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What Was the Best Audio System (s) You Have Heard?

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  • #16
    Two rooms come to mind for me.

    Innovative Audio used to have a location in Brooklyn. Downstairs was a room with some early version Watt Puppies (5-7 variant), driven by Rowland and sourced by Wadia. Setup with curtain and proper lighting, it looked like a stage to a venue. With the lights turned down low except for the spotlight in the center, it seemed like Holly Cole was in the room singing her a** off. A holographic image, not just of voice, but head and instruments as well. Amazing presentation, visually and sonically.

    The second room was most recent: Bill Parish's big room with the mighty Sonja 1.3s driven with Audionet and fronted by a Kronos Pro. Talk about life size imaging and scale! And so effortless! One of my favorite rooms!
    Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

    Comment


    • #17
      I thought the Sonjas at CES three years ago with the Tenor electronics IIRC was a nice match.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Bruce B View Post
        I'd have to say the system Winston Ma had about 5yr. ago. He's always had the Avalon Sentinel's, but the amps and pre he was using at the time was by David Berning. The room had a lot to do with the sound as well.
        Working with Winston on my Decca book (published by his FIM company), gave me a chance to hear his system several times in the past few years. He spent more money, time, care on the design and construction of the room than most of the super high end audiophiles spend on their equipment. Wonderful experience.

        Larry
        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
        Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
        Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
        Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by astrotoy View Post

          Working with Winston on my Decca book (published by his FIM company), gave me a chance to hear his system several times in the past few years. He spent more money, time, care on the design and construction of the room than most of the super high end audiophiles spend on their equipment. Wonderful experience.

          Larry
          Not to mention nicest gentleman in the world and makes some pretty fine sounding recordings too. It was Winston who finally pushed me over the edge to jump into tape.

          Not sure how current this picture is!

          Click image for larger version

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          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
            "other than mine" .......

            at CES 2003 or 2004 there was a quad surround system comprised of a pair of Von Schweikert VR11SE's and a pair of VR9SE's with 4 darTZeel stereo 108's vertically bi-amped for power, and the EMM DAC6, EMM transport and EMM Switchman multi-channel pre for electronics.

            I still recall the SACD surround of The Who's 'Tommy' playing the native quad recording 'Pinball Wizard' at warp factor 9. not saying it was the best or most refined, but memorable....yes very!!

            unforgettable.

            Ha! That was during my audio sabbatical.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #21
              I have heard some good systems at the two audio shows I have attended but the conditions prohibit me from saying any were the best. There was always someone talking loudly in the room, people walking around in front of the system, limited familiar music for rooms that will not play your material. I think audio shows are horrible places to gauge greatness. I think you can hear enough to pique your interests and then listen in better conditions of your home or a well set up dealer. These are the places to hear greatness. Just my opinion.
              Marty

              Comment


              • #22
                Until recently the most impressive system I had listened to was Sonusfaber TheSonus Faber (Fenice) speakers powered by Audio Research REF610 monsters and REF40 preamplifier driven by a Metronome Kalista C2A combo. All Odin cabling. It had scale, dynamics and real presence. It is the kind of system that makes you remember that some people have cats as pets, others have leopards or even panthers ...

                However a shorter audition of the Wilson XLF with similar front end using the Constellation Audio Hercules II plus Altair II managed to rise the bar. The effortless 3D layering capabilities of such system, distributing the energy of the sound in the correct places in the exact moment with no hang over in the stage was memorable.

                But if life dynamics of rock music was my main interest I would have no doubt - the enormous German Physics Gaudi was the winner by a large margin!

                My opinions rely on listening mainly to acoustical, non amplified music. I do not care about electronic music or listening to rock at stadium levels, but I enjoy Mahler and Shostakovitch.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by nc42acc View Post
                  I have heard some good systems at the two audio shows I have attended but the conditions prohibit me from saying any were the best. There was always someone talking loudly in the room, people walking around in front of the system, limited familiar music for rooms that will not play your material. I think audio shows are horrible places to gauge greatness. I think you can hear enough to pique your interests and then listen in better conditions of your home or a well set up dealer. These are the places to hear greatness. Just my opinion.
                  Audio shows are nice places to meet old friends and look at equipment. Although I can remember a few really memorable sessions at audio shows.
                  My opinions rely on listening mainly to acoustical, non amplified music. I do not care about electronic music or listening to rock at stadium levels, but I enjoy Mahler and Shostakovitch.

                  Comment


                  • nc42acc
                    nc42acc commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I hope to meet new friends at Axpona who hopefully will become old friends at future shows.

                • #24
                  Originally posted by microstrip View Post
                  Until recently the most impressive system I had listened to was Sonusfaber TheSonus Faber (Fenice) speakers powered by Audio Research REF610 monsters and REF40 preamplifier driven by a Metronome Kalista C2A combo. All Odin cabling. It had scale, dynamics and real presence. It is the kind of system that makes you remember that some people have cats as pets, others have leopards or even panthers ...

                  However a shorter audition of the Wilson XLF with similar front end using the Constellation Audio Hercules II plus Altair II managed to rise the bar. The effortless 3D layering capabilities of such system, distributing the energy of the sound in the correct places in the exact moment with no hang over in the stage was memorable.

