'The Road of excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom'

(William Blake)

Recorded Sound of such realism and definition that the musical performances come to life right in your home. I can use the recordings as a time machine to transport me to that day when to most brilliant musicians and recording engineers made the best and most fascinating recordings of all time.

Dead-silent Background, microdynamic slam, vivid three-dimensionality, ultradetail and harmonic sophistication is flowered in living colors. The kind of "You Are There" realism and emotionally engaging sound that delivers the sound of The Real Thing.

Good Audio Engineering is timeless

Components Toggle details

    • Acoustical-Systems Omnigon
    Ultimate Phono preamplifier w/optional line stage. All triode tube design. Full symmetrical.
    Unique passive phono EQ. Each tube with its own independent heater supply.
    Unique double mono PS with bridge-type tube rectification (8 single-wave rectifiers - 4 each channel) and pure foil CLC-PS.
    100 lbs - dual chassis, 6 Phono inputs (50dB, 63dB, 68dB, 72dB, 77dB, 81dB pure Phono gain), Output AES Studio specification, (600Ω, digital 110Ω) No-loss- of-Signal-Parts, the best out there (TKD, Silver plugs, Tubes from US Army rocket defensive stations, Silver soldered, Tantal, Caddock, all Parts internal decoupled via Electron microscope devices...)
    Result: Superior Detail, accurate specs, no coloration and lifelike Reproduction. The sound ?
    Well, it is no longer about sound.
    Dynamics, colors, soundstage, 3-dimensionality - yes, all that and much more. But it goes a few significant steps beyond that.

    Imagine opening the windows of your room on a clear early summer morning. A breeze of fresh air comes in.Go further in your imagination and tear down the walls of your listening room.
    All a sudden there is fresh air, the warmth of sun rays on your skin, a world of color, beauty and a flood of details around you.
    Touching your senses - with brute directness, unfiltered, unaltered.
    Involving, dramatic, breathtaking and demanding.
    Nothing between you and the nature, virtually dead silent, free of any colorations with tremendous gain results in a sense of weight, impact and dynamics that is at once thrilling and unique.
    You can no longer move your attention away from the music.
    VERY different from anything else I have ever heard - anywhere.
    Quality inspection from Science Lab for every single piece incl. Tubes, final quality report Engineering Lab, Warranty 5 years incl. my Tubes.
    Custom made. Serial No: 007 / 012
    Never a Mk II version. Tested in University Lab for accuracy before delivered. This one is final.
    • Audioquest Wild Blue Yonder
    20ft Cable from Preamp to Amps, DBS 144V, there is large headroom, natural reproduction, clean pure tone and outstanding smoothness coupled with a more absolute sense of background silence -- a combination that made it easier to hear deeply into recordings and never feel as though some ugly byproduct was lurking around the corner. 

    Audioquest Leopard Tonearm Cable
    Extreme-purity silver Phono Cable with DBS 144v, it creates a strong stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast.

    Also in use: 
    AQ Wild Blue Yonder XLR
    AQ K2 Speakercable
    AQ WEL Signature Tonearm Cable

    AES (Audio Engineering Society) made the following Standards for the ability to transfer information: OFC-Copper (9N) = 100 and is the Standard, Gold = 90,4 and technical Silver (3N or 4N) = 106
    • Brakemeier LaVoix
    Custom Made Monitoring System. Special designed Crossover, selected chassis with no interaction to the room, The whole system is tri-amplification. Each woofer is sealed cabinet, 18 to 80 Hz with 500 Watt amplifier with active DSP. The woofer driver is a 18" unit with an BxL of 32 and maximum excursion of total 28 mm in sealed 70 litres. Mid bass and mid-highs is a 2 way system with 8" field coil paper driver with huge choke power supply and 80 000 μ filtering. 12 V supply. The tweeter is a 28 lbs unit which goes from 800 to 45 000 Hz. A ribbon / planar hybrid with 100 dB efficiency (past crossover). These two are mounted in an inverse ultraflex cabinet with a combination of 1st order electrical x-over (1 coil in low-mid - 1 capacitor in mid-high) in conjunction with approbiate mechanical filtering in low-pass (pre-chamber) and high-pass (super short tactrix). The cabinet itself has a special adjusted build-in mechnical high-pass with -3dB at 80Hz. Thus giving a pretty smooth melting between the active 18" woofer and the 8" mid-low driver. The whole system has measured 99.5 dB efficiency. Max. SPL 128 dB. Phase never worse than 8°. Pretty flat response whole band. The prime design goals were: - maximum resolution - maximum possible constant sound dispersion - a real soundstage recreation - even if seated way outside the sweet spot - real 3-dimensional soundstage - with not only left - right and front - back location, but real heights differences. Its smooth, yet very detailed and open sound is an important part in the full picture.Thanks to a crossover that does not present a terribly complex load, The Voice can be driven with anything from monster monoblocks to your favorite SET.
    • Cotter MK2L
    Excellent SUT done right. Amazing Bass, Staging AND High Frequency Performance. The full monty...
    Made side by side comparisons with Lyra, Konto KSL and a few others and it is superior in soundstage, height, width, tone, pace, simply a step ahead for real tone reproduction
    • Fidelity Research FR-1Mk3F
    The most advanced cartridge in the FR-1 series, the FR-1Mk3F was the first MC cartridge in the world to use pure silver wire for the coils.
    As a conductor, pure silver has lower resistance than any other metal. Therefore, efficiency is greatly improved without the need to make any other alterations in cartridge design. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) used the FR-64s / B-60 / FR-1Mk3F combination in the former times for Playback. Coreless coil to prevent hysteresis distortion, extremely durable suspension, this "F" version is shockingly superior to a lot of modern cartridges. When the Phonstage can handle the output, a superior cartridge for any Linear tracking tonearm, too. Updated Diamond greatly improving high-range response.
    Frequency Response: 10Hz - 40kHz
    Stereo separation:better than -22dB@20kHz
    VTF: 2,0 gr
    Output: 0,14mV
    Imp: 10.0Ω
    VTA: 15°
    Compliance 10x10 -6 cm / dyne (100Hz)
    Stylus: Custom made diamond

    Weight: 10 gr

    • Fidelity Research FR-7fc
    Full and powerful tone, superior Detail, no tonal gap from lowest to top range, never smears, superior channel separation, exceptional imaging & transparency ...truly terrific

    Very rare, probably one of the most sought carts in the world. It was the last series from FR, only 98 were ever made....but there are good news, when you find one, based on their construction they do not wear out and work always.

    The King of Cartridges

    VTF: 2,35 gr
    Output: 0,15mV
    Imp.: 3,0Ω
    • Fidelity Research FR-7fz
    The Fidelity Research FR-7z which was conceived by Ikeda-san fits in the Category "Done Right" and is one of the finest moving coil cartridges in the world. This MC cartridge employs a push-pull electrical generating system based on a 2-magnet, 4-pole magnetic circuit design. Both in theory and practice, this revolutionary configuration almost entirely prevents the generation of any distortion, while simultaneously doubling output voltage. FR's coreless coil reduces effective mass and eliminates hysteresis distortion, a large problem with conventional MC cartridges that have their coils wound on a core made of permalloy or other magnetic materials. It combines an outstanding black background with world class dynamic presentation. Clean, fast top end in combination with a taut, well extended bottom end. Midrange is as natural as breathing. Remarkable musical flow with hard to find definition, transparency and transient refinement. Like Phoenix's ability to be reborn from its own ashes... A great sounding cartridge 

    Output Voltage 0.24mV(5cm/sec.) 
    Tracking Force 2.0~3.0g 
    Load Impedance 2Ω 
    Frequency Response 10Hz~45kHz 
    Channel Balance 1dB(1kHz)
    Channel Separation 20dB/1kHz
    Compliance 7x10 -6 cm / dyne (100Hz)
    Stylus Shape Custom made for Syntax 
    Weight 30g
    • Fidelity Research FR-64s
    Tracking error distortion does not exist, the superior energy transfer of this Arm, linked with exceptional bass performance gives outstanding stable imaging.
    It has an uncanny ability to reproduce the tonal colors and dynamic elements of deep bass notes plus extremely quietness with stunning resolution and clarity. Correct tonal color or timbre is critical for proper musical reproduction. It is this color that defines the unique characteristic of an instrument. A guitar and piano playing the same note at the same loudness are vastly different each with its own unique timbre. The FR sounds so rich, transparent and detailed... it is simply amazing. Good as the Graham Phantom Supreme is, here is the Master. 

    Every component is soaked in a Swiss Clock Assembly degreaser, a 24-48 hrs process. Old grease removed with high quality swiss clock grease. Each component is then relubricated with the proper Swiss Clock Maker's Synthetic Lubricant.  Different parts require a different type of clock maker's lubricant. Direct wire from HS to RCA WBT102 Ag Plugs. New ABEC-9 bearings inside.

    A Design done right.
    Combination with B-60 VTA Adjuster. Very rare.
    • Fidelity Research FR-66s
    The King of Arms 

     A superb performer with even the most demanding records ever made. The presentation of nuances, non smeared detail with a rock solid dynamic physical force delivers a unsurpassed alive sound picture. This brilliant Arm provides a significant reduction in tracking error without incurring the typical resonance and control liabilities associated with longer arms. Music is reproduced effortlessly with superb transparency, sound staging, focus, realism and a superior dynamic range. It simply turns hi-fi into a musical event, enabling you to get lost in both the music and the performance, The FR-66s - still -  represents the pinnacle of serious audio engineering, it takes no prisoners!

    Every component is soaked in a Swiss Clock Assembly degreaser, a 24-48 hrs process. Old grease removed with high quality swiss clock grease. Each component is then relubricated with the proper Swiss Clock Maker's Synthetic Lubricant. Different parts require a different type of clock maker's lubricant. New ABEC-9 bearings inside.
    Rewired inside. Listening is Believing 

    • Ikeda Sound Labs
    Model 9 Kiwame cantilever-less Design "Di quella pira" ... when the going gets tough, the tough get going ... Amazing ability to accelerate. It can go from completely quiet to full tilt in an instant, it achieves this in such a effortless manner that the listener does not think about dynamics, but about 'Boy, what is THAT ??" Excels at textural production in a large authoritative sonic picture with musical flow and a clean, ultrafast top end. The new "Ikeda" are ultra inferior compared to this one. A typical example of getting a famous name and offering something which does not deserve the merits... 
    A Class of its Own... 

    Output voltage: 0.15mV (5cm/sec.45' 1kHz)
    Load impedance: 1.0Ω 
    VTF: 2.0 - 2.5 gr
    Compliance 6 x10 -6cm / dyne (100Hz)
    Super match with Cotter Mk2L
    • Jeff Rowland BPS & BPS-6
    Modified BPS Power Supply & BPS-6 for Cadence 2012 from JR. It can accommodate larger batteries and will last considerably longer with more current Power Supply ... Accurate in realistic tone and spectral balance, resolution, linearity along with weight and dimension based from its inherently low noise and very low source impedance maintained over a wide frequency range. Through them, each note had a realistic sustain, followed by a similarly realistic decay located in real space... Its overall quality comes through in the harmonic content which let you forget the time in front of your speakers.
    • Jeff Rowland Cadence
    In conventional Phono Preamplifiers, Damping is provided by load resistors. As a result, a significant amount of Signal Energy (MC) is wasted when converted to heat within the loading resistors.The Cadence is carefully engineered to effectively damp resonant energy occurring at high frequencies while transferring the maximum amount of lower frequency energy to the active input stage. This results in significant increases in dynamic range with no penalties of increasing noise.
    The CadenceDesign allows dramatic improvements in frequency response (4 Hz to 180 KHz !), Phase linearity (deviation from linear phase less than 3°, 50 Hz to 20 KHz) and distortion (less than 0,0001%). Last Production Batch, Serial No. [greaterthansign] 300
    • Klaudio RCM
    Ultrasonic Record Cleaning Machine
    • Koetsu Blue Lace
    Blue Lace Onyx Platinum with Diamond Cantilever

    Based of the limited supply of Koetsu's Blue Lace stock, they only issue two Blue Laces a year. But aside from its obvious beauty the Blue Lace batch was also specially selected because it is the hardest and most rigid among the onyx family, making it an exceptional cartridge housing due to its outstanding sonic qualities. Uncompressed dynamics, outstanding top end, lifelike Performance with a very realistic Soundstage. Faster than Lyra Atlas with a much more believable Presentation of the Real Thing. Top Performance with FR-64s + Arche Headshell + Aggelos + VTF 1.80 gr.
    Body: Blue Onyx
    Type: Moving coil
    Coil wiring: Silverplated copper
    Magnet: Platinum magnet
    Output: 0.3 mV
    Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz
    Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB
    Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB
    Impedance: 5Ω 
    VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr.
    Weight: 12.5 gr.
    Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
    • Koetsu Blue Lace MONO
    Custom made 2 coils (one for each channel) 
    Body: Blue Onyx
    Type: Moving coil
    Coil wiring: Silverplated copper
    Magnet: Platinum magnet
    Output: 0.3 mV 
    Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz
    Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB
    Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB
    Impedance: 2.5Ω
    VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr. 
    Weight: 12.5 gr. 
    Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
    • Koetsu Coralstone
    Koetsu Coralstone Platinum with Diamond Cantilever

    Side by side comparison with regular cantilever shows that the Diamond Cantilever lifts the performance to a higher level without any negative results. The DC seems quieter with more space between the notes linked with a higher resolution. The overall balance is simply superior, hard to describe but it is a class on its own. The top frequencies are clear, delicate, fast with holographic Gestalt. Big orchestrals are absolutely seamlessly and effortlessly presented. Passages with highly Dynamic swings are as limberly and gracefully handled as solos and intimate pieces. All music genres are perfectly served by the Coralstone's absolute stability, uncanny presence and assertive body. Extreme high and low frequencies are handled with better extension and control than other Koetsu stone bodies. It also tends to be a tad more neutral with a more transparent soundstage. It is hands down a great cartridge

    Top Performance with FR-66s + Arche Headshell + Aggelos + VTF 1.80 gr.

    Body: Coralstone
    Type: Moving coil
    Coil wiring: Silverplated copper
    Magnet: Platinum magnet
    Output: 0.3 mV
    Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz
    Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB
    Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB
    Impedance: 5Ω
    VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr.
    Weight: 12 gr.
    Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
    • Lamm Industries LL2.1
    One of real sonic bargains today. Huge Soundstage with Telefunken 6922 & Amperex 12AU7. Seriously modified with High Performance Parts: -Selected Caps+Shunts -Potis from TKD -Teflon tube sockets -Ag Inputs -Ag Wiring / soldering
    • Lamm Industries LP2 sign.
    High Gain LP2s: 71dB MC
    Phono Preamp with NOS 417A Western Electric 1970s Tubes, added some ultra performance parts (Silver/Gold in Oil caps ...) The Designer has gotten the transients of the minutest micro dynamics right. This is the kind of stuff that makes you sit up straight and nod in recognition as very small sound impulses come through the right way.
    • Lamm Industries M1.2R
    Remarkable vital sounding Amps with absolutely unique clarity and micro-resolution during sound reproduction.
    Listening to Adele Adkins, Live At The Royal Albert Hall, amplified with Omnigon and the Vitus SCD-025 Mk II unit show what's all about. Sitting on Vibraplanes 
    Running In The Deep.
    • Lamm Industries ML2.1
    Tube amp with NOS 1970s Mullard CV4004 Box Plate made in UK, modified with Ultra Performance Parts inside offers timbal truth, a top to bottom coherency, explosive speed locked with a accurate and uncolored reproduction. Sitting on Vibraplanes
    • Lyra Olympos SL
    Clean, ultrafast top end in combination with a taut, well extended bottom end. Midrange is as natural as breathing. Compared with Lyra Atlas, the Olympos is superior in every aspect. The lifelike tonality is striking. Remarkable musical flow with hard to find definition, transparency and transient refinement.
    - Frequency range: 10 Hz - 50 kHz
    - Cantilever system: Diamond coated solid boron rod cantilever, natural diamond line-contact stylus (3 x 70 micrometers profile).
    - Channel separation: 35 dB or better at 1kHz
    - Internal impedance: 3 Ω
    - Output voltage: 0.2 mV (5.0cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees)
    - Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 13.8 g
    - Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100Hz
    - Recommended tracking force: 1.65 - 1.80 g
    - Recommended impedance: 100 Ω to 47 kΩ
    • Magnum Dynalab 108
    Tuner with triple mica NOS Siemens 1950s Tubes from a Military Radar Station in the Swiss Mountains, linked with MD205 Signal Sleuth.
    • Micro Seiki RX-5000 & HS-80
    Out of its silent background, this Table re-creates startling dynamic swings. The music can literally explode from dead silence in an instantaneous yet progressive way that denotes the live thing. An unexpected tsunami of natural delicacy and realism that draws you into the heart of the music all the way to the original event as captured by the recording, the modified 5000/HS80 let the Lyra Olympos cartridge shine, both on macro and microdynamics. The modded Seiki provides a platform to recover the subtle shadings that create intensity in the music.
    This modified version offers an extremely low frequency weight with an outstanding seamlessness top-to-bottom tonal complexity.
    Outperforms easily the big Continuum Caliburn in terms of low register speed, punch, definition, color, body, provides a much better resolution in the complete frequency band with noticeably more weight, 3-dimensionality and leaves the - overrated - ringing Seiki 8000II in the dust.
    • Philips Voltage Stabilizer 1610
    Hospital Grade Magnetic Voltage Stabilizer Output voltage is adjustable Regulating accuracy +/- 0,1%, which is incredibly good Power rating: 1 kW continuous, for Front-End Turntables, Phonos & Tuner
    • Solid Steel Shelf equipment
    • Source-Odyssey RCM MK V
    The Rolls Royce of record cleaners. If you're looking at this pic, you already know this is the best of the best [Much more reliable than Glaess Ultrasonic RCM...]. Almost impossible to find in the used market. Those who own one keep them forever. This nozzle unit makes the VPI Typhoon looks like a Toyota Camry. Based on the Keith Monks, this is the custom order model with 2 independent fluid reservoirs, Point nozzle Design, Made in Germany. 
    Believe me, when you clean a record on it — no matter how clean it was before — it will sound better after you clean it on this machine.

    The Best.

    "One of the worlds best vinyl record cleaners, made for the perfectionist.

    The majority of record cleaning machines on the market make use of a slotted vacuum wand to remove the cleaning fluid from the surface of the LP. While both the aesthetic appeal and price point of these machines varies considerably there are several constants. This methodology tends to be extremely noisy, limited in ultimate suction and less than effective with even mildly warped LPs since contact between the slotted vacuum wand and the vinyl surface is compromised. There is also the very real risk of cross contamination unless one is prepared to rinse the slotted vacuum wand with distilled or deionised water between LP sides. Furthermore, when using two-step cleaning regimes consisting of a "home brew" or commercially available deep cleaning fluid followed by a rinse fluid, usually distilled or deionised water containing a wetting agent, one must employ separate applicator brushes and vacuum wands in order to avoid cross contamination. There issues are effectively addressed with a different type of machine which employs a pivoted arm with a small vacuum nozzle rather than the more common slotted vacuum wand. Such devices feature a continuous spoil of fine cotton thread which represents the only point of physical contact with the vinyl surface. Because the contact area with the LP is very small and intimate at all times, regardless of LP warps, the vacuum is concentrated where it is needed most for the most effective removal of the cleaning fluid from deep in the groove.

