- Aesthetix Callisto Signature
Preamp with NOS Mullard, Telefunken, RCA 5692 Red Base
Shootout: LAMM LL2
All options & Phono Input (the Phonostage was mediocre at best, I was disappointed from it and that was a reason to sell it after comparisons)
OTL Amplifier mono Reliable and great sound All options
- Basis Audio Debut Vacuum sign.
Turntable with vacuum One of the rare serious Designs of today I learned a lot with it, a true no-nonsense-Design. Best memories ... but I was young and needed the money.
- Burmester 948 Power Conditioner
It was a cheater unit. The extra digital section was useless and after a while, when I did disconnect it, my System sounded much more open and uncompressed. Good for nothing.
Belt drive Transport, additionally modified with Super Master Clock. It made me - with its convincing low frequencies, outstanding midrange clarity, righteous sense of musical flow and top measured performance - forget listening to recordings.
- DaVinciAudio Labs Grandezza
Replaced with FR-64s
DAC & Upsampler 24bit / 192 kHz
a good sounding combination
Digital Player with a new German designed and manufactured high-precision disc metal drive mechanism. Pop a CD into the CDSA SE and the player takes the 44.1kHz signal and upsamples it to 5.6448MHz. Rather than address the digital signal as a series of sine wavesas is standard conventionthe MDAT-equipped CDSA SE processes (and upsamples CD audio to DSD for conversion to analog) by dynamically adapting to the transient nature of the musical signal. In this way, the CDSA SE is utterly unique and singularly able to preserve the phase, frequency and dynamic integrity of the original signal.
Very good sound, unfortunately very unreliable. Went down each year, after 5 repairs I gave up.
Replaced with Vitus SCD-025 MkII
Replaced with CEC TL-1
- Graham Engineering Phantom II Supreme
A superb piece of engineering and an extraordinary transcription device for all vinyl recordings. It delivers both precision and flow whilst delving into the deepest details with ease. Compared to My FR-64s, sold 2012, Tonearm chapter is closed
- Graham Engineering Phantom II Supreme Armwands
Additional Titanium 9'' / 10" / 12" for cartridge comparisons, or Mono/Stereo carts.
- Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2
Battery Powered Preamp for the natural, overall realism of the music. Last version without SMPS. Pure DC operation avoids the conducted and radiated noise typically produced by rectifiers and regulators.
Accurate in realistic tone and spectral balance, resolution, linearity along with weight and dimension based from its inherently low noise and very low source impedance maintained over a wide frequency range. Through them, each note had a realistic sustain, followed by a similarly realistic decay located in real space... Its overall quality comes through in the harmonic content which let you forget the time in front of your speakers.
Weight 86 lbs surpassed by Omnigon too easily
- Jeff Rowland Consummate II
Shootout: Klyne 7
- Jeff Rowland Model 2 & BPS-2
Stereo Amplifier with Battery Power Source Running the Model 2 on Batteries opens the Soundstage dramatically (Living Stereo LDS-6065), single Instruments have different depths and space, showing the sound of the hall itself, all is so "alive" that it hits you in the face with its presence... Its all around you and has a specific feeling of "realness" (best word I could think of) to it. When the music starts, that characteristic delivers a sonic reproduction which is rare to hear. In a way a revelation to hear a solid state (!) device portray such a rendering of cymbals, flute, drum, violins...no grain in the sound. You can also "feel" the rightness of sound. Bass is even more powerful, tight, with a kind of holographic "Body". A Design done right.
- Klyne Audio Arts 7LX-3.5.5b
Shootout: Aesthetix Callisto sign.
- Klyne Audio Arts 7PX-3.5.5
Adjustable Phonostage Shootout: Lamm LP2 with special High Gain Sut
- Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum
Shootout: Lyra Delos & All others, colored and limited Frequency range, a real Cheater: Does nothing right, but this for a high price.
- Kondo AudioNote Japan KSL SF-z
Shootout: Jensen custom made, better specs, better detail
Replaced with Seiki 5000 after 5 min of listening with the Seiki
Too bad to keep
The Arm was ok, but when I did listen the first time to a FR-64s... this Arm has problems with lower register and the tonal colors... sold it and never looked back
Replaced with LL2.1
MC Cartridge, superb for its price
Much more information than Kleos
Mono MC Cartridge, very silent in the groove, no hum
Shootout: Takeda Miyabi
You remember, that most mono LPs were made with 1 microphone & tube electronics without processing.
