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A large, lonely Sauropod came by, smelled the Brut aftershave that Mike, mistakenly, splashed on as he headed out to work (to make that one last tweek which would, at long last, perfect the Arias), scooped him up in his (her?) jaws and made Mike his/her own. The newswires are quiet like a tomb, almost too quiet, and I am quite worried for Mike.
Sorry, Albertporter, I couldn't resist; a little punchy today. I miss the old crowd's sarcasm (but, admittedly, I am a very poor substitute...). Please, someone funnier say something funnier; this site is in danger of blandness, a horrible thing.
I liked the SA9 too, but reliabilty/sonic merit on the rest was, well...hello, hello, hello, is anyone down there... if you get what I mean.
Please, tell us about the Arias and what you've heard, in toto, out of Japan (and by what crowd - SE, Rowland, Accuphase, etc. - so we can have a rough point of reference).
Asa. The Counterpoint 9 is still a very good performer, even by todays standards. I have owned or listened extensively to most of the highly regarded phono stages, including those creating a buzz at Audiogon for the last year or two. Remember, the SA 9 evolved into the EASE Magnum Phono before its demise.
As for the Arias, I do not know if I will like the sonic signature or not. I must admit I begin with a negative feeling, as they are bipolar transistor output, and being a tube guy..............
Japanese audiophiles purchased all of the Arias as they were tested and ready for shipment . They are renowned for being critical about every point of quality and are not particularly budget conscience. Other than that I have nothing to go on, as there are none remaining in the USA, all sold.
As for humor, the topic on ear hair and tweaks to improve other human body parts is a much more ripe area for banter.