Responses from russellrcncom

Best and Worst customer service?
Pass, Ayre, Conrad Johnson are exemplary.  My experience with Cary was underwhelming to say the least.   
Solid State Power Amps
Well, I wish I had your budget (LOL) but seriously, the new Luxman (M10x?) would come to mind but the there are some other intriguing amps that have just come out:BAT Rex 300 and the Parasound JCM 250.  These 3 are on my short list.  
This is a response to JFRmusic’s post.  Yes, I’ve been able to demo a component in-home “for free” with the set-up you mentioned….and then subjected to incredulous looks by salespeople when returning the item and informing them it didn’t float my ... 
Honestly, I wish more dealers would offer this kind of service.  I would gladly pay the $300 to hear a new component in my home (with the understanding that the fee would represent the extent of my obligation should I not decide against future pur... 
Best music in 2023
Prins Emanuel:  Diagonal Music II  
Are Quicksilver power tube amps in the same league as VAC, VTL, BAT, ARC, ...?
Czarivey: Agree.   in terms of breaking down the 8407 monos were in a league of their own.  They made me swear off of tube amps forever.  
Have you found your "End-Game" speakers yet? I have. And it feels so good!!!
Hales T8 owner here.  I’m still searching for an amp and pre that would get the best out of them.  I was dissed on the Conrad Johnson owner site ( I was and still am considering a GAT S2 pre) where I was reminded that the speakers  are old and tha... 
A $250 Power Conditioner?
Facten:  Agree re. Your comment about the NCF clear line.  It looks impressive but it didn’t do anything in my system.  
Does it bother you when you see inflated MSRP’s for used gear on AG?
Kennyc:  sad but true and good advice.  That said, I do agree with the point made by others that if there is any doubt on the original $ best to leave it “blank”.  
Does it bother you when you see inflated MSRP’s for used gear on AG?
Testpilot:  is it really that difficult to list the *correct MSRP?  I don’t get it.   *e.g. the MSRP at the time of purchase, or or more accurately in those rare cases where they diverge, the MSRP when the component was manufactured.    
Best and Worst customer service?
Gmosley:  Just curious how you made out, e.g. whether ultimately they (VTL) agreed to service the unit or whether you had to have it done locally.  That’s still no excuse for the gyrations you had to go thru but a refusal to service the item is re... 
Does it bother you when you see inflated MSRP’s for used gear on AG?
To Bigkidz and others:  No, you’re not buying at MSRP but in a number of cases you don’t know what the item originally retailed for.  Inevitably, you do some research and find the $ to be inflated, sometimes substantially.  As someone posted on th... 
Mark Levinson Customer Service is the best!
This is very useful info..  I was considering adding a 523 Pre to my preamp wish list but I don’t like the idea of purchasing something that will not be supported with service when I want and need it.  I hate it when boutique hi-end mfrs. drop ser... 
SOTA STAR Sapphire Turntable Care and Feeding
I’ve owned this table for over 35 years and while I agree it has been maintenance free during that time I’ve never been particularly impressed with the vacuum feature.  Think about it:  do you really expect the amount of vacuum created by the pump... 
Conrad Johnson--does anyone use this brand anymore?
Started with a PV-5 then changed to a PFR (which was a huge improvement) then sidetracked to an Ayre K-5xemp but now looking to go back to CJ with a GAT series 2 which will probably be my last preamp purchase.  CJ service has always been great.