New to Audiogon. selling my whole system

EVERYTHING. I've never done this before. It's time to start fresh. I'll soon be posting everything as I learn to use this site. I have everything from Proac Supertowers to studio 100's to studio 1 mk2 to Quick silver monos and full function pre with all MIT wire to Stax Lamda's to two Onyx integrateds etc...

Not sure how much I'll fetch for everything, but I've been listening to everything from 15k speakers to the newest integrateds. I have found a few dealers who have been ultra helpful and very nice. Many years ago I met Richard Vandersteen at Stereo Unlimited in SD and fell in love with the 'new' 2's. After a 4 year stint driving the USS Kitty Hawk, I moved back to CT and set out to finally get my new system. I sold off my moscode amp, CJ pre and Polk 10's (Sandy Gross' design) and found a Vandy dealer in RI> I became close friends with the owner and we are still in touch even though he's been closed for years. I walked in with my wife prepared to walk out with Vandy's and a new amp. Instead I walked out with the Supertowers, Quick mono's and his personal pre amp.

I have loved this system for many years and have had new drivers put in and it sounded even better. Problem is, my new wife needs a remote so I had to buy an NAD integrated. I still love the speakers, but I was told to check out the new D series of Proacs. I was led to Audio Connection and John (he posts here). I went in to audition the Pro Ac's and they were nice, but I wasn't blown away as what I have is still pretty darn good. Then John told me to listen to the Vandy's along with the Ayer 7x integrated and a cheap Music Hall DAC.

Keep in mind, I had recently heard the Focal BE line, Paradigm Signatures, B&W (never have liked them), Dynaudio, PSB T I think it was, Wilson, Dali and the list goes on. Nearly all the contenders (I"ve left some out). I have head the NAD Master series and the new NAD 390 digital. I heard the Krell, etc....

I never expected to have one system blow me away, but it did. I was in SHOCK and still am as it's the reverse of the last time. I really wanted to hear the Hegel integrateds as they have a nice DAC built in, but they aren't out yet. That said, the Ayre would be hard to beat. I like John's approach in that he puts systems together and we have similar ears. He carries the lines I have and have had other than the MIT I have been using (770 MH CVT and shotgun etc..) I also didn't think the Audioquest would impress me, but again, I was dead wrong.

I read reviews, but nothing beats listening. NOTHING. I think the Vandy Treo's , ayre 7x integrated, Music Hall DAC and Audioquest with those DBS deals are the way I'm going to go as soon as I'm able to share some great stuff with folks.

I look forward to reading more threads in the forum as it seems like a nice community.

I wonder how many have been in my boat (starting fresh for the first time after all these years)? Any stories to share?
Welcome to the forum. The Ayre AX7e is a great amp and I'm sure is a nice match for the Vandy's. I'm running the Hegel H200 with Harbeth C7's and a REL sub to great effect.

I've never started over from scratch as you're doing. I guess if you could try the entire system in your home it could work. I'm hopefully done for awhile. My most recent purchases were the Hegel, REL B2 sub and a Nordost XLR. I also bought Oyaide banana plugs for my Audioquest Rockefellers. I never thought I'd own a sub. This hobby never ceases to surprise me.

Welcome and keep us posted on your system.
I second the welcome. Yes it is a bit of a challenge starting from nothing, as you need a minimum of kit to audition anything new. As you can't do this, I would suggest buying second hand, though it may be slower getting that minimum together. That malkes mistakes less costly and easier to rectify. I would also not go for stopgap purchases to get you started, also expensive.

I suppose you need a starting blueprint, integrated, pre/power, tubes/SS, CD player/streamer/vinyl, though the latter will be determined by what music you have already. For example, I found out quite quickly, getting back into HiFi after the long children years, that Solid state was not for me. It sounds like you are hapy with solid state. That being the case, I do'nt think you can go wrong with Ayre or Hegel, both have an excellent reputation.

