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Welcome to our first newsletter.

We are trying to make the newsletter just exactly the kind of newsletter that we would really like to get in our email. Hopefully you all will like it as well - but if not, well, there is always the spam folder.

To that end this is kind of like an email magazine, but kind of not. It is also a list of product announcements, an update on what has been happening here and what will happen in the near future, some humor, some reviews, and mostly likely some other stuff, too. But, just to let you know, we are not trying to send our whole website to everybody - really - even though it might seem that way sometimes.

By the way, this is a smiley face, i.e. :-). It is the only one in this newsletter. This lets you, the reader, imagine smiley faces wherever you think they should go - but, as a cautionary note, only some parts of the newsletter are supposed to be tongue-in-cheek...

The RMAF Show and Others

We exhibited at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this past October. This was the 3rd show and our 3rd time there. It was a blast. Really, it is like a giant party, lots of music, lots of sweet spots to sit in, lots of old friends and new faces, lots of hardware and software to gawk at and hear...

We exhibited with our new Marten Design Coltrane Supreme loudspeakers and our new Audio Note M10 preamplifier.  The room was packed with many people staying for half-an-hour or longer [most people are so polite, they will say they like a room's sound even if they are not all that pleased - but if they actually stay and listen, that is a true indicator that we may be doing something right... or something so terribly wrong we had become an object of their curiosity, but, no, I think they just liked the way everything sounded].

We, of course, did a show report for RMAF; it is somewhat abbreviated with only about 400 photos, each in three different sizes. In it we largely talk about our experiences as an exhibitor and what we thought of the sound in our own room, the pluses, the minuses, with the hope and anticipation that next year everything will actually be broken in for a change...

Yeah. Right. Well, the speakers will be broken in anyway.

We also did a 900 photo report with commentary about the audio, and video, of the CEDIA show held here this September. This was actually a lot of fun, and the photos capture more of the ambiance and excitement of the show instead of focusing on each and every product displayed there. Even you die hard two-channel people might want to check it out - even if it is just fun to gawk at someone else's hobby that has gone way, way out of control and over the top.

We will be attending CES this year, well, next year in January, focusing more on covering the St. Tropez and T.H.E. Show than the high-end audio part of CES which will be in the Venetian hotel on the Strip. For one, it costs $1400/night to stay in a room at the Venetian. Second CES is putting a lot of obnoxious hurdles in front of the exhibitors there - no crates can be carried into rooms (they have to be uncrated elsewhere and their contents carried in piece by piece), nothing can be carried into rooms by the people who own and understand the value of the equipment, many rooms do not have solid walls, and on and on. Seems to me like CES is trying to finally divest itself completely of high-end audio, once and for all.

We will be taking a lot, if not all, of our Audio Note equipment (our new M10?! Maybe I should ride shotgun, and with a real shotgun!) to the The Show this year and Neli is scheduled to help setup and perhaps help woman their rooms some this year while Mike pokes around in all the rooms with camera and notebook in hand. The last I heard the plan is for Audio Note to have two rooms again, one exhibiting the state-of-the-art (hopefully we'll get to see their new TT3 this year), the other exhibiting a, uh, somewhat more affordable solution (with maybe some debuts, perhaps? We'll have to wait and see).

Edge, last I heard, is slated to show with ESP speakers [should be nice - those Sweet-sounding speakers are all about setup, hope they get a large room]. Not sure what Globe Audio Marketing is going to do with Audio Aero, or what speakers Walker Audio will be showing their turntable with this year - but they both usually setup some really good sounding rooms. HRS will also be there. Oh, Globe Audio will be showing with Brinkmann North America ... and they seem to have a few tricks up their sleeves so stay tuned.

Marten will be there in two rooms at the Venetian - the EAR Audio room and one other, but not sure which speakers they will actually exhibit with, in either room [expect some surprises if all goes as planned] but we do know they will not take the Coltrane Supremes to the show this year.

We do not exhibit there because we are just dealers and dealers do not usually show at CES, the show being ostensibly for manufacturers to signup new dealers and distributors.

