Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby Lewisranchmike » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:56 pm

mreeter wrote:
Dorian wrote:Thanks Harry. I do have the arm up a touch at the rear; had it there for the MIMC and actually brought it down a little for the Nova but its still above parallel. Precise alignment was achieved using a SMARTractor and Adjust+ for azimuth+.

Both you and Jonathanb recommended to adjust the loading. I had been running the Herron unloaded, per Keith Herron's advice. But today I first tried 500 ohms and then 1000. Made a significant improvement to the sound, especially the 1000. Really opened it up, without losing the warmth and smoothness of the bass and midrange. Definitely no etch or harshness at all. Really sounds great now! I borrowed this Nova from Jonathan but I may have to convince him to sell it to me, as the more I listen the more I like it!


After reading HW's recommendations and your results, I've loaded my Nova to 1000 ohms...OMG :shock: , the improvements are amazing to say the least.

Thankful for the information, advice and people of this Forum :)

I initially started at 500ohm and made move to 1000ohm. +1

Mike in Austin
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby JimmyL » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:58 pm

Lewisranchmike wrote:
mreeter wrote:
Dorian wrote:Thanks Harry. I do have the arm up a touch at the rear; had it there for the MIMC and actually brought it down a little for the Nova but its still above parallel. Precise alignment was achieved using a SMARTractor and Adjust+ for azimuth+.

Both you and Jonathanb recommended to adjust the loading. I had been running the Herron unloaded, per Keith Herron's advice. But today I first tried 500 ohms and then 1000. Made a significant improvement to the sound, especially the 1000. Really opened it up, without losing the warmth and smoothness of the bass and midrange. Definitely no etch or harshness at all. Really sounds great now! I borrowed this Nova from Jonathan but I may have to convince him to sell it to me, as the more I listen the more I like it!


After reading HW's recommendations and your results, I've loaded my Nova to 1000 ohms...OMG :shock: , the improvements are amazing to say the least.

Thankful for the information, advice and people of this Forum :)

I initially started at 500ohm and made move to 1000ohm. +1

Mike in Austin


I'm having my Phono-pre upgraded tomorrow with 1K resistors so I can get to 1k ohms from 600. Interested to hear the difference.... can't get a side-by-side but..
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby JimmyL » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:10 pm

I’ll give the 1k ohms a +1 also. The bump from 600 to 1000 wasn’t huge but it did open up. Will give it a good test tonight with a variety of albums.
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby mreeter » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:10 am

JimmyL wrote:I’ll give the 1k ohms a +1 also. The bump from 600 to 1000 wasn’t huge but it did open up. Will give it a good test tonight with a variety of albums.


Thats good to hear, makes your efforts worthwhile!
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby Golear » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:42 pm

Once you get a good handle on the sound, you might want to try different brands of resistors. I love Roederstein resistors.
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby JimmyL » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:38 am

Golear wrote:Once you get a good handle on the sound, you might want to try different brands of resistors. I love Roederstein resistors.


I have some Audio Note tantalum resistors on order. Supposed to be a good upgrade...
Did you hear much of a difference between resistors? I thought the cost was pretty light and I like to keep with best quality I can afford but really don’t expect much that notable....?
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby Golear » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:33 am

I remember my Roederstein resistors costing a crazy price of 7 cents each.

As for the difference... I suppose it's all relative. I thought there was an improvement. It did not transform my entire system. But there was a definite improvement at the preamp layer - less "noise" and a much more neutral sound. Not a huge change, in and of itself, but a small one in the right direction and this helped assess other changes. I did not want to go back to the original resistors.

Mods like this are not always a success, of course. I remember changing the stock WIMA caps for (expensive) MIT caps in my power amps. I did not like this mod. It made the sound more "midrangy" and there seemed to be a slight loss in deep bass. I could now understand the reason to go with WIMA caps.

Good luck and do let us know what happened.
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby JimmyL » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:02 pm

Golear wrote:I remember my Roederstein resistors costing a crazy price of 7 cents each.

As for the difference... I suppose it's all relative. I thought there was an improvement. It did not transform my entire system. But there was a definite improvement at the preamp layer - less "noise" and a much more neutral sound. Not a huge change, in and of itself, but a small one in the right direction and this helped assess other changes. I did not want to go back to the original resistors.

Mods like this are not always a success, of course. I remember changing the stock WIMA caps for (expensive) MIT caps in my power amps. I did not like this mod. It made the sound more "midrangy" and there seemed to be a slight loss in deep bass. I could now understand the reason to go with WIMA caps.

Good luck and do let us know what happened.


Hahaha... Yes, the new AN resistors are $7.00 each... I believe there are some silver based ones that are up to $70.00 ish... that just seem to be a bit extreme in comparison.
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby Golear » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:50 pm

I did a quick search on Google for tantalum resistors and found a discussion on different resistors.

1. The carbon resistors were "warm and muddy"
2. The tantalum resistors were "warm, not muddy"
3. The metal film resistors were "not warm, not muddy", so... neutral?

I think the Roedersteins are film resistors, so I can agree with (1) and (3), in the preamp that I had at the time. I have no experience with (2).
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Re: Vas Nova/HW reviews and comparison

Postby Dorian » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:37 pm

I've had the MIMC Star back in the system for over a week now and it is sounding fantastic, much better than I could ever get the Nova to sound and better than it sounded before the recent SoundSmith repair job. I do have the tail slightly lower than I used to have it pre-repair and the bass sounds better.

Of course I don't doubt Harry's word on the quality of the Nova, but I can't explain why I couldn't get it to sound right. The MIMC Star just sounds 'right' in every way and I just relax and listen to the music. I never could get rid of a bass hump in the Nova, and the soundstage was smaller than the MIMC Star, and it had less detail too. I'm sure it must be a system/room issue, but in my system and room the MIMC Star definitely trumps the Nova. Of course YMMV!

Happy Holidays everyone!
Last edited by Dorian on Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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