Audio advisor and Constellation amplifiers

Hi,  has anyone seen the latest audio advisor? , they have been selling some krell products,  now Constellation, I have always liked and enjoyed business with audio advisor over the last 20 years,  I'm impressed they are getting some good equipment,  what's your thoughts? 
I am really surprised Constellation is letting Audio Advisor sell their product. Among the bigger mail order-Internet websites. They are the bottom of the barrel. They would of been better off letting Acoustic Sounds or Music Direct sell their product. I guess the days of audio snobbery will be going away soon. 

It's it's going to be strange seeing all that cheap Chinese crap they sell alongside Constellation. 

Now, now, now. I have bought Parasound and Bryston products from Audio Advisor and I would not classify those products as "Chinese crap".

The Vincent stuff, on the other hand is...
AA are smart and aggressive online retailers who are growing their market space as they increase their customer base.They have built consumer confidence through good prices and attentive customer service.I would bet that there are lots of smaller companies that would crawl on their bellies to get some space from them and get out of the low performance high end ghetto.
     As far as the "Cheap Chinese crap" Madge used to say in the old Palmolive soap ads (circa 1981)..."You're soaking in it".
AA does have great service. IME, Music Direct customer service could care less if you buy from them.
I am really surprised Constellation is letting Audio Advisor sell their product. Among the bigger mail order-Internet websites. They are the bottom of the barrel. They would of been better off letting Acoustic Sounds or Music Direct sell their product. I guess the days of audio snobbery will be going away soon.

It's it's going to be strange seeing all that cheap Chinese crap they sell alongside Constellation.

Since you are the snob why don't you go to the "fancy" audio store
and tell the guy's to charge you triple, I mean why would you pay something $10.000 when you can pay $30.000 and it might sound better, since you overpaid.

They don't even have a phono stage from Constellation, if it exists at all. Yeah, a little strange. I like AA and Needle Doctor. Never dealt with AS, bought a few records and cds from MD and didn't like their lousy packaging and overcharged shipping for small items. Chicago..


i hate to break the bad news to you but the Constellation crowd is not AA customer base. If they wanted to do mail order they should of went with Acoustic Sounds or Music Direct. 

AA is a great company for the beginner audiophile. But no one associates AA as being a company that caters to high-end.

i guess they have nothing to lose putting it in their catalog because I am sure there not going to stock it. 

I think from a marketing point of view Constellation made a bad choice if they are really letting AA carry their line. I have a feeling that the OP might be mistaken. But I'll find out soon. I don't think a month goes by that they don't send me their catalogue.

Audio Advisor is showing Constellation. Good for them. Hope they do well with that line 

Wonder how anyone here knows, unless you're an insider, what Audio Advisor's customer base is. 

Personally, I have made purchases from Audio advisor, Music Direct, Sounstage Direct, Acoustic Sounds. Actually, what I've bought most from the last 3 have been music 

As above, we must have counter balance to the "cheap china crap" for certain.  Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
AA seems to sell a bunch of stuff in that price range; Bryston, Krell, Lyra, Clearaudio, VPI and more...
AA website shows precisely two Constellation items.

I don't think they cater to the beginner audiophile. They cater to the entire range of audiophiles.

If your local high-end shop was the sole dealer in your area for a product you wanted, and they carried Beats, would you take your business elsewhere?
I'd much rather be stripped naked and humiliated by a dominatrix than venture into the local hifi audio stores. 

Audio Advisor on the other hand is fabulous. Every time I've called their customer service, I've received top notch advise without any of the attitude that I've experienced at local dealers.

I have a Kavent preamp that is a fully balanced aluminum cladded discreet dual mono power supplied astonishingly great sounding work of art that is a re-badged Vincent…I love the damn thing.  I also have a couple of those Pangea p100 (designed by Constellation's Peter Madnick) power supplies that Audio Advisor recently fixed for next to nothing (I think a surge blasted 'em somehow, but still…). A great company who's employees will take the time to discuss their stuff with zero attitude…refreshing. My local audio "Salons" sell everything at list price, don't actually seem to like music particularly (I work with musicians frequently, many of whom would love to do a gig for an audio store…I've suggested this a few times and the store dudes look at me like I'm insane), and clearly are in decline except for the mega buck gear freaks or quasi-sociopath paranoid elitists.

and then the freaks and elitists need to sell their used gear...

"Now, now, now. I have bought Parasound and Bryston products from Audio Advisor and I would not classify those products as "Chinese crap".

The Vincent stuff, on the other hand is..."

I believe Parasound is made in China. I would not consider it junk...

Arafiq, I had that happen to me at a Hi-Fi store once; were you there?
Nor would I.  Parasound is fine gear and delivers tremendous value.  

But to some, value isn't even a consideration.  From the looks of this thread, it seems that where you buy is just as important as what you buy.  Gee, I bought my Viennas from Magnolia so they must be bad - I mean really...who would buy from Best Buy?

I applause AA and Constellation and wish them must success.

I have just spent an hour or so looking at the AA offerings.  They are doing a sensible thing by having gear at multiple price points.  There is not really good reason they shouldn't .  It is a survival strategy.  If the lower priced stuff is routinely defective they would take the heat from the unhappy consumers, therefore I imagine the products are good and good for the money.  My only investment with AA has been some Pangea power cords. 
I'd much rather be stripped naked and humiliated by a dominatrix

Would't we all, but what does that have to w Audio Advisor.
Audio Advisor has been around a very long time,  they must be doing something right as far as business model go's,  instead of trying to sale me the most expensive gear,  or push gear on me , they listen to what I like,  they have even recommended gear that they do not sale,  I know no other audio business that can match the customer service audio advisor has, down to the way they treat you,  polite, respectful,  and honest. 
After reading some of the posts on this thread I took a look at the AA website. I never realized they sell so much high-end gear. The monthly catalog I get from them has mostly budget products made in China. Maybe they need to send a catalog out that just showcases their high-end products. 

