absolute sound reviewed them favorably couple years ago ?
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I own both ppp45 monoblocks and the Assistent integrated amp. Obviously, I like Audio Valve's sound.
Audio Valve tends to be very detailed and quiet, and works extraordinarily well over a wide variety of music. Their products are also self-biasing (the newer ones also have LED's next to each tube that tells you when the tube is bad) and beautiful to look at.
I haven't heard the Challenger 160's but can only assume that they are outstanding, as well.
Sbank, Michael(Sufentanil) is definitely going to have something to say about Dave Serota at David Lewis Audio. Our boy Dave has the social skills of the lowest order. Wonder how he has kept from going out of business.
I have heard Michael's AudioValve setups, and have to agree the brand is definitely not getting the exposure it should. Very good sound, at what seem to be bargain prices, at least on the used market. I agree with the low noise floor, and they seem to offer an engaging sound.
One concern I have is the reliability of the product, as he has seen some issues there.
I have only heard great things as well.
But as Trelja says, there have been reports of reliability issues. I have heard OF this for their amps, but mainly for their Headphone amp, one of which I own.
Due more to shipping, but exacerbated by perhaps lesser design, there were transoformer/PC board problems. With the company in Germany, it would tough to rectify were it not for a great dealer who sold the headphone amp.
Subsequent redesign of the amp inards resulted in different placement of the transformer to alleviate the problem.
So take my commets with SOME salt grains, they ARE hearsay. My headphone amp does have the change in it, so it is fine. And as for the sound, no complaints at all ! Beautiful, clear, detailed, dynamic, open, etc etc etc.
And it LOOKS pretty neat, too :-)
Todd - chams_uk
Spencer, if you are in the Philadelphia area, it would be great to get to know each other more.
No, Dave is probably not anyone's boy. It's a wonder that he stays in business. Although, I am sure his building is paid for and overhead is low since he is in a very inexpensive area.
The most interesting thing for Michael(Sufentanil) and I is that the guy just has tons and tons and tons of gear stacked upon itself. Yet, NOTHING is hooked up, and there is no music playing. It's like going to an automobile museum.
The Stereophile ad is a joke for anyone who knows him. Is he the only retailer without a website in the magazines? Michael was going to build him a website, but when Dave found out it would cost $20/month(or whatever) to host it, he passed. Yes, that $20 is too much money, but a full page Stereophile ad fits in the budget.
He lists 100 brands, and the invitation to come and listen. Yet, if you went there, it would be like going to an art gallery where all of the paintings are covered, and he will only let you see one(if he is in a good mood, and the planets are aligned) painting during your time there.
Rather, you are to quickly describe your wants and needs for him, then listen for an hour, without so much as daring to try to get a word in, as he describes what is the best thing he can provide you with in your budget/tastes. There is no need to listen, as he is smarter than you, and his decision will be correct. Also, no returns in case he happened to not let you buy the right component. Finally, there is no gear which he does not carry that has any reason for existence in this world.
It is both a priveledge and an honor for customer and manufacturer alike to be able to interact with him. He will make sure you understand and agree with that or you will be either hung up on or shown the door.
He is more gracious in person than on the phone, but that's like saying the Huns were kinder to their enemies than the Mongols.
The recent store remodel is nice, but I do have several issues with it. First, virtually all of the rooms are too small. Putting 4, 5, 6 systems in an 8' X 10' room is weird. And, secondly, he has gone all out buying art to decorate the rooms with. I don't know about you, but having a lot of glass on the wall is not my recipe for room treatment.
Good to hear their is another in the area,