    The most well known nozzle-type record cleaning machine is arguably the Keith Monks unit from England. Loricraft, also based in the UK, manufacture a lower cost variation of the Keith Monks machine. It has lower build quality and fewer features compared to the Keith Monks unit, specifically lacking an on-board cleaning fluid pump and applicator brush, and it is let down by the fact that the reservoir for holding the spent cleaning fluid and cotton thread is located externally. The Odyssey Mk V, takes all of the wonderful features of the original Keith Monks machine and extends and improves upon them. In this respect the build quality of the Odyssey is superior, the components are of an even higher tolerance and specification, and the unit is even quieter than the Keith Monks which is itself quieter than any other vacuum record cleaning machine extant. Quite simply the Odyssey is THE perfectionist's record cleaning machine, a device that not only looks and feels "high end" in the truest sense of the term but is fully justified because, most importantly, it does a superior job in removing the cleaning fluid from your precious vinyl recordings. The result is not only reduced wear and tear on both your LPs and stylus but also the lowest possible noise floor and thus maximum recovery of recorded detail.

    This Odyssey is finished in beech. All of the high tech German-engineering is located under the lockable hinged stainless steel top plate. While the Odyssey features a single internally mounted 700 mL cleaning fluid reservoir, electric fluid pump and deck-mounted applicator brush as standard equipment, a second set can be optioned to facilitate the most unobtrusive of two-step cleaning regimes imaginable. This means no unsightly bottles of cleaning fluids out on display and no brushes laying around posing a cross-contamination risk. The Odyssey is a true archival record cleaning machine. This means that, unlike most slot-type vacuum machines, you can clean hundreds of records in a single session without risk of the vacuum pump overheating and without intolerable levels of noise.

    The Odyssey is a very substantial unit measuring 42 cm (wide) x 44 cm (deep) x 36 cm (high) and weighing in at around 20 kg."

    list price $7,499.99 US plus taxes. 
    • Stax SRM-007t II
    Balanced Tube Amplifier for Stax L-700 Headphones. Amplifier is modified with better NOS Tubes, Signal Path is shorter and a few other mods thatl transform this unit to a much higher level from sonics....really amazing unit now.
    • Sutherland Timeline Strobe
    The Timeline flashes its laser at precisely 33 1/3 (or 45) times per minute
    • Syntax' Dozen
    01/12: Gounod-Faust / Bizet-Carmen RCA LSC-2449-45CVp  
    02/12: Ballet Music From The Opera RCA LSC-2400 
    03/12: Grieg, Peer Gynt London CS-6049 
    04/12: Massenet, Le Cid Klavier KS 522 
    05/12: Ballet Favorites VICS-1066
    06/12: Zero Mostel, Fiddler On The Roof RCA LSO-1093 
    07/12: Shchedrin, The Carmen Ballet, Melodiya ASD-2448 
    08/12: Albéniz, Suite Española Decca SXL-6355
    09/12: Rimsky-Korsakoff, Scheherazade RCA LSC-2446 
    10/12: Offenbach, Gaîté Parisienne RCA LSC-1817 
    11/12: Arnold, English & Scottish Dances Lyrita SRCS-109 
    12/12: Casino Royale, Colgems COSO-5005


    01/12: Stokowski, Rhapsodies Liszt RCA LM-2471 1s/1s 
    02/12: Rimsky–Korsakoff, Scheherazade Decca LXT-5082 
    03/12: Romero, Pepe Flamenco! Mercury MG-50297 
    04/12: Chabrier, España Decca LXT-5333 
    05/12: Saint-Saens, Symphony No.3 RCA RB-16214 
    06/12: Gounod-Faust / Bizet-Carmen RCA LM-2449 1s/1s 
    07/12: Sarasate, Danzas Españolas Decca LXT-2930 
    08/12: Rossini-Respighi, La Boutique Fantasque Decca LXT-2555 
    09/12: Sibelius, Symphony No. 5 Karelia Suite RCA LM-2405 
    10/12: Beethoven Trios, Heifetz-Primrose-Piatigorsky RCA LM-2186 
    11/12: Brahms Violin Concerto, Szeryng LSO RCA LM-2281 
    12/12: Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique VPO RCA LM-2362
    • Syntax' Sunny Side Of The Soul
    01/12: Rossini/Respighi, La Boutique Fantasque, SACD RCA 2876-66419-2 
    02/12: Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (2006), Artist's Cut, Columbia 8697-03958-2 
    03/12: Jennifer Warnes, Famous Blue Raincoat (1986), Attic ACD 1227 
    04/12: Dead Man Walking (2005), Columbia 4835342 
    05/12: Adele, Live At The Royal Albert Hall 
    06/12: Oistrakh, Violin Bruch Scottish Fantasia (2006) LIM XR24 015 
    07/12: Rossini, Overtures JVCXR-0229-2 
    08/12: Ruggiero Ricci, Bizet-Sarasate, JVCXR-0227-2 
    09/12: Van Cliburn, Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1, JVC JM-XR24004 
    10/12: La Fille Mal Gardée, LIM XR24 013 
    11/12: Toscanini, Plays Your Favorites, JVC JM-M24XR04
    • Telos Audio Grounding Noise Reducer
    Active Grounding for 6 units

    Expanded Soundstage, no noise, better focus in the higher frequencies, the  naturalness of tonality is a step ahead
    • Telos Audio Quantum Noise Resonator
    I hate to say that: Stunning
    • VIBEX SPB Statement Power Block
    High current unit, 2x32 Ampere high current for amplifiers, 7 layers of different Isolation and Damping material inside, non magnetic housing, a 40 lb sandwich construction made of Aluminum and Krion stone ...
    • Vibraplane 2210
    Best there is 
     Also for my Amps, a much more serious solution than the usual nonsense
    • Vitus Audio SCD-025 Mk II
    Digital Player which replaced the EMMLabs CDSA-SE
    • Wavac HE 833
    The King of SET.
    Special 10th Anniversary Model 150Wpc
    Most manufacturers choose some cheap tubes, use a primitive, simple design and promote it finally as ultimate. Wavac has a completely different way, they choose the ultimate tubes (there are no better ones for their way to go in each amplification stage), develop a own design without any compromise and the result is a performance which has to be heard to believe. Until the invention of their IITC circuit, there was no way to harness the power of the mighty 833A for Class A audio applications. The HE-833 uses a triode-wired KT88 driver stage which couples to the 833A through a low impedance transformer, providing ideal drive conditions to actualize the full sonic potential of the transmitting triode. A ultra-low noise, telecommunications-quality Western Electric 437A is used in the input stage for maximum dynamic range. I honestly doubt if there is anything else like it in the entire world as their way of design and construction is almost scary. The reproduction is very pure, never fails to give the impression of something warm and organic. While listening to vocals, I couldn't help feeling that a living human being was singing there. The sound is quite lively and powerful without the slightest faltering or limitation. Classical vocals are presented with a rock solid structure in the sonic image and the accompanying piano was projected with steady and strong authority. Brilliant brain done right. Each is connected to a 32Ampere high current device & Oyaide F1 connectors Amplifier Stand is Vibraplane
    • Ultimate Tools No Way Back
    Before you burn your next bundle of $$ try to find that and your will hear things from the most demanding records you never heard before.
    - AT-637 Stylus cleaner
    - Cartridge Man Digital Levelling Gauge
    - Dennesen Soundtractor (Metal)
    - Sutherland Timeline Laser
    - UNI Protractor
    - XLO Test & Burn-in CD
    • ------------------------ ----------------------
    Sold units in the Cheers Section
    • *Cheers System*
    I think, therefore I am

    My former units

    I learned a lot while using them, some are outstanding designs, very few were cheaters
    • Acoustical-Systems Axiom Anniversary


    Shootout FR-64s Arm, can't come close to the lifelike reproduction

    • Aesthetix Callisto Signature
    Nice, but the Lamm LL2.1 is more natural in sound
    • Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk II.2
    OTL Amplifier mono Reliable and great sound All options
    Replaced with Lamm ML2.1
    • Basis Audio Debut Vacuum sign.
    Turntable with vacuum which does not make the music sound dead and lifeless.
    One of the rare serious Designs of today I learned a lot with it, a true no-nonsense-Design. Best memories ... but I was young and needed the money.
    • DaVinci Audio Labs Grandezza
    Replaced with FR-64s, way more dynamics, better focus and a lifelike reproduction which is a class on its own
    Never looked back
    • DCS Delius & Purcell
    DAC & Upsampler 24bit / 192 kHz
    a good sounding combination
    • Kuzma Reference
    Reference? Well, maybe for the Manufacturer .... for me it is just another one in the overhyped group of "great" which is in reality mediocre at best. 
    Sold and never looked back
    • Lamm Industries L2R
    Overrated Preamp, bought a LL2.1 instead, much more realistic reproduction
    Sold and never looked back
    • Revox PR-99 MKIII
    Tape Machine
    Sold and never looked back
    • Jeff Rowland Coherence 2 Series 2
    Battery Powered Preamp for the natural, overall realism of the music. Last version without SMPS. Pure DC operation avoids the conducted and radiated noise typically produced by rectifiers and regulators.

    Weight 86 lbs surpassed by Omnigon too easily
    Sold and never looked back
    • Kondo AudioNote Japan KSL SF-z
      Comparison: Jensen custom made, better specs, better detail
      The Parts inside are a joke for the money
      Sold and never looked back
    • Triplanar VII i Ultimate
    Comparison: Graham Phantom, better in all areas (focus, detail, holographic picture, better 'Gestalt') sold it and never looked back
    Totally overhyped Arm, mediocre at best, can not handle cartridges with high energy transfer and is also not the right one for Koetsus...
      Sold and never looked back
    • Wavac HE 805
    Original Nobu Shishido One of his last units Shootout: Pass Aleph 0

Comments 366

Showing all comments by syntax.

View all comments


thanks for the friendly comments...well, now it is summer and to be honest, in these hot days I don't use it so much.
But true, when I put one of those old records onto the platter and the needle tracks the Forst groove ... the magic from the golden era recordings comes alive in front of me. It is still a fascinating hobby ...



Well, it was a long way and when I started many years ago, time was better. More dealers, more chances for personal meetings and in general a better understanding of the real thing.
I read a lot of mags but i saw very fast, that it is mainly paid advertising with some personal notes. Only winners, no matter how good or bad the stuff really is.
Hm, the only website i know which was/is worth reading, is the one from Arthur Salvatore



Yes, i still use it. No problems since purchase many years ago.
There is nothing to do to keep it working.
It was done right from parts.


Cartridge Comparison started ….


Good Phonocables should show some Physical knowledge and low capacity. Most don't have a dedicated "Phono" Cable, they re-brand a normal NF Cable, double the price and that's it.
I did a Phono Cable comparison some time ago and there are big differences among them, independent from price (when I remember I had here Siltech, Kondo, Cardas Golden Cross (?), KSL-Vz, Graham-70 (?, the best from him), XLO Signature, PAD Venustas, and some other brands I forgot).
Most cables - in general - have own" characters" and are used to compensate or to support something in the main System. That makes it difficult to "recommend" because no one knows what "priorities" are asked.
Some are shielded, some not, some have good connectors, some not, some have developed a separate Phono cable, others say, they did, too, some have high quality strands, some have standard ones....
A well done cable which is way better than most
Audioquest LeoPard
Silver wire (silver can carry 6% more information than copper and 16% more than gold,AES Rating is copper 100, silver 106), Teflon tubes, high quality plugs,72V isolation
you can hear the difference ....
1 Disadvantage: Too cheap

I use a Acoustical Systems alignment unit


Advanced101, i don’t have that problem with my Arche HS. Did you use some force to tighten?


The dogs you can find sometimes at ebay search RCA Nipper Dog…i don’t use the microscope always, i have a Protractor from Acoustical Systems made for my Arms, pretty good …but thanks for the question…i have to try it again


...based on positive Results with my FR-64s, I gave my FR-66s also for refurbish to analogmagik. Years ago someone did a kind of refurbish, but it wasn't done well. I did never trust it.....when the Arm was open, it was the right decision 

See the pics

Final now with 
complete cleaning
new grease
new Swiss ABEC-9 bearings, 
direct cable, 
RCA WBT 102Ag Plugs, 
silver leads inside, 
new contact springs


Found in my drawer an old cartridge I forgot to use for a lot of years
 … FR-1Mk3F ….
Being curious i gave it a try
Here is a demo track on YouTube 

Very amazing after all these years i think 


Refurbish of Fidelity Research Arms

My Tonearm has been completely restored.

New ABEC-9 tight Tolerance Bearings Video…

Bearing set precisely with Torque Wrench, with no play and no over tightness.
Bearings has been replaced with ABEC-9 highest quality bearing with proper location.

The dynamic VTF spring has been properly lubricated with Synthetic Grease.

The Ikeda silver wire has been replaced with AnalogMagik Reference Tonearm Silver Wire, with Silver Braided Shield.
WBT 0102 AG Silver Plug installed.


Hello, the speakers are decoupled internally. I thought some time to put them onto Vibraplanes… but I was too lazy to move :-)
I am afraid, don’t know what springs you ask for, on what pic did you see them?


Refurbish Fidelity Research Tonearms
Was looking for a competent service for my FR-64s Arm. It was still good enough to win any comparison with any other Arm based on its detailed, life like reproduction but I wanted to have the experience how good it really is when inside is made everything new from scratch. I found Richard Mak from who offers a complete refurbish. New grease, new cabling you can choose, direct wire with 2 Plugs for your Phono input, new bearing and now he also offers a 66s Armwand to change a 64s into a 66s. I sent my Arm to him and will see what to do when it is open …


Back to the Dark Side of Life …

….. Cartridge alignment needs great precision as 0.5 mm is too great an error. It is about getting the very best possible from a given cartridge/tonearm combination. To get that, the best possible geometrical set-up and alignment is the very first step. What is lost here to imperfect alignment can’t be recovered anywhere else in the audio chain. I want to illustrate the point by adapting the dimensions to our daily world. A modern stylus does feature a polished area – and it is actually that area alone which should have contact to the groove’s wall – of 1-2 μm to 5-6 μm. 

A 12“ tonearm is approximately 300 mm effective length. Now what if we have an error of say one tiny 0.5 mm away from the calculated point of zero tangential error? No big deal and well within the tolerances of many alignment templates. Most “sweet spots“ on templates are already double that figure in diameter. Now let me transform those dimensions to our scale.

We amplify every figure in the tonearm and stylus by 1000x. Now the tonearm is 300 meter long. The cartridge now has the size of a big family house. And the polished area of the cartridge? It is now 1-2 mm to 5-6 mm. And hanging at the tip of a 300 meter long tonearm......... That 0.5 mm error we were talking about is now 50 cm - or 1⁄2 meter - off the perfect line. 

You should know what to do to get the best out of the investment. Not enough, you should know what kind of Installation you want to have, depending on your records. There can be huge differences. 

From 1938 to 2010 - nothing changed in more than 70 years? Phono tonearm geometry is born: 1937/38

In the years around the start of the Second World War, gifted engineers with strong backgrounds in mathematics published in quick succession their groundbreaking calculations for best approaching a theoretical tangential zero tracking error with a pivot tonearm. These calculations became the industry standard for years to come – though as I’ll explain later, they’re not the benchmark we should be using today.

Erik G. Loefgren and H.G. Baerwald published, in 1938 and 1941 respectively, the definitive calculations based on B. Olney’s initial essay in Electronics, November 1937. 

They came to the very same best possible approximation of a circle segment to a given straight line. Their Euclidean calculations resulted in a tangential curve, which set the standard as being the theoretical and practical best geometric compromise. Phono tonearm overhang and offset angle were established as essential features in order for a pivot tonearm to reach the best possible geometry, thus giving the lowest derivation from the tangential ideal for that 70 to 95 mm of grooved radius in a 12-inch record. The final result was the best combination of lowest maximum and lowest average distortion in the tracking due to tangential derivation– or tracking error. The analytics of B.B. Bauer in 1945 and John Seagrave in the mid-1950s reconfirmed Loefgren’s and Baerwald’s theory and results, firmly establishing the tangential curve they calculated as the best compromise in geometric phono tonearm set-up.

This is an essential part of phono analog history.

The tangential curve of 1938/1941 – today named Baerwald DIN or Loefgren A DIN – was the indispensable foundation of high fidelity sound in phono records. The tangential curve calculated by these pioneers of high fidelity analog sound was mathematically as close to perfect as possible, and their contribution to the quality of phonograph reproduction can’t be valued too highly. However, the record groove Loefgren and Baerwald did their calculation for was not the record groove we (at least, most of us) play today – far from it. Aside from the mere outer dimensions of the medium (diameter), there are hardly any similarities in the two grooves.

Back in their day, the state of the art was the 78 rpm shellac mono record of the 1930s.The groove of a shellac mono record is different in most every way from a stereo microgroove record dating 1958 or later.

78 rpm shellac mono record vs. 33 1/3 stereo microgroove

The modern stereo microgroove is considerably smaller. Further, it is engraved with a much finer and more complex three-dimensional encoding. It runs with less speed, resulting in further reduction of available space for a given amount of recorded time. Likewise, the stylus and polished area are magnitudes smaller and more refined today compared to the days of Loefgren and Baerwald. So the stereo microgroove record is not the medium Loefgren and Baerwald faced in the late 1930s, and the modern 12-inch microgroove long-playing (“LP”) record is certainly not the medium they did their calculations for. The stereo microgroove is so different in most every way that it requires a closer look and a different approach to reach a possible optimum in sound decoding when tracking it. I had been using the original Dennesen Soundtractor since 2005: a solid metal device that allowed for Baerwald IEC alignment independent of the mounting distance. Most, if not all, better tonearm alignment tools available today are based on this ingenious design, which was years ahead of its time.

There are RCA Living Stereo LSC, Mercury Living Presence SR, EMI ASD, DECCA SXL, Columbia SAX, Impulse AS, Blue Note, Columbia 6-eye CS, 90 / 100 / 120 / 180/ 200gr gr. Vinyl, compresed Masterings…… and Reissues.

Many of these recordings have long grooves – cut fairly close to the paper label and thus often exceeding the “official” limits of both DIN (inner groove limit record radius 57.5 mm) as well as IEC (60 mm, measured from center of the record spindle hole).This fact inevitably means fairly high tangential derivation in the last minutes of many records – in other words, high distortion figures in those important areas of the music where you need/want it the least.

Why in those areas?

Say you have a 33 1/3 microgroove on an LP that is indeed spinning with a constant speed of 33 1/3 rpm. The beginning of the groove, at about the 145 mm point of the LP radius, features about 100 cm groove-space for one minute of recorded signal. That means lots of space and the best conditions for the stylus because its fairly easy going. (Imagine a straight new three- lane highway, early on a Sunday morning in mid-summer, and you get the picture.)

