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Brennan JB7 continued: the listening test

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Initial post: 20 Jun 2011 21:43:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jun 2011 21:45:58 BDT
R. Pini says:
Just a follow-up to the Brennan JB7 thread for anyone who may be interested in hearing about it. Over the last few days I have been listening to the JB7 playing songs in parallel to my NAD C660 Cd player. That is, both units playing the same music, while I switched from one to the other and back again to catch the differences in sound quality. I use the lightest compression level on my JB7, that is the highest quality after 'uncompressed'. To these ears, the JB7 plays more or less as well as an entry-level (cheap) CD player does. Another thing that happens when using the JB7 is that in order to get a comfortable sound level in your room, you have to drive your amp harder, as you do have some loss of power ( I guess it's the effect of compressing/decompressing the music), so you may want to keep that in mind as well ( you may need to buy a more powerful amp if your current one is just right for the current set-up). Having said all that, the listening experience provided by the JB7 is quite pleasant. I am definitely going to keep using it, it' s great fun!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2011 21:52:36 BDT
Brass Neck says:
And how much does 'quite pleasant' cost again? You don't mention how the NAD sounds but I'm guessing by inference it's noticeably better?

Posted on 20 Jun 2011 22:38:23 BDT
zargb5 says:
I have been thinking about a jb7 but have held off mainly because my current cd player sounds pretty good compared to entry level models. If the jb7 sounds like a budget player i'm not too keen on the idea. I may go the route of streaming from my pc via an A/D dac to upsample and then through my amp. The cost will be about the same really.

Am i right in thinking that the NAD c660 is a cd recorder ? about the £500 mark when it was released? It should sound pretty decent. Any chance you could describe differences in imaging, space, dynamics, and how they perform at the treble end and bass end?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2011 23:08:28 BDT
Not exactly comprehensive but

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 05:33:34 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2011 05:36:59 BDT
Brass Neck says:
Damned with faint praise too? 'pleasant, benign sound', 'sounds inoffensive', 'acceptable dynamic range' and 'Treble can clatter a little' hardly smacks of ringing endorsement for over £500 without speakers?

Posted on 21 Jun 2011 07:47:52 BDT
USB DAC seems to be the way a lot of hifi heads are going. They simply use the pc to stream all of their audio through a good dac(digital analogue converter) and into the amp/stereo. This allows folks to run a 24bit signal(cds being 16 bit - a bit being the amount of information about any given sample at any time, therefore making 24 bit much more accurate than 16, and yes you can hear this, whereas I personally doubt if anyone can hear a difference between a 44Khz and a 192khz sample rate, which is the conversion that a lot of upsamplers do).

Time for the tablets and the nurse.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 09:14:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2011 09:18:43 BDT
R. Pini says:
Well the price is around GBP 400. I paid NZD 1,000.00 (including delivery) so quite expensive. It must be said that the JB7 is not being marketed by Brennan as the ultimate Hi-FI experience, only as a practical and fun way to store all your CDs -and more, as all my mp3 wnloads are now ending up inside the JB7. With regard to your question, BN, the NAD sounds wonderful, full and detailed with deep bass and effortless treble. The JB7 can be compared to the Yamaha 5-disc player I had before I bought the NAD. Sounds OK until you upgrade! Yes the NAD is a Disc recorder, supposedly able to make exact copies of audio cds, provided you can get a hold of the elusive "Music CD-Rs" required for the operation. I have made a couple of copies so far and they sound like the originals to me. I really bought it second hand from a guy who thought he was going to use the unit to make copies for himself, to play in the car and stuff, but never got round to it. It was practically new and still in the box when I bought it, although it was originally purchased 10 years ago or so.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 12:33:39 BDT
"It must be said that the JB7 is not being marketed by Brennan as the ultimate Hi-FI experience, only as a practical and fun way to store all your CDs -and more,"

Nice marketing tool if people go for it but to me it rather misses the point, I mean hands up all those who buy music just to store it, and agian please for those who want to listen to it as it should sound.