More and more we hear reticence from our manufacturers about showing at all at CES. We certainly understand - it is a lot of work, and we are one of the few dealers who actually attend each year. Although we don't gamble we do like the nice weather Las Vegas has to offer in mid January - and Las Vegas is within driving distance - so the whole CES thing works on many levels for us, so we hope that high-end audio at CES continues in some form or another.

It would be kind of interesting if the manufacturers and importers could all be enticed somehow to exhibit more at CES and not less. And, while we are at, a way to let them know what equipment we want them to bring to the show. It would be kind of like what the Mixibitors do, but before-the-fact, specifying which rooms will have which components... Hmmmmmm...

The CES show report is still our most widely read report and we will strive to make this next CES show report the bestest ever [and hopefully we will still have, after the show report, all of the same product lines we had before the show report. But I would think, by this time, all of our readers and suppliers understand our no compromise, forthright honesty in our show reports - whether they agree with us about what we heard or not. Riiiight?].

The Blog Lives, the Blog Grows

Every time I think of the word 'Blog' I think of those old '50s movies about the Blob attacking small town 30 somethings. Probably just me, though.

We are continuing to expand the role of the Blog as a means for us to chat with all of you, to post

  • about what is happening here and elsewhere,

  • reviews of how each of our systems sound here as we iterate through numerous different configurations,

  • news and extras about shows and our show reports,

  • equipment reviews and

  • politely critique other reviewer's reviews, and, well, just about

  • anything that IS High-end Audio.

For Your Listening Pleasure

We have said it before, but it is worth repeating, we invite everyone who is interested in hearing what we have up here to call for an audition, whether or not you can afford anything on our floor. If you are passionate, or curious, and respectful of the fact that we are often a big cluttered mess up here, then please, give us a call.

We are assembling quite a collection of goodies that we can setup in a very large number of different configurations: Audio Note CDT-Three and 4.1x Balanced DAC, M10, Kegons and AN/E SEC Silver Signature; the Brinkmann Balance turntable; the Walker turntable; the Edge Signature One and NL Reference amps; Lamm ML2.1 and L2; Kharma Mini Exquisites and MP150 amps; the Soundlab U1; Marten Coltrane and Coltrane Supreme; Audio Aero Capitole and Prestige; just about every cable made by Nordost and Shunyata plus the best by Elrod and Jorma Design; Emmlabs; Rix Rax Grand Hoodoo; Everything HRS.


Thank you so much, everyone, for your support and your patronage.






    Marten Design

Marten has just recently come out with their statement loudspeaker, the Coltrane Supreme. We already carried their Coltrane loudspeaker here - for several years learning how to plumb its depths (and boy, does it have depths, a very flexible yet razor sharp tool this speaker is). And now we are pleased to announce that we also have the Coltrane Supreme here on our showroom floor - soon to be broken in and ready for auditions.

We are the exclusive dealer for the Coltrane Supremes here in the U.S.

We showed with these speakers at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver in October. I think we can safely say that, even though brand new, they exceeded both our and our visitor's expectations and were played to a packed room during almost the entire show.

These speakers have two towers each side. The first is an bass tower with six nine-inch ceramic woofers that comes with its own outboard crossover and 2000 watt into 4 ohms amplifier. The other is a main tower with five six inch drivers, a diamond tweeter and a two inch diamond midrange - the only speaker to have such an outrageous driver.

Weighing in at 200 lbs and under six feet tall for the bass tower and 120 lbs for the main towers - this speaker is at least reasonably sized if not reasonably priced (but the best rarely is).

If you are interested in how the break in process is shaping up, be sure to tune into the blog where we are posting reports about how the sound changes and improves from week to week.

Marten is continuing to expand their product line, filling in gaps, so... all we can say right now is... nothing.



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    Audio Note U.K.






Most people know of our love affair with the Audio Note digital front end (the CDT-Three CD transport and 4.1x Balanced DAC) and Kegon amplifiers. We originally heard the Kegons for only 3 days but later found out that we just could not live without them. They were haunting us.

