'The Road of excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom'

(William Blake)

Recorded Sound of such realism and definition that the musical performances come to life right in your home. I can use the recordings as a time machine to transport me to that day when to most brilliant musicians and recording engineers made the best and most fascinating recordings of all time.

Dead-silent Background, microdynamic slam, vivid three-dimensionality, ultradetail and harmonic sophistication is flowered in living colors. The kind of "You Are There" realism and emotionally engaging sound that delivers the sound of The Real Thing.

Good Audio Engineering is timeless

Components Toggle details

    • Acoustical-Systems Axiom

    High Performance Arm with a real superior Performance. Well, you know ... there are differences between Hype and something done right. Opens the Soundstage like no other Arm today. A level of performance, which does transcendent prior frontiers and opens new levels of musical realism in recorded music.
    VTF adjustment during play as little as 1/100mN steps!! 

    • Acoustical-Systems Omnigon
    Ultimate Phono preamplifier w/optional line stage. All triode tube design. Full symmetrical.
    Unique passive phono EQ. Each tube with its own independent heater supply.
    Unique double mono PS with bridge-type tube rectification (8 single-wave rectifiers - 4 each channel) and pure foil CLC-PS.
    100 lbs - dual chassis, 6 Phono inputs (50dB, 63dB, 68dB, 72dB, 77dB, 81dB pure Phono gain), Output AES Studio specification, (600Ω, digital 110Ω) No-loss- of-Signal-Parts, the best out there (TKD, Silver plugs, Tubes from US Army rocket defensive stations, Silver soldered, Tantal, Caddock, all Parts internal decoupled via Electron microscope devices...)
    Result: Superior Detail, accurate specs, no coloration and lifelike Reproduction. The sound ?
    Well, it is no longer about sound.
    Dynamics, colors, soundstage, 3-dimensionality - yes, all that and much more. But it goes a few significant steps beyond that.

    Imagine opening the windows of your room on a clear early summer morning. A breeze of fresh air comes in.Go further in your imagination and tear down the walls of your listening room.
    All a sudden there is fresh air, the warmth of sun rays on your skin, a world of color, beauty and a flood of details around you.
    Touching your senses - with brute directness, unfiltered, unaltered.
    Involving, dramatic, breathtaking and demanding.
    Nothing between you and the nature, virtually dead silent, free of any colorations with tremendous gain results in a sense of weight, impact and dynamics that is at once thrilling and unique.
    You can no longer move your attention away from the music.
    VERY different from anything else I have ever heard - anywhere.
    Quality inspection from Science Lab for every single piece incl. Tubes, final quality report Engineering Lab, Warranty 5 years incl. my Tubes.
    Custom made. Serial No: 007 / 012
    Never a Mk II version. Tested in University Lab for accuracy before delivered. This one is final.
    • Audioquest Wild Blue Yonder
    20ft Cable from Preamp to Amps, DBS 144V,there is extreme air and outstanding smoothness coupled with a more absolute sense of background silence -- a combination that made it easier to hear deeply into recordings and never feel as though some ugly byproduct was lurking around the corner. Modified with Eichmann Silver Bullet Plugs, Silver soldered. 

    Audioquest Leopard Tonearm Cable
    Extreme-purity silver Phono Cable with DBS 144v, it creates a strong stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast.

    Also in use: 
    AQ Wild Blue Yonder XLR
    AQ K2 Speakercable
    AQ WEL Signature Tonearm Cable

