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  1. #1
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    My Trip to the Hi Fi Shop

    I made some time today to visit our local hifi shop to see what's new. Well it was a trip worth while. Music For Pleasure is our local Dynaudio dealer and out of 1,000 30th anniversary pairs of Sapphires being built, guess who had a pair on display. You guessed it. http://www.dynaudio.com/eng/systems/.../sapphire2.php

    In the system were all new components to me, and what an incredible system it was. Front end was a T+A SACD player into one of their preamps. I believe the sales rep said it was a tube preamp, maybe a B10 but don't hold me to it. The amps were two Clayton Audio, Class A, 300 watt monoblocks driving the Sapphires. The price quoted for the Sapphires were $16.5k and the amps $14k a pair. I don't know how accurate the prices are because they were given off the top of the guys head. Yeah, these are big price tags but I've heard a few pair of Krell monoblocks and the Dynaudio, Evidence Flagship and Temptations, comparatively the system I heard today was outstanding and I'd consider a good value in ultra high end gear and sound. Especially when you consider the Sapphires are a limited edition of only 1,000 pair being made. The overall sound was excellent but one of the things that really impressed me was the bass response. The Sapphires have the same drivers as the Evidence series and these have to be the world's best 8" driver. And, can you imagine 300 watts Class A? I'm sure this also had a big contribution to the bass response. The sales person told me to go ahead and turn it up some, so I did. It was amazing, the sound was high but held together just as good as it did at the lower volume, the Clayton's were power defined. The SPL was loud enough you couldn't hear some one next to you talk but it didn't seem that loud, the music was still clean and clear like the Clayton's had plenty of throddle left and the Sapphires just sang. The bass line was clean and defined. The speakers played so low you thought there might have been a sub hidden some where. I'm talking floor shaking feel it in your gizard low. Midrange was nice with natural sounding voices with ease and plenty of air. The highs were nice but I hate to say too much in this area as it's not really what captured my attention, maybe if I had more time to listen. Needless to say I was impressed, I won't bore you by going on and on.

    They also carry NAD which is a new addition since I last visited. I took the time to look in on the Master series HT processor & 7 channel power amp. It wasn't fair to hear the NAD after hearing the Sapphire system first. They also was playing an Eric Clapton concert. Nothing against Eric, I was just hoping to hear a movie to judge sound effects and clarity. The concert was in 5.1 though and I can assure you the clarity was fine. The system was using Dyn mains and center, not sure which. To my surprise the surrounds were in wall. The guy walked out and I didn't remember to ask what they were, they were very good though. It's difficult to critique a system like this from a couple tracks off a concert DVD but I did hear enough to know if I were looking for a processor the NAD would be on my list. I wanted to hear an integrated but didn't want to wear out my welcome.

    On the way out I did stop to hear the Martin Logan Purity. http://www.us.martinlogan.com/speaker_intro/purity.html

    This is a very interesting speaker in the fact that it is fully amplified. It CAN be hooked to flat panel TV's or even computers, although my thought is $3k is a bit much to hook to these types of devices but who knows. Just think though a pair of Puritys with a nice preamp and you are set. When I heard them today the Purity was hooked to an Arcam Solo. If you know me then you know that I am a ML "fanboy" and the Purity did not disappoint. The electrostatic panels, as in all the ML's I've heard, are able to give an erie sense of presence or whatever that is that makes you feel like the person is there in the room. The intensity of this feeling is dependent on the electronics driving them though. The Solo paired with the Purity did a remarkable job. I really really want to bring a pair of these home to play with.

  2. #2
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    you lucky guy

    I did hear the B&W diamond signature speakers (those new reference 2 way floorstanders, 250 pair were made), driven by all accuphase gear, reference transport and dac, their best preamp, and the A30, a 30 watt pure class A power amp...

    That was impressive too, and I can only imagin what 300 watt of class A would be like

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  3. #3
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    Basite, just wondering if T+A is around where you are at? When the local shop brought them in was the first time I heard of them. I've liked every piece of gear I've heard so far but the U.S. price is pretty high. Performance wise though they do very well against other expensive gear.

  4. #4
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    I can remember seeing some of their tube amps at my dealer, but I don't think they're still there though, could be that they were there for a demo...

