Just my opinion but I would not buy any expensive piece of gear without an audition with your components. No matter what the reviews say, you best judge will be your own ears.
Bar81 & Joey54
Being in France offer many advantages; however one of these is not a large selection of High End HiFI dealers.
France has at the "most" 6 retailers that carry a decent selection of brands; Avalon is carried by one shop & VAC is not distributed. DaeTZeel has no distributor in France.
You are pretty limited when it comes to to auditioning let alone home audition. This is one of the big advantages of an open market such as in the US.
The best I could do was Nagra pre, CAT JL2 sig & Avalon Indra. Then Wavac pre with CAT + Indra's.
There is the Netherlands & Belgium but much the same situation when it comes to partnering equipment; you kind of have to listen to each component on its own; then work it out from there! Maybe fly to NYC (my wife is from NYC) but hey that would be abusing the time of dealers knowing farewell that I would not buy anything from them...
I am going to Milan this WE and during that stay there is a High End Audio show; this will enable me to listen to the Dartzeel.
FYI I can get a good deal on a SH VAC 300.1 in the Netherlands.
Would appreciate comments on the equipment, this would give me some guidance.
I don't think you should move away from your Nagra PLL and VPS. Those are killer pieces, others maybe different, not necessarily better. Even if the list price is double the nagra gear.
I'd pick a good stout amp for your Avalon's. I own a VPS and have barrowed a PLL. The PLL worked great with my BAT VK150SE's. Maybe also Pass Labs, BAT VK600SE, Audio Research are some options...
If you decide to sell your PLL, email me first please.
Good luck at the Milan hi fi show.
Please post your current system soon with some pics, it'll help us help you.
Well the Milan and then Paris show both had regional tastes to them.
Milan was vibrant. A vast choice of larger and smaller companies. Public was truely into "music" and the whole thing was quite entertaining.
Paris was say "serious" and to be honest I noticed nobody into the "music".
Back to the quest :
Marten design bird = not for me. I heard this is 5 different configurations powered by SET, Push Pull, Hybrid and SS. The sound was good, nice, precise, balanced yet lacked ? The bass was tight, the mid was true and the treble seemed endless, but no matter how I listened and with all musics, classic, vocal, jazz, rock, R&B.....there was for me a lack of soul
Then I heard the Magico V3, now this hit me from the go, wow and music seemed the only question that came to mind. I have no idea if the V3 is delivering the goods with the same perfection as the Martens? What it has is soul in bucket loads.
So this quest is over now for some time and my system is now :
Raven AC/Phantom II/Lyra Scala
Thanks Jfrech & Andrewrona the Nagra is fine no need for the Dartzeel at all.
Will post some images of system soon.
Tim, I have the Phi 300.1 with the Vandersteen 5A's and love the sound. I have heard the 300.1 w/ Magico V3's, and it was very impressive. As you said, soul. I am using the Messenger full function preamp, and also like it very much. I would say looking at your system w/ the Magico's, that you could ride off in to the sunset with what you have. I would love to hear it. If the opportunity to hear the Messenger comes your way, do check it out though. The current version is 20K with a very good built in phono stage.