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Sunday, April 21, 2013

The mini passive line-stage survey - Fidelity Research AS-1 (reprised)

The Luxman AT-3000 represented a personal fave of mine, a Zenith, as an audio lover, scholar and collector...

So, using it for the past three days, now... well, it's an emotion and a satisfaction difficult to be forgotten.

I already got the little, unassuming, yet elegant FR AS-1, but didn't listened to it, yet... today, after enjoying Luxman's, I told myself... "Hey, I got it, paid for it... am I so silly to do not try it?!?"

... and wasn't prepared for what I heard, period.

Fidelity Research AS 1 is an humble gizmo vs. Luxman AT 3000 Ultimate, but quality is well present, thanking Ikeda-san, also in this smallish package.

Aesthetically, FR made something, using a solid thick aluminium chassis and cool mat finish grey faceplate with a seldom seen 18K gold silk-screening lettering... left and right gain controls are very useful to correct slightly unbalanced recordings and a quite purist choice... knobs are a little miniature sized, but you know - respectfully said - Nihon-jin aren't famous for being giants:-)

Sound-wise... ohhhhh my!!!

AS-1 is clear, zest-like, speedy-as-the-light, maybe just a tad darker than AT-3000 in the low register, while mids are PERFECT, as per my VERY taste, transparent, unboomy, extremely different from previous & next notes, highs are silk-like, female and male sybilants are giving goose-bumps, as detailing, on same par than Luxman's.

Soundstaging and ability to follow more and more music and harmonic layers is, maybe, a tad, just a (significant) tad better vs. AT-3000.

Micro-dynamic? A specialty! Awesome...

Resolution? impressive: for example, Lee Koonitz and his alto register tapping before soloing and little noises from sax necklace on instrument brass body... amazing!

I've been speechless for a couple hours... oh, well, I was alone:-)))... so I called a friend who arrived in half-an-hour (myself always enjoying more and more music, always sounding sooooo brand-new) and... no doubts: he gave a distract look to AS-1, seated on Eames', and we had superb Howling Wolf's "Spoonful" - two times - from this month Mojo magazine complimentary disk, some Tom Waits' Mule Variations, beloved The Grateful Dead's "Nobody's Fault but Mine" from Dick's Picks' Live in Tampa, FL Dec. 19th, 1974, Wheeler/Holland/Frisell/Koonitz "Angel Song", the "Polka" from Malcolm Arnold's Lyrita SRCS 109... ONLY after the above mentioned music-shot we talked, at last... and it was only one word...


If you'll patiently check the whole Blog, while talking about my system, you'll never, ever find such a statement on my part...

I repeat, without any shame: PERFECT!

... and like Forrest G-g-g-gump seated on the bench... "I've nothing m-m-more to say!"

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