I got a Bryston AVR20 isolation transformer for my system from Audio Advisor and working with them over the phone was great.  The guy with whom I talked was very familiar with the product and quite helpful.  Since the AVR20 was not a stock item for them he needed to call Bryston to check on the price, which he did and called me back when he said he would.

On the other hand, during my decision-making process I had also called Music Direct to ask about the Torus AVR20.  The guy there could not answer a question I had - and I don't even remember what my question was, but what I do remember is that he said he would ask someone else and call me back, which he never did.

My experience between the two was that with the former I had the impression that I was talking with someone who knew audio and wanted my business, but no so much on either count with the latter.

Constellation does make a phono-preamp. The problem is it cost as much as a fully loaded Honda Accord.

I see. AA just got their 'value' line. They are good people. I recently bought $200 Grado phones there, and what the man said was right on. He was not in a hurry, didn't try to convince me to get Grado Rererence instead, headphone amp etc. Very professional. I also bought a few pieces from them in the past, same attitude.
I am surprised to see AA getting so much praise here. I always thought Music Direct was a much better company. After reading all the negative comments about Music Direct I am not so sure anymore.

Nothing but good experience with AA for 20 years, though never bought serious equipment from them...
Hi jl35, I have never bought component’s from audio advisor until I experienced buying a $6,500.000 ayon cd2s digital player that from USA tubes audio, junk equipment and way beyond poor customer service, so I bought a Vincent cds7 digital player from audio advisor, I ended up buying the Vincent two different times, once before the ayon, then again after the ayon player, happy new year.
I don't avoid buying serious gear from them, they just never had what I wanted at the time I wanted it...I live in Michigan and a few friends often go to them directly, all have only good things to say...
Hi, out of curiosity,  what does the Constellation Hercules 2 stereo amplifier retail for? , also,  out of amazement,  the Hercules 2 reminds me of my modded krell 700cx amplifier,  they look a lot the same on the inside,  with the exception that the krell has larger shielded transformers, 2 ×4kva!
I just read in Absolute Sounds that the mono blocks retail for 180k a pair.
Hi taters,  that is very expensive to say the least,  that's the price of the stereo amplifier? , I do not understand why that amplifier would cost that,  I would have one of the Dan D Agostino momentum amplifiers before I would that Constellation Hercules 2 stereo amplifier. 
That is the price of the mono blocks. I don't know if they make that same version in a stereo amp.

In the latest Absolute Sound Robert Harley reviews the amp and matching pre-amp.  The combined cost for both are 260k.

I agree with you the price is ridiculously expensive. I am always amazed that people buy such expensive gear. 


I figured someone would point out that Parasound is made in "China", but actually it's made in Taiwan, a cut above anything made in Hong Kong or the Mainland.

Taiwan has been home to some of the most sophisticated electronics manufacturing for many many years. Most high end computer motherboards and video cards are made there. The complexities of these products put most audio products to shame.
Hi taters,  the Constellation site has the Hercules 2 stereo amplifier on there,  cheers. 
I will check it out. Thanks.
Taters, have you ever listened to any Constellation amps? , if you have,  tell me about your impressions. 
Who owns one lets hear about it.

I heard a Constellation set up at the Newport Show  a couple of years ago. I thought it was the cleanest and most detailed sound I have ever heard. If I had the money would I buy it? No, I prefer the distortion of tube amps. But, I could see why someone would like it.

AA saves money on advertising. Basically the same catalog for the past 20 years. The girl model is probably now pushing 60. AA still using her images from 15 years ago. They finally changed ol' Peter Madnick's photo. The new one not much better. 
Taters,  the description of the Constellation equipment you described would sound really good with tube pre-amp,  and hybrid digital front end? 

" .....cleanest and most detailed sound I have ever heard."

I agree with your observation. This seems to be their house sound, which is rather top down in presentation. I had the opportunity to audition the Inspiration 1.0 preamp at home one day and it was much too clean and detailed to enjoy. 

J. :)
"It was to clear and detailed to enjoy"

You definitely understood what I was trying to say.

If someone wants that type of sound then I would agree with you're analysis. Like I said earlier I prefer the distortion of tube gear. Luckily in audio there is different sounding gear for each person.


Are you saying that AA are penny pinchers?

Just poor photo selection
AA has been around longer than their competitors.  They must be doing something right.  

You are so right about AA. They has been putting out the same catalog for the past 20 years. Sure, they Introduce a few Items here and there but their format is basically the same.

In contrast I have been getting the Music Direct catalog for about 10 years. Every year their catalog Improves. Better products, better pictures, better layout.

I think AA is stuck in an 80's time warp. Maybe they have been around longer than the other companies but that doesn't mean they are going to stay there.

Soon enough we'll be able to print audiophile gear in our living rooms. Both regular and on-line dealers will be gone. Brave new world. I prefer to stay in '80's time warp'.
My opinion is Audio advisor will be around for much longer,  considering the best customer service I've experienced in my entire length of being an audiophile. 
Wow! , just received my spring clearance 2016 audio advisor, ,,says save  $18,001 on Magico s5 speaker's,  available for  $18,499.00 !!! demo pair