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  1. #1

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system



    Really excited about the change. The Soulutions are great, but getting long in the teeth. So, it was time to try out something new.

    As some of you might remember, I’ve been ogling AudioNet’s Scientist Series for a while. I had a good offer on the Heisenbergs, but could not get a decent deal on the Stern pre. And, my 92 db sensitive Lansches do not really need 1000 wpc to shine. Less Watts are also good for the marriage, I believe.

    I also do enjoy the fact, that design is not an afterthought. The Humboldt has after all been designed by Hartmut Esslinger of Macintosh II fame. It received the coveted European Red Dot design award, and is also on display at the Smithsonian for it’s innovative Floating Pane design to avoid microphonic effects.

    Engineering-wise a marvel, the Humboldt packs specs other integrateds (or power amps for that matter) only dream about:

    - 320 wpc at 8 Ohms
    - freq response 0-700 kHz (-3 db) (similar to the Soulutions)
    - 400 microfarad filtering and capacitance (like the 511)
    - channel separation of 140 db (20-20.000 Hz)
    - double mono layout (two transformers per channel, 2 x 100 VA and 2 x 850 VA), with a total of 4 power supplies for positive and negative power currents, separate for input & driver stage and power stage
    - high damping factor (not a publicized figure, but Thomas Gessler was kind enough to find it out for me)
    - 1.800 bei 10 kHz
    - 10.000 bei 100 Hz

    That number means the Humboldt can drive pretty much anything. For comparison, the Classé Delta Monos I was also interested in have a damping factor of 850. So, the specs are pretty much all right.

    Paid my dues today, and am going now to suffer until the month’s end until I will take delivery of the 61 Kg baby.

    Going back to an integrated, imagine that. A $55K one though.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  2. #2
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    That looks amazing! Congratulations.
    Franco Serblin Accordo Essence (on order), Vienna Acoustics Haydn Jubilee, Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Congrats!! I heard this in Munich when it debuted. Totally unlike the old AudioNet sounds.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  4. #4

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Congrats!! I heard this in Munich when it debuted. Totally unlike the old AudioNet sounds.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Yes indeed. You would not see me buying any of the old models. The Scientist Series is the thing.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  5. #5

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post


    Really excited about the change. The Soulutions are great, but getting long in the teeth. So, it was time to try out something new.

    As some of you might remember, I’ve been ogling AudioNet’s Scientist Series for a while. I had a good offer on the Heisenbergs, but could not get a decent deal on the Stern pre. And, my 92 db sensitive Lansches do not really need 1000 wpc to shine. Less Watts are also good for the marriage, I believe.

    I also do enjoy the fact, that design is not an afterthought. The Humboldt has after all been designed by Hartmut Esslinger of Macintosh II fame. It received the coveted European Red Dot design award, and is also on display at the Smithsonian for it’s innovative Floating Pane design to avoid microphonic effects.

    Engineering-wise a marvel, the Humboldt packs specs other integrateds (or power amps for that matter) only dream about:

    - 320 wpc at 8 Ohms
    - freq response 0-700 Hz (-3 db) (similar to the Soulutions)
    - 400 microfarad filtering and capacitance (like the 511)
    - channel separation of 140 db (20-20.000 Hz)
    - double mono layout (two transformers per channel, 2 x 100 VA and 2 x 850 VA), with a total of 4 power supplies for positive and negative power currents, separate for input & driver stage and power stage
    - high damping factor (not a publicized figure, but Thomas Gessler was kind enough to find it out for me)
    - 1.800 bei 10 kHz
    - 10.000 bei 100 Hz

    That number means the Humboldt can drive pretty much anything. For comparison, the Classé Delta Monos I was also interested in have a damping factor of 850. So, the specs are pretty much all right.

    Paid my dues today, and am going now to suffer until the month’s end until I will take delivery of the 61 Kg baby.

    Going back to an integrated, imagine that. A $55K one though.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    The stated frequency response can't be correct.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

  6. #6
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Congratulations with that integrated Amp.
    Flemming

  7. #7

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    The stated frequency response can't be correct.
    I do think that is indeed correct.



    Similarly, Soulution frequency response is 0-800 MHz at -3 db (and the values vary a bit for AC and DC).

    They are both so called high frequency designs.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  8. #8

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Your original post said the frequency response cut off at 700 Hz. The new chart you just posted says 700,000 Hz.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

  9. #9

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Pesky little period!
    —Bob V.

    My system: Etsuro MasterGold cartridge , AMG v12 turntable with ‘12JT turbo’ tonearm, bespoke LFD phono cable, CS Port C3EQ, dCS Rossini, INCOMING: Announcing pre-arrival mighty Pilium Alexander Pre & Achilles amp, Alsyvox Boticcelli X, Diesis Roma, Bayz Courante 2.0 Transparent Ref MM2 & Gen5 signal cables, Shunyata SigmaNR, AlphaNR,
    Zitron Python power cables. Shunyata Hydra Triton v3, Stillpoints. HRS. Acoustic environment optimized by Dr. Bonnie Schnitta of SoundSense.