     AES (Audio Engineering Society) made the following Standards for the ability to transfer information: OFC-Copper (9N) = 100 and is the Standard, Gold = 90,4 and technical Silver (3N or 4N) = 106
    • Brakemeier LaVoix
    Custom Made Monitoring System. Special designed Crossover, selected chassis with no interaction to the room, The whole system is tri-amplification. Each woofer is sealed cabinet, 18 to 80 Hz with 500 Watt amplifier with active DSP. The woofer driver is a 18" unit with an BxL of 32 and maximum excursion of total 28 mm in sealed 70 litres. Mid bass and mid-highs is a 2 way system with 8" field coil paper driver with huge choke power supply and 80 000 μ filtering. 12 V supply. The tweeter is a 28 lbs unit which goes from 800 to 45 000 Hz. A ribbon / planar hybrid with 100 dB efficiency (past crossover). These two are mounted in an inverse ultraflex cabinet with a combination of 1st order electrical x-over (1 coil in low-mid - 1 capacitor in mid-high) in conjunction with approbiate mechanical filtering in low-pass (pre-chamber) and high-pass (super short tactrix). The cabinet itself has a special adjusted build-in mechnical high-pass with -3dB at 80Hz. Thus giving a pretty smooth melting between the active 18" woofer and the 8" mid-low driver. The whole system has measured 99.5 dB efficiency. Max. SPL 128 dB. Phase never worse than 8°. Pretty flat response whole band. The prime design goals were: - maximum resolution - maximum possible constant sound dispersion - a real soundstage recreation - even if seated way outside the sweet spot - real 3-dimensional soundstage - with not only left - right and front - back location, but real heights differences. Its smooth, yet very detailed and open sound is an important part in the full picture.Thanks to a crossover that does not present a terribly complex load, The Voice can be driven with anything from monster monoblocks to your favorite SET.
    • Cotter MK2L
    Excellent SUT done right. Amazing Bass, Staging AND High Frequency Performance. The full monty...
    • Fidelity Research FR-1Mk3F
    The most advanced cartridge in the FR-1 series, the FR-1Mk3F was the first MC cartridge in the world to use pure silver wire for the coils.
    As a conductor, pure silver has lower resistance than any other metal. Therefore, efficiency is greatly improved without the need to make any other alterations in cartridge design. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) used the FR-64s / B-60 / FR-1Mk3F combination in the former times for Playback. Coreless coil to prevent hysteresis distortion, extremely durable suspension, this "F" version is shockingly superior to a lot of modern cartridges. When the Phonstage can handle the output, a superior cartridge for any Linear tracking tonearm, too. Updated Diamond greatly improving high-range response.
    • Fidelity Research FR-7fc
    Tonal right, superior Detail, no tonal gap from lowest to top range, never smears, superior channel separation, exceptional imaging & transparency ...truly terrific

    Very rare, probably one of the most sought carts in the world. It was the last series from FR, only 98 were ever made....but there are good news, when you find one, based on their construction they do not wear out and work always.

    The King of Cartridges

    VTF: 2,35 gr
    Output: 0,15mV
    Imp.: 3,0Ω
    • Fidelity Research FR-7fz
    The Fidelity Research FR-7z which was conceived by Ikeda-san fits in the Category "Done Right" and is one of the finest moving coil cartridges in the world. This MC cartridge employs a push-pull electrical generating system based on a 2-magnet, 4-pole magnetic circuit design. Both in theory and practice, this revolutionary configuration almost entirely prevents the generation of any distortion, while simultaneously doubling output voltage. FR's coreless coil reduces effective mass and eliminates hysteresis distortion, a large problem with conventional MC cartridges that have their coils wound on a core made of permalloy or other magnetic materials. It combines an outstanding black background with world class dynamic presentation. Clean, fast top end in combination with a taut, well extended bottom end. Midrange is as natural as breathing. Remarkable musical flow with hard to find definition, transparency and transient refinement. Like Phoenix's ability to be reborn from its own ashes... A great sounding cartridge 

    Output Voltage 0.24mV(5cm/sec.) 
    Tracking Force 2.0~3.0g 
    Load Impedance 2Ω 
    Frequency Response 10Hz~45kHz 
    Channel Balance 1dB(1kHz)
    Channel Separation 20dB/1kHz
    Compliance 7x10 -6 cm / dyne (100Hz)
    Stylus Shape Custom made for Syntax 
    Weight 30g
    • Fidelity Research FR-64s
    Tracking error distortion does not exist, the superior energy transfer of this Arm, linked with exceptional bass performance gives outstanding stable imaging.
    It has an uncanny ability to reproduce the tonal colors and dynamic elements of deep bass notes plus extremely quietness with stunning resolution and clarity. Correct tonal color or timbre is critical for proper musical reproduction. It is this color that defines the unique characteristic of an instrument. A guitar and piano playing the same note at the same loudness are vastly different each with its own unique timbre. The FR sounds so rich, transparent and detailed... it is simply amazing. Good as the Graham Phantom Supreme is, here is the Master.

    A Design done right.
    Combination with B-60 VTA Adjuster.Very rare.
    • Fidelity Research FR-66s
    The King of Arms 

     A superb performer with even the most demanding records ever made. The presentation of nuances, non smeared detail with a rock solid dynamic physical force delivers a unsurpassed alive sound picture. This brilliant Arm provides a significant reduction in tracking error without incurring the typical resonance and control liabilities associated with longer arms. Music is reproduced effortlessly with superb transparency, sound staging, focus, realism and a superior dynamic range. It simply turns hi-fi into a musical event, enabling you to get lost in both the music and the performance, The FR-66s- still -  represents the pinnacle of serious audio engineering, it takes no prisoners!
    • Ikeda Sound Labs
    Model 9 Kiwame cantilever-less Design "Di quella pira" ... when the going gets tough, the tough get going ... Amazing ability to accelerate. It can go from completely quiet to full tilt in an instant, it achieves this in such a effortless manner that the listener does not think about dynamics, but about 'Boy, what is THAT ??" Excels at textural production in a large authoritative sonic picture with musical flow and a clean, ultrafast top end. The new "Ikeda" are ultra inferior compared to this one. A typical example of getting a famous name and offering something which does not deserve the merits... 
    A Class of its Own... 

