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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Audio Empathy

Exactly eight days after Le Solstice arrival, today...

Last Tuesday, after having a quiet, pleasant music evening with my pal Edo, when saying goodbye after a couple hours of music, played both on smaller system and on Gotorama, he asked, almost exclamed: "Hey, Stefano: are you planning to also listen to the Le Solstice in larger system?"

Well... no, I wasn't planning to do so, immediately... but...

You know: Gotorama is a complex beast and when changing something, a cable or a tube, it needs time to re-balance as a whole.

That's something happening on many - all? - systems, of course.

Anyway... the suggestion reached me as I also got curious about the injection of another Jean Hiraga-made (on Kaneda-san's project), with the four Le Classè A 30W amps as used in Gotorama.

I disconnected the Actinote cable between Thomas Mayer's line-stage and crossover and connected Le Solstice...

Then disconnected the XLO Phono Reference between Mayer's LCR phono-stage and the Peerless 4685 SUT, now in use, and connected to Le Solstice, of course...

Same with Telefunken M15A and Studer B62 and Studer A 730 and... and...



I'm someway reluctant... no, maybe better saying I'm reluctantly happy to say what happened...

I'm absolutely confident about my senses and honesty, so... let's go ahead...

The solid-state preamp is very, very, very quick, solid and organic.

Mayer's 4-chassis combo is very, very silky sounding, luscious and unforgiving... so precise and musical.

I don't need a winner... like in love, there is no winners... and music is so similar to love!

Le Solstice is like a young man coming home from the war, meeting again his brothers and sisters... his family.

I've been jaw-dropped since last Wednesday, indeed... almost unable to think about the overall sound coming from Gotorama... I'm only listening, at its purest form.

... no need to judge, when doing so... and the mind stand still and quiet.

I'm still sure is my system, yet I find some almost disturbing positive variations vs. the very near past:

- I've to change volume-settings many times, with every track and disc, much more times than I used to do: that's something which happens when detailing improves.
- very same happened when coming from Marantz 7C to Mayer's, back in 2009 - i.e. the more you have to change volume settings, the more life-like is the sound, more transparent and various, always different from track to track, disc to disc;
- sound is very modern, yet you cannot say it's a solid-state sound, same as you cannot say about the Class A amps they're solid-state... they're superbly natural sounding, period.
- highs are more extended and smooth than ever, very natural and true to life;
- low end is going very low... I mean very low;
- the sense of untiring and music flowing is very high, excellent, I dare... reminding to me the mighty & cute Jordan Watts' in their ability to let the music come to the ears... straight to the soul, I'd say!
- I must force myself to shut off the system, not an easy task!!!

What else?

I could sum it up like Le Solstice makes a great matching with Gotorama, but it's something more: I listened to about 12 hours, now and I'm still so impressed, pals!

I continue to listen to every music I like and everything comes from the Gotos' so free and solid, smooth and... beautiful.

I listen to more details, more ambience, more unconstrained power and sheer beauty.

The Mayer's will be part of next project - i.e. the possibility to swap between multi-amped Gotorama and Gotorama with a classic passive crossover which is in the making by the skilled hands of my pal Lo (with some wise suggestions by Luca Chiomenti): I'll be able to listen to a full Hiraga rig (Le Solstice and four Le Classè A amps) or to an all triode/tube system with Mayer CX310/WE 437 preamps and 300B Partridge mono-blocks... or the RK-50 The Joke or... whatever my wishes will like to taste and enjoy.

the candies, as Lo call them;-)

everything is measured and coupled... 

the tweeters caps...

As I'm noticing these days, Gotorama allows to try and try more solutions, always themselves, yet always brand new, ever changing depending on what's feeding them.

Such a joy!

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