bought some vantages

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Steve Daigneault

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went to tweeter out in fairfax, va today. saw and listened to the vantages. all krell gear. dont like solid state, but they sounded great. more dynamic than my aerius i. the bass attenuator is great. anyway, after waving a 10% discount in front of my face, i threw my amex down and bought the suckers.

stay tuned for more once i get them setup in my pad.... :)
 

DTB300

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I heard them today out in Kensington, MD at Sound Works. I too liked what I heard and I will be posting more here on them shortly.

Equipment hooked up was Wadia 861b CD Player, Krell 300xi Integrated. Cables from CD to Krell were Staightwire Virtuoso and Speaker cable was Nordost Super Flatline. Did not have time to have them replace the Krell with something better.

Steve...I saw you sold your Aerius and was wondering what you were going to buy :) A very nice upgrade!!!

Dan
 
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Steve Daigneault

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Yep, the Vantages should be a real nice upgrade. I cashed out on other parts of my system, am looking for a used CJ premier 11a as my amp, and am up in the air about a preamp, but am thinking about a Nagra PLL, ModWright, or Ultraverve. Front end will be digital for now... I'm having Bill Thallman at VSE give my Sony 9000 a Level 5 VSE. Wires remain purist audio. I"m looking forward to all of it coming together in the next month or so, but I'll need to wait for the used gear to come up on Audiogon at reasonable prices.

I bought my Aerius I from SoundWorks, and also bought a VTL IT 85 from them, all at full retail. They treated me like I wasn't worth the money I forked over to them for the gear. Non attentive, condescending, couldn't give me the time of day. So, I decided to take my business elsewhere. I'm very glad I had another option, and could buy my Logans at Tweeter. I'm not giving another dollar to SoundWorks. As far as I'm concerned, they still owe me some free listening time of equipment...
 

DTB300

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Steve Daigneault said:
...but am thinking about a Nagra PLL, ModWright, or Ultraverve. Front end will be digital for now... I'm having Bill Thallman at VSE give my Sony 9000 a Level 5 VSE. Wires remain purist audio.
The Modwright has received so much great attention and reviews....If I did not already have my ARC, I would consider the Modwright...

My friend with a 777ES is also getting the mods by Allen...but he is purchasing the parts and doing it himself to save on the installation fees. BTW, what are they charging you for the 5+ mods? If you don't want to post here send me a PM...I would be interested in hearing as my friend also contact Bill to have it done, and then would come up here to visit me to pick it up and have me listen to it too. But decided to just buy the stuff direct from Allen and do it himself to save some $$$$

I bought my Aerius I from SoundWorks, and also bought a VTL IT 85 from them, all at full retail. They treated me like I wasn't worth the money I forked over to them for the gear. Non attentive, condescending, couldn't give me the time of day. So, I decided to take my business elsewhere. I'm very glad I had another option, and could buy my Logans at Tweeter. I'm not giving another dollar to SoundWorks. As far as I'm concerned, they still owe me some free listening time of equipment...
Sounds like Sound Works. I go there as they are really close to where I live, so it is convienient, and they usually have the new ML's in right after release. But I hear you about some of the treatment over there. Usually I can go in and ask to listen to anything they have in the store for about as long as I wish. I do try to go when they are not swamped so as not to take time away from a customer who may be in the purchasing mode that day.

There used to be a good salesperson at Sound Works, but he has left and the others just do not stack up for me. I used to only speak with him, even if it ment I had to wait while he dealt with other customers - oh well. One of the remaining people is not bad to talk to and deal with...but nothing like the person who left. Ever met the owner Mark :eek: ?

The place is a shambles right now as they are remodeling and stuff is all over the place, and getting to hear something is a chore to have it setup. I wonder why during the holiday purchasing season they decided to remodel?

The only problem with Tweeter is most of the people who work there no nothing about the products they sell - seems as if they sold washers the week before or flipped burgers. I know it is harsh to categorize all the people at Tweeter like this, but I have been in the Tweeter up here in Rockville MANY times and they are just plain out of touch with the audio they sell. The only plus side is they have the 30 day return policy on stuff, so you get the opportunity to try before you buy on what they sell.

Make sure to let us know how things go with the new toys....

Dan
 
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kach22i

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Steve Daigneault said:
more dynamic than my aerius i.
Well, for more than twice the price, I hope so.:D

I'm so jealous, congratulations. :)
 

Jeff Zaret

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Steve,

Congrats!

Let us know how they sound when you get it all together. Have yo considered a CJ preamp? Ok I am a bit biased on that subject.

Jeff :cool:
 

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Congratulations Steve!

I auditioned the Summits with Krell gear and was blown away by the performance. I look forward to hearing more how you like the Vantage when you get them broken in.
 
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Steve Daigneault

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Jeff Zaret said:
Let us know how they sound when you get it all together. Have yo considered a CJ preamp? Ok I am a bit biased on that subject.

Jeff :cool:
I have, specifically the 16LS2. I heard a 17LS, and was not impressed. It sounded closed in, muffled almost in comparison to what I am used to, but it was on a system that I wasn't familiar with, so it could have been other pieces in the chain. Open and transparent is a top priority for me in a pre, and after owning a VAC Renaissance, I think my standards are pretty high.

DTB300 said:
The Modwright has received so much great attention and reviews....If I did not already have my ARC, I would consider the Modwright...