    Output voltage: 0.15mV (5cm/sec.45' 1kHz)
    Load impedance: 1.0Ω 
    Super match with Cotter Mk2L
    • Jeff Rowland BPS & BPS-6
    Modified BPS Power Supply & BPS-6 for Cadence 2012 from JR. It can accommodate larger batteries and will last considerably longer with more current Power Supply ...
    • Jeff Rowland Cadence
    In conventional Phono Preamplifiers, Damping is provided by load resistors. As a result, a significant amount of Signal Energy (MC) is wasted when converted to heat within the loading resistors.The Cadence is carefully engineered to effectively damp resonant energy occurring at high frequencies while transferring the maximum amount of lower frequency energy to the active input stage. This results in significant increases in dynamic range with no penalties of increasing noise.
    The CadenceDesign allows dramatic improvements in frequency response (4 Hz to 180 KHz !), Phase linearity (deviation from linear phase less than 3°, 50 Hz to 20 KHz) and distortion (less than 0,0001%). Last Production Batch, Serial No. [greaterthansign] 300
    • Klaudio RCM
    Ultrasonic Record Cleaning Machine
    • Koetsu Blue Lace
    Blue Lace Onyx Platinum with Diamond Cantilever

    Based of the limited supply of Koetsu's Blue Lace stock, they only issue two Blue Laces a year. But aside from its obvious beauty the Blue Lace batch was also specially selected because it is the hardest and most rigid among the onyx family, making it an exceptional cartridge housing due to its outstanding sonic qualities. Uncompressed dynamics, outstanding top end, lifelike Performance with a very realistic Soundstage. Faster than Lyra Atlas with a much more believable Presentation of the Real Thing. Top Performance with FR-64s + Arche Headshell + Aggelos + VTF 1.80 gr.
    Body: Blue Onyx
    Type: Moving coil
    Coil wiring: Silverplated copper
    Magnet: Platinum magnet
    Output: 0.3 mV
    Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz
    Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB
    Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB
    Impedance: 5Ω 
    VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr.
    Weight: 12.5 gr.
    Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
    • Koetsu Blue Lace MONO
    Custom made 2 coils (one for each channel) 
    Body: Blue Onyx
    Type: Moving coil
    Coil wiring: Silverplated copper
    Magnet: Platinum magnet
    Output: 0.3 mV 
    Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz
    Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB
    Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB
    Impedance: 2.5Ω
    VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr. 
    Weight: 12.5 gr. 
    Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
    • Koetsu Coralstone
    Koetsu Coralstone Platinum with Diamond Cantilever

    Side by side comparison with regular cantilever shows that the Diamond Cantilever lifts the performance to a higher level without any negative results. The DC seems quieter with more space between the notes linked with a higher resolution. The overall balance is simply superior, hard to describe but it is a class on its own. The top frequencies are clear, delicate, fast with holographic Gestalt. Big orchestrals are absolutely seamlessly and effortlessly presented. Passages with highly Dynamic swings are as limberly and gracefully handled as solos and intimate pieces. All music genres are perfectly served by the Coralstone's absolute stability, uncanny presence and assertive body. Extreme high and low frequencies are handled with better extension and control than other Koetsu stone bodies. It also tends to be a tad more neutral with a more transparent soundstage. It is hands down a great cartridge

    Top Performance with FR-66s + Arche Headshell + Aggelos + VTF 1.80 gr.

