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Fascinating components - Just for a dream

In this section, we talk only about the devices that are exceptions in the sense that they were the references and are still references...
I have lessoned all of them, the list is herebelow:


QUAD is the first manufacturer having intensively worked on electrostatic loudspeakers. This speakers have a medium size, so they are relatively easy to plase in a room. Their price is not extremely high, so they are a solution to test (and taste) the pleasure of the electrostatics loudspeakers. The bass is also "electrostatic", meaning that it is not as powerful as usual...

Ranked 3*, these loudspeakers are still manufactured.

MARTIN LOGAN was a compatitor of the Quad ESL63 at the time. Thiner and taller than the Quad but with the same technology, it has an additional boomer for the bass, and is one of the first to have reached a good homogeneity between electrodynamic and electrostatic speakers. The upper part is made of mylar (many bands) in a curvilign shape in order to make the sound filling the space. It is extremely quick and has more bass than the Quad.

Ranked 3*, available only as 2nd hand, no longer manufactured.

MARTIN LOGAN CLS (I, II and 2Z). They are the most beautiful ML speaker. They are the only one to provide the feeling of having a quartuor or a trio in his listening room. Unfortunately, they have no bass like the Quads (even less than the Quads). Their transparency is exceptional, and they are a magic product, like the APOGEE.

Ranked 4*, available only as 2nd hand, no longer manufactured.

APOGEE. This is a mythic brand that no longer exists. All the APOGEE speakers are made with ribbons and magnets. The sound is more neutral and cleaner than with any other current loudspeaker. The
APOGEE brand had 20 years of advance over its competitors. The rapidity and precision are incredible. Amongst the different models, the best ones are the FULL RANGE, DIVA and SCINTILLA.

Ranked 5*, available only as 2nd hand, no longer manufactured.

FINAL. This brand is made in the Netherlands, and is specialized in electrostatic loudspeakers. The
FINAL speakers are all tall, with a lot of dynamics, but no bass. But they are as transparent as the MARTIN LOGAN. The old references (1.4 and 1.2) are the best ones. It is surprising to see that they are still available on the market, but only a few shops sell their products. It does exist a full range model (bass, medium and tweeter) fully electrostatic (old model).

Ranked 5*, still manufactured.

REVEL. This is a proof that the electrodynamic can be a success. The
REVEL flagship model is absolutely marvelous.

Ranked 4*, no longer manufactured.

THIEL CS1, 2, 3, 4, 7.2, like the REVEL, the
THIEL are a good value with no pb and are phase coherent.
Ranked 4*, still manufactured or 2nd hand.

SPICA. This mexican brand has disappeared for many years. The phase is perfectly respected, it is a magic and not expensive product.

Ranked 4*, no longer manufactured.

MAGNEPAN MG3.6, MG20 and TYMPANI IV are the best from
MAGNEPAN. It an american brand, an APOGEE competitor. The sound is shiny and soft. Similar to the MARTIN LOGAN CLS for the small models, except MG20 and TYMPANI (flagship).

Ranked 4*, still manufactured.

EGGLESTONWORKS. They are "miraculous" because they do not have a proper technical design, but the sound is wonderful. Both the old and new models are superbly sounding.

Ranked 4*, still manufactured.


REGA PLANAR 9. High end turntable with an simple and efficient design, with a magic tonearm.
REGA became a well known brand because of their popular and well sounding Planar 3 turntable.

Ranked 4*, still manufactured.

WELL TEMPERED. This brand still exist and manufactures very special turntables: tonearm with cables and silicon, sandwich basement, etc... but the musicilty of this
WELL TEMPERED turntable is stratospheric! it beats 90% of the today or future CD players ...

Ranked 5*, still manufactured.

VERDIER. This is a must have turntable. Ultra heavy plate, no friction design, etc... this
VERDIER would need a 6* ranking...

Ranked 5*, still manufactured.


JADIS JP80MC. This is the flagship model from
JADIS; Its tubes can be easily changed and are easy to find (12AX7), so you can get different types of sound depending on your taste: this feature is an advantage of the tubes based preamplifiers. One of the best musicality I have ever listen. Very expensive, so look at the 2nd hand models.

Ranked 5*, still manufactured.

THRESHOLD T2. Look at the review on this site.
Ranked 5*, no longer manufactured.

Amplifiers (Class A).

THRESHOLD SA-3.9e. Read the complete review on this site. Its musicality is extremely good, but the devices used before it in the chain must be chosen with a lot of care. The source (CD) and particularly the preamplifier must be of the highest quality.

Ranked 5*, no longer manufactured.

KRELL KSA 50 MKII. This is another king amongst the transistors amplifiers, like the THRESHOLD. It is a little bit warmer in the mids and high, but mainly more authority in the bass with less precision than the THRESHOLD. But this
KRELL generates a lot of heat and makes a lot of noise because of its fan.

Ranked 5*, no longer manufactured.

JADIS JA 80. This tube amplifier is sensitive to the drivers and power tubes. The best result is reached with the SVETLANA SV6650C. The sound is magic in the high but is far from the live concert reality. It is not neutral, but has a lot of depth. It is not enough powerful compared to the transistors amplifiers.

Ranked 4*, still manufactured.

CD Drives and D/A Converters.

WADIA 850. This
WADIA CD player has an integrated DAC using DSP for the D/A conversion. It has a good musicality with a long lasting notes and a lot of air around the music.

COUNTERPOINT DA-10 UPGRADED WITH RAPTURE PREMIUM 24/192 D/A CARD. The Rapture Premium with power supply upgrade completely modify the original DAC: quite nothing from the original circuits are used after the upgrade... The musicility is immediately evident, from the very begining of the sound reproduction. When correctly setup in a high-end system, it is actually one of the few D/A converters able to create a true analog sound from a CD. Really incredible.

Ranked 5*, you need to get an old DA-10 to make it upgraded by
Mike ELLIOTT. The Rapture and Rapture premium cards, as wellas the other components included in the upgrade are still manufactured.

Digital cable SPDIF.
i2Digital Illuminati X-60. There are plenty of digital cables out there but only a few of them are musical. This one has been an afordable reference for more than 15 years.

Ranked 5*, still manufactured, look at the

Article written by
Florent  ("provence13").

Creation date : 01/02/2007 @ 23:01
Last update : 08/11/2014 @ 16:36
Category : Fascinating components
Page read 783 times

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