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Monty
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What components are you seriously considering purchasing in the near future?

I'm just curious as to what components seem to be getting serious attention from audiophiles these days.

I'm in the upgrade mode and am considering a few components for my office system.

Totem Arro speakers
Dynaudio 52se speakers
Primaluna integrated
Jolida integrated, modified hybrid or mod 202 or 302
Unico SE integrated hybrid
Creek 5250SE integrated
Krell 400i integrated

ohfourohnine
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

I haven't heard the Unico, but I recently heard the Creek Integrated in a system similar to mine and it is, indeed, a little dandy. If I was in the buying mood, which I'm not, it would tempt the heck out of me.

The only item I've been mulling over lately is the Gingko Cloud 11 isolation platform for my turntable. Anyone out there got some experience with it and a strong opinion on the benefits or lack of them?

Anthony Tam
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

The new hybrid components from Audio Analogue has piqued my interest. Too bad there is no AA dealer anywhere within reasonable distance of Chicago.

Buddha
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Hmmmm.

I'd kinda like to upgrade my digital disc playing set-up, but it really seems to be a time of uncertainty in that industry. SACD and DVD-A seem like short term players, and the new formats aren't fully incubated.

That Marantz DV-9600 seems alluring in the sub-2K category, but I haven't had a chance to listen to one.

Maybe it's time to go solicit advice in the digital forum!

Jim Tavegia
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

If you try the Jolida hybrids, try some Mullard 12au7s in place of the stock 12ax7 and see what you think. The Mullards are slightly pricey, but you can keep the stock tubes for emergency back up. The au's with slightly lower gain allow the pot to work more toward its mid position. If you look at their 202 you can get EL34 Mullards and 12AT7's I believe. The 12ax7 stock tubes might be OK short term and now you can try some others like Svetlana, Sovtek, or EI, or even Siemens NOS. This is fun no solid state amp can provide. There is a smaller Unison Unico that is 50 watts/ch that also is nice.

You might also look at the Triangle Comete or the Epos M5 bookself speakers.I have not heard the new version of the B&W 303's, but they were well received in the first editions. I don't think B & W makes anything not worth owning. Triangle sure doesn't.

Jolida also make a very small 1301 hybrid that is 35 watts/channel and makes a nice computer audio amp for a small space. That with the little Epos 3's or the Triangle Titus would be very sweet. that would even make a nice little IPod rig.

"Phile" has reviewed many small monitors this year and all seemed pretty well recieved, all under $500 a pair I belive. What ever you do this will make a pretty nice office system.

k512
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Simaudio may be releasing a new FM/FM-satellite radio tuner within the next year or two, and if so, I will be among the first to place an order.

In the near future, I'm also contemplating upgrading my existing interconnects to Acoustic Zen's Matrix Reference II (XLR), as well as upgrading my speaker cables to Acoustic Zen's Satori; or perhaps, their Double Barrel.

I'm also (out of curiosity) contemplating replacing my Shunyata Hydra-6 with the Hydra-8, initially on a trial basis.

RGibran
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

A few notes on some of the equipment you mentioned:

I always wanted to try

Anthony Tam
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Why mess around when everything is available in plain old Red Book CD? Not exactly high-zoot or next-gen but for me, a viable format is one where I don't have to ever wonder whether or not a particular recording is available. Or whether the particular recording actually takes advantage of the hi-resoultion format's full capability.

Red Book for the forseeable for me.

nunhgrader
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

I'm actually looking at purchasing a Primaluna integrated for my second system (first is a living room based audio/ home theatre; this second will be more audiophile oriented). Also saving for a pair of Sennheiser HD600s and Grado 225s. Also, another headphone amp (for variety) - leaning towards the Millet tube (own a Antique Sound Labs HB-1 which I absolutely love - 2 6Bq5 tubes).

nrchy
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

For this to have some value I will list my current componants. If anyone wants to make a suggestion they can work from that foundation.
ZYX Airy 3sb cartridge
TriPlanar VII arm
Sota Cosmos current but soon to be upgraded turntable
Pass Labs XOno phono stage
Virtual Dynamics (top of the line, can't think of the name)
Sony SCD 777es (modded in Dec by Richard Kern) CDP
Pursit Audio Design Venustus IC CDP to pre
Klyne 7LX3.5b (upgraded about two years ago) pre-amp
Purist Audio Design Dominus interconnect from pre to amp 4m pair balanced
Classe Omicron amp
Purist Audio Design Venustus speaker cables 1.5m
Talon Audio Khite speakers - weak link
All PCs are either Purist Veustus or Dominus FWIW
I have tried some big speakers, like Sony SS M9, and Kharma Ceramique 1.0, and some small speakers i.e. the Talons

I am pursuing a pair of Caravelles, but I have also talked with Bobby from Merlin about their biggest model. I know there is a lot of difference between the two, but I know they are both great speakers especially for the money. I have heard the Merlins, but at the time was not looking so I didn't pay enough attention, and I have listened to the Caravelles four different times.