    Body: Coralstone
    Type: Moving coil
    Coil wiring: Silverplated copper
    Magnet: Platinum magnet
    Output: 0.3 mV
    Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz
    Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB
    Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB
    Impedance: 5Ω
    VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr.
    Weight: 12 gr.
    Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
    • Lamm Industries LL2.1
    One of real sonic bargains today. Huge Soundstage with Telefunken 6922 & Amperex 12AU7. Seriously modified with High Performance Parts: -Selected Caps+Shunts -Potis from TKD -Teflon tube sockets -Ag Inputs -Ag Wiring / soldering
    • Lamm Industries LP2 sign.
    High Gain LP2s: 71dB MC
    Phono Preamp with NOS 417A Western Electric 1970s Tubes, added some ultra performance parts (Silver/Gold in Oil caps ...) The Designer has gotten the transients of the minutest micro dynamics right. This is the kind of stuff that makes you sit up straight and nod in recognition as very small sound impulses come through the right way.
    • Lamm Industries M1.2R
    Remarkable vital sounding Amps with absolutely unique clarity and micro-resolution during sound reproduction.
    Listening to Adele Adkins, Live At The Royal Albert Hall, amplified with Omnigon and the Vitus SCD-025 Mk II unit show what's all about. Sitting on Vibraplanes 
    Running In The Deep.
    • Lamm Industries ML2.1
    Tube amp with NOS 1970s Mullard CV4004 Box Plate made in UK, modified with Ultra Performance Parts inside offers timbal truth, a top to bottom coherency, explosive speed locked with a accurate and uncolored reproduction. Sitting on Vibraplanes
    • Lyra Olympos SL
    Clean, ultrafast top end in combination with a taut, well extended bottom end. Midrange is as natural as breathing. Compared with Lyra Atlas, the Olympos is superior in every aspect. The lifelike tonality is striking. Remarkable musical flow with hard to find definition, transparency and transient refinement.
    - Frequency range: 10 Hz - 50 kHz
    - Cantilever system: Diamond coated solid boron rod cantilever, natural diamond line-contact stylus (3 x 70 micrometers profile).
    - Channel separation: 35 dB or better at 1kHz
    - Internal impedance: 3 Ω
    - Output voltage: 0.2 mV (5.0cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees)
    - Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 13.8 g
    - Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100Hz
    - Recommended tracking force: 1.65 - 1.80 g
    - Recommended impedance: 100 Ω to 47 kΩ
    • Magnum Dynalab 108
    Tuner with triple mica NOS Siemens 1950s Tubes from a Military Radar Station in the Swiss Mountains, linked with MD205 Signal Sleuth.
    • Micro Seiki RX-5000 & HS-80
    Out of its silent background, this Table re-creates startling dynamic swings. The music can literally explode from dead silence in an instantaneous yet progressive way that denotes the live thing. An unexpected tsunami of natural delicacy and realism that draws you into the heart of the music all the way to the original event as captured by the recording, the modified 5000/HS80 let the Lyra Olympos cartridge shine, both on macro and microdynamics. The modded Seiki provides a platform to recover the subtle shadings that create intensity in the music.
    This modified version offers an extremely low frequency weight with an outstanding seamlessness top-to-bottom tonal complexity.
    Outperforms easily the big Continuum Caliburn in terms of low register speed, punch, definition, color, body, provides a much better resolution in the complete frequency band with noticeably more weight, 3-dimensionality and leaves the - overrated - ringing Seiki 8000II in the dust.
    • Philips Voltage Stabilizer 1610
    Hospital Grade Magnetic Voltage Stabilizer Output voltage is adjustable Regulating accuracy +/- 0,1%, which is incredibly good Power rating: 1 kW continuous, for Front-End Turntables, Phonos & Tuner
    • Solid Steel Shelf equipment
    • Source-Odyssey RCM MK V
    The Rolls Royce of record cleaners. If you're looking at this pic, you already know this is the best of the best [Much more reliable than Glaess Ultrasonic RCM...]. Almost impossible to find in the used market. Those who own one keep them forever. This nozzle unit makes the VPI Typhoon looks like a Toyota Camry. Based on the Keith Monks, this is the custom order model with 2 independent fluid reservoirs, Point nozzle Design, Made in Germany.
    The Best.
    • Stax SRM-007t II
    Balanced Tube Amplifier for Stax L-700 Headphones. Amplifier is modified with better NOS Tubes, Signal Path is shorter and a few other mods thatl transform this unit to a much higher level from sonics....really amazing unit now.
    • Sutherland Timeline Strobe
    The Timeline flashes its laser at precisely 33 1/3 (or 45) times per minute
    • Syntax' Dozen
    01/12: Gounod-Faust / Bizet-Carmen RCA LSC-2449-45CVp  
    02/12: Ballet Music From The Opera RCA LSC-2400 
    03/12: Grieg, Peer Gynt London CS-6049 
    04/12: Massenet, Le Cid Klavier KS 522 
    05/12: Walton, Facade Suite RCA SB-2039 
    06/12: Zero Mostel, Fiddler On The Roof RCA LSO-1093 
    07/12: Shchedrin, The Carmen Ballet, Melodiya ASD-2448 
    08/12: Albéniz, Suite Española Decca SXL-6355
    09/12: Rimsky-Korsakoff, Scheherazade RCA LSC-2446 
    10/12: Offenbach, Gaîté Parisienne RCA LSC-1817 
    11/12: Arnold, English & Scottish Dances Lyrita SRCS-109 
    12/12: Wasserman, Duets MCA 42131 Promo 