    I'll look again though, maybe I'll find them somewhere between all the other high end stuff

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  5. #5
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    If you know me then you know that I am a ML "fanboy" and the Purity did not disappoint. The electrostatic panels, as in all the ML's I've heard, are able to give an erie sense of presence or whatever that is that makes you feel like the person is there in the room.
    If you ever travel southwards to AR, I think you would enjoy hearing full range electrostats. They extend the purity and coherence of 'stats to the entire ten octave range.

    rw

  6. #6
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    E-stat, how low will the full range go and are they the same electrostat technology as ML uses?

    Basite, typically this store is not a tube embracer. I'd be interested to know if T+A does make tube amps. It would make sense, they do have a tube preamp. Most of the T+A amps MFP carry have been some type of digital power supply amp. They do stock T+A's $8k CD player which is just incredible sounding. T+A's website is difficult to find, I've been told they have one. I believe I heard they were a German company so I thought they may be better known in Europe.

  7. #7
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    E-stat, how low will the full range go and are they the same electrostat technology as ML uses?
    Measured in room response is flat to 30 hz with a 2 db rise at 25 hz. Below that it disappears. While U-1s are built in fairly low numbers (my S/N is 50), they will build to order a special UB-1 subwoofer that uses a thicker double diaphragm that extends bass response to 16 hz. Or buy a larger full range version called the Majestic. While a pair of U-1s has 30 square feet of panel area, they offer about 43 square feet. If you really want to get jiggy, Ray Kimber (of Kimber Cable) uses a triple pair of 22 degree Majestics called Pro-Stats. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to fully match monopole dynamic cone woofers to dipolar electrostatic panels.

    Dr. West is not a fan of curved diaphragms. His approach is to place a grid that creates a series of flat facets arrayed in a circular pattern covering 90 degrees. The inherent diaphragm resonance is canceled by using differing height facets from top to bottom.

    U-1

    rw

  8. #8
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Basite, typically this store is not a tube embracer. I'd be interested to know if T+A does make tube amps. It would make sense, they do have a tube preamp. Most of the T+A amps MFP carry have been some type of digital power supply amp. They do stock T+A's $8k CD player which is just incredible sounding. T+A's website is difficult to find, I've been told they have one. I believe I heard they were a German company so I thought they may be better known in Europe.

    it wasn't that hard to find it

    http://www.taelektroakustik.de/eng/index.htm


    click on 'electronical components'
    then click 'V-series', I think 'V' stands for 'valve', because everthing in that series is tubed (well, exept that tt)...

    they have a tube pre, tube integrated (which I think I saw), and tube CD/sacd player...

    and of course that tt too

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the links guys.

    Soundlab make a Dynastat that looks like it may be affordable but it is a hybrid that uses a 10" woofer. I would like to hear the full panel.

    I saw one of the T+A turntables but they didn't have it hooked up. They only come with a built in phono stage and the unit is pricey, the cheaper one around $6,400.00 US.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    thanks for sharing Peabody

  11. #11
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    My pleasure.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    So.. what makes you such a Dynaudio fan?

  13. #13
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Danke for sharing the moment, Mr. P.

  14. #14
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    I have not found any speaker as neutral as Dynaudio. On the right equipment, like Krell, or Clayton Audio, the bass and dynamics are like nothing I've ever heard reproduced by audio gear. My Dynaudio t2.5 for instance was excellent with my Krell, though presentation is different they are just as home with my Conrad Johnson tube gear, and if that wasn't enough they also are very good with my home theater set up which has used Arcam and now Linn. There aren't many speakers that are truly neutral enough to do everything well. The down side to such honesty is if you use inferior gear, or if you have any noticeable weakness in your system they will let you know it. I've found at every price level they are so much better than other speakers at the same price. With all this said I haven't heard every speaker. I would love to hear Wilson to see how they compare. I have heard the Flagship B&W Diamond series and well as many B&W models, to me they don't even come close to Dynaudio. I feel you can spend less on Dynaudio and kill a B&W at twice the price. For instance, the Sapphires I heard at $16.5 are less money than the top of the line Diamond series yet it had so much more ability. I've heard a $10k pair of Revels driven by Levinson gear and I personally wouldn't own them. People here have said there are some good Revel but if the pair I heard was a fair representation, forget it. There are also speakers that I like but are just different than Dyn's, like Thiel or Martin Logan. Thiel is just a nice sounding speaker but I feel is better suited for certain types of music. They could never keep up with a Dyn when you throw on the Rock-n-Roll, Electronica or other energetic genres. Martin Logan is just a whole other animal. I've heard several other speakers as well but not fortune enough to hear their flagship/upper end and some I just don't like and don't want to offend anymore people than I might have already. A Dynaudio is just as at home with Classical as it is with Rock & Roll, or whatever you want to put through it, and does it well, that is what makes them great. I'm not affiliated with Dynaudio at all. I wish I was, I could use a discount. Besides the Dyn's I have listed I have a pair of Audience 60's in my work out room which now has my Krell amp but prior used Adcom, and I have a pair of 40's in my daughter's room on a vintage Sansui integrated. At this point I haven't heard anything I would switch any of my Dyn's for. I do wish I had room for a pair of electrostats to listen to once in awhile.

