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  1. #1

    Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Hey Audioshark!

    We sold our first pair of D5s in walnut burl so fast we couldn’t even properly audition and review them! Now we received our second pair in breathtakingly beautiful walnut burl, and were floored by the looks when un-crating them and have to say: This is the most gorgeous, detailed, alive, deep sound stage we have heard in our lives.

    If you, like us, thought the C4.1s could not be improved, you will stand, with us, corrected. While the C4.1s are a state of the art revelation, the D5s go significantly further in realism, depth, cohesiveness, blackness, and ability of delivering a true homogenous sound.

    Instruments are even more in their exact place; the concert hall is completely realistic in front of you and grew in dimensions. You can hear nuances as different reverb trails on recordings that combine multiple takes that were recorded on different days, even our cherished Reference Recordings show which recording had a more advantageous spacing of the omni microphones.

    Now let’s talk about bass: The bass of these dream speakers is phenomenal. Not one iota too thick, as suggested elsewhere, but simply perfect in our systems. At the last September AUDIONET DNP event attendees were able to hear huge differences in the cables they were invited to bring and all were stunned by the detail, depth and aliveness of the Ansuz Diamond setup.

    One seasoned audio reviewer in the audience declared that this is the best sound in North America. We invite all of you to come to Boston and experience these elegant world champions for yourself.

    Disclosure: Blink High End is a Raidho flagship dealer, carrying the complete Raidho D- series, X1, C3.1, C4.1. We are audio perfectionists, seasoned record producers and engineers with a strong background in classical and acoustic recordings. Experience perfect synergy in our systems and look out for our latest ads in Stereophile.

    We have several events coming up very soon; confirmed dates and times will be updated here and on our website, www.blinkhighend.com

    All event attendees receive full credit for their trip and hotel expenses with a purchase.

    Loudspeakers: Raidho, KEF - Cables: Nordost, Ansuz - Components: Audionet
    Office: (617) 225-0700

  2. #2

    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    UPDATE:
    October 2 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
    October 4 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


    Share an eventful afternoon and evening with us over champagne and appetizers while listening to your favorite music on the complete Raidho D-Series. Company President Tim Lukas and myself will be presenting.

    Few seats remaining; RSVP at info@blinkhighend.com or call the office at 617-225-0700 to reserve yours.
    We encourage you to bring your favorite CD/SACD or two with you!


    Best,
    Matt

    Loudspeakers: Raidho, KEF - Cables: Nordost, Ansuz - Components: Audionet
    Office: (617) 225-0700

  3. #3

    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    There has been much discussion here and on other sites about the bass of Raidho speakers, including the D5. I thought JV did a really good job of describing what is going on with the bass of the D5 in his review in the Oct 2014 issue of TAS. It appears it was a design decision to boost the bass output of the Raidho D5 speakers so at low listening levels, you have something akin to the Fletcher/Munson curve at work. You don't need a loudness button to push in to boost the bass at low listening levels, Raidho has designed that into the speaker. The "problem" with the bass happens just as it would if you did have a loudness button and failed to turn it off as you turned up the volume-too much bass. Now some claim that it's not a problem all of the time, it's certain music with powerful bass that makes the Raidho lose their composure. Most of the time, everything is just dandy in the bass JV says.

    There are more than a few people on this forum who claim not to like "neutral" components. They want some sugar and spice added to their gear to make it sound pleasing to them because they think "neutral" means sterile. Even some of those who like a little sugar and spice added to their gear have found the Raidho bass to be a little too much sugar and spice and have sought ways to dampen down what Raidho has deliberately designed in. So for you to say the bass is "Not one iota too thick" flies in the face of the experience of others. People were told they had the 'wrong' amplifier and/or the 'wrong' speaker cables, or their room was the problem. From what JV said, the only way the bass of the D5 is never going to be "one iota too thick" is if you only play music that will never excite the boosted bass range. I think JV did an excellent job telling the truth about the D5 speakers and I encourage others to read the review before you criticize what he wrote.

  4. #4
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Mark - just to play devils advocate, and trust me, you won't get an argument from me that GENERALLY speaking the D3's have too much 60-80 mid bass, but room and associated gear are also contributing factors. When I heard David's D5's with Accuphase - there was not too much bass. When I heard Jock's D5's with D'Agostino, there was not too much bass - actually - believe it or not, maybe not enough. When I heard Jock's D5's with Mark's Hegel H30, there was indeed - too much bass.

    There is no argument that Raidho speakers in general have an emphasis in the 60-80 range and certain rooms and certain gear and believe it or now, certain cables can excite those regions of the frequency.

    The point being is that no doubt JV had some contributing factors to what he heard - the biggest being - his room.