Speakers will be dependent on the output of the amp, there are so many great speakers around, it rather depends on your budget. I went from acoustic Zen Adagios to Daedalus, both are truly excellent, the Daedalus in a class of their own and they look great too. You won't find them second hand, you will with the Adagios, which are a cheaper option.

Sorry if this is unsultingly basic, but budget for wires, power conditioning and supports too. I have never managed this, but it is said to be better to stick to one cable manufacturer throughout, giving a better bang for your buck. Best of luck.
First of all take all the time you need. Looking for new audio is often so much fun. You can spend your money one time so do it right. Start with the speakers. One option you should try is Monitor Audio Platinum. But audition them with amps which can give a deep and wide stage. Because it can give a wider and deeper stage like Wilson Audio. With the right amps it even can play beside the speakers. These speakers can be played at extreme volumes, most other speakers can't go. Resolution and imaging is stunning. About amps I would listen to Pass Labs. In the past I compared it 2 months with different Ayre amps. The stage is wider and deeper than Ayre can build an image. 3D staging is the essential part for the absolute sound in highend audio. One important part is what I call intimate sound. This is the small and realistic proportion of instruments and voices. Audioquest and Purist Audio are one of the best in this part. The other part is what we call 'blacks'. This is the room between all the instruments and voices which were recorded with there acoustic info at the studio. This part will make the image a lot more palpable and stable. MIT is a brand which I sold and owned for many years. These days Audioquest is a big step further in all the parts you Judge cables at. Have fun and enjoy your way to the absolute sound for you!
Pass Labs class A can give a very realistic sound in instruments. You can hear the difference easily between 2 different acoustic guitars at the same time. To be honnest I tried this with Ayre, but it does not have the same level in sound realism.
NAD is in the world of highend not good enough. It is that simple. The same about there new digital amps. I sold Tact in the past. This is the same technique which is used in there new digital amps. It is incomplete. Because some class A amps are superior in sound realism. The other point is that there individual focus of instruments and voices is not sharp enough as the best can do. There stage is also not very deep and wide like the best. It is easy to top this level.

I beg to differ. I have the NAD M51 DAC. It is a great DAC. It is that simple.
You are talking about a DAC, this is something different than an amp. For that kind of money NAD made a very good dac. But in general NAD is not a brand in the world of highend. I sold NAD for over 8 years of time. In 2007 I decided to buy it for the shop I run at that moment. In the past I liked NAD a lot. But it was a big misstake of myself. They had many stuff with problems. The company with who I do business still sells NAD. They have still may issues. In many a b comparisons people choose more often for brands like Arcam, Cambridge or Primare.
Having owned the Proac EBS many years ago, these are still very good speakers by any standard and will cost a significant sum to get something better. I would still prefer them to the newer generation D series, much smoother and more musical. They use the famous ATC midrange dome and the equivalent today would be something like the ATC100.
My recommendation would be to keep the Proacs and build a new system around them - digital front end, amp, cabling, rack etc. Get the Proac cabinets refinished if necessary, this is not an expensive exercise. The Ayre is very musical as is their CD system.
Hi Ctsooner

I too recently switched speakers after having them for many years. They are good speakers but were extremely picky about what they matched with. This experience has let me to certain realizations I didn't have during ownership. For all they did right and for all the efforts I expended in making it right from cables to amps to pre-amps, source components I could never capture the "it" factor which sustains engagement long term and found myself gravitating more towards favorite recordings, sound over music, a bad omen. Furthermore, when I purchased the speakers used, on this site, I never had the opportunity to listen to them first hand. Again, good speakers but how long do you try before conceding they just aren't your cup of tea?

