AF-1, platter is 7075 duraluminum same as other owners.
Some thoughts of tables of mine -
TW Raven Black Knight- very nice table indeed - eye candy to boot - in comparison listening to the MS I could immediately hear the floor noise had dropped substantially, the back ground being blacker and much quieter - less noise from records - performers and instruments more defined - clearer - dynamics over all superior and in the end just more realistic sounding. I was really shocked!
MS- what can I say built like a tank - old design - very hard to find one in reasonable condition and too have one in the condition as mine with it's current configuration is the only one in the WORLD! I know of. What makes it be such - the over all condition firstly - secondly mine has a Stainless Steel platter - I still have the Gun Metal platter which is seen on other owners tables too. You see the SS platter on the 8000, I also have the platter mod from Germany as per Syntax table - I also have a HS80 Inertia unit with Stainless Steel flywheel where most others like Syntax table set-up has Gun Metal. These units are even harder to find than the actual table. In comparison Syntax and my 5000 are the same just minus the different platter and fly wheel material - mine being Stainless Steel.
AF-1 - WOW! WOW! It's just an absolute game changer. In comparison to my MS - AF-1 enhances dramatically all the differences mentioned above I heard in comparison between MS / BK and then some, I have never heard anything like this - I'm very proud and fortunate to own such a instrument. :-)
Eye candy to boot for sure - it looks so sexy not even spinning!
Image height is one of those areas when I listen to different speakers I fine variances as you mentioned and allot to me just do not provide a realistic stage setting, way too low. When I'm listening for example to someone playing stand-up bass plucking away I want to get that presentation, thier fingers going up and down, the drum player behind doing their thing. I can go on but I'm sure you follow, you are going to really exsperience allot more now than prior with these speakers.
It's kinda funny when someone comes over for their first listen because I initially see them looking forward as the norm but then quickly looking up to the performers along with looking all over the place and then see their head go back because they were caught by sursprise and the expressions on their face in awe says it all. Also when I have more than one individual over and sitting off to the side and their remarks, they are shocked. With most speakers it can just be plain nasty or just boring but not with my set-up.
I knew what you were going to say that which to me is most defiantly my preference and what I truely enjoy abought mine.
Strads are great speakers and like any speaker there will differences, I'm sure when you try some different cables this will also have an impact of this or that and you will have to find what your preference is.
Yes I'm still enjoying my MBL's paired up with the VAC combo, by far my prefference over anything else I have owned or auditioned in my home and finally got me off the merry-go-round. The VAC 450's & VAC Sig pre are a match made in heaven for these speakers. I had the MBL 6010d pre paired up with a pair of 9011's and it was okay but not in the same league as this VAC combo.
BTW, my stage height is all different heights which greatly depends on how a pce was recorded which I truly enjoy, very involving. Still have the TW Acustic BK table also which is a great table.
Downunder, yes I have heard the same when listening to both and my preference leaning towards the Maxx3's. It's always amazing what happens within ones system when the floor noise drops, specially if it's substantial.
How do you find the image height of performers and instruments over all in comparison along with air around such providing their own identity.