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There is much very good US gear out there. I've had various from Bel Canto, McIntosh, Ayre & others. The main trouble is that they are just too expensive in the UK, for various reasons; duty, shipping, distributor mark ups, etc.

I've never really be keen on PS Audio. Too much hype; their products are often mediocre in performance.

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Posted (edited)

Phew, what a terrific response. Thanks everyone.(And Martin for the podcast..)

Plenty of mileage in this thread I reckon.

One technical difference between our 2 countries is the different mains. Would equipment designed with U.S. mains be disadvantaged here..?

Jack

Edited by Non-Smoking Man

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My takeaway from a lot of YouTube stuff and Paul McGowan, is Americans must be a lot richer than we are over here. How on earth can they afford this gear? 

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13 minutes ago, Non-Smoking Man said:

Phew, what a terrific response. Thanks everyone.(And Martin for the podcast..)

Plenty of mileage in this thread I reckon.

One technical difference between our 2 countries is the different mains. Would equipment designed with U.S. mains be disadvantaged here..?

Jack

Speakers? No.

Passive pre-amps? No.

Tonearms and cartridges would also be a no.

My Coincident Frankenstein prototype monoblocks had a switch on the back to swap between North American and European voltages. I expect it'll just switch between different windings on the power supply transformer.

My Korneff clone was ordered for use with UK mains. And I'm guessing likewise with the used American made amps I've bought off UK ebay.

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Posted (edited)

My DAC is American, ex wadia staff formed the Exogal company. The rest is British apart from my Japanese cartridge. I lusted over a Wadia cd player for years and by the time I had the money... The company basically fell asleep, I think I went for a better option tbh 

Edited by kernow

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

I’ve long been interested in US Hi-Fi.  My first speakers were Acoustic Research, which I far preferred to domestic Celestion, Wharfedale etc.  I lusted after their stunning LST speakers, which I heard once driven by the then very rare Harman/kardon Citation pre/power.  
I bought a HK 75+ a few years later - a Quadrophonic receiver, with their famed twin transformer design.  Square waves were the best out there - that was the crucial measure back then, c. 1975.  
In the meantime I got a Saturday job in the local Hi-Fi shop, where AR, HK and Marantz were regulars.  Shure and Grado cartridges were amongst the most popular. Later we had BIC turntables, which I recall were like a US Dual, with sprung powered arm balance, enabling LPs to play at 45 degrees from level!  I owned a late ADC ZLM cartridge for while too.

After a burglary in 1997, when much of my system was pinched, I used the insurance money and about the same from savings to buy the newly released Krell KAV-300i amp and partnering CD player.  They were paired with Sonus fabers, via Transparent US interconnects and speaker cable.  I had those about twenty years.  The Best Buy I ever made in Hi-Fi!  

I recently parted with a Grado Prestige cartridge, but have replaced it with a late Shure, so I have one US product left, along with the headphones!  

Dream system probably comprises D’Agostino amps and Wilson speakers, with much the same effect as George recalls above. 

Have many copies of The Absolute Sound journal, and Stereophile, which give a useful perspective on the US scene.  

Edited by Nopiano
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If DIY audio counts I have really enjoyed a phono stage from Boozhound, Bottlehead valve based  kitd headphone amps Sets stereo Amp and theit Eros Phono is pretty special imo also Nelson Pass for mono blocks and headphone amps. Both my Pass Whammy headphone and Bottlehead Mainline headphone amps can be used as very nice preamps.

I've also had a off the shelf Lounge Audio LCR phono which was praised by reviews but eas a bit of a disappointment and didn't even get close to my Eros phonos performance

There was also a NOS Dac I purchased  from the states years ago for a short spell but can not remember the make. Wonderful mid range but at the expense of top and bottom range. I didn't hang on to it long.

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My two penneth

Had  Carver cube amp in the past (driving Gales GS401As) and loved it and when I did something silly, I emailed the States and got a response by start of business the next day, and subsequent conversations led to it being sent back, fettled and then returned. If it was UK or Japanese kit (< maybe) it would have taken me longer to have gone to the local MYHIFI's BEST superstore, return it to the manufacturer, they then assess it, contact the dealer, blah di blah, etc.

Product two is Martin Logan panel speakers. Love them. They're not perfect, of course, but they seem to highlight what's not right too in conventional speakers. Then I wanted some panels, so emailed the States. Next day get a response, quote, etc. Fab service. So I went on and bought new panels. Can you see a pattern?

Over here I have been massively impressed by Cambridge Audio's website and service, but generally we're light years behind the American manufacturers, imho.

Mike

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I have owned a total of 3 x USA built components, one twenty years ago - a big old McIntosh integrated, forget the model number, it was nice but massive and I downsized when I moved into a static caravan (bought a Linn Classik and later a Linn sneaky) and then recently a Wyred 4 Sound Intimo Dac / preamp/ headphone amp (which I am listening tonight as it happens, because the network is so crap the streamer won't work! { was purchased as secondary system for times just like this}) And again a very recent purchase of some Shure headphones (which I may well return as not entirely happy with happy with the sound). I do think they make some decent gear in the states, but as mentioned above it's not the best value for money when buying in the UK (my US built items have either been used or ex dem)

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I, a few months ago got the Belles SA 30 class A power amp (US)

My Dac is Primare Dac 30 (Sweden)

CD player is Meridian 588 (British)

Speakers are Graham Audio LS 5/9 (British)

Hopefully later this year the pre amp will be Supratek Cabernet (Australia)

So a mix so to speak.

Ps, the Belles sounds lovely with the Graham’s.

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Fab amps , belles, well done on getting that . I love modwright stuff , beautifully made . Also love arc stuff which costs a fortune but holds its price . Pitb to get repaired sometimes . Had Martin Logan and loved that too . Now using jolida and black ice products , plenty of US kit here. Oh and not forgetting 2 brilliant schiit pre amps been here recently .  

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I wish they didn't choose that name, I know it's supposed to be tongue in cheek but honestly, can't do it just because of that 

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I seem to be looking in the opposite direction, to Japan, so much great 'stuff'. :)

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I still have a Resolution Audio CD55 and Opus 21 front end, I love the sound , both very different.

I also have a modwright pre amp, again excellent but servicing is a worry the way thinks have gone over the last year or two.

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Mand said:

Just realised most of my system is from USA.
Dacs - Schiit, and Cherry Amp Co,  Pre - Wyred4sound,  Power - SST,  Speakers - Shahinian with Jps labs cables,  Headphone amp - Schiit.

More than happy with it..

Despite the name, Schiit is a U.S. company making waves at the affordable level. When I read the review of their 'Saga' pre amp (largely passive but with the option of a valve-driven line stage) in HFW I was shaken by the reviewer's claim that it was the equal of a MFA passive pre (not the top of the range) (Baby Pre?) in back to back comparisons. I immediately sent off for one from the UK importer at a cost of £350. The balanced version, the Freya, has featured on the Wam via Hifinut, and apparently demand is outstripping supply both sides of the Atlantic (see AoS). They provide a range of products and the firm is not short of innovation.

Jack NSM

Edited by Non-Smoking Man

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