                  But if life dynamics of rock music was my main interest I would have no doubt - the enormous German Physics Gaudi was the winner by a large margin!

                  I've heard the big Sonus Fabers twice-once at CES in a huge room and once at an audiophile's home on LI. In both cases, the speakers were part of an all tube system (cj and ARC) and were really impressive!

                  I heard a very similar system to you at CES where the Fenices were driven by the ARC 600s and the front-end was a SME 30/Palos Santos. The other time the Fenices were driven with cj ARTs/ART preamp and VPI TNT and Benz LP-S cartridge. To my ears, the Fenices don't sound like the rest of the Sonus Faber speaker line. Much warmer and organic sounding. And I totally agree with what you said about dyanamics, scale and presence. Especially presence. And effortless.

                  Hmmm....I wonder where those show pictures are.
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                  -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                  Comment


                  • #25
                    Originally posted by nc42acc View Post
                    I have heard some good systems at the two audio shows I have attended but the conditions prohibit me from saying any were the best. There was always someone talking loudly in the room, people walking around in front of the system, limited familiar music for rooms that will not play your material. I think audio shows are horrible places to gauge greatness. I think you can hear enough to pique your interests and then listen in better conditions of your home or a well set up dealer. These are the places to hear greatness. Just my opinion.
                    Totally agree Marty. That's why I limited my favorites to Lloyd Walkers home who I know and have visited several times and Greg Beron's room at the shows. The only reason I included Greg is because I have spent quite a few hours at his evening soirées at quite a few shows. I might include several friends' home systems among the best but they just fall short of my short list.
                    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

                    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

                    VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
                    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

                    Piega C711 Loudspeakers

                    Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

                    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange & Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref balanced IC, MIT Oracle IC, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

                    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

                    Comment


                    • #26
                      Originally posted by allenh View Post
                      Two rooms come to mind for me.

                      Innovative Audio used to have a location in Brooklyn. Downstairs was a room with some early version Watt Puppies (5-7 variant), driven by Rowland and sourced by Wadia. Setup with curtain and proper lighting, it looked like a stage to a venue. With the lights turned down low except for the spotlight in the center, it seemed like Holly Cole was in the room singing her a** off. A holographic image, not just of voice, but head and instruments as well. Amazing presentation, visually and sonically.

                      The second room was most recent: Bill Parish's big room with the mighty Sonja 1.3s driven with Audionet and fronted by a Kronos Pro. Talk about life size imaging and scale! And so effortless! One of my favorite rooms!
                      I had a similar experience the first time I heard Watts, back then the Puppy wasn't available and this dealer placed them on Entec subs standing upright. The rest of the system was also Rowland and an oracle front end. The element of total surprise (shock?) took me aback and literally gave me goose bumps. Up till then I didn't know a system could do that. I always wanted a pair of watt/puppies but it never came together, what they did well was so right which wasn't often enough. The illusion would collapse as easily on less than perfect recordings. The early Watt's focal tweeter (the yellow one) was like Jekyll and Hyde.
                      Simon Yorke + Zyx + B.M.C .> Soulution > Boulder > Magico

                      "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

                      Comment


                      • #27
                        Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                        Not to mention nicest gentleman in the world and makes some pretty fine sounding recordings too. It was Winston who finally pushed me over the edge to jump into tape.

                        Not sure how current this picture is!
                        Is that the Spotheim La Luce 'table?
                        Simon Yorke + Zyx + B.M.C .> Soulution > Boulder > Magico

                        "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

                        Comment


                        • #28
                          Originally posted by Rob View Post

                          Is that the Spotheim La Luce 'table?
                          ​Yes. What a beauty.

                          And Judy is a very interesting person, brilliant designer and super knowledgeable when it comes to music. She was best friends with Sid Marks for many, many years and used to talk with him on the phone and send him letters (OK this was before email but that wouldn't have changed anything today because Sid still doesn't own a computer! ) with all these interesting tweaks to try in his system. I used to lovingly call her the Israeli Enid but of course now Judy lives in Holland now.
                          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                          ________________________________________

                          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                          Comment


                          • #29
                            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                            ​Yes. What a beauty.

                            And Judy is a very interesting person, brilliant designer and super knowledgeable when it comes to music. She was best friends with Sid Marks for many, many years and used to talk with him on the phone and send him letters (OK this was before email but that wouldn't have changed anything today because Sid still doesn't own a computer! ) with all these interesting tweaks to try in his system. I used to lovingly call her the Israeli Enid but of course now Judy lives in Holland now.
                            Brooks Berdan was real high on her designs, there was a time back in the day when her 'table was on everyone's lips as being the best available. George Cardas has one, IIRC.
                            Simon Yorke + Zyx + B.M.C .> Soulution > Boulder > Magico

                            "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

                            Comment


                            • #30
                              Originally posted by Rob View Post

                              Brooks Berdan was real high on her designs, there was a time back in the day when her 'table was on everyone's lips as being the best available. George Cardas has one, IIRC.

                              I think Ray Shab/Arcici was the first to import Judy's table and then George at least at one time, took up the distribution.
                              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                              ________________________________________

                              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                              Comment

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