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  1. #1
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    What to see the insides of gear...

    ...well check this site out. HiFi Shock!

    Hifi Shock Home Page
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    cool spot, and amazing just how little is inside some of the stuff

  3. #3
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    cool spot, and amazing just how little is inside some of the stuff

    Yeah....I was truly surprised by some of it.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  4. #4
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Take a look at the the Stereophile review of the Audio Note CD-4.1X CD player. There is a nude shot of it. I don't care how good it sounds. There is simply no way it's worth $12,000.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE SP9 View Post
    Take a look at the the Stereophile review of the Audio Note CD-4.1X CD player. There is a nude shot of it. I don't care how good it sounds. There is simply no way it's worth $12,000.
    By contrast maybe, ludicrously expensive as they are, Accuphase components at least give the impression of great build and a lot of "stuff" for the money ... C-3800 preamp ...


  6. #6
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Thanks Frenchmon for the link. I like the looks of my Krell S-300i insides. I have a few audio products in mind that may not contain much. I will be checking them out.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  7. #7
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Oh...no problem JM. I was really shocked at some of the gear.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  8. #8
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    I used to own this Music Fidelity clone. Gorgeous guts but the hybrid amps just aren't my cup of tea.

    Google Image Result for http://www.pacificvalve.us/images/BADA_DC-222_12AU7_Front.JPG

  9. #9
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE SP9 View Post
    Take a look at the the Stereophile review of the Audio Note CD-4.1X CD player. There is a nude shot of it. I don't care how good it sounds. There is simply no way it's worth $12,000.
    You don't care how good it sound? According to Art it's one of the two best he's ever heard and the other is $8,000 more.

    But aside from sound quality and just looking inside what exactly is the sticking point.

    I'd rather "quality parts" than 400 .1c resisters and .50 caps and OPamps filling the box up to look like it's expensive.

    Go to a dealer and sit in front of a DAC 4.1 with the top removed. Audio Note has little to no competition when it comes to parts quality - one reason I like them so much.

  10. #10
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    By contrast maybe, ludicrously expensive as they are, Accuphase components at least give the impression
    It's interesting how we each have a different perspective on this aesthetic. Sorry, but that still looks like consumer goods to me. Even if the cover has a "natural persimmons wood finish". Here are some other pics of the op amp laden boards (17 in toto!):

    More C-3800 pics

    One of the first things I did when I got the Emotiva XPA-5 was to look inside. Well done, but clearly consumer grade. Even had that smell. If you've ever had a Japanese receiver, you know what I mean.

    One of my best friend's (from high school) father was an electron microscopist. Isn't that a great job title? He was a professor at GA Tech. So, Tim was the only kid on his block with a $100k scanning electron microscope in the basement. The machining on the vacuum chamber was phenomenal. The electronics were instrument quality.

    That describes my preference. Instrument quality. Performance with subtle styling. No impressive light show. Perhaps that is one reason I have always gravitated towards ARC gear since first hearing the SP-3a. Here's one of my faves:

    REF 5

    Scroll down and drill into the pics. Some other gear with great build quality I've seen are by Burmester and Edge. Physically speaking, the most impressive disc player I've seen by far is the Burmester 969/970 transport and DAC. It's a top loader with a wonderfully machined loading mechanism.



    Now, the Edge Signature 1 with its precisely fit aluminum chassis and engraved lettering using counter sunk machine screws.



    Ironically, as good sounding as the Edge amps were to me, I preferred the ugly duckling gentle giants sitting behind them. VTL Wotans. 500 watt triode mono amps.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Here is an int. amp that I considered based on reviews. LFD makes int. amps based on performance and not power. The amp cost more than my Krell. I decided the Krell would have enough power to drive any speaker I might choose in the future.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What to see the insides of gear...-s300i-3_fs.jpg  
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    It's interesting how we each have a different perspective on this aesthetic. Sorry, but that still looks like consumer goods to me. Even if the cover has a "natural persimmons wood finish". Here are some other pics of the op amp laden boards (17 in toto!):

    More C-3800 pics
    ....
    Humm ... well, to me "consumer goods" implies mass production. I doubt that applies to Accuphase. It's all quite subjective, but to me the effort Accuphase takes to deliver the ordered & symmetrical look is admirable. The REF 5 is nice but looks a bit ad hoc.



    BTW, as for exterior component designs my two favourites just happen to be Accuphase and ARC.




  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Speaking of "consumer good" though, I do kind of like the Cambridge Azure 840E ....


  14. #14
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  15. #15
    RGA
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    One little thing that bugs me about Accuphase is that some of it seems to be re-badged Kenwood.

    "By the way, Accuphase company was started by Kenwood employees, and all Accuphase top players have Sony KSS190A mechanism. So they are siblings so to speak. Only we know it and most people don't, so we can still buy the Ken for 1/10 th of the Accu price."

