Step up above Acoustic Signature Mambo

I have been happy with my Acoustic signature Mambo for almost a year now. Being new to analog, I haven't done any experimentation with various turntables , arms, phono preamps or that many cartridges. So, at this point, I don't know how much I can improve things and where the best improvements could be made.

Question, would the TW Acustic Raven AC be a significant improvement over the Mambo or would funds be better directed to soemthing else? Phono preamp? Speakers?

Hi Andrew!

I find myself in a similar situation as you, however I know you have a big head start as to your analog set up.
In the past I also looked at upgrading and I looked at my speakers (Infinity RS1-B's) as the first to change. After some auditions I was convinced that it would take at least a step up to $20-$40K systems to get that last bit of satisfaction from my listening experience. As a matter of fact I want to the Philharmonic a few weeks ago and heard the NY Philharmonic play the Beethoven 5th symphony. The next day I put it on the TT and my wife an I listened........boy.........darn close!!!!!
So, Andrew, unless you are ready to drop $20-30K on new speakers...keep you "great" Dulavys.
As to your CAT amp and pre amp, I am unfamiliar with them. However, I have heard some very good comments form people who have them. I did, however, recently change my per amp and phono stage form ARC to Aesthetix (Calypso and Rhea). The change was worth it (a bit more flesh on the bones..if you know what I mean).

Now to the TT/arm/cartridge. I am unfamiliar with your TT (the Acoustic Signature Mambo) and the Transfiguration Orpheus but I have seen (and heard) the Tri-Planer. You are almost there with this set up. I would consider possibly an upgrade to a Galibrier Glavia (comments from Dan..E?) or the Raven (Unfamiliar with that also). You may also want to check out the Graham Phantom tonearm but I am not too sure the difference between the Tri arm Graham would be great. I do believe the TT's would make a difference.

I wish you good luck on this and I will be watching this thread as I also am looking to upgrade my TT/arm/cartridge!!

Rick RWD

Thanks for your comments. I think you're right in that I'm at that cusp where 20-40K on speakers would be required to get a major step up in performance.

I'm listening to the system right now and it does sound very good. The other thought is a better phono stage. Raul is coming on Tuesday to let me listen to his preamp/phonostage. Should be interesting. I'm looking forward to meeting him.

By the way, the Hurricanes are great amps. I auditioned them for a long weekend and think they are very very good for the money. I ultimetaly went to the CAT to get the last bit of detail and dynamics.

Take care,

Hey...keep me posted on the Raul per amp. This could be a sleeper story in the making!

I love my Raven and find it incredibly neutral. I don't know if you need to upgrade your table though. It will definitely sound different. I am waiting to find someone to compare the 2. Your table is a great table in many ways. It might benefit from an isolation base and some power conditioning. Also you can try a mat or a copper mat w. a mat on top. I swear by the outer ring as one of the most significant upgrades for the money. I also am a big fan of multiple arm and cartridges. This is where the Raven shines for me. It can be tuned for anything. I would love have a shoot out. There have been extensive shoot outs in Germany. I wonder what the forums over there would say.

Thanks for your comments here and before. I'm using the Boston Mat-1. I haven't experimented with the Living Voice or others. Maybe I'll give it a try.

One of the things that has intrigued me about the Raven is the high torque motor. Conceptually this seems to be the closest you can get to a direct drive by using belts. Not sure if that's important anyway. With the low torque AC motor and skinny belt that comes with the Mambo, I wonder if it does not deal with minor speed fluctuations induced by various passages as good as the high torque Raven with thick belt. Maybe the interia of the Mambo's platter addresses this.

Anyway, these are probably minor questions. Overall, I'm very impressed with the Mambo. It is hard to fault and if it is competitive with the 10K Raven then it is saying a lot!

"Raul is coming on Tuesday to let me listen to his preamp/phonostage". Are you in Mexico or is Raul Flying ? I heard his preamp (previous version)at his place with excellent sound coming from his Allaerts, Mission "the mechanic" and Acoustic signature combo. Keep us posted about your meeting.
Would be interesting to compare Raul's hardware to Nick's Alaap hardware.
Dear Dan: Yes, it would. Please tell me what can we do about: I'm open. Can you e-mail me?

Regards and enjoy the music.

can you make a stop in New England?
Dear Dan: Sure I can.

Regards and enjoy the music.

I just got in and saw your email, I've sent you a reply. This week isn't going to work for me. I keep forgetting how close to Christmas we are. Let's try to do this in the future.

I look forward to hearing Andrew's report!



Hi Andrew,

Could you update us on the wonders that Raul worked on your sound?

Also, have you discovered any more information on your question about the Mambo vs. Raven?


Yes, Andrew, how did things go? I've been side-tracked by some sat tv issues the last few days and forgot to check back.



It was an ear-opening experience and very worthwhile. I had some busy work days spilling over into the evening with customers. I'll have a chance this weekend to provide a formal and thorough post. Hang-on.

Couldn't resist one more comment speciifc to this thread. Listening to Raul's preamp showed me that there is a lot more that can be extracted from my Analog system. Based on that, the Mambo is not the weak link and the piece of gear I should change at this point.

More later.
Ha ha! Andrew, you're going down the same slope I'm on! Well, slide on down and we'll enjoy the ride together. :)

Looks like we'll be meeting Raul up here this weekend.