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About markusp

  • Rank
  • Birthday June 18

Personal Info

  • Location
    Great White North
  • Real Name

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Heavy plinth Lenco
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Rega / Goldring 2400
  • SUT / Phono Stage
  • Digital Source 1
    Linn Majik DS
  • Integrated Amp
    Decware Zen Triode
  • My Speakers
    Klipsch La Scala
  1. I have slowly over the past two years moved towards older kit. My two heavy plinths Lenco 78s date back to 1975 and 1976 and my "new to me" Klipsch La Scalas are from 1979 and feature Alnico drivers. My second system is an Audio Innovations S300 from 1986 paired with Snell JII speakers from 1982. This all coming from a guy who always had to have the latest and greatest.
  2. Well - a further update. I spent a few hours both yesterday and today listening to the Acoustic Masterpiece AM201 and decided to take a pass on it. It sounded big and full but I just wasn't drawn into the music with it. It had a tonal sameness that I found off putting. It lacked fun factor to my ears. Still deciding if I should pull the trigger on an OTO SE but have picked up a 2 watt Decware Zen Triode to use in the meantime until my AI 300 is repaired and I make an upgrade decision. The Decware can't pump volume through my Snells but sounds nice enough at lower levels.
  3. So as an update I pulled the trigger on the Acoustic Masterpiece AM201 and I pick it up on Tuesday. Will have the AI S300 serviced next week and it should be ready in about 4 weeks. Looking forward to trying out the AM201 with my Harbeths and the Snells.
  4. Puresound products aren't available in North America unfortunately so both the A10 and A30 are a no go. I had the Almarro A318A for a couple of years and always liked the amp but for some reason it wasn't a great match with the Snells.
  5. Thanks for the responses so far everyone. Audio Innovation amps are rare on this side of the pond so picking up a 500 isn't really in the cards - I will definitely keep an eye out for one though should one pop up in the local adverts or Ebay. I think I will ask the tech to give it the full treatment as suggested and replace everything that may fail over time. If nothing else, I'd like to keep the AI S300 to swap in and out should the desire strike. I originally picked up the AI S300 to use in a second system as I quite happily owned an Audio Note OTO SE at the time. I stupidly sold that amp a couple of years ago when I moved into a dedicated listening room that sounded horrid at the time. It took months of treating the room to make it sound good but I had been hasty and sold off the OTO which I now completely regret. I long for another OTO SE but they too are very rare on this side of the pond unless you buy new and I have no desire to spend $6000 CDN for a new one. I just sold my Naim Nait XS last night so need to pick up something to serve as main amp or at least a stand in until the S300 gets repaired. Any other suggestions on what offers a similar sort of presentation? Should I look at a Leben CS300?, a Primaluna Prologue 2? a Cayin A88T?, an Acoustic Masterpiece AM201? - these are the kind of amps available at the moment locally. Thanks
  6. Hi Wammers. I have a strong love/hate relationship with my Audio Innovations Series 300 integrated. I love the fun and sound quality of this amp but hate how many times it needs to go in for service for dropping channels etc. This will be the third time it requires service in the past 2 years and I think it may just be time to move on and buy something that doesn't have dried out solder joints etc. As such, I would love some opinions on what to replace the AI S300 with. Ultimately I want to retain the fun, punch and immediacy the AI S300 provides and don't want something syrupy or boring. I just tried out a VTL IT85 and it was nowhere near as involving as this lowly integrated. Partnering speakers will be restored Snell JIIs and ultimately some Audio Note AN Js. Sources are Linn Majik DS streamer and a heavy plinth Lenco turntable. I have a bead on a Audio Innovations Series 800 Mk I with controller for $1400 CDN (I am in Canada) but as it is an EL34 amp, am worried it offers a different sort of presentation. I currently have a Naim Nait XS in place to be used as a backup until my AI S300 is fixed but it is flat sounding by comparison. All opinions welcome. Thanks.
  7. Changed my whole setup on a whim this past year (2015). Out: Almarro A318 Jolida Glass FXII Dac (died) Lenco 78 Heavy Plinth TT with Rega 300 arm Tannoy Stirling HW speakers Grado RA-1 In/Out: Naim Unitiqute Logitech Squeezebox Touch Marantz TT-15S1 turntable Harbeth P3esr speakers Acoustic Zen Adagio speakers In: Naim Nait XS Harbeth M30 speakers VTL IT-85 Zu Audio Druid Mk IV Lenco 78 Heavy Plinth TT with Rega 300 arm (again) Bluesound Node Bluesound Pulse Bluesound Powernode 2016: Replace the VTL IT-85 with a Miniwatt N3 for the Zu Druids and add another Bluesound Node and be done with things. PS - Love the way all the Bluesound stuff works together and now have great sounding music all throughout the house. One of my best additions in late 2015
  8. Forgive this but it has to be said..... I bet they "suck"
  9. Happy to hear that the issue was resolved. Audio Note kit "can" be finicky but sounds great in the right system. Enjoy.
  10. Thanks everyone. My ears are still good enough to discern differences in equipment, it is just that I have found something with the HAP-S1 and TIDAL that lets me forget all my audiophile neurotic tendencies and simply enjoy the music. I readily admit it is not the most transparent or faithful setup but for once, I don't care. I simply grab my iPad, select the tunes I want to listen to and enjoy. I "may" add an amp at some point in the future if the honeymoon effect wears off and I feel that the Tannoys require more grunt but for now, so far so good. Cheers.
