On Mastersound for Quads
- Created on Friday, 17 May 2013 11:35
To Garrett Hongo,
T.H.E. Show Newport Beach is coming at the end of May. Will you be there? Two weeks ago I heard the new Audion SET integrated amp running KT120 tubes with my Quads. It sounded great. I am wondering if you have heard any Audion equipment, specifically their Black Shadow 845. Have you heard the Audion Quattro four-box preamp? Have you heard any 845 amps like the Sophia Electric, or Mastersound? Do you think the 845 amp would be a good match with my Quads? Thanks for your input.
I will indeed be at the Newport show, covering it for SoundStage! Global on my semi-regular blog.
The only Audion amps I've heard are the EL34 ones at a couple of audio shows and I thought them terrific with Sonist Concerto 3 and Recital 3 speakers.
As for 845 amps, I've heard all in the Mastersound line, from the Compact 845 to the Final 845 (reference level). You might look at these two reports I've written, one on Mastersound at Top Audio (Milan) and the other a factory tour.
It's hard for me to say whether any of the Mastersound 845 amps would work well with your Quads, however. A lot depends on the interaction of the amp with the impedance swings of the speakers. Whatever the case, I'd think you'd at least need the 50W monoblocks for the higher output power. These Mastersound 845 monoblock amps would output about the same power (50W) as a pair of deHavilland KE50As.
Finally, I'm in the process of arranging an Ultra Audio review of the Viva Solista 845 integrated amp -- likely this coming fall. But if you've already auditioned the Audion integrated with your Quads and they were terrific, why not listen to what your ears say? . . . Garrett Hongo
Gryphon, CH Precision
- Created on Thursday, 02 May 2013 05:45
To Jeff Fritz,
I was indeed surprised and elated that you have voted the Gryphon Mephisto as the most expensive amp you would like to own. I can't agree with you more. Match it with its preamp, the Pandora, and you would be even more surprised at how good it can get.
I am writing to you to also suggest that you have a listen to the CH Precision C1 and D1; they have appointed a new distributor in the US. I would like to hear your views on that pair.
CH Precision C1 and D1
Gryphon Mephisto and Pandora
Kubala Elation interconnects and speaker cables
Gryphon VIP power cables on Gryphon equipment
I have indeed heard very good things about the CH Precision equipment. Doug Schneider and I will be covering the Munich High End show next week and will see if we can track this company down to have a chat with them about potential reviews. Although I would love to hear their equipment in my system, the products seem a bit elusive at this point, at least in North America. Hopefully they will be at the show.
Regarding Gryphon, I did get word last week that I will be receiving a Mephisto for review. Look for an article to appear in late summer in my "The World's Best Audio System" column. . . . Jeff Fritz
Rockport, Revel, or Gershman?
- Created on Thursday, 25 April 2013 08:37
To Jeff Fritz,
Thanks in advance for reading and responding to this email. I’m looking to make a major purchase of a set of speakers to replace my Energy Veritas 2.8s. I’d love to get your opinion on the following candidates:
1. Rockport Aquila (used)
2. Revel Salon2 (used)
3. Rockport Avior (new/demo)
4. Gershman Black Swan (used)
I want a highly respected and great-sounding, neutral speaker with a flat frequency range that extends to 20Hz and has great measurements to back it up. I also want to know what the -dB point will be for each speaker at 20Hz (-3 to -5dB, preferably).
My room is 21' x 18' x 8' and my amp pushes 300W into 8 ohms and 600W into 4 ohms. I hope to move the equipment into a slightly larger listening room this year.
I like the Revel Salon2‘s deep bass and flat frequency response, but I read it's power hungry.
I like the Avior because it incorporates Andy Payor’s newest drivers and technology. On the other hand, I don’t know if its frequency response will be flat or how many dB it will be down at 20Hz. No one has reviewed or provided measurements on the Avior and I don’t want to read a Stereophile measurement six months from now that looks like a roller-coaster track.
I read good things about the Aquila and Black Swan, but I have the same reservations as I do with the Avior. Based on the info I provided, in what order would you place these on your purchase list and for what reasons? Thanks again.
There is no question in my mind that I would buy the Rockport Technologies Avior. There are several factors. You've hit upon the fact that the Avior has the latest Rockport drivers, and I think this is a key point. But I think there is an even better reason given your criteria: each and every Avior is measured and tuned for flat response by the designer himself, Andy Payor. Payor believes strongly in the highest level of quality control -- and flat frequency response -- and therefore he personally measures each and every speaker before it leaves his shop. The crossovers are adjusted until the speaker meets his stringent standards for acoustic output. I've seen this process myself and it is impressive how detail-oriented Payor is. This process ensures that the customer is truly getting what they paid for. I suspect that if you asked, he'd be happy to tell you how your personal pair of Aviors measures should you order a new set.
