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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Western Electric 437A sounds!

Exactly after one week from Thomas and Bernd visit and delivery of my new preamp(s), I'm now able to express some (quite) relaxed, balanced opinions about the level of refinement these masterpieces gave to the music in my room.

The line stage - VT25/801 triodes-based - has very broad tonal and soundstaging palettes, yet superbly enjoyable and "cool", in the sense of "hey, I'm clever but I won't tell you as it's SOOO clear I'm "The One" you'll recognize it!"

What mostly surprised me was the sense of trueness, unforgiving, yet easy to the ears, which EVERY note seems to own.

The Tango LCR/WE 437A phono is even more "extreme"... not talking about weight or other down-to-earth facts... after one side, you need a second: you are able to listen to a full three record set of a, say, Benjamin Britten's opera, without needing to swap to jazz "to be sure the system sounds nicely";-)))... you simply loose yourself in the music, in the composer's vision... hic et nunc!

The sense of HUGE headroom, the dramatic feeling you'll never end in waiting (and listening) to the most perfect tympani or double bass, the absence of aural stress, a liquid musical consciousness... is something to be heard.

Dave Slagle's TVC with my own "Goldfinger" styled (a dadaist stroke;-)) solid bronze custom-made knobs is respectful and beautifully tracing down to a pleasant, wispered yet detailed, unforgiving 2 A.M. intimated lute listening.

Thomas Mayer did something: like a tailor, he listened to his customer - most of the times also a friend - wishes and adapted this load of data to his skills and knowledge... the result isn't a "Thomas Mayer's gear", but "my very own preamp Thomas Mayer made for me".

This is the main difference between a shop product vs. a (serious) handmade, bespoke product: it seems - like for a carefully tailored, glove-like jacket - you always owned and enjoyed it! A part of you...

Thanks to Thomas for friendship, great job and patience in our long, countless chatting and mails, and for visiting at my place and to the always kind and supportive Brendan Biever of TubeWorld Inc., Koji Wakabayashi of EIFL and Attilio Caccamo of Tektron for the great, vintage N.O.S. Western Electric 437A tubes which also (greatly) supported, better, were the "soul" of our project.


Peter Georgescu said...

Hi Stefano, this gear seems to be a proof of how virtuos Thomas Mayer works! It is a great pleasure just to look at it - trying to imagine how fantastic it sounds :) Could you provide a contact adress (email) to him. I searched the whole web and didn't found anything but reports. Have a nice week and enjoy your music, Peter

twogoodears said...

Thanks for yr. interest, Peter.
Thomas can be reached at:
thomas >at< vinylsavor >dot< de

Peter Georgescu said...

Many thanks, Stefano.
The "Bodensee" is not too far away from my place (Karlsruhe, Germany), so i hope to get the chance to listen to his amps...

Best regards,