Check out Winston Ma's system, but more importantly his room and it's construction:
I agree that Albertporter, Mikelavigne, Jtinn, Jcbtubes and many more have incredible systems. I bet each one of these gentlemen would agree that an enjoyable system, one that makes YOU happy need not be of the standard of these fortunate members. I have heard moderate systems that put shame to systems that cost $1000s more. i think those that i have mentioned would agree. None of these simple, cost effective systems will do what an Albertporter system can do. But i would bet that these very experienced, knowledgable mentioned members would agree that little money, along with a bit of help, compatability of gear with the right speaker, room considerations, can come close to the transparency, dynamics, and tonality that these great systems offer. Close. Not comparable to these SOTA systems, but can give you some of the attributes on a smaller scale that some of these incredible systems offer. Not many if any will walk away feeling they have reached the level of an Albertporter system. But with care, help, a good room, proper setup, you may find as much enjoyment as the members mentioned. Just don't make a habbit of visiting these guy's system on a regular basis. Good sound is not that far from great sound as long as we are not talking full range, huge filling rooms. Take heart you music loving guy's and women who have more important responsibilities. There are some great systems at great values.
Yes, they might look impressive. But what about the sound quality?
Funny that there is not a single comment on sound quality from an outsider regarding the sound quality of any particular system but only a few short comments from the original owner only.
The No. 1 8 ways horns system might looks impressive. Based on my experience with multi-ways horn system, electronic x-over and SET amps. This 8 ways horns system with digital source/Solid State electronics will be a total disaster.
This is an expensive PA system that might be good for home theatre only.
Even a simple 2 ways horn speakers with electronic x-over will take you years to tune it right only if you are talented....a 3 ways system will take even longer time....
An 8 ways horn system will take a life time to make it works !!!! And with so many different amps. - impossible !!!
As far as I concern, the NO. 1 system is the best example of showing what one is not suppose to do!
What strikes me is that three of the four guys, Mike Lavigne being the exception, with the top systems seem to have put all their money into gear with no money left over for records and CDs. Makes wonder whether they have more of a passion for gear than for music. Not that I want to knock that as such but it leaves me very unimpressed.
FYI, when they refer to top systems at the Audio Club of Athens, they refer to 'hits' on their web-site.....not performance. it is a popularity or curiosity measurement and shouldn't be confused with best or worst.
i have been in Winston Ma's room (he lives a couple of miles from me) and it is easily the best room that i have been exposed to.....although i prefer my gear. most of us are limited to a real room in a real home.....he created from scratch the ultimate room....and it shows.
i'm sure there are other ultimate rooms and systems that meet or exceed those on the Athens Audio club site. it has been fun for me to connect with many audiophiles i would never have encountered without posting my system on that site......it does give us entertainment and fodder for discussion.
In some ways I agree with some of the postings here, in that really it's all about balance in the end! I have also heard many many WAY OVER THE TOP $$$ systems. And like anything else, that still won't get you necessarily world class results! The gear is maybe half the equation, while the room acoustics/design, system set up, speaker/seating placement, tweeking and calibration, all make up the rest. these are the areas most fall very short on doing well too.
That said, I agree with the statements that suggest you don't get necessarily the best sound because you throw money at a system. I could tell you that the horn system mentioned here is at least LOUD AND DYNAMIC cabability wise. but that's not the entire equation.
I will agree that most hi end systems error in the way of dynamic transparancy and ease. But you gotta balance it all out to do an ULTIMATE SYSTEM in my experience! And certainly digital SS amps and horns don't come to mind when I think of audiphile purity...in my experience...but then I've not heard that system.
As for the system for the "Asian" gentlemen, I hope he enjoys that too. But I know I could get as good a sound for less I bet you with a lot less $ out-lay that that one as well!
It's all good though...
Mike- Speaking of rooms I am sure you have spoke with Bill E. about his 'super' room, do you think that us east coasters will have a truly great system in our neck of the woods upon completion of his room? If nothing else his speakers should be impressive!
