For service or sale?
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Either/both : ) Just trying to get a feel for this "quiet" company, and the person. SOUND APPLICATION has had some very complimentary reviews-but I haven't seen any from TAS or Stereophile. I'm curious. It does seem his products are very pragmatic; as well as "green" - ie no fluff, gloss or 'added weight'-to show 'value'. Also truly "Audiophile" with impeccable build quality and fanatical attention to materials selection and design.
If you are buying, be prepared to wait.
Jim's a perfectionist. He take his time to build/finetune and continually
improve on his designs.
The downside is - the wait and that each successive generation often
sounds better and usually without a change in the model name or badge. So
resale values of his older models may sometimes take a hit.
I have 2 of his 2011 RLS-240s which are excellent. This was replaced by the
RLS-240E which were better again (I didn't get them).
I also have one of his flagship RLS-240X. There was a batch of problematic
caps that he used and I had to send my unit to him for repairs. It took a while
but not only did he fix it, he upgraded my unit to the latest spec (think it is
now called 240XF) with no extra charge.
Jim believes in having separation of power between analog and digital components.
In my set up, I have my main gear in the back of the room - my sources and preamp. So I have one RLS-240 for my phono and line preamps. And another RLS-240 for my digital stuff.
In the front of the room, I have my speakers, subwoofer and power amps. This is where I use the RLS-240XF.
A friend of mine bought a preowned RLS-240 many years ago and in his system, the changes were nothing short of impressive. He eventually got in touch with Jim to get a newer one and the improvements were nothing short of remarkable. I remember when he loaned out his RLS-240 to us friends - and the drop in performance - he stopped listening to music in his system.
Thank you for the explanation. Sounds like an excellent approach. Since you mention the XF is the top model; have you tried swapping it with your phono/preamp 240s? I've (modestly) been touting the incredible virtues of having "adaquate" (read extreme) separation of power for digital and analog so am 100% with Jim and you on that. (I use an Equitech 2Q for my pre & power as one measure of isolating analog from digital.)
Can't say I have tried swapping them around :) I don't think my wallet could survive the temptation :P
But I'd assume I need more current to the power amps hence the use of the better model in front.
I am still trying to find a local electrician to run the dedicated lines. In the meantime, I am using two PurePower regenerators to separate digital and analog.
I'm not thinking temptation-merely making the best of what you have. It is simply that you may find the best sound trying the best unit with your front end and digital-particularly the digital source. SA units can easily handle you amp and sub. Do you use the digital and analog sides of the conditioner? I don't think you need dedicated lines with the firepower you have; I imagine your dynamics are excellent. Have you installed the regenerators after confirming their value by ear?
Jim no longer makes those.
The new ones are just 6 plugs. No digital or analog. I think he found it best to have separate power lines completely from the circuit breaker box
I use the regenerators because we have frequent outages here and I have projector in the room and also to provide isolation from analog/digital gear.
I used to use and buy his conditioners and they sounded great. The biggest issue I had was he would call me and tell me he upgraded the screws and it would cost me another $2000 for the upgrade. When I first starting buying his units (his REFERENCE) they were $5000 then he has had many price increases, they went to $7500 then $9000 then $12,000 and I've heard they are even more $$$ now. When they were 5k they were worth the asking price, I haven't heard his latest piece and don't know what the price points are but if you can listen before you buy. I can tell you resale value on these pieces are pennies on the dollar.
Nice to hear they sounded great.. Upgrades ?? Well, what do you expect if the are "custom" 24 carat gold, platinum and double rhodium plated wonders? $2000 may be a bargain.. ?
Joking aside; you mention great sound from his Reference. I recently tried his older ( "10" years old) 6 outlet unit and was very impressed at the benefit it gave my digital. I already have the best Equitech and MIT--but his unit was most interesting, surprising really. I did not expect any improvement whatsoever; but I was surprised.
Ptss yes I'm a dealer, once, a very long time ago for Sound Application. It was the every other month call and upgrades that was the down fall. Yes every company does the upgrade path but they don't do it 5-6 times a year and sometimes for new screws that he would charge thousands for. Maybe they were worth it but none of my customers ever thought so.
For $2000 for one of his older Reference units you can not go wrong.