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Saturday's Alright For Listening (And Night For Dinner!)

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  • Saturday's Alright For Listening (And Night For Dinner!)

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20180519_135903.jpg Views:	1 Size:	3.41 MB ID:	88270Click image for larger version  Name:	20180519_135823.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.96 MB ID:	88273Click image for larger version  Name:	20180519_142011.jpg Views:	1 Size:	3.03 MB ID:	88271Click image for larger version  Name:	20180519_142023.jpg Views:	1 Size:	2.67 MB ID:	88272Click image for larger version  Name:	20180519_155656.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.47 MB ID:	88269
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
    -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
    -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 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, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, 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, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies 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.

  • #2
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    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
    -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
    -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 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, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, 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, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies 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


    • #3
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      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
      -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
      -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 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, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, 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, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies 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


      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        Are Harry's eyes closed from being carried away by the music or does he need to be carried away from drinking too much beer. Mat seems to think the latter

    • #4

      This past Saturday Hi Fi Sales and owner Patrick Mattucci held an open house to celebrate the newest addition to his store’s product line and the East Coast debut of Gary Koh’s Genesis speakers. The turnout, despite inclement weather and torrential downpours, was excellent and I spent time catching up on audio gossip with fellow Audionirvana members Ken Golden and Bruce Assam. (Oh yes, Bruce and I spent time convincing Ken to take the leap of faith and buy a reel-to-reel tape machine.)

      Headlining the show was Genesis’ new $30K Maestro speakers. These were the same speakers—albeit in very early protype form—that I heard some two years ago at Gary’s Seattle factory. The Maestros are a five-way, 4 ohm (nominal), passive crossover design replete with self-powered, 500 wpc, servo controlled bass. Don’t let the speakers moderate 90 db efficiency rating fool you either. The Maestros are, in part traceable to the powered woofers, just as comfortable being driven by low output tube amplifiers as they are larger wattage amplifiers. One of Gary’s favorite amplifiers on the Maestros is, in fact, the diminutive VIVA amplifiers. The speaker’s driver complement includes 2 x 1-inch Genesis ring radiator ribbon tweeters (the same tweeter in top Genesis’ top speakers), 1 x 4-1/2-inch Genesis titanium cone, 2 x 6-1/2-inch Genesis aluminum mid-bass couplers and 4 x 8-inch Genesis ribbed Al cone per side. Gary provides a tweeter control level, midrange, bass gain and low pass frequency to help better integrate his speakers into different room situations.

      Driving the Genesis Maestro speakers was Roger Gibboni’s aka Rogers High Fidelity 100 wpc 34S-1 integrated tube amplifier. One unique feature of this dual mono, EL34 based amplifier is the Apple/Android app that allows users to remotely control all 34S-1 functions with their phone or tablet. Phono cartridge amplification was also handled by Rogers High Fidelity new PA-1A phonostage. Phonostage gain varies between 50-65 dB depending upon the input tube (12AX7, 12AU7 or 12AV7).

      Front-end responsibilities were handled by VPI’s $40K statement Titan ta’ble and two 12-inch 3D printed arms. The massive Titan (an Avenger on a megadose of steroids) is equipped with a 4-inch 40 pound platter and separate magnetic subplatter; the subplatter is driven with VPI’s latest Magneto rim drive.

      Gary brought along from the West Coast a few moving coil cartridges from his stable of transducers and set them all up ahead of time in separate VPI armwands. That allowed Gary with the aid of a Bosch GLL30 self leveling cross line laser to rapidly switch between cartridges and allow attendees to quickly compare and contrast the different transducers. Among the cartridges demonstrated were a Magic Diamond Vitus, Lyra Delos, Transfiguration Proteus Diamond and a cartridge whose name escapes me that is a Dynavector modded in Italy. Sadly, Gary shared that the designer of the Immutable/Transfiguration cartridges Seiji Yoshioka had recently passed away and the future of the company and cartridge line is uncertain.