Close towards the inner label – say at the IEC limit 60 mm radius – the available space for one minute of engraved signal is only about 33 cm, squeezing the information into one-third the space, with an increased curvature and at a point where the tangential error of the tangential curve of Baerwald and Loefgren is in a steep rise. For the stylus of your cartridge this is no longer the three-lane highway it tracked 20 minutes ago. That highway has turned into a narrow serpentine in the Chilean Andes – a nightmare of a road that it has to drive with maximum speed, even while the edge of its chassis is hemmed in. What is happening in these last minutes where the conditions for the stylus get increasingly rough and tight?

In classical music – as well as in jazz and rock/pop –the final beats and the big climaxes occur exactly while the stylus is approaching the end of the groove. In other words, the biggest challenges for the cartridge tonearm happen just when the periphery conditions are the worst.

But this is just one of many facts that call for a slightly different look at the stereo microgroove. Since the mid-1980s, record manufacturing has more and more abandoned record-cutting exceeding a 62 mm radius, an evolution that actually began with lots of customers rejecting records because of inner groove distortion back in the early 1960s and that finally reached the direct metal-mastering era in 1984. The “modern” variation of Baerwald’s and Loefgren’s calculation (called Loefgren B IEC) – putting the two points of zero tangential error on the tangential curve (”null points”) closer together and the second null point farther away from the center – was tailored to this new trend in record cutting.

Superficially, this appeared to be a smart reaction to an altered condition. However, it remained an incomplete solution – only a fairly one-dimensional (over-) reaction to the generally decreased actual cutting radius rather than addressing the complexities of the situation. Baerwald’s and Loefgren’s calculations for a best possible combination of lowest average as well as lowest maximum derivation for a circle segment trying to approach a straight line with two null points can’t be bettered in our geometry. What can be bettered, however, is the resulting tracking distortion in a stereo microgroove. This can be done with a tangential curve that is not viewed under plain general geometric aspects, but rather under weighted criteria of the real – non-linear – medium.

Or you choose something different for the areas of higher and lower derivation which are positioned differently from Baerwald and Loefgren because they (if we add Stevenson and Loefgren B) paid no attention to at all: the human brain and our way of hearing. The human ear (actually the part of our brain that composes what we mean by hearing) is very sensitive to changes.

UNI-DIN’s curve is actually flatter than the other curves, in the sense that the inevitable dips and peaks of derivation in the tangential curve are smoother – less steep in both directions.

This results in less notable alternations – less notable for our brain – in tracking distortion.

Further, UNI-DIN features an unusual offset angle and overhang for the effective length. This results in less resulting skating force (I will cover this very specific topic in a later essay) with any cartridge and pivoted tonearm. (If in doubt, please check it out with your set-up – you will see that this statement is correct.) UNI-DIN offers more headroom in critical passages.

Towards the inner grooves especially there is much cleaner sound with more stable soundstage. Sibilants in female voices are much easier to handle and feature notably fewer tendencies to break up or become harsh and unnatural. Soundstage dimensions and depth are increased and more stable over the entire record. The sound in general is more relaxed and seems to have more headroom – the more the record is cut towards the label, the more apparent to the ear.

The differences depends also more or less to the country you live and their kind of voicing (Asia is different to USA, can match with classical recordings, not match with singers…)

And next, what tool for that? The majority are more or less copied from each other, more or less wrong, good for nothing, most are not tight fitted to spindle (they have no standard, some are smaller, some wider, this "forgotten" detail can ruin everything after 2s because it is wasted time
Or, what Arm will be used? Some (older ones) are made for 45's, some have a good geometry, some not, some can track everything, some not, can we compensate something with soft cartridges .... and so on and on...

Analog reproduction is a chain....


Understanding And Enjoying Audio Reviews 

We'll be the first to admit that reading audio reviews can be a daunting task. Do you find yourself wondering, "What are they talking about?" or "I never heard THAT --- am I missing something?" 

I'll explain them to you in plain English, and in no time at all, YOU'LL be an expert as well. 

When they say... 
(They mean ...) 

In spite of the measurement anomalies, this speaker is clearly a state-of-the-art product. 
( It didn't SOUND broken when we gave it our top rating ) 

It was definitely borderline Class A. 
( It isn't that good, but it's sooo expensive, and they're letting me keep it --- G-d I feel So cheap! ) 

Better than amps costing three times as much. 
( I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I like the amp ) 

Light years ahead of the competition 
The competition won't give us a review sample ) 

Despite it's slight problems at the extremes, the products strong point was it's rendition of theall-important midrange. 
( This thing has no bass and treble that actually hurts! ) 

We hire only the best writers. 
We'll hire any audiophile who recognizes a pencil two out of three tries ) 

This is an incomplete but promising design from a talented young designer. 
The product sucks but he has some money left in his advertising budget ) 

This product had me pulling one record after another from my collection. 
( I listened to all five of my records ) 

The images in the soundstage had that elusive and seductive sense of palatable presence 
( I haven't had sex since my wife left me and I'm starting to hallucinate ) 

This product lacks some of the subtle refinements we've come expect from a designer of this caliber. 
The product stinks but we don't want to piss off this famous manufacturer ) 

Better than amps costing three times as much 
( I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I like the amp ) 

This preamp is the new reference 
We aint giving it back, and we aint paying' for it either ) 

.... the discriminated Audiophile is born to suffer ....


A few lines to Speakers Corner Reissues ...
For comparison: 
Decca SXL and London: Peer Gynt
Decca SXL and London: Espana

The Reissues are wrong in the higher frequencies, they simply hurt and all the details from different musicians are gone. They are equalized to be sonic blockbusters, in a way they remember me to MFSL. Impressive wall of sound even on a 500$ Turntable, but they can't show you anything new when your Equipment gets better. It is always the same "Performance".
The originals have a ton more details, a total different tonal color and a much deeper, detailed soundstage. You can clearly hear the differences even among the mastering engineers (Wallace / Burkett for example).


I did it.

The next step.

Pleasure for my ears

First set of Decca SXL Reissues from Speakers Corner went into trash box. Too lazy to sell them. They got what they deserved.

Upgrade in a different direction .... :-)


Interesting. With such a speaker will a 300B work very well. Listened to a similar combo years ago. Very, very good. The ML2.1 is different from tone and weight,I would say ... complete.




After 15 years ownership, time to look back ...

The Return Of The Jedi 

Well, what are the right words to begin with? 

In a way it is so special in our modern world, where endless high powered amplifiers are available, and that one has 18 Watts only?  
Well, probably these 18 Watts sound better, more true, more real than all others? Maybe.  
In the last 20 years I made the experience, that speakers should be always paired with the right amplifier (or the other way). Most Audiophiles buy the amp or the speakers of their dreams and invest lots of time to match them. Sometimes successfully, but sometimes it can be frustrating, too. 
I read some owner commentents and it seems, this ML2.1 can drive a lot of speakers, some of them use Wilson, Avantgarde ... myself I use a 99.5dB Design with a very simple X-over, life is easy you know.. 
This ML2.1 amplifier is designed around the large Russian 6C33C-B dual-triode vacuum tube. That one is a robust high power, low internal impedance tube, making it possible to design output transformers with very low turn ratio. Such transformer design permit very extended frequency decade factors at both extremes as well as a dramatic reduction in leakage inductance. The result is a natural sound reproduction, not only in the midrange (where triodes rule) but also in the low and high frequencies (a traditional weakness of triode designs). In a way it is unique, nothing else sounds like that piece of electronics. It’s the real thing, it has no weaks. A lot of other designs can create some magic here and there, but at the end of day, they aren’t complete in their tonal spectrum. Some say ‚the magic is in the first watt‘, or ‚all the magic is in the midrange only‘. Breathing a spark of harmonic life into instrumental outlines is part of the magic of a outstanding design, and derives from that first watt of power it propels the harmonic envelope to full bloom. The dynamic microcosm lives or dies by that first watt, and the ML2.1 amplifier possess the purest initial burst of power that anyone has yet to hear. 
It is true, the magic is in the first Watt, and also in the following ones, midrange only is waste of time, a justification for an average design. The ML2.1 is made for one purpose only: 
The bring the real thing into your home (when the rest of your System is ready for that...). 

This is the kind of ‚sound‘ which makes you sit up straight to listen and to feel very small sound impulses come through in the right way. When I have some visitors in my room and I play some classical music, after a while they breathe in the rythm of the musical swings. The listener gets into the presentation, he is inside - or a part of - it. This amp drives the whole audible spectrum with authority, speed and transparency.  
The reader is confronted monthly with the sonic revolution of something, every word as description was written countless times... naturalnees, invisibility ... and when you go to listen to the unit(s), you think: Huh, did the reviewer dream? (yes) Did he ever listen to it? (No). Did he smoke something? (Probably). Anyway...

Back to reality. When the right speaker is connected, the ML2.1 is a full range Tube amp, loading the room with the right, realistic Bass content combined with the right Balance which is really on the record and not only a part of it we will find so often. 

With the music of Gounod- Faust, Bizet-Carmen (LSC-2449) - for example - you hear uncompressed music from a time long ago, where those engineers were captured in the sound of dynamics in combination with extraordinary stage depth and image specificity among the different instruments. The ML2.1 gets it all, with vivid colors and tremendous musicality. Melodies reproduced naturally, with believable Details propelling the whole of the score. The most startling quality of the ML2.1 sound, which grabbed me at the very first listening session, is its immediacy. The music seems simply to be there, transmitted directly from the artists to the ear. I could analyze the elements of that immediacy -- principally a combination of excellent transient rise and settling speed and extraordinary tonal neutrality -- but it seems a prosaic response to the sheer sonic poetry of the experience. 

Another interesting Detail is the Balance of this amp. Female singers and violins for example, sound as pitch-perfect and true as male voices and cellos. The same is true for different musical genres, there is always the toanl time difference between the different frequencies. Every record will guide the listener in a new sonic experience, it never gets boring. When you listen to one of those older classic records which was recorded in one of those European Concert Halls, you will hear the echoes which are reflected from the side walls, the impression of tonal truth is something total different compared to Digital recordings. Don’t get me wrong, the Sound of the ML2.1 is like a Schubert piano trio: logical, perfect, well balanced, apparently immortal and glowing with with beauty of the truthful sort. The sound is like poetry at its best, it contains as much meaning as the notes / words themselves and every performance is shot trough with the kind of random beauty which serves the fascination to listen to the same record again and again. 

Listening to music can be either a passive or an active experience. The vast majority of the public never actively listens to music, just passively in the car, or while working out, so fidelity isn't really important to them. Actively listening to music requires that you actually stop doing other things, and just sit and listen to the music. I don't care if they choose to use velvety sounding tubes or bright, upfront Krells. If you want your system to sound biting, forward, and aggressive, hook up a pair of horns to some Krell/Levinson amplifiers, it is that simple. Why should I put up with ear bleeding brightness because he says thats what "high-fidelity" is supposed to be? If I'm going to spend a ton of cash on a stereo, I want it to be enjoyable to listen to (even with some less than great recordings) not tear my head off. If that makes me "part of the problem" so be it. Audio actually used to have a goal: perfect reproduction of the sound of real music performed in a real space. That was found difficult to achieve, and it was abandoned when most music lovers, who almost never heard anything except amplified music anyway, forgot what "the real thing" had sounded like. Today, "good" sound is whatever one likes. Normally there is no hope today. Normally... 


Superior analog reproduction is a chain of details done right. there are a few "religions" out there, I listened to various designs and finally, each audiophile can choose which way he wants to go....
A moving coil type pickup extracts information from a phonograph record more accurately than any other known type of mechano-electric transducer. Furthermore, by virtue of the physics of its design, the energy that this kind of pickup can develop as compared to its own internal noise is far greater than that of any other design. 
The moving coil type pickup has the least time dispersive distortdon which, more than any other kind of aberration, is responsible for the breakdown of the sense of realism and immediacy in the reproduced music. This lack of distortion arises from the insensitivity of the moving coil pickup to perturbations along the stylus axis resulting from groove-stylus frictional effects. 

By comparison, other pickup types have far greater axial sensitivity enabling them to deliver a highly undesirable output signal of no musical worth. This signal serves only to contaminate the purity of the desired music to be reproduced. 
The phonograph record, which is a three dimensional surface replica of a recorded event in time, is a far better medium for preserving the events in time than one might expect. Poorly designed pickups, which sadly exist in abundance, belie the inherent excellence of the phonograph disk by their flawed transduction through which the quality of disks are often judged. 

The available energy generated by the moving coil type pickup is not in the optimal form to be used with the input arrangement to today's electronics. Contrary to popular wisdom, the moving coil pickup has an abundance of energy, and needs no additional energy boost from some external source. Rather, the pickup's own energy needs only to be transformed to a different mode in order for the finest systems to profit from the fundamentally great advantages offered by the moving coil pickup cartridges. 

The large quantity of current naturally produced by the moving coil pickup must be transformed to voltage. This is because the inputs of audio electronics are voltage, not current reading sensitive for best signal to noise ratio. 


The only intelligent approach which confines itself to the physics of the problem is the use of a carefully designed transformer, optimized for the resistance of the moving coil pickup of choice. 

Finally, splitting the incoming signal for amplification is not the real task, the real task is, to change it to something which sounds like the real thing without loss of detail ...


Unfortunately I never saw a manual for it, but I can imagine, the former US Distributor knows more. It is very similar to a Keith Monks RCM ....


Got a real jewel in female voices

Title: Esther
Vinyl original ATR 001 from 1979 Made in W. Germany
Mastercut Recording, 80gr
No Filters, No Limiters, Direct Cut
This Dynamic/Clarity in Voicing has to be heard to believe
One of the ultra test records for Arm/Cartridge matching

(Not the 180gr. Reissue)


Probably I can give a better description when you tell me something about you

What speaker you use?
Digital or analog software?
When analog... classic, Jazz .... reissues or originals?


Hello Flame,
I think, there is no "best" for everything. Each amp will work super with matching speakers. Electrostatic speakers need a different amp than a speaker design with 99dB. But, all to them are top in their area.
Did not listen to v2 from Waac, a Wave Dealer told me some time ago, there is no sonic difference...


I have no experience with YouTube and playback ...


Today I tried to make a Youtube video with my iPhone .....

Micro Seiki 5000 + HS-80 + FR-64s ....still my favorite after all these years...... Lyra Olympos SL ......

the sound isn't that bad .... for a Phone :-)


Listening right now to a great record from 2008, 
(Analogue-Recorded (Live) on November 24th - 27th, 2007 And Mixed December 2007 / January 2008)

Kolibri Records - 08002

plan b³
Tommy Schneider & Friends

Try to find one, it's worth it


Yes, at the moment it is not on my priority list. Right now I am going back to units which amazed me long time the moment Fr-66s & Ikeda cantileverless Oldie ... this physical force in the sonic picture still is a class on its own...even after all the years


Huh, now we have tough time based on the corona virus. Staying in house...ok, that is fine with good records...but now my Apolyt turntable is ready to go...and the installation can't be done ...I'm born to suffer ...


Hi Gallus,

yes, High End Shows should be seen as entertainment. There are 2 views: The Professionals look for something to distribute and the Enthusiasts for something which sounds like the real thing.
The Amari is reliable, very clever done from technical solutions, sound reproduction is very natural, very detailed and can also show a wide and deep soundstage (with a few additional improvements).
A killer unit for the money. I would not own it, when it would be mediocre. There is no sonic fingerprint.


Hello Dan,

a bit below I wrote some lines about some features. The Manual for the regular Axiom Arm is online ready for download. Pretty good explanations with pics.
It will give you a quite good impression what this Arm can do...
I really like the coming back to the former setting or to dial into the cartridges abilities.
It is a sonic adventure with a safe return ticket. Brilliant executed.


The Axiom Anniversary Tonearm arrived

See the pics in the link


The Axiom Anniversary Tonearm arrived

See the pics in the link

It is a true Tool for the serious audiophile who wants the best tonal reproduction in combination with EVERY Cartridge available.
The unit shows 3 micrometers for repeatable, unmatched adjustments during playing. VTA is obvious, but here you make your first alignment,
remember the scale data from Arm height and now you can try whatever you want without getting lost. You can always come back to your first setting.
Super for different originals (Decca, Mercury, RCA …)

Same for VTF
You do your first alignment with a given Cartridge, for example 1,80gr, remember the scale for it, leave your cart onto the gauge and you see exactly what number on
the adjuster will do with the VTF (1,803…1,792…1,834 and so on). You write a notice for that turn how much a half turn up or down will do and then you play
the record while changing VTF until it sounds best to you
Same for Anti-Skate
You need a test record for it (for first alignment), later while playing you can change AS a bit and you will hear the difference (when your System is on par for that)

The Arm itself throws a huge Soundstage, a very good Imaging in combination with holographic details.
My comparison with the regular Axiom and the Anniversary showed some interesting results. The Anniversary is a bit a faster and shows a different kind of physical presence.
I don’t know why, maybe the manufacturer did something and does not tell or the - better - adjustment showed that.
It shows details from my Cartridge and Records I did not hear before so clearly. 
A Game Changer.


I made the comparisons, yes. Both FR Arms are from sonics still miles ahead from anything else today. Except Axiom. That one is from sonics in their area but a bit different. The Axiom has excellent adjustments and no sonic coration or fingerprint. The 66s for example shows with Original Records from the late 50' up a kind of living presence which has to be heard to believe. And with most demanding carts, Old Ikeda Systems without cantilver (a desaster for Graham Arms, SME 3012R and others) you get a sonic pureness and speed in a holographic picture which is unique. I think,it depends on turntable, there are only a few today where you can use a FR Arm, for me it is the King of Arms. I still like some of the older carts, those I have a superior to any modern ones and the match with 64s / 66s was superior in the past and still is. Axiom is a bit different but the best of modern ones today. It can create a huge mesmerizing soundstage, too. Unfortunately I have no experience with Aquila. I closed the Tonearm chapter.


Dear Gallus,

save the money and go for a FR Arm.  They (64s & 66s) are in a different league in every aspect (dynamic response, cartridge adjustability, energy transfer, headroom ..)


It is very good. The improvements will depend on the turntable you use, normally a way better focus, more details, more 3 dimensional bass ... I am not up to date with your rig, the arm base needs to be lifted to the same height. I think, AS can do that.



first, all settings are in manual mode, distance, shutter, speed, flash time.
The 105mm/2.8 is absolutely great, VR is useless here and has to be shut off anyway.
Your advantage is, you can see everything in the camera display, go fist with an open shutter, for example 4 to get enough light for focussing what is important for you, then go higher in shutter numbers for depth sharpness. So you can move on step by step...


Hi Dan,

thank you. To be honest, these pics needed some time. For this quality and sharpness a Tripod is mandatory and a flash, too.
When you use Tripod you can shoot sequences with long shutter time and short flash time (100th). And ISO setting can be low, from memory I think, I used 800 or a bit above with Nikon D4s.


Hello advanced101,
yes, you are on the right track with your settings. It is the same for me, too.
The Koetsu Stonebodies are done correctly from cantilever angle, so the adjustments depends mainly on the records you use. Or better said, on their cutting angle. Older ones - 50's/60's - are tail down, later ones from the 90's are more or less level. I never use them tail up for example.
To find the right adjustment is quite simple (for an older record for example)..I start with level cartridge, the sound is more or less like a point source coming from the middle of your speakers. When you go tail down, the soundstage will expand to both sides.
When you go down too much, the high frequencies will suffer, lower frequencies will be dominant and the sound will become a bit dull.
Azimuth, yes, same for me, the bodies are made very good.
The Anti Skate...for this I use a Cardas Test Record with plain tracks (no grooves)


New in System

AQ WEL Signature Tonearm Cable



I guess, with PS you mean Pivot to Spindle?
Can you go for 231,5 mm?