Well, can you just guess what happened when we heard the M10 linestage here for, oh, it may have been 4 or 5 days this time? Here we go again. Three months later, this October, we got our own M10. Oh my. It just transforms the system it is inserted into.

The Soundlab Ultimate One speaker-based system with the Edge Signature One amplifiers, the M10 and Emmlabs digital is now on the same level as any of the  best systems in the world.

If you attended the Denver RMAF show, you heard the M10.

Our only problem now is that we only have one of these - are we really going to be carrying it around, from system to system, every time we want to play something?


The music just loves this thing.

The M10 utilizes two massive power supplies, installed in two MEISHU size chassis. These patent applied for units provide the circuit with “better than battery” quality voltage and current. From the U.K.

Early this Fall we put together an almost 100% pure Audio Note system: Audio Note AN/E SEC Silver Signature speakers, Kegon amplifiers, M8 preamplifier, and afore mentioned digital. We were, to put it somewhat embarrassingly, stunned. We are committed to trying to not only put together another system that also includes Audio Note cables so that it is indeed 100% - but to try and keep it always setup if possible for people who want to come up and hear it. Please, people, come up and hear it a lot - so we never have to tear it down - for our sakes, if nothing else.



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    Acoustic Zen Adagio






We are picky. Everyone knows that. It doesn't help that we are a ma and pa shop - and ma and pa have to both agree that a product line sounds really good before we pick it up - which makes us even harder to please. So, if we carry something a little bit different, a little bit, say, affordable? Then you know we think that is is darn good in the context of everything we have heard here and at the, over a dozen now, hi-fi shows we have attended.

For example the Acoustic Zen Adagio loudspeaker.

From the U.S. $4,200.

Some of the things this speaker does better than most speakers costing over twice as much:

  • Even treatment of the frequency spectrum; no artificial ingredients or cosmetic-surgery-gone-bad here.

  • Natural yet gratifyingly full-sounding bass, even with the speaker out in the middle of the room.

  • Ability to handle complex music without collapsing into a wall-of-sound.



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    Elrod Power Systems






Another line we recently picked up is Elrod Power Systems. Elrod makes power cords. Big, honkin' power cords. Power cords that have a big, big sound. So big, that we often have to move our speakers around a little to handle the increased amount of bass generated by the amplifiers when we attach these power cords to them. The midrange also is fleshed out and fuller sounding - sacrificing perhaps just a little detail in the process.

As with many components, it is often the removing of the power cord from the system that is the most telling about just what that cord was doing - and that is true here. Removing these from our amplifiers and replacing them with another top flight power cord results in a radical change to the sound - the system becomes much leaner sounding, somewhat more hi-fi sounding, yet a little lighter on its feet, so to speak.

So, not always for everyone - but if you like a big meaty natural sound - then you want these... and you want them bad.



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We have loved Kharma loudspeakers for years - and raved about them for years as the older parts of our sprawl of a website attest - and we are still so happy, no thrilled, to finally be able to pick up this line for Audio Federation, which we did this Spring.

These speakers reflect so well what we think of as the ultimate sound: always Enjoyable, oh so Emotional, Impressive in the sense of extreme levels of detail along with a very satisfying amount of bass, and an ability to do transparency for a level of Realism that can be quite, quite convincing.

But forget all that.

No, really. Just forget it. It doesn't matter.

The Kharma speakers do something else - something sneaky and insidious... and very seductive. They, somehow, take over our brain and send us to places, places familiar and not so familiar, places that we did not know we wanted to go, places that we did not know existed, places that we had forgotten.

It is these 'places', away from the humdrum, conflicted, troubling world of the real, that good music and good stereo systems to play it on, can take us to.

Where do you want to go today?

Kharma's Exquisite line of speakers uses the one inch diamond tweeter, one of the larger diamond tweeters in use today. This allows a spectacularly large amount of information to be communicated in the lower treble / upper midrange frequencies - exactly where humans listen for subtle details. But the more interesting aspect of all this is that the crossover makes this blend in perfectly with the rest of the frequencies, just in the way you would expect it to.

