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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heirloom - hardware or...


Audio gears are - usually - highly inflated goodies... and talking about classics and/or vintage the elusive quality, the rareness or being sought-after gives market prices which would be better managed by N.Y.S.E. than Orion Blue books!

Nonetheless, every audiophile has his personal classics, the gears which you will never part from...

I read in the Forums (someway) silly lists - i.e. "I'll never part from..." and follows the actual system gears list, like what you own "now" be "the" ultimate.

This is a much deeper matter, in my opinion... some gears appears to truly "click" with their owners, as per their shape, building quality, elusiveness, and, last but not least, sonic merits, sort-of giving a voice to our musical soul.

Joe Roberts was right: we can talk about a "clear" or "dark" sounding piece of gear like an individual can be described as "sunny" or "dull" and "boring".

Without talking about this or that brand or maker and manufacturer, the big (aesthetic) choice is done when someone likes LEDs and black faced gears, or silver, or wooden, round edged, smooth, retro looking or space age, BIG or minimalist.

Some systems showed on the WEB or elsewhere are so badly mixed and assembled, like a Versailles-like room with Ikea's furnitures, and sonically, sometimes the average audio system is so far from any live event as possible.

Edgy, sterile, innatural, no harmonics...

Thanking Reinhard and his square wave seeking and hinting to yours truly, I took my time and strength to build a fully Class A solid state amps rig to multiamp my four ways speakers system.

So... what happened to the hard-core triode-lover and scholar, the technically ignorant;-), yet passionate vintage lunatic?

Dead, gone, blown away, by reality, logic and - most of all - ears!

While my Hiraga 20W used in single ended mode to feed the Gotorama's sounded to my ears nice but someway boring on lengthy listenings, someway "compressing" soundstage and dynamics, when I shopped for more Hiraga's amps in possessed-mode;-.) - call me nut, but now I own 6 - i.e. 3 x 20W, 1 x 30W Le Classe A (see a previous, recent post) - ALL original "La Maison de l'Audiophile"/Lectron's, made in France - plus 1 x Le Monstre 8W and 2 x M1 25W monos, both based on original schematics using original transistors, homebrewed by skilled hands using premium parts - and wired and fed Goto Unit CF-1 18 db/octave electronic x-over... well, something happened: the system, previously running on 8W triode EMS Labs 300B with a pleasant sound, simply disappeared, the sensation of music breathing freely, deeply, like when waking up early in the morning in the mountains fresh air.


... ahhhhhhhhhh...

I'm still dealing with my VERY own surprise and awe, as - something which seldomly happens - I didn't recognize my music system! Every combination is superb: 30W on low, and the others, by trial and error... will I end using a full solid state combo?

The result is sooo vastly superior to the passive x-over/300B sound in several parameters - i.e. dynamic, sense-of-surprise, overal beauty and naturalness, harmonic complexity and variety... musicality with a natural "temporal suspension" and eveness among notes, like at the concert, seated at first row.

So, if pushed to a shove, heirloom and audio: makes any sense?

Almost everything could be replaced and definitely "Yes!", Le Classè A 30W it's - sure it is - a Desert Island piece of gear, and simply cannot understand who sold it (?!?!?) as it's an absolute sonic masterpiece, but I'd better copyright and protect my overall "sound" as an (humble) human (personal) peak;-))): if passing away today, the heritage for my beloved nephews would be my system (sound) and my love for music and related records and guitars collection.

Trascending the mess of wires and metal and glass and wood and rubber countless parts composing the behemoth, my legacy is and would be more a vision, an aesthetic, sonic self-portrait and a musical aura of my very own, most sincere inner, VERY me.

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