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But there’s no light without shadows. The motor-driven volume pot clearly lacked finesse of fine values when prompted by remote. Particularly getting close to 12:00 caused issues. One remote click wasn’t loud enough, the next plainly too loud already. Manual adjustments posed no such problems of course. The actual wand was lovely, barely bigger and thicker than a credit card and comfortable in the hand. The second complaint points at the transport display. Its 7-segment blue display starts to blur at 2 meters.

How about cooperation with non-Heed components? For that I tapped the digital signal from my Marantz SA7001 SACD deck to feed the Heed preamp’s internal converter. In parallel I also ran the analog connection to compare on the fly. With gritted teeth I had to admit that the Dactilus 2 kicked fine butt on the Marantz converter in fine detail resolution.

Something else was relevant too. Contingent on the impedance plot of the loudspeaker, I noticed a shift in high-frequency weighting relative to the other bands. With the System Audio Mantra 60, an 8-ohm box voiced lighter and faster, the Heed emphasized the treble to not become outright overcooked but admittedly crisp. With the 4-ohm very neutral nubert NuBox 681, this wasn’t the case. Jörg Dames too found the treble over his low-impedance Thiel CS 3.7 silken rather than emphasized.

Conclusion: The combo of Heed transport, preamp and stereo power amp is a high-value sonically potent chain whose focus is clearly on an energized, involving, dimensionally contrasted playing style. The sound is precise, lively yet simultaneously 'musical'. For proper seasoning of the treble, the appropriate choice of transducer becomes decisive (and perhaps a closer look at its impedance behavior is advisable). The Heed trio belongs to the review assignments I shall remember with fondness.

The sonic character of the pre/power Heed Obelisk Pre and PS combo is:
A fleet-footed adequately massive bass that’s immaculately taut, agile and defined.
A neutral midband that is contrasted by well-developed highs.
A soundstage that is broad, laid out as a trapezoid and overtly deep.
Voices and instruments that are well contrasted between transient and final decay.

The sonic character of the Heed Obelisk DT CD transport:
A highly neutral accurate deck.
Of note are the rich details and realistic rendering of even complex material.
The mechanical operation is very quiet.

Facts for all components
Warranty: 2 years
Dimensions: 22 x 33 x 8cm (WxDxH)
Trim: black
Specific facts
Preamp weight: 4.2kg
Analog inputs: 5 x RCA, optional MM phono (€149)
Digital inputs via optional Dactilus card: 1 x Toslink, 1 x S/PDIF (Dactilus 1 €199 Euro, Dactilus 2 €349)
Analog outputs: 1 x fixed out, 2 x variable out
Power consumption: ca. 4 watts at idle
Power amp weight: 6 kg
Power: 2 x 50 watts into 8 ohms, 2 x 80 watts into 4 ohms
Input: 1 x RCA/pr
Outputs: 1 pair of speaker terminals, 1 pair of RCA to loop input signal for multi-amping
Power consumption: ca. 10 watts at idle

Weight CD transport
: 4 kg
Digital output: 1 x RCA, 1 x Toslink
Power consumption: ca. 7 watts at idle
Heed Audio website

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