I've been noticing different perspectives with snow on the ground, how a tree is shaped, angles of flower beds in the yard, pools of water that normally remain hidden. No less with hifi here, if a speaker's sides are plumb, if they're top is level. The snow b
Record Cleaners...Back to Basics
Ok, so the holidays are over, everyone's licking their wounds over their wallet and credit card expenditures. So thinking ahead to what might be your next purchase for the new year, or later in the year, more than likely, top of the list should be a good record cleaner. Not just the average ho hum type like the VPI's (although the 16.5 is the affordable industry standard), Clearaudio, or Okki Nokki, and their ilk. We're talking a great one. One that doesn't recontaminate the record by using a reusable dirty arm wand, no matter how much one rinses it to try and clean it. No, we're talking the one, the only, the original record cleaning machine, the Keith Monks RCM from England. If you have a sizable record collection, you owe it to yourself to finally get something that will bring the most out of your valuable records. And I do mean valuable. Check Discogs for prices, you'll be surprised at how much the market has jumped up on some of your 80's gems. Clean copies of classic rock are commanding some pretty high prices as well. You simply haven't heard your records to their utmost if they've not been cleaned on either the Keith Monks machines, or another fav that the Haven is most fortunate to have, the KL Audio ultrasonic machine. The KL Audio cleans like none other, and gives a different sonic splendor than the Keith Monks. I'm often hard-pressed to decide which I like best. There is a quality of cleanliness that each uniquely give, and luckily I don't have to choose. What I generally do is use the Keith Monks first, which releases the stamper polymers, and then give it a spin in the KL. If you need to be convinced, please bring several records over and we'll do a before and after test. But as my friend Tony says, bring your diaper along, you'll be amazed at what these two units can do. Schedule a visit, it only takes a matter of minutes to make one a believer of the clean.
As to you digital only folks, I have something for you to put on your shopping list as well....it's not here yet, so we'll reveal soon. After all, it's only the second week of January. Give yourself plenty of time to heal your holiday wounds......
Keith Monks and KL Audio...only the best from Stereo Haven. And we're very happy to announce that Keith Monks has a US distributor finally, so parts will be stocked for easy access, etc. I get many people calling for parts for their 40 something year old machines. A testimony to value!
Always sounds like a James Bond flick when one adds the Q to the name. I usually just call them Tellurium. Anyway, the demo cables came and stayed for some time, and today they went on to the next dealer in the chain for evaluation. The 'stayed for some time' is important, since I loved them enough to order a loom of several levels, mainly the Black II and Silver Diamonds. The Black II are quite reasonably priced, and very very good. A 3M pr of speaker cable is $450. The Silver Diamonds are reference level great, and accordingly are for a 3M pr of speaker cable $6900. So they fit nicely in between my beloved green Auditorium A23 at 3M pr of speaker cable $1180. Other various cable types are on order as we type/read. Their digital XLR (AES) was extremely good, as were the various RCA's I tried. So look for these in the near future. And prepare to be amazed. I know, more cables....yet getting the correct cable in your system is of the utmost importance. Can make or break, we always say around the Haven.
Hopefully my new pair of Yonnas will be here by the end of January. I ordered the American Walnut finish on the left. In the middle is the American Cherry, and on the right we have the European Ash.
The back of the speaker is spruce, and looks like this
Time to Let the Sun In
After some dreary days, time for that morning sun. Yet come afternoon, with my big tree gone that had shaded my south side, it's back to partly closed shutters. The system for this morning is so spectacular. It gets better as it goes on. The Riviera AIC 10 integrated is shining as bright as the sun, now that it has its own power cord. Even with the new Audioquest Dragon Hi Power $7k cord, or the Isotek Ascension $3k cord, the AIC 10 seems to glow with its own Italian cord. Birds of a feather, I always say...okay, lecture. I know some of you get tired of hearing me say it, yet use things as they were meant to be used. Some of my recent visitors seem nonplused when I say that to them after hearing their wild mix of assorted items. I fear they're victims of too many forums or dealers who only wish to sell them something, doesn't matter if it won't shine in their systems.
Some recent visitors and callers/emailers are only interested in buying/trading in what we call in the trade commodity goods, those palleted pieces that you see bought and sold endlessly, raved about by clueless reviewers trying to make their buck, yet leaves the bewildered audiophile restless and confused. I pity those that can't step out of this muck. Find a good dealer, even though so many would rather do the go it alone- forum help- group help- trade show help. Just remember, in school you needed a teacher, a good teacher, to aid you in gathering knowledge and making sure you understood it in the correct way. In music, in art, in cooking, it's no less true. From what I gather with so many audiophiles they're in need of it now more than ever. The list of new products coming out is endless. I can demonstrate even with my sunny morning system above how the insertion of "A" changes the course of listening from great to banal. It may be that "B" is what shows b