Woah, FR-64s with Koetsu Blue Lace .... I think, I know what you mean. A super match!!
Yes, I own that table. I was so fascinated about every technical detail was done so well, there is no weak point. Everything here is done right, independent from input voltage, an outstanding high quality bearing you won't find even in 60k turntables, a modified platter from AS, also a good PS and now the very best: That little unit runs with the Sutherland Timeline Strobe spot on, 33.333 and 45.000. I am in turntables for 15 years, I listened to a lot and 9 from 10 can't pass the Timeline test. They fail, no matter what their display shows. And no matter how expensive they are. And correct reproduction of tone? Very, very hard to find when you don't want to have the flavor of the month...
I bought it right away to bring myself back to normal (brain counts was always my way in the audiophile journey ...) yes, it is possible to do something right for a good price. It is a killer table and that is no marketing blubber. I listened to it in side by side comparison with a well known German table, expensive external PS and so on ... this one is way ahead in fine detail, subtle nuances, a believable soundstage with Deccas and a full tone in any frequency area.
When you go for it, these 3 belts are original and should be replaced with one from AS. He made a special one for that table. No wow and flutter, good specs and the one to go for.

I made a quick shot from the table



The Naked Record 33 1/3


10 Hungry Ears for Manufacturer Visit at Acoustical-Systems

A few impressions after the High End Show.
Some units which were never seen before and will be able to show a completely new sonic chapter in Future

The Apolyt Turntable
From sonics one of those you can say "Way beyond the Ultimate"

Impression 1

Impression 2

Impression 3

A Phono Stage from AS "The Evocator" 
(2 chassis -> outboard Power Supply)

Impression 4
Upper unit, lower one is a Preamp from Vitus Audio

Impression 5

Impression 6

Speaker from Soundspace Systems 'Aidoni'
6Ω nominal, 3.2Ω minimum / 101 dB/W/m / SPL 126 dB
Can be used with 10W SE Tubes, also with 1000W solid state amps

Impression 7

Vitus Mono Amp pure Class A

Impression 8

Axiom Tonearm + Palladian Cartridge

None left the room while playing, track after track, record after record

Result: Staggering

Thanks to Chris, Karl, Marco, Mario & all for a very good Day.


Well, made a break with Forum but I'll try to be a helpful member.
Never had a London Reference in the System description, sorry.


....the kiss of death....

In Analog we will find everything but in my opinion, lots of those units became 
a Boutique Character (expensive bottle, cheap fluid inside). All those expensive 
units have one in common (when we look back): 
GREAT Reviews, lots of Hype 
and at the end of Day it was more or less nothing to write home about 
(sonically). Some examples?

Goldmund Reference
The Mother of Hype, but the moving Arm changes Azimuth in every groove, the 
table itself has a good soundstage, but details are all smeared AND it destroys 
every cantilever after some time.

Rockport Sirius III
The American Altar, but the Arm wire inside is so stiff that the Arm can not 
track the inner 3 tracks properly, it skips, the only way out is to use a very 
heavy cartridge, but the cantilever will be destroyed very soon. And the sound is 
ultra thin, completely lifeless without any body. Great engineering, missing the 
sonic target by a mile.

A super expensive German Turntable 30k+, endless rave and hype and during 
its demo at the High End Show the bearing broke. A typical example for 
Boutique. Now they are available for 1/5th price, company is out of business.

Framers Finest. I listened to it 3 times, professionally set up from the Importer. 
2x it was defect and the 3 time the connected Phonostage had a problem (or 
the Arm wire, Phonamp, Cartridge). I always said "Mono IS interesting"
Anyway, that Company is also more or less out of Business what 
Australians wrote me. Buy replacement Parts NOW.

The Mother of of all Airliners. Super, super expensive at that time, Hype 
endless, bloody knees from Audiophiles - from kneeling in front of it - was 
normal, even more expensive with optional remote VTA....but it never worked 
properly. The Airflow in some areas was not constant, so..well, you can 

The Mother of a "Game-Changer" Product, defect bearing while RMAF but some 
wrote, even with that defect bearing it sounded fantastic (great or?) and in some 
discussions in Seattle area some buyers wrote how happy they are now 
"being a member of the Club."
A pity that the thread about was deleted :-)
No knowledge (from the whole Chain Manufacturer-Distributor-User) about 
shipping, no knowledge about platter mechanism, no damping was a result of 
that damage and honestly, buying a product from "Engineers" who 
have absolutely no idea about technical connections ...well, good luck.

Thorens Reference
The Audiophile Answer from Germany to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Heavy and it will show every visitor "Hey, I am something serious"
In real life you can get the identical sonic quality from every 2-3k$ turntable 
today. But the motor management is good.

Wood Arms
Well, let's face the truth, a piece of wood at a string or 'in long' for 16K$ has to 
be touched from God AND made from some ultra secret, mystic material, stolen 
from the NASA...Energy transfer? What is THAT, we want Emotion... well, 
Boutique,...Geometry? Pardon, WHAT? The best bearing is no bearing... 
Of course you need a 12k+++ Cartridge to get the full sonic impact the Arm is 
able to deliver

Well, even after 30 years they find revolutionary 'improvements' a way the 
ARC Company in analog. To catch the same customer again and again, that's 
brilliant. Sonically? When you want a different sound, all you have to do is to 
open the window...

Of course, all owners, no matter from what expensive product, will write that 
their unit is an exception and is working like a charm etc. But let's face the 
facts: It is the money what counts. 
The wealthy Audiophile likes to show others how clever he is and what 
expensive units he owns, he wants the Respect to be accepted as an 
"Experienced Audiophile" but at the end of day, he also wants 
money when he sells that Sonic Wonder. Who writes "Yes, I have that T3F, 
Rockport, ...and it is really inferior, but I like it?" 
No one.

Is there a way out?

I'm afraid, no. It's too late
Sometimes I think, when something is really good (cartridge for example) it is a product of pure luck. Not brain. The next product from the Designer is normally inferior, but more expensive. Worst sounding Phono Stage I ever listened to was Lyra Connoisseur, all people in the room did escape after 2 minutes because it was so wrong and sharp..but the Manufacturer + Distributor did not show any reaction 
SME3012R? Some think, it is cult but have no idea for what carts it was made and which ones it can't handle...just Hype
Goldmund Amps? Woah, give me a break, the most expensive ones have switch mode power supply and sound ultra dead and boring
EMT turntables? these rattling units should have something in common with high end reproduction???? When your System is bad enough not to hear the rumbles, ok, but otherwise ...


The Ikeda 407 is a good Arm, most think, it is better than 64s because it was made later but this is wrong. It is made much cheaper, it does not have the amount of technical details which made the FR Arms superior to anything else ( not dynamically balanced, cheaper bearing, armtube, azimuth reduction, and so on...)
Overall it is a product made for our time, priority: cheap.

BUT still better than most others of the current ones, don't worry.
The musical detail, tonal correct reproduction, the musical flow and the ability to bring out the very best of EVERY cartridge is unique and still way ahead of anything else today.
A class on their own.
But they can't be mounted on every deck, the Axiom solves this for the discriminated music lover. Excellent executed in every single technical detail, made for maximum signal transfer ... and it has no sonic fingerprint which colors the playback information.
Tonal compensation ( this cartridge for this music and that cart. for that music) does not exist. 
The FR Arms for me are pinnacle of the golden era of analog (Intelligence...Knowledge what is responsible for what ....  gone long time ago) and the Axiom a breakthrough to all other current Arms. Tested with the most demanding records ever made for dynamic headroom and tonal correctness.
A class on its own. 


Thank you!
They deliver a remarkable balanced combination of extension combined with an astonishing level of texture and definition. The musical flow - for hours and hours - is special indeed.


I always was a Lyra user. They had some very remarkable cartridges (Parnassus, Helikon - Price/Performance was top -, Titan i, Olympos) but now I think, their actual ones are a few steps back. Not only one ... at least for me. Nothing special, same like 10 other brands offer right now. Detailed but dead and boring. Had them all and was not able to listen to them for more than 1h,
Still have the Olympos, that one is remarkable. I sold all and closed that book.
The Koetsu Stones have their price but I can listen to them for more than 1h :-)
They show in the FR Arms and also in the Axiom a kind of Performance which has to be heard. Really good with classical first pressings, outstanding tonal reproduction. But in other Arms they do not offer their potential, they are a bit critical and demand a Arm with rigid bearings and good energy transfer.

The Wavac, well, what can I say? The Lamms are good (or better said, MY Lamms are good) but the 833 Design is so outstanding in the reproduction truth, the soundstage, the correctness of tones, the illusion to see into the recording session ... it was a good decision to go for them. Very reliable. 



The Coralstone has a wide, deep soundstage with a full, correct tonality and a remarkable "Swing" which touches your soul immediately. The Blue Lace shows the focus to fine details.
In a way, detail like a top Lyra but not their dry reproduction of tones. Listening to old Records with real soundstage / different tonal colors is indeed breathtaking.
I think, these differences will differ a bit depending on a given Equipment or musical Taste.


Oh cool, another Seiki owner. Yes, I think you did it right. With some mods they can reach a sonic level, which puts the majority of "modern Turntables" to shame. 
Listened a few days ago the the Feickert Blackbird Table with external PS and asked the owner to stop the demo after 5 was too dead and flat. We switched to a MS with same Arm, cartridge, Phonostage und it was like day and night difference ....
No way back :-)


I think, you ask about the Grounding Noise Reducer..
Comparison: Well, yes and no
In the last years it was nearly impossible not to read enthusiastic reports from proud owners about their $$$$$ grounding devices which transformed their System totally to a complete new level.
I got interested and found remarkable details. Some passive devices are made from wood which did grow up in a biological clean area, inside they have grounding wires which are quite thin, but made of copper, their Signature Versions use the same but it was dipped into holy water before. Also they are filled with rare earth material (Sand, basaltic lava, coal, or fake diamonds which have a secret kind of positive energy inside…) for superior damping. And the more expensive units also have a nice painting to reflect ugly resonances coming from all over the room. And cones of course :-)
Unfortunately I have a different view about High End. I was looking for something - more - serious. Something technical, something to measure … And this active unit is a total different league compared to the other ones.
Don't know your priorities, when you want something serious, that's the one to go :-).



Telos Audio

Grounding Noise Reducer 

Quantum Noise Resonator

The Full Monty :-)


Found a new Demo Record which has no Limits, the better your System is, the more lifelike Sound it will offer.
"Dead Man Walking", 3-LP Box from Classic Records, No. 1 , side 2 is simply breathaking on a superior System. When the artist is not really in front of you, you can't feel the vibes from the tones .... well, then your journey has a new task :-)
Got something remarkable, Cartridge screws from Acoustical-Systems - SMARTscrews - they offer a new chapter of tonal depth and precision which has to be heard. Tried it with my Koetsus and probably the most demanding cartridge ever made for energy transfer (Ikeda without cantilever) and when the needle was into the grooves my cup of tea became cold ... really good.


The Vitus SCD-025 MkII Player arrived and it is a very good sounding unit. The technical parts are a class of its own. Very detailed and lifelike sounding. Among the very best digital units I listened to in the last 15 years ...


After some years I made the decision to replace my EMMLabs CDSA-SE Player. The sonic reproduction is still first rate but I got 4 repairs of the power supply because it can’t handle the heat from stand-by and a few hours running. The Mosfets blew and the Tech told me, it is a construction weakness and the highly praised transport is a stripped down Philipps Transport made in China. Typical High End. After some search for a high quality unit (I do not want separates) which included Accuphase, Esoteric... I wanted a European unit with definitely superior parts inside and good chips. And of course, a sound reproduction which matches my Standard...My choice is going for Vitus Audio Model SCD-025 - a company in Denmark which offers serious electronics I listened to in Malaysia and I was impressed at that time. The Player will arrive end of this month …. 


The Koetsu Gang

Koetsu Blue Lace Mono

From left to right

Koetsu Blue Lace Stereo - Koetsu Blue Lace Mono - Koetsu Coralstone Diamond Cantilever Stereo


I think, the Koetsu Coralstone with diamond Cantilever is among the very best cartridges out there. The depth of the Soundstage linked with lifelike reproduction is quite remarkable. Also the high frequency area is easily on par with any other high priced cartridge out there. There is more space between instruments and voices compared to Lyra Atlas for example and I also think, the overall tonal balance from low to high is much more natural (real).
The Koetsu Jade with DC is very similar, it is also a super cartridge and the tonal differences are not big, maybe it is a bit thinner in tone but this is not negative. Like Lyra Atlas in Detail but linked with a more believable overall picture.


A big Picture from

Koetsu Coralstone Diamond Cantilever


... in the meantime a few Pics from a cartridge which is very rare to see

Koetsu Jade Platinum Diamond Cantilever Out of Box

Koetsu Jade Platinum Diamond Cantilever Front

Koetsu Jade Platinum Diamond Cantilever Preparation for Installation

Koetsu Jade Platinum Diamond Cantilever in action :-)


Wavacs... Wow,I thought you were set forever....

Horrible. Absolutely horrible....being at the end of the road. What should I do now? Listening to my records? Moving my cables from the left side to the right? Hm, one way out... will sell my CD Player and look for another one...this is an endless task....:-)

... wish I have the opportunity to listen to blue lace . My axiom is matched with koetsu coral stone- sounded great

Next time probably. No reason for sleepless nights, some with a stiff upper lip would probably say "Not Bad" :-)


Have not made final comparisons but some visitors told me, the Wavac is GREAT :-)


My pleasure to meet you

Some more pics

Koetsu Blue Lace with Axiom Tonearm

Vibraplane for Wavac 833

Wavac 833


haven't made real comparisons, more or less only quick impressions...Summer is coming and my System isn't used so often now. But the FR-7fc is still in its own class, same with the Ikeda 9, right now most time of use is Koetsu Blue Lace with Fr-64s. Stunning.



what a surprise. Yes, yesterday it found a new owner. Right now I try to get more information about the Diamonds. Most Mono carts have the same Diamond like their Stereo versions (I think, but I am not sure about that but it makes sense because the current Mono Reissues are cut with a Stereo Head ... but older monos are still different). All I can say, my Lyra did a very good job with my late 50's Mono Records but it had a different diamond and I lost my files which one it was....Now I can start again from scratch *sigh*
I also found information that a "real" mono also has a different diamond but until today I found not one report from a user who did a comparison with those "different" Types. All I found are "Statements" from Denon or SPU Users, but none of them wrote about the differences.
Indeed, my thinking is for Coralstone Mono but I try to collect more information. So, when you or other readers can give some information, will be glad to read it.


02-08-15: Ddriveman

Surely your journey cannot end now....

Yes, you are right. A real Audiophile never gives up :-)

When I remember my long journey for a summary, I can say, there are only a few items which are so remarkable, that they pass the test of time forever and I learned a lot.
- Basis turntable
(the brain behind the construction and the solutions for superior performance)
- FR-64s and 66s
(they don't stop to amaze me in their sonic superiority to anything else I listened to)
- Koetsu Coralstone
(from the current ones, it is in a different sonic league, the other ones in my Systems are also remarkable but very hard to find)
- Cartridge Alignment UNI-DIN
(this new calculation is probably a revolution in analog playback)

02-08-15: Peterayer
It must be nice to be done with your journey....

Yes, I did compare most in my own System, when not possible, then in Systems I know very well. With the right records you are able to check the reproduction quality of turntables, Arms or cartridges, the majority hide a lot of possible details, some of these records are listed in my System description. I did test and own Graham Arms since 2.2 until Supreme II and I knew its sonic steps which are a result of the chosen material and weigh (construction)t. The Elite is imo just another step how to increase the performance from a Unipivot Design (weight and energy transfer, just a new inner cable does not bite the bullet...) My last comparison with FR-64s and Graham Supreme II was so huge in musical details, even my listeners were shocked (and since his wrong 10" and 12" Arm Tubes - Arch angle and wrong drills for his alignment flip - I lost interest anyway) Maybe the current Design will be better now but for me this chapter is closed.

02-18-15: Dnath
Hi syntax.

Curious why you don't like the Seiki's with vacuum?...

Let's change the word "like" to "result"...(who cares what I like?) To like something is like rolling a dice and completely useless (I don't like McDonalds for example but for others it is great...). I wrote something about your question a few pages earlier, I think you'll find the answer there :-)
I know AF One and Two pretty well, but more the One. They stretched the Seiki concept to a modern level and made some improvements which are necessary for a model to pass the others (Platter and motor) and they increased the price based on the other - inferior - toys to place it in the serious area. That's ok, but I never heard something which I did not hear before. Anyway, it is definitely much more serious than the other "modern" units and when someone can afford it, he does not burn his money in the hope to get a well designed solution :-)

You are right and I agree but when I am really honest, my hope in the last years was, based on the information availavble in the internet community, that series solution for acceptable pricing would pop up....but after all those years, I think, it is too late. Average (or better said, cheap average) rules.
But WE will not give up. Or? :-)


„The Real Thing“ Sound
(Perfect reproduction of the sound of real music performed in a real space)


In the last 15 years I had the chance to listen to nearly all Arms out there… Continuum, SME’s, all Graham, Triplanar VIIi, Goldmund T3F, Wood Arms (yuk), Thales, TW, Clearaudio, Micro, SAEC, Ikeda, Rega, Vertere, Kuzma Airline, Kuzma 4P, Air Tangent, Simon Yorke and so on and on

The Kings

Fidelity Research FR-66s Silver Arm Wire

Fidelity Research FR-64s Silver Arm Wire

Best from the ones today

Graham Phantom Supreme II


I listened to most Benz, some Zyx, the Coldfinger, various Koetsu, Transfigurations, Ortofons & MC90, Lyras, Air Tights, Shelters, Denon 103R, Kondo IO, Ikeda Kai, Allaerts, Takeda, EMT and probably 10 more I forgot … those below are the ones which survived every comparison

Here is the real thing

Fidelity Research FR-7 FR-7fc FR-7fz

Ikeda 9 Kiwame

Koetsu Blue Lace

Koetsu Coralstone

Lyra Olympos

Fidelity Research FR-1 mk3F
(refurbished from a Japanese Master + best Diamond ever made)

Koetsu Blue Lace & Koetsu Coralstone

Takeda Miyabi

Well, my journey came to end and I agree with Gordon Holt (founder of Stereophile) who said in an interview 2007:

Do you still feel the high-end audio industry has lost its way in the manner you described 15 years ago?

