Randy (Optimal Enchantment) is a longtime Vandersteen and ARC dealer, having installed many systems of that pairing in S. California. He's also a heck of a nice guy.
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I've bought equipment in both stores. I used to live in West Orange, NJ and was a customer at AC even before Hart sold it to John (dating myself, I guess). I remained a customer after the store changed hands. I got my original Quicksilver 8417s from Hart and my Cary 805s from John. I've also purchased a bunch of stuff from Randy at Optimal Enchantment after I moved to Santa Monica. I can confirm that both John and Randy are very nice guys and a pleasure to do business with. Nice to see the shout-outs here.
Marty, I'm jealous! Santa Monica is beautiful, and hard to find a vacancy in. I come in once a month from the desert, bringing my mother-in-law to 20th and SM Blvd. for her Chemo treatments. I bring my dog and we walk along Pacific Coast Highway on the cliffs above the beach while she gets her treatment. Randy is right down by PCH himself, on the second floor of a nice building. I bought an ARC LS1 from him a looong time ago, and still have it. I love the mode switch!
Bruce has best sounding 5a Carbons setup i have heard and i think i have heard them at 5 or 6 dealers now.
IMO the long running, long term relationship guys are the best. Bruce at Unlimited in San D, Randy at Optimal in Santa Monica, Curtiss ( now retired) from aadvanced in Tacoma but the guys there are great) , A Connection, Rutan in NJ, Don Better in Cleveland and my dealer Alan at Hi-Fi buys in Atlanta. There are others too. i have bought gear from most of the above..nothing but great advice, and gear with great synergy...
Sounds like there is some synergy going on there. I like smart Manufacturers who work with Dealers to put together rooms with the best sounding gear for synergy, not a cobbled together system as a result of 'cross-polination'.
I'd love to see the new Magico S5 Mk2's at Munich, 2016 paired with a Vitus SS-025, SL-102, SCD-025Mk2 plus a vinyl front end consisting of a Transrotor Tourbillon 07 tt, Graham Phantom Supreme arm w/-Miyajima Kansui cart & Vitus SP-102 phono stage. Add CMS Maxxum racks and Siltech Royal Signature series cables to round out the system. Now that is a room i'd like to visit!
I do wish I had a Magico dealer nearer to me so that I could hear them again as maybe I'd like the newer ones. I tried liking the new D3 series from B&W, but I couldn't listen to them at all Way too hot still and way too forward for me. I just never went to a live event and heard the music in my own seat, lol. Even at the Blue Note in NYC you can sit at the front table and it's not quite as forward as the B&W, lol. I've noticed a problem with many high end speakers in male sibilance. Take the Jackson Browne live album and you can hear his S's last WAY too long on many speakers. That's that upper mid ringing that I just can't handle (I have friends who don't even always notice it or feels it's more OPEN sounding). I think it comes from baffle diffraction. I don't hear that when listening to the Vandersteen's. I also didn't hear it on the upper line Avalon's of past. Triangle is also a great instrument to listen to I feel when hearing if a speaker is accurate in it's portrayal or music. JHMO
I'd love to get back to SD to see Bruce again. I"m sure he doesn't remember me, but I really learned a lot about higher end music when I lived out there.
Cts, I get a bit of tinnitus, so my ears are sensitive to any distortion or shrillness. Hence I aim for sound which is smooth, mellifluous, natural & coherent, whilst at the same time having excellent bass, dynamics, resolution & sound staging/imaging. I dont’ want much, do I?! I've been impressed by the smooth, natural & coherent sound of the Avalon Transcendent & Eidolon Diamond. I haven’t heard Vandersteen, though I can’t wait to receive my Magico S5 Mk2’s in late January or February. I’m expecting big things from those speakers.
Melb, I too have liked those Avalon's. Too bad that company is ruined. I really hate it when a distributor or manufacturer is sold and ruined or just stops caring and their product and distribution suffers. That's sucks for all of us. Sorry about the tinnitus. I'm lucky that my MS hasn't affected my hearing nor eye sight like it has for many of my friends. I pray it never gets there.
Cts, I agree Avalon’s product development and marketing just haven't kept pace with their competitors, which is a shame as they have always sounded natural and very coherent. No issue with the Tinnitus as my hearing is actually normal for my age and not deficient as such. So long as I keep stress at bay, I don’t really notice the tinnitus. However my ears are sensitive to shrillness or brittle sounding top end as I mentioned, so I seem to gravitate toward Vitus gear & Jorma wire. Best wishes for your health in this holiday season.
Randy at Optical Enchantment is one of the nicest dealers around. Unlike most dealers Randy really likes music. It is a pleasure going to The Newport Show and hearing the great music he plays. I wish more dealers in the LA area loved music and weren't so concerned about bashing other gear and trying to high pressure you into a sale.