May I show-off my new website, for those who know (and know of) me? Audio Note at The Audio Home..

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Warren Jarrett, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I am ready to receive visitors anytime. Instead of an Oto Signature, I ordered from Audio Note a P1 Signature power amplifier, which is the same as the amp section in an Oto Signature.
     
  2. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Please look for my post, "System Review – Warren goes to Temecula to hear Avantgarde speakers". It is my listening review at another SH.tv member's home, who I visited to hear his audio system.
     
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  3. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I have placed an ad in the Classified Ads forum, for a GROUP BUY of replacement Boron/MicroRidge cantilever/stylus from Namiki in Japan.

    If you want to finalize an order with me, for one or more of these Boron/MicroRidge cantilever/stylus, from Namiki, I am ready to place the order. Please make your payment to me.

    As shown in the ad, they are $95 each, and my Paypal is WarJarrett@aol.com. If you want to pay by Bank Wire Transfer, let me know. If you are located outside the USA, then we will arrange another payment to cover shipping after I receive the package from Japan.
     
  4. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I am just reminding everyone that the Group Buy for Namiki replacement styli, Boron/MicroRidge is ending today. My order for all of us is going in tonight, and I am paying tomorrow. They are $98 each to my Paypal, WarJarrett@aol.com. No extra for shipping in the USA. For outside the USA, I will figure out shipping and bill when its time.
     
  5. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Regarding the Group Buy that I started, the order has been placed and paid for. I ordered 2 more of these Boron/MicroRidge styli than I need, so there are 2 available for anyone who still wants to participate. Anywhere in the world, you are invited. They are $98 each, free shipping within the USA, or actual cost of shipping anywhere else.
     
  6. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Back to a discussion about the big B&W 800 Matrix speakers that I acquired a few months ago. I am getting tired of them. These are sometimes cited as the best in the series of 800 models B&W ever made, and of course any 800 is the top-of-the-line B&W. They just don't have the magical capability to present the sound of real acoustic instruments and real voices existing in the room in front of me. And they don't create a soundstage to the outside of their physical location, nor in front of and behind their location. So, I am always aware of exactly where they are.

    B&W is probably the most well-known speaker manufacturer from the UK, in terms of offering speakers of every price range to every kind of speaker buyer. The 800 series, being their absolute best effort for the most discriminating audiophile, ought to be stunning in every way, particularly with their 4 x 12" woofers, and my tri-amplification. But with a modest Audio Note system in the next room, it is obvious that I can listen to the Audio Note system for hours and hours, discovering the uniqueness of each recording I play, whether CD or record. The B&W 800s just analyze the heck out every recording, and emphasize whatever is imperfect about each one. It is rare, actually, that a recording is truly satisfying, in the same way that almost EVERY recording is through my full Audio Note demo system of AN/E-Lexus-HE speakers and Empress amps, modest in price and complexity by comparison. And then, visiting Steve, hearing his AN/E-AlNiCo speakers and Ongaku amp, it is even more obvious that musical "magic" is the key to full enjoyment of music in the home.

    I decided to try a few different amplifiers, to see how the B&W 800 Matrix would sound if I chose exactly the one that works best with them. I tried a Conrad Johnson Premier 4 (quite old but still respected as a master of soundstage and nuance), a pair of EAR 509 (Tim DP claims these are the best amps he ever designed and they are still a current model after decades), a pair of EL-34 amps from Bruce Moore, a pair of MFA amps using NOS Tungsol 6550, an Audio Research D-125 (an awesome classic ARC), and the Audio Note Ginrei 211 SET amps, with only 45 wpc, compared to the rest that are 100wpc or more (push-pull of course).

    After all these comparisons, I am definitely back to the AN Ginrei amps, as the only one that provides the liveliness, dynamics, and subtle detail retrieval that I am accustomed to. These are really incredible amps, into every speaker I have listened to them through. I guess for about $100, 000 the pair, they ought to be.

    I am proud to be the Los Angeles area Audio Note dealer for a reason: their stuff just sounds better than most anything else I hear in The Audio Home or at audio shows. Any set of audio components can sound not-so-good or surprisingly good, as the room acoustics and the set-up varies from audio show display to audio show display. But every time I have ever set-up an Audio Note system in a customer's home or for an audio show, it has sounded absolutely sublime. Please ask anyone who has heard one my systems at The Audio Home, or one of my show display systems.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  7. marka

    marka Forum Resident


    Warren,

    Are Ginrei’s part of your “Crazy Warren” sale?
     
