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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

... again about Goto speakers from Japan: visiting my friend Toni and listening to his system

Yesterday evening I had one of those rare musical experiences every audiophile and music lover seeks for years... nor my japanese trip, neither the several listenings in the years gave to me the shivers and emotions I had few hours ago at Toni's place...

The system is made of a stock EMT 930 (no, RIAA eq., BUT with glass/rubber Dush's platter), 929 arm and TSD-15 cart; a Tango MCT-999 MC-transformer at 40 ohm, an Audio Research LS-2 preamp, a passive 1st order crossover (using Mundorf's "jet-set" type caps) and passive multiamping - i.e. a Class-D 400W stereo amp (sic...) and a Verdier 300B amp.

As you imagine, the Class D is feeding the Onken W 380 litres HUGE boxes, while the 300B's is powering the three upper ways...

So, here we are on spot: the upper ways...

Toni's using a superb Altec's 1803 horns, an huge six rows/three tiers;-) elements horn with an Altec 288-16H driver; then a Goto SG-370 mid-high with an S-600 horn and a Goto SG-16TT tweeter complete the combo.

What can I say... it was not the first time I listened to an Onken W, or to Goto's... what gave to this system an enormous strength, a relaxed sense of power, is the way the sound flows from speakers: it's liquid, immediate, unforgiving, round and detailed, easy to the ear.

Truly seldom heard overall quality and sound... better: Music.

The bass coming from the behemoths of 4 x 416-8B's is here and there, BUT only politely hinting to a music lower end, NOT imposing a larger-than-life, unnatural and simply not true bass, as a HUGE ghetto-blaster would rudely do.

A superbly natural low end, like only live music is... without forgetting the smooth highs and luscious mids...

A solo cello is able to go low, and impress, surprise at times, during a, say, Bach's sonatas perforamnce... I still remember an Anner Bylsma's concert with his Mattio Gofriller cello... shivers and goosebumps!

Shivers, pals... like I had yesterday evening, twenty kilometers from home!

Toni gives a lot of merits to this truly awesome final result to the sense of cohesiveness the two Goto's upper ways drivers are able to give to virtually ANY system...

They don't sound like different ways with a crossover, BUT more than the larger, yet correct in size and ambience and details and emotion, wide-band speaker you ever listened to.

This listening session has possibly been the highlight of the whole 2009...

Yes, the above also considering my own system with the new Thomas Mayer's WE 437A/801A super-preamp in place, plus the ALE and Audio Tekne's japanese field trip and some (top class) systems in Germany, Italy and Greece I auditioned this VERY year.

In a comparison Toni's vs. my own system... my tiny, japanese-style music room is giving a more intimate, detailed result: the recording venue, ambient noises and overall listening experience is more a "I look in a space and time musical window" stuff... at Toni's is the venue entering the music-room... two sides of a greatly enjoyable whole, like a link between emotional correct and "hi-fi" audio(s).

... but the details and ambient retrival are still WELL here, at Toni's... something greatly missing in the top, BIG japanese multi-amped systems I'm aware of.

A lesson: the whole may easily be more than the sum of single parts... Toni's beautiful 60 square meters room and nice speakers combo with quite "normal" equipment easily surpasses and outperforms mega-bucks systems in lesser rooms, using ultra expensive ancillary gears.

... and - another for-free lesson - the Best Sound of the Year isn't 10.000 kilometers from home (i.e. - Japan), but just a short drive from home.

So what?

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