So are you saying that you like the Proacs but you like the Vandies better? Or have you considered that the Proacs might be improved by changing out some or all of your upstream components which you are going to do regardless? This can get tricky unless you are willing to start over because you don't like or are uncomfortable with the speakers which you indicated you love. You are fortunate in that you have a great dealer that can help you sort all this out as he also sells Proac but might you still love the Proacs if you could find gear better suited to them? Would he be willing to let you listen with other gear in your space? I'm not suggesting this is the answer but is just another consideration in the equation. Maybe the Vandys are just better to you and your mind is made up, they are certainly wonderful speakers, I owned the 2cs for many years, one of only two speakers I have owned that I loved, the other my current speaker that stepped into my system, synergistic magic! How lucky fortunate is that? But I knew before hand that the amp was staying and the new speakers would have to be electrically compatible, were they ever. Just more food for thought. Sometimes what appears to be a "nobrainer" is often a mirage. But if you have a wad of cash to throw and don't mind spending the dough, do it, but FIRST you should hear in your space to be sure. Your situation is the opposite of mine, I had the system but the speakers were the issue. It seems you have a speaker you love but the system may not be ideally matched to it.


Yes -- the NAD M51 is indeed an excellent DAC. I am not familiar with their other products so I cannot comment on them.
Proac speakers and Quicksilver amps are IMO a very synergistic combination.

You might try some other gear with them to see if it will work better for you.

I am using the Proac Response 2.5 with Quicksilver V-4 amps and I am very happy with the combination.
Yes, Bruce Kutin from Ocean State Audio. He's still a friend of mine. Great guy and honest. I just got the Ayre 7xe from a friend. I will be buying the Vandy Treo and Audioquest cables from John Rutan at Audio Connection. Just a wonderful guy who loves his audio. He wants me to get the Music Hall DAC to keep the costs down as I also have to get a firewire and USB cable to do the rips from my macbook pro to my 1T portable HD. I need to figure out what format to rip etc... I like the whole system that I heard in his store. I wonder though if I should be looking at a better balanced DAC. I have heard the new NAD M51 and it has HDMI even (for my TV) and is 32 bit architecture. I"m still learning about digital but I want balanced as the Ayre just sounds SO much better having balanced inputs.
For AQcables, what are the best values in the lines? I will need speaker, balanced from DAC to amp and I think that's is since I will just rip all my CD;s to the portable HD via the firewire and then go USB to the DAC I end up with. I'll use my MIT interconnects etc... from the tv or cable box to the DAC I guess.

I was told to get at a min the DBS cables they make, but in all lines there are best value cables. ONLY if you've heard them, I'd like your feedback. I"ll listen to John of course, but curious to see if there is a diminishing return point for each type. Thanks to all for feedback. John will be selling everything I have as it's easier for him to make sure it's in it's best order and it's worth the money he'll charge me. I will sell the ProAc Super towers myself as they are too big for me to get down there and I'm still using them as they sound awesome as they have brand new drivers in them. They were upgraded teak if anyone has interest, lol. Thanks again to all.
Guys the Ayre will show up sometime next week he said. I'll hook them up and try them out to see if that does it for me, but the Vandy's just played music. Details and able to throw a nice and realistic sound stage and imaging was wonderful. John will bring them over when I buy them, but it's a 2.5 hour drive so I wouldn't be able to try them in my own space. Sucks, but that's reality for me I guess.

I think John can get me the NAD DAC since he does sell NAD, so that's a possiblity I guess. I have been offered that DAC locally for 1600 for a new one and that seemed great. In that price range what would you folks recommend? It has to be balanced.
Ctsooner , Sounds like you really liked what you heard at Audio Connection and want to go in that direction with your system. Nothing wrong with that.

You made the right choice in going to John R. at Audio Connection. I drove up there myself back in September ( 3.5 hrs) and stayed for a few days. I was so glad I made the trip up. I could of stayed up there for a couple of weeks just hanging out and listening to music with John. He is a good guy and really takes care of his customers.

The town of Verona was fun to hang out in also.