  10. #10
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    in europe the "." and "," are reversed in numbers. so the stated frequency range in the audionet spec screenshot is:

    0,00 - 700.000,00 Hz (-3db) ... ie: 0 - 70 kHz (-3db)

    let's just say there is no high end roll-off in the humbolt
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > air tight atc-5 + atm-300r almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2
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  11. #11

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    in europe the "." and "," are reversed in numbers. so the stated frequency range in the audionet spec screenshot is:

    0,00 - 700.000,00 Hz (-3db) ... ie: 0 - 70 kHz (-3db)

    let's just say there is no high end roll-off in the humbolt
    Which is why I said something was wrong.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

  12. #12

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Double post
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  13. #13

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    in europe the "." and "," are reversed in numbers. so the stated frequency range in the audionet spec screenshot is:

    0,00 - 700.000,00 Hz (-3db) ... ie: 0 - 70 kHz (-3db)

    let's just say there is no high end roll-off in the humbolt
    Thanks, that’s correct. The numbering convention is different .

    And yes, no rolling off the high frequencies here...

    Pairing with the Lansches will be interesting, with the super-tweeter capability of the Corona up to 150 kHz.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  14. #14

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Your original post said the frequency response cut off at 700 Hz. The new chart you just posted says 700,000 Hz.
    You are correct, I omitted the kilo. Now added.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  15. #15
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    I have an empty shelf in my rack if you'd like me to store the 511 for you.
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  16. #16

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Congrats on the Humboldt.

    I'm looking forward to reading your impressions.

  17. #17
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    wow miika, how cool is that!
    welcome to todays most thrilling amplification

    what color did you go for? the black would certainly look killer with your black brinkmanns.

  18. #18

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I have an empty shelf in my rack if you'd like me to store the 511 for you.
    trade-in.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  19. #19

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by mdp632 View Post
    Congrats on the Humboldt.

    I'm looking forward to reading your impressions.
    Thanks, very kind.

    While there’s nothing wrong with my current system, I need to do a change to experience something new once in a while.

    But I’m really excited to hear the Humboldt soon in my own system. I’ll definitely post my impressions.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  20. #20

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by u-sound View Post
    how cool is that!
    welcome to todays most thrilling amplification

    what color did you go for? the black would certainly look killer with your black brinkmanns.
    Thanks, I definitely agree. The tech is fabulous.

    I stuck with silver, as that’s the way Esslinger intended it, and it shows the features better. This product design is a statement. But I bet black looks awesome as well.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  21. #21

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    To cheer up my day, TAS also published another glowing review of the Humboldt in their May issue available today. Just adding to this high praise from Greg Weaver earlier:

    Product Preview: Audionet Humboldt Integrated Amplifier - The Absolute Sound

    Some excerpts:

    Overall
    From the lowest register to its uppermost extensions, the Humboldt displays a remarkably consistent, unwavering tonal balance, which, when combined with its exacting speed and dynamic prowess, yields one of the most credible senses of tempo, pace, and drive imaginable.

    Soundstaging
    When it comes to soundstaging and imaging, Humboldt is truly world-class. Not only was the stage compellingly wide, deep, and most notably, of proper height, but image sizes were completely realistic, with solid and stable locations, and a get-up-and-walk-around-in dimensionality. This was demonstrated consistently, with every genre I played, from classical, to classic rock, to the blues.

    Bass
    Overall, deeply extended bass on up through the midbass and power range was recreated with virtual effortlessness and remarkable speed, resolution, and definition, matched by a good sensation of weight and impact.

    Midrange
    Midrange performance bordered on sublimely magical, with an intoxicating combination of instrumental body and bloom with timbral and textural accuracy that can only be described as wholly organic. Its ability to portray the individual brilliance and sheen of instruments, ... , was breathtaking.

    Top end
    Uppermost octaves flow with an effortless sense of air, space, and delicacy that is remarkably authentic, most effectively demonstrated by instruments like cymbals, triangles, and chimes. With the proper recordings, you are treated to remarkably extended decay, yet with clarity, texture, and extraordinary tonal fidelity.

    Tone and texture
    Its ability to render low-level textural, transient, and timbral details in such a complete and holistic manner allows the Humboldt to let any music it recreates flow with heightened nuance and immediacy. As a result, voices are at once more natural sounding, purer, and more expressive, bringing you that much closer to the artists intended message.

    Summary
    What the Humboldt revealed to me over some 10 hours of listening was its innovative combination of clarity with expressiveness, focus with body, resolution with bloom, delicacy with power, and especially of detail with texture, leaving no question that this is one of the most serious integrated amplifiers available today, one that conspicuously bears the distinctive DNA of its larger, more expensive separate brethren.

    Dunno, but somehow I got the feeling he liked it .