„Not in the same manner; there's no hope now. Audio actually used to have a goal: perfect reproduction of the sound of real music performed in a real space. That was found difficult to achieve, and it was abandoned when most music lovers, who almost never heard anything except amplified music anyway, forgot what "the real thing" had sounded like. Today, "good" sound is whatever one likes.“


Hi Baranyi,
I had no idea about these Speakers, too, or the System in general when I got the invitation to listen to it. It is now some years ago, but it was the biggest shock in my audiophile life to date. Why? Here I heard the life performance, That, what all talk about but never have.... Ella Fitzgerald was really in front of me (without downing a bottle of wine), with a lifelike Presence I never heard before. Same with Louis joke. Here I heard the first time what "High End" is all about. Then I asked to play one of my records, LSC-2500 and I "saw" the musicians in front of me. I was able to count the rows. Here I also saw the very first time a FR-Tonearm and it served a presentation I never heard before. All that gave me a new kind of view about "Audiophilia" :-)


After 15 years of traveling to listen to countless Systems (mainly expensive ones or sometimes interesting ones from the Set Up) it is coming to the end …

„The Real Thing“ Sound
(Perfect reproduction of the sound of real music performed in a real space)

From some Systems I have Pics, some big, some small, some from pre Digital or Names only....

I will start with Systems followed from Turntables, Tonearms, Cartridges and Amplification


A System from the 90’s

Apolyt Turntable, Calyx Phono Preamp and Martion Orgon Speakers

A new System

Gryphon Speakers, Vitus Preamp, Power Amps, Phonostage, Turntable AFO

Another early System but forgot the Camera
Jeff Rowland Consummate Preamp, matching Consummate Phonostage, Rowland Model 9, Martin Logans, Oracle Turntable

sorry, that's it for me

I listened to endless Tables, be it Rockport Sirius, Goldmund Reference, Garrards, EMT’s, Kuzma, Clearaudio Statement, Master Reference, Brinkmann, SME 10, 20,30, Kondo Ginga, TW, Linn, DaVinci, Well Tempered and so on and on

These below smoke them all

TechDas Airforce One

TechDas Airforce Two

Basis Debut vac.

Brakemeier Apolyt

Micro Seiki 5000 (reg. no vacuum!!)

Micro Seiki 8000 (Vers. I, no vacuum !!)

… to be continued


I bought the PR99 Mk III from a Recording Studio, it was their spare and new. They also had some boxes of their best tapes (BASF) for me, that quality did not smear the Heads when the Tapes run over it. It was a very good machine but when BASF stopped production of the Tapes I had to buy what was available and that was simply inferior. I also bought pre-recorded Tapes but the Magnetization showed its loss over the years and I stopped that, too. There were some audiophile Tapes made, new recordings but completely uninteresting from the historical background and I decided to sell the unit. It has balanced in- /outputs, no problem to use it with a balanced Preamp. And when I am honest, when I had a time frame to listen to my System, I rarely used it. Phono direct always served me more satisfaction.



In that room we did listen to Focal Grand Utopia with a complete line of Goldmund electronics. Amps are the big Model Telos 3500, their matching digital Preamp with Goldmund Phonostage. Analog Turntable is a Clearaudio with Souther Arm and Goldfinger cartridge ....

Audiophile Visit 06 / 01

Audiophile Visit 06 / 02

Audiophile Visit 06 / 03

Audiophile Visit 06 / 04

Audiophile Visit 06 / 05

Audiophile Visit 06 / 06


Good question for discussions...When I "test" a cartridge, I always go first with FR-64s to hear how it performs. When it does not pass the 64s Test, it is done for me anyway. The 66s is the next step, I do that a bit later when I am used to the Performance of the cartridge...normally it is a step above then. I wrote Top Performance with FR-64s..." because that Arm survived all others I had - or did try - in the last 10 years... I read everywhere, how owners praise their Koetsu in nearly every available Arm and a lot are a cruel mismatch (from sonics)...of course it "works"..but there are - huge - differences.
For VTF I am someone who goes always to the lower side, when there are no distortions there is for me no reason to go higher and to stress the cantilever in a way which is not useful for me. I believe that in some Arms it needs a higher VTF based on their Design, but not with FR, they are dynamically balanced and have a superior tracking even at lower VTF. Aggelos are silver leads which are available from Acoustical Systems, their main advantage is their flexibility compared to other silver leads like Ikeda, Furutech and so on. They are also good but sometimes a pain to fit because they are stiff and the Contact Pins in various Headshells have no Standard, some are thicker, some thin and the fumbling can destroy the leads (they break at the solder points) and you can start to do it all over with a new set of problem is, the slots in the Headshells - or the whole length of it - is also different, when you use a longer cartridge with an Ikeda RS for example, it is really tough to slide it back and forth with stiff leads, with Orsonic 101 for example it is no problem....anyway, that's the way to go when you buy new, imo of course. Next is, Aggelos are soldered with maximum percentage of silver, most other silver leads are soldered with something inferior which ruins the signal transfer significantly or the pins under the acting are not good ("good" based on MY Standard).. I did mount the Coralstone first in the Orsonic RS, technically it was ok, sonics, too but later I removed it to an Arche and that's it for me.


That room was very remarkable...very tasteful Room Tuning...the owner had electrically illuminated Wavebreakers...very, very efficient from sonics and gets my vote for the "Done Right Award"

The owner uses a Dynavector XV-1s (I think, forgot to look a bit closer) and it was aligned with Mint Protractor...he just asked to change nothing except the Alignment to UNI-DIN...we listened to some records before changing and when it was done and the lights were switched off, that was a real sonic revelation...the soundstage got so much bigger, so much more real in tonality...Pysical Presence to grab...I could not believe it in the first seconds...a complete transformation to the better at no extra charge....
and we did not go back :-)

TW Hardware, an Preamp which is new for me, never saw it before, Pass XA Amps, Eggleston Speakers with cables created by owner.....coool


Audiophile Visit 05 / 01

Audiophile Visit 05 / 02

Audiophile Visit 05 / 03

Audiophile Visit 05 / 04

Audiophile Visit 05 / 05

Audiophile Visit 05 / 06

Audiophile Visit 05 / 07

----> more to come


Hi :-)

yes, same sessions were real eye opening (or ear opening). It was indeed fascinating - even for me - when the change with a XV-1s cartridge with the Mint alignment was done to DIN without changing any other parameters. The difference was so huge that I thought in the first second," whoa, with what did we hear in the last years....?" Done right can be cheap also :-)


Hello Audioblazer,
I never had any problems with such long RCA cables, the AQ Sky is dead silent, my former XLO Signature also (I had 7m RCA and XLR, both silent and immune to any influences), also cheaper cables did not show any problems.
I use my System that way for a very long time, I prefer that way from optics/sonics to a placement between the speakers. Preamps should be able to run such a length without problems but I can imagine that some Preamp Designs are sensible to that. Try it first with a cheap cable, a good quality is available from SignalCable.


Any RCM which uses a part from a Vacuum cleaner or Hair Dryer (Slot Cleaners) can't be used while listening to music. The Klaudio is no exception. The only unit which is silent enough is my Odyssey ( an improved Monks) or a Keith Monks. They work different and the motors are pretty silent. For me it is not a problem, the cleaning is done in a separate room anyway.
But there isn't so much water on the record when I remove it wet...that is no problem is reality.

The very edge of the records doesn't get thoroughly dry on the Monks- i can get the lead-in grooves dry by wiggling the nozzle around a few times at the end of a drying cycle, but the rim is slightly wet. Perhaps still using too much fluid.

Yes, when the cleaning brush is dry you need for the first record more fluid and based on the rotation is moves to the outside. Soaking the brush needs the most fluid in the first run...But you need much less fluid for the following records, sooner or later you have the the experience for it.
It is possible that Hannl made the concentration for shipping to avoid shipping water around the globe. I did not try it, but I read it should be similar to the V3 C cleaning fluid.
In a way you can compare it with an expensive DSLR Camera, you can activate the "P" Programm and all is done automatically (Shutter, Time ...) or when you think you can do it better manually, you activate a different Programm in that camera...the same options you have with these two designs. It is not necessary to own both, but when you want the best possible result, that's the way to go.


Well, after "mocking" you will hear a digital silence in the deeper soundstage :-)
More of the "nothing" around the note.
The grooves are fully dry without any static issues. The first clean I do always with the point nozzle, the Klaudio is the next step.
Sometimes I do not use the dryer from the Klaudio, I do only the us-cleaning and put the record onto the Odyssey (or Monks) for the point nozzle removal.
Keep me updated with your findings...


One Foot In the Gutter


some thoughts about record cleaning ...

At the moment I use 2 cleaning machines, a German improved Keith Monks unit (Source Odyssey), a point nozzle design and a Klaudio Ultrasonic machine.
As usual, we find raves about every new product and also for the Klaudio unit. Good as it is, it is worth to think about details...

I still think that the removal of dirt is the most important step (others think, the kind of fluid is the solution but I do not share this view) and here is generally a point nozzle design still the way to go, specially when you collect older records, you won't believe how much dirt such a design can remove.

I always did avoid to go for a Glaess machine, even when the Distributor is not far away from me. One of my most important priorities is reliability and here it showed too much problems for me. And I simply do not trust its Filtering and rollers. And in a way I hate this expensive "record cleaning fluid policy". Anyway, I refused to sign the check. When Klaudio became available, it got my attention based on 2 design features:No expensive cleaning fluid necessary (only cheap, distilled water) and the kind of making (no nonsense, robust and no flimsy parts which will break sooner or later).

In combination with a pre-clean with my Odyssey first (older records from the later 50's) the cleaning result is superior. Huge soundstage with an unheard silence "between the notes".

Klaudio RCM

But sometimes there is still some noise....

Clicks and pops can have 3 reasons
a, dirt
b, pressing material from the process in the groove (reissues have that normally)
c, damage at the side walls from the grooves based on wrong cartridge adjustment, wrong VTF and some more reasons.

a, this can be solved with machines for 100%,
b, mainly no big hope, here nothing will really help, such a record will get clean sometimes but it is normally a minority
c, no hope. except a "primitive" cartridge with a round diamond (it can hide it)

Generally we can say, any cleaning can be done good/better/best when the record WAS perfect and later came dirt, smoke, coke, fat finger tips etc. into the grooves. That can be removed for 100%. But something from a melting process or defect carts ... here will the story of cleaning find an end. A lot of reissues are made with very soft vinyl, they are super sensitive to everything, records from the 80's for example are best of best, even with 60 or 80gr. Noise can also grow when someone used alcohol for cleaning, this can make the grooves dry and the noise will be endless.
The best results (and also most reliable from the technical view) you will get the way you did describe. The mold should be removed with a machine which is able to do a good job, best is a point nozzle design. Then you can do a final Ultra Sonic clean. When I do it that way, the main gunk is in my Monks and when I do an additional run of that "pre-cleaned" Record in the Klaudio there is no more dirt in the reservoir.

But even when you are lazy and use the Klaudio only, deskilled water is cheap, a change of the fluid is easy. Btw. Fingerprints are uninteresting, that is a visual disturb only. The diamond of the cartridge tracks the inside the grooves, not their top. Of course, the ADS has advantages, but the time showed, it made too much problems and some did choose the Klaudio because they want something reliable. I am one of those. And the combination of a point nozzle + Klaudio is simply the best when you are serious in records.

From time to time we will read what the best record cleaning fluid is and I think it is helpful to read a little bit between the lines, for example AIVS is a multistep cleaning solution, that means, any owner who spends 30 minutes per record expects to hear terrific improvements. And the more fluids he can use, the better.
I am sure, when any of the other users clean their record 3x with L'Art Du Son or whatever, they will get the same - or a comparable - result. I used AIVS, too and it didn't bite the bullet for me. Probably I have a superior cleaning machine, who knows...and not one record I cleaned with the Enzyme fluid gave me an improvement to the fluid I used before with it.

Some pics from records which will show you remarkable sonics

London CS 6208

RCA LSC 2471

London CS 6252

RCA LSC 2292

When you want ONE record to check out why Mono's are really special

Mercury MG 50167

Happy Listening


Hi Ddriveman,

when I did that, Audioquest offered "Y" connectors (splitter) as an option with their DBS packs. So it was quite simple, this "Y" connector plus 2x72V DBS and it was done. I am not really up to date with Audioquest now, but I think, this "Y" connector is no longer available. Self made "competition" for their higher priced cables I think...
But, when you want to go that way too, look for "older" AQ cables which are fitted with 2x round DBS packs and replace them. They have this splitter. Cheetah or Sky was available with 2x24V or 2x36V for example, I bought some and I also got some for Leopard Tonearm cable that way.
I think, the biggest jump is from lower voltage up to 72V. The 2x72V is like the icing on the cake, you don't need it, but when you try it and you like it, ..well, no way back. The result is a kind of deep silence between the notes, hard to describe because every description is already used even for mediocre sound results, but the reproduction becomes a clean honesty, no artifacts, no sonic fingerprint, details have more own different volume, the tiny details are more present, just a wire with gain...


04-10-14: Drajreynolds might be best if I simply say that the Archon combines the best attributes of the Lyra Olympos and Takeda Miyabi Alnico in one relatively affordable modern cartridge...
That is a remarkable message. Both named cartridges are still the sonic benchmark, independently from price but are not longer available. In the last year I never met a cartridge (from the modern ones) which was even able to scratch their overall performance.
The Miyabi was a top performer with any given Tonearm (very hard to find today), the Olympos needs a serious Arm design to show the full performance (awful with any carbon Arm, super with Fr-64s or some older Japanese Warhorses).
Archos seems to be a performer which created - to those who listened to it - a positive reaction. Seems, there is worse out there :-)


Hi Peterayer,
the Datas:
Output: 0.5 mV
Silver coils
Ultra-rigid special dampened titanium
VTF: 1.60 -2.00
Impedance: 8 Ω
Compliance: 17 -19 mm/N
Weight: 11.5 gr
Price USD 2800,--



my Phono reproduction is tuned for cartridges below 0.20mV and to be fair, it is very difficult to compare such carts with such 0.5mV units. But of course, I have matching Phono gain for that, too.
Normally I am not so mad for those higher output MC's, they don't have the finesse from the low output units. But there are also differences among those, some have an interesting internal amplification which make them sound more powerful than their low output rating, the Miyabi was such a remarkable unit (0.25mV) and some need even with 0.30mV Phono Gain in the area of 68dB ++

The Archon is in multiple ways interesting
- it is useable without any problem with a gain from 56DB to max. 64dB
- it is strong in the high frequency reproduction without missing subtle, different tonal differences, all details have the air we are looking for
- low frequency response really goes down to the area which start to vibrate the windows in the listening room (not many are able to do that, regardless of price)
- with classical records you can hear the "ambience" of the room, how the music flows and floods to the side walls, in a way a believable picture from the session and what I really like, it is a done right cart from the brain and musical understanding from the designer without the usual price tag of $8k - 20K which is so modern today to show the "seriousness" of a product. It is simply a good one from the musical result and a lot of discriminated audiophiles with a regular budges can get now something which isn't following the usual marketing idea (we have one for 1.5k but our next for 3k is better and of course the one above for 7k is really special and the 14k cart from us is the holy grail...)
It needs no long break in time (that is my opinion at the moment), maybe after 4 hours you really know the sonic direction and after a day the soundstage details are more coherent and you can enjoy your records (not the usual "at the beginning it was slow and dull but after 80h the sonic curtain was removed. and now I can hear the 10k I spent for...")

To repeat myself, I prefer units done right, some are expensive but not all the time. Some want to pay big bucks and some can't do it but they try to find something serious. I think, that is such a product.

When you do the first listen you will hear the powerful reproduction BUT (and that is important), the details have all a unique kind of amplification. Most high output carts amplify everything more or less equal, ignoring the subtle tonal details.
I am interesting in your opinion when you will get it.


Acoustical Systems Axiom Moving Coil Cartridge


Some guys here are questioning the superiority of the FR64s, especially the ( mis) match with newer cartridges due to the FR high mass. But I can not see any significantly more interesting arms..

I am not among those. When I got it, I had all the cartridges listed in my System and probably a few more. And it was always the same result: each one delivered more information with the 64s than in any other Arm. It is THE Arm for lush Koetsus or Lyras which are made for energy transfer via their body into the Arm.

I can't say anything about the Vector Arm, but the Graham Phantom supreme is among the very best from the modern Arms. I had contact to a Vector owner some time ago, he compared it with Phantom supreme and sold Vector...You can change the Arm tubes when you would like to use a Mono cart and the perfect cartridge adjustment is no big deal for anyone based on the Graham alignment.

I agree with your point of view, other Arms are uninteresting, I listened to a lot of them in the last 10 years and most are *censored* :-). Times changed, you can spend a lot of money in Audiophilia but there is no proof to get a superior product. Marketing and proud ownership replaced that...It is the way it is...The only exception is one from Acoustical Systems, the Axiom, it has very clever and well done solutions and is sonically way superior to all I know (with exception of the FR Arms). It can be mounted like a 9" Arm and I think, it has a very simple onboard drill. But it is very expensive. When you can afford it, think seriously about it. That is a no nonsense design and there is no cheating. It is very expensive in the production based on very high material/ tooling costs. But the sonic result is stunning. Here is real brain behind it.


When are we goofing to see pics of the new turntable!?!?

hi, you mean The Apolyt I think...
Well I hope, soon now. When I bought it I wanted to raise it to a more modern Standard without knowing how much problems needed to be solved ...
Air Bearing for the 50 kg Platter
That was a outstanding expensive investment because I wanted a very small dentist lab compressor and the bearing was only possible from a very advanced high Tech company in Germany from the specs (when you ask for the know this sentence...)
Additional Inertia unit (comparable to the Seiki HS-80 Design)
New drills, another motor and a complete new motor management was necessary but I should be in the final move now...

Audiophiles are born to suffer .....


Hi Geddyen,

you did read THAT respect. It was interesting I think. When I first used the 64s it was my personal wake up call to rethink analog Manufacturer "knowledge"...
My Basis Debut had replaceable Armboards so it was no problem to mount the 63s. I guess you own the newer model without the Armboard, with the drill onto the top plate? Is there enough room below the top board for the lower part of the 64s? May I ask what is your Arm now? Vector?
I agree, not an easy decision :-)
231,5mm is the best...but it depends a bit on the records you want to listen to. When you want to go for old Londons, Deccas, Mercuries, that's the way to go. Superior tracking, no noise, no compression, deep soundstage and a believable "Picture" from the Session with better tonal colors of the instruments.
The B60 is the icing on the cake, it makes sense with those records because the all have different cuts (---> VTA) but of course you can use the Arm without it.... :-)

Here is a Pic from it (without B60 but with a spacer to level the Arm to the Platter)

Basis Debut FR-64s


I owned a Kuzma Airline Arm first and was looking for a chance to mount it onto the Basis...but I run into problems to get a proper Armboard for it (Conti wanted to sell me an Armboard with his Vector Arm and I refused to do that) and to make that story short, I bought that Kuzma Reference table for it.
Honestly, that Combination was ok but no competition for the Basis. It is better than a lot out there but the Soundstage (depth and width) + the weight behind every note, the holographic "Picture" was way better with the Basis. It has simply more the "real thing sound".
I tried a lot to improve it, but at the end of day it was useless.
But that is - or was - a decision based on MY Standard for High End reproduction.


