Precision in Sound - page 4

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make your life a lot easier in case of acoustic prob-
lems. Included are room correction filters, near-
field and cinema screen correction settings as well
as input trim switches, which adapt two-channel
and multi-channel configurations in the range of a
tenth of a decibel. Also worth mentioning is the
clear and self-explaining control panel layout. Ex-
cellent – this will save you some time as there’s no
need to peruse the owner’s manual.
Sonic Encounter
Please imagine this scenario: An enthusiastic fan
of dedicated high-end gear and tube amplification
is confronted with the perfectly linear Manger
transducer. Which new experiences will he go
through? This was my starting point when I ap-
proached the Reference Active MSMs1. I remem-
bered a remark by my chief editor: „You are
hooked on the so-called ‘hot-blooded kiss of the
midrange’, aren’t you?”, he said. „Plus a smooth
and silky touch throughout the treble range”, I
added. Well, back to reality. The first test set-up
consisted of a Restek EPOS CD player directly
connected to the MSMs1 via XLR. This resulted
in a very pristine reproduction of music, as ex-
pected. It soon became clear that this special loud-
speaker would call for special efforts. As an audio
critic there are „two souls dwelling in my breast”.
One belongs to the straightforward and objective-
ly analyzing technical writer. The second one is the
self-confessed wine-loving high-end gear enthusi-
ast with a strong inclination to tube sounds. The
roots of the latter are easily explained: I belong to
the generation which grew up with the sound of
tube radios and was fascinated by the „magic eye”.
So it comes as no surprise that this typical sound
is an important part of my listening experience. In
addition as a longtime band member the sounds of
tube amps like VOX AC30s have left their marks.
On the other hand I greatly enjoy the pureness
and clear soundscapes of modern High Fidelity.
According to Daniela Manger the typical MSMs1
customer is involved in live concerts, either active-
ly or passively. People who are accustomed to the
direct, technically unadulterated sound of instru-
ments – in other words music fans who love live
events. Just like me.
The Audition
As I mentioned before, the starting test set-up was
based on the Restek EPOS which I’m using as ref-
erence for more than two years now. This CD
player reproduces music in a straightforward and
unvarnished fashion without altering the quality of
the original recording. Nothing more, nothing less.
The EPOS with its internal volume control and
the two MSMs1 complemented each other per-
fectly and formed a very minimalistic 2-channel
stereo system. The cabling consisted of Sommer
“Excelsior” XLR signal cables (2 x 4 m) and a
HMS power cable. That’s all you need to listen to
music. Except for the media, of course ...
I started with the Manger CD which by now has
become one of the most renowned presentation
CDs worldwide. Track 1 named „Volles Geläut“ –
I shook my head in disbelief and noted on my
scratch pad: “Oh boy, that’s unbelievably good!”.
The backside of the MSMs1 offers many
options for individual adjustments
1,2,3 5,6,7
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