Archives for testimonial

Upgrading to an Arcam AVR750 Receiver and A REL Series S/5 Sub-Bass System

I am a classical music listener with a substantial music collection. I am compulsive enough to keep a record of every time I listen to a given piece of music and include notes about the quality of the recording and my listening experience. Excellent, accurate sound reproduction has always been important to me, and I had high quality speakers and components. On March 15, 2016 my audio world changed. With each piece of music I listen to now, since that day, thanks to my notes, I am able to compare my present listening experience with the past. It has improved dramatically with the arrival of the Arcam AVR750 Receiver and the REL Series S/5 Sub-Bass system.

The Arcam has class G amplification – which provides incredible definition and clarity regardless of power requirements which is a breathtaking advance over my previous receiver. The delicate inner voices in the classical music are crucial, and they are presented in pristine clarity. Conversely, if power is called for, class G delivers it without compromise and without distortion.
The REL replaced a high quality subwoofer that was brand-matched with my speakers when I purchased them. Besides a 12-inch driver, the REL has a 12-inch passive speaker pointed at the floor. Most importantly, it can take its audio feed directly from the amplifier-out connectors. Before, I found I was always fiddling with the gain of my subwoofer for various sources- DVD or CDs; I have never touched the settings on the REL. Ultra Fidelis sets it up and you just leave it. It becomes a natural part of your system, which never unduly calls attention to itself, but is always present – such as feeling the organ pedal in your chest, or the dark, deep notes of the cello, more than heard, but gently felt. It as if a whole new dimension of music has been opened. This is why they call it a sub-bass system, and not merely a subwoofer.
The REL was installed and carefully placed by Jonathan – and once it is set, you never need to touch it again. As mentioned above, the bass is amazingly natural, yet when called for it can startle you- experiencing the cannon shots in the film “Master and Commander” is beyond belief! I felt the concussion in my back while sitting on the couch – thanks to both the driven and passive speakers.
Coupling these two components has provided a constant revelation as I listen to post-March 2016 music. Each time I introduce music to the Arcam and the REL I am in for an invigorating new experience.
I am writing this on the one year anniversary of adding these two jewels to my music/home theater system, accomplished under the guidance of Ultra Fidelis, in particular Jonathan Spelt. When I first encountered them nine years ago, I called seeking a product. They could have simply provided that for me, but instead engaged me in a conversation concerning what it was I was trying to accomplish. They listened to me and suggested a very different path. One can buy and replace components, but to have people such as Jon involved in your musical experiences is something much richer and more valuable than mere products. I am exceedingly grateful for the great care, products and support of Jonathan and the Ultra Fidelis team which has improved a very important aspect of my life: the wonder of faithfully reproduced music.


Dave E.

Living with the Niagara 7000

I first heard the effects of the Niagara 7000 on November 10th at the official U.S. launch by Garth Powell of Audioquest at Ultra Fidelis.  As I wasn’t feeling tip-top, I chose to sit in the back row in a room full of audio aficionados.  Mr. Powell started out the evening by playing some live music on his drum kit to “set our ears” and to give us a point of reference for the rest of the night.  What I heard the rest of the evening, even from the side of the back row, impressed me enough that the following week, I purchased the first store stock unit of a Niagara 7000 to arrive at the store.

I will say that a little planning goes a long way when setting up the Niagara 7000.  It weighs in at about 80 pounds and had the tightest plug sockets known to man.  I was able to plug in all of my equipment before sliding the unit onto the bottom shelf of my HRS rack.  Since then I have moved one power cable to separate my CD player from my pre-amp — much easier with the unit out of the rack.

Anyway, what the Niagara 7000 has done for the sound of my system is quite amazing.  I find myself listening at lower volumes than ever before.  And, while listening at lower levels, there is a much greater sense of focus, ease, openness and dynamics than previously.  Additionally, the soundstage extends both in front of and to the sides of my speakers.  Previously, the soundstage was defined by the location of my speakers. Listening to Roger Water’s Amused to Death on 200 gm LP, the sound is almost 3D fully immersing me in the sound. On Shelby Lynne’s Just a Little Loving, also LP, there is clear space around her voice and the instruments.  Even listening after my wife has gone to bed at very low levels (4 on my REF 5 SE volume setting) there are still good dynamics and details creating a whole new late night listening experience.

Bottom line: the Niagara 7000 has taken my already very good system to a new level.

System: Audio Research REF 5 SE, Audio Research REF CD9, Simaudio MOON 610LP, Audio Research REF 75 SE, Vandersteen 5A Carbon, Audioquest Niagara 7000, Audioquest Fire and Wild interconnects and speaker wire.


-Bob F.