Hello Geddyen,

I would choose the Basis Debut with vacuum for several reasons.
there are a lot of - more or less - warped records out there and this up and down from the cantilever changes always the VTF. The better your System is, the more you can hear it. Specially with low VTF cartridges (1.60-1.75gr) and Arms which are not dynamically balanced (none of the modern ones is).
Next is, compared to other vacuum tables, the Basis does not degrade the sound, the platter is sonically neutral and Basis works with very low pressure. All other tables I did listen to have a sonic coloration (depending on their platter) or have a interaction with the bearing (sonic fingerprint, coloration).
When you listen to demanding records ( classical from the late 50's to mid of 60's) you can hear the difference easily. In a way it is a tool for the vinyl collector and music lover who demands a 1:1 reproduction.
But today, I would insist on 2 changes:
I would insist on the "old" black platter with the inserts inside
I would demand a drill for a Graham Phantom supreme Standard length.
Some years ago Basis offered the black platter and had changeable arm boards, I think, he stopped it to lower production costs :-).
This combination was superior from frequency reproduction range to anything else on market and I think, it did not change.


Hello Geddyen,

thank you. Unfortunately I never had the chance to listen to the C-27 Phono. It is very rare. I read the specs when introduced and thought, that is an interesting unit. Accuphase has an extremely good quality control but in the end, a personal test is still recommended. But when you can listen to it, please share your impressions.


The last visit was some weeks ago and we met us again, mainly to compare Phonostages with the identical cartridges and to check some settings.
I brought my own Lyra Titan i - mounted in the Arche Headshell - and my 71dB Lamm LP2 to compare the sonic impressions with Tables, Arms and Transistor Phonos (2xKlyne 7)...
Quite a task...

The Phonostages

Now 2 x Lyra Titan i

After a while we discussed about Phonostage Design, most we know well having a top System went all away from active High Gain Phono Preamps to Tube Designs with high quality SUT‘s. So we left the Klyne amps and concentrated the the comparison to the Lamm LP2‘s, specially the high gain unit from me showed after a short time its superiority and we stayed with that one. We think, they don‘t damage the Signal so much and you can hear a more lifelike reproduction with extreme finesse and colourful sound and Voices are reproduced with full emotional impact, the Bass is in a way stunning and can fill the room with the lowest registers. The preamps excel in layering the sound so that each voice or instrument can be easily picked out and followed. Yet everything played together well integrated.

The Axiom with Etna

In conventional - active - phono preamplifiers, damping is provided by load resistors. As a result, a significant amount of signal energy is wasted when converted to heat within the loading resistors. Conversely, when input transformer has been carefully engineered to effectively damp resonant energy occurring at high frequencies while transferring the maximum amount of useful lower frequency energy to the active input stage. This results in significant increases in dynamic range with no penalties of increasing noise.
Traditional step-up transformers fall short in many performance areas such as frequency response, phase linearity (group delay), distortion, susceptibility to external hum fields, and poor common mode noise rejection. This is largely due to design and manufacturing limitations of the past as well as the need for high step-up voltage ratios to meet the requirements of a high input impedance (47K ohms) input stage. Well, there are differences ....

I tried to make my first Video ever :-)
The first one I made in the evening, the Laser was seen very good but it was too dull overall, so I started a new one in daylight.The file is compressed from optical quality but I think it is ok. The Laser is seen in reality below 2 letters (the "CK") in the name Fruhbeck. I stopped after 2 minutes, I wanted to avoid the make the file too huge but the Laser was still below these 2 letters after 5 minutes. That's ok I think :-)
The most other turntables I checked with that unit were out of specs after 5 matter 1, 2 or 3 motors, expensive motor-controllers, no matter how you see clearly that marketing replaced engineered solutions...It measures the REAL speed when the diamond is in the groove. The force (VTF) is remarkable.
The majority of turntables run quite well when the Diamond is Not in the groove, but honestly, who is interested in THAT????
Performance is with tone, not without.
When I did the tests with adjustable motors while playing, they run out of specs (drift) and then I made the corrections, the difference in sonics is easy to hear. Deeper soundstage, no smeared dynamics and much better modulated details.
Today we have two "opinions":
The unit "does something", Product A has better bass, Product B is analytic and needs this or that cartridge/Arm for compensation or endless "updates" because the designer is unable to do something right, some call it Prat
the "Opinion" is based on software reproduction. The emotion is coming from the recording, the purest form of a sonic truth...
"Opinion 1" is"keep the business alive (those owners can‘t hardly wait the time for the next „upgrade“ and to recommend it to the others)
"Opinion 2" is "done right"

Some explanations for that video:
The laser in real life touches 2 letters (or better said, the width is 2 letters), that means, the camera cuts a little bit. But it doesn't matter because the red dot (reduced to a dot sometimes) is always in the same area. In the movie it "moves" a little bit from one letter to the other, but after a few spins it is below the 2 letters again...
I compared it with another video I made in the evening, there the red line is of course much better to be seen BUT it is also not in the length it has in reality. But here is doesn't matter also because the red sign is always in the same position, too.
I guess, with a good video camera is would be seen better, I used a normal pocket camera, IXUS from Canon.
But what is also interesting, I selected one of the most dynamic recordings ever made, that means, the groove modulation is huge!
And based on that, the result is outstanding good, normally such tests are done with a linear frequency sweep or low dynamic range. This makes it easier because the Diamond has much less works and the VTF is more stable in those limited grooves.
You will never find a comparison with such a dynamic recording, now you know the reason (smile). Yes, the Seiki construction is able to hold the right speed even when the groove distance has some lower peaks, it needs probably 1 or 2 rotations and then the dot is back in the former position. Not bad for a 25 year old Design :-)

Micro Seiki RX 5000 & Sutherland Timeline

Now, some may think, going back to old DD is the solution...well, they have a proper motor management but they are not able from construction to be named as "High End". Let's say, they work, they accelerate and that's it. You can compensate their weeks with colored cartridges but they are the way they are...endless vibrations into the platter ....
Their electronic corrects the speed permanently, "...accelerate--reduce---hold---accelerate--reduce---accelerate---ans do on and on" based on that, listening Piano with it is a pain for me. There was a demonstration about that in the Munich High End Show 2013. All visitors rated the DD negative compared to a regular running belt Turntable...but that is only one technical point, there are much more for a good reproduction.


Hi Richard,
the main advantage from the B-60 unit is the ability to change the VTA very quick and precise. It is a very useful addition and I wouldn't be without it.
I have no experience with the replicas, don't know what material is used, but I would try it. I read some time ago the description from someone who made them at Hawaii, it sounded interesting. The original B-60 is very rare, more or less impossible to find.


Hello Peter,
I share your impression but I am still curious, means I enjoy visiting Demos or getting in touch with owners. Audio is simple business, I mean, it was always business but the real clever Designers have a serious job, High End does not feed them good enough. It was better in the 80's and 90's, Marketing replaced that completely, with some very, very few exceptions (of course, every Audiophile has exactly that exception :-)).
But generally from my experience I would say, in the last 2 years there is a HUGE price increase for everything, most argue costs, precision and so on. That is a simple lie, there are customers out there who WANT to spend big bucks. They want the ODIN cable, the Clearaudio Statement Turntable...not because it is so good, no one is interested in that, no one cares, the reason is simply to have it, to buy something nice for themselves. Something the other one can't afford and based on that to move into a position to tell everyone how great that gear is. A toy store for adults :-).
Some time ago I was visiting an owner with endless units, and I asked him to tell me in a few sentences the sonic difference between his Lyra Titan i and the Olympos, both were mounted, he told me endless hours how great they are (because I didn't have them at that time and I was interested in those...) then he nodded and went to his mags to look what the reviewers wrote about those. I said, "no, please, use your own words, tell me the record and describe it..." I waited days and days... never got an answer.
That's the way it is, quantity of gear is rising all the time but the percentage of units which push the curtain doesn't. I listened to Ypsilon Phono Stage, Allnic, Burmester, Boulder 2008, the one from Vitus...and never wasted a second when I left.
But for others it's the holy grail. I respect that.
Well, the VP, that is something serious :-), it wasn't designed from a High End Audio Designer ( then it would cost 15k and would not work properly), that's a technical design with engineering knowledge behind.


Well, to be very honest, I never had any problem with my wife. She never asked about the cost, too.
Well, just a little view back into History, let's start with the Aesthetix Callsisto Sign. as an example. Bought it based on ultra positive reviews from Audiogon owners. It was indeed a good unit. I wanted the IO Phonostage, too but I read from an experienced Audiophile, that the Rhea is more than 80% close to it for much less. I got it and it was a huge disappointment. To be honest, from my experience with other Phonos, I would rate it as a bad one. Sold it very fast.
After a while I read some stories about Lamm units, I was curious and bought a LL2 Preamp. I will never forget my reaction when I used it the first time. It was so much better from Tone than my super modified Aesthetix, I had problems to believe it. It was much cheaper and MUCH more sounding like the real thing. I tried to deny it. But the more I used it, the more I lost interest in that expensive Aesthetix. Some time later I bought Lamm ML2.1 and it was a sonic revelation with my high sensitive Speakers, I had at that time Pass Aleph monos, and they were really good (butter than any Pass amp I ever listened to). Ok, the System then way Lamm Pre and Amp.
And then I made the typical master mistake of all Audiophiles: I thought, when I will spend more money I will get a better result automatically, so I ordered Lamm L2R. Good as it is, but in combination with the LP2 Phono it was lifeless, slow, no bite, no speed, just ok. I discovered that LP2 has not a real strong output signal, the LL2 can handle it via its Tube output and it also has a strong output signal itself, the L2R simply doesn't have it and is also not the best possible match for the ML2.1 for similar reasons) I learned my lesson ... did I got wise? Well not really, I made the same mistake later with Lyra Delos and Kleos...but that wasn't so expensive....after all these years I think it is done now. I had a lot of gear and was able to compare it. It is the brain we buy (or what I buy), not the nice box outside....I stopped buying anything just based on enthusiastic "recommendations" from others in Forums, from my experience a few - are VERY few - are ok, but the majority has an relationship with the Distributor, Dealer or do someone a favor because they got something for a good price. I never was interested in that. I wanted a product which was done right, a product which really pushes the sonic curtain.
It is not that easy, the friends don't grow when I don't support Hype, some argue then, I have a Problem with a "Manufacturer" or something similar...I never was interested in such...the majority of Manufacturers where I think they are outstanding good/clever...don't even know my name (for example Basis Audio, Graham, Takeda, Lamm....)
But don't get me wrong, I am still very interested in Audio, I visit Demos .. but my demand about the Real Thing is probably a little bit different :-)


The Vendetta Picture showed in the System is not an actual one. The Pic I have made from my Vendetta is simply too bad from quality.
Here is the Pic from it, sorry for the quality

Vendetta Research SCP-2T


Well, like I wrote before, that Table is seriously modified and it is definitely much better than stock. The Axiom Arm can't be compared to other Designs, it has some really interesting solutions, for example VTF can be changed while playing and that is really interesting from the results, the Arm can be leveled independently from Armboard "specs" :-) I am not really up to date with it, I think it can be mounted with a regular 9" distance...We listened to that Arm quite a while, I can't say how good it is finally, except 2 sentences: There is definitely much worse out there from sonics and I heard in that System a soundstage - counting rows from the musicians - with a holographic power I never heard before with that System. We used RCA Living Stereo with Male/Female Singers, Decca SXL with Classical Music and Blues (Singer+Guitar unplugged). These Speakers are remarkable.
Found some more pics

Axiom Tonarm Miyabi Cartridge

Some more Arms ...

Continuum Graham


Your sharp eye got it fast. Yes, you are right. The owner never used his Raven much, he preferred his Kuzma Reference table. Based on some influence :-) he modified the Raven table seriously. He replaced all motors with better ones, wrote a new motor controller program, got a Vibraplane and an additional platter for vibration reduction with better arm raisers (same I have on my Micro).

Front End

The table is now in a total different sonic league, from optics it is a Raven AC but from internal know how it isn't. The owner is very pleased now with the results and we had a very good time together. I was interested mainly to hear his Verity Speakers, he is one of the very, very rare owners who used f-o-u-r Nagra 845 Amps and it was also my first chance to listen to that new Axiom Tonearm.
There are also 2 Kuzma Airlines which are on different tables, that was also interesting. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my own Titan i to that place….so we have to meet again in future :-) We also listened to an

Ortofon Cartridge

but not so much :-)….mainly

Kuzma Airline & Lyra Titan i


AS Axiom & Arche & Takeda Miyabi

There is also Wadia Digital available but in a way we missed to activate it…maybe the next time


Did listen to an interesting System Visit , will post some pics

- Preamp Nagra PLL & external PS
- Amps 4x Nagra VPA tube monoblocs with standard 845 tubes
- Speakers Verity Audio Amadis
- Turntable Kuzma Ref. & Kuzma Airline & Lyra Titan i
- Turntable ultra modified (new motors, new controllers, new platter, better suspension ….) TW Raven AC & Acoustical Systems Axiom Arm & Arche Headshell & Takeda Miyabi Cartridge + another Kuzma Airline & Ortofon MC 30
- Phono Lamm LP2 & 2 x Klyne 7


Record cleaning

When I started with Analog there were only a few record Cleaning Machines available, I bought a VPI 16.5 with my first turntable.
Now, with the analog revival the last 10 years much more units are available now.

Some general info about Record Machines:
Most think that speed/comfort is identical to superior cleaning. That is not true.
You can't have it all.
Some swear on various cleaning fluids and others think that their removal is the key.

Type: The fast ones

For example VPI, Nitty Gritty, Clearaudio and all which are based on that design (a vacuum slot with 1 soft lip in front of it and another one behind).
The user can choose any fluid he prefers, can scrub the record or not, can choose the time the fluid will stay onto the surface before starting to remove it. This Design is technically very simple and you will find a unit which fits best to your wallet. They all do their job (more or less loud, with some ear plugs are recommended) but after a while they reach their cleaning limit and it is done (Physics: sucking power with a wide slot can‘t serve the same power compared to a point nozzle design). When the lips are wet (specially the one behind the vacuum slot after a few Records, the drying process is not able to clean the record in a way that it will be without noise finally. You have to clean it again later.

Type: The comfortable ones

For example Audio Desk, a Ultrasonic cleaner and a new Manufacturer, KLaudio.
The AD uses the same fluid again and again, through filters, but from the technical view it is not a final solution. The filters can‘t hold back everything, the user can‘t use all cleaning fluids, it is a comfortable Machine with a lot of technical parts which can create problems after some time.Sooner or later most AD run into Problems, based on its technical Design.

Type: The best ones

For example Keith Monks, Odyssey, Loricraft. There was only one Design which solved all problems, that was the Keith Monks Design. A point nozzle design which removes the fluid groove by groove, nothing will stay onto the record. It is technically much more advanced than most think, because you need some motors for the Arm, the platter speed and the string which is responsible for a good move of the Arm across the record. I was shocked when I got my Keith Monks RCM (an old, used one I bought based on the technical solutions) and compared it to a pre cleaned record with a VPI (and I did not need ear plugs, it was more or less silent). The User can try all kinds of fluid, all he need is something which is able to move into the grooves. The removal is done with a point nozzle and high vacuuming power (it is simple Physics, sucking power per diameter) and the record is cleaned groove by groove and at the end it is always dry and clean (except the user flooded the record with so much fluid that it is too much for the nozzle, then he does it a 2. Time and it is done).
But it is logic, that this kind of cleaning needs time. It was made for professionals who cleaned records all day long and needed the same superior result from the first record to the last (in those days Libraries and professional record dealers, Studios...).
Keith Monks passed away and Loricraft offered a cheaper copy (more or less, they start cheap and when you want better parts they will charge you for that) from this Design. The Keith Monks was always a final solution. Pay and forget. There is also another one available in Germany, the Odyssey, it is from the former Monks Importer, same Design with a few improvements, but with superior technical parts (very reliable).
In audiophile discussions there are a few directions (speed, price, cleaning solutions...) and of course, being owner of "the best".
The definition of the word „best“ is like a car discussion. I think, it is more helpful to show, what is responsible for what and based on that knowledge, every reader can choose the unit which matches his ideas or Philosophy best.. I hope that my few lines will give some useful information about those units.
Each unit is better than doing nothing or using a wet towel.

The Records

This is also important imo, some have problems from the pressing plant (modern Reissues for example), you can clean them 15x and you will still hear an improvement, but they will never run really silent. Based on that we have the endless discussions about cleaning fluids, the cleaning time, enzymes and so on. I found the solution for myself: I trash them.
Older records can have groove damage, based on wrong VTF or defect diamond or bad Arm geometry.... then it is done, no way to improve them. Some have pops like mad, that can be based on blisters in vinyl or the owner before used alcohol and that one removed the elastic material in the groove walls. Then they are more or less defect too.
When you want to experiment, go for a normal, cheap, record, 80/90/100gr, made in the 70/80's, when they were sold in millions, the suprise is, they run always quiet, they have a lot of dynamics and when they are dirty, you can use the cheapest fluid and after one run they sound like new again. Music pleasure done right.



well, I listened to a modified RX-5000 (Platter) and a SX-8000 (Air bearing) with the same modification. Same Arm, cartridge, Phonostage....
I heard no differences. Do you have the chance to go for a SX-5000?
They are very rare I think.


Audiophile + Amplifier = Problem ?

Here is the Solution. The one with his hand on the volume knob wins.


Tannoy Westminster 1

Tannoy Westminster 2

Tannoy Westminster 3



Next Part of Munich High End Show 2013

Here are some Pics from pretty expensive System (I think, it passes easily half million $):

Kondo Japan Hardware with Living Voice Vox Olympian

Vox Olympian 1

Vox Olympian 2

Vox Olympian 3

Vox Olympian 4

Vox Olympian 5

That was an interesting experience for me. I listened to such Kondo units some time ago in a different System and was curious now how they perform with these speakers.
The idea behind High End is that all we are trying to do is to make equipment that gives the listener some sort of magical emotional response to a mystical experience called 'music'. That is all well and good, but it isn't what High End is all about. In fact, high fidelity was originally a reaction to the gorgeously rich-sounding console 'boom boxes' that dominated the home-music market during the 1940s! Such a System from Western Electric was not far away from that System...
Well, not matter what kind of music was playing, voices were very thin, notes had no weight or body and the singers or instruments had no "Gestalt". No matter how long I sat there I always had the same impression: "Great for background music while reading a newspaper..."
I thought, based on the enormous pricing those speakers will sound better but that kind of sound I heard in 30 different rooms, too, for much less money and when I listened to my inner voice, I heard a System for 20k$ which made a better job . But, the wood work is outstanding, the finish is really to die for.


Well, an advantage in theory is only an advantage in reality, when something is done right. A perfect calculated 9.5" Arm is better than a mediocre or wrong 10-12" Arm. A customer mainly wants something serious for his money, so he believes what the manufacturer says. When that one thinks, "this" or "that" is not so important and the customer is "picky and ruins the day" (...--> 100 happy customers and you are the only one ...)...well, you know these kind of discussions.
Don't ask me what a reviewer thinks :-)
In a way they also believe that something is done right, it is not their task to control any geometric calculation or to rethink a design in general.
When you read the forums, you see that mainly customers have good advices, knowledge which helps one or the other to move on. Spending money is not the guarantee for superior results. Going back to yesteryear design also not...But shooting the messenger is quite common, too :-)
I am not up to date with Elite Arm. I use Graham Arms for 10 years and they are very good, but when I got the 10" /12" with the wrong alignments I decided to stop. I still think the Standard length Phantom supreme is a super Arm among what is available, but only that one.
The 12" with external alignment system sounds also very good, but here you have to know what to do but the position of the cartridge always disturbed me. I never used a expensive cartridge with it, the side force is not healthy for sensitive cantilevers. I have Arms which are done right, so I sold those Arm tubes. But I said the buyer what he has to do (I am a fair seller). Well, the improvement of cable...I don't believe it, silver has the highest rating for information transfer, there is no good or better silver, the AES Standard for all technical silver is 106 (Copper is 100, Gold is 91%), maybe he used silver lot or better Headshell clips..who knows but Marketing has its own rules :-)


For him not to change the offset angle with the 12" arm is very strange ..