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  22. #22

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    From Matt Clott’s review in May, 2021 TAS:

    Performance
    There is a variation and richness of timbre, which I perceived as simply better differentiated, with more palpable and clearer colors than most of what I have heard previously. Low-end extension is simply taut, unrestricted, and visceral without haze or savagery. Layering of the soundstage is on a completely different canvas, as if painted on a mountain wall as opposed to the confines of a typical canvas. The high-frequency reproduction is effortless, while never calling specific attention to itself.

    Comparing it to the market
    How does the Humboldt compare to equally priced separates, and to other top-tier integrated amps. In the $55k price range, your options for very good amp/preamp combos are extensive, so a list of alternatives would be unrealistic. The abbreviated answer is that I think you would be hard pressed to find “better” at that price if you went to separates, which is an outrageous statement.

    ——————————

    It will be interesting to see how the Humboldt holds up against the Soulution 5 Series separates. My expectation is that I would have to go 7 Series to get better.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  23. #23

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Another test from German Stereo audio magazine (in English).

    Stereo Magazine: Integrated Amplifier Test

    Conclusions:

    Weaknesses? – Not a single one!
    We listened for a long time and looked to see if we could find a, possibly even bad, compromise at any point – but we did not discover even the slightest one in our search. From today's point of view, the concept of this amplifier, which is consistently handcrafted by a specially trained Audionet employee, seems to us to be absolutely flawless. The Humboldt is positioned above any possible criticism, it simply does not show any weakness. Those who can afford it and have so far considered spacious pre/power amplifier combinations in order to reach the sonic nirvana may need to rethink. From now on, even the best separate amplifier combos have a serious opponent in this milestone from Berlin. However, it is withdrawn from a classic rating in view of the price tag.

    —————————-

    The last sentence is interesting, as the magazine maintains a ranking of products it has tested. The Humbold however does not show in the ranking.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Beautiful amp, Kuoppis, congratulations!!!

    Enjoy,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  25. #25
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    the best about all thouse raving reviews....they are true!!
    again, really cool to have you in the same boat, waiting for your report how it works with the lansches. think it will be pure beauty, very sophisticated and a firework of colors and sparkling.

  26. #26

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Beautiful amp, Kuoppis, congratulations!!!

    Enjoy,
    Ken
    Hey Ken, thank you! Appreciate the kind words.

    As a matter of fact, I think it is a beautiful amp from two perspectives: It makes beautiful music, and design-wise it’s a sculpture.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  27. #27

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by u-sound View Post
    the best about all thouse raving reviews....they are true!!
    again, really cool to have you in the same boat, waiting for your report how it works with the lansches. think it will be pure beauty, very sophisticated and a firework of colors and sparkling.
    Indeed, I hope they are. The reviewer feedback is very consistent at least.

    What I have heard so far has me hoping it’s just all that. Can’t wait to have it in my system.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  28. #28

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Congrats! Hope you love it and listen in good health!

  29. #29
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Hi everybody!
    I'm an Italian reviewer. I've got the Humboldt at home for about 15 days to review it... and I bought it.
    I had to wait 60 days for the shipment but today it will be at home. Black colour.

    This is the best amplifier I've heard in 15 years of reviews and travels all around the world, visiting audio shows.

  30. #30

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by RDSChicago View Post
    Congrats! Hope you love it and listen in good health!
    Thank you! Can’t wait to have in my system .


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  31. #31

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Drummer62 View Post
    Hi everybody!
    I'm an Italian reviewer. I've got the Humboldt at home for about 15 days to review it... and I bought it.
    I had to wait 60 days for the shipment but today it will be at home. Black colour.

    This is the best amplifier I've heard in 15 years of reviews and travels all around the world, visiting audio shows.
    Hey Angelo, that’s quite some praise for the Humboldt - happy to hear. Best amp heard in 15 years of reviewing is a statement.

    Your advantage is you have already heard in your system, I only in other systems. But that was already enough for me to buy it.

    I’m anxiously awaiting for it to arrive, should be end of the month.

    Btw, could you send me a link of your review? Would be interested to read it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  32. #32
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Here you have it!

    It's in Italian, you can use Google Translate

    audio-activity (dot) com/audionet-humboldt

  33. #33

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    I took the liberty (via Google Translate):

    Alexander von Humboldt was a German naturalist, explorer and geographer who lived between the 18th and 19th centuries. In the years I spent in South America I have seen his name assigned to parks, streets, buildings, and even shopping malls. There is also the famous "Humboldt Current", which flows from South to North off the coasts of Chile and Peru. The geographical maps of Central and South America owe a lot to him, even today.

    So how did the Germans at Audionet choose this illustrious fellow citizen to name the integrated amplifier at the top of their product range? Easy: this machine, together with the Stern preamp and the Heisenberg monophonic amps, are part of the "Scientist" series, which means scientist. This leads me to analyze the slogan that Audionet has chosen for his company: "Scientific Magic". "Scientific magic" ... Ohibò, what will they ever mean with these two words apparently so in contrast to each other?

