The Hits Keep Coming....
The Line Magnetic Story
I found this online from the Line Magnetic EU distributor. I sometimes get asked why I carry Line Magnetic, often in a maligning way, so this might give a glimpse of why I love their products. I knew nothing about them until I was introduced to Jonathan Halpern of Tone Imports, a purveyor if there ever was one of fine products. After hearing the story of the two brothers that started Line Magnetic, I was myself a bit relieved and lost that sense of "made in China" bias that many of us have. I began to tell people "boutique China", not the "Walmart China" many in audio feared. I remember my father and grandfather talking about the years after the war when made in Japan was equivalent to junk, and how over the years that changed. In mid period hifi , 70's thru 80's, brands like Technics, Pioneer, Yamaha, etc, became stars, then Honda cars, etc. So now the Chinese are taking things to a new level, at least certain companies. And Line Magnetic is certainly on the top of the heap. Many of you, or I should tell the others, many have brought in their amps to compare, and gone home shattered. It was the reason I've dropped several brands already. Musically there is just no comparison. I would happily go all-American, as some of you constantly suggest, yet then I'd be missing some of the best the world has to offer. I'd miss my British prat, my European engineering, my Japanese craftsmanship I'm used to.
Much as I try to keep my mind of the world, I pick products from anywhere that offer the best music. I should also offer that my world music section here is vast, yet due to my mom and grandfather, I can sing you every Irving Berlin tune written, well almost.
So I tell the naysayers, let the products speak or sing for themselves.....
After 14 years, the man from down under has finally gotten himself a bonafide hit. Not that the Dynavector P75 mk 1, 2, and 3 weren't good before, especially if you had a Dynavector cartridge. This one simply kicks it out of the park...good is good, as they say around the Haven, and this mk 4 is mighty good. Doesn't sound remotely solid state like the other versions. It just sings! The moving magnet setting with a high output moving coil Dynavector 20H is splendid, the special low output setting, the PE (phono enhanced mode , or Dr. T mode as it used to be called for Dynavector of Japan's founder), is even more superb with the low output moving coil Dynavector 20L. I don't get the opportunity much to hear it with other brands of cartridges, so my experiences are generally related to Dynavector cartridges. I did try it with the WTL TLC mm into the mm setting, and while it was okay, the Sugden two stage phono pre was a better match.
Amazingly the price is still $895, a bargain when one considers how improved this version is.
I'd get on this pronto if you have a Dynavector setup already, or if you have the urge to leave your built in phono sections.
This is the shizzle, folks, trust me. Boy, this coupled with the new WTL Simplex has been a great start to the new year for tremendous products. Soon will be new Ayre, VTL, cartridges, cables, tables, speakers....holy cow! As they say, the Haven is on the ascent!
and More of the New...
And now today, with yet another new Mk whatever version of something...
Like the new Mk2 version of the WTL Simplex yesterday, today's offering is another Mk, this time the lV, the newest release of the Dynavector P-75. Dynavector of Australia has been making the P-75 for many a year, and with each version there has always been a slight upgrade in sound and features. This lV comes in a slightly larger chassis, I haven't as yet detected any new features under the hood, the board layout is different. What I've noticed almost instantly from plugging it in is the new version has a remarkable naturalness that the prior versions didn't have. As this one warms up it seems to exude it, so alleluia! The P-75 has always been an outstanding bargain in phono stages, this version already seems to take the cake! I can only wait to hear what it'll sound like in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned......
What's this? Am I admitting to muddled thinking, wrong judgment, or worse? Well, not really. Pro-jects are still boring turntables, Blue Jeans belong on your legs, and Salamanders belong in a bog. That is clearheaded thinking any day of the week. What I'm about to apologize for is my bashing a table in my own line, the great Well Tempered Lab, namely the starter table the Simplex. The original Simplex was a stripped down version of the Amadeus, with a 9"tonearm instead of the 10" in the Amadeus, to accommodate the smaller profile of the starter table. Sonically it was fine, bettering most of the Regas, certainly those Pro-jects, yet there was this touch and feel of it, with a bigger tonearm rest than needed, that made it unplayable to me. The Amadeus is a joy to use in comparison. I blasted the Simplex on forums, I refused to stock it, I childishly stuck my tongue out at it when in its presence.
So now, lo and behold, in this bleak winter season, arrives the new version of the Simplex, aptly named the Simplex Mk 2. From the opening of the box I could sense things would be different, and indeed they are. The finish is wonderful, using a light baltic birch ply on the plinth sides and black MDF on top. The unique ball approach for the arm pivot is still there, this time in a muted blue, which matches better the black tonearm and top plinth. The tonearm rest is the standard devil's fork as with the rest of the Well Tempered Lab line. The on/off switch is still a toggle on the back, which with the plinth size is most easy to use. The feet are 4 balls that attach directly to the plinth via sockets in the underside of the plinth, rather than the tube/ball feet attachment used in the Amadeus, making for a very tidy look from the sides. My demo unit has a Dynavector 20X2 H on it at present, a perfect match for the arm. Next I'll be trying the TLC from WTL, a mm cartridge which is gaining a great reputation in the field. Again, if you're a moving magnet devotee, you really should come check out this cartridge.
Back to the Simplex Mk2....so, not only have there been noticable thought given to the new version as for aesthetics and usability, musically it has also taken a leap up! The Simplex Mk2, from here on referred to as the Simplex, is noticeably closer to the Amadeus, always a great thing to these ears. It has that uncanny ability to release the music from the platter, to give the notes more attention than the groove noise, to give transparency and life to the recording that Well Tempered Lab tables are known for. And hence, the end to my scorn of the old Simplex, my love affair with the new Simplex is off and running. I can't quit playing it, looks like it's going to be a long night...
Drum roll, if you please.....
Highly recommended, make an appointment and come have a listen. Finally a Simplex I'm proud to have and own, and make no apologies for. Like its cousin, the Wax Engine - a WTL inspired table at $1000, the Simplex is best in its class.