Jean Nantais Turntable, Graham Tonearm, Miyajima Cartridge, Yamamoto Amplifier, Rethm Speakers, Ocelia Cables, Harmonix Accessories

The Hearken Audio room was showing the sort of gear that indulges my creative impulses. None of it looked boring, or robotically manufactured on an assembly line. Two of the displayed items in particular snagged my focus: the Jean Nantais Ultimate Lenco analog rig ($US17,500), outfitted with a Graham Audio 12" tonearm ($CAD10,335; only arms of 10.5" or more in length can be used) and a Tru-Lift automatic tonearm lifter ($USD275), a Miyajima Labs Saboten L low-output MC cartridge ($CAD6700), and a pair of 102dB-sensitive Rethm Saadhana speakers ($CAD24,000).

No less artisanal as the former but more subdued in appearance were Miyajima's ETR-KSW SVT step-up transformer ($USD2495), Miyajima's EC5 preamp ($USD4995), and a Yamamoto Sound Craft AO-14 300B amp ($CAD6000), all of it complemented with Ocelia cables and Harmonix turntable mat and footers. A system like this isn't designed to produce prodigious bass, but to communicate the emotional core of the music, which it succeeded in doing with a midrange that seemed to go on forever. On tracks by vocalists Dominique Fils-Aimé and Ane Brun, the sound was exceedingly tactile, and brimming with microdynamics and lingering decays.

Awsmone0's picture

I see a lenco on the right of picture
But what’s the one on the left in the beautiful burl wood


Ps Nantais spelling wrong in heading though not body of article
PPS you forgot to mention the Thoress phonostage :)

rschryer's picture

It is an immaculately refurbished 1960s Lenco.

I saw no Thoress phono stage being used in the playback chain. The SUT was plugged into the Miyajima's EC5 preamp, which incorporates a phono stage.

Awsmone0's picture

Interesting the top plate looks quite different from on the right which is the one I am used to seeing
Any more photos from the top? Of that one on the left

Ok so the thoress second shelf on right wasn’t used thx

Anton's picture

7800 bucks in 2008.

They are amazing at detail! But, the price seems to be more about chasing the market.

Of the few times I feel I’ve ever come close to live sound from a system, it was hearing Louis Armstrong’s head sticking out from one of those speakers. It was alarmingly vivid!

The price paradox continues to puzzle and perplex me.

tonykaz's picture

kinda sounds like Old people living in Florida. hmm

Love this one too: "Lingering Decays" !

I'll be looking to find an appropriate use for this wonderful expression.

Look out HR, there 's Poetry in the frozen North.

Tony in Venice's picture

LOVE the idea of the Yamamoto A-014 integrated and wish there were somewhere in NYC where I could hear one.