    01/12: Stokowski, Rhapsodies Liszt RCA LM-2471 1s/1s 
    02/12: Rimsky–Korsakoff, Scheherazade Decca LXT-5082 
    03/12: Romero, Pepe Flamenco! Mercury MG-50297 
    04/12: Chabrier, España Decca LXT-5333 
    05/12: Saint-Saens, Symphony No.3 RCA RB-16214 
    06/12: Gounod-Faust / Bizet-Carmen RCA LM-2449 1s/1s 
    07/12: Sarasate, Danzas Españolas Decca LXT-2930 
    08/12: Rossini-Respighi, La Boutique Fantasque Decca LXT-2555 
    09/12: Sibelius, Symphony No. 5 Karelia Suite RCA LM-2405 
    10/12: Beethoven Trios, Heifetz-Primrose-Piatigorsky RCA LM-2186 
    11/12: Brahms Violin Concerto, Szeryng LSO RCA LM-2281 
    12/12: Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique VPO RCA LM-2362
    • Syntax' Dark Side Of The Soul
    01/12: Rossini/Respighi, La Boutique Fantasque, SACD RCA 2876-66419-2 
    02/12: Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (2006), Artist's Cut, Columbia 8697-03958-2 
    03/12: Jennifer Warnes, Famous Blue Raincoat (1986), Attic ACD 1227 
    04/12: Dead Man Walking (2005), Columbia 4835342 
    05/12: Adele, Live At The Royal Albert Hall 
    06/12: Oistrakh, Violin Bruch Scottish Fantasia (2006) LIM XR24 015 
    07/12: Rossini, Overtures JVCXR-0229-2 
    08/12: Ruggiero Ricci, Bizet-Sarasate, JVCXR-0227-2 
    09/12: Van Cliburn, Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1, JVC JM-XR24004 
    10/12: La Fille Mal Gardée, LIM XR24 013 
    11/12: Toscanini, Plays Your Favorites, JVC JM-M24XR04
    • Telos Audio Grounding Noise Reducer
    Active Grounding for 6 units

    Expanded Soundstage, no noise, better focus in the higher frequencies, the  naturalness of tonality is a step ahead
    • Telos Audio Quantum Noise Resonator
    I hate to say that: Stunning
    • VIBEX SPB Statement Power Block
    High current unit, 2x32 Ampere high current for amplifiers, 7 layers of different Isolation and Damping material inside, non magnetic housing, a 40 lb sandwich construction made of Aluminum and Krion stone ...
    • Vibraplane 2210
    Best there is Also for my Lamm Amps, a much more serious solution than the usual nonsense
    • Vitus Audio SCD-025 Mk II
    Digital Player which replaced the EMMLabs CDSA-SE
    • Wavac HE 833
    The King of SET.
    Special 10th Anniversary Model 150Wpc
    Most manufacturers choose some cheap tubes, use a primitive, simple design and promote it finally as ultimate. Wavac has a completely different way, they choose the ultimate tubes (there are no better ones for their way to go in each amplification stage), develop a own design without any compromise and the result is a performance which has to be heard to believe. Until the invention of their IITC circuit, there was no way to harness the power of the mighty 833A for Class A audio applications. The HE-833 uses a triode-wired KT88 driver stage which couples to the 833A through a low impedance transformer, providing ideal drive conditions to actualize the full sonic potential of the transmitting triode. A ultra-low noise, telecommunications-quality Western Electric 437A is used in the input stage for maximum dynamic range. I honestly doubt if there is anything else like it in the entire world as their way of design and construction is almost scary. The reproduction is very pure, never fails to give the impression of something warm and organic. While listening to vocals, I couldn't help feeling that a living human being was singing there. The sound is quite lively and powerful without the slightest faltering or limitation. Classical vocals are presented with a rock solid structure in the sonic image and the accompanying piano was projected with steady and strong authority. Brilliant brain done right. Each is connected to a 32Ampere high current device & Oyaide F1 connectors Amplifier Stand is Vibraplane
    • Ultimate Tools No Way Back
    Before you burn your next bundle of $$ try to find that and your will hear things from the most demanding records you never heard before.
    - AT-637 Stylus cleaner
    - Cartridge Man Digital Levelling Gauge
    - Dennesen Soundtractor (Metal)
    - Sutherland Timeline Laser
    - UNI Protractor
    - XLO Test & Burn-in CD
    • ------------------------ ----------------------
    Sold units in the Cheers Section
    • *Cheers System*
    I think, therefore I am

    My former units

    I learned a lot while using them, some are outstanding designs, very few were cheaters
    • Aesthetix Callisto Signature
    Nice, but the Lamm LL2.1 is more natural in sound
    • Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk II.2
    OTL Amplifier mono Reliable and great sound All options
    • Basis Audio Debut Vacuum sign.
    Turntable with vacuum which does not make the music sound dead and lifeless.
    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.
    • DaVinciAudio Labs Grandezza
    Replaced with FR-64s, way more dynamics, better focus and a lifelike reproduction which is a class on its own
    • DCS Delius & Purcell
    DAC & Upsampler 24bit / 192 kHz
    a good sounding combination
    • Kuzma Reference
    Reference? Well, maybe for the Manufacturer .... for me it is just another one in the overhyped group of "great" which is in reality mediocre at best. 
    Sold and never looked back
    • Lamm Industries L2R
    Overrated Preamp, bought a LL2.1 instead, much more realistic reproduction
    • Revox PR-99 MKIII
    Tape Machine
    • Jeff Rowland Coherence 2 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
    • Kondo AudioNote Japan KSL SF-z
      Comparison: Jensen custom made, better specs, better detail
      The Parts inside are a joke for the money
    • Triplanat VII i Ultimate
    Comparison: Graham Phantom, better in all areas (focus, detail, holographic picture, better 'Gestalt') sold it and never looked back
    Totally overhyped Arm, mediocre at best, can not handle cartridges with high energy transfer and is also not the right one for Koetsus...
    • Wavac HE 805
    Original Nobu Shishido One of his last units Shootout: Pass Aleph 0