    We find the explanation precisely in the birth of this company, in Bochum, a university city located in the Ruhr, in a garage in the basement of the University. A group of scientists and engineers, some twenty years ago, decided to try to explore the limits of sound reproduction, and they have come a long way since then. We at Audio-activity.com are curious to hear if what they promise, they deliver. Of course, to combine the words "science" and "magic" you have to make a certain effort of the imagination, first, and then technical.

    Let's start by saying that a few months ago, as soon as we were allowed to travel freely, we went to Berlin, where the new Audionet headquarters is located, to create an interesting service, in which you can see a lot of photos of the company, and that you can find on this page. You will immediately realize that we are not talking about the esoteric "one man band", but about a very well organized company, technologically very advanced and of considerable size, considering the market to which it is aimed.

    Audionet production is quite large. We find 2 CD players, 3 network servers that have different functions, 4 integrated amplifiers, 4 preamplifiers of which 1 phono, 4 power amplifiers and 4 super power supplies dedicated to some products (not from the Scientist series) that can be purchased separately, so as to being able to dilute the cost of components over time, improving their performance.

    Audio-activity had the stroke of luck to be able to "intercept" the integrated Humboldt while it was on tour through half of Italy, so as to be able to have it on trial for a few days, enough to dissect its character, but seriously insufficient to satisfy the desire to listen to me. But we will come to this later.

    Audionet Humboldt
    Humboldt is, in fact, an integrated amplifier, with characteristics not common to its counterparts on the market; at these levels, both of price and of physical grandeur, the fingers of one hand are even overabundant, to count them.

    Let's start with the design: someone, in the photo, criticized it a little. Those who came to me to listen to it (it doesn't often happen that I invite someone to my sancta sanctorum, but for this piece of electronics I made exceptions), found it beautiful. Of course, it is very big and the dimensions cannot be made to disappear, but personally I find the design of Hartmut Esslinger, the famous German designer who also worked on Steve Jobs's Apple, very apt for its linearity and simplicity, despite being original. The upper part of the frame, is beautiful, as it is not the usual flat sheet, and is equipped with a myriad of small holes useful for heat exchange. There will also be those who prefer more elaborate lines, and for example the D'Agostino Momentum comes to mind, another integrated which, although even more expensive than the Audionet, can be considered in a similar price range. A matter of personal taste, I would not close my door to either of them, there are other things that fascinate me in this type of "appliance".

    And therefore, our Humboldt is a 61 kg monster, and measures 450x320x505 mm (wxhxd). It is a large parallelepiped made of 9 mm thick aluminum, optionally in silver or black, which houses a large color TFT display, which can have a light or dark background, at the request of the buyer.

    In the center of the front, a huge knob for adjusting the volume and choosing the options provided by the electronics. One thing I have to tell you about this knob: to the touch it is wonderful. The aluminum finish is state of the art, the "weight" of the rotation, on a double bearing axis, magnetic control and optical sensor, makes it a pleasure to use, even for the sensation of turning the knob of a tank.

    In addition to the knob, the large power button at the bottom left, whose circumference remains illuminated in a warm white color when the machine is on. Below the display, 4 circular keys and one, larger, triangular, allow adjustments without having to use the remote control, which is a large and heavy block of black aluminum, with flawless operation. Instead of frets, it has metal spheres (or more likely hemispheres).

    The display shows the selected input, to which you can give the alphanumeric name you prefer, the volume level in dB, under which there is a blue bar that shows it graphically, and 5 small blue writings, which do not appear from a distance. They see, leaving the display "clean", to explain the functions of the keys. Even the latter, from a distance, become invisible, with an optical effect that I find perfectly fitting. The brightness is obviously adjustable, in steps of 10%, from zero to 100%. In the zero position, it lights up briefly when it receives a command, and then becomes dark again. Perfect when the Humboldt is placed under a home cinema screen, for example.

    All functions are microprocessor-controlled and are definitely engineered at the highest levels. Interestingly, for example, the fact that when you change the input, the amplifier automatically mutes, and then returns to the previous volume level. Of course, the offset, i.e. the possible difference in input volume depending on the connected devices, can be programmed for each input, from -9 to +9 dB.

    A brief list some of the features highlighted by Audionet:
    - completely dual mono circuits and power supplies
    - magnetically optimized circuits without ferro-magnetic materials
    - floating panels on aluminum frame, with optimized resonances
    - circuit boards optimized for controlled cooling
    - galvanic separation of all analog circuits by means of optical couplers
    - Furutech rhodium-plated connectors
    - DC coupling of circuits without the use of capacitors or coils, signal paths as short as possible
    - 4 separate power supplies for positive and negative current flows, divided by preamp and power amplification: 2 of 100 VA and 2 of 850 VA
    - total capacity: 400.000 µF
    - rhodium fuse.