I would appreciate any input.

Buddha
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Hi, Nrchy!

Xcllnt lst!

I'm a SOTA/Wheaton owner, as well.

Your list is killer. Other than "playing" with different speakers, I'd say stay the course and consider what you could do with your computer system and how it sounds.

Or, a laptop with wireless internet for sitting in your listening room and hanging here.

________________________
________________________

Wait, what was I thinking? Go listen to some good planar speakers - they do what Merlin has long strived for in terms of putting sound into the room in a believable fashion.

Yup, be sure to listen to some decent stats or ribbons.

nrchy
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Thanks for the advice. One of the things that have kept me from Planars is my room size sorta sucks. It's about 17x25, but there are lots of physical variations along one wall including a set of stairs. I had a suspended ceiling at about 6'-9" with DIY acoustic panels installed, but I took the whole thing down, cut the panels to fit between the ceiling joists, and plan to cover the bottom of the joists with fabric. The ceiling will look low - somewhere around 7', but the effective height will be closer to 8'.

Prior to making these changes, there were few planers that could work effectively within those constraints.

I liked Soundlabs, but I know about the core problems they have with the bigger models, and I don't know enough about the new Quads to know if they will work in my room???

Lots of questions - few answers!

gkc
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Hi, Monty,

I have two systems, one in an apartment in LA (Triangle Volante speakers, Musical Fidelity preamp & power amp; Meridian, Sony, Musical Fidelity, and Basis/Rega/Benz-micro source components), and one in the Reno/Tahoe area (I sold the Dynaudio Evidence speakers, still have VTL, dCs, and VPI electronics/source components). The one in my small (26 x 13.5 x 8) apartment living room has a total cost in the 20 grand range, including wire, power conditioning, room treatments, and minor tweaks; the one in my bigger place (about 35 x 30 x 10)cost well over $100,000. I sold the Dynaudio speakers because I can only play about a couple dozen or so of my most perfect recordings -- the other 3 or 4 thousand become irritating and distracting rather than enjoyable. So I am in the market for big speakers and am currently considering Triangle Magellans and JM Labs Utopias...but THIS time I am going to listen to a good sampling of ALL my recordings before I buy. I have already heard the big Wilsons -- they're just like the Dynaudios, so that's not an option. I didn't have the chance to spend much time auditioning the Dynaudios, because they were bought in a "scoop-'em-up-quick" used situation, for less than a third of their list price, and I only had about an hour or so to hear them. The upside here is that I had no trouble selling them for what I paid for them. I MAY upgrade the analog in my smaller apartment system, but I am reluctant because it sounds so damned good as is! MUCH better with the wide variety of symphonic music I have collected over the years (and can't live without) than the big-bucks system. This is a GREAT lesson learned about the grass on the other side of the fence. Still, I am considering the VPI "Super Scoutmaster," with the new Benz-Micro top-of-the-line cartridge, because it has gotten so much good press. I am reluctant, though, in spite of the fact that I can afford the upgrade, because the analog I now enjoy sounds very natural and tracks all my records beautifully. My phono stage is an Acoustech Ph-1 Gold, so that could go if I need a different phono stage with the upgrade, but, again, I am wary about changing even that -- I have NO complaints about the Acoustech and it's a no-fuss, superb sounding piece. I am starting to believe that, given the peculiarities of the individual recordings in a large, eclectic collection, there is definitely a limit to how far you can go towards throwing money at some ultimate system: I refuse to pay 30, 50, 80, 100 thousand for speakers that exaggerate the flaws on my favorite recordings. The $6,000 Triangles sound SUPERB on my very best "audiophile" recordings, which suggests transparency and neutrality, but also sound VERY listenable on the ones that became so irritating when played on the so-called super system, which suggests some sort of euphonic masking. Go figure. Sounds like a contradiction, but I can only go by what I hear. The cheap system is simply better sounding for my collection of music. Maybe if I listened only to a hundred or so recordings of Diana Krall and Patricia Barber, and a few perfect Jazz recordings, things would be different. But I gotta have Ormandy, Szell, Reiner, and Bruno Walter doing Mahler, Berlioz, Hindemith, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky on LP's I bought during the '60's, too. I am going to keep trying up in Nevada, but my patience is getting limited. I can't STAND getting ripped off, and I'll get my money's worth this time, or I'll simply throw some garish Home Theater system in the big room, watch football games and female mud-wrestling, and listen to the grunts and whacks in 7.1 channel surround through a Denon multi-channel receiver. Then I'll get another relatively inexpensive Triangle sytem for the den or a bedroom and use THAT for real music. So that's the plan, for now. Cheers and happy tunes, Clifton.

greenelec
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

I am going to buy a pair of Gallo Ref Speakers. And compare to my Dunlavy SM-1s. Loser goes to my ex-wife whose JMLab speakers sound crappy.