Enjoy your new Vandersteens when they arrive!
I have audioquest cv6 wires with dbs devices. They work well and I like them but not sure I hear any difference with dbs devices. Can't hurt though.
Good to meeet you, thank you for serving our country, and wow, it must be a letdown to drive a wheeled vehicle after driving a supercarrier!

You seem like an ardent fan of both the gear and the experience; I strongly suggest you attend a regional audio show before you blow the entire sum on a replacement rig. You are in a rare position that most audiophiles are afraid of, that of being able to start from scratch.

Frankly, selling off the entire rig - I have done so a few times - allowed me to take major steps in sound quality and enjoyment which would have taken a lot longer to achieve piecemeal. So, congratulations on not being afraid to "jump ship" so to speak and climb aboard another vessel! Some people get so emotionally attached to their system that it prevents them from having a far richer experience. You are wise not to let nostalgia block future enjoyment.

Attending a show is a mind expanding experience, and could have you alter your choices. I'm not trying to take away from your friend and dealer, but aside from the friendships made at shows one hears a tremendous amount of variety, and sometimes that opens a new door to ownership of an unanticipated component/rig which ultimately satisfies.

One of my audio friends went to his first show about a year ago; at that show we heard the Volti Audio Alura speakers and that was it. He had a fair bit of anxiety over a radical remake of the system but ended up switching out his entire system over that year and now has a dream system he can't get enough of. In fact, he bought the Border Patrol amplification and Snake River Audio cabling as well, nearly replicating the exact show system he liked so well -and it sounds extravagant; as would be expected it is better sounding in his home than it was in the show's hotel room. No matter the price, the show experience is your best way to "shop" the world for a rig.

Re: Audioquest DBS - years ago I spent a fair bit of time comparing that technology to straight wire and found that DBS beat some but not others. Now I do not consider it to be inherently superior to straight wire. My experience is that a variable such as total gauge of the conductor is more critical than DBS. Others may vigorously disagree, but I am not interested in arguing my findings. :)
Guys, thanks. Great thread here. As for John and Audio Connection, I like that he's into music even more than gear and he puts things together that sound good together. I was able to get that ayre integrated and it will be here on Tuesday. I can't wait to hook it up to the current system to hear how it make it sound. I have been fortunate to listen to so many systems that are out there as I have been to many folks homes (the new brick and mortar I guess) as well as many stores. I admit that I lean towards more established companies if I can get most if not all what I want for similar cost. I have heard well over 50 speakers in the last few months and I listened to them on the amps that the folks felt showed them off best. I can't do tubes anymore, so those are all out. Too bad, but I have found Hegel and Ayre both sound/tube like, but both handle bass really really well. That's why I went with Ayre. I've heard them with Dynaudio, Kharma, Focal, Paradigm Signature, Vandy's, Pro Ac, B&W, Legacy, PSB, Wilson, and a bunch more I can't remember, lol. I have also like the Pass amps a ton and have heard them with a few speakers with ceramic/Rhadio (spelling) ribbons.

Don't want to go over 50" tall and want a thinner profile. I also realize that I can afford true bass down to the mid/low 30's. I have missed that with my supertowers I think, although they go pretty low when the music does.

I have loved the Vandy 5 Carbon, Quatro Wood Carbon and Treos. I have heard them through various amps and DAC's. The Music Hall seems like a really nice DAC for the price. I wouldn't mind stepping up teh DAC, but not sure how much I can afford when it's all said and done, so a 500 DAC is a bargain as I can sell it off later when I want to upgrade that area.