One other reason I'd buy new is that you just don’t know what's happened to a used speaker throughout its lifetime. Being mechanical devices, speakers are prone to all types of damage due to shipping issues and environmental factors, not to mention being overdriven and abused by previous owners. I'd feel safest buying a new set. And in my book the Rockport Avior is tops given the list that you provided. . . . Jeff Fritz
All Sorts of Questions for Garrett
- Created on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 19:55
To Garrett Hongo,
I regret not having met you this last AXPONA, but I didn't want to disturb you as were deep in enjoyment in the Border Patrol room. I see you have upgraded to the Von Schweikert VR-44 from your VR-5HSEs. I may just follow suit. I have acquired a pair of YG Acoustics Carmels and find them to be the best speaker I have had, within their limitations.
I was hoping to tap into your experience regarding the TW-Acustic table. I own a Raven AC and 10.5 arm (based on your review). I have ordered a set of Black Knight feet from Jeff Catalano. He felt these are the best, but let's face it, he is a little biased. Have you heard these footers on your 'table? And how do they compare to the Stillpoints? I was wondering where you purchased your Stillpoints feet, so I could try them as well for comparison.
Are those the Stillpoints SS and Mini-SS on the motor that you are using? Do you recall the adapters that were needed.
I'm currently using a Dynavector XV-1S and perhaps will try a Lyra Titan i, or maybe even an Atlas -- if the analog gods are willing. The system is all Manley: Steelhead, 300B preamp, and 250 monoblock amps.
Thank you kindly for your help,
Nice to hear from you again. And, my, how your system has grown!
I myself do like the Von Schweikert VR-44 Aktives very much. They are excellent for me.
As for the TW-Acustic 'table and its feet, I have the new Stillpoints Ultra and like them. They were a nice upgrade from the old Stillpoints, focusing images within the soundstage much better, creating nice upticks in resolution, soundstage depth, and adding cleanness and precision in attack transients, lengthening decay transients. In short, the Ultras increased dimensionality and clarity all around. As a reviewer, I purchased mine directly from Stillpoints. The Black Knight footers I haven't tried, but Jeff Catalano of High Water Sound, the TW-Acustic importer, absolutely knows what he is doing. But I haven't tried the Black Knight footers in my own rig, so I can't compare them with the Stillpoints Ultras.
I am using the Stillpoints Mini-SS on the motor. The size of the Mini-SS adapters was M4. The size of the Ultra adapters was 1/4-20.
You've made excellent choices regarding your system. For a cartridge, I think the Dynavector XV-1S is pretty near the top of the heap. And I like the Manley electronics too, especially the Steelhead and Neo-Classic 250 monos. I'm not as familiar with the 300B preamp. . . . Garrett Hongo
- Upgrade from YG Carmels to Magico Qs?
- Krell or ModWright Integrated Amps?
- Hegel vs. Antelope-Genesis Combination
- Happy with Digital Volume Control
- deHavilland and VAC Matching
- Electronics for Magico Q7s
- What Do You Know About Kharma?
- AudioQuest to Pair with Ayre?
- Magico Q7, Rockport Technologies Arrakis and Altair
- VAC, Quicksilver, or deHavilland for Quads?
- Preamp to Match with KR Audio Amps
- Box Furniture Racks, TW-Acustic Arms, Etc.
- "Unafraid to Call BS"
- More Shindo, Quads, and Others . . .
- Shindo or ARC with Quads?
- Calyx and Ayre Synergy?
- Rockport with Devialet?
- Magico, Avalon, Wilson, Ascendo
- Magico Q3 or Wilson Alexia to Match with D'Agostino and dCS
- Rockport Drivers, Models, Etc.
- Rockport Mira II vs. Atria: Part Two
- Rockport Mira II vs. Atria
- Vitus Audio and Reference Preamp Choices
- Vitus, Boulder, Burmester, or Something Else?
- Rockport, VSA, MBL, Genesis
- Synergistic Research Advice
- Rockport Upgrade Direction
- SACD Player to Amp: The Best Volume Control
- On Digital Volume Controls
- Audio Physic Avantera or Magico S5?
- Marantz and YG Acoustics
- Vandersteen Treo a Super-High-Value Product?
- Garrett Helps with Speakerquest
- Magico V3 vs. Q3, or . . .
- Coda and Alternatives
- Stereophile, Wilson, Etc.
- Too Honest for Your Own Good?
- Magico Unlimited: Part Two
- Magico Unlimited?
- Ayre KX-R Really That Good?
- Ayre KX-R or . . . ?
- Cardas and Siltech Power Cords
- B&W vs. Paradigm for Music and Home Theater
- Magico Superior?