    I have heard a few pair of Paradigm and have liked what I have heard. I haven't heard any of the big series, mostly Studios. It would be an interesting A/B them and some Audience. The Paradigm I've heard have been lively. I haven't heard them on Classical or Acoustic, nor have I listened for extended time to know if they fatigue.

    So there you have it, enough Peabody opinion to last you a long while

  15. #15
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Never too much Peabody opinion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Martin Logan is just a whole other animal. I've heard several other speakers as well but not fortune enough to hear their flagship/upper end and some I just don't like and don't want to offend anymore people than I might have already. A Dynaudio is just as at home with Classical as it is with Rock & Roll, or whatever you want to put through it, and does it well, that is what makes them great...

    If yer worried about offending me (does anyone else use ML's 'round these parts?) don't worry. I'm aware of their limitations but can easily overlook it since 70% or so of my listening is done within the classical and jazz genres. For others I have a different setup.

    I have a theory that rock/electronica/indie/whatever sounds better coming through coned speakers because it is inherently inorganic---recorded from events with amplification utilizing cone speakers. Just an opinion, but it's mine and I'm sticking with it until Marshall or Soldano come up with amp heads fed directly into stats

    FWIW, I was impressed to an extent with the qualities you mentioned during my impromptu audition with the Danes. They sounded very good to these ears, and they did it using downstream components of a much lower quality than your own.

    Cheers

  16. #16
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    Don't misunderstand me, I am a big Martin Logan fan. I wish I had the room and funds to keep a pair around for the occasional listen. I've heard the Summits, Prodigy's and many other models. What I meant by "a whole other animal" is the fact that they are electrostats and really couldn't be compared to Dynaudio. ML's were my second choice of speaker. I didn't have the room or the money for a 5.1 set up of ML and I did miss the physical aspects dynamic drivers give. I'm sure you are aware of what I'm talking about. Even though not all the time your music is really loud you still get a physical sensation, I think we just get used to it so don't notice it until it's gone. When I auditioned ML's in my home I kept turning it up trying to get that missing feeling but it just wasn't happening. There is something about the sound of the stats though that just draw you in. I wonder if maybe the models with larger woofers might do better in the impact area. When I heard the Summits they were in a large room and I can't remember the impact. I do remember thinking that they were the best ML I've heard yet. Much of that is equipment dependent though.

    Which model do you have? I'm sure the ML/Mac combo is very good.

  17. #17
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    I have not found any speaker as neutral as Dynaudio. On the right equipment, like Krell, or Clayton Audio, the bass and dynamics are like nothing I've ever heard reproduced by audio gear. My Dynaudio t2.5 for instance was excellent with my Krell, though presentation is different they are just as home with my Conrad Johnson tube gear, and if that wasn't enough they also are very good with my home theater set up which has used Arcam and now Linn. There aren't many speakers that are truly neutral enough to do everything well. The down side to such honesty is if you use inferior gear, or if you have any noticeable weakness in your system they will let you know it. I've found at every price level they are so much better than other speakers at the same price. With all this said I haven't heard every speaker. I would love to hear Wilson to see how they compare. I have heard the Flagship B&W Diamond series and well as many B&W models, to me they don't even come close to Dynaudio. I feel you can spend less on Dynaudio and kill a B&W at twice the price. For instance, the Sapphires I heard at $16.5 are less money than the top of the line Diamond series yet it had so much more ability. I've heard a $10k pair of Revels driven by Levinson gear and I personally wouldn't own them. People here have said there are some good Revel but if the pair I heard was a fair representation, forget it. There are also speakers that I like but are just different than Dyn's, like Thiel or Martin Logan. Thiel is just a nice sounding speaker but I feel is better suited for certain types of music. They could never keep up with a Dyn when you throw on the Rock-n-Roll, Electronica or other energetic genres. Martin Logan is just a whole other animal. I've heard several other speakers as well but not fortune enough to hear their flagship/upper end and some I just don't like and don't want to offend anymore people than I might have already. A Dynaudio is just as at home with Classical as it is with Rock & Roll, or whatever you want to put through it, and does it well, that is what makes them great. I'm not affiliated with Dynaudio at all. I wish I was, I could use a discount. Besides the Dyn's I have listed I have a pair of Audience 60's in my work out room which now has my Krell amp but prior used Adcom, and I have a pair of 40's in my daughter's room on a vintage Sansui integrated. At this point I haven't heard anything I would switch any of my Dyn's for. I do wish I had room for a pair of electrostats to listen to once in awhile.