I have heard many cables and was an MIT guy since day one. I even used Bruce's Monster Cables that he invented in the 70's. I'm selling off all my MIT stuff. I have heard the AQ with DBS vs Nordost, Tara, Kimber (I still have some speaker cables that I have liked), Straight Wire and many others. I always felt AQ was great marketing and not that great, but I've been so impressed. AGain, I hated Vandy and loved Pro Ac until I heard both side by side at John's. I have always listened to my ears, lol. I like a musical presentation that goes low in a tuneful way and not boomy. I like a coherent speaker and have never liked subs as they are so hard to set up properly. In many of the newer company's designs, I've heard exotic drivers that just don't go together. So many remind me of the old Apogees with dynamic subs attached. I also don't think there are huge differences between most of the newer 15k speakers and the 5k speakers. I think the biggest difference is the amount and quality of bass you purchase. It's always been that way and still is. If you get midrange right and have GREAT bass that legit goes into the mid 30's then piano will sound RIGHT. Those just seem like the best sounding speakers to me.

I think I'm looking for a DAC that costs in the 1-1.5K range that has up to date specs (seems so important to DACS although sound is still the driver) that bests the Music Hall by a lot. If not, I'll go the later route for now at least.

As for shows or clubs, I'd love to know more about them. Problem is I don't do things like that alone for the most part. I like to attend with like minded folks who love music and gear. I make no apologies about loving gear too. Are there clubs in CT? If so, please let me know.

Thank for the thanks for serving. It was all my pleasure and I miss it. I love driving wheeled vehicles, lol. I can't do what I used to do, due to my MS, but as Long as they let me drive and I'm safe for all on the road, I'll do it, lol.
"I have heard many cables and was an MIT guy since day one. I even used Bruce's Monster Cables that he invented in the 70's. I'm selling off all my MIT stuff. I have heard the AQ with DBS vs Nordost, Tara, Kimber (I still have some speaker cables that I have liked), Straight Wire and many others. I always felt AQ was great marketing and not that great, but I've been so impressed."

I am on a mission to do as many a-b comparison as possible between MIT and Audioquest. Since I started this I never had any MIT wins. Why? Because Audioquest wins in every part. People have to learn to look further. Audioquest is better in dynamics, superior in blacks and resolution compared to MIT. And even the sound is much more musical and involving. Stop believing the bullshit stories of some companies who say; you have to use MIT with Avalon and spectral. In the last months I have proven in different a-b battles that it is based on f... nothing. I have a new client with spectral and MIT. I will convince him how much he misses. I was surprised how much is missing what need to be there. And yes it is that easy! Quality sells and rules!!!!

If you have the time, check out the new line of Audio Analogue amps... Especially the Maestro series. They have much of what the Ayre delivers in the mid and high end, but a much stronger bass line. I currently use the Maestro Settanta Rev2 integrated amp with DeCapo-i/be speakers. The musical presentation is simply amazing. I know that you would be impressed with these wonderful Italian made amps.
I use audioquest and MIT. Also DNM. Each has their unique traits to recommend them. Like most audio stuff.

Its kinda silly to suggest any of these is inherently superior to the others.
The facts are that there is more resolution ( you hear more information), more drive, better blacks, a far better individual focus. This is audible by every person quite easy. I would like to invite Mr M for a comparison. This had nothing to do with personal preference. Tell me why you would choose for less drive, less resolution, less sharo focus and a less palpable image. Just tell me why? Try to convince me and others.......
I would like to see MIT vs Audioquest and many others in magazines. Who has the gutts to do it? Or you would like to think you still use and own the best. It depends if you would like to hear what you want to hear or the truth. I would love to see a far more direct comparison in audio all the time. That is what I do!!
The only true way to compare different cable brands is to wire the whole system with brand A and then replace all cables with brand B.
Most audiophiles use cables for bandaiding problems in their system or room, mixing their brands to come up with some sort of serendipitous outcome. Check out the most common questions on cables - eg
What is the best interconnect with tight bass ?
Looking for speaker cable with big midrange.
Which power cable will give me more bass ?
09-16-13: Bo1972
Last week I bought a Olive 06HD streamer. I also bought the brand new pure silver Audioquest Wild Blue Yonder with the new xlr connectors. I use a Purist Audio powercable with oyaide 004 connectors. This combination is stunning and one of the best analogue sound I ever heard from a digital source.
Not sure how you manage to get analogue out of a digital source but I would suggest that from your previous posts that the only fact is that your observations on cable capability are not based on any sort of scientific analysis, and more upon a try this here and there approach and a lot of hyperbole. Hence that is probably the attraction for the "Wild Blue Yonder" as the best cable in your quest for audio nirvana.
Personally I prefer the MIT Oracle series cabling for all cables - interconnect, speaker & power.
I view wires as tweaks. A relatively inexpensive and easy way to fine tune the sound when needed. As such, its hard to say one works better than another in any particular case with various gear, even if overall, some may be "better" than others.

