Research and Ayre
for the scoop on the Audio Research Reference 6. With Audio
Research's track record, along with the fact you've listened to every Audio Research
Reference preamplifier over the past ten years, your rave review almost makes me want to
just buy one, especially because every major audio publication anointed the Reference 5 SE
as a Recommended, Reference, or Top Dog component.
only question I have is, How neutral and transparent is the Reference 6? A comparison with
a known reference, like an Ayre KX-R Twenty, would be invaluable.
I did not use the words neutrality or transparency (in an attempt to
avoid use of words that get beaten to death in reviews), I tried to express how revealing
the system was through musical example. As indicated in the review, the only unit I used
for direct comparison was the Reference 5 SE. I did not have the Ayre preamp in my system,
and havent heard it in any system in some time. I dont necessarily accept the
wisdom that the best tubed and solid-state equipment sounds the same today. I also
dont think reviews can provide much direction in deciding which you prefer.
you or any of your colleagues at TAB ever put Gryphon and Wilson together? I'm
giving consideration to the new Yvette with a Gryphon Diablo 300 and Scorpio already in my
possession. Its not a combination Ive seen mentioned, which is by no means
indicative of how they might work together.
than my own use of Gryphon's Legato Legacy phono stage with Wilson Alexandria XLF and
Alexia speakers, I don't recall coming across such a brand pairing at a show or in a
dealer's showroom -- ever. I think there are two reasons for this. First, while Wilson has
distribution all over the world, probably its biggest market is the US, where Gryphon
doesn't have distribution. Second, Gryphon makes its own speakers, and I'm sure dealers
make the point that brand unity trumps any sort of synergy between Gryphon an another
brand. I can say that there are some sonic similarities between Wilson and Gryphon that
make their use together intriguing. If you end up with an Yvette/Diablo 300/Scorpio
system, give us a report, okay? -Marc Mickelson
seeking advice and hope you can help. I see that you've used and really like the Audio
Research Reference 2 SE phono stage. I'm thinking of replacing my K&K Audio Maxxed Out
phono stage, which I like and have been using for more than six years now. I'm wondering
if you have any experience with the Pass Labs XP-25 phono stage or the Modwright PH-150
phono stage. If so, do you have any thoughts on how they compare? I've never heard any of
these in my own system, although I have the Modwright LS 36.5 line stage and think it's
great. Because the Reference Phono 2 SE has been discontinued, units are available at a
price that makes all three of these closer in price than the list prices would indicate. I
like the idea of various EQ curves, but I want a reliable unit and one that sounds great
for your time and expertise. And keep up the great work with your publication!
don't have firsthand familiarity with any of the phono stages you mention, other than the
Audio Research Reference Phono 2 SE, but a quick look at the K&K Audio Maxxed Out,
which you own, shows that it has a step-up transformer -- likely a very good one, given K
& K's heritage. One of the Reference Phono 2 SE's salient design points is that it
derives all of its gain from active devices, so there is no step-up transformer. This
means that loading, which the Reference Phono 2 SE allows you to do from the remote
control, is more accurate and you don't have to be concerned with the sonic signature or
loading mismatches a transformer can have. The Reference Phono 2 SE is, therefore, a very
different kind of phono stage from the one you own; I think you'll find the same to be
true if you hear one in your system.
can't comment on the Pass Labs or Modwright units, except to wonder if they have step-ups
or are fully active. Sound-wise, I generally prefer the latter approach. -Marc
Best Music You May Have Missed"
just wanted to offer a brief thank you for "The Best Music You May Have Missed" on The Audio Beat.
I was able to find all of the recommendations on Tidal and have since had the opportunity
to listen (partially or in total) to each.
a great selection of music!
thoroughly enjoyed them all and found something compelling in each record. Whether
were sympatico in our musical tastes or you just happened on records that struck a
chord, Im grateful that you brought these records to my attention and look forward
to spending more time with them.
again for the terrific article. Ill keep an eye out for the next installment.
me to the list! Dig the site. Keep it up! Thanks.
on the list. For others, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to join the reader e-mail list
and find out about new articles on TAB first. -Marc Mickelson