- Coda or McIntosh?
- Copland with Tidal or Lawrence
- Choices: Rockport and Magico
- Rockport vs. YG Acoustics . . . Add Magico
- Wilson vs. Magico
- Raidho Acoustics C2.1 Positioning
- Ordered Magico S5s
- Rockport Incoming . . .
- Gryphon Versus Constellation
- New NuForce Versus Old Levinson
- Two Systems, a Couple of Questions
- Music Vault Details
- Rockport Mira 2 Over Current Avalons?
- EgglestonWorks Andra Alternatives
- Focal to Magico?
- "Hit the Bull's Eye"
- Amplifiers for the New Rockports
- Pro-Ject Turntable for His Birthday!
- Vitus or Burmester?
- Magico, Vandersteen, Further Thoughts
- Esoteric vs. Esoteric
- Boulder or Pass Labs for Focal?
- Sonus faber or Magico or . . .
- Gryphon Mephisto-Based System
- Montreal, TWBAS 2012, and the Magico Q3
- Rockport vs. TAD
- AudioQuest FireWire . . . Umm, Wow, and Thank You!
- Boulder Still a Good Bet?
- Herron M1s?
- VAC and Herron Comparisons
- Magico, Vivid, or Wilson . . . for a "Terrible" Room?
- Mono Cartridge Questions
- Bravo for TWBAS 2012
- VAC Phi 200 Questions and Comments
- Coda 15.0 and CSi
- Integrated Amp Upgrade Ideas
- Amplifier Matching with Rockport Altairs
- TW-Acustic Raven 10.5 versus Graham Phantom Supreme
- Magico, CH Precision, and Upgrading
- Gryphon or Vitus with Rockport?
- Tidal vs. B&W: Another Take
- Coda 15.0 or 30.0?
- EAR and Cary
- Accustic Arts
- Good Enough for Paradigms?
- Best $10,000 USB DAC
- New System Advice
- TWBAS 2012 Teaser?
- CH Precision . . . Bought It!
- VAC Comparisons?
- Bravo!!!! For "Talking Points"
- PBN Audio Amplifiers and Alternatives?
- Burmester Opinion?
- "Head-to-Head Fight in TWBAS"
- Constellation Audio for TWBAS 2012?
- Magico Q3 vs. M5
- Brutally Honest Q3 Review
- Magico Q3 the Right Speaker?
- No BS Q3 Review
- "Thank you, Jeff, for being willing to ruffle a few feathers . . . "
- Wilson Versus Rockport: Conclusion
- Rockport Technologies Mira 2
- Tidal Piano Cera Review Not "Reviewer Nonsense"
- Paradigm S2 v.3 Grilles
- Ayre QB-9 Still the One to Beat?
- Tidal Piano Cera Review
- Miyajima and Mono
- Wilson Versus Rockport
- More Coda Reviews!
- Why No Analog?
- Accustic Arts, Weiss, or . . .
- Herron or VAC Preamp?
- VAC Versus Shindo
- Gryphon, Vitus, Boulder, or Simaudio for Magico Mini IIs
- Gryphon Flagships?
- Coda Versus Coda
- Coda Kudos
- Ayre DX-5 to go with ARC Ref 5?
- Wilson, Avalon, or . . . ?
- Rockport, Vitus, and Gryphon
- Thanks for the DH Labs Recommendation
- Best Review Ever!
- Your Brilliant Review . . .
- Magico Q3 Review: Part Two
- Subs for Paradigms
- Magico Q3 Review
- Wants Gryphon
- Magico Q3 Decision
- Bel Canto C5i
- A Gryphon Owner Chimes In
- Herron or VAC?
- EAR Preamp to Match Amp?
- Boulder 1000 Series, 2000 Series, or . . .
- Vandersteen Setup Concerns
- Your Statement in Your Super-Speakers Special . . .
- Technical Brain Responds
- Super Speakers and the Magico Q3
- Tidal Review Coming?
- B&W and Tidal Data Points?
- B&W and Tidal like BMW and Toyota?
- Vandersteen Model Seven and Other Options
- Burmester Versus . . .
- Value DACs and the Weiss DAC202
- Weiss DAC202 and Berkeley Alpha DAC
- Super-System Advice
- State-of-the-Art Speakers?
- Weiss DAC202 as a Preamp
- deHavilland, EAR, or Ayon
- EAR: Changing Tubes, Sonic Character
- Power Supply for Behringer Microphone
- Paradigm, Room Correction, Hi-Rez, and More
- Advice on Subwoofer Integration
- Room and Speaker Questions
- Rockport Altair and Vitus Audio SS-101
- Leben and EAR in Finland
- Herron and Nottingham
- Classic Threshold Versus Rowland
- Active Arrakis a Reality?