The Kharma 3-way Midi Exquisite has just received an upgrade of their low end drivers - making them tighter and faster, and tightening up the soundstage - thrusting this speaker into the front of the stage as the most exciting, most listenable, most engaging reasonably-sized 3-way speaker in the world today. We want it!



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    Jorma Design

We have had Jorma Design cables here for a number of years now and consider their No. 1 speaker cable one of the very few cables that can stand up the the Nordost Valhalla.

Then they had to come out with their 'Prime' cable. At $22K for a 2.5 meter speaker cable, and $7K for a 1 meter interconnect - we thought, OK, fine, and went on with our lives.

But then, somehow, some of these cables arrived here for us to listen to. You cannot imagine how much we wanted to not like these cables - to come to some conclusion other than the one we did. The one that we were afraid of in the very beginning.

Harmonics and textures galore. Harmonics have 'inner detail' too, subtle shades and transitions from one to another that is only very slightly slightly slightly different, or to another with slightly more richness and color and then back again. These cables let us hear this in a quite dramatic fashion.

Textures... so we have not just notes, not just well-formed attack and decay, but insight into the little ridges and valleys and bumps and pimples on the rising, cresting and falling note envelope.

Details, not just of the composition of say, a violin bow, but of space around the bow, how the sound seems to bounce back and forth between then bow and the violin, outlining both in the soundstage in such a natural fashion that our heads keep snapping back in response to some kind of primal instinct, to see if, somehow, someone has actually invaded our home and started playing violin between our speakers.

Jorma Design Prime is now one of the handful of premiere cables sold on the ultra prestigious '7th floor', at the top of Dynamic Audio 5555 (Hi-end Audio Laboratory) in Japan.



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We've been saying that these are the best electrostatic speakers in the world for a long while now. Well, truth be told, the bar isn't all that high in the world of electrostatics and flat panels, to our ears. But Soundlab keeps improving and keeps improving...

With the latest upgrade to their transformer, which we recently had performed - the Soundlab is steadily closing the gap between the sound of this, the best electrostatic panel speaker and the best of the traditionally-designed speakers.

Now, we know there is a group of people who love panels and will never listen to anything but panels, and they have already seen the light. But the rest of the audiophiles out there, you might just keep an eye, and an ear, on these guys, checking them out for an audition every now and then - they are very likely going to surprise you.

Now, those of you who read our show reports or keep tabs on what is happening here on the Blog, you have heard this before - about how we have a pet peeve about how most dealers - and most exhibitors - who demonstrate these speakers do so with respectively cheap high-power solid-state amplifiers with a solid-state preamplifier and source, trying to play to what  they see as the strengths of these speakers: the ability to generate tremendous amounts of detail - and quite a bit of bass as well.

But what about Enjoyability? Emotion? Naturalness?

One solution is to use a high-powered high-quality tube amplifier.  But these are relatively rare, in our opinion [if they exist at all] and will have heat issues. Another is to use the Wolcott amps. This is a nice inexpensive solution which achieves a modest amount of detail / Impressiveness along with a good amount of enjoyablity and emotionality.

The ultimate solution, which we use here at the house of ultimate solutions, is to use a high-quality high-powered solid-state amplifier paired with a very high quality tube preamplifier. We have used the tube linestage in the Audio Aero line of CD players for years - and this netted us the best sound from the Soundlabs we have heard anywhere - by a wide margin. But now we use the Audio Note M10 preamplifier driving the Edge Signature One amplifiers, with the Emmlabs as source. Where before, the Soundlabs were somewhat less engaging than the other, even more ridiculously priced speakers we have here, now they are on the same playing field. And with single-driver coherence and integrity. And still lots of detail and bass.

OK, yes, the M10 is almost $70K - but it works! And, even if you think you can't afford the M10 just yet - just realize that the relatively inexpensive Soundlabs (our U1, their best, comes in at around $32K - their second best, the A1, which is awfully close to the U1, comes in at around $18K) are now in the same class as $50K - $100K loudspeakers.

Soundlab is continuing to improve the efficiency of their speakers - this latest upgrade we got here, that did not include the panel upgrade, raised the sensitivity by about, our guess, 3dB, which resulted in improved dynamics, especially in the midrange and bass. The panel upgrade is supposed to improve it even more.

