borrowed Tune from Tonight’s The Night.
p.s. As I said… typical me!
Since then I never went back to trying it again and never really thought about it but maybe, who knows!....
"When the music's over, Turn out the lights"