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post #721 of 731 Old 09-27-2014, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I got back from the New York Audio Show last night, and it's my first time going. I was curious. I came away impressed with several things, and I've been stoked (too much, unfortunately). At least I stuck to my planned targets. Mostly.

The room I spent the most time in was VPI's main room (they had two). Both Harry and Matt Weisfeld were there, with Matt's girlfriend working the door. All were available to answer questions. They were demoing their new Classic Prime turntable, which comes with a new production 3D tonearm. It replaces the Classic II, essentially, and will retail for $3500. It doesn't have the same style as the Classics, though. It has an outboard motor, a Classic platter, and the configuration bears some resemblance to the HRX. The amp is an upcoming VPI integrated, which is a remake of an old Scott tube unit. The Prime has most of the performance of the Classic 3 for less money. By the way, VPI won't be offering the Classic 3 in Rosewood much longer—get yours now if you want it.

The Prime is an amazing unit. The design would have to grow on me, but it sounded great. You know you're in trouble when you just sit and listen to the music, forgetting what else you're doing.

I was impressed with the Legacy Aeris and Focus SE, in the Legacy and Audio Classics rooms respectively. If they weren't so heavy. . .Audio Classics was using a MCD500, and it crossed my mind. . .The power came from their own amp; Audio Classics makes their own tube amp, a large chassis, reminiscent of a Marantz. And they used a C2300, so some familiarity there.

The Stereo Exchange room was another good-sounder (Totem/Transparent/Devialet). I'm thinking more about going over to all Transparent cables (interconnects), despite not being displeased with my AQ King Cobra (I even have one pair still in the box). The Totems were from the Element series (Fire) and went pretty low for what were stand-mounted speakers. The speaker cable was simple Transparent MusicWave, bi-wire configuration. According to the SE guy, I'd have to go to MusicWave Plus to better my Kimber 12TC.

I also liked the Nola Metro Grand Reference. I didn't stay in the room long, just long enough to know I liked their sound character. Not bright, musical, easy to listen to.

So coming out of the show, I felt as if I might go for the Transparent cables and maybe a new VPI down the road. If the logistics worked, maybe I'd get some Legacys. I'm past curious; I'm intrigued. Maybe it'll pass later. But I must be realistic on what I can really afford to do, and whether I should do anything. Perhaps today I'll get a chance to play music and see if that counters my current mindset. The Legacys stuck with me a bit, too. I can't afford the Aeris, and the Focus would be a big stretch, plus the practical considerations of something so heavy (about 145 lbs. per speaker).

I did pick up a copy of Yes' Fragile from Acoustic Sounds, only to get home and find I already have one. An unnecessary expenditure of $30. This is what happens when you buy impulsively.
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post #722 of 731 Old 10-05-2014, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Last Sunday I made a return trip to the NY Audio Show and spent much time in the three rooms of primary interest to me: VPI, Legacy, and Audio Classics. I have new appreciation for the Focus SE and the VPI turntables. I went to other rooms and was impressed by several. Martin-Logan had two rooms: an HT room and a 2-channel high-end setup with Krell amplification. The HT room was cool, except I think the room was too small for two subs; bass was too boomy. The high-end 2 channel room also had 2 subs but was a bit larger, and there was less "boom." Actually the sound was good, until someone requested a Nine-Inch Nails CD. I'm not a NIN fan, and the system revealed how poorly the CD was recorded. It sounded harsh and hashy compared to the other material being played; it didn't sound clean. The Naim/Focal room sounded just gorgeous, but I couldn't begin to afford what was in there. Naim's new Statement amps and Focal Grande Utopias combine for over $300K!

Having come away from all the goodies, I am giving thought to a new turntable and new speakers, though not this year. Again, the Focus SE is back on the radar, but the $10,500 is a bit steep. The Bryston Model T (not at the show) has all the promise of being a good fit in my room, plus they weigh less. And there are now dealers for both speakers in NYC, so that helps.