Comments 307

I made the comparisons, yes. Both FR Arms are from sonics still miles ahead from anything else today. Except Axiom. That one is from sonics in their area but a bit different. The Axiom has excellent adjustments and no sonic coration or fingerprint. The 66s for example shows with Original Records from the late 50' up a kind of living presence which has to be heard to believe. And with most demanding carts, Old Ikeda Systems without cantilver (a desaster for Graham Arms, SME 3012R and others) you get a sonic pureness and speed in a holographic picture which is unique. I think,it depends on turntable, there are only a few today where you can use a FR Arm, for me it is the King of Arms. I still like some of the older carts, those I have a superior to any modern ones and the match with 64s / 66s was superior in the past and still is. Axiom is a bit different but the best of modern ones today. It can create a huge mesmerizing soundstage, too. Unfortunately I have no experience with Aquila. I closed the Tonearm chapter.


Have you compared your AS Axiom vs the FR-64/66?  I have the 64 and am debating to look for a top condition 66 or an Acoustical Systems 12" Aquilar.  Thanks!


Dear Gallus,

save the money and go for a FR Arm.  They (64s & 66s) are in a different league in every aspect (dynamic response, cartridge adjustability, energy transfer, headroom ..)


Dear Syntax, the experiences you shared througout the audio forums helped me a great deal! Thank you. Would you mind giving your opinion about the DaVinci tonearm again? Do you still own the Grandezza arm? I found one 12" in an excellent condition for a fair price however I am not sure whether I give it a try or save money til I find a FR-66s. I currently live in Germany as well, in case you have any other suggestions.
Kind regards


Thanks. A professional reviewer needs a System which is available for his readers. The golden rule is: Newer or more expensive is ALWAYS better!
But to be fair, from sonics the Continuum is way better than any TechDas Tables ( they are flat in Dynamics and have serious speed problems. And their latest have a few very stupid platter "improvements").
I can do my own decision. Do I want something to get the respect from other audiophiles (price tag counts) or do I want something which can really serve the magic of Living Presence?
I did listen to Continuum and their Arm, honestly, it did not move me. When I left, I never looked back. The Basis Debut vac. was easily on par from sonic reproduction. My Seiki survived everything I listened to in the last 10 years. But it got some simple tweaks and it is from sonics very remarkable.


Wow, what a system! I’m sure Michael Fremer would debate you on the merits of the micro seiki vs. the cliburn continuum, lol


The 833-A is my favorite vacuum tube for SET. I could never afford a WAVAC amplifier but since I live in a small 26 foot diameter house I do not need to push my 833-As to 2000+ volts to drive Magnepan 0.7s to opera house volume, 1000 Volts is more than enough and at that voltage the 833-A draws about 130 ma plate current with zero grid bias and need not be pushed hard enough to come close to causing detectable distortion. This is perfect for parallel feed transformer coupling from a 245 SET to drive the 833-A grid through an LL1930 mu-metal transformer. You can build your own 833-A final stage for but a fraction of a percent of the cost of a WAVAC.


It is very good. The improvements will depend on the turntable you use, normally a way better focus, more details, more 3 dimensional bass ... I am not up to date with your rig, the arm base needs to be lifted to the same height. I think, AS can do that.


How much do you like your Acoustical Systems SDP (Platter). Thinking about getting one and would like to know your experience.



first, all settings are in manual mode, distance, shutter, speed, flash time.
The 105mm/2.8 is absolutely great, VR is useless here and has to be shut off anyway.
Your advantage is, you can see everything in the camera display, go fist with an open shutter, for example 4 to get enough light for focussing what is important for you, then go higher in shutter numbers for depth sharpness. So you can move on step by step...


Hello Syntax, nice hear back from you. I had to purchase a tripod that was up to the task of supporting my Nikon D 5000, 105mm 1:2.8 D lens, that has to be used in manual focus mode. I just could not afford a long lens with the VR/AF system.

Also purchased was an inexpensive ring light, a remote shutter release, and a focusing rail system. I'm also trying out extension rings, not too impressed with them. It's a lot of new gear (to me) to get used to. I'll try to get better with the technical aspects of macro, I've found I don't learn as fast as I did when I was younger, but it's something to keep me amused during the long winter months.