With certain combos of gear, some wires may prove to be better than others in general.

Audioquest and MIT I have heard do not sound the same. No doubt about that. MIT is probably for more unique applications in general perhaps. OVerall, I might prefer Audioquest. Not enough data points for me to judge conclusively. I have only heard certain combos that I could uniquely identify. I may like DNM the best overall of teh ones I have heard. I also use Harmonic TEch truth link. Another unique sounding wire that might work best for some. HT is probably most similar to Audioquest of these I mention, maybe better.
I sold MIT for over 6 years of time. And I owned the best powercables the make. Ofcourse they make fine cables. But when I compare the latest Audioquest cables with MIT cables you have to admit that the difference has become too big. I Always Judge cables for many different parts. When you compare the low freq, drive and speed is done a lot better with the Audioquest. The biggest difference is individual focus of instruments and voices. Audioquest is able to let you hear a very precise and small direct focus of all instruments and voices. Voices and instruments are very small in dimension in real. Play it with the MIT and in many cases instruments and voices are played too big. Here you loose the intimate sound what is very important to become one with the music. When instruments and voices are played too big in proportion the distance between you and the music gets bigger. There is less involvement and you are not pulles into the music like it should be. The mid freq are a lot more open and musical with the Audioquest cables. Instruments and voices are a lot more palpable cause of the better blacks of the Audioquest cables. And when you compare how much details you hear, you easily hear much more space, details and different layers. We are not taking about details, but big differences. I think there is a lot of work for MIT to catch up.
I do think a lot of MIT wires I read about these days may be overpriced, at least new.

I use inexpensive older Terminator line ICs I picked up used for not much. These are worth the money I would say.
I am Always looking for the best. What I said earlier Audioquest make fine powercables, but by far not good enough for my demands. In this area Purist Audio is superior. I compared them a few times this year. I gave this info to Audioquest and said you have to improve them soon. The Purist Audio Powercabels can bring amps and sources to new levels. That is why I use often 2 different poweramps in different price tags to make people understand how much influence it can have on a poweramp. With sources it is the same thing. The Purist Audio powercabels gives me a much more open and musical mid freq. And it gives me more weight and layers in the lowest freq. The MIT powercabels cannot give the open mid freq. what the Purist Audio powercabels can give, no can the Audioquest powercabels. The new Wild Blue is an expensive cable, stunning cable but I do not think it is the best. For the money it brings a very high level. I love the Audioquest loudspeakercable so much because it has all the different parts I want in a system. In the past I needed many more different brands before i had the sound I wanted. On the other hand it is very easy to compete with many other. Because often my clients try others as well. I never had it this easy to compete since I started with Audioquest again. I am not a brand addict. To be honnest I really don't care. If there is a new brand which is better, this will be the next reference. Because I want the best for my money and for my clients there money. Maybe my words are sometimes direct and people think I provoke. I only want people to look further. Just use your ears and compare. And this you have to do yourself!
One of my best friends uses Avalon speakers and all his cables were from MIT. He bought them because people said these are the best cables for your speakers. He believed them, but now he understands that it is based on nothing. It was very easy to make him understand why. The differences are soo big that it is easy to understand what is missing. After you compared you do not want to go back anymore. You would be a fool. My client asked me if copper is not more musical than silver? It can be, in some situations. But when I compare the Audioquest copper and silver interconnects. The more expensive silver interconnects like the Wild Blue Yonder are superior in speed, openness, sound realism and control. It depends about the quality of the silver. There are silver interconnects in many different qualities.
Hi Bo,
What kind music or songs do you use for testing sound? Could you pick few your favorite songs and describe what you hear from your best sound system? What are important sounds for individual songs to you? Thanks!
Hi Bo,
Could you please pick a couple of popular songs in pop or jazz and describe what you hear? It will be helpful to me and other readers' listening skill. Thanks!
what a thread, lol. My MIT 770 cables were voiced for tubes. They sound great on tubed gear and are still as good if not better than most cables I've heard, however the comparisons aren't fair because I'm listening to many different systems. That's the biggest problem in all of audio. The ears win and I trust my ears. I have been hearing so many different brands of cables recently that it blows my mind. I have a friend who use to be in the industry and in the beginning it was much smoke and mirrors for many companies, including some well known ones. things are different. Grain structure and skin effect are very real. RF interference is HUGE in all electronics. Some companies have figured out ways to fix some of these problems.