    I have heard a few pair of Paradigm and have liked what I have heard. I haven't heard any of the big series, mostly Studios. It would be an interesting A/B them and some Audience. The Paradigm I've heard have been lively. I haven't heard them on Classical or Acoustic, nor have I listened for extended time to know if they fatigue.

    So there you have it, enough Peabody opinion to last you a long while
    Mr. Peabody, when I get a chance to come home to St.Louis to visit can I look you up? I'd love to hear your system(s).

    frenchmon

  18. #18
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Hey Mr.P,

    I'm using a pair of SL3s a mains, the Cinema ii as center, and a the Montages as rears. Sub duties are handled by a Paradigm Servo15 and the amp is the Mac 7205. Applied to multi-channel SACD the setup works with aplomb. Movies get downright scary and two channel jazz, classical and even the jinglejangley indie stuff sound great.

    Conversely, the system's limitations become apparent on hard rock and metal. The Paradigm is set at 65Hz which melds well with the lower registers of the MLs and handles bass guitar with the shake and groove that is required. The problem arises in guitar passages, specifically with suspended chords and thet hit-you-between-the-eyes upper bass on distorted passing chords. I've tried upping the crossover level on the sub and the results were unlistenable and mushy.

    For rock I use a secondary system with KEF Q7s and an Onkyo receiver, which will probably be replaced by either an integrated amp or the Outlaw RR2150 sometime this year when I get my off my overly-contented, lazy arse.

    Like you, I pursued a direction that made the most sense to me because it performed well in the areas of emphasis for my stylistic preferences. Like you, I also have no problem admitting what my system could do better and enjoy the hunt for substantive improvements. And, though we have chosen different paths toward our ultimate goal I always enjoy partaking in your enthusiasm in both enjoying your system and exploring the audio world. I'll join Frenchmon and up the ante by offering to bring the bevereges...

    Peace

  19. #19
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    I have not found any speaker as neutral as Dynaudio. On the right equipment, like Krell, or Clayton Audio, the bass and dynamics are like nothing I've ever heard reproduced by audio gear. My Dynaudio t2.5 for instance was excellent with my Krell, though presentation is different they are just as home with my Conrad Johnson tube gear, and if that wasn't enough they also are very good with my home theater set up which has used Arcam and now Linn. There aren't many speakers that are truly neutral enough to do everything well. The down side to such honesty is if you use inferior gear, or if you have any noticeable weakness in your system they will let you know it. I've found at every price level they are so much better than other speakers at the same price. With all this said I haven't heard every speaker. I would love to hear Wilson to see how they compare. I have heard the Flagship B&W Diamond series and well as many B&W models, to me they don't even come close to Dynaudio. I feel you can spend less on Dynaudio and kill a B&W at twice the price. For instance, the Sapphires I heard at $16.5 are less money than the top of the line Diamond series yet it had so much more ability. I've heard a $10k pair of Revels driven by Levinson gear and I personally wouldn't own them. People here have said there are some good Revel but if the pair I heard was a fair representation, forget it. There are also speakers that I like but are just different than Dyn's, like Thiel or Martin Logan. Thiel is just a nice sounding speaker but I feel is better suited for certain types of music. They could never keep up with a Dyn when you throw on the Rock-n-Roll, Electronica or other energetic genres. Martin Logan is just a whole other animal. I've heard several other speakers as well but not fortune enough to hear their flagship/upper end and some I just don't like and don't want to offend anymore people than I might have already. A Dynaudio is just as at home with Classical as it is with Rock & Roll, or whatever you want to put through it, and does it well, that is what makes them great. I'm not affiliated with Dynaudio at all. I wish I was, I could use a discount. Besides the Dyn's I have listed I have a pair of Audience 60's in my work out room which now has my Krell amp but prior used Adcom, and I have a pair of 40's in my daughter's room on a vintage Sansui integrated. At this point I haven't heard anything I would switch any of my Dyn's for. I do wish I had room for a pair of electrostats to listen to once in awhile.

