A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!
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  1. #1
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    A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    By some stroke of incredible good fortune, I had planned a trip to St. Pete for this weekend and also recently went to Axpona and loved the Magico room. I subsequently found out Mike lives in the next town to St. Pete and that he's a Magico dealer, and the rest is now about to be recorded history. First a little background information.......

    I'm about to build a dedicated listening room over a new 2 car garage with dimensions of about 15'x24'. I went to Axpona fully intent on auditioning a lot of gear for the new system to go in this room. At the show I was absolutely taken by the CAT electronics and ordered a Legend preamp and a pair of their new JL7 mono blocks that are being built now. The CAT gear sounded fantastic with the S5's at the show and also in the Marten/vandenHul room. I was eager to hear a pair of S7's as those were on my short list of speakers for the system. Other contenders are the Vandy 7 MK II's, and now the new Duo's described below.

    I contacted Mike and he graciously asked Howard (The Sandman), who also lives nearby and has S7's with Pass electronics, if we could stop over for a listen. Just this morning, thanks to Mike and Howard, I was provided with an incredible listening session where Howard clicked one great track after another and the system and the music sounded fantastic. The S7's are one hell of a great speaker and thanks to this forum and the kindness and generosity of Mike and Howard I was able to hear them. Then I rode with Mike over to his place for some more listening.

    First we listened to his downstairs system with VAC electronics driving S1's; an absolutely spectacular combination. Next we went upstairs where Mike had the Avantgarde Mezzo Duo XD's driven by Triode gear and the Kronos pro TT in his dedicated and immaculately set up room that Jim Smith helped dial in. We played several records including the fantastic Eva Cassidy album Mike just recommended in a separate thread.

    I guess here's the part where I could gush on endlessly with all kinds of descriptive adjectives, but the bottom line is this; Mike's system is unquestionably one of the most real sounding, organic, and fulfilling conduits for a musical experience I've ever had or even imagined. The music flowed so effortlessly and naturally from the Duos that it was almost as if there was no system at all. As the components warmed up, the sound expanded and filled the room with gorgeous layers of textures, tone, dynamics, and presence that was so pure and all consuming that I'd forget we were listening to a recording. As we ran out of time, it was difficult to leave, and we played a couple of just one more's before I had to tear myself away.

    So now I've got a tough decision with speakers but will report back as my new system comes together in the next couple of months. The good news is that my room is almost the exact dimensions as Mike's, plus I've got Jim Smith ready to help me with set up. All I can say is if I can get close to what Mike has created, I'll be in audio nirvana. I'd like to thank Mike and Howard again plus give a huge shout out to this entire fantastic forum for helping me make today happen and enrich my experience and connection to the music. Its a great example of how we can continue to help each other in our pursuit of excellence in audio.
    Ted

    Main System; VPI Classic 3 TT, Koetsu Blue Lace Platinum, Eagle/RR, Cinemag SUT, CJ Prem 15 Phono Pre, Modwright Oppo 105 CD/Dac, CJ Gat Ser 2, CAT Legend, Carver BB 305's, Magnepan 3.7i's/Mye Stands, REL G2's (pair), Triton/Typhon, Shunyata Loom, Merrill Rack, Mapleshade Plinths/Footers, Herbie's Tenderfeet/Tube Dampers, Synergistic Research; HFT's, FEQ's, Black Box, Apertures & Tube Traps.

    2nd System; Kuzma Stabi/Stogi TT, Soundsmith Voice/Cad Bronze/Koetsu Rosewood Sig, Sutherland 20/20 Phono Pre, Bryston CD1, Cyrus Dac, Triode TRX-2, CJ Prem 8's (upgraded KT120's), Peter Gunn MMG's, REL S3's (pair), Audience Au24 SE Loom, Mapleshade Rack, Plinths & Footers. (Quad 2905's, ESL63's, PK Customs, AZ Crescendos, Utopias, Nuforce R20's, Modwright SWL9.0SE, CJ Classic 60SE)


  2. #2
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    A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    Wow. Thanks for share.
    I guess it's time to decide what Color combination of Mezzo XD that you gonna order now


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Paul

    Speakers : Harbeth M40.1, SHL5 plus , P3ESR , Rogers LS3/5a, Altec Valencia
    Amp : Air Tight ATM3 mono, New Audio Frontiers 845 Special Edition, Leben 300XS
    Pre : Air Tight ATC2
    Phono : Air Tight ATE2 & ATH3 SUT
    Analog : Kronos Sparta with Helena Arm
    Digital : Lampizator Big7 , EMM Labs CDSA SE & Aurender w/12TB

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  4. #3
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    Re: A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    I'm planning to fly down to see Mike, ..... Soon ! We should go together Paul !
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    Richard H. Mak
    Senior Analog Contributing Writer, Mono & Stereo
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  5. #4
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    Re: A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    Sounds like you need AGs

    Thanks for the write-up.
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ 47 Labs MC Bee cart, MSB Analog DAC --> DarTZeel CTH-8550 --> DeVore Fidelity Gibbon X

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    Re: A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    Sounds like a fantastic day Ted! Keep us posted on your new system decisions.
    _______________

    Mike

  7. #6
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    Re: A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    Glad you had a blast Ted, Mike is a great host. I need to hear his system as well.
    Joe

    Job INTegrated, PS Audio BHK 300 Signature Mono Amplifiers, Triode Corporation TRX-M845 Monoblocks, Ayre MX-R Twenty monos, Accuphase A-36, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE, Jolida Fusion 3502, Cary 300B SE, JBL 4367, Sonus Faber Stradivari, JBL 4312D, Klipsch Palladium P17-b, Klipsch RP-160M, Klipsch RB-75, KEF LS50, Nord One UP NC500MB monos, Carver VTA20S, Manley Steelhead, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, ASL Wave monos, Kimber RCA and XLR cable, VPI Classic 3, VPI SDS, Lyra Kleos, Burmester 948, Metric Halo LIO-8, Musical Paradise MP-D2 AK4490 XMOS BALANCED DAC DSD DOP 384Khz.