    And these are the main things, you can certainly read more on the Audionet website if you want to know more.

    A look at the back: being dual mono, the connectors for the two channels are located at the ends of the panel. We have 2 balanced and 3 unbalanced inputs, one unbalanced and 1 balanced output (for subwoofer or for a bi-amp amp), the beautiful and massive connectors for the speakers, the IEC socket, a ground screw for an additional ground cable, complete with modified plug, which comes with the amplifier, two optical sockets for controlling other Audionet machines, and the socket for the WiFi antenna, through which the amplifier will automatically update its firmware. You can also control some functions via the App, but I have not made any tests in this regard.

    There are various possibilities that you can set on each input, including that of By-Pass for HT systems or the possibility of filtering the DC input current (useful for example when the pre HT you use buzzes a little). There is also the possibility of balancing the channels, which is never too much.

    I would add that the amplifier switched on, without signal, tends to heat up quite a lot, especially in consideration of the large heat sinks with which it is equipped, probable evidence of a rather high polarization of the output stages. It heats up a little more when it is in operation, even after discrete power demands.

    The system in which the Humboldt has been inserted is the following:
    Basis 2001 turntable, Graham 2.2 tonearm, Lyra Kleos cartridge, phono preamp: Einstein "The Turntable's Choice" balanced, Yamaha CD-S3000 CD / SACD player, multimedia player: Oppo 105 D, preamp: MBL 4006, power amps: Bryston 7B³, speakers: JBL 4350B, Velodyne SPL-1200 subwoofer, interconnect cables: MIT Oracle MA-X Proline, MIT Shotgun S2 RCA, Transparent Super XLR, Transparent Super RCA, Cammino PH B 2.2 Ref XLR phono cable, speaker cables: MIT Magnum MA, Vovox Initio, power cables: MIT Shotgun AC 1, Black Noise Pearl and others self-built, mains distributor: Lector Edison 230/8, mains filter: Black Noise 2500.

    So we come to the listening notes.
    For me, it is almost a discharge rite, that of warming up a component that has just arrived in my listening room, and also my ears, always with the same CD, with few or no audiophile pretensions: "The Best of Inti Illimani (CGD It had never happened that after 10 seconds from the start of the first song, while I was waiting for my daughter Valentina for the photographs of the Humboldt, I fell half-unconscious on the armchair, thinking that a mischievous sprite had exchanged the CD for some remastering. The volume was very low, "from heating", in fact, but a complete music came out, in spite of the isophonic curves. How was it possible? Valentina arrives, takes the photographs and then I go to dinner, a little perplexed, leaving the CD on repeat. Maybe it's the size of the amplifier that affects me, I think. A nice shower, I come back and everything passes. I go back into the room and immediately stop the CD. I double check that the impedance selector of the MIT Oracle MA cables is in position cor straight, and I sit with the notebook on my legs, to restart the record. The first piece is the wonderful "Alturas", which many of you will know (if not, I suggest you fill the gap), and this time at normal listening volume. From the first notes of guitar and charango, I immediately realize that I am not in front of an electronics like hundreds of them I have heard in 45 years of experience. Flutes, for example, are impressive. Usually, when you listen to them, you get the feeling that their sound and the breath necessary to emit music are like two things in their own right. This time it is different, you can feel the breath entering the barrel, to come out transformed into a stupendous sound (I love the Andean flute), while it seems to see the hand beating the skin of the small drum in the background. Never heard of such a thing. The guitar on the right, during the final arpeggio, almost seems to be tuned differently than usual. If I weren't a disenchanted old reviewer, I wouldn't be able to trust my ears. But then I think it takes a quarter turn on just one of the bolts of one of my drums to clearly hear the difference in sound, and I feel less suggestible.

    I listen to a frequently used CD: "Lampo Viaggiatore" by Ivano Fossati and immediately I feel that the snare drum, masterfully played by Lele Melotti, is dry as usual, but the harmonic emission that I am hearing now reaches me at ear for the first time. And believe me, you don't need to focus on individual instruments to notice the new things this Audionet brings to my (and I hope yours too, if you can hear it) attention. It has creepy low-range control and depth, which doesn't make me regret the absence of my subwoofer (when I try something, I always keep it off, I don't want anything to add to it). The piece "Lampo" begins with a syncopated electronic sound, on which no reference can be made, obviously, as it is not acoustic. But in the meantime it is different, for the first time. Different but also more beautiful, if I may venture a very personal feeling.

    And what about the voice of the Genoese singer-songwriter? It is placed here, among the speakers, with his breaths, with his sea and his poetry.

    I switch to "Hear My Words" (SACD Chandos). The choirs are more precise, the voices seem less merged with each other, better articulated; so much so that, in addition to distinguishing themselves better, they seem suspended together with time in the silence of the pauses, when the Chapel of St. John's College "breathes" with the singers.