  8. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Warren - back in around 2001 I went to my then new to me dealer Soundhounds - a B&W dealer who sold the likes of Totem, Dynaudio, Paradigm, Martin Logan etc. At that time I was a B&W/Bryston sort of guy. I didn't like the AN E the first time I heard it because "speakers against the wall can't work" and "wide baffles are bad" and "you should not mate an 8 inch woofer to a 1 inch tweeter" and all the other rubbish I read in Stereophile about what good sound is supposed to be so I allowed the reading to precondition my listening.

    It was a follow up audition in a pseudo blind manner where I sat in a room with several speakers and a big hunk of amplifier in the room - I was amazed by the panoramic staging and the big bass and impeccable midrange articulation and cohesiveness. I assumed I was listening to a 1000 watt Krell and a speaker set up with Subs.

    I asked how many watts and Terry said 8. I said 800 watt! He replied no 8 watts. It was a SET amp and its name was Meishu. I had only vaguely heard of Audio Note at that time. The more I listened to the AN K and E it was abundantly clear that B&W wasn't cutting it - any model any price. The AN E was roundly better than the Model Nautilus (Snail shaped flagship that needed 8 amplifiers) and none of the 800N or D models were stacking up - I directly compared the AN E/L ($3000 at the time or so) to the top of the line 801 and 802 in the $15k plus range) and it was just not much of a horse race.

    Now of course today I have heard much better systems traveling the world and hearing more better competition than mainstream products. So there are plenty of other speakers I enjoy but in every case they cost significantly more money and I am not convinced most of them are better (at least not for the intended room size). There are some big room speakers that are amazing but they don't work in a normal sized room and typically costs 10 times more money.

    I have a difficult time choosing things for review because I really only want to review stuff that I personally would consider buying. Some people review in order to "be somebody" and so they review everything they can get their hands on. And of course it's not just about the speaker - it is the synergy of the system driving the speaker. The M3 that I added is a pretty staggering improvement to what I had prior. The phono stage especially.
     
  9. tommylion

    tommylion Member

    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    Richard,

    Interesting you mention the AN-E/L, that’s the model I have. Got them used around 2001. Still going strong and sounding great. Good to know they beat the B&Ws.
     
  10. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    That is a very rational position to take (and one that I share with you).
     
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  11. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    If you mean my "Black Spring" promotion, yes, of course they are. The Ginrei amps are the most powerful amps that Audio Note has in their standard catalog, 45 wpc SET. They have a pair of parallel 211 output tubes per chassis.

    This pair were in Steve's possession for his mastering work, until he received the Ongaku. Now they are at The Audio Home, for sale as a demo pair, so their price is negotiable. They are in absolutely perfect condition, played very little, and they include a full new factory warranty.

    Usually, these amps would require a long wait, to have made to order. So to have this opportunity for immediate delivery is a luxury.
     
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  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    My little black babies. Some lucky person is going to get those amazing Ginrei amps and be a truly happy camper. The last amplifier you'll need to buy, that's for sure.
     
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  13. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    IMPORTANT MESSAGE regarding my "BLACK SPRING" promotion:

    I found some wiggle room in the prices that I provided to all inquiries. To anyone who received quotes from me, multiply that quote by 0.90, and that is my new quote. In other words, 10% of any existing quote that I provided up until today. From now on, all quotes will include this.
     
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  14. marka

    marka Forum Resident

    I agree.

    Those babies were great *educational* tools for me, as I heard things I had never heard before (cue Three Dog Night - Mama Told Me Not to Come). Pick a superlative, that’s how great that thing was - made me want to play the lotto.
     
  15. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Massive things, too bad... After giving them some thought, I didn't think that I would think that highly of them. In your environment and your multi-amp set up, if you couldn't get the best out of those speakers, who could?

    Well, I tend to whole heartedly agree with your appraisal of AN equipment. You see, I just became a new owner of an Audio Note L4 EL34 power amp.

    I am now a convert (and a member to the club, a junior member, to be sure :angel:).

    I have to say, that the clarity and detail present in the L4, is striking. And I own and have listened to many amps, both SS, tube and vintage tube. This one knocks all of the others out of the ballpark, when it comes to increased realism.

    I just want to add, that all of the other amps are nice sounding and are able to stand on their own.

    A huge surprise to me is how much bass it delivered to the Altec A7's. Better than the Prima Luna Prologue Five, which has about the same amount of power, but it is driven by KT88's, which I have always thought to have better bass.

    The amp currently has modern day Russian made EL34's. I'm about to order a quad of NOS EK34's, from Europe.
     
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  16. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Congrats on the amp. It looks great from the photos but I have not heard it. Most AN amps are Single Ended but if anyone can design a good sounding PP amp it makes sense for that designer to be a SET guy. The I Zero is truly excellent and it is a push pull amp.