  8. #7
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    Re: A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    I woke up sort of haunted by the sound in a really good way. There is a feeling I have come to recognize when I walk away from listening to an incredible system that is hard to describe. Its not about the notes or the physical exercise of hearing sound, even though we need to use lots of terms to explain all of that. To me its a very deep sensation of fulfillment and even joy. (not to get too esoteric.....) And that feeling can last for hours, or in this case even into the next day. Maybe even until tomorrow. Seems like its about time to start looking at colors!
    Ted

    Main System; VPI Classic 3 TT, Koetsu Blue Lace Platinum, Eagle/RR, Cinemag SUT, CJ Prem 15 Phono Pre, Modwright Oppo 105 CD/Dac, CJ Gat Ser 2, CAT Legend, Carver BB 305's, Magnepan 3.7i's/Mye Stands, REL G2's (pair), Triton/Typhon, Shunyata Loom, Merrill Rack, Mapleshade Plinths/Footers, Herbie's Tenderfeet/Tube Dampers, Synergistic Research; HFT's, FEQ's, Black Box, Apertures & Tube Traps.

    2nd System; Kuzma Stabi/Stogi TT, Soundsmith Voice/Cad Bronze/Koetsu Rosewood Sig, Sutherland 20/20 Phono Pre, Bryston CD1, Cyrus Dac, Triode TRX-2, CJ Prem 8's (upgraded KT120's), Peter Gunn MMG's, REL S3's (pair), Audience Au24 SE Loom, Mapleshade Rack, Plinths & Footers. (Quad 2905's, ESL63's, PK Customs, AZ Crescendos, Utopias, Nuforce R20's, Modwright SWL9.0SE, CJ Classic 60SE)


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  10. #8
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    Re: A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!



    Ruined by Avantgarde !!!! Love it.

    I have a tiny taste of horns with my JBL's but would love to hear a properly set up AG speaker.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tedtag View Post
    I woke up sort of haunted by the sound in a really good way. There is a feeling I have come to recognize when I walk away from listening to an incredible system that is hard to describe. Its not about the notes or the physical exercise of hearing sound, even though we need to use lots of terms to explain all of that. To me its a very deep sensation of fulfillment and even joy. (not to get too esoteric.....) And that feeling can last for hours, or in this case even into the next day. Maybe even until tomorrow. Seems like its about time to start looking at colors!
    Last edited by joeinid; May 8, 2016 at 10:27 AM.
    Joe

    Job INTegrated, PS Audio BHK 300 Signature Mono Amplifiers, Triode Corporation TRX-M845 Monoblocks, Ayre MX-R Twenty monos, Accuphase A-36, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE, Jolida Fusion 3502, Cary 300B SE, JBL 4367, Sonus Faber Stradivari, JBL 4312D, Klipsch Palladium P17-b, Klipsch RP-160M, Klipsch RB-75, KEF LS50, Nord One UP NC500MB monos, Carver VTA20S, Manley Steelhead, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, ASL Wave monos, Kimber RCA and XLR cable, VPI Classic 3, VPI SDS, Lyra Kleos, Burmester 948, Metric Halo LIO-8, Musical Paradise MP-D2 AK4490 XMOS BALANCED DAC DSD DOP 384Khz.

  11. #9
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    Re: A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post


    Ruined by Avantgarde !!!! Love it.

    I have a tiny taste of horns with my JBL's but would love to hear a properly set up AG speaker.

    Highly recommend a trip down here to listen to Mikes AG's. Plus, the gulf coast is gorgeous with some of the best beaches in the country. Found a fantastic hotel with terrific amenities and service. Here's a picture from the room.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Ted

    Main System; VPI Classic 3 TT, Koetsu Blue Lace Platinum, Eagle/RR, Cinemag SUT, CJ Prem 15 Phono Pre, Modwright Oppo 105 CD/Dac, CJ Gat Ser 2, CAT Legend, Carver BB 305's, Magnepan 3.7i's/Mye Stands, REL G2's (pair), Triton/Typhon, Shunyata Loom, Merrill Rack, Mapleshade Plinths/Footers, Herbie's Tenderfeet/Tube Dampers, Synergistic Research; HFT's, FEQ's, Black Box, Apertures & Tube Traps.

    2nd System; Kuzma Stabi/Stogi TT, Soundsmith Voice/Cad Bronze/Koetsu Rosewood Sig, Sutherland 20/20 Phono Pre, Bryston CD1, Cyrus Dac, Triode TRX-2, CJ Prem 8's (upgraded KT120's), Peter Gunn MMG's, REL S3's (pair), Audience Au24 SE Loom, Mapleshade Rack, Plinths & Footers. (Quad 2905's, ESL63's, PK Customs, AZ Crescendos, Utopias, Nuforce R20's, Modwright SWL9.0SE, CJ Classic 60SE)


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  13. #10
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    Re: A great day with Mike and a huge thank you!

    Mike is an AUDIO ENIGMA .he can speak to any issue regarding sound reproduction.Its nice to have him as a resource in our audio club.A trip to hows house is like going to disney.
    Glad you got to go there!

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