    The dynamics of the amplifier seem unlimited, but at the same time it never "rips". It has the right climb times, without forcing, probably resulting from distortions. The speed is lightning fast but without unnatural exhibitionism or fireworks. When electronics give you the impression of "turbo-charged", they are altering the musical signal. The Humbold seems to ride the waves of dynamics in souplesse, like a 500hp car is able to overtake without disturbance on the motorway. The organ's sound is impressive for its range, dynamics and firmness on the notes held. And I realize that I have no desire to get up to change CDs, to hasten these listening tests, that I feel the need to fully appreciate everything I decide to listen to. I know perfectly well that the time for which I will have the Audionet available will be rather short (maybe a couple of weeks), but I have already understood that it will not be necessary to rush to listen to everything. The question now revolves around listening better. Quality and not quantity. I will therefore choose my favorite records, to enjoy them to the fullest, and not necessarily the best recorded ones.

    Another very memorable listen was that of Ramirez's "Misa Criolla", sung by Mercedes Sosa. There were some friends here as we listened to him. In the end, no one could say a word ...

    Three more plays, I want to tell you, before closing. The first is Monteverdi's "Vespro della Beata Vergine" directed by Gardiner (CD Archiv). The scansion of the voices of the choirs is, once again, superb, and at the same time natural. The arrangement of the elements is wide and the reverberations of the Church go out with the right timing and with the delicacy of someone who knows how to treat the musical signal.

    Grieg's "Peer Gynt" (LP Angel), performed by the Hallée Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli. Since the Overture, the immense class of recording and reproduction has been appreciated. The sound planes are scanned with astonishing precision. The "solidity" of the instruments is still unexpected, although ears and brain should, by this point, have become accustomed to the performance of the Humboldt. And the characteristic of this electronics always remains to play with rare linearity even at night listening volumes.

    A "refresher" to "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd (SACD EMI), recording I know, in all the formats in which it was published, better than my pocket. Indeed ... I knew ...

    What to add, in conclusion? In the meantime, I feel a bit guilty towards you for using so many hyperbole, you know it's not my style, but I wouldn't be able to describe otherwise the emotions that Audionet Humboldt was able to give me. The thing that amazed me most is his ability to materialize voices and instruments by presenting them in three dimensions, and with an absence of grain or electronic artifacts that impresses. Do you know the difference between looking at a landscape on a postcard and seeing it live? Well, after having listened to this amplifier well, the rest seems like a postcard to me. It is an interpreter of excellent class, which however does not add anything of itself. Personally, I have never heard anything like it before, in conditions that I can define as "controlled". We are truly on another planet.

    At one point, it seemed to me that Humboldt looked at the world of audio from top to bottom and uttered the famous phrase of the Marquis del Grillo di Sordi, who in turn quoted the Roman poet Giuseppe Gioachino Belli: "I am me, and you are not a c ..."

    The price? At these levels it is released from any practical, commercial or ethical considerations, and becomes a painful formality. As for me, I had already spoken to my bank manager because I wanted to change the bike, but I have the impression that the bike will be waiting, and that I will welcome the Audionet Humboldt. Which is not a simple amplifier, it is a time machine. You put on a record, any record, and it takes you back to the recorded event, it doesn't matter place and time, it doesn't have preferences.

    This is followed by the listening note of Domenico Pizzamiglio, who has come to hear some music, while the Humboldt was stationed in my listening room, and whom I thank for this intervention.

