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Goldmund Reference Turntable
WCES '97 Equipment Page!

      Those of you who know me just know i like ta start BIG.
 Y e a h...  Big woofers, big speakers, big amplifiers.  After 
 all, how DO they do it???  Volume, volume volume.  Well, a 
 few months back i was most fortunate in seein' what was to 
 become a statement product.  One so big, so beautiful, so... so... 
 so KILLER that i just knew it was going to among the first pieces 
 of equipment i'd hunt down at the show.  From the same folks who 
 keep  getting great reviews, it's none other than Platinum Audio 
 who had plans.  Plans for a statement product that would make 
 Wilson X-1's cry for mommy and other horn speakers green with 
 envy.  Well, what was before my very eyes but their new, very 
 sensitive, and amazing to my ears horn speaker.              


Air Pulse 3.1 speaker.
Platinum Audio Air Pulse 3.1

      The Platinum Audio Air Pulse 3.1 (pictured above) uses two 
 very impressive 12 inch woofers which have four inch voice coils.  
 The unique midrange design consists of two monstrous, 
 huge, Godzilla-sized 360 degree radial horns.  The cabinet 
 structure for these speakers was chosen after many long hours 
 of careful design and engineering.  This careful design enables 
 a very smooth midrange response with great control of the dispersion 
 pattern in all 360 degrees.  As with the midrange, the tweeters 
 also radiate into every corner of the room.  Now i gotta tell ya, 
 i PERSONALLY was at the factory the day the tweeters arrived.
 Have ya ever seen a tweeter that weighed about 10+ pounds
 (4+Kg)?!?!?!  i could go on but unfortunately few will acquire 
 such a "cost no object" design :-{(+ .  Why can't we all be 
 Bill Gates'???  No pricing has been set yet but expect it to 
 be in the neighborhood of, oh, say, $80,000.              

 


AR LS9
Audio Research LS9

      Well, it looks as though we consumers are in for a great future.  
 For it's Audio Research that's taken note from their customers and 
 now offers a new solid-state, remote control preamplifier.  The AR 
 LS3 has been well received for quite some time.  Well, now enter 
 it's predecessor, the LS9.  Not only does it offer a 70 step digital 
 volume control, FULLY balanced input to output line stage, but 
 also comes with a remote control too!  In fact, two pairs of 
 balanced inputs are included as standard.  Frequency response is 
 stated at .2Hz to 30kHz with less than .005% distortion at 2 volts 
 output.  The LS9 is capable of 14 volts output to drive even the 
 most insensitive amplifier on long cable run to achieve maximum 
 volume level from your amplifier.  With six inputs and four 
 outputs available on the the rear, there's plenty of room for all your 
 toys.  Now hold on tight because it's not only better then the 
 LS3 it's replacing, it's also less money.  At $1,995 you may 
 want to give this unit a careful audition for your solid-state 
 preamplifier needs.              

 

      From the famous speaker manufactures known for their 
 patented infinite slope technology (as well as the best stash of
 M&M's at the WCES show) come a classy new minimonitor
 The model shown is the RM7si Signature. It retails for $1699/pair. 
 It differs from the standard RM7si in that it features a metal cone 
 woofer and an upgraded silk dome tweeter.  The Infinite Slope 
 crossover keeps the woofer from operating where it would ring, 
 so you get the clarity and dynamics of the metal cone without 
 the resonant stuff.  

      Most manufactures use a 18dB crossover, but not Joseph Audio.  
 With their patented technology, this speaker uses a 120dB/octave
 crossover which helps to reduce ringing which can occur in 
 speakers with lower quality crossovers.  As ya can see in the 
 picture below, there's a vent below the woofer which was 
 computer optimized to yield the best performance.  Frequency 
 response is stated at 42Hz to 20,000kHz with a sensitivity of 
 86dB/W/m.              


RM7Si
Joseph Audio RM7Si

 

      In the great tradition of Audio Note, they have released a new 
 product at a major show.  This time they actually showed a 
 few transports.  One of which is based on the famous in the UK 
 Teac.  Also new is their TT1 turntable which uses a suspended 
 sub chassis for isolation.  The three point floating sub chassis 
 was derived from the award winning Systemdek IIX.  With a glass 
 platter and felt mat rounding off the table's design.  Of course what 
 good is a turntable without a tone-arm.  So Audio Note has come out 
 with TWO new ones to choose from.

      The first one consists of the "bang for the buck" Rega Research 
 RB250 but has been rewired with Audio Notes own AN-A copper
 Litz construction wire.  Their second offering is a culmination of 
 various ideas between Rega and Audio Note.  The acclaimed Rega
 RB300 was rewired, though this time A.N. used the  AN-A1 silver
 wire internally, and AN-V 99.99% pure silver 15 strand Litz for the 
 lead out wire.  BOTH the turntable and arms may prove to be
 "giant killers" for their price range.              

