the Reynaud speaker line is so good, I get giddy every time I get to hook one up for someone. The big sellers so far have been the Cantabile, @$5000, and the Orfeo Jubilee, @$12,500, though the other models have all gotten their due at the cash register. The Abscisse above are at $7500, and fall between the two. Sonically, they're like the Orfeo yet slightly smaller, and slightly bigger sounding than the Cantabile.
After a bit of a delay, well, let's say a long, long time, the finalized version of the Well Tempered Lab Amadeus 254 turntable/arm has arrived. It's actually here, in Haven, in situ, in Studio A (my front room). I can only say for now it's what I've been waiting for. Team Haven had used a prototype 254 in 2019 at Axpona, in wonderful Room 630, but then it got a bit of a redesign after that, and with all the production issues and such that have plagued most companies, I wasn't sure if I'd ever see it again. There were rumors, there were hushed promises, yet now all that is behind us, and it is ALIVE! It's been spinning and running in since Thurs last, already deemed worthy of a better cartridge than what was on there to run it in, and today I couldn't work outside it was so good and had to stay in. Lol....hifi is indeed a rough business. So I know some of you have been asking the when, so it is a finished product, there is stock, and I'm ready when you are.
Here's a few quick photos, nothing flashy... you know me, iPhone 11 and a few quick snaps.
If you don't know what I'm talking about just by the title above, do a quick google and you'll see it everywhere. Good ol John DeVore gave a pretty accurate account of it on his Youtube channel.
It's definitely a huge PR nightmare for Mobile Fidelity, not sure how they'll handle or recover from this. I do have some of their titles in question, I've enjoyed them, not going to flip them. They generally cover music that I no longer play much, or care to hear. I prefer to plunk my money on Analogue Productions, Speakers Corner, Tone Poets, ERC, etc. Get on the forums and have some fun. There have been a few pretty funny quipsters on there.
My 2cents....it is fraud, and like John DeVore said, it's funny how in the end, it shows that anything digital when transferred to vinyl sounds better. SO LONG LIVE VINYL! and GO PLAY RECORDS!
The rivers are rising around here due to all the epic rain, and so are the hifi prices! Wish I could build a dam around the Haven and keep them from coming in, but price hikes seem inevitable from most everyone, and not just a here or there as before.
Latest as of today, VTL announced another 20% increase across the board.
Leben has had another, though they're not the easiest thing to get anyway - the 600X is now $8995, the CS 300F and CS 300XS are both now $4795. The RS 30 phono stage is $3195.
A slight jump in the Dynavector cartridge line, the 10X5 now $800, 20 is $1250, XX2 $2150, Te Kaitora Run $3650...Vandersteen are now $1887 for the 1's, 2's are $3607, 3's are $6351 (can you believe that one, it's not bad it's just when I started they were around $3k) Treos are now $9995, Quatro is $17, 947, the Kento is $41,700, and the big big boys $84,000.
Shipping has become a nightmare, both with damages and with price increases. I will no longer offer free shipping, it used to be one of my perks, but the shipping companies are jerks. Plain and simple. One has to insure a package for an enormous amount to cover your butt these days. So that ends as of today.
Look, Ma, I'm also a Kirmuss dealer now....so far only the speaker cables. Great value, the hot spot length is 12', terminated pair is $890. And in stock! How's that.....
Well, I'm going to admit, I had no idea I would be carrying something from Mexico, not because I have anything at all against Mexico, I simply had no idea there was a hifi market there, or rather a great manufacturer producing audio products- high end audio products at that. The Margules family has been busy for years, and with a few forays into the US market earlier by direct sales, have now found a new US distributor, AV Luxury Group, and a new rep, and lo and behold, yours truly, your local dealer.