Curiosity is dangerous, as I'm developing a tendency to want to try almost every piece of new gear I come across that is or might be within financial reach which appeals to me. For example, my Pioneer Elite 09 BDP is chugging along just fine, and I like the Wolfson DACs. The coming BDP 88 uses ESS Sabre DACs, which the Oppos use also. Some reviews hint at the Oppo's detailed but slightly lean sound; not sure if I'd like that. I have an Oppo BDP-83 that I've never hooked into the stereo so I don't know what it sounds like, but I could see getting the new Pioneer 88 and relegating the Oppo 83 to bedroom duty if I ever get that mini-system set up in there. I even bought a 24" LCD to go in it (720p, though). I wonder how all this curiosity will play out.
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post #723 of 731 Old 10-06-2014, 01:47 AM
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Thanks for the report
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post #724 of 731 Old 10-06-2014, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the report
You're welcome. By the way, I did exchange the Yes LP on Sunday for something else, a jazz set called All Night Long, with Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Kenny Burrell and others. Haven't played it yet.
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post #725 of 731 Old 10-06-2014, 10:52 PM
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You're welcome. By the way, I did exchange the Yes LP on Sunday for something else, a jazz set called All Night Long, with Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Kenny Burrell and others. Haven't played it yet.

Hmm! let me know what you think of it, about three years ago a co-worker got me interested in Donald Byrd and I ended up buying "Street Lady" which I love to this day. I'm betting your in for some good music.
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post #726 of 731 Old 10-24-2014, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm! let me know what you think of it, about three years ago a co-worker got me interested in Donald Byrd and I ended up buying "Street Lady" which I love to this day. I'm betting your in for some good music.
I finally played the album Wednesday, and will say I did indeed enjoy it. Donald Byrd was an excellent trumpet player, in fact everybody on the LP was good: Jerome Richardson (flute, sax), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Hank Mobley (tenor sax), Mal Waldron (piano), Doug Watkins (bass), and Art Taylor (drums). Solos were fluid, the grooves were tight, the music was easy to listen to. All Night Long, the title track, takes up all of side one yet is not boring. The only thing is that since I haven't been playing vinyl much lately, the tubes in my preamp's phono section aren't broken in yet. I'm sure things will sound even better once they do, or I could just re-insert my phono preamp. And on good-quality 180g vinyl, with no pops or clicks, I say great ether way!
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post #727 of 731 Old 10-24-2014, 08:44 PM
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glad to hear it ! you know the funny thing with me and vinyl is every time I get ready to get back into it, I end up upgrading something else ! its a perpetual cycle but one day
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post #728 of 731 Old 11-06-2014, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a thought. Given my recent experience at the NY Audio Show, I have begun to consider the Legacy Focus SE speakers (again) as potential replacements for my Mirages, should I decide on doing that next year. The Legacys join the Bryston Model T on the list, for a grand total of two. Even though the Golden Ear Triton Ones are less money and I've read good things about them (Sound & Vision and TAS gave very positive reviews), I'm still leery of speakers that need to be plugged in.

Most recorded music does't go as low in the bass as any of these speakers, so maybe that aspect of the question is a wash, but I'd think the lower a speaker goes, the more dynamic potential. I'm not reproducing thunderstorms here, but maybe some low organ now and then, or Fanfare for the Common Man on repeat is possible.
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post #729 of 731 Old 11-07-2014, 01:08 AM
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Looks like you got your work cut out for you! better get started with some demos (if possible), I'd add at least 5 to the list in that price range. I don't envy you at all as the main speakers are the most critical link in a setup but great start with the Focus and Bryston
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post #730 of 731 Old 11-07-2014, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like you got your work cut out for you! better get started with some demos (if possible), I'd add at least 5 to the list in that price range. I don't envy you at all as the main speakers are the most critical link in a setup but great start with the Focus and Bryston
The new Def Techs Mythos ST-Ls are in the mix, peripherally. They too have gotten good press. I have an opportunity to go hear a demo with them as part of a major HT setup next week if I want to go. They'd be paired with Sharp's newest 4K panel and Krell amplification. The Def Techs are the same price as the Golden Ear, same need to plug them in. The form factor is quite apartment-friendly.

I do wonder about ground loops with plug-in speakers; I understand that can be a problem sometimes. I have struggled with ground loop issues here, mainly because of the cable feed.
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post #731 of 731 Old 11-07-2014, 04:39 PM
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The Revel F208's have gotten to pretty good reviews as well if the plugs become to much of a bother they kept me from the likes of Martin logans when I considered them.
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