      What did I bring to hear on Gary’s system?

      Conversations (Three Blind Mice)
      Dream with Dean (Analog Productions)
      Poulenc: Organ Concerto (EMI)
      Bladerunner (Audio Fidelity)

      This was the tale of two systems. The system as constituted upon arrival at around 1 PM wasn’t the same upon departure at 6 PM. Just like that baseball team roster in August rarely resembles the team with which they broke spring training. Quite simply day and night. (judicious removal of damping panels—particularly behind the Maestro speakers—also bears experimenting with.) When I arrived, Gary was in the midst of letting the audience audition his cartridge harem. Each cartridge sounded different but for some reason none were doing it for me. This one was a little bright, the next one was a little dull, etc. More than that there was just something lacking particularly with image height. Recordings sounded vertically challenged, images were flat, the soundstage was constricted and the system sounded tonally threadbare. Like what happens with an electrical problem. Color me extremely puzzled at this point as I left the listening room to grab one of the delicious sandwiches (especially with the Jalapeño peppers) that Hi Fi Sales had ordered for the occasion.

      So it was time to return to some listening—albeit this time with a full stomach—after catching up with Ken and Bruce (and some other people that I’ve met at other VPI get togethers and via Facebook). As Gary was busy demoing the system, I took a moment to reinventory the system. And there it was: a Furman power line conditioner lurking next to the left speaker. Knowing what I know about PLCs, I queried Gary whether the equipment was plugged into the Furman and if so, had he tried listening without the Furman in the system. Turned out Gary and I were on the same page. He shut down the system, unplugged the gear from the Furman, plugged everything into wall and then powered everything up. Others might have been surprised by the change but I wasn’t. Within thirty seconds, it was obvious that instrumental tonality had markedly improved. Instruments no longer sounded washed out. Furthermore as the tube gear warmed up, everything else markedly improved. Interestingly, “most” but not all tube gear takes 30-45 mins after being unplugged or shut down to sound it’s best; the Rogers gear seemed to take a bit longer until the sense of space and overtones are fully realized. Now the system and Gary’s speakers were starting to show what it was capable of doing. Wall to wall soundstaging. Conversations was far more transparent and the guitar and double bass were no longer flat and buried in a fog. The soundstage in the Poulenc was ginormous. Instruments just floated in space and Dean just sounded positively dreamy on Dream with Dean. Finally the system was starting to sing and show what it was capable of doing.

      Enter Harry Weisfeld with his portable high pressure tire pump. 20 psi in each of the bladders inside the Titan feet foot to start with and then adjusting the final pressure by ear. Again an improvement especially in image height.

      Oh yes. Gary had one last treat up his sleeve for those remaining late into the day. He reached into his box of audio recordings and pulled out one of only 10 45 rpm ORG test pressings of the RCA/Decca Royal Ballet recording cut by Bernie Grundman but never released due to contractual issues. What a crying shame! Simply glorious sounding with the Transfiguration Proteus Diamond and maybe the best reissue I’ve heard of this highly desirable recording.

      So make sure if you ever find yourself in the Cherry Hill/Philadelphia area to drop by Hi Fi Sales and have a listen to Gary’s newest speakers along with the Rogers High Fidelity electronics and VPI Titan table. I don’t think you will be disappointed. And a hats off and big thank you to Patrick and his staff for being such wonderful and gracious hosts!
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
      -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
      -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 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, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, 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, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies 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


      • #5
        Many thanks, Myles for making the 2+ hour trek from New York to come to the event! Great pictures and write-up of the system.

        As I was only responsible for the transducers (loudspeakers and cartridges), I didn't do anything to the electronics as the rep from Rogers was there as well. As you noted, even compared to the early prototype you heard in Seattle, there was much to be desired. Harry/Mat has a similar pair of speakers in their home and they also knew that quite a lot of performance pf the Titan and Maestro was being obscured.