The digital SLR cameras make me long for my old Konica 35mm, it was built like a tank, and simple to use. Newer digital cameras, not so much. Any advice you would be willing and able to share I'd be grateful for.

Best regards, and thanks,


Hi Dan,

thank you. To be honest, these pics needed some time. For this quality and sharpness a Tripod is mandatory and a flash, too.
When you use Tripod you can shoot sequences with long shutter time and short flash time (100th). And ISO setting can be low, from memory I think, I used 800 or a bit above with Nikon D4s.


Hello advanced101,
yes, you are on the right track with your settings. It is the same for me, too.
The Koetsu Stonebodies are done correctly from cantilever angle, so the adjustments depends mainly on the records you use. Or better said, on their cutting angle. Older ones - 50's/60's - are tail down, later ones from the 90's are more or less level. I never use them tail up for example.
To find the right adjustment is quite simple (for an older record for example)..I start with level cartridge, the sound is more or less like a point source coming from the middle of your speakers. When you go tail down, the soundstage will expand to both sides.
When you go down too much, the high frequencies will suffer, lower frequencies will be dominant and the sound will become a bit dull.
Azimuth, yes, same for me, the bodies are made very good.
The Anti Skate...for this I use a Cardas Test Record with plain tracks (no grooves)


Syntax, your system speaks for itself, just outstanding collection of components. I want to comment on the superb photography on display in your virtual system page. I've been trying to do a better job of myself lately, with minimal success.

Obviously, there's much more to learn for me. You photography equipment is on a par with your music system equipment it seems.

Well done, regards,


Could you explain your setup preferences with the Koetsus?  VTA (Tail Down, Up, ETC), VTF, Azimuth, Anti-skate?  Anything you are willing to share. 
My Blue Lace prefers Tail slightly down, very slightly.  Azimuth very close to 0.  VTF at 1.95.  Anti-skate at 2g on the FR-64S.


New in System

AQ WEL Signature Tonearm Cable



I guess, with PS you mean Pivot to Spindle?
Can you go for 231,5 mm?


Hi there, love that Amari table!
I just bought a FR64s after lusting for one for many years. I have Koestu and Lyras on hand as well as GFS

I was wondering if you have any set up tips with regard to PS and geometry .. I have the Smart Tractor from AS.



Woah, FR-64s with Koetsu Blue Lace .... I think, I know what you mean. A super match!!
Yes, I own that table. I was so fascinated about every technical detail was done so well, there is no weak point. Everything here is done right, independent from input voltage, an outstanding high quality bearing you won't find even in 60k turntables, a modified platter from AS, also a good PS and now the very best: That little unit runs with the Sutherland Timeline Strobe spot on, 33.333 and 45.000. I am in turntables for 15 years, I listened to a lot and 9 from 10 can't pass the Timeline test. They fail, no matter what their display shows. And no matter how expensive they are. And correct reproduction of tone? Very, very hard to find when you don't want to have the flavor of the month...
I bought it right away to bring myself back to normal (brain counts was always my way in the audiophile journey ...) yes, it is possible to do something right for a good price. It is a killer table and that is no marketing blubber. I listened to it in side by side comparison with a well known German table, expensive external PS and so on ... this one is way ahead in fine detail, subtle nuances, a believable soundstage with Deccas and a full tone in any frequency area.
When you go for it, these 3 belts are original and should be replaced with one from AS. He made a special one for that table. No wow and flutter, good specs and the one to go for.

I made a quick shot from the table


I see a picture of the Acoustical Systems Micro Seiki Clone.  Is this yours?  I am looking at getting one and am interested in your thoughts or recommendations.  I also see that it has three belts.  I have seen Analog Planets Day 4 coverage at Munich which talks about this table.  The US dealer for AS (Rutherford) is offering this table for $8000USD which seems like a steal.  I run an FR-64S with a Koetsu Blue Lace.  I purchased the 64S based on your recommendations and have liked it better than any other arm that I have tried.  I also have the Micro Seiki AST-10 tonearm weight but it doesn't fit on my current table, I need to make it work.  Thanks!



The Naked Record 33 1/3


10 Hungry Ears for Manufacturer Visit at Acoustical-Systems

A few impressions after the High End Show.
Some units which were never seen before and will be able to show a completely new sonic chapter in Future

The Apolyt Turntable
From sonics one of those you can say "Way beyond the Ultimate"

Impression 1

Impression 2

Impression 3

A Phono Stage from AS "The Evocator" 
(2 chassis -> outboard Power Supply)

Impression 4
Upper unit, lower one is a Preamp from Vitus Audio

Impression 5

Impression 6

Speaker from Soundspace Systems 'Aidoni'
6Ω nominal, 3.2Ω minimum / 101 dB/W/m / SPL 126 dB
Can be used with 10W SE Tubes, also with 1000W solid state amps

Impression 7

Vitus Mono Amp pure Class A

Impression 8

Axiom Tonearm + Palladian Cartridge

None left the room while playing, track after track, record after record

Result: Staggering

Thanks to Chris, Karl, Marco, Mario & all for a very good Day.