I remember so well when Transparent and MIT had their falling out. They went after each other's dealers with venom. Guys, I've been around the audiophile block a few times and have lived on the block since 71. There is more corruption with reviewers than the payola scandals of early radio. That's reality. Many reviewers even use different names. The most obvious is Tom Gillete/Sam Tellig. So many didn't realize it was the same person, lol. That takes nothing away from his/his reviews.

I was just looking for folks input for price vs performance of speaker cable only in the AQ line. I am buying a system. In the end, I'll listen for myself and figure out what I like best, but was curious as to what others like and why they didn't spend more or the reason they DID spend more. So far I have been forced to trust John at AudioConnections, Verona NJ. I'm a new customer there, but I've agreed with everything he's shared with me so far. He's similar to my old friend Bruce from Ocean State Audio. Our ears must be similar because we are sensitive the the same things. I do know that once you get into the DBS line of AQ, it's HUGE for a quiet noise floor.

The biggest irony going into all of this was that I was open minded, but felt I would end up with ProAc D2's (I love monitors) and MIT cables. I wasn't sure what electronics I could afford and would sound great. I knew that I wasn't interested in auditioning Vandy nor AQ products and I never liked what I heard from them many years ago.

This just shows how much products and lines have changed over the years. I have not heard Vandy's under the Treo, but I love the new Quatros, Treo and 5's. I have yet to hear any other speaker that comes close for me. I have auditioned most of the speakers out there that are real companies that sell for 5-35k. There are a few I haven't been able to hear, but most are much more than I can/will afford even used and I won't waste someone's time listening to a speaker that I can only afford used. That's not fair to a dealer IMHO.
" I do know that once you get into the DBS line of AQ, it's HUGE for a quiet noise floor.

Well, yeah, I'll confirm that my noise floor in my room where it matters the most is pretty much dead quiet. AQ cv6 with DBS (two 12' runs picked up for ~$300-$400 used on ebay as I recall) are in play there. So I can say at a minimum that they do not hurt. The sound in there overall is more than I could have ever asked for and I am a very happy camper.
Janos Starker/ Bach Suites; I use it to demonstrate the sound realism of a cello and also the small proportion and palpable image of the cello.

Diana Krall/The girl in the other room/ Almost blue; again for the sound of the Steinway she uses and for the 3D image of her voice. She is standing in front of you so palpable.

Departure Bay; I can let people hear her lips during singing ( in most sets you do not hear it at all) And again the extreme level of blacks and touchable image.

Kraftwerk/tour the France/La Forme; I use it for the speed and drive. But also for the extreme holographic image in general. You hear the depth, but also like you use surroundspeakers ( Q sound effect)

Bruce Springsteen/Trackscd-4/Brothers under the bridge; articulation of his voice. The way how I use Audyssey with Volume and EQ you hear a lot more details. Bruce is standing in full 3D in front of you. You hear all his words endings so clear. Endings like ssss, ttt or th.