        Nevertheless, after plugging the amp directly into the wall, and increasing the isolation of the table by pumping up the air suspension it improved tremendously.

        Comment


        • #6
          Fun times. I wish these events were closer to the left coast.

          FWIW I thought Harry dispensed with the air bladders years ago. They were an 'upgrade' for the then TNT but were considered too problematic. Then he went with squash balls, then solid rubber, then...He keeps us guessing, so what's next
          Linn Kilmax LP12 | Channel D Lino C | innous ZENMini | Kii Three

          Comment


          • Joe Pittman
            Joe Pittman commented
            Editing a comment
            Anti-gravity. But you need a licence from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

          • MylesBAstor
            MylesBAstor commented
            Editing a comment
            IIRC Harry abandoned the air bladders used in the TNT (yes I had them too) because they leaked. The ones used in the Titan are new, better made and don’t need topping up as much. Right now I think the only VPI tables that come at least stock with the air bladder feet are my Vanquish and the Titan.

          • Brf
            Brf commented
            Editing a comment
            Myles is correct, VPI abandoned the air bladders on the TNT due to slow air leakage problems which required frequent air pressure top ups. The new VPI pneumatic air suspension feet use a much improved and more robust air bladder system that is housed in an extra-large and dense delrin VPI styled elephant footer. The new VPI air bladder feet can be retrofitted to be used with any VPI table. The footer’s effective resonance frequency control can be adjusted by altering the air pressure. I have been using the new air suspension footers since their introduction (1-year) with no air pressure issues. IMHO, a highly recommended upgrade.

        • #7
          I too have had the same power conditioner experiences....had many, and they all brought trolls to the party. It sometimes took me a day or so to realize the bad guy lurking, but in the end no conditioner for me .....(Ayre, Vandersteen, VPI, Ortofon)
          Last edited by Stringreen; 05-22-2018, 06:35 PM. Reason: punctuation

          Comment


          • garylkoh
            garylkoh commented
            Editing a comment
            Unfortunately, these power experiences bring the trolls out in droves because what we heard we still don't know how to measure. Most of the problem we had was an extremely vertically challenged soundstage. It wasn't only Myles and I who thought this. One session, when I mentioned it, a couple in the front row piped up and said that they thought they were imagining things. Before we plugged the amplifier into the wall outlet, everything sounded like it came out of a very deep, not very wide letterbox.

          • MylesBAstor
            MylesBAstor commented
            Editing a comment
            The same thing happened at last year’s RMAF show to Philip O’Hanlon in the Gryphon room. Sound was choked, dark and dynamically constricted.

        • #8
          Here's the Dynavector modded in Italy that Myles referred to. It's a Roberto Torlai special. Basically, he buys the motor housing from Dynavector, and builds his own innards. In this case, it had a tapered boron cantilever, and the coils were single-layer made with a vintage square -profile wire from the 1960's. As he only could find enough wire to make a single cartridge, this is the rarest cartridge I own. Internal impedance is only 1.5 ohms, and output is a staggeringly low 0.12mV. Of all the cartridges we played on Saturday, this was the sweetest and most alluring of the lot, without loss of detail, clarity or dynamics when compared to the other examples.

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          Comment


          • #9
            Here's the other cartridge that we used a lot on Saturday - the Transfiguration Proteus D with a square-shank diamond cantilever and a highly polished Ogura-profile stylus. Fantastic resolution and dynamics without being over-etched and bright. Harry took it home with him after the event........

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            • #10
              The album that probably got the most attention was this one by Flip Phillips, Bjarne Nerem and Kenny Davern. It's an album that I use as a reference during my design as it has a few tremendously difficult passages to get correct in the crossover. There is a track with a bass clarinet, soprano sax, and tenor sax that needs a lot of care in the bass to mid-bass crossover point to get it totally seamless integrated.

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