Who remembers Gold CDs? They were fairly popular many years ago among audiophiles. DCC made a lot of gold discs. MoFi made UDCDs. I had a bunch of these, and they are all out of print now. Sold off a lot of them because they were going for crazy money. I still have a few laying around. Audiophiles are nutty people. I’m not excluding myself either.
The stereo system of Hideto Irikawa. See more photos of his home at The Selby.
My friend’s daughter wanted me to play Afro Baby, because in her words “the girl on the cover looks happy.” Well, it’s settled then; Afro Baby it is.
An impressive NYC Loft System (At Ears Nova)
Gear list below.
Rockport Technologies Avior Speakers
Viva Audio Little Solista Integrated Amp (Italian Import)
Boulder 865 Integrated Amp
Basis Audio 2100 Signature turntable (with Heed Audio phonostage and power supply)
(Source: Flickr / atane)
I recently got the opportunity to hear the North American premiere of the dCS Vivaldi digital playback system at Ears Nova. It’s a 4 box, no nonsense, no compromise system that leaves no digital stone unturned. It was the heart of the system, and it’s $135,000.
Other notables were the Altair speakers from Rockport Technologies. It weighs around 515lbs each. You can’t really appreciate their size until you see it from the side in person. It costs $97,500 a pair.
Driving the Altair speakers were Centaur 500 Watt monoblock amplifiers from Constellation Audio. They are $48,000 a pair.
There was also a Basis Audio Signature turntable, with a Vector 4 tonearm in the room, but the focus was on the dCS Vivaldi stack, which was very impressive. Once you add in the cost of the preamp, phono-stage, power supplies, cabling, racks and everything else there, you’re inching close to half a million bucks. Obviously, this isn’t the stereo for most people.
The sheer immense cost of a no nonsense system, as jarring as it may seem, wasn’t that big a deal to me. I see and hear uber systems all the time. I won’t opine about the fidelity (Do you really care? To say the market for this is exclusive would be an understatement). That should be something you decide for yourself with your own ears. However, I will say that dCS is the real deal, and they have been at the forefront of digital audio for a long time. The true highlight for me was listening to the engineers themselves. Once you start talking to the dCS engineers, you truly become humbled at the level of expertise they possess. These guys are geniuses of the highest order. Being around people like this highlights how little you know about a lot of things. It’s good to hang around scientists, engineers and anyone else far smarter than you. If you listen to digital audio, innovations people like them have made along the way has trickled down to your device, from DAC technology, to everything else in between, at all price points. From $135k digital playback systems, to your $250 iPod. For that, I am thankful.
(Source: Flickr / atane)
I recently upgraded my turntable from my trusty Project RPM 6.1, which was no slouch, to something a lot more substantial.
The new turntable is a Pro-Ject RM 10.1. The cartridge is a Dynavector 20X2. The difference has not been subtle. More space, more sizzle, more focus, more dynamics, more accuracy. More of everything you expect from a quality turntable.
I’ve been listening to records I know intimately over again. I swear, it sounds like Sonny Rollins is actually in my living room.