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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Life after conTACTing Elodis' Franz Hinterlehner...

About one month after the delivery and room installation of Elodis' TGE in my studio, Franz Hinterlehner kindly paid a new visit to yours truly for first "true" fine tuning session.

He drove the usual 1600 km, back and forth, from his hometown, near Wien, with the usual impressive load of goodies... computer, Class A measurement mike, cables, his SUPER two chassis, multi-channel amp and PSU (see his site) and... his own black TACT RCS 2.2 XP (pre-amp) room-corrector.

We used my own A & E analog 1st order crossover and, after careful measuring of input pulse frequencies, the TACT - with Franz's skill and knowledge - at about 1,20 A.M. last Easter sunday we ended with 7 slightly different pre-sets, ALL optimized for my room, system, gears and listening position... and - as a plus - we "now" know exactly efficiency and distorsion figures of ALL Goto's drivers!

Bespoke? MUCH more, folks... my system possibly reached the - VERY high - limits of my Goto's and of my ears and sensitivity, which, not surprisingly, were not working at their best with Goto's quite superficial (un)technical "suggestions" - i.e. connect and listen.

... (not kidding)... a shame, as many - me included - are/were down-using below true, possible performances, these superb drivers...

I finally understood, at my VERY low, maybe slow;-) pace, how much a musically trained, technically gifted and trained, yet still a music lover in his soul like Franz Hinterlehner is can do for anyone motivated enough to walk the whole path - i.e. the search for the maximum obtainable musical satisfaction in a given room with any music of choice.

Once more I learned that opinions are like dicks - i.e. everyone has his own... what's most important is directly experiencing more and more, hear this and that, travelling, both virtually and in person, and chatting and reading a lot... then hire "The Best" you know and - together - reach the goal.

I feel pitiful about those who - still victims of magazines and forums - follow the "dominant male" of the moment, who, destructively, NEVER, ever for the sake of pleasure and/or audio art advancement, put on the pedestal this or that (industrial) product... an herd which changes his mind every few months, people who compulsively purchase several piece of gears per year and re-sold, still always deeply unsatisfied.

... yes, me too, I was in the herd, only few years ago and "my" own "dominant male" to follow were, alternatively, named Eugenio, Lorenzo, Mauro... they also taught to me something, but, they were, sort-of "audio personal shopping advisors", same Rodeo Drive-like consultants who supports with their hintings an hyper-busy, wealthy community who simply have not the time to use Ebay or the shopping-mall... but if a personal-shopping advisor can suggest about a sofa cloth, a tent or a home-furniture, having to deal with ears and music and ALL the meaningful soul-related stuff... well, I didn't need a personal advisor, in the past as I do not need it, now.

Sure I needed Franz a lot, someone whose technical approach wasn't distracting from the REAL goal - music and musical satisfaction - and, most of all, able to filter through his technically oriented mind the needs of me, myself and I the listener and music lover, the lunatic details freak and the one "I know how a real (acoustic) guitar sounds";-)

He, patient and untired, measured for hours and took graphs and explained to me things and facts and... at the end, what he obtained is VERY close to the perfect sound, the ideal, the mother and father of sound - including maximum undistorted S.P.L. available in my studio, with a sense of smoothness and easiness seldom heard everywhere, still balanced and beautiful, never boring or fatiguing.

...conTACT... con-TACT (transl. - with TACT...) first contact with TACT RCS 2.2 XP was... oh, oh... a digital machine, a... aaaarghhh... a room corrector - i.e. an equalizer... a veiling, harmonically and imaging destructive machine, an expensive toy for rich, deaf audiophiles.

Reviews on WEB were a mixed bag of "WOW!" and "I hate it!"... so, the perfect product to - once again - "knowing" more about people and good or bad-will and attitude(s)... I'm 150 percent sure the "haters" party or never or badly listened to a system using a poorly tuned TACT's, maybe at some (ex) hotel-(music)room at exhibitions around!

Myself, possibly buying it brand-new, I would have sure misused, played with it, instead of being able to squeeze from this powerful tool the best, as it can do... for his kindness, knowledge, dedication and skills, Franz Hinterlehner should be MANDATORILY hired and knew by everyone with "our" passion, period!

Expensive... no, absolutely not and comparing to possible decades-long sell&buy&re-sell practice, a TRUE bargain.

I never met someone like him: we can rock and play invisible "air-guitars" for hours, BUT when it's time to measure and calculate and bend TACT room-tailoring capabilities to my tastes, he become deadly-serious in few moments, 'til finishing the job, also the most boring and annoying.

The results, folks?

Room modes were corrected, and music simply, flawlessly kept ALL its merits, and no sound bleaching, dynamic flattening, image reducing in size and precision and worstening of timbres trueness happened.

No redundant sound or overall results also entering with superb Thomas Mayer's 801A/437A preamp(s) to manage the analog - tape and vinyl - sources: this, as also Franz pointed out, the merit of Thomas Mayer's great workmanship and design and Dave Slagle's TVC, which will also be used in next - hopefully final;-) - Mayer's project.... more to come;-)

... the last scene: me singing with a gospel-like baritone voice in a wooden, white country church, at late afternoon mass: "... I've nooooo mooooore wisheeees, my Loooooord!"


1 comment:

VinylSavor said...

Hi Stefano,

your passion and inspiration in composing your dream system is amazing! It is great to follow how your system evolves. I hope to be able to have a listen to it soon.

As for your next project: Looking forward to contribute to your system again. With the help of Dave's fine iron, we will bring it to the next level!

Will it be the last project? I doubt it ;-)

Once you listen to my 45 amp with 10Y driver, you will be blown away :-D

Best regards ... Thomas