Jacintha/Jacintha is her name/light my fire; this one I use to let people hear the high level in blacks and also for depth. Crossflute is playing about 3-4 metres behind her voice.

I/m in the mood for love from the same album; I use this one to show people that the energy and drive of the Contrabass is coming from the left. My sub is standing on the right side. Almost all subwoofers are not able to let you hear the energy and drive from the left side where the contrabass is recorded. The instruments stay very small in dimension. With many subwoofers who do not integrate like the PLW-15 does the focus of instruments become less sharp and often bigger in proportion.

These are just a few. I use many different numbers to make things clear. Do not forget that my system makes this very easy. When I use this music on many sets, you miss so much. The sound realims, timbre is of another level. Most sets do not have the drive and speed. You hear often a lot les details.

I use my set to make clear what is missing in sets of clients. After this I change parts in there set to get it to a higher level.
Hi Bo,
Thank you for the song list!

Jacintha’s "Light my fire" is very nice. The sound stage is natural and just right size which is intimate. Huge or immense sound stage can be overwhelming to enjoy music. Jacintha is singing beautiful and sexy. The distance between 4 instruments are good and the sound stage is open with lots of air. Every acoustic instruments are with solid body and realistic. Numerous breathes of the flute player was very life like and could be missed with lesser grade sound systems. The acoustic string at far right could be easily missed or lifeless with low resolution gears. Jacintha's lips are close together and her tongue hits teeth to produce very sexy sound and I can almost see her facial expression too. She is having fun! Jacintha’s "Light my fire" will be one of my favorite songs for a while.

Thank you very much for a good recording!
I have the first Mercury Living Presence box set which includes several fine recordings featuring Janos Starker and yes, these in particular as well as many of the other MLP recordings are quite special in the miking techniques and attention to sound quality payed as early examples of SOTA hifi stereo recordings that hit the mark in delivering a 3-D holographic presenation with which one can easily locate players in the soundstage. THese were made back in the early glory days of stereo hifi recordings in the late 1950's when such things were quite novel and sound quality was a marketed product as much as the music itself.
Many sets at shows and also at clients are often incomplete. So I explain them what is missing. When they hear my set at home it is quite easy to understand what is missing. I change part for part in there set to make them understand what it does. For example; first I start with a good conditioner. I compare it with there conditioner. I Always use the best things on the market. For conditioners the same. After this I compare the powercables they own with better ones. I change one for one. With the interconnects the same story. I never change more than one part. Just keep it simple and clear as possible. Always use your own music. Music which you use for comparing parts in audio. I Always use good and nice music at shows. Most common fault at shows is that they use pingping music. Often these people do not have a lot of music themselves. They are seldom music lovers. Music is the essential part for audio. When you are not a music lover it is better for you to look for another job or hobby I Always say.
BTw, just read that Starker just passed away earlier this year.

What a talent! I strongly recommend anyone interested in classical music who may have never heard him pick up a recording or two and give it a try.
He was very old already. Even over 80 years old he still gave lessons to students.
I read in his NY Times obituary he was apparently quite a talented character!
Great thread and thanks to all. Well, I just got my used Ayre AX7E and hooked it up with my ProAc Supertowers. WOW. What a difference. It's like they are new speakers and damn good ones. I still want the Vandy Treo's, but I can honestly sell the Proacs to someone and tell them that they will be hard pressed to find anything close to them for the price (probably around 1300 or so as they have brand new drivers). They actually sound darn good and I'm listening to music like I used to when I had the Quickies hooked up to them. It's fun again. Now figuring out if I go with the Music Hall 25.3 DAC or do I look at other DAC's. I must go true balanced as that's the only inputs I have left, lol, plus it sounds best with the Ayre.