Finally got the Zu Omen & Omen Def in today. Somewhat unscathed! These are BIG speakers. Big physically and huge in sound! They match up great with everything I've thrown at them. They're super easy to set up and drive seeing they're 98db! The Mission speaker cables and interconnects are on the way as is a replacement driver for the Defs. One driver must've been damaged in transit.. but the boxes are fine. whew.. Zu already have a matched pair on the way. Great customer service in case you were wondering.
The first thing I put on the Omens was Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery's The Dynamic Duo. Powered up the Leben CS600 integrated and Rega P9. WOW! A huge sound with full frequency range. Bass that you can feel in your sternum. These things scream house party! They can also play softly without losing that punch. Come hear 'em! They're really FUN!
Chris West, formally of Naim Audio, has started a new business called AV Options. Got a old Naim amp that needs a recap? (I do!) Give 'em a call!
Running a Hi-Fi shop is trickier than you might think. There's a lot of crap out there so it's my responsibility to find the best gear at reasonable prices. I'd love to stock $20,000 CD players...if they sold. My product lines are about value, sound quality and serviceability. Sometimes I fuck up. The product may be great, but the distribution may suck or there ends up being zero support if it breaks. If I'm not excited about it, I won't demo it. I only carry lines that I would actually have in my own home. Tubes? Even harder! Most affordable tube gear is "Chi-Fi". I tried, but at the end of the day I'm just not sold. The majority are cheaply made fire hazards that support a suicidal, slave labor force. Folks, I gotta sleep at night!
So, I just dumped the Chi-Fi behemoth and picked up a excellent and affordable line called Triode (or Tri for short). They have a great line of amps that will play nicely with the speakers I carry. They are point to point hand wired in Japan by the designer himself. I'm getting in the 45 watt TRV-35se EL34 push pull integrated amp (pictured at $2000) and the TRX-PM84 ($2600) a 15 watt integrated with headphone, MM phono, and DAC! The 300B amps look sweet. Stay Tuned!
My new employee is working out great! He can get into tight spaces and doesn't talk much. He practically works for free! I smuggled him in from Salisbury where he used to work for Naim.
Rega UK has just introduced a revised Brio. I've been selling various incarnations of the Brio for many years. I've always said it was the "best deal in Hi-Fi amps". Now it's even better! The Brio-R will have a remote control and is in a space saving, half box chassis matching the new DAC ($995). There have been numerous upgrades as well. I've put my order in and should have one sometime in May. The new Brio-R will be around $895. Pair it with the RS-1 ($695) or RS-3 ($1195) speakers and a RP-1 turntable ($445) and you have a killer Rega system for just a bit over $2,000! Synergy is the simplest way to audio ecstasy! Now taking orders!
I just had the Head-Fi meet yesterday and met Brad Avenson. Brad designs lots of cool gear. most of it Pro Studio stuff like mics and mixing desks. He brought by his headphone amp and I was pretty amazed. Designed and built right here in Austin! He was quite kind to leave one, so come hear it!
Record Store Day this Saturday! Personally, I think every day is Record Store Day but it's a great excuse to come buy some records and the electronics to play them on. I will be participating in the "record store crawl". Bring in a receipt from another participating shop and get 8.25% off anything in the store! This is a great time to pick up that new turntable or speakers!
Vinyl District Austin
Fabrication d'une lampe triode
The Ape House
Music Mask hmmm, just close your eyes!
Alzheimers & Music
I just heard about "digital drugs" or I Dosing. After reading about the hype on the internet, I'm pretty amused. It's really nothing new. Biofeedback and music therapy have been around for many years. Yes, music does alter your brain. Why do we listen to music? It's entertaining and enjoyable. Music is extremely powerful. Look around you. Does hip hop alter your brain to wear your pants at your ankles? Does heavy metal force you to bang your head? Does Reggae make you not want to comb your hair? Of course not, but there is a big scare that kids will become addicted to these brain altering music tracks. I listened to one and frankly it sounds like new age music which explains a lot. So, I urge you not to let your children listen to Yanni because he is a gateway drug.
That's right kids! Whetstone Audio will be one of a few brick and mortar dealers representing the Zu Audio family of speakers, cables and cartridges. I will be getting in the Omen ($1500) and Omen Def ($3100) very soon and will be fattening up the offerings with the Essence, Soul Superfly, cables and cartridges in the months to come. This is a very exciting partnership and one that I have wanted for quite sometime. Zu are an extremely forward thinking company run by music lovers. I'm really stoked to represent and help support a quality "Made in the USA" (a rarity these days!) company that is such a great value. I'll let you know as soon as they're on the floor! Should be a week or so.
No, this is no April Fools joke! Naim has updated the N-Serve and N-Stream apps and they are now FREE!! I just downloaded them and they are a big improvement.
Naim has grown a lot in the last year with the introduction of the Uniti line of components. Because of this growth Naim will now be distributed through Sound Organisation. You may notice that I do a lot of business with Steve Daniels who is easily one of the best Hi-Fi distributors in the US. The Naim Inc. crew are still on board but will now be able to focus on training dealers on the new technologies that Naim are so well known for.
This is a very exciting time for Hi-Fi and I'm anxious to see what the future will bring. I'm looking forward to the Naim Brain. You'll only have to think of a song and it will play through your cerebral vortex. I may have to add the HiCap3 to beef up my frontal lobe...