Most will never notice it and it saves money...but you can see the same with the 12" Triplanar :-)

effects anti-skate, tracking, null points etc.

You are right

I had read that the Elite is a whole new design with far superior sonics to the 12" Phantom.


The silver finish also looks primitive and like a prototype, not a finished production model standard

Is the Photo that good (I made it with an iPhone), you have remarkable sharp eyes.. or did you see it somewhere else?
I agree. I was very disappointed when I saw it. Very cheap finish. My impression was at that moment that the silver color was done with a spray can.


Hello Peter,
well, in a way nothing compares to those large Cinema Horns. They were made to amplify any signal for thousands of people. they can't be compared to our listening standard but these old drivers have a remarkable clean tone. Really interesting. I talked a little bit with the Korean people and it was indeed interesting. They have good knowledge and simply a different approach. They offer rebuilds but I think, they are mainly focussed to Asia in sales.
When you look at the Graham 12" you will see he didn't change the arch angle. When the regular 9" Graham alignment is used the cartridge screws are parallel but when I used a 12" was you can do your own thinking about that :-)
When I had it my cart screws were not parallel when I did it...he simply made the arm tube a bit longer. ..


Impressions from Much High End 2013 / Germany

Graham Phantom Elite in 12"

Available without TechDas AirForne One

Demonstation with Western Electric Cinema Horns

When I understood it right (my Korean/ English is basic) those were one out of three existing Horns, made 1935 and one (mono) was done for 3500 Listeners, so these two of them are of for 7000. they don't need more than 8W, Demo was made with 300B, maybe 2W, enough to produce endless jaw dropping from the visitors. We need in our modern world a new definition of speed and lifelike reproduction I think.
The Korean Company offers rebuilds or copies with refurbished Drivers, their smallest model start at $180.000,--
The sound made the Magicos, YG's, NOLA and other extremely speakers at that show more or less totally uninteresting.

One of the better - modern - Demonstrations was
D'Agostino Momentum Mono Amps with Sonus Faber Speakers.
In a 2. Hotel was also a small Demonstration from a few Manufacturers, a good Demo was done from Acapella Speakers....


Well, hard to describe because every word, every attribute is already used even for mediocre Designs. But THAT unit can do the things others write about and when you listen to these units, you discover they can't do anything at all (or maybe one part of it). Pure Fantasy. The modifications are mainly focussed to energy transfer speed, vibration research and micro & macro linearity. The result is a superior low bottom reproduction up the highest frequencies with a lifelike reproduction. I refer to a dense deep and very communicative presentation. This particular communicativeness consists of highlighting the sonic aspects which deliver the emotional charge encoded in a tone.
In terms of layering, transient decay, rhythm and pacing, palpability, and sheer musical involvement it is a class of its own. That unit smoked Goldmund Reference, Continuum Caliburn, Clearaudio Statement, Rockport Sirius III, V.Y.G.E.R. and others in a way that it was really depressing for their owners when they listened to it in my room. They "saw" and heard a holographic Picture they didn't know that something like this does exist. The modifications (Thread drive, Platter construction, Vibraplane, HS-80, Sutherland Timeline) are responsible for that. But I don't talk much about it, when someone is really interested in details he can visit me and listen.


Hello Zayrueda,

I used the M-60 and the ML2.1 with a 99dB Horn speaker System with a very simple X-over, both run very well.
Normally the ML2.1 can drive more speakers than the M-60, but there are so many speaker designs out there, who knows all...
Any Amp will show different results, not based on the sensitivity of the chassis, there is also a brake (more or less) with X-over design. Did you try the different outputs? The ML2.1 shows different reactions with the same connected speaker (independent from their sensitivity) based on their internal design. Probably this will give you a better result...


Some Pictures from an audiophile visit. The owner has the legendary Platine Verdier (1. Generation) from France and we all wanted to now how stable the speed is. And Reproduction Performance of course.
I used the Sutherland Timeline for Speed adjustment and the Cartridge Man gauge for leveling the whole analog System....

Speed adjusted

VTF & speed adjusted

some of our carts ...

Lyra Atlas running ....

Lyra Olympos SL in action ...

Lyra Titan i ...

the Lyra all time classic ...

THE Sytem

well, what can be said? When a designer (Verdier) has the right thinking, finds the right solutions AND is able to offer a unit done right, well then you can hear it at once...the effortless reproduction...the unique musical flow ...time was running...record after record ...

We decided to use the Fr-64s + FR-66s Arms + Vibraplane, and now I know why this turntable has its legendary status (there are made fakes, I listened to some "Verdiers" but that was my very first time with one which we aligned from scratch and where I saw what the Designer has done, and why...Verdier gave ironic advices to the "Pirates" to improve their fakes, but they all failed, the new Verdier Version have only the name, but can't be technically compared to the unit you see in the Pics).


Here is the


behind the Speakers :-)

Visitors listening to the Blues

In summer I like barbecuing, sitting outside and trying to analyze the sound of fresh air :-)


Hello Doug,
the Omnigon was a private Order from an engaged group of Audiophiles who simply wanted the very best Phonostage which can be made. Cost was no object (one of the Volume pots is way above 1k$ without shipping...and the story goes on and on).... It isn't a commercial unit. With the usual profit range it would be way above 100k...
But one main goal was also, that it has to be better in a major way to everything out there we know...everyone writes that of course, but this unit can do it visitor once told me..."it is not only listening to music, it is most emotionally compelling System he ever listened to ..."
In a way it is the proof that a serious solution in High End can be done when the right people come together who know what's all about.

From the commercial units my favorite ones are Lamm, they have a kind of lifelike sound which is hard to beat, specially the LL2 / LL2.1.
The others are also among the better ones but I think, when a signal goes through this tube vacuum, something happens which can't be done with Transistor.


Hello Peter,

Well, I think, they are a nice piece of furniture. They are better than a piece of glass or wood, no doubt, but the price is really high. They guide the resonance into their feet from what I saw, but they are no comparison to some serious solutions like Vibraplane or Minus-K from the sonic result. But you can use them in a rack, that's the main advantage imo. And they look nice.
Sonically, or from the sonic result, they are comparable to VP. A serious Design, no doubt. But I would never use them with a Turntable because they swing all the time when you do something. When the turntable is not really 100% level (and I mean 100%, not 99,5%) it will be always in move. The unit which is placed onto has to be centered ( a real task with multiple Arm units). When you have a turntable with a heavy platter, the speed will always change a little bit (like an Imbalance), a turntable needs a stable platform. Here is the VP MUCH better.
When I would own Minus-K I would use them with Preamp or Amps but never with turntables.
Beside its heavy weight it is in real life the best solution. Whatever you place on it, it stays stable. THE solution for heavy Turntables. I tried them more or less by accident - after reading the specs and thinking about it - with amps and was really surprised about the gain in soundstage depth, holographic "Gestalt" (body), from all positive simply more. What is made for electron microscopes can't be bad for turntables :-)
I also tried them with Digital Transport / Phonostage ---> a Design done right.


The Phonostage has a lot of adjustments and good gain. When I did the first listening I was struck first with a big soundstage but the longer I listened to that unit, a few things disturbed me more and more. The Soundstage is big but after a while I realized with some well knows records that this Soundstage is flat. There is a lot of 'boost' but no real holographic Picture, not really 3- dimensional. I did the test with some different cartridges, but mainly with Lyra Olmpos and here the unit showed something remarkable for me. The Cartridge sounded simply wrong, loud, but dead and the tonal definition was not the way the Olympos was able to deliver. No matter what kind of setting we tried, there was a change of course, different but not better. The height and position of instruments were not really right, or let me say, I heard better presentations which gave me the illusion of 'being there'...After some hours I said "No", the last try was with a very good external SUT into the MM Imput. The change in Performance was so dramatic, that I simply couldn't believe it first. I unplugged it, plugged it again and so on...but using the SUT to avoid the whole internal Phonostage was- for me & other listeners - the way to go. I lost interest in that unit after 3 days and never looked back. But it is better sounding than a Boulder 2008 :-)
My sonic priorities are different, there is a Fangroup for everything, I thought some time about what to write, a enthusiastic recommendation is written much faster...but my way is the I prefer after all those years reading Product Placements, ahem sorry, I mean "reviews" :-)

well, some words first for explanation,
I love nothing in High End, I look for units which can do the real thing
and I know a lot of units but not every one :-)
The LP2 is available in 2 versions, with 58.5 dB Gain or a special order unit with 70 dB Gain, I use that one in DeLuxe Version (but I had the regular Version too, also very good but my way went to low MC, 0.20mV and below)
Regarding LP2 and other Lamm products, the best way I can describe them is that they are the closest thing to natural music reproduction in the high end scene. One of the things you'll recognize
with the LP2 (after break-in) is the total lack of any mechanical artifact present in almost every other phono stage that I've tried. A real breakthrough. The back grounds are rich with information
from the recording venue unlike any other phono amps that are either just synthetically black or have some kind of tube or transistor noise. The sound flows with the LP2 unlike anything else that I've heard.
Most chop up the music or affect the balance between instruments.

This is an important factor when listening to music. Quite often High End equipment produce all instruments and voices in the same level, this is something no reviewer writes about.
There is always a delicate Balance between different instruments in an orchestra, even in duo this balance is highly sophisticated and important.
You go to any classical concert, depending on the music, for example a piano and a singer, the beauty and delicacy of the piece has to do with the interplay of the piano and voice, You'll loose everything if they are reproduced by the same level by your electronics. Then there are all the nuances of the voice and the fingering technique of the pianist, if accomplished, add to this delicate situation, Lamm electronics are the only high end products that I know of today that reproduce this sophisticated level of information faithfully without adding their own signature. Of course you'll hear all this if the rest of your system is up to scratch.

All magazines talk about artifacts like deep bass, deep soundstage, low coloration etc. etc. but never discuss how a piece of electronics adds its own signature be reinterpreting the recording.
That's why equipment becomes boring after a while and people take to buying tweaks, like stupidly expensive power cords and cables, footers, roller balls, power conditioners and all kinds of other j**k and when that is done, they'll go to a Sales Platform, change their equipment and start the cycle all over again when the novelty of new is worn out.

Like I say "God is in the details" (ok, it was Mies van der Rohe, a famous Designer)
Weakness? The output of the LP2 will not match to any Preamp out there, when the Preamp has not enough internal Gain of the Input, you will loose some of its abilities. In combination with Lamm LL2 / LL2.1 it is a very remarkable combination, could be the end of the road, Listened to a lot of much more expensive units which bite the dust after seconds...Mine runs with original WE417A tubes, old 6x4 and I replaced the RCA Plugs to better ones (higher signal transfer)


Hello Jfrech,

well, I can write info about them, in a way they are tonally different. May I ask, do you have any sonic priorities, or, do you look for something you did miss before?
The Lamm LP2 is a custom made order with 70 or 71dB gain, Lamm offers this as a special order and it is a remarkable unit from the sonic abilities ...


Pictures from isolation base comparisons - HRS - Minus-K - Benchmate - Vibraplane

Kuzma XL + HRS

Comparison Kuzma XL / Micro Seiki 5000 in same System, both onto HRS Platforms

Kuzma XL / Micro Seiki 5000 + HRS

Micro Seiki 8000 + Minus-K

Micro Seiki 5000 + Benchmate

Micro Seikis + Minus-K

(On the left corner you see a Rockport Sirius III, it has its own isolation System)

Micro Seiki 5000 / HS-80 + Vibraplane

Micro Seiki 5000 / Basis Debut vacuum + Vibraplane

Micro Seiki 8000 stock + Minus-K

Kuzma Reference + Vibraplane


Hi Ofthewal,

I was curious for such a Battery Powered Frontend for a long time. Rowland gear went out of my focus when they introduced the Switch Mode Power Supplies, so I was looking now for a unit from the late 90's. Found one, replaced the Batteries and it works like a Swiss Rolex.
Some months ago before I got it, I had the chance to listen to the latest Spectral gear (Pre 30 & 360 monos) and the Rowland combo (with Model 2 ) is from the musicality so superior, so much more lifelike, no one will believe it unit he can hear it. Indeed, Rowland had some designs which are remarkable (like Model 8 Amp for example). Good Audio Design is timeless.
Btw. yes, Coherence ii.2 + Lamm ML2.1 is really special :-)


Hello Peter,

yes, it is amazing. But on the other side it is simple Physics :-)
Real Knowledge transfer to "High End Units" will give remarkable results.
... I can now close this chapter
Well, the fanatic Audiophile never sleeps but life is much more relaxed now :-)


Part II of Munich High End Show 2012 / Germany

Nice looking speakers

Stahl-Tek Digital Player

Now back to that room which had the most - by far - smiling visitors

Give me more....

Full time job

don't ask... :-)


Well, like I wrote, most people had this happy smile in their face and it was not the nailed soundstage which fascinated them (not possible with such a design), I think, it was the Tone. The Voicing. So pure and clear. Even for me it was something I never heard in any demo like that.
Some hate it, mainly professional reviewers, some told me, they think it is awful. Who knows...the visitors showed a different reaction (but only in that room) and I discussed that some time later with one of those guys and the answer is indeed a bit interesting.

"The demonstration by Silbatone, of such a WE-system at the HighEnd 2012 in Munich has probably resulted in not only visitors, but also one or the other exhibitor, questioning their believe in the alleged progress made, where music is often shredded into tone-scraps, ignoring the music’s inner cohesion"

Something to think about. Not so wrong when I think about all I saw and heard...
But life goes on .... see you next year :-)


Some impressions from the High End Show 2012 in Munich / Germany

I think, in Germany the Vinyl Playback is very popular. A lot of rooms made Demos with Records, too. There is nearly everything to see (or to listen to), very modern Designs from Magico, NOLA, Wilson, JMLab, Martens....also an amazing number of Tube Amplifiers from all over the world. In a way, progressive Audio to "Retro" Audio with a wide range of Horns, or refurbished Turntables from Thorens ... I never asked for the price (or forgot it) but I think, High End will change more or less to a Life Style Product. Mainly I was not able to say "Yes, I can hear why this System is 100k$ or why this CD Player combination is 40k ...
But I guess, others can...

Some Pics

I think, this is a Klangfilm Design but I forget to ask, is it original or new based on Drawing but I think, it is expensive :-)


Air Tight electronics with a German von Lange Speaker

Unknown turntable

Horn from Poland

Another Horn Design


Form Follows Function

some old Horns from a Collector who shows them on Demos, I think he is from Korea, Western Electric Horns have a strong Fan group in Asia I think
3 Pairs for Demo, small, more or less a regular sized Speaker and the big one is made for 1000 visitors (Cinema)

Most crowded Room


Hi Dover, I agree, most vacuum turntables are totally overrated, destroy or damage themselves over the time (Luxman ...) or have absolutely no sonic advantage, but this is based mainly on weak Design. The Basis had a very advanced Platter with a lot of very good solutions and was - or is - among the rare ones which really give a top sonic Performance. Conti found the solutions for a lot of 'Problems'... I learned a lot with that Design. Interestingly most really good Designs - Amps, Turntables, Arms, and so on - do not get the Hype or 'Support'. Most WPDs (Worst Performance Designs) I ever listened to have a strong Fan group. Real Believers. Love them all :-)


Some lines about the Seiki in general. Each of us has his very unique matrix of experience mixed with preferences, emotions, knowledge and social circumstances and background. Every personal opinion and every personal "sound reception" is based on this very solid ground.
Thus we are highly subjective beings and our opinions do reflect that.
Its not just our taste in music that is different between audiophiles - it is the whole approach to sound and the way each of us does experience it.
Maybe I wasn't precise enough: - I want to draw a clear and present line between the terms "opinion" and "knowledge". lt is possible to gain knowledge from the opinions of others (but this is a most uncertain way and very likely to mislead...), but all too often the opinions become "facts" or "statements" for many listeners/readers.
ALL Micro RX and SX platters are undamped and very sensitive to "ringing". The vacuum-version gives no real option to alter that. Thus one have little to no chance to really get the most performance from a SX-8000 ll unless you are willing to sacrifice the status of original on this expensive TT. I listened to it several times, with records I know very well and also with Arm and cartridges I also owned at that time.
I just KNOW - this is not my "opinion"... - that a Micro 5000 without vacuum suction and with a fixed 1/4' PVC or metacrylat mat on top of its platter will outperform the "stock" SX-8000 ll in terms of low register speed, punch, definition, color and body. lt furthermore would provide much better resolution in the complete band with more weight and 3-dimensionality. Only add a Vibraplane or Minus-K and it is done.
The SX-8000 ll doesn‘t give really good sound, a Basis Turntable with vacuum, Suspension and a Phantom Arm for example (or a FR-64s, I also had an Armboard for that) is a total different, much more serious chapter in analog reproduction. There are some differences in Design, what-is-responsible-for-what and Basis made its homework quite well.
The introduction of vacuum suction in high-end TT's during the very late 1970ies and early 1980ies was an answer to the very thin records common those days. After the 1st oil-shock there were soon no "180 grams" LPs around, but usual the record weight was below 110 grams and already warped when leaving the pressing plant. ln general - pressing down LPs by means of vacuum suction was not invented or introduced because of "better sound' - it was introduced because of poor physical quality by the "software" of the time and to be able to provide "solid" conditions during playback with almost generally warped records.
I for one can NOT stand the sound of a stock RX-5000 without its platter damped by a solid mat. Stock status there is no low register to speak of, no transients, no body, no space - just zing and bang and gone (Same with those overrated vacuum Versions !! Suite Española Decca SXL.6355 Side 1 - Orignal, no Reissue - is a desaster with them compared to a Basis or Oracle Turntable, for example)
I was ready to sell it when I got it. I had much better tables in my room at that time. But those non-vacuum Seikis have enormous potential to get tup the ladder. Especially with those FR-Arms and a working suspension... When you know the stuff. Good sound isn‘t a matter of „Taste“, often is has simple technical reasons...


Hello Jeff1225,
yes, you are on the right track.
20 years ago, I owned a Kenwood Stereo with a DD Dual Turntable ... I met a friendly Audiophile, he once saw my System, smiled and invited me to listen at his Place. Rowland Gear, Martin Logans, Oracle was a complete new chapter for me...: "You know, there ARE differences"
His advice guided me all the years...


Hello Jeff1225,
the Atma-Sphere are no longer in use. They were a great match with my 99dB Horns I owned for years. But when I got my first Lamm preamp I was impressed from its true, real sound that I went for the ML2.1, the 60W were never needed anyway. But when you think about those, they are reliable and sound very good with high sensitive speakers. Indeed, one of the great OTL Designs.


High End has different faces, what works for the one, does not for the next
like Dover precisely wrote:
Jaw dropping ...

This is interestingly independent from "taste" .

