Sunday, 31 May 2015

KOGA Onycs Power Amp - The Right Highs (Part Deux)

Now... for the part two, the Onycs was bi-amped with Musical Fidelity M6i where the Onycs was connected to the tweeter of the ProAc D18 and the M6i connected to the woofer of the ProAc D18.

First observation, there was no noise when these two amps are connected together via the RCA interconnect. Nice! I have experienced with some other power amps that give out a hum when connected to the M6i.


Girl from Ipanema had a more revealing intro with the vocal immediately created an impact of performance. Mainly I believe because now the Onycs is only running the tweeters, hence quite a dramatic change when the woofer is handled by another amp. Yes, you may say that its the effect of bi amping. But lo and behold.... This set up was actually the first mode that I reviewed this Onycs. NOT the pre power mode. This is because my reference set up has always been biamping. So, when I received the Onycs, I set it up in a bi amping mode first to have only 1 new element to the equation; new power amp. The highs from the vocal and also the overall ambiance of the track was just elevated with quite soothing and open soundstage.

The drums on Legion of the Damned was even more punchy and defined. But where the Onycs really shine is again to bring up the clarity of the Jaie's vocal and also the rhythm guitar.It made listening to metal music really enjoyable with its forceful impact and well balanced in the overall sound cohesion between music and vocal. Definitely the Onycs provide a very upfront presentation of the high notes of metal music.

The Onycs further excel in Gipsy Kings rendition of Hotel California with its wide and extensive guitar strums and percussion was even further elaborated. Again, with the Onycs only working on the tweeters, it produces such sweet and melodic guitar presentation.Not much improvement on vocal but the overall presentation was livelier than the pre power mode.The layers of guitars was very detail but at the same time you can feel that the track was given high focus during mixing in order to have that perfect blend between the multiple guitars and percussion.

Andrea's vocal on Because You Believe sounded more mellow than usual. With the percussion had more appearance, his vocal was a bit laid back and less energetic. Mellow and emotional are how I would describe it. Not so forceful and uplifting experience. Didn't get the 'Olympic' feeling. The overall presentation was still huge in sound stage and ambiance, but the forcefulness of his vocal and also the music at the last part of the song, was just not strong enough.

On Ode to My family, Dolores's vocal was a bit overshadowing the overall music. The guitar was also a bit bright to my liking. The violin however was very mellow and soothing. Was expecting a more soothing overall presentation for this track. The snare didn't sound to lively too compare to the pre power mode.

The piano intro on the Willie's track was jaw dropping. I attribute this to Onycs. Why? This is where I can feel the passion. Not of Willie's but the KOGA designer. He tuned this Onycs based on how he feels the track should be presented as per Willie's requirement. This was the perfect balance in all area. The highs, lows, mids, sound stage, detail, emotional... all come together as a piece that Onycs put them together in perfect harmony. This was the best experience I have with the Onycs.

Conclusions (Part Deux)

Although bi amping the Onycs with the M6i provided me with the best experience when it comes to Willie's track, but I feel it was not an all rounder performance or a perfect match to the Musical Fidelity M6i. Or it is the other way round? The MF does not suit the Onycs?

It still delivered an overall sweet and luscious highs but again, very track dependent. A Class D character was very evident especially on the Cranberries track.  Can be a bit ear pinching.

At this stage, I am leaning towards Onycs is better off to run and lead things on its own. A bit of a mixture between MF character and KOGA.

So, we are left with just one last review.... Onycs on stand alone mode connected directly to Musical Fidelity M6 DAc....where its attenuate knob will control the volume. Will it prevail as an Onycs alone champion?

Some samplers...

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