  16. #16
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    One little thing that bugs me about Accuphase is that some of it seems to be re-badged Kenwood.

    "By the way, Accuphase company was started by Kenwood employees, and all Accuphase top players have Sony KSS190A mechanism. So they are siblings so to speak. Only we know it and most people don't, so we can still buy the Ken for 1/10 th of the Accu price."
    You forgot the link RGA! Go down to the 8th picture to find the quote. Even has the same color of board as Accuphase.

    Kenwood 9010x transport
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  17. #17
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    One little thing that bugs me about Accuphase is that some of it seems to be re-badged Kenwood.

    "By the way, Accuphase company was started by Kenwood employees, and all Accuphase top players have Sony KSS190A mechanism. So they are siblings so to speak. Only we know it and most people don't, so we can still buy the Ken for 1/10 th of the Accu price."
    Haha. You're just smarting from Joe's remarks about the Audio Note player..

    But you're right that the Accuphase is through-back to the gorgeousnes of high-end Japanese equipment of the late '80s and early '90s -- not a bad thing.

  18. #18
    Aging Smartass
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    Certainly, looks aren't everything, but the 8 photos of the insides of my Adcom GFA-5800 are pretty impressive, and there's certainly a lot of stuff in there!

    I've owned the amp since the mid 90's, and have been delighted with it since then. Nelson Pass designed it, amongst others, but has been quoted as saying it's the best-sounding Adcom amp ever. Whether that's true or not doesn't really matter, but it's certainly the best sounding amp I've ever owned, and I've had others that were considerably costlier.

  19. #19
    RGA
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    Actually the link will make me take a closer look at Kenwoods - you never know if you see one on the used market for cheap it might be a good pick-up.

    Here in HK I saw a used Wadia sitting right beside a TEAC (coincidentally). The TEAC VRDS transport is the same one used in the Wadia transport - the price difference was massive. Wadia has the name - but you'll get every bit the player in the TEAC for about 1/8 the price.

    Granted some companies actually modify units they receive from suppliers but not all and that link seems to suggest Wadia did absolutely nothing (at least to that model).

    Audio Note doesn't really have competition in the sense that they arguably make and use the best transformers and caps in the industry. They use them and others don't so it gives them an advantage right off in the parts quality game.

    As to whether something is worth the money well - AN operates between a 3-5% cost to retail mark-up. Terry at Soundhounds told me that the rest of the stuff in the store operates on at LEAST a 10-1 mark-up. That means not a single competing component does better than a 10-1 cost to retail price scenario (and worse that covers marketing, shipping, packaging, labor.

    So that means the $500 speakers are at best $50 in materials the $2000 are at best $200 in materials. Soundhounds sells the following Products

    Labour is big which is why AN has a kits division to take British labour out of the equation (mostly as they still spend hours pair matching parts of the kits).

    Unlike a lot of manufacturers Audio Note is not simply buying a CD player taking the cover off and putting their own cover on and multiplying the price by 10.

    Virtually every thing they make is a two box unit first. They then take the two units and put them in a large case making it an integrated - or one box. Most companies have a number and they make something to hit the number so integrateds are designed as integrated or one box players. The OTO Phono SE is an M1 preamp and P2 power amp and Phono stage placed into one large box. The price goes down because it shares one case (less materials). But the actual parts inside are identical to the separates.

    I like that there is a kits division - you want to save money then all you need to do is build a Dac 2 Sig Kit and buy a Chinese transport that uses the Philips Pro 2 and you can very likely cut the CD 4.1 price below half because you're not longer paying for labour. This assumes you can trust the Chinese version of the Philips transport but personally speaking as much as I like the 4.1 I would go two box and save money and get very close. Some people want less clutter I guess.

    Like I say I would personally not buy the AN CD 4.1 - it sounds first rate but I think you can get the same/very close to same results far cheaper.

    First, few people can drop $12,000 on a CD player in one go.

    So I would do it in stages. I don't buy that the transport is as critical as some. This is why I bought the LM CD 215 which uses a decent Sony mechanism - but more to the point it sounds very good in its own right as a one box player. Really good. I could then add a DAC 3.1 later and combined I'd be getting a better DAC than the one in the 4.1 and lose a bit on the transport but it would cost less than half the price.

    If a transport is critical this is what I would buy

    The Opera consonance Droplet since it uses the Philips Pro 2M transport and looks gorgeous ($3200)
    Consonance Droplet CDP-5.0D Fully Balanced Tube CD Player

    Then I'd add an AN DAC 4.1 later (which is a higher end DAC than the one in the 4.1) for $3,275. Audio Note Kits - DAC Kit 4.1

    Total is $6,475 and takes up considerably more space but personally that is what I would do. Pay $200 or so and they'll build the DAC for you to boot so even if you're chicken to build it is still a much cheaper proposition.

