Wavac LCR-X2...is it worth $10k ?


Hi,
I am looking for an analog upgrade. My current phonostage is a 47 Labs phonocube. I have an offer for a used Wavac LCR-X2 and a Klyne 7. Wavac is considerably more expensive at nearly $10k (after all miscellaneous expenses) but I can afford it if it is actually worth a $10k phonostage. 

My preference is an energetic, fast, neutral and dynamic sound with great swing and boogie factor. I dont need a typical warmish, slow or romantic sound. Some may say I should go for solid state phono, I hear that hence I am looking at the Klyne. But I am a bit partial to tubes because they present music with that "breath of life" feeling, like real instruments and voices sound. If Wavac can do it then I can pull it off. Any suggestions ?

By the way, are there any tube preamps with in-built phonostage that can match the performance of these standalone phono stages ?
pani
Look at a used Zanden 1300 which has RIAA curves a better sounding unit.

Pani,

I like tube gear myself.  The better examples, to me, are very dynamic and fast sounding, and are particularly good at getting subtle differences in dynamic changes; they don't "fake" dynamics or speed by having an artificially hard "edge" to the initial attack of notes that is the case with some solid state amplification (and the ones that lack that edge actually sound more dead than most tube gear).

I am not familiar with the WAVAC phonostage.  At that kind of price level, I would really have to hear it in my own system (I don't like flipping gear, so I would not buy something even if I can get most of the money back by reselling it if it doesn't work in my system).  

I have heard the 47 Labs phonostage, and like their DACs and other electronics, it has a very lively  sound that I like.  I can see how you would be concerned with preserving that sort of sound while gaining the attributes of better tube phonostages (big, enveloping soundstage; more harmonically dense and saturated sound; less brittleness).  

As someone suggested, the Zanden 1300 would also be a good candidate too (also fun playing with the different equalization curves).  I like Zanden's much cheaper solid state phonostage too.  I also like the Viva Fono that I own and it should be well under your $10,000 cap if bought used (16,000 Euros new).

The most energetic and dynamic phonostage I have ever heard, which was also terrific in all other respects, is the Lyra Connoisseur.  It would be the one solid state phonostage that I would take over the better tube gear.  Unfortunately, it hasn't been made in quite a while but is still probably well north of $10,000 even as a used item.  Also, used solid state gear is often MUCH harder to repair and find parts for, which raises the risk of buying something like the Lyra.  

Good luck in your search.
I used to own the Wavac LCR-X2, which I had bought as a demo at 50% off some 4 or 5 years ago.  I liked it a lot but replaced it with a Concert Fidelity phono as it matches the rest of my CF electronics.  I thought the CF was "faster" and more dynamic, with more options on gain and loading for less money (also a demo from my dealer).  I sold my LCR in pristine condition for quite a bit less than $10k USD. But, the LCR has always been a respected product...different tastes for different folks, no doubt.
I have heard people rave about the EAR units, the 88PB (tube) and the 324 (SS), I have not seriously listened to them myself, but I would think they'd be worth a listen before shelling out 10k. 

I am currently considering the entry level model, the 834P, which I have auditioned and been quite impressed with, 

There are also the Conrad Johnson units, but they're probably too "sweet" and slow for your tastes, 
Dear @pani: """  But I am a bit partial to tubes because they present music with that "breath of life" feeling, like real instruments and voices sound. """

If that's true I can't understand why you started other thread to find out about the Klyne phono stage and if that is true I can't understand either that you owned or still own ( I don't know. ) Naim PS.

If that's true and you like " colorations "/distortions that are not on the LP recording then go for tube electronics but if you want true/reliable and with very low " colorations " quality performance nearer to what was recorded into the LP grooves the Klyne is very good option as can be Concert Fidelity or Spectral or top Sutherland or the Lyra and several other SS phono stages that can outperforms that Wavac or the Zanden mentioned here.

Now, if your today phono stage is a " decent one " what do you dislike on it?
 Good that you have 10K to spend but you can spend less of that money ( example ) in a better cartridge/tonearm combination along better IC cables. You have several options to spend money to improve the quality sound level in your audio system and depends on what are you real music/sound  self priorities.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.


Buy a herron and be done.  I'd wager it will sound better than the wavac and at less than half the cost.  No phono is worth 10k.......
You could try the Allnic H-3000V or Whest MC REF V Mk4.
Hi Raul,
Your analysis is quite correct. Let me explain. I am rebuilding my entire system keeping only my existing speakers, TT, tonearm and cartridge intact. Previously, I was using a SS phono with tube pre-power. But with my speakers I will be more comfortable with SS power which means I have to insert tube equipments upstream in order get the balance of tube and SS sound in the system. I dont think I can live with an all-SS system. So where do I insert the tube equipment ? Either phonostage or preamp or both. So that is why I am looking at all the combinations around me. I like a neutral sound but not a dry one. Soulful, natural, lively and dynamic, that is how music is suppose to sound like in general.