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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2013
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    Minnesota
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    Interesting Day at Audio store

    My son is looking for a new DAC that punches above its price point. So we went to the local high end store in Minneapolis to hear the Chord Qutest DAC. My son brought along his Cary SL-300.2d Integrated that has a built in DAC. The Cary sold for $6K and is 300wpc at 8ohms and is limited to 450wpc at 4 ohms due to heat otherwise it can double down. Speakers were the Wilson SabrinaX. The Qutest was better in every way, more depth, wider SS, just slightly more detail and better bass. He has decided to buy it. I was actually surprised at how good the Qutest sounded. It had a hint of warmth and was very musical.

    After the audition, I asked if I could hear the Luxman 509x Integrated since I am considering selling my Pass amp and BAT preamp and moving on to an integrated amp like the Luxman 507 or 509. We heard the Luxman with the Wilson speakers and the Qutest DAC. I was disappointed as was my son. It sounded good, with nice detail and punch. It had a dead quiet background and great air and transparency but the Cary sounded better to our ears. The Cary's midrange was fuller, had better tone and texture, was more musical and almost as quiet. Piano and vocals sounded better on the Cary. The Cary had more front to back depth and almost as wide a sound stage.

    Now I am not saying the Luxman was bad. In fact it sounded great but not as good as the Cary to my son and I. Now I have to rethink about what Integrated I may buy or if I just stay with separates but something lighter than a 105 pound amp and 50 pound preamp as I get older.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  2. #2
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    May 2013
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    Tallahassee, Florida/Greenville, SC
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    Re: Interesting Day at Audio store

    Larry

    Have you looked at Dan Wright's newest hybrid integrated or the Aesthetix Mimas or if your looking for a warmer fuller sound in a SS unit maybe one of the Moon integrated amps. Another company whose integrated amps may fit what you are looking for is Audia Flight. All depends on what the top of your price range will be.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Chardonnay, Kinki Studio EX-M7, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB , PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Teac NT505, Kinki Studio EX-M1+, Nola KO, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Wireworld SC & IC's, Neotech PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

    Greenville, SC- Marantz HD-CD1, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Reynaud Abscisse Jubilee/Fritz Carrera Be, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Audio Envy IC's, Dueland SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    Minnesota
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    Re: Interesting Day at Audio store

    Thanks for the suggestions Jack. I will surely look into those units. My budget will be up to $8K. I could certainly do a tube unit.

    I will make a decision once I pick out a new pair of speakers. Time to move on from the Magnepans. My wife is tired of having door panels as speakers. I really like the Fyne 702's and the 502sp's. I need to look at a few other speakers. I was looking at speakers when COVID hit. I would like to hear the new Monitor Audio 5G gold 300's. A friend of mine sold his Magnepan 3.6's after hearing the MA's and bought a pair and has never looked back. I was hoping to go to RMAF this year but we know how that turned out.

    I see that you have a Don Sachs preamp, how do you like it? I almost ordered one with Duelund Caps 2 years ago. I still may if I decide to stay with separates.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  4. #4
    Audioshark
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    Apr 2013
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    Sarasota, FL
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    27,810

    Re: Interesting Day at Audio store

    VAC i170iQ. Made in Interesting Day at Audio store. Sounds sublime with Fyne.

    If you insist on SS, Pass INT-60.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Bakoon Audio, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    May 2013
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    Re: Interesting Day at Audio store

    Larry I really like the Sachs preamp and it just happens to be a perfect match gain wise to the SET 400. With the newest Khozmo volume control unit in place you have a pretty much full function metal remote to work with. In preamps I'm partial to ones that use the 6SN7 tubes. Dan's hybrid like the Mimas uses a 6922 based preamp section with Mosfets for the amp. They both have gotten great reviews and plenty of power with either. The Audia Flight models are a warmer fuller sound similar to the SET amps sound. Since Paul at the Audio Shoppe in Boston gave up distribution I don't know who picked them up in the US.

    A speaker that attracted my interest has been the QLN brand. Rollo carries them but you might find a dealer somewhere in your area.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Chardonnay, Kinki Studio EX-M7, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB , PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Teac NT505, Kinki Studio EX-M1+, Nola KO, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Wireworld SC & IC's, Neotech PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

    Greenville, SC- Marantz HD-CD1, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Reynaud Abscisse Jubilee/Fritz Carrera Be, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Audio Envy IC's, Dueland SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Southeast Iowa
    Posts
    943

    Re: Interesting Day at Audio store

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    VAC i170iQ. Made in Interesting Day at Audio store. Sounds sublime with Fyne.

    If you insist on SS, Pass INT-60.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

    Both of those amps are superb.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

    Speakers: Harbeth Super HL 5+ 40th Anniversary
    Model.

    Headphones/Amp: Focal Stellia phones, NAIM Uniti Atom Headphone Edition headphone amp/music player/server/streamer.

    Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 speaker cables,
    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

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Interesting Day at Audio store

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