(And in combination with a reproduction which touches the soul probably the magic High End can create).


A different Story...about the Lamm M1.2R Amplifiers...
Here is my story with Monitors from Reference 3A( Midi Master II, modified with Hovland Music Caps, Siltech silver wire insidet ---> he full monty at that time)...bought also full Range Speakers in the 90's from them, but my wife liked them so they survived in our Family System...they are 8 ohms, 93dB and can be used with Tube Amps...but never really tried it over all those years...simply too lazy...

Big amps for small Speakers

20 years ago, at my beginning of High End (no money, no idea from anything....) I once made a visit in a High End Store and there was a System which impressed me immensely at that time....2 small speakers on stands, price maybe 300$ each, and I think the most expensive Spectral amp at that time with the also the most expensive Spectral monos...absolutely not matching from price...and then it started to play and I God, what is THAT?????
Simply fantastic Presentation (from my no-knowledge-about-what-is-all-about), deep soundstage and all of the usual fantasies....I totally forgot that for the next 20 years....until M1.2R arrived.
The fanatic Audiophile never sleeps well and after some modification on M1.2R I saw my wife's speakers and in the last corner of my brain a little light started to shine...20 years and what happened...well...moving the speakers to my main System and connected it with
Lamm LL2.1 (Tubes: Amperex first stage and Telefunken second stage), Lamm LP2 high gain version with 70db, Fr-64s + Lyra Olympos SL + LSC Royal Ballet
1. Side and a mug of fresh coffee...needle into first track.
My coffee went cold.
20 years of High End Running passed my eyes and I was transformed into the theatre where this record was made....toc,toc, toc...needle got the last groove.I was still in my chair and was not able to get up. I simply couldn't believe what these units did with these little speakers.
Time for a new coffee....same record again... Volume from LL2.1 at 09.30...first track back to my coffee....I started to nip....toc...toc...toc reaching the end of the mug was still 2/3 full....and cold again.
So, maybe it is some help for readers with such comparable little speakers who look for a serious performance for the full frequency area...when you can do, try these amps (I use them with 6922 Telefunken, new from 1970 and silver connection at the rear)...they can close a chapter.


Hello Drajreynolds,
Very good (no, excellent) posting. Can't add more, you always got the point.
An addition, I know, lots of motors are rattling and produce a lot of vibrations. The old Seiki doesn't. I opened it some time ago and what these engineers made 30 years ago is simply amazing. Adjustable, no noise, very done right. And: Spot on with Timeline :-)


Hi Peter,
Good questions from you. Will try my best to give useful answers.
Basis + Vibraplane
Indeed, the Basis has an excellent working suspension and the addition of a Vibrapalne is not so successful compared to a Micro or other unsuspended Designs. I made a few comparisons with the Basis with and without Vibrplane. The sonic step ahead with it is audible, it is not a sonic blockbuster improvement, but it can be heard. Deeper Soundstage, an improved Headroom in the upper frequencies and no more acoustical feedback through the cartridge. The VP is able to isolate deeper Hz and some of my classical Records show this clearly.
When I would use a SME 30 I would buy one,too. Cables are more expensive than that unit. It is made for serious use in Labor / Hospital and the price from 2k$ is ok. Would it be used in High End Dealer Promotion it would be sold for 20 K$ :-)

Seiki + Vibraplane
There is no advantage for this or that configuration. Everything what is onto the VP is isolated properly and stable (compared to Minus-K for example).
Before I got the HS-80 unit, motor & platter were onto VP with excellent results. After getting the VP I had to made a decision because it is not large enough for all 3 units. So I decided to give the motor its own base and the both rotation units (Platter & HS-80) - which are linked toghether and need an absolutely precise height levelling - onto the VP.
The VP does an excellent job, I can knock onto the rack, the platter, the spindle, the chassis when the needle is in the groove and the Phono Poti is open and it is .... Silent.
Try that with other turntable designs (be careful).
And btw. Here the difference is MUCH_MUCH more audible than with the Basis combination (Basis is a better construction in stock mode but the Micro can be modified to a real interesting level of performance)

Vibraplane Air
I use 3 of them and I bought all new. There is a big warning to move them when the feet are filled with Air. This will damage them.
When they were new the air hoses stretched and I had to control them 1x a week but when it is done it is stable after a while. My units are 3 years old now (or 5?), I check them now 1x in 2 months, only 1 move per pump in each valve and that‘s it. Mine work the way they should. For me, by far one of the best audio investments I ever made. Not so flabby like Minus-K, easy to go, enough size for a lot of units (2 of them I use below my amps, I saw so much amp stands for a lot of more money and they are more or less a joke, pretty uselss. No unit onto rattles like an old motor, what you need is to isolate feedback and internal movements, no piece of wood or plastic can do it properly. One reason why electron microscopes are not placed on SRA, HRS platforms or butcher blocks...)

Basis / SME
Yes, I did compare them. I had luck lots of years ago when a Dealer had both Tables in Store. But in a way it was not possible to do a 100% shootout. The main difference at that time was the used Arm (Cartridge was from me). The Basis had at that time a Graham 2.0 Arm and the SME 30 a SME V and my choice was Graham 2.0. The difference wasn‘t that huge at that time but when Graham offered the Phantom later, the SME V was sonically absolutely not in the same league. And the internal wire from the V is (and never was) good (from my kind of Standard).
I never trust the - cheap - rubber suspension, Basis had MUCH more clever solutions (Spring in oil dampers), the belt quality is light years ahed from the precision, the multi composite platter offers much more intelligent vibration transfer and when you look closer to all parts, Basis really IS precision. And his vacuum design is simply from another design world. Not negative to sound (because it is a low pressure design), not destroying its bearing (like other designs do) and super reliable day in day out.
But everyone has its own preferences, so, when I would use a SME 20/30 I would match it with Graham Phantom supreme in 9“.
Then you can close that chapter. The Geometry is done right and you will never have distortion with certain records :-)


That is a very good idea. I totally forgot that. Today I opened my box (from Aesthetix Callisto NOS tubes) and I found the right ones I think:

Amperex 7308 NOS 1960s Dutch PQ Gold Pins

This is a very good match, huge Soundstage & more lifelike based on their superior tonal colors.
I also have a few new - sealed box-old Telefunken E88CC from Germany, ultra low noise, gold pins from 1960...also a good choice.


Update for M1.2R
I am really amazed how much the Performance improves after factory burn in. Increase of detail and body, depth of soundstage increase day by day. This amp needs better power cords than the stock ones. I used them first (being lazy) and after some records I know very well I realized a more narrow Soundstage compared to ML2.1. I use now their PC's with Oyaide plugs and Soundstage is now deeper, wider with more definition to the single instruments. Amazing.


Hello Drajreynolds,

from my experience the Reference 3A speakers are easy to drive. They use good chassis and they sound great.
Magneplanars run in a way with nearly everything but when I changed amps, they never got enough power. 2x100W at the beginning was good, later I tried 2x200W and it was better, then 2x400W and better again. Then monos and so on...I stopped that because really good sounding high power amps are very, very expensive (and very hard to find). No way out.
The Maggies are cheap to buy but later this will be compensated with amps... Based on that I decided to go for high efficient speaker designs, they made life much easier for me.


Hi Unoear,

yeah indeed. It is like going back to the first love. Years ago I listened to them and I heard something I never forgot all over the years (a unique natural performance from Transistor amps) but I lost them out of sight because I discovered the fascination of high sensitive speakers which can show the magic from the first watt (or the magic IN the first watt). I always looked for a matched pair, meaning for THIS speaker THAT amp or the other way...
After your friendly invitation to listen to your System with ML3, our informative conversation about Lamm in general and their abilities, I remembered my old love, the M1.2R and made my decision to go for it.

Lamm M1.2R Amplifier

My speaker is in a way too sensitive (99dB) for its power but of course, it is able to show what this amp really can do. And that is really something special. I listened to a lot of amps the last 20 years, but honestly, I never heard this kind of naturalness, effortless speed, materialized Body in such completeness from any Transistor before.




Indeed, there are differences. There are a lot of outstanding expensive Turntables (some have real technical work inside, some not but they look good) and are from sonic performance in the same class than Turntables between 3k-5k. It is simply another one which miss the real thing reproduction by a mile...same with Seiki 8000 mkII, EMTs, Goldmund Reference, Garrards, LP12 and some more I forgot successfully. Direct drive is also no quality part for superior performance, or Rim drive (ok, have to stop now, my eyes are getting blind...). The knowledge of 'what-is-responsible-for-what' is more or less buried. Most - inferior - modern units have a good marketing with some fan groups who write, that they are happy to "join the club".
But, the same Story can be written about Tonearms ...
High End is a special chapter :-)

Anyway, let's quote Graucho Marx

"I will never belong to any club that would have me as a member"


The final result from Rockport Sirius III comparison (Direct Drive) to an old Micro Seiki 8000 (String)...I thought, the famous one is much better, based on all the Hype, but at the end of the day (ok, we didn't need so long to know what is really going on), the voting's were cone...

Another one bites the dust



The Speakers are made in Germany.


Dear Mapman,

good as the dCS is - one of those rare digital combinations which is listenable for longer time than 4 minutes :-) - at my place the analog reproduction is at a different - much higher - level.
But when you did ask because you think about getting dCS gear, I think, these "old ones" sound better (much more natural than the current units). I listened to them and said 'thank you' after 3 minutes. But discussions about digital are always endless, I have no problem with it, but most silver discs are inferior from mastering and I that is the problem with that kind of reproduction. The Hardware is good, but it can't transform a bad mastering into a good one. You can find that with vinyl, too but in general it is the opposite (10 records, 8 good 2 bad, CD's from 10 are 8 bad and only 2 are good). But this is imo.


Hello Agear,
well, yes, more things done right than usual :-) It runs easily with a few watts and what me amazes all over again, it is uncritical to rooms, works really well even in tiny rooms...most time I listen to classical Ballet music and the sonic picture in front of me is really special. Based on no loss of detail parts everywhere inside, the amount of additional detail serves this.



Graham Phantom II Supreme



Thanks for all, here are some more from that interesting session ...

Wilson Alexandria (2)

Lamm LL1 (2)

Lamm ML3 (2)

The next step ......

Seiki 8000 + 3000

Rockport Sirius III Arm (2)

The Analog Final Set Up



Visiting another VERY interesting System from friendly Audiogon Member Unoear in Texas ... with building up a very rare Japanese turntable, a Micro Seiki 8000... and a comparison to a Rockport Sirius III :-)

Arrival of more Ears ...

Rockport Sirius III

Lyra Olympos SL (---> 0.20 mV, 3 Ω ...)

Lamm LL1 Preamp

Lamm ML3 Amps

Lamm LP2 Phonostage

Micro Seiki 8000 Turntable + FR-66s + FR-7 cartridge

Rockport Linear Arm



Hello Audioblazer,
well, years again, I discovered, the magic is in the first few watts. So I changed the direction to explore this kind of recorded Presence. Any Signal can't be improved from its Quality, all we can do, is to find a way to avoid that it gets worse. No loss of Detail in the following steps of amplification. The Result is the Preamp and the Speaker. Unfortunately these parts are all selected, have all the highest technical specification which are possible and are simply awful expensive (for example a Speaker Terminal regular used is about 12.95$ for one channel, that one here is 195,--$ for one channel and so it goes on and on...).The Speaker also has no limit, that means, it is able to serve the smallest details even in very low listening volume, has a soundstage which forces the listener not to be only in ONE position (Sweet Spot), I can sit left or right from the middle and have the correct "view" into the Performance. Well, in a way it can't be described properly because all words were used before from reviewers and at end of day we all discover that is is simply not true what they write about. Here is 'Listening is believing'.

But back to real Life:

I got a very friendly invitation to listen to a (for me) very interesting System in San Antonia / Texas from member Unoear....


I have absolutely no problems at all with my System, no hum, no matter what kind of cable I use or what termination for it (XLR or RCA). So, I can recommend to go for that.
I made the experience that hum or other distortions are mainly based on grounding (different units, some with or without ground), but when this is done, no problems. I was visiting also another System with very long cables ('Back to Black' from Unoear), also dead silent (he uses Transparent RCA cables).
The DBS is also a good shielding, even when the Homepage from AQ has a different explanation for them :-)


You are right. That System has 106dB Sensitivity. The speed and the effortless impact has to be heard to believe ... quite an experience.


some more pics from listening to that System in California

Hornspeaker & electronics

Kuzma Airline


Lamm ML2.1

Lyra Olympos in FR-66s

Lyra Helikon Mono

Micro Seiki 5000 Syntax Edition



Always interested to listen to something interesting, got a invitation to visit an Audiophile in California, south of San Francisco, Monterey area

Listening session

Elecroluv mono amp

Kondo GAKUO mono amp

Allnic Phonostage

Kondo ONGAKUO pair

Unit view

Lamm ML2.1 mono amp

Great time ..... more to come


Hello Sam,

it is about 1,5 years ago when I did this modification. I got those parts from Audioquest. They offered them as an upgrade.


Hi Glenfihi,
thank you. Same for you, too.


The Delos is a complete sounding cartridge. This is rare, no matter how much money you are able to spend. A lot of cartridges shine in one or the other spectrum, let's say Midrange,or they lack in upper or lower abilities. This "coloration" can be used to tune ( or compensate weakness) a System in one or the other direction. Can be positive or can be wrong. This "shifting" of Frequency Balance can be called "Warmth", "PRaT" ... but honestly, the ability of a cartridge should be seen always in combination of the connected Phonostage. When done right (Accurate, uncolored and precise in tone) the differences between carts can be huge. Most cartridges are not correct in tone (they can deliver information, but tonal truth is something total different), our brain betrays us. When we listen to a Classic Recording and we hear in the background a "saw-toothed Instrument", we think, yes, that is a violin because our brain has stored that (from reading the information about the orchestra for example). But to recognize it as a violin because you really can hear it as a violin or you can separate multiple violins among each other based on their time differences to the microphone, that is something totally different.
The Delos can do that. This impressed me very much, the Koetsu RSP was not able to do that, Kleos also not, the Zyx Omega was simply wrong sounding in comparison.
I think, it is one of the great cartridge Designs, unfortunately it won't get its merits because most audiophiles think, the more money they spend, the better the cartridge is. Here it is the mistake of their life.
Well, each his own, but it makes life easy, easy in adjustment, good tracker, healthy output and I am afraid to say, it can save a lot of money which can be burnt somewhere else. When you understand what you hear.


Do you mean the Dennesen soundtractor?
A very good tool, unfortunately available only used, out of Production for a long time. There are 2 models, metal and synthetic material. I have the metal one.
Very easy to use and excellent when you want an alignment for older records which have the most Dynamic in the last 3 tracks. Btw. Graham uses for the Phantom II the same point.


*Ahem* But, it has only ONE motor.... :-)


Hello Halcro,

yes, it is a serious unit with a lot of solved Details. The contact area from the Diamond in the groove works in an area with different influences, so Precision is really important to minimize all possible kinds of distortions (part of the suspension).
When we multiply a regular Tonearm by Factor 100, the Arm is about 27.34yd (25m) in Length, the Cartridge System is about 1.09 yd (1m) in Leight with a length of the cantilever in the area of 0.55 yd (0.5m) and finally the Diamond:
Its contact area is only 0.020 in. (0,5mm)! Same is for the Mass in comparison.
A simple example to show what analog reproduction really is ...

All parts will be refurbished first, some modifications will be made and it will run in June, 2011.


Hello Islandmandan,
thank you. Yes, indeed, it was a long way from the Kenwood Hiifi-System I started with in the 90's. In a way, comparable to 'Raiders of the lost Arc' (smile)


My next Project, found the last unit from the German Apolyt Series. 400lbs, Air Bearing (horizontal & vertical), Air Suspension down to 1.9 Hz area, electronically supervised...there are some serious technical solutions realized . It is boxed at the moment, will see...


well, my last comparison with Nagra Phono and Lamm LP2 was an eye opener. One of my friends uses a Nagra Preamp with- stock - Lamm LP2 and never looked back. Much more realistic sound.


The discriminated music lover never was time to check out what parts were available to lift the reproduction to another level....(first it was an idea from what-is-responsible-for-what and it became more and more interesting, unfortunately those parts have their price...but, sometimes there is no way out)

Latest Speaker update for the X-over and the Frequency Filters:

- all pure silver flat ribbon Air coils
- all caps, the big ones from Mundorf - Silver/Gold/Oil
- V-Caps Teflon Elite Reference as shunt
- all pure silver flat ribbon wire inside - connected direct to voice-coil
- Removal of the pure copper terminal connectors
- Replacements with WBT-0710Ag Nextgen speaker posts

After modification I had to turn down my Volume 1-2 steps ..... increased micro-dynamics and transparency .....and another wide step closer to the real thing was done
Standing right behind the conductor, that's ok for now :-)


Dear 11flat6,
I tried a lot with the Micros and I guess, my files are complete.
Seiki 5000 Stock, 5000 on vibraplane, 5000 on stones,

5000 with mat

second 5000 as an inertia unit

one motor with 2x5000 in flywheel mode onto a Vibraplane

second 5000 as an inertia with a second 5000 motor

and so on... 5000 with HS-80 (see System pic.), 5000 with Walker controller....,
different belts (that was amazing, I thought, based on the heavy design the difference might be minor, but that was totally wrong, wow and flutter is a special chapter) and I also listened to a turntable with those double VPI motors+SDS. I didn't impress me and I had no interest to go for it.
Good sound or top performance can be stripped down to something very simple:
And how it is solved.
And good/important looking "toys" do rarely push a curtain.
Btw. the owner of that double VPI motor units sold the whole and got a simple, one motor unit now, which is in the whole performance a complete different chapter. I listened to it, too.
Serious made solutions....

Mono cartridge
I tried some, sold all and will stay with a Helikon mono. I use it in my FR-64s (but it is also really good in the FR-66s), it is out of production now but it is one of those - rare - designs, which sounds very close to the real thing with mono records. The tonal colors are exceptional, it is very silent in the grooves and it can deliver some higher frequencies (smile)....

In general High end Audio it is pretty normal, that every owner hypes his latest buys because it was expensive and he can hear a "difference" and of course, he "likes" it. But at the end of day, it is wasted time, some like MP3 too.
I never "liked" anything, I wanted a result, as good as possible and others told me, I am one of the very, very, very rare people who compare and sell the expensive units and go for cheaper ones when they are better.
But, each his own.


Hello 11flat6,
the "platter" is only a view from the outside :-)
It is a package, a result of 'what is responsible for what'... The Vibraplane, a platter without resonances, the FR-Arms and the HS-80. With these mod. there is a very serious improvement in terms of low register speed, punch, definition, color and body. Based on that there is in general a much better resolution in the complete band with more weight and 3-dimensionality. This combination goes down to real 3 Hz and builds up the whole frequency range completely new from focus, soundstage and weight/importance of the notes. Each record I listen to, tells me something new.


You're welcome in the Area of clean mains and fresh air between the cartridge tip and the grooves :-)


Hello Milpai,
thank you for your kind words.

Hello Aaron,
well, unfortunately I didn't have so much time for it at the moment. All I can say is, it is ok.

Hello Dave,
the Armboards are made from Gun Metal and Brass (very interesting from the molecular structure and energy transfer).