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
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
After the 1st of the year, shortly after, let's say, from the House of Brinkmann, the Brinkmann Nyquist DAC/Streamer will be in- house at the Haven, so please feel free to come have a listen to what a reference DAC/Streamer can sound like. One of those pieces that makes you dream of owning one, (and buying one- bring checkbook, credit card, trade-in) I've had the pleasure of hearing it twice, and like the total-dac - another reference level goodie from France -allows you to drift off into the music unlike most any other on the market. So schedule an appointment and hear what all the un-noise is about.
We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and Hanukkah. I was surprised by how many of you got presents from the Haven this year. Usually it's a lull season here, moneys need to go elsewhere during the holiday season. So I reckon some of you were very good girls and boys.
Don't forget, those of you who still hold interest in the DeVore 0/96's, that the price increase goes into effect after the 1st of the year, Dec. 31st is the deadline. The price goes from $12,000 to $13,500, his first increase since their inception. Still a hell of a bargain for what one gets, and one of the most popular speakers on the planet. It still gets awards, even after all this time on the market. Like the Leben 600, the Sugden A21, etc, a classic is a classic. Let me know if you're ready to take the plunge to greatness.
I can also report that the Tonapparete Yonnas speakers from Germany are ordered, and scheduled to be here around the end of January. My chosen American Walnut boards are in the dry kiln as I type. High expectations on these...stay tuned.
The Haven has been on the road a lot lately. Here we are off to Peoria, IL. If you see this license plate, come over and say hello! I think it might be time to change the frame when my new plates come. I still have the Auditorium Solovoxes here, maybe the longest demo sale in history, yet they need to go to the right home, and those interested did not have the right goods to go with them (meaning amp). They're kind of like the Goldilocks of speakers, not too big an amp, not too small. What I have now, the new LM845 22w integrated is perfect! As was the older LM518.
I'm thinking my next plate frame might say Ewe Meyer / Yonnas. Special, special, special, is all I can say. Just wait...they're coming in 2019. Along with the new VTL phono preamp, Exogal DAC, Tellurium cables, and so much more....stay tuned...
It's here! The replacement for the Line Magnetic 518, the LM 845, has finally arrived. The LM518 was heralded as one of the best 845 output tube integrateds ever, and its successor already seems to be taking the lead. Very similar now to the LM805 in appearance, the LM845 is basically the 518 with a redo to the internals, a parts and amp topography upgrade. Still the glorious 22 watts out of the 845 tubes. Not sure how they've accomplished it, but it sounds even more delicious than the 518. Already the burn-in time is approaching 100 hrs, so it should be ready for some serious auditioning very soon. Schedule a listen. Santa says more are on the way! Good ol Santa...
The new Line Magnetic 845
It's been hard to get any sleep around here.....
With all this food prep going on around here, all I can think of is food, and THIS new cartridge.
This is the new 17DX from Dynavector. At $2250, it's considerably more than the previous version, the 17D, @$1250. Yet it is light years away in terms of musical capabilities. I simply can't get over this cartridge. What it does is place you right there with the musical event, no squinting to see if a particular instrument is where it should be, no hoping for sheen and snap from snares and cymbals the way some of you do...( don't think I don't catch you always leaning in for the cymbals - it's a disease of certain audiophiles, the dreaded cymbal/brush/snare malady.) Well, this new Karat 17DX will cure you of all that, and more. Just wanted to give a brief taste of what this new cartridge holds, I'm sure you'll be hearing lots about it soon enough. I've seen gaga testimonials already from those early trendsetters. I want you to know I've been most calm about it throughout the rigorous break in cycle, although I've not gotten much sleep in the last couple of weeks due to this brass beauty, let me tell you. And with all these new great records coming in, FEDEX, UPS, and USPS have been such regulars lately, I'm starting to hand out snacks. Anyone need any record shipping boxes let me know...they're starting to stack up more than the pizza boxes. So have a warm and tasty Thanksgiving, and tell those asking what you want from Santa that the new Dynavector Karat 17DX is what every good girl and boy needs for their tonearm.
Tell Santa I've already got the step ups all figured out, and can give him a play by play on which work best. Schedule a listen.....and get ready to drop your jaws. Happy Thanksgiving!