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  5. #5

    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Mike-I totally agree with your observation that the 'wrong' amplifier or cable mated with Raidho speakers will make the bass worse. You obviously have first hand experience in listening to the D5 speakers in different rooms with different gear and have heard this first hand. I'm just commenting on what I have read.

  6. #6
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Mike-I totally agree with your observation that the 'wrong' amplifier or cable mated with Raidho speakers will make the bass worse. You obviously have first hand experience in listening to the D5 speakers in different rooms with different gear and have heard this first hand. I'm just commenting on what I have read.
    And I don't disagree. The midbass hump is more pronounced and less controlled on the D3's. The D5's seem less so.


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    "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, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  7. #7
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Mike and I disagree on the Hegel/D5 combo, I thought the bass was much better than the Dag mono's. Big and full, lots of meat on the bone.
    Mark

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  8. #8

    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by MDP View Post
    Mike and I disagree on the Hegel/D5 combo, I thought the bass was much better than the Dag mono's. Big and full, lots of meat on the bone.
    Mark-I'm not surprised because we all hear differently or we interpret what we hear differently. When you say you like "lots of meat on the bone," others could (and did) say there was too much fat. At the end of the day, the only person you have to please with your system is you. If your not happy with the sound of your system, it really doesn't matter if other people are tickled pink with it.

    I hope you have tamed the bass issues you were having with your D3 speakers and you are happy now.

  9. #9
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Mark-I'm not surprised because we all hear differently or we interpret what we hear differently. When you say you like "lots of meat on the bone," others could (and did) say there was too much fat. At the end of the day, the only person you have to please with your system is you. If your not happy with the sound of your system, it really doesn't matter if other people are tickled pink with it.

    I hope you have tamed the bass issues you were having with your D3 speakers and you are happy now.
    Thanks Mark ! I really have them dialed in now. I'm approaching the end of the road, as far as spending huge sums of money goes. The D3's have been challenging at times, but I always believed the journey would be worth the effort.

    Your comments above were pretty much spot on regarding the design of the D3's. In my many hours spent listening to the D5's, I have heard no bass issues. The design and tuning of these speakers must have been a little different from mine.
    Mark

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  10. #10
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    I also think that the D5s bass is not problematic at all. I do find that the D3s do have issues. I have owned both in the same room and equipment and all kinds of volume levels.
    Jock

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  11. #11
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    There has been much discussion here and on other sites about the bass of Raidho speakers, including the D5. I thought JV did a really good job of describing what is going on with the bass of the D5 in his review in the Oct 2014 issue of TAS. It appears it was a design decision to boost the bass output of the Raidho D5 speakers so at low listening levels, you have something akin to the Fletcher/Munson curve at work. You don't need a loudness button to push in to boost the bass at low listening levels, Raidho has designed that into the speaker. The "problem" with the bass happens just as it would if you did have a loudness button and failed to turn it off as you turned up the volume-too much bass. Now some claim that it's not a problem all of the time, it's certain music with powerful bass that makes the Raidho lose their composure. Most of the time, everything is just dandy in the bass JV says.

    There are more than a few people on this forum who claim not to like "neutral" components. They want some sugar and spice added to their gear to make it sound pleasing to them because they think "neutral" means sterile. Even some of those who like a little sugar and spice added to their gear have found the Raidho bass to be a little too much sugar and spice and have sought ways to dampen down what Raidho has deliberately designed in. So for you to say the bass is "Not one iota too thick" flies in the face of the experience of others. People were told they had the 'wrong' amplifier and/or the 'wrong' speaker cables, or their room was the problem. From what JV said, the only way the bass of the D5 is never going to be "one iota too thick" is if you only play music that will never excite the boosted bass range. I think JV did an excellent job telling the truth about the D5 speakers and I encourage others to read the review before you criticize what he wrote.
    Mep,

    Hello my friend. I think the above is generally a fair representation. The Raidho D's, and D3's in particular, must be very carefully set up to achieve their optimum performance. As you state, this point has been well documented.

    This does not, however, negate the fact that when set up properly they are the most neutral, resolving and musical speaker I have experienced; nor does it negate the fact that when set up improperly they can sound as if voiced ''fat" (as you put it).

    As we know, most, if not all, designers make some level of compromise in pursuit of what they consider ultimate musicality. The Magico Q5 and Q3, which I spent a great deal of time evaluating before finding the Raidho's, are remarkable speakers that when not set up optimally can sound as if voiced lean (i.e., designed intentionally to achieve other attributes at the expense of a full sound in pursuit of what Alon believed was an optimum sound). When both speakers are optimized, however, I find the musicality, imaging and emotional engagement achieved by the D3's to be superior IMO and singular in my experience.