Posted on 21 Jun 2011 22:24:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2011 22:30:44 BDT
R. Pini says:
Point taken. Still, one' s music has to be stored somehow, and some people like to have their Cds in plain view, other people don' t think they add to the decor. I for one enjoy the majestic view of my vinyl collection, while CDs ( at least visually) don' t do much for me. When I want to listen to a particular CD, I just pull it out of its box and play it. The JB7 can take care of the rest: I can listen to my favorite playlist while I shave, look out the window, or while I have my breakfast. I can take it outside for evening entertainment in the Summer ( NZ Winters are not ideal for that purpose) as all it needs is a pair of small a nutshell it' s fun. Would I give up my CD collection in favor of the JB7? Probably not, I like to have both options available to me, plus of course my vinyls. There is so much music to listen to, now we have more ways to do that.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 22:29:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2011 22:31:33 BDT
R. Pini says:
With regard to 'the way music should sound' Peter, what exactly is that? If you think The Ramones should be only heard on a state-of-the art stereo set worth in the vicinity of GBP 20,000.00, suit yourself. Rock'n' Roll is about many things, but the quest for aural perfection somehow is not one of them.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 22:51:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2011 22:54:05 BDT
Don't mean what "I" think it should sound like but what it actually sounded like when the artist(s) played the stuff.
Agree it might be fun to have as an add on if you're fortunate enough to have deep enough pockets for what is a bit of an expensive toy. For most of us it would be either or so the Brennan would be kicked into touch,
If I could afford a £20,000.00 system then yes i do think it would be the best way to hear the ramones ( outside of the concert hall that is) and their is a lot more to music than basic R 'n ' R

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2011 23:08:41 BDT
Everything sounds better on better gear.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2011 00:21:10 BDT
Not strictly. My system is c.£11k and it ruthlessly reveals poor production quality. Certain music sounds superb on it, and in fairness, most music is improved - it's about musicality as it is about precision. Nonetheless, some compressed albums are cruelly exposed.

Posted on 22 Jun 2011 08:33:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jun 2011 22:25:47 BDT
MC Zaptone says:
Obviously each to his own, personally I can't help thinking that if you If you already a collection of CD's and own a computer and a hi-fi why would you spend 4-5 hundred quid on a storage system that decreases the overall musical quality? Madness in my book. OK, it is an unobtrusive little box but it's quicker to upload to FLAC or AIFF on your computer, than load a Brennan (I've watched a mate doing it) the quality is much, much better and as people have suggested - for half the price of the Brennan you could buy a high quality DAC and even a dedicated external hard-drive just for music. If your that worried about aesthetics you could even stream you're collection wirelessly from another room or a cupboard.
Why spend more money for inferior quality.


Posted on 22 Jun 2011 09:30:21 BDT
R. Pini says:
I have not arrived yet, the search goes on...I may even go full circle and sell the whole bloody lot one day, keeping only my lps, stuff the rest!

Posted on 22 Jun 2011 18:56:04 BDT
Going back many years (before the advent of CD), I remember reading an article which related the cost of a music library to the cost of the playback equipment. Basically, it went something like, if your collection is 50 LPs (£250 or so), it was pointless spending a fortune on a hifi, however if you owned 1000 LPs (£5K), then surely it was worth investing a couple of £K in having a decent system to play it on.

I consider this argument still holds good as why spend a fortune on accumulating a library to play it back on a midi system?

The Brennan has it's place and as a user of MP3's for out and about and now in the car, I could easily see myself using one around the house, garden, etc, but as a primary source of listening to music, I don't think so, well not until my hearing deteriorates more anyway!!

Posted on 24 Jun 2011 03:04:13 BDT
R. Pini says:
I think it comes down to the music I am listening to. On some albums I am not willing to compromise: it just has to be vinyl ( Can' s 'Tago Mago' or Keith Jarrett' s 'Standards' for example) A lot of the HM/Hard Rock stuff I can listen to on CD or mp3, does not make much difference to me. Classical/Opera: CD, absolutely. It' s good to have options.

Posted on 3 Apr 2012 14:37:55 BDT
Alex says:
can anyone help a rank amatuer in finding out how i get all the songs on my ipod on to my newly aquired Brennan. it al looks very easy on official video but they are using an (outdated?) mp3 payer with almost completely different sockets. Forgive me for brining dow the tone of the forum,but any help would be so much appreciated. my name is Alex

Posted on 3 Apr 2012 14:45:11 BDT
nephran says:
Meses hates to be thems harbinger of bad thems news,but music on any replay hi-fi sounds nothing like thems band play it....All youses hearing is how thems recording engineer wants youses to hear its..Any music that uses electrical instruments is open to thems interpretations..How should a bass or electric guitar sound...Who thems knows..Enjoy thems music,whatevers youses play it thems on..

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2012 23:35:10 BDT
I have been to plenty of gigs where the sound was so bad that an iPod played through the pa would have sounded better, Neph.
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Discussion in:  music discussion forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  20
Initial post:  20 Jun 2011
Latest post:  3 Apr 2012

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