The Helikon Mono is completely insensitive to the vertical axis, which dramatically improves the signal/noise ratio without any impact on performance with mono records. The Mono's coil former is a square permeable plate which is oriented parallel to the record surface rather than the 45-degree angle used for most stereo cartridges, and the coils are wound so to generate a signal only when there is horizontal movement of the stylus and cantilever when tracking a record. Nothing else has this level of resolution and detail retrieval! It's a serious all-around performer; all the speed and accuracy you expect, combined with a musical presentation all analog lovers crave! Smooth, transparent and ultra-detailed: The Helikon mono will transform your entire collection of mono LPs!
Shootout: Lyra Delos, the Kleos is too limited in the higher frequencies
Shootout: Takeda Miyabi
VERY sensitive to Arms, a Dream Team with FR-64s. No coloration, very linear in all frequencies, a top design but a lot of Arms (Triplanar for example) are not good enough for it. For me, better than Atlas. A outstanding Design, in a top system nearly unbeatable among modern cartridges. A Masterpiece.
Specifications Type: Low impedance, low output Moving Coil
Frequency range: 10Hz - 50kHz
Channel separation: 35dB or better at 1kHz
Cantilever system: Diamond-coated solid boron rod with LYRA original, natural diamond line-contact stylus (3 x 70 micrometers profile)
Internal impedance: 5.5 Ω
Output voltage: 0.5mV (5.0cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees)
Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 10.5g
Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100Hz
Recommended tracking force: 1.65 - 1.75g
Recommended load: Direct into non-inverting RIAA phono input: 100 Ω - 47 kΩ / MC step-up transformer: 4 - 10Ω (not more than 10Ω )
Sold 2014, FR-7fz is simply better
My door to High End. But their hunger for power made me look for more efficient speaker Designs.
- Micro-Seiki RX 5000 Inertia System
Shootout: MD 108
Very, very rare Naim 2-Box Analog Tuner
Takeda San says, "I was always frustrated by modern cartridges -- including my own designs in the past -- because they always sounded clean and nice but failed to present a very important element of music. What was missing was the linearity of dynamics. Many cartridges can produce clean sound but the sound is only one element of music. They fail to present the flow of music. Listeners may not realize this if they are not familiar with music that requires a wide dynamic range and delicate gradations within it. Large orchestral works and certain piano recordings are typical examples. I also wanted my Standard to be tonally as neutral as possible. Many cartridges have some degree of coloration to make them sound appealing. I didn't want to do that with the Standard." Another great cartridge from the Golden Age of Analog which is no longer available. When you want one which can follow, go for a Stone Body Koetsu WITH Diamond Cantilever.
- Nakamichi Dragon cassette
Great unit with Sony Super Metal Master tapes
Mono Amps from Germany Shootout: Pass Aleph 0
Mono amps Shootout: Lamm ML2.1
- Purist Audio Design Phono Cable
Shootout: XLO Signature Phono
Tape from a recording Studio
Shootout: Modified Denon 103R Blue Shibui nothing to write home about
- Shibui Phono Cartridge Limited
Ultra rare MC [0.25mV], made for Custom Order, only 4 of them exist Shibui means the type of beauty that doesnt need announcement; its quality speaks for itself, a survivor after all those years in my System
- Sonic Frontiers SFD-1 mkII
The Best EVER made. Ceramic-composite cassette shell to minimize any vibrations and Magnesium case. The difference to other Type IV was HUGE.
- Transfiguration Audio Transfiguration Temper
Shootout: Takeda Miyabi
- Triplanar VII i Ultimate tonearm
Shootout: Graham Phantom, better in all areas (focus, detail, holographic picture, better 'Gestalt') sold it and never looked back
- Vendetta Research SCP-2T Phono
Phono Preamp Final modifications 2007 from J. Curl Teflon Caps That was the final version but it is overrated. A Klyne 7 is superior in every area, better resolution, better dynamics, much better Gain stages and Impedance settings ...sold it and never looked back.
- Walker Audio Precision Motor Controller
Impressive Combination with the Basis Turntable
Original Nobu Shishido One of his last units Shootout: Pass Aleph 0
Horn Speaker, 99dB, 8 ohms, Midrange:Horn, Tweeter: Horn, Great Speaker
- Wilson Audio Watt Puppy 6.0
Shootout: Kochel Horns
Shootout: Lyra Delos Sounding wrong in a lot of Frequency areas
Shootout: Takeda Miyabi