    I have generally found that most Audio Note SET amps have better bass and can go louder than most of the competition with the same watt figures. I remember my audition with the AN Kit 300B of 8 watts versus a CARY 300B for 3-4times the money and it was startling the bass drive and impact the KIT one had while the Cary sounded muddy and soft in comparison. I am not technical enough to understand why that would be the case but I assume it is the quality of the output transformers.
     
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  17. Hi,
    I took a peak at the website and it looks great. The only thing that was, kind of off, was the white text on the busy background under the "About" section. It made it difficult to read, for me.
     
  18. finn

    finn Well-Known Member

    It's good that you are happy with your amp and that it is a great match with your system.
    Audio Note UK no longer has an association with AUDIO NOTE KITS though and hasn't for quite a few years now. The components chosen to use in the kits was so far removed from the general AN range that there was actually so little left that it was redundant to continue the association. The sound of the current kits are very different from the factory finish product but there is a difference in price and performance as well.
     
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  19. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    This kit had all the available upgrades and was professionally assembled.

    I was not aware of the kit company being a separate entity.
     
  20. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    For many years Audio Note was also a kit company and then Brian Smith took the North American Audio Note kits (there is one in Asia as well). Andy Grove designed all the kits I believe and they used AN parts. The speaker kits used the same woofers and tweeters but those which failed to meet the highest standard specs. So the woofers in the production units were within say 0.2dB pair matched while the kits were within 0.6dB - which is still great just not as great.

    I don't know all the ins and outs of the Kits but I do know that Peter was inundated with kit builders sending him e-mails asking tons of questions and that that was probably the main reason to separate the kits business - so that Brian of ANKits could deal with the kits. Further, AN seems really slow at delivering product to dealers and customers with a big backlog. They need to build transformers for their own finished products and on top of that the kits and competitors who, hush hush, buy AN transformers and other parts.

    And with Black Gates no longer in numbers you really can't blame Brian for buying Mundorf or having another transformer company step in and make transformers.

    The Kits business has always been a direct competitor of the AN dealers selling finished products , so I can understand all the dealers really stressing that AN Kits isn't really AN, but it is. It's AN "light" perhaps but the products are still voiced by Andy Grove and Peter. I don't really believe AN has a house sound anyway - a SORO and OTO don't sound alike - it is very possible to dislike one and love the other one. I know lots of people who prefer the OTO and some who prefer the SORO - heck I've never seen a SORO at the Hong Kong dealer - they don't like it - yet in Canada my dealer much prefers the SORO.

    And to me the Kits are just another extension of that. There is no AN production amp that will sound like your EL34 but that doesn't mean it's not an AN amp just because a Canadian company made the transformer. AN production units also use a bunch of Mundorf caps and non AN made resistors and I don't think ALL the transformers in the lower production units are made by AN either.

    You get all AN Parts at the high price points like AN silver caps etc but at lower prices you don't. You get Mundorf and Beyshlag(Sp?) etc.

    The advantage of the production units though will be resale value so if I am looking at a $3,000 kit that will sell for maybe $1,000 - it might be better to spend $6k on a production unit that you can sell for $4-5k or $6k in ten years. Ie it may cost less in the long run for a $6k production unit than a $3k kit. Of course coming up with the $6k in the now is not so easy. You'd have to weigh this carefully.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  21. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Another thing about the kits is from an aesthetic standpoint, they don't let you forget it's a kit. They use one hulking black box for everything but their TOTL models. Which is fine for an amp, but a bit obnoxious for a DAC or phono stage. It would be nice if they could also have the AN UK "shoebox" sized chassis like the M2/P2, but I guess its a one-size-fits-all cost saving measure.
     
  22. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    That one size box may be there to allow kit users to upgrade to much larger transformers - so not a bad idea even if it looks ungainly.
     
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  23. beowulf

    beowulf Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    But then again, the chassis for the actual AN company are IMO no better looking (aside from their speakers which are really beautiful), but most of their preamps and integrated amps look pretty generic ~ until you get to the Jinro level when things start looking like a real high end piece of gear.
     
  24. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Yeah - the sad thing is there is a lot of high end looking stuff that look the part but the insides are inferior - while AN - the parts are usually superior with plain Jane looking casework.
     
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  25. beowulf

    beowulf Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    Yeah, it's what's on the inside that counts ... that said AN could use a refresh of their chassis designs, but I can't really complain I like Decware a lot and aside from their new ZTPRE preamp all of their gear looks pretty much DIY.
     
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