    Now if only every other company would offer kits - It would be nice to have those $2000 speakers Soundhounds sells in kit form for $350-$500
    Last edited by RGA; 06-14-2012 at 04:05 AM.

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...
    Then I'd add an AN DAC 4.1 later (which is a higher end DAC than the one in the 4.1) for $3,275. Audio Note Kits - DAC Kit 4.1
    ...
    Now if only every other company would offer kits - It would be nice to have those $2000 speakers Soundhounds sells in kit form for $350-$500
    I agree about kits in general. The AN DAC 4.1 (kit) obviously is an exotic design with some exotic and doubtless costly parts; transformer coupling, etc.. I'd go so far as to say it's "good value" ...



    But is it worth $3215 more than my current $60 DAC from eBay ... uhmm ... maybe not.
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  21. #21
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I agree about kits in general. The AN DAC 4.1 (kit) obviously is an exotic design with some exotic and doubtless costly parts; transformer coupling, etc.. I'd go so far as to say it's "good value" ...



    But is it worth $3215 more than my current $60 DAC from eBay ... uhmm ... maybe not.
    Depends on whether one likes the sound better or not. Since I've heard a lot of digital over 20 years and none of it sounds better than Audio Note digital then it's worth it. But according to the Stereophile review - it doesn't play well in all systems due to impedance issues. But then it's not designed for all systems.

    The issue of "worth it" applies to anything. Is it worth it to buy a $550 Sennheiser HD 600 over the free ones that come with your iPod - they both, after all, produce sound. Is it really "worth" $550 times more than the $1 headphone they provide?

    I go back to my AN OTO experience back when I was a huge Bryston fan.

    I sat there looking at my financial options - I could buy the Bryston Pre/pro combination for the same price as an OTO integrated. Bryston with the 20 year warranty versus the OTO with only 1 year. Bryston with the impeccable reputation for taking care of the customer, Bryston in the recording studios, Bryston with the reviews and name recognition and I could sell easily on the second hand market. Bryston with more dealers and less likely to go out of business. And separates (more option) - more inputs, looks better, no costly tubes to replace, better measurements.

    The they pushed play.

    Had it even been close I would have bought Bryston because contrary to popular belief I will sacrifice a bit of sound quality for Features, Aesthetics, Warranty, Resale Ability, Customer Support, and Ergonomics. Unfortunately, like Wes Philips - after my auditions in the dealer like his at CES - after AN the rest was noise.

    The problem is that as much as I like Audio Note - it's not affordable - I can't blame them - part of it is supply and demand - more demand you can raise the price - people are willing to pay $12k for the CD 4.1. I can like it without attaching a value to it because IMO so long as it "sounds the price" or betters the competition then it's fine. Personally I would go with a DAC and cheaper transport. I could pick up a used TEAC VRDS for $600-$700 and that would probably be a top 5 to 10 transport and the AN DAC and CD is done.

    The interesting thing though is CD is in a bit of a death rattle. Computer audio has taken over and AN has not really been on board. So if you want a great USB DAC from Computer I doubt the AN holds up very well.

    Again personally speaking I want a DAC that can be used for a CD player AND computer. Strike 2 to Audio Note.

    I am looking at Lindeman, Eastern Electric, Halide, and some others as a DAC.

    The Eastern Electric Mini Max Plus is very nicely priced and has gotten raves by virtually everyone. For around $1k to me it is possibly a better option than Audio Note. It's certainly very likely to be a much better option for computer audio. The AN's outsource their USB Dac section to Hagerman in the U.S. for a custom job I believe but it's not as current.

    This is a possible option for me later in the year MMpreIntro
    Last edited by RGA; 06-14-2012 at 06:14 PM.

  22. #22
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Often we thiok some manufacturers are asking too much for what is inside the components they're selling. We need to remember that they need to recoup the money spent on R&D when pricing their products. They are not in business to lose money.

    I've built a number of DIY items as a favor to members of various forums (DC blockers and IR remote triggers for the legacy model Classe amplifiers) at near cost price. If I were to charge what I thought was a fair and reasonable price for my precious spare time building these items, people would probably think they were being ripped off paying so much for what seems like so little for the money.

    I don't doubt there are manufacturers who charge too much, but that is a topic for another discussion. Just my $.02.

  23. #23
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    I build speakers for the joy of accomplishment. I almost feel I should be paying someone just for the experience.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular MrAcoustat's Avatar
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    Acoustat 1+1s modified interfaces

    Hi i love to see the insides of units, here are a few photos of my Acoustat's 1+1s interface.









    Chord CPM-2600 Amplifier
    Chord One Cd player
    Acoustat 1+1s Speakers

    Acoustat Heaven On Earth

  25. #25
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    Love to see those big yellow auricaps. My Bottleheads are loaded with them.

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