So what does it sound like? Oh, sorry, we're specifically talking about their all tube I 240 integrated, that's an i, not a 1, for integrated. The i 240 sports 4 El34's and 4 12AU7's, 3 inputs- no griping here, 3 is enough- and full function remote. In short, looks like your typical EL34 amp. It does, however, have some rather unique tricks up its sleeve, patent pending on some, all that. That's for later. What I want to talk about, yell about, and jump around about is the music making of this box. Glorious! In recent days I've had two of my all time favs going, the Sugden IA4 and Jadis DA50S, driving the Reynaud Abscisses speakers. The IA4, a delightful solid state champ, all around solid performer, the DA50, treated correctly mind you, a darling of the tube camp around here. Enter this south of the border contender. The eye 240, sorry, the I thing is starting to annoy, comes smack dab in the middle of the two. It has loads of drive for its mere 25 watts, like the Sugdens, it's quick, very tactile, then gives you this richness like the DA50 that carries one off like the best tube amps. Other than that, it's very hard to explain. If I could only copy Willa Cather and describe the colors of the clarinet, the feel of the orchestra how the 240 captures it, then I could go on for pages. Nope, you have lil me. More veils are lifted between you and the music, more bass extension than you thought possible, more palpability to the voicing area that has to be there to suck me into the performance. In short, there's more!
So, we'll see what happens as time goes on. This to me could be that golden nugget that's been laying about in plain sight, or slightly hidden, however you see fit to call it. I'm calling it delightful!
You can read up for yourself about designer Julian Margules's technical achievements. You know how all that technical jargon and writing bores....all I need to know is how it works in systems or that system. Or if it works at all. I've been hearing a lot of less inspired goods these days out there, yet it sells. Bleh. I say above how something works in a system. That's really the biggest thing out there these days. Something could be great, yet not work together with another great piece. Most of you are not getting that and get a big fail. Dealers don't always get it right, myself included, at least at first. This I 240 will get a thorough test, see which speakers it likes to drive and doesn't. Julian thinks it will drive most, through an internal adjustable output impedance. We'll see.
As for now, let's just say it's a doozy! And I simply can't believe it's here. All for six grand. Stay cool.
here are 3 of the nicest tables I know of- the Funk LSD, the WTL Amadeus Jr., and the Funk Gett2. $3450, $2950, and $1195 respectively. To me far far better musically than others in their price ranges. I'm so extremely tired of boring tables, and there are tons of them out there. Why have bleh when you can have YAY! Come have a listen.
Sorry to be off of here for so long. After the festivities and happiness at the end of the year, January came with a few trials and tribulations. I had a bit of a health scare for a few months, which even more sadly forced me to cancel exhibiting at Axpona this year. When the deposit deadline of March came along, I thought I was meeting my own deadline of sorts and had to withdraw. Now, happy to say, I am here and back at it at the Haven, though unfortunately it was too late to get geared up for dear ol Room 630 at the Renaissance Hotel. I do hope some of you make it to the show, and please let me know what you heard that you liked, and even what you didn't. After all, there's nothing better than to dish about a hifi show.
Getting things going again, some new products...yes! can you believe that? And taking appointments again. So please, my apologies to anyone in the first of the year who I might have ignored or totally blown off. Please give me another chance. The place is a bit of a mess at present, with things scattered everywhere, so when you come please don't judge too harshly, the outside especially....where do all these weeds come from? Maybe I should fence the place in and get sheep.
as in paid for and ready to hit the floor, no, not that way, when they get here.
After much anticipation and hand wringing, the next level of Jadis integrateds is coming, the Jadis DA50. The middle child of the Jadis integrated line, the DA50 sports KT120's but used as only Jadis can, 30 watts instead of the usual 100 or so. I can't spew all the technical stuff like some dealers, I merely listen. And I'm ready, I keep hearing nothing but high praise for this model. Words like color, texture, dynamics are descriptives I keep being told, so proof will be in the listening when it gets here. Soon! It is the one thing that many in the trade and hobby lack, and that's knowledge. You read, you guess, you have a hunch, you talk to forum experts and your listening pals, yet you have no actual listening knowledge. And not just a quick or lengthy listen in one particular set up, but working the hell out of that piece, trying it with different combos, knowing it back ways and sideways and all ways in between. There are tons of decent products out there, there are a good amount of good products, and there are very less great products. Here at the Haven it's the very best that we're striving for, as many of you comment on by looking at the product roster. Products that are so satisfying that you feel, at least for a little while, that you are done. We can never say never, of course. Bravo to the ones that can. So we'll hear soon enough how this middle child stacks up.....stay tuned....