We'll say it again, it might be a good thing to keep an eye on these guys...



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After Emm Labs grabbed the spotlight as the top SACD player in the known Galaxy a few years ago (as for the unknown Galaxy - well, we are still waiting to hear from all the contestants), there has been frantic effort on the part of its competitors to dislodge it.

They're still trying.

What is less well known in this part of the Galaxy is that the ordinary, humdrum, CD playback on the Emm Labs transport and DAC is also sitting on top of the heap of all those solid-state digital sources that keep popping out of manufacturers like...  well, like popcorn, .. somewhat expensive popcorn.

There are two types of state-of-the-art components: those that sound so good that they will drown the rest of the system in yummy goodness (no, not catsup, and no, not salsa Neli! but more like a very, very nice main course dish) - and those that sound so good, that one needs to treasure each and every little drop of sound that comes out of it and migrates down the sound chain and out to one's ears (as an example, oh I don't know, how about chocolate that your children or significant other made themselves from cocoa beans).

There is a lot of catsup out there! Some systems probably need some catsup, just like Lima beans do. Oops, really digressing here.

The purity of the Meitner is a treasure. If you take care to preserve it as it travels down the long highway until it gets to your ears - you will be richly rewarded. It is really quite startling, and quite easy to identify once you have heard this in a system. Each note is like a tiny little bell ... ringing out... in a large open space...  [this is, truth be told, exactly how I picture it in my head when I hear some of the notes the Meitner produces]


At the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver this October, Emm Labs announced a new single-box player, the CDSA. This new player will be the CDSD combined with the DCC2 but without the linestage that is in the DCC2. $10K. For those that have a linestage, or plan on getting one, this is ... a... temptation... is it not? It is for us, rack space and power cords are always scarce... always.



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Nordost came out with a number of new cables this year, replacing the Valkryja with 4 different cables, so that, now, there is something at every price point imaginable. Essentially it works like this: if you want the best, get Valhalla, if want something a little less best, then talk it over with your dealer to see which may be the best fit for your system and needs.

One of the more interesting developments, for us here, with respect to Nordost is the release of the Nordost Vidar cable burn-in device (I guess one speaks about breaking-in speakers versus burning-in cables?).

We use this to burn in all sorts of cables (it works on other cables besides Nordost's cables, thank goodness). It really works. Much better than the old Nordost burn-in device, which was more or less state-of-the-art until this came along.

With all the more expensive cables we have added here recently - Nordost, and especially their Valhalla - are the ones we still turn to when we want a clean, predictable, reliable, no-surprises-thank-you transfer of the signal from one place to another. It is still, after all these years, the industry standard.



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We took our Brinkmann Balance turntable to the RMAF show again this year. Performed flawlessly under adverse conditions (the adverse conditions being that other people besides Neli and I were heavily using the 'table, people who had not used the table before). It is such a pleasure to use, such a competent design and implementation, and the sonics are comparable to those other state-of-the-art tables, tables costing several times more and weighing several times as much, and taking several times as long to setup.

The Brinkmann turntables, the Balance and the LaGrange, steadily add support for other arms through the use of their easy to remove - easy to install arm pods. Brinkmann arm pods can be ordered for many different tone arms. In fact, Neli wants an arm pod for an Audio Note AN/1s (or better, Sogon) on ours sometime (soon, she tells me).



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Our Walker Proscenium Gold Signature is our cost-no-object, no detail is insignificant, solution to the ultimate turntable here. The solidity of the image. The solidity of the bass. The extreme, unstoppable inertia of the music likens to having real musicians from, say, the Bronx, playing the music - each note is that physically present and is not going to be messed with until this song is finished.

The Walker Proscenium Gold Signature is now called the 'Black Diamond' and has a new tonearm that is twenty times stiffer than the previous one. We do not have it here yet - darn it - but it is on the list...

Neli says "From what everyone tells me it is not an subtle upgrade from the previous carbon-fiber one that we have here. I think Lloyd's arm is a dream, a sonically excellent fuss free lovely sounding arm, linear tracking, air bearing, with a very flexible and tuneable counterweight system."



