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Letter from the front....


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Shortish day at work. Home by 5.30 (yippee!). Walked the dogs, Listening to Suzanne Vega's Tried and True (love that album).

About the time "Blood makes noise", does - if you know what I mean, Tony calls (audiophile nut).

"Get your speakers ready we are going to listen to an amp."

Arguing is useless. Switch off amp and cd - disconnect speakers (must get some banana clips).

Tony arrives in his stationwagon. Throw speakers in the back and set off. He hurls a Greek audiophile mag in my lap with a review of the tube monoblocks we are about to hear. Ho hum.

1 and 1/2 hours later we arrive. Wasnt that far - wasnt where Tony thought it was either (he never carries a map).

We are in a real rough part of town. The dogs carry knives, the kids carry dogs. The somehow not-condemned building we enter is filled with half-clad street urchins running, shouting and dealing. We head down to the basement. Room, barely 12ft by 12, all walls covered in black sound insulation (love what you've done with this place!), floor littered with amps, preamps, tubes, power supplies, cables and 2 chairs that have seen better days. Opposite 2 magnaplanar electrostatic speakers are unceremoniously dumped into the hallway and breeze blocks used as a base for my Heresy's.

Suzanne into the CD player. Power up amps and pre - music, bass, my god the bass! The words Heresy and booming bass are not often used in the same sentence but these amps are driving them hard and clean.

Various CD's later we discuss price. Monoblocks (45 wpc) - $510 - the pair! Preamp - $350, all brand new (the pre is not tube but they build it themselves). Now I dont know what prices look like in the States for this stuff but over here these are "free with a bowl of cereal, prices". I paid 3 times that for the Accuphase E211!

So I cancelled the order for the USS Enterprise Amp that has been discussed in other postings ($1250 plus $1100 for the mods I wanted) and ordered.

Should arrive later on in the week. When they do I will photo them and post. If I like them more than the Accuphase (which I think I will) I will keep them and maybe sell the Accuphase. If not Tony's girlfriend will take them for her RF3's.

Anyway, will keep you all up to date on developments, as ever.

BTW - once we had ordered we re-instated the Magnarplanars. These are the first Electrostatic's I have really listenned to. Not what I was expecting. Less airy, more boomy and less defined than the Heresy's - maybe the amps arent up to it - I dont know, but very disappointing.


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Sounds like a real adventure. I'm not sure I would classify that shop as "audiophile" - maybe audionervosa is more appropriate. I've been to a few shops that had a fear factor but I always came out relatively unscathed. 2 things - First, Magnaplanars are panel speakers, not electrostatics. Similar principals but different applications (like compression drivers vs. cones). Second, most panel speakers require far more than 45 watts to adequately drive them, especially the bass panels. Good luck with the monos. They should be more than enough for your Klipsches. In my experience, limited as it is, I found that the most important component in a tubed system is the preamp. I've never had much luck matching a SS pre with tube amps but a tubed pre always improved the sound of a SS amp. Just my opinion, of course and for the price, I would most likely give your set up a try as well.

In my journeys, I've learned that one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a system is the room. The room's characteristics should be considered intregal to the system when deciding on which components to use. After budgeting for a system, nothing will eliminate more options and choices than the room itself and matching your system's components with the room from the start will prevent alot of unnecessary tweeks and adjustments down the road. It may not be as much fun but ultimately, you will have a more satisfying audio experience and may very well save time and $$ getting there. Sorry for the unrelated topic but I felt a rant coming on and this took the bite off. Just my 2 cents, of course YMMV, Bryan

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