CECE
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Speaking of Hybrids, ya needs some AVA Ultra Hybrid series!!! Incredible stuff. I use Ultra Hybrid phase inverters, and a Ultra Hybrid EC preamp driving 4 AVA rebuild Hafler 500's DH and P500, ..it'll smoke any thing out there guaranteed!!! No frills, no magic, no $1,000 rubber feet, pure audio electronics design work, and RELIABLE, ain't had an AVA failure in over 10 years on all my previous stuff.

commsysman
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

If I was starting a system for my office or 2nd home, I would start with the Music Hall a25.2 integrated; $599 buys quite a nice unit there, I think....

nrchy
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Buddha, remind me to rattle your cage in about a month with some potentially exciting news!

Yiangos
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Just ordered a Koetsu Urushi.Allways wanted one.
p.s. nrch , nice system.

nrchy
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

I'm real curious to hear your thoughts on that cartridge. Koetsu's tend to be a little too laid back and soft for me, but I haven't heard that one. Most of my expereince is based on listening to the Rosewood Signature Platinum.

I hope you love it!

commsysman
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Ever spend any time listening to Vandersteen 3A speakers?

you might want to go over to Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica (great quiet listening room) or whoever your closest dealer is and spend a couple of hours listening to some of your favorite music on them. Every taste is different, but for me they are about the best-balanced at under $5000; very well-balanced and accurate with few idiosyncrosies (like some of the speakers you mentioned).

It sounds like you have passed the gee-whiz phase and want accurate sound instead of black-shiny-plastic HIFI sound like some of the speakers you mentioned will deliver.

If you want to spend 10 grand and want the 16HZ fundamentals, add a pair of 2W subs; the 3A goes down to 35HZ fine, but for the very bottom of the pipe organ they need the subs. again, they have that all set up for you and ready to listen at Optimal Enchantment.

Everything sounds great on my 3A/2W system in a 15 x 35 room with slanted ceiling; the subs need to be fairly tight in the corners to avoid sounding wooly on the lolows in my room.

RGibran
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

In case you missed it, John Atkinson recently replied to a question from a poster over at that "other" forum. I hope he does not object to my posting it here.


Quote:
Thank you. As I wrote a while back, in www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/104awsi
I am well aware that the more I learn, the more I also realize how
much there is of which I am still unaware. I am always puzzled,
therefore, by those who are so _certain_ in their audio opinions.

RG

DanS
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

I just finished putting together my multi-channel audio system: MOON Orbiter universal player; McIntosh Labs MX119 pre-pro & MC207 power amp; Martin Logan speakers.
Now I want to acquire the components for my stereo listening room.
I had the chance of auditioning the following system at one of my local dealers: MOON Eclipse CD player; Musical Fidelity kW Hybrid pre-amp; Hovland Sapphire power amp; Quad 989 speakers. I was just about to sign a check for the entire system. But I hesitated for the following reasons:
a) Source: SimAudio released MOON Evolution Andromeda Reference CD player, which the dealer has not received yet (Stereophile has not reviewed it yet either);
b) Amplification: I am torn between the hybrid combo kW & Sapphire and some SimAudio, McIntosh or Krell solid-state alternative (first choice has the benefit of the vacuum tube sound, while the 3 solid-state amplification varieties have also impeccable sound - I demo-ed them all);
c) Speakers: Quad released the 2905 ESL, which is supposed to have a more solid structure compared to the 989 model (the dealer has not received them yet and Stereophile has not reviewed them yet either).
I would appreciate any feed-back / piece of advice on any of these 3 points. Thx.

commsysman
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

I recently purchased the new Audio Research LS26 preamp ($6k), and I would strongly suggest that anyone who is considering an upgrade to their system not do so without checking it out at some point. I have never heard anything to equal it; absolutely pure magic!!

When Stereophile gets around to around to reviewing it, I suspect they may need a new A+ catgory for it; it's that good. I think it even sounds better than the Reference 3, which is currently still supposed to be the AR flagship preamp (although with its age, limited gain, and relative lack of features...I strongly suspect it may be superceded soon by a Reference 4...it's getting a bit long in the tooth now).

The LS26 seems to have incorporated the engineering of the Reference 3, plus some improvements, AND features not included in the Reference 3, such as 3 selectable gain ranges for every input, a tube hours monitor, and others.

It is about 2 or 3 quantum leaps better than the LS16 Mark 2, which it replaced in my system, and IT was much better than the LS2B, which was my previous preamp (and which was rated Class A 10-15 years ago). The progress in preamps in the last 5 years is very striking! If you have a pre-2000 preamp, you probably are missing the boat. The LS2B, which was Class A in Stereophile 10-15 years ago, would hardly make Class C now, in my opinion. That's how far things have progressed.

eagle
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Re: What components are you seriously considering purchasing in

Outlaw 990 pre-pro
Stirling Research LS3/5A V2

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