    (A similar line of reasoning might apply to amps when looking at what Nelson has done with the Pass .8's versus the .5's as far as a "loudness" button goes. I think the .8's can be more finicky in set up but when done right, wow!)

    That all said, where I disagree Mep is where you say that I like sugar and spice rather than neutrality just because the Raidho's, when set up improperly, tend toward a "fat" sound. I don't follow this reasoning. IMO the relevant analysis is that people (at least the ones I am aware of) whom love Raidho's learn (sooner or later) to achieve neutrality and when they do they reach a place few other systems achieve.

    Maybe some guys buy them and set them up to achieve a fat sound (admittedly an easy exercise) because they like a fat sound, but I kinda doubt it.

  12. #12

    Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Since neutral was brought up, what does it mean to our members? I think of it as close to flat across the frequency range as possible.
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  13. #13

    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Paul-I'm glad we agree on more things than we disagree about. I will leave it at that.

  14. #14
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by Design Audio Video View Post
    Since neutral was brought up, what does it mean to our members? I think of it as close to flat across the frequency range as possible.
    I agree David or said differently--true to source (i.e., no coloration added to the original).

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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Paul-I'm glad we agree on more things than we disagree about. I will leave it at that.

    Mark, while we often don't agree on everything I do respect your keen insights and you certainly know a heck of a lot about gear; besides there's only so much we can fit on the head of this darn pin.

  16. #16
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    And I don't disagree. The midbass hump is more pronounced and less controlled on the D3's. The D5's seem less so.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mike- how does this compare with Wilson mid-bass bump? I'm not familiar with Raidhos, but know Wilson has been doing this for years as it makes them sound "dynamic"
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  17. #17
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    Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Both the D3's and Alexia's drove me bonkers in my main room. The D3's were pure magic in my big family room. Although I never tried them in the family room, I'm fairly certain the Alexia's would have been fine. I demoed them enough in proper rooms to know. But if I had to pick, the D3's were worse in my dedicated room with its goofy roof causing bad reflections. But fabulous in my family room.

    A true testament to the Strads. OMG - they sound amazing in my main room.


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  18. #18
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    There has been much discussion here and on other sites about the bass of Raidho speakers, including the D5. I thought JV did a really good job of describing what is going on with the bass of the D5 in his review in the Oct 2014 issue of TAS. It appears it was a design decision to boost the bass output of the Raidho D5 speakers so at low listening levels, you have something akin to the Fletcher/Munson curve at work. You don't need a loudness button to push in to boost the bass at low listening levels, Raidho has designed that into the speaker. The "problem" with the bass happens just as it would if you did have a loudness button and failed to turn it off as you turned up the volume-too much bass. Now some claim that it's not a problem all of the time, it's certain music with powerful bass that makes the Raidho lose their composure. Most of the time, everything is just dandy in the bass JV says.

    There are more than a few people on this forum who claim not to like "neutral" components. They want some sugar and spice added to their gear to make it sound pleasing to them because they think "neutral" means sterile. Even some of those who like a little sugar and spice added to their gear have found the Raidho bass to be a little too much sugar and spice and have sought ways to dampen down what Raidho has deliberately designed in. So for you to say the bass is "Not one iota too thick" flies in the face of the experience of others. People were told they had the 'wrong' amplifier and/or the 'wrong' speaker cables, or their room was the problem. From what JV said, the only way the bass of the D5 is never going to be "one iota too thick" is if you only play music that will never excite the boosted bass range. I think JV did an excellent job telling the truth about the D5 speakers and I encourage others to read the review before you criticize what he wrote.
    I have now had my D5's set up for 2 1/2 months now with over 1000 hours of burn in. I can only speak from my experience but I have never had an issue with a mid bass hump or any other issues with the bass at any volume level. I've played bass heavy tracks trying to excite the room and the lower range has always remain civil and non offensive to my ears.

    The room size may play a role in any speakers interaction. I don't know the exact size of JV's (the reviewer) listening room but I think it is up three flights of stairs. JV has a keen and highly trained ear and I believe he has some rather esoteric room treatments that he uses in most all of his reviews.

    I acknowledge that there is no perfect speaker. But after auditioning many high end speakers over many months I am still very happy that I upgraded within the Raidho family of speakers.
    Le Roy

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  19. #19

    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Le Roy-Glad to hear your D5s sound great! I wish you many years of continued happiness with them.

  20. #20
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by Design Audio Video View Post
    Since neutral was brought up, what does it mean to our members? I think of it as close to flat across the frequency range as possible.
    Hi David,

    I totally agree with your definition of "neutral". Being true to the source I would define as "transparency". I have always felt that having loudspeakers that are as neutral as possible across the entire frequency range is an excellent thing. It makes component, cable and room matching so much easier. I don't believe neutrality has to be sacrificed in a loudspeaker in order to achieve transparency or musicality.