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Edge is still is our favorite sounding solid-state amplifiers and continues to make one of the most reliable and well-built electronic components in the high-end audio world... actually, make that in the entire consumer electronics world.

We use our Signature One amps All of The Time. Always musical, never harsh or solid-statey [take THAT Microsoft spell-checker], safe, reliable...

Most other solid-state amps you have to baby, you have to tailor your entire system for them, cables, tubes, etc., removing details and micro-dynamics, anything and everything, just so that the amps do not scratch your ears out - when, say, Dylan starts, uh, singing.



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We continue to plumb the depths of the Lamm 18 watt ML2.1 single-ended triode amplifier. It is a little picky about what speaker you pair it with - it always sounds good, as an almost $30K amplifier should - but sometimes is sounds un-be-lievable. At those times it is just an effort to get the mouth to shut because of the natural tendency to let out a big Ohhhhhhhh...

This is exactly what we found when pairing the ML2.1 with the Marten Coltrane loudspeaker. We reported on this at that time on the blog. And then, fairly recently, we added HRS' MXR equipment rack to the mix - which added a whole new perspective on what was possible - both with these speakers and with the ML2.1 amps. ML2.1's have slam, baby! And control and awesome separation. And then we added the Jorma Design Prime speaker cables...

Well, this system has been and still is our current reference. Yes, of course the Coltrane Supreme is a better speaker, and the M10 is a better pre than the L2, and they should be at 5 times the price. But we are just learning about those other pieces whereas this system is optimized and tuned and polished... and is just so damn fun to take out and drive - handling the musical curves and obstacles like a formula one race car.



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    Audio Aero



  We got to take some photos of the new Audio Aero Prima Integrated MK II amplifier at the RMAF show.

Looked nice. Sounded nice. The Prima CD player, paired with this integrated amp are one of our most recommended solutions to the audiophile who wants a system that costs less than a new car. A complete system with these two combined with the Acoustic Zen Adagio comes retails under $10K, or combined with the Kharma 3.1c or Marten Miles III, under $17K (both prices ignoring cables and rack). These systems will sound better in our opinion, with more Enjoyability, Emotionality and even Magic, than many [most] cost-no-object systems out there.



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    Rix Rax




Rix Rax makes beautiful, custom, furniture-quality equipment racks. We sell a fair number of these, probably because, in the world of high-end audio they start at a fairly reasonable price (about $3,500), and because Neli will spend the time with people over the phone to ascertain just what dimensions and materials will work for their situation - their room, the other things in the room, their equipment, anticipated upgrades, etc. Diagrams are sent back and forth between them, us, and the factory and, at the end of the process, they will have the rack that satisfies their needs and desires exactly

Yes, you can just order a Rix Rax more or less off the shelf, but it seems that a lot of people, once they start talking about cocobolo this and solid maple that, they get into the whole "Hey, I get to design my own rack!" thing. We did.



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Shunyata Research came out with their 'Helix' technology this year and we got in a number of their power cords in with this new technology. We compared these to the 15 to 20 power cords of theirs we already had lying around, funneling electrons to and fro, hither and yon.

Our impressions of the Anaconda part of the line is that both the Alpha Helix and Vx Helix cables enable more harmonic information to be generated by the amplifier they are connected to than the same, non-Helix cables with older technology [don't ask me why, just is]. They were also a little cleaner sounding as well. We found the Anaconda Vx Helix to be a step up over the old Anaconda Vx right out of the box - but that the Anaconda Alpha Helix required quite a bit of break in in order to relax and mellow out some. But in the end, we came to like these cables quite a bit - even though we plug in the old Anaconda Alpha whenever we want a 'standard' power cord, because we are so darn familiar with what it does.

Shunyata is still the mainstay here, even though we picked up few more lines of power cords. They just do so much so right - and have such a wide variety of options and prices.

Like Nordost's Valhalla cables and Emm Labs digital sources, Shunyata power cords are the standard that everyone else tries to beat.