    ——————

    You will have already read what Angelo Jasparro wrote and therefore you will already know that he was very impressed by this integrated amplifier. I also imagine that you will not expect comments from me that may differ from his because you know, by now it is clear: Angelo and I have a rather similar approach to audio. We are not interested in the product which has its own sound, which colors, which plays, which pleases. We are looking for devices that give music back as it should be; not as we like it, but as she likes it, the music. And this amp does this. When with well-known discs - each of us has his own -, in a well-known system - it is no mystery that Angelo knows my system very well as much as I know his - and after having listened to dozens of other machines of great value and fame (and many have passed through Angelo’s room, among those some top brands) you have such a unique and surprising effect, you are in front of something that excels. Initially reluctant to go to Angelo to listen to this amplifier, partly for my own problems that I feel more and more distant from the audiophile world, partly because the price of the amp puts it far from my economic possibilities (or, to be more precise, from how today I decide to spend my income, now through more pleasant and different entertainment for me), after ten minutes of listening I was speechless. I, who pass for a talker and also a protester; in short, a pain in the ass. Silent because Angelo's system already sounded splendidly for me, alive, immediate, violent if necessary; but with this Humboldt the sound was such as to make you forget you were in front of the JBL 4350s and a number of other electronic devices and wires; in front of them were the instrumentalists. I have not read Angelo's writing and therefore I risk repeating what he wrote; but listening to the Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten for strings and bell, by Arvo Pärt, on the Naxos label, the timbral and dynamic balances were different from usual; the tolling of the bell that accompanies the piece "to death" was of a quality that I could define "tactile"; blow, resonance, silence. Perfect, silhouetted in a corner in the hypothetical scene, but still immanent, as a bell (not tubular) can be, much more perceptible than how I have heard it so far; sometimes annoying, like a bell rung in the vicinity of the ears in fact it is. I don't even mention the acute strings because they are simply very close to perfection; the incredibly controlled low strings, with decay times that with closed eyes would have deceived even a double bass player or a cellist, so much it seemed to be in a normal concert hall, in the first ten rows of the stalls, at that point where the hall does not begin to lengthen the bass a little. Colorings on some part of the audio band, none. Listening discomfort (drill effect) totally absent; with the constant desire to increase the volume. I even thought I was listening to this record for the first time in all its technical beauty (each person responds to the artistic beauty with their own emotions). Moreover, in listening I also moderately "gushed" because I have always recommended or given that recording, considering it to be of the highest quality; and listened to through Angelo's and Humboldt's machines, I was sure of it; removed the characterizations that most of the amplifications bring (some amplifications more, some less), the wonder of the recording, the feeling of real music that it brings with it, the feeling of having the orchestra in front of your eyes, has been confirmed in full. And nothing has changed in this rigorous and correct attitude with other recordings, whether they were Genesis, or Mercedes Sosa, or others. With this amplifier - and I am not citing all the recordings used because I would have to repeat the same things over and over again - the impression was double. The first of absolute admiration for a machine that actually gives you such credible instruments in their violence (the music is not pleasantly soft; that's something else) and in their timbre, as in their physicality, that you really forget that you are listening to an audio system; the second of annoyance, great annoyance, in knowing that I will never be able to buy myself such a device. Which represents, at least until I hear something that will convince me more (but so far it hasn't happened) something that has so much the flavor of Musica Vera.


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  34. #34

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Beautiful review btw, Angelo .


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    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

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  35. #35
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Nice review. I would be curious to know what caused the change from the old dry Audionet sound to this new Humboldt sound which is quite different (and very enjoyable)?
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  36. #36

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Nice review. I would be curious to know what caused the change from the old dry Audionet sound to this new Humboldt sound which is quite different (and very enjoyable)?
    Mike, my guess is it’s Thomas Gessler or Stefan Schwer.

    Here’s the story: With the old company setup and sound the firm went briefly into Chapter 11 a couple years ago, despite its good reputation, before Mr Gessler emerged as a new investor and owner. He moved the company from Bochum to Berlin, and initiated a Lighthouse Project to develop a no compromise product line, the Scientist Series. These are the flagship separates Stern pre and Heisenberg monos, as well as the dual-mono integrated Humboldt.

    Despite not owning an audio company before, as far as I know, Mr Gessler is not unknown in the industry as an Audiophile. I must say I love what he has done to the sound.


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  37. #37

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    Mike, my guess is it’s Thomas Gessler.

    Here’s the story: With the old company setup and sound the firm went briefly into Chapter 11 a couple years ago, despite its good reputation, before Mr Gessler emerged as a new investor and owner. He moved the company from Bochum to Berlin, and initiated a Lighthouse Project to develop a no compromise product line, the Scientist Series. These are the flagship separates Stern pre and Heisenberg monos, as well as the dual-mono integrated Humboldt.

    Despite not owning an audio company before, as far as I know, Mr Gessler is not unknown in the industry as an Audiophile. I must say I love what he has done to the sound.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I think they went into Chapter 11 after the Stern/Heisenberg were released.

    That aside, their ULA technology is a linearizing the signal real-time then uses MOSFETs to drive the output stage.

    The scientist series, are extreme refinement and improvement on thier exiting ULA technology.

    I'm speculating but, wondering *if the scientist series are using Bi-polar instead of MOSFET. For more resolution and overall refinement.

    Aka like Soulution , which implements bi-polar transistors.

  38. #38
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    The rviews have me excited to just be able to hear this amp someday and you get to own it... nice.….. I hope they make it to some of the audio shows.
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  39. #39

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    The rviews have me excited to just be able to hear this amp someday and you get to own it... nice.….. I hope they make it to some of the audio shows.
    Agree, the overwhelmingly positive reviews really wet the appetite .

    And I’m really looking forward to take delivery of it, but so far pretty much at the same stage as you are. Still waiting to hear it in my own system.

    I think when Covid resides we will be able to hear new stuff again. Really looking forward to that.


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  40. #40
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Drummer62 View Post
    Here you have it!

    It's in Italian, you can use Google Translate

    audio-activity (dot) com/audionet-humboldt
    great review angelo.
    i heard the same happened to greg weaver when he reviewed the heisenbergs...he bought them

  41. #41
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Nice review. I would be curious to know what caused the change from the old dry Audionet sound to this new Humboldt sound which is quite different (and very enjoyable)?
    well they invested so much in the developement of the scientist series that they went bankrupt.
    or lets say they were just released but then the marketing and investments in posh shops at expensive places has killed them.
    the owner now is mr.schwehr, he took the opportunity

  42. #42

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by mdp632 View Post
    I think they went into Chapter 11 after the Stern/Heisenberg were released.