    Best,
    Ken
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  21. #21
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    I agree David or said differently--true to source (i.e., no coloration added to the original).
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Hi David,

    I totally agree with your definition of "neutral". Being true to the source I would define as "transparency". I have always felt that having loudspeakers that are as neutral as possible across the entire frequency range is an excellent thing. It makes component, cable and room matching so much easier. I don't believe neutrality has to be sacrificed in a loudspeaker in order to achieve transparency or musicality.

    Best,
    Ken
    I think of true to source as both neutral and transparent; no color or veil......but hey, that's me.


    From Stereophile's Sounds Like? An Audio Glossary

    neutral Free from coloration.

    transparency, transparent1) A quality of sound reproduction that gives the impression of listening through the system to the original sounds, rather than to a pair of loudspeakers. 2) Freedom from veiling, texturing, or any other quality which tends to obscure the signal. A quality of crystalline clarity.

  22. #22

    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Guys,

    How about the D-2? Any experience with that one? Should be easier to work with than the D3...


    alexandre

  23. #23
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Michael B. and Lars call Kiwi when they need information on about the D2. Kiwi is the worlds foremost authority on this speaker.

  24. #24
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by asiufy View Post
    Guys,

    How about the D-2? Any experience with that one? Should be easier to work with than the D3...


    alexandre
    Hi Alexandre,

    I auditioned both the D2 and D3. The D2 does have less bass than the D3, so I believe room setup should be easier. The D2 does have plenty of bass and will fill a small to medium sized room with beautiful sound. The D3 has a bigger presentation with more bass and is probably the best match for a medium to large sized room. Of course proper component and cable matching and speaker placement are all important as well. I think both models are terrific. Many D2 and D3 owners here can give even more details.

    Best,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
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  25. #25
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    Michael B. and Lars call Kiwi when they need information on about the D2. Kiwi is the worlds foremost authority on this speaker.
    Hi Paul,

    Is your system playing music yet or still under construction? I still see some TBD's in some key spots. If it's playing, how are you liking your Soulution 501 monoblocks? They are really neat amps.

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

  26. #26
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    You have a great system Ken ! Are you sticking with your Salon 2's ? I absolutely loved mine when I had them !!
    Mark

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  27. #27
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by MDP View Post
    You have a great system Ken ! Are you sticking with your Salon 2's ? I absolutely loved mine when I had them !!
    Thanks Mark. You have a great system too!

    I'm sticking with the Salon 2's for now. They are excellent speakers. I'm considering getting the Raidho D2 or D3 in 2015. It will depend on how well they match with my existing components.

    Which make and model interconnects and speaker cables are you currently using with your D3's? Are you happy now with the way the D3's are sounding in your room with the H30?

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

  28. #28
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Ken, Unfortunately I am still a ways out. I just ordered power last week and am now focussed on sources. Not in a hurry. I find the process part of the fun.

  29. #29
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    Ken, Unfortunately I am still a ways out. I just ordered power last week and am now focussed on sources. Not in a hurry. I find the process part of the fun.
    Hi Paul,

    I agree with you, building it is half the fun. I bet you can hardly wait for that first listen. With your gear it should knock your socks off! What direction are you planning to go with the digital front end? I've been extremely happy with my K-01 and never regretted for a minute spending the extra money for it. Best of luck with the remaining construction, don't forget your hard hat...LOL.

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

  30. #30
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Hi Paul,

    I agree with you, building it is half the fun. I bet you can hardly wait for that first listen. With your gear it should knock your socks off! What direction are you planning to go with the digital front end? I've been extremely happy with my K-01 and never regretted for a minute spending the extra money for it. Best of luck with the remaining construction, don't forget your hard hat...LOL.

    Best,
    Ken

    Hey Ken,

    I have been out of town. I like the MSB Analog Dac and want to hear the Allnic D5000 sometime and also take another hard look at the Playback Designs stuff. A few guys on here really love the DSD dacs. I will also have to put the K-01 on the list.

  31. #31
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    Re: Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    Hey Ken,

    I have been out of town. I like the MSB Analog Dac and want to hear the Allnic D5000 sometime and also take another hard look at the Playback Designs stuff. A few guys on here really love the DSD dacs. I will also have to put the K-01 on the list.
    Hi Paul,

    They are already shipping the new K-01X (Native DSD, 35-Bit Processing and 352 kHZ Sampling Rate). Also dropped the retail price $450. Make sure you check that one out.

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

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Absolute Pure Magic - Raidho D5

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