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    HRS - Harmonic Resolution Systems


Saving one of the best for last, we keep appreciating the HRS vibration control MXR equipment rack, M3 Isolation Bases and Nimbus Couplers more and more and more and...

We have an MXR rack here and nine of the M3 bases. And it isn't enough! Every time we remove a platform to put it somewhere else - that poor platformless system takes a big hit in performance: mini, micro and macro-dynamics, transparency, harmonic depth...

Well, you can just see what the solution is going to end up being, and the problem is we can see what the solution will be, but holy cow, that is a lot of racks and platforms.

Now, we will still have our other racks - they are beautiful in their own right and not nearly as expensive - and it will take us awhile, just like it takes all of you out there and all of our customers, quite awhile in fact, to afford everything we are going to need to populate the key systems with HRS the way we want to.

Did you all already guess that Neli wants the next rack to be a double-wide in burl walnut? I bet you did. Having a significant other who likes audio equipment is a sure path to an empty bank account, I tell you.

This is just, like, so next on the list of what we want to get for the store we can taste it - if we would just keep away from getting more things like the Marten Coltrane Supremes and the Audio Note M10 for just a little while.

We took a few HRS MXR equipment racks to the RMAF show this year - so we are getting quite familiar with setting them up and tearing them down (they have 96 screws each) and more confident in the absolute engineering genius and exactitude behind the construction of these racks - and everything HRS, for that matter. Wouldst all high-end gear had this kind of build quality.



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    Stocking Stuffers


Not sure how many people are going to get a Kharma Mini Exquisite speakers in their stocking this year (needs an awfully large stocking. Suggest trying Costco to see if they have one large enough).

But what everybody can use, besides Mini Exquisites, and besides more music, is more HRS Nimbus Couplers and Spacers. These will increase the quality of both price-no-object systems and of price-is-most-definitely-a-big-concern systems.

First, we will describe what they are, and then what they do.

Nimbus Couplers are the thing there on the left that is leaning up against the Nimbus Spacer - and on the right you can see how the Coupler fits into the little indentation area, looks like a shallow cup, that the Spacer has for its Coupler. There is another cup on the bottom of the Spacer for a second Coupler.

Kind of like an Oreo cookie, but the soft chewy center is on the outsides.

Typically, each Spacer needs two Couplers, which are soft and pliable, one on the top and one on the bottom.


Nimbus Spacers come in different heights. Because these Nimbus Spacers (plus two Couplers) are placed underneath components, they need to be taller than the feet of the component in order to 'levitate' the component so that it now rests on the Nimbuses and not on the feet.

The feet found on the components out there might be short or tall - ergo the need for Spacers of different heights.


Here we see the three different heights of the Nimbuses (Spacers plus Couplers).

Nimbus spacer/coupler set heights:

NS-030 with 2 couplers: 1"
NS-080 with 2 couplers: 1.5"
NS-130 with 2 couplers: 2"

These are put underneath components, as mentioned above, in order to couple the component's chassis to the shelf underneath. It turns out that most feet on most equipment does a really bad job of handling vibrations, either allowing the vibrations to resonate longer than they have to in the chassis, or, probably worse, transmitting vibrations that the shelf picks up into the component.

Vibrations negatively affect the sound of an electrical component. There are probably many reasons that this is so, but one that is easy to understand (which means I understand it, so it has to be easy, right?) is that wires that carry current generate magnetic fields. When they vibrate, or move in any way, in a magnetic field, they generate small amounts of current in themselves - which 'pollutes' the current that is already going through the wire i.e. the musical signal.


We've had great success using the Nimbuses to couple components to HRS' M3 Isolation Base (another great stocking stuffer). But we've also had phenomenal success using the Nimbuses under components that are on a number of different kinds of shelves and platforms.

What do they do to for the sound? It becomes tighter, with more inner detail, better micro-, midi- and macro-dynamics, better separation, ... I guess I would say that those are the highlights.

What they do NOT do, which is unique in our experience with vibration control devices, is do anything harmful. Many other things we have tried remove micro-dynamics, or alter the timbre slightly, perhaps at only a few frequency ranges, driving us crazy. Some things increase dynamics in some frequencies and remove it in others. It can be a real mess.