There is also yet another new integrated, this time from Spec, the V11. Extremely curious about this one, since the Spec team of Japan has knocked it out of the park with their recent DAC 1. If this is as good, you'll hear me screaming louder than my coyotes across the fields as to its goodness. Definitely stay tuned on this one....
And dare I add, more Reynauds will be coming next year....a new flagship, the Orfeo Grande, will be here, based on a cross between the Orfeo Jubilee and Voce Grande stand mount. And Jean Claude promises several more models as well, no idea what. He's been a busy boy after redoing the line since his father, Jean Marie, passed away. The Reynauds have become one of my favs, and probably yours as well when you hear them.
oops, and I have one more....Fredrik Lejonklou has been working on the digital side, and has brought out a new all in one streamer/dac, the Kalla (there's a double dot about the first a, but I can't sort that yet on my keyboard). Two sets of ears whom I trust have told me it is phenomenal, like all of Fredrik's designs, so we'll hear soon enough.....I think retail will be $8495. It will be in the normal plain Jane (sorry, Jane) black casing, like the Boazu integrated.. not for those that want a big lit front panel with graphics, to be sure. Only for those wanting great music making. And you'll only use whatever app the streaming service you are using has.
there's more, yet that's enough for today......off to listen to the Reynaude Euterpes....I can not believe how good these $3500 floor standers are....if I had a pair like this when I was starting out my whole life would have been different today...when I think of all that time wasted. Sheesh!
just to say, things have been very busy here....with recent additions, break in of new goodies, sorting out who goes best with what....
Now here to demo, in no particular order:
-Funk Firm LSD and Gett2! turntables....can I just say now I love them, they're all that I was hoping for from Arthur and more...priced at $3450 and $1195 for the versions shown here at the Haven
-Well Tempered Lab newest version of the Amadeus, the Amadeus Jr. a bit of a redesign, similar to the Simplex 2 with no visible ball cups/footers, on/off switch in the back, a tad smaller than the original Amadeus but not as small as the Simplex 2. Priced at $2950
-the latest cables from Atlas, from Scotland....the Mavros line is what I have.
-new rack from Lateral, of England, the Cadenza....a build a shelf approach, really nice sounding. This is their starting model. Love it...below the Box Furniture and above the Quadraspire in musical terms. Earned a "worth the money" from a local...$475 a shelf/set of columns
-also from England, the Whest 40 phono stage. This fella is a doozy, very adjustable gain and loading for moving coils. It's one I would use on its own instead of flipping to mm and using a step up. $6000 I can remember when I had the $12K ARC REF 2 phono...this is better
-the Weiss DAC, the 502, is sounding better than ever...it does so much that I still have yet to play with all its features....but musically it is a winner....$8950
-the Jadis Orchestra Black, as you may have seen mention/photo of earlier, continues to impress. It is one heck of a 40w tube integrated...It's becoming my go to for a great many speakers and late night listening sessions....$4500 another newbie here that I think shoots way about it's price point.
-and last but certainly not least, I'm typing fast so my chocolate sundae doesn't melt before I get to it....I have now what I consider the best sounding power conditioner, yes, from me, who usually rolls eyes at such things....the best sounding I have heard so far....the Puritan Audio line. 3 models here, the PSM 156, the PSM136, and the 106DC strip......$2300, $1600, and $1190...they are flying out the door. And Puritan makes some very different and very very affordable power cords...which I'm in the process of evaluating now. You must audition these power conditioners if you're in the market....my only real take away from them now is toss those Shunyatas away! bleh
-and if you haven't seen the British green color of the Sugden faceplates, you really should come have a gander. They're marvelous! Sometimes muted, sometimes shiny, sometimes almost a grey sheen, then clearly switch to green. That with silver knobs is the way to go! Good job, Patrick and
-and one last shout out to the newish Dynavector 10X5 LOW....$750...it's been here for a bit, but after hearing it on the Funk Gett2, it is clearly hitting on all levels...stomped a recent Hanna comparison. LOVE THIS CARTRIDGE.... musical and FUN! I predict right here that this will be a very big seller....
Schedule your appointment now....no mask required if you've had your shots (no, not the Four Roses kind) otherwise be civil and mask up....see you soon....