    That aside, their ULA technology is a linearizing the signal real-time then uses MOSFETs to drive the output stage.

    The scientist series, are extreme refinement and improvement on thier exiting ULA technology.

    I'm speculating but, wondering *if the scientist series are using Bi-polar instead of MOSFET. For more resolution and overall refinement.

    Aka like Soulution , which implements bi-polar transistors.
    You might be right, with the ULA technology and the bi-polar transistors. At least I did not find anywhere a mention about the use of Mosfets in the design. In comparison, the older Max monos are using Mosfets.

    Audionet are also not emphasizing the use of Class A, similar to Soulution. Instead, Gessler explained to me that they have been focusing on implementing the shortest signal path possible with no electromechanical (e.g. relais) or passive (e.g. condensator) components in the signal path. The signal is linearized in real-time at zero pass through.

    In addition, it’s also a high frequency design, just like the Soulutions.
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

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  43. #43

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by u-sound View Post
    well they invested so much in the developement of the scientist series that they went bankrupt.
    or lets say they were just released but then the marketing and investments in posh shops at expensive places has killed them.
    the owner now is mr.schwehr, he took the opportunity
    I find myself corrected, Stefan Schwer is the owner now. And looks like he moved the company to Berlin. He has made his career in automotive and adjacent supplier industries.

    But while an audiophile, he also holds a Ph.D. in amplifier design and is versed in acoustics.

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    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

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  44. #44

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quite nice picture of the Humboldt’s innards. It’s really packed, easy to fathom it weighs 61 Kg.

    Actually no wonder it’s so dense, as it’s all of the Stern and Humboldts together inside one casing, just with smaller transformers for the power amps and obviously less power stages. I don’t think any more would fit in.



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    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

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  45. #45

    Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Here are some comments from different fora related to a question also asked in this thread: What’s the difference between Scientist Series, former AudioNet products, and other top integrateds?


    It appears that DC coupling is a big difference technically, also the bandwidth of the scientist series is quite a bit wider.

    Since Humboldt has the same DNA as Stern-Heisenberg the assumption is Humboldt betters SIA-030. Humboldt has better resolution, SIA-30 is darker sounding.

    ———————-

    Humboldt is, for me, the best Integrated I've heard: bettering Vitus, Pilium, Soulution, Nagra, Stern plus Maxs, CH M1.1s, D'agostino and EMM lab separates. Only the Stern & Heisenbergs eclipse this integrated IMHO.

    Much more musically involving for me. Better dynamics (micro and macro), lower noise floor, exceptional transparency, low level and micro details, yet not at all bright or etched. Did I mention Dynamics?

    All of these attributes, for me add up to more MUSICALITY. All the other contenders editorialize relatively speaking. (Check out Greg Weaver's comments on the line in general.) I know Weavers heard a TON more contenders than me, and a little birdie told me he's saving his hard earned pennies to buy the Heisenberg monoblocks.

    ———————-

    The Humboldt, is so far ahead of Audionet's own MAX in all the above regards, that It's almost embarrassing. And I would still take the Audionet MAX's above the other brands under discussion.


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    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

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  46. #46
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    Mike, my guess is it’s Thomas Gessler or Stefan Schwer.
    I met both when I was in Berlin to visit the Company for a report on Audio-activity, that you can find here:
    audio-activity (dot) com/audionet

    Mr. Gessler is the commercial director (and the chief designer, I think), while Mr. Schwehr is the CEO and owner.

  47. #47

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Drummer62 View Post
    I met both when I was in Berlin to visit the Company for a report on Audio-activity, that you can find here:
    audio-activity (dot) com/audionet

    Mr. Gessler is the commercial director (and the chief designer, I think), while Mr. Schwehr is the CEO and owner.
    Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    That means that the huge sound improvement in the Scientist Series is probably at least partly attributable to Mr. Gessler after all.


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    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  48. #48
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    I have more pictures of the inside, but I still cannot post them and I'm not sure it's allowed by the Magazine

  49. #49
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    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    A few more posts and you will be able to post away. 10 posts is the minimum.
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    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Misho Myronov Wooden preamp.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp (for sale), First Watt SIT-3, Job 250 Monos, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos. Absolute Audio Labs PCF 25 amp (improved First Watt F7 super clone)

    RME Audio ADI-2 DAC FS, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  50. #50

    Re: Heads-up, changes en route: Adding AudioNet’s engineering-marvel Humboldt to the system

    Quote Originally Posted by Drummer62 View Post
    I have more pictures of the inside, but I still cannot post them and I'm not sure it's allowed by the Magazine
    Angelo, that would indeed be very interesting.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

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