But in our experience, HRS either helps a little, or, about 85 - 90% of the time, a lot - but it never adversely affects the sound. Not sure I understand why (uh, actually, I am sure I do not) but experientially, it is a fact.

Prices are quite reasonable.

Nimbus coupler $25.00.
Small Nimbus Spacer $35.00.
Medium Nimbus Spacer $40.00.
Large Nimbus Spacer $45.00.

A low rise foot, which is two Nimbus Couplers and one small Spacer between them, comes to $85 each. Each component will typically need three of these which comes to $255.

For an upscale system this is a no-brainer. For more modest systems, if you do not yet have an after market power cord, get that first. Otherwise, for $255, there is unlikely to be a better, more cost effective upgrade available. An upgrade that will be useful for many years as your system is upgraded and evolves towards the Ultimate System.



EMAIL 303-546-6503








USED Acapella Audio Arts 'Fondato Silenzio' vibration isolation platforms. Pearwood enclosures, works with any weight component. A few minor scratches where components with spiked feet have sat and small dings where very expensive equipment was incorrectly piloted. About 30 to 50 lbs each.

Three small platforms: 14.5 x 18.5 inches
List: $1600. Sale: $Email Only Special.

One large platform: 16 x 20.5 inches
List: $1900. Sale: $Email Only Special.

One very large platform: 20 x 24 inches
List: $2700. Sale: $Email Only Special.

Prices do not include shipping.



EMAIL 303-546-6503




Two, DEMO, barely broken in (but about 3 years old) Silent Source 'Signature Power cord's. Two meters.

List: $650. Sale: $350 each. $650 for the pair.

Prices do not include shipping.



EMAIL 303-546-6503




DEMO, well broken-in discontinued Nordost CBID 1 cable burner. The Nordost CBID-1 uses a proprietary solid-state chip that sends signal-specific pulsating data through the cables. These wideband pulses distress the cable over a period of 70 hours. We have replaced our CBID with the new Nordost Vidar.

List: $1200. Sale: $Email Only Special

Price does not include shipping.



EMAIL 303-546-6503




DEMO, well broken-in six foot original (about 4 years old) Shunyata Taipan power cord.

List: $650. Sale: $Email Only Special

Price does not include shipping.



EMAIL 303-546-6503




OMEGA MIKRO 5 feet Active LCX Red power cord. Demo. Barely broken in. About 3 years old. This cord are supplied a charge to the cable via a battery housed in a custom wood box and connected via small wires.

List: $995. Sale: $350

OMEGA MIKRO 5 feet Active LCX Blue power cord. Demo. Barely broken in. About 3 years old. This cord are supplied a charge to the cable via a battery housed in a custom wood box and connected via small wires.

List: $995. Sale: $350


Prices do not include shipping.



EMAIL 303-546-6503







The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, or Hanukah, I forget which, my true love sent to me....

12 installers huffing and puffing [hey, this is the most important part, let me tell you]

11 Jorma Prime interconnects a connecting [now I know this is my True TRUE love]

10 cartons of unopened '60s LPs to be a playin' [and shelf space to put them away in]

9 different analog and digital sources of my choi-ce [hedging my bets here]

8 8 watt Audio Note Kageki 2A3 amplifiers [I tattooed 2A3 on my forehead and True Love got the hint. Next year? Well, we'll see]

7 Marten Coltrane Supremes.... [in a 7.0 surround sound configuration... for the, uh, True Love, of course ;-)]

60 pounds of power cords [still not sure this will be enough]

5 Gold-en Elves [to take turns adjusting the volume and flipping over LPs when I can't convince the True Love to get up and do it]

4 MXR equipment racks in cherry apple red [or sunshine yellow]

3 garages to store all the crates in [large garages, too]

2 listening chairs with 24-way massagers awaiting [motorized, so I can bump ole True Love out of the sweet spot when I need to]

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree [in keeping with tradition].





As always, support your local dealer, so that they can support you.


Thanks for everything, everyone! Have a happy, happy new year.


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