Sunday, March 6, 2011

Listening to FM till 2 AM Pt I

Who would have thought that one day an FM Acoustics component would end up (not permanently, unfortunately) in my home sound system?

But as fate would have it, one of the world's finest preamps somehow became the proud link in my humble system.


The FM Acoustics 245 line stage.

The FM Acoustics FM 245 Line Stage is now the control centre of the system. The much-modded Rega Planar 3 with RB250 arm/Exact cartridge is linked to the Creek OBH-15 phonopreamp which is linked with MIT Shotgun MA interconnects to the FM 245. The second source is the Roksan Caspian CD player linked to the FM 245 with FM Acoustics interconnects. Later, I will link my laptop with audiophile Furutech USB cable to my Benchmark DAC1 Pre and play some hires files via the FM Acoustics preamp.

Linking the FM 245 Line Stage to the Bryston 4B SST are a pair of FM Acoustics XLR interconnects and the power amp is connected to ATC SCM40 floorstanders with MIT Shotgun MA biwire speaker cables.


The power cable of the FM 245 is not detachable and it has been plugged to a Furutech eTP-60 power distributor. A DIY power cord with Furutech plugs to the Bryston has been fitted with an MIT Magnum Z Trap while a Siltech SPX-20 Classic Anniversary power cord is connected to the CD player.


For the past few nights, I have been listening to the FM till around 2am.


What are my impressions of the FM Acoustics 245 Line Stage? I will write about my views in the next post.


In this post, I will write more about the component itself which I feel is truly revolutionary.


The FM Acoustics FM 245 Line Stage is unique as it accepts single-ended signals and converts them into true balanced and outputs them through true balanced connections. And the true balanced outputs have sensors that check the type of power amp/mono blocks they are connected to and find out if they are single-ended, pseudo balanced or true balanced and automatically adjust the output for optimal performance.

FM Acoustics is the only company in the world that does this.

From its website, "Attractively styled in full-width cabinetry it features the unique true balanced outputs of the FM 255 while the four inputs and the tape loop are single-ended - as on the FM 155.

"This combination is not 'wrong' as some might contend. The large majority of so-called 'balanced outputs' of various source equipment such as DACs, CD & DVD players, phono stages, etc. are not true balanced. This is why the unbalanced outputs of 95% of balanced units actually perform better than their balanced outputs.

"Therefore, it makes good sense to connect the sources to the FM 245 line stage in single-ended mode and then use FM Acoustics' unique balancing circuits for optimal balancing and drive capability."

The FM 245 uses proprietary enhanced Class A circuitry and fully discrete circuitry using special curve-tracer analysed and listening-selected semiconductors.

It has no hum, noise and interference and has tremendous reserves in input signal handling capability (+21dBv). All input and output impedances are perfectly linear over full frequency range. There is zero overall feed-back or feed-forward.


Its outputs can drive any type of load and cables more than 200 meters long.


Precision Balance and Level controls are used; there are no stepped attenuators, relay-type or inferior sounding optical or digital volume / balance controls.


The low-impedance power supply has built-in three-stage stabilisation with a mains transformer that uses a dual shield.


Discrete Class A tape send and return circuits guarantee superior recordings and optimal connection to auxiliary equipment like CD-R's, DVD-R's, tape machines etc.


Modular construction ensures that the FM 245 is upgradeable.


So, does it sound good? Suffice it to say now that the FM 245 line stage has made some subtle and some not-so-subtle changes to the sound. More about them in the next post...


Related posthttp://hi-fi-avenue.blogspot.com/2011/03/listening-to-fm-till-2-am-pt-ii.html

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