And Sean how does one post with those wonderful links which you are clever enough to include so often???
Tireguy, if Bill (Lakefrontroad) can think about something besides his 700hp Lola GT race car, then yes, his room has the potential to be as good as it gets. also, he should stay away from the Armangnac during set-up. of course, with enough Armangnac his current room will sound just fine.
but seriously, from what i have heard about the design and what i know about his gear.....it might be as good as there is. those Grand Exquisites, 300 watt hybrid Tenors (bi-amped??) and the Meitner are all world-class.
here is the Athens web site; http://aca.gr
Don't know if you checked out Winston Ma's system, but it looks like he's got software up the wazoo! Aside from the roughly 1,000 CD's shown in one picture, he's got an entire "media room" filled with LP's!
When making a post, beneath the box that says "Your response" is a line that reads: "No html, but you may use markup tags." Clicking on "markup tags" reveals full instructions for making "clickable" links, among other things.
A bit more effort for the poster, but saves us lowly readers a whole lot of trouble....
I'll take Phasecorrect's Pepsi challenge...
"System #1 sounds excellent. It has a wonderful soundstage, good presence, and produces a very enjoyable listening experience. But Pepsi has a sweetness and effervescence that seems to be missing in the other system. Also, the smooth texture of the ice and soda together, along with its refreshing taste just make it more compelling. I'll take the Pepsi."
What can I say? I was thirsty ;-).
I have recently been traveling the world with my current job. As I travel the world I try to stop by as many HiFi stores as I can in search of the worlds best sounding system. I have found it in Santa Clarita ,Ca. just 45 minutes north of the Los Angeles airport at Audio Limits.
They currently have on Display the new Hemisphere Reference 15 speakers by Nearfield Acoustics in the most beautiful finish you have ever seen. The system was drivin by Audio Note M-6 preamp, digital source was an Audio Note CDT 2 transport driving a Bremen DAC from sweden a real beauty. Amplifiers Consisted of Halcro DM-58's and Vac's new Standard 220's. Analog was Nordic Concept with an Airtangent 2002 arm. all racks and amp stands were Tim Holts Fusion Audio Racks. cable's were by Siltech.
When I first sat down to listen to this system I was a bit confused. The sound I was hearing was huge, a stage that was 30 feet deep and 30 feet wide with the best front to back perception ever. The imaging was dead on. if a person was 6'2 inches tall you can see it. if you are listening to a 5 feet tall person you can see it. I couldnt believe how the new pipedreams recreate the right height and size of instuments and singers and put them into there right place. Most speakers that I have heard cannot do this properly, I also noticed that when listenig to the pipedreams you can actually see the whole body shape of the performers when other speakers out there make the performers seem as if they are made of cardboard. you see the front of them and that is it.
I have never heard any speaker system that can actually transport you to the the actual event,wheather it be recorded in a Hall,Church,Night Club,Stadium or Arena etc this system will transport you there.
Most real good speaker systems I have heard which include JM Labs,Kharma,Martin Logan,Avalon,Wisdom,Dali, etc will sound as if the band is in the room with you but that is not reality. you will most likely never have a band playing in your room. This sytem filled me with such emotions that it actually made me break down and cry,the goosebump factor was like nothing I have ever experienced.
Darrin say's that one of the key things in his system that makes it so good is the Bremen Dac from sweden.
He proved it to me by A/B with some of the worlds best known Dacs. Emm Labs and Audio Note. I have to say it is the best sounding DAC I have ever heard and have just ordered one. The Pipedreams are a bit out of my price range for now but I am definetly going to start saving for them. If you want to hear the best sounding system I would strongly incourage you to give Audio Limits a call and ask for Darrin. there website is www.audiolimits.com
Thanks for educating those not realizing how to post links, instead of just telling them to do so. Someone helped me with this sometime ago. And thanks for those who do post links that also refrain from sending folks to applet links.
Mike, hell, MY system sounds good with enough Armangnac!. Bring down a flagon and hear the proof! :-)