Well, made a break with Forum but I'll try to be a helpful member.
Never had a London Reference in the System description, sorry.


Don't see the London Reference listed... still using it?


Hey, have not seen you on the boards.  Hope you are enjoying your vinyl :)


....the kiss of death....

In Analog we will find everything but in my opinion, lots of those units became 
a Boutique Character (expensive bottle, cheap fluid inside). All those expensive 
units have one in common (when we look back): 
GREAT Reviews, lots of Hype 
and at the end of Day it was more or less nothing to write home about 
(sonically). Some examples?

Goldmund Reference
The Mother of Hype, but the moving Arm changes Azimuth in every groove, the 
table itself has a good soundstage, but details are all smeared AND it destroys 
every cantilever after some time.

Rockport Sirius III
The American Altar, but the Arm wire inside is so stiff that the Arm can not 
track the inner 3 tracks properly, it skips, the only way out is to use a very 
heavy cartridge, but the cantilever will be destroyed very soon. And the sound is 
ultra thin, completely lifeless without any body. Great engineering, missing the 
sonic target by a mile.

A super expensive German Turntable 30k+, endless rave and hype and during 
its demo at the High End Show the bearing broke. A typical example for 
Boutique. Now they are available for 1/5th price, company is out of business.

Framers Finest. I listened to it 3 times, professionally set up from the Importer. 
2x it was defect and the 3 time the connected Phonostage had a problem (or 
the Arm wire, Phonamp, Cartridge). I always said "Mono IS interesting"
Anyway, that Company is also more or less out of Business what 
Australians wrote me. Buy replacement Parts NOW.

The Mother of of all Airliners. Super, super expensive at that time, Hype 
endless, bloody knees from Audiophiles - from kneeling in front of it - was 
normal, even more expensive with optional remote VTA....but it never worked 
properly. The Airflow in some areas was not constant, so..well, you can 

The Mother of a "Game-Changer" Product, defect bearing while RMAF but some 
wrote, even with that defect bearing it sounded fantastic (great or?) and in some 
discussions in Seattle area some buyers wrote how happy they are now 
"being a member of the Club."
A pity that the thread about was deleted :-)
No knowledge (from the whole Chain Manufacturer-Distributor-User) about 
shipping, no knowledge about platter mechanism, no damping was a result of 
that damage and honestly, buying a product from "Engineers" who 
have absolutely no idea about technical connections ...well, good luck.

Thorens Reference
The Audiophile Answer from Germany to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Heavy and it will show every visitor "Hey, I am something serious"
In real life you can get the identical sonic quality from every 2-3k$ turntable 
today. But the motor management is good.

Wood Arms
Well, let's face the truth, a piece of wood at a string or 'in long' for 16K$ has to 
be touched from God AND made from some ultra secret, mystic material, stolen 
from the NASA...Energy transfer? What is THAT, we want Emotion... well, 
Boutique,...Geometry? Pardon, WHAT? The best bearing is no bearing... 
Of course you need a 12k+++ Cartridge to get the full sonic impact the Arm is 
able to deliver

Well, even after 30 years they find revolutionary 'improvements' a way the 
ARC Company in analog. To catch the same customer again and again, that's 
brilliant. Sonically? When you want a different sound, all you have to do is to 
open the window...

Of course, all owners, no matter from what expensive product, will write that 
their unit is an exception and is working like a charm etc. But let's face the 
facts: It is the money what counts. 
The wealthy Audiophile likes to show others how clever he is and what 
expensive units he owns, he wants the Respect to be accepted as an 
"Experienced Audiophile" but at the end of day, he also wants 
money when he sells that Sonic Wonder. Who writes "Yes, I have that T3F, 
Rockport, ...and it is really inferior, but I like it?" 
No one.

Is there a way out?

I'm afraid, no. It's too late
Sometimes I think, when something is really good (cartridge for example) it is a product of pure luck. Not brain. The next product from the Designer is normally inferior, but more expensive. Worst sounding Phono Stage I ever listened to was Lyra Connoisseur, all people in the room did escape after 2 minutes because it was so wrong and sharp..but the Manufacturer + Distributor did not show any reaction 
SME3012R? Some think, it is cult but have no idea for what carts it was made and which ones it can't handle...just Hype
Goldmund Amps? Woah, give me a break, the most expensive ones have switch mode power supply and sound ultra dead and boring
EMT turntables? these rattling units should have something in common with high end reproduction???? When your System is bad enough not to hear the rumbles, ok, but otherwise ...


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