 


DVD CD Rom drive
Sony DVD CD Rom drive

      With most people seeing DVD players, what some forget or may 
 not know about is that there is also DVD CD Rom drives for 
 your computer too!  No pricing nor final setup has been written in 
 stone.  After talks with 4 different computer manufactures, they all 
 know it will be available and are hard at work integrating 
 the technology to your computer.  As you can see in the picture 
 above, dual laser systems are employed for flexible applications.
 Once the DVD signal is computer based, full integration with
 your home theater may be fully controlled from a wireless keypad.
 Once the hardware and subsequent software is available, then
 the sky just may be the limit.  Image the possibilities!!!  Who knows, 
 a DVD based CD transport may again move forward the quality 
 of our CD transports too!  Stay tuned as the story unfolds in the 
 computer industry.              

 


Joly Speaker
Joly
(Brain Nerve Stimulator)

      Ok, all joking aside, it seems this year they had a selection of 
 more "normal" looking speakers.  After the show i needed to 
 fax information and right next to me faxing was one of their 
 show spokespersons was holding a "Learn English and 
 Grammar" book.  It's seems to me they're trying folks!  Can YOU 
 fluently speak Taiwanese?  ANYWAY, kinda felt compassionate for 
 them because sometimes good intentions can be overcast
 by the feelings/ideas of different cultural experiences.  And NO,
 my brain nerve is still as wacky as usual even after auditioning
 the Joly speakers %-) .  Too bad too 'cause my brain nerve 
 could use some stimulation.              

 

      Seems ta me that manufactures are "getting it".  The economy 
 is bad.  After the holiday season, ALL electronic retailers friends 
 i have said this was a very disappointing season.  The industry is 
 listening my friends and i saw more "bang for the buck" this year 
 than last year.  For instance, take a lookey at this here VAC 
 model 25.1 amplifier.
VAC 25.1 amplifier
VAC Model 25.1
      It's got some beefy power and output transformers.  Six 
 EL84/6BQ5 tubes per channel are used to deliver 35+ watts.  
 No operator adjustments are required so for those who want 
 tubes yet can't be troubled with biasing maintenance this amp 
 just may be what the doctor ordered.  At $1890 it's seated in the 
 hot spot with other $2,000 amplifiers.  Maybe one day we'll see 
 a $2,000 amplifier "shoot-out".  Ya just never know.              

 


Alon Adriana

      The first moment i saw these speakers my mind had a vision 
 of hands holding a speaker.  Fitted in "to die for" solid cherry 
 wood wrap around side panels these speakers are solid.  A 
 double layered cabinet utilizing cherry outer wall combined 
 with inner construction of MDF, double layer extensional damping 
 and to top all THAT off they add steel bracing to severely reduce 
 cabinet ringing.  Alon claims the frequency response is 
 35Hz to 25kHz (no tolerance given) by using two 5 1/4" woofers 
 (one front, one rear firing), and one Phalanx tweety-bird.  
 The Adriana also features precise time and phase alignment.
 But at $10,000 per pair...
     A bit down from the price stratosphere is a company i wasn't 
 at all familiar with called Ryan.  Said to be in business for many 
 years.  Something like over ten or some such, but recently 
 changed ownership and now offers a totally new speaker lineup 
 too.  By this late time of the day i was tired of hearing about
 tens of thousand dollar components and then low and behold
 i'm in the Ryan room diggin' up the tunes and tappin' my feet.
Tired of hearing chick lounge lizard/piano bar music i 
 prodded the dude found in every demo room...  Ya know, the 
 one who's the "keeper of all the music that's gonna be played 
 in our room" dude.  Well, he let me play my own music and i 
 was pleasantly surprised.  Not just to be able to enjoy my own, 
 er, um, uniquely styled music, but at also the way these 
 speakers reproduced music.              

 

Ryan Model 83 speaker
Ryan Model 83

     They were sooo close to being one of the best bang for the 
 bucks in my humble opinion.  If i were you i'd keep a close eye 
 on these guys to see where they're going.  A few more refinements
 and who knows.  So here's my "keep an eye out" manufacturer.
      As tube yummies gain steam more tube designs are coming out 
 of the woodworks.  For instance, take E.A.R. for instance.  Their 
 units are designed by none other than Tim de Paravicini who's 
 famous for MANY studio equipment modifications in the 
 "audiophile" world.  E.A.R.'s new toy was a push-pull power 
 amplifier that uses zero overall negative feedback and EL519 
 output tubes.  This unit is called the E.A.R. 861 and is self biasing 
 for the timid and to insure proper biasing as the tubes age.  
 Thirty-two watts per channel output (bridgeable) and included 
 balanced and unbalanced input cables.  Priced at $6,495 
 they've got a lot of competition, yet Tim's designs are legendary.
      Last on this page, though certainly NOT least is a GREAT 
 "bang for the buck" in my humble opinion.  Leave it to Unison 
 Research to come up with an integrated unit that uses one EL34 
 output tube per channel, an ECC82 for driver, and an ECC83 
 for pre-amplification.  Twelve watts of output is achieved with the 
 one EL34 per channel.  The preamplifier section had an 
 aux/phono, tuner, A.V., and CD input.  Using an Alps volume pot 
 and wrapped in wood like other Unison units, this has GOTTA 
 be a great deal for a wee bit of pentode tube sound at only $1,700.  
 If ya desire a modest bedroom music reproduction system this 
 just might be what the doctor ordered.
       
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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