I'm sure all of us have certain recordings we use to setup or tune our systems. Something we know like the back of our hand, to do speaker placement for best imaging and bass, or now with me and the new Line Magnetic 845, to try my hand/ear at tube rolling. This Columbia recording from 1975 is not an audiophile recording by any means, it's only a Masterworks, not a Columbia 3 or 6 eye, nothing collectible. Yet with Copland himself conducting, it captures the mood of the pieces like few recordings have. Several things I listen for: first off is that the pieces should have a bounce to them, a lilt, if you will. Side 1 is movie music for the film The Red Pony, commissioned in 1948. It needs
Among the many new classical pianists out there today, here's one who's at the top of my listening pile...Federico Colli, a thirty-something Italian. Once I heard a bit of him on Tidal, I grabbed everything on cd I could, of course to rip it to my Aurender streamers. My internet here is too volatile for continual Tidal use, so one does what one can. Anyway, his performance of the Bach/Busoni Chaconne is one for when you want to shake up the house. And his Pictures at an Exhibition, a piece originally for piano that I never tire of, is given quite a human touch. Reminds me of the time I heard Gina Bachauer play the last two movements as a kid. Spellbinding. So check him out, if you're into classical piano.
here's a chart of what Leben makes these days....there is a new version of the CS600, the CS600X. The original is still being made until parts/tube supplies are spent, the X version is also in production as we type/read. The Original is still the $6495 it has been for years, the X version is $6995. It does have different tube types, and I confess I haven't heard one yet. I'm sure it'll be every bit as good as the original, I'm thinking maybe a bit better, like the new Line Magnetic lineup? I'm still keeping my original, it's a benchmark of wonderfulness in an integrated, still to these ears one of the handful of great integrateds anywhere in the world. It has bettered so many amps that folks have brought in here to do that oh oh comparison- Prima Luna, McIntosh, Vinnie Rossi, Rogue, VAC, Sim Moon- they've all been shown to be what they are, each good in their own way, yet not a world contender. As Walter Brennan used to say, not a brag, just a fact. I know, I know, fighting words....never be offended by what happens at the Haven, just take it as a learning lesson, as I have as hobbyist.
Now there is a fella up there on the chart I've not had the acquaintance of yet, the CS 1000P, the big amp, using KT120s. Mostly because I'm not a fan of the big tube sound. I know there's speakers out there that need that much power to sing, and why Mr. Hyodo is selling such a sweet beast. But that's not the Haven sound, per se. I do have Ayre for when I need the current, for Vandersteens, etc. Or now the Riviera, that can drive my diesel tractor if it dips down again in the negative degrees. I can only wait to get my hands/ears on the Riviera separates...I did have the CS660 amp, which used EL34's. Now that is one amp the Haven could get behind in a heart beat. And luckily I get to hear one locally every now and then. Sadly, Mr Hyodo discontinued it without a similar replacement. That coupled with the RX28 pre/phono would be one of those magic combos. Production is full tilt on all the above models, and they can accommodate nothing else. I would love to see a lower wattage amp back in production, even a SET! If that would happen I'd probably close up the shop and lock the doors and turn off the phone....pizza delivery and a steady diet of new vinyl from the post people. Alas, only a pipe dream...like a step up transformer. Yours truly has even written several times about the transformer to Mr. Leben. No luck. Not even my charms can get in the way of current production. As most of you have seen, I use the Leben 30 phono stage quite often, and usually in conjunction with the Auditorium T2 Hommage step up. The 30 has one of the prettiest sounds on the planet. It's not the largest of sound stages, like an Audio Research REF or Pass, yet what it does for $2695 still places it in the top tier. It can allow one to splurge on a great step up, and you'll never have to look over your shoulder for something better.
So who knows, maybe someday the CS1000P....I'm thinking coupled with the Vandersteen Treos or a pair of those DeVore Gibbon X's we might all sit here and cry.