    I have heard a few pair of Paradigm and have liked what I have heard. I haven't heard any of the big series, mostly Studios. It would be an interesting A/B them and some Audience. The Paradigm I've heard have been lively. I haven't heard them on Classical or Acoustic, nor have I listened for extended time to know if they fatigue.

    So there you have it, enough Peabody opinion to last you a long while
    as Sticks said, Danke (sehr) for sharing the moment...

    and, have you heard Avalon too? I'm a big fan of their products too, unfortunately, they are pretty darn too expensive for the (not so) regular 17 year old

    I also didn't like most of the B&W's I heard, well, I did like them, but compared to other speakers (compare an Avalon, or a Martin Logan, or a Thiel to a B&W and you'll understand)...

    and as a side note: I do like well recorded rock on my Thiels
    yesterday I played Nirvana - Smells like teen spirit, and I was impressed


    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  20. #20
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    Sure, anyone is welcome, just give me some heads up. My email link works here when time gets close for you to come let me know and I will give you my number and address.

    I have not heard Avalon. Actually, I keep an open mind but I haven't heard any super sensitive speakers that sounded good. RGA tells me Audio Notes are and it's said Avalon does.

  21. #21
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Sure, anyone is welcome, just give me some heads up. My email link works here when time gets close for you to come let me know and I will give you my number and address.

    I have not heard Avalon. Actually, I keep an open mind but I haven't heard any super sensitive speakers that sounded good. RGA tells me Audio Notes are and it's said Avalon does.
    Thanks Mr Peabody. It will be in the Spring/summer before I can come home to STL. I'l give you a heads up.

    frenchmon

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    Bobsticks, that is a nice set up. What are you using for a preamp?

  23. #23
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Bobsticks, that is a nice set up. What are you using for a preamp?
    Thanks Mr. P.

    At the moment nothing. Until two days ago I was using a Yammie receiver that I have recently loaned to a buddy, along with my trusty backup Rotel, to use in his first foray into our little hobby. He just picked up a pair B&W CDM floorstanders, so it makes a nice little starter system.

    I'll probably do damage to my "audiophile pedigree" here, but I suspect I'll move on to an Onkyo 875 or 905. I'd love to find a Mac product to match with my amp but, as of yet, none of the boutique brands make a unit that has the full functionality that I'm looking for.
    If Mac or Krell or somebody made a unit that had full HDMI passthrough and upconversion, Birr Brown DACS, USB connectivity and the whole nine I'd be all over it. Nonetheless, my experience with Onkyo has been good and that in Direct Mode they do a surprisingly good job as a preamp for two-channel.We'll see how it works out.

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    Don't put a receiver on the front end of a system like yours! At least consider the NAD
    T175, I believe it has all the features you listed. MSRP is $1,999.00 but www.spearitsound.com would be under $1,800.00. I was strongly looking at this myself as I was thinking about modernizing my HT and don't want to spend crazy money since I have good audio through my 2 channel set up. Man, I can't believe you had a receiver on the front end of a 7205. I wish I had at least a high quality stereo preamp to lend you to see what your system can do. Have you looked at Anthem to see if they have the features you are looking for? They should have new product out this year. I'd think most of these manufacturers would have to start offering HDMI capability.

  25. #25
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    I have not heard Avalon. Actually, I keep an open mind but I haven't heard any super sensitive speakers that sounded good. RGA tells me Audio Notes are and it's said Avalon does.

    super sensitive? you mean like the sensetivity? all their speakers are like 87db /1w/1m, that's not really sensitive

    but really, if you ever get the chance of hearing one of their speakers (and preferably the 'real avalon's', starting at the ascendant) you should really audition them... They sound wonderful...


    Sticks, I'd say wait a little longer, the 'boutique' brands will follow

    if you can't wait, I's suggest you'd take a look at parasound too, no HDMI, but all the other functions and they are a really good product for their price.

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
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    I'm a happy 20 year old...

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