My friend with a 777ES is also getting the mods by Allen...but he is purchasing the parts and doing it himself to save on the installation fees. BTW, what are they charging you for the 5+ mods?
I'm not paying full price, as I put down a deposit way back earlier this year on a Level 4.5, and then held off for a while because of other financial committments, so I'm not sure of the retail price. I do know that having Bill do the mod costs less than $200 over the price of the kit. For me, I don't have a choice, I'm not capable of installing kits like this yet. For the price, it seemed like a no brainer for me, I think I'm paying $1350 total. That's a lot less than Dan's mods.


DTB300 said:
The only problem with Tweeter is most of the people who work there no nothing about the products they sell - seems as if they sold washers the week before or flipped burgers. I know it is harsh to categorize all the people at Tweeter like this, but I have been in the Tweeter up here in Rockville MANY times and they are just plain out of touch with the audio they sell. The only plus side is they have the 30 day return policy on stuff, so you get the opportunity to try before you buy on what they sell.
I think I probably know as much as the guys at SoundWorks as well. I don't need the guys at Tweeter to tell me anything, just treat me like I'm a potential buyer, which is what they did. After asking if there was any promotion, the manager came out and told me I had just missed a 10% promo last weekend, but that he'd offer me the same deal if I purchased within a few weeks. 10% was enough for me to just outright buy them today.

That's a lot more than SoundWorks ever did for me. I had to ask several times to try out some gear. The finally let me begrudingly, and after deciding on a piece, they weren't interested in any sort of discount. I didn't know any better at the time, and I paid full retail for a VTL integrated. Last time I do that.

DTB300 said:
Make sure to let us know how things go with the new toys....

Dan

You got it! It might be a while, as I need to rebuild my system after selling it off. But I'll give everyone an update as soon as I pull it all together.
 

Joey_V

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Steve,

Congratulations on such a nice pair of speakers! Glad to hear that you got 10% off.. I should try and aim for that number when I go and by my pair... hope you get pictures up soon!

BTW, it's not surprising that the Vantage sounds better than your Aerius-i.... hehehehe...

;)
 

Jeff Zaret

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Steve,
I have not heard the 16LS2 but I have read reviews that say it is amazing and it was based on the legendary ACT. It think tubes play a part in the sound but it is only one part. I bought my 17LS used from a guy who traded it in on the new CJ CT6. What ever you end up with I know they will sound great!

Jeff :cool:
 

DTB300

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Steve Daigneault said:
That's a lot less than Dan's mods.
Yes I would agree...but I do not think you can go wrong with either Allen or Dan with player mods. IMHO, they are the best two out there.

I think I probably know as much as the guys at SoundWorks as well.
Yeah they like to play the Magazine jargon with you. That is what I miss with the guy who used to be there, as I never had to deal with that with him.

I don't need the guys at Tweeter to tell me anything, just treat me like I'm a potential buyer, which is what they did.
And you cannot ask for anything more and I would have to admit, if one knows what they want and Tweeter has it at a good price, then why not. Heck I would buy it from a Drug Store if they carried it and had a good price on it :D

That's a lot more than SoundWorks ever did for me. I had to ask several times to try out some gear. The finally let me begrudingly, and after deciding on a piece, they weren't interested in any sort of discount. I didn't know any better at the time, and I paid full retail for a VTL integrated. Last time I do that.
Price has always been VERY high there, almost MSRP most of the time and like you I will not pay that kind of price. When I bought my ARC from them, and the sales person who used to be there, he worked with me on a price that worked for both of us. Maybe that is why he is no longer there?

Enjoy the anticipated days to come!!!

Dan
 

roberto

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DTB300 said:
Yes I would agree...but I do not think you can go wrong with either Allen or Dan with player mods. IMHO, they are the best two out there.


Yeah they like to play the Magazine jargon with you. That is what I miss with the guy who used to be there, as I never had to deal with that with him.


And you cannot ask for anything more and I would have to admit, if one knows what they want and Tweeter has it at a good price, then why not. Heck I would buy it from a Drug Store if they carried it and had a good price on it :D


Price has always been VERY high there, almost MSRP most of the time and like you I will not pay that kind of price. When I bought my ARC from them, and the sales person who used to be there, he worked with me on a price that worked for both of us. Maybe that is why he is no longer there?

Enjoy the anticipated days to come!!!

Dan
Hola Dan and Steve. First of all, thank you Dan for your great review of the Vantage. As I said once, "you are the man"...Steve, congratulations!!! I wish you a very happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto :D
 

Robin

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Vantages...

Steve Daigneault said:
went to tweeter out in fairfax, va today. saw and listened to the vantages. all krell gear. dont like solid state, but they sounded great. more dynamic than my aerius i. the bass attenuator is great. anyway, after waving a 10% discount in front of my face, i threw my amex down and bought the suckers.

stay tuned for more once i get them setup in my pad.... :)
Steve,

Congradulations on your new Vantages. All the best... :D

Enjoy :D

Cheers

-Robin
 
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Steve Daigneault

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so, after taking some time to reconstruct my system (I need to update my virtual system here), I'm listening to my Vantages for the first time. I have to say that my first impression is that they sound fairly closed in and a bit congested. Auxilliary equipment:

ModWright SWL 9.0 SE preamp + black gate and bybee upgrades
Sony 9000 w/ VSE