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bjh's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 12 2005 - 2:33pm
Filarmonia for JM's proverbial High School Music Teacher?

Given JM's concern for affordable high quality gear for the music lover unfortunately unable to delight the palate with hi-end offerings I would think he may be interested in a quality ST-70 "tribute" amplifier that isn't nearly as dear as the Filarmonia.

I'm thinking of Mappletree Audio Design's Stealth 60C. Actually the Stealth 60C is not accurately speaking a ST-70 "tribute" amplifier but like the Filarmonia some connection is obvious; in the case of the 60C one such is that the driver board is available separately for ST-70 restorations/rebuilds, it appeared prior to the 60C in fact.

Ugly Duckling notwithstanding JM may find the 60C worth looking into. The proprietor, "Dr. P", is also a very amicable fellow and I would think the inquiry would be a pleasant one.

johnmarks's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 30 2006 - 8:45am
Thanks for the interesting recommendation.


Thanks for the interesting recommendation. That's a nice web site, everybody should give it a gander. I passed the info on to another Stereophile writer with a penchant for the smell of solder, and perhaps he will investigate more deeply.

I have to beg off for such a product for the hypothetical application. Over and above the issue of a separate power amplifier's multiplying boxes and cables and taking up more space, there are other issues.

When I write up a product, that is one thing. When I recommend a product, that is another. And what I did was to recommend that for a particular kind of person or application, I found the Magnum Dynalab/Spendor S8e combination to be a better fit, more optimal, whatever, than other solutions I had investigated. I don't know about you, but I think that that makes a huge difference. Not that I am saying Caveat Emptor specifically about any other product; but in general that attitude remains a good idea. Both Spendor and Magnum Dynalab are very well-established companies with long histories of standing behind their products and taking care of their customers. (Yes, I know, so were Studebaker and Packard.) And frankly, my confidence that the company will be around to take care of the customer is a large factor in such recommendations when I make them. I don't want the value of anyone's purchase being compromised by something terrible happening to the sole proprietor who runs the business.

Now, for all I know, Ars-Sonum is a small company too. For all I know, it may be a sole proprietorship. But that write-up was a case of calling it as I heard it. Whether any given reader decides the value package of the SPANISH (just teasing about the cover blurb) Ars-Sonum at US$4000 trumps available solutions from China at half the cost or less is their decision. But when I go out of my way to tell a newbie, even a hypothetical one, that a product represents the upper reaches of performance for price in high end audio, I think I have an obligation to look at the entire picture.

Indeed, as you will see next year (or in the Equipment Guide), I am embarking on a survey of one-box solutions such as the Arcam Solo, which may constitute a viable alternative to the Magnum Dynalab receiver.

Again, Mapletree sure looks like a high-value labor of love, and I hope someone else can fit in some coverage. To put in a footnote of sorts, decisions like this by me are not bound by the five-dealer rule that obtains for full reviews. It is just that I am not going to recommend a starter system that has components from a sole proprietor, or thinly capitalized, or troubled company. Not to suggest that Mapletree is anything other than a one-man outfit!

Thanks for reading,


bjh's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 12 2005 - 2:33pm
Re: Thanks for the interesting recommendation.

"Thanks for the interesting recommendation."

My pleasure, and thank you for the explanatory reply.

As things stand I believe "Dr. P" sells em' as fast as he can produce em' and has been doing so for some considerable number of years if I'm not mistaken (his mainstay has been preamps and headphone amplifers).

The fame of a favorable mention in Stereophile would probably destroy him, or at least seriously mess up his lifestyle!


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