  11. The Snells pair better with the Almarro that do the Tannoys, although I happily lived with the Tannoys in the main system for a year prior to switching back to the Snells. The Almarro lacks negative feedback so the bass tends to be a bit loose on the Tannoys in that setup. Real bitch carrying the Tannoys up and down 2 flights of stairs from time to time
  12. The last two weeks have been a bit of an eye opener to me and I thought I would share my experiences, however misguided they may be. I've been into this hobby for 20 something years and have had some rather nice kit from the likes of Rega, Naim, Densen, Linn, Sugden, Audio Note, Quad, McIntosh to name but a few and always strived for bigger and better. I went up and down the Naim and Linn ladders, enjoyed tubes, went high power partnered with Martin Logans and Magnepans, went high-ish efficiency with Audio Note and Snell and embraced both vinyl and digital (music server / Dac) equally. Today, my current main system consists of an Almarro A318 paired with refreshed / upgraded Snell JII speakers and fed by both a mac mini / Jolida Glass FX tube Dac pairing and a heavy plinthed Lenco 78 with RB300 through an EAR 834P phono. All interconnects are Audio Note and speaker wire is transparent cable. Room has been extensively treated and while I enjoy the sound of this system greatly, it resides in the basement and I find myself hating the isolation to simply listen to music. My second system resides in an open concept loft area of the house and consists of a Sugden A21ai Series II paired with a wonderful set of Tannoy Stirling HWs. A heavy plinthed Lenco 75 feeds the built in phono of the Sugden while until recently, another mac mini / Jolida Glass FX fed the digital side (Dac died a few weeks prior to Christmas). As mentioned, the room is open concept and lacks the extensive room treatments of my dedicated basement room but it offers wonderful light and views from a plethora of windows located 5m behind the speakers and the plush furnishings offer "some" absorption. I love sitting here listening to tunes but found this system far less enjoyable than the one I have downstairs. I've swapped both systems entirely but the Almarro / Snell pairing just doesn't deliver the same sonics in the loft as they do downstairs. As such, I found myself listening to less and less music over the year to the point where I contemplated selling this system entirely and putting the funds elsewhere. Two things over the past two weeks have completely transformed the way I enjoy and listen to music. The first is TIDAL and the second is the little Sony HAP-S1. Since my Jolida DAC died, I decided to find a replacement and to simplify the digital side of my system by getting rid of the mac mini / dac / network side of the equation and try an all-in-one digital solution. I tried out the higher end HAP-Z1es for a couple of weeks prior to Christmas in my main setup downstairs and liked the sound quality but hated the cost and the lack of digital inputs. Taking a chance, I picked up the little brother HAP-S1 to try in my loft and have been over the moon with it. All of my Hi-Rez and CD quality FLAC files now reside on the internal harddrive and an Gen 1 Apple TV is hooked up to the digital input for streaming purposes. I now have the Tannoys connected to the speaker terminals and simply use the HAP-S1 as an integrated amp. Sound quality of this little unit is impressive for the cost and while not as transparent as the Sugden, is good enough to my ears to sit back and enjoy the music. I stream TIDAL directly to the Apple TV and find myself really taken with the service. I am so taken with the sound quality and convenience I find myself wondering do I really need to buy CDs anymore? I can listen to whatever I want whenever I want in CD quality through this service and can even create playlists of my favorite songs and artists within the app to suit moods or evening events. Recommendations are even made by TIDAL based on what I am listening to which helps me discover new music or forgotten gems. The end result of this pairing is that I have not listened to my main system in 2 weeks and have not spun an LP in the same amount of time. No doubt I would find TIDAL and the HAP-S1 to be lacking in my main system but at this point I just don't care. I am sitting in my loft and enjoying the music more now than I have in recent memory. It is just a fun and enjoyable listen. I am no longer an audiophile, I am simply a music lover.
  13. Absolutely love those speakers. Heard a pair for the first time 6 months ago and if I ever won the lotto, they would be mine in a heartbeat.
  14. I love tube amps but to be honest I haven't had the best of luck with them. The Audio Note Soro SE I owned hummed and buzzed off and on through a few services while an Audio Note OTO SE failed on me twice. I have an old Audio Innovations S300 that keeps going into the shop for dropped channels and popping and yet my budget Antique Sound Labs was rock steady, as is my Almarro A318a. I routinely now run either the Almarro or a Sugden A21ai MkII with my Tannoys and love both amps for different reasons but if I could only keep one, it would likely be the Almarro. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. markusp

    jolida fx dac

    I use the Jolida FXII with a pair of Snell JII along with an Almarro A318A and am quite taken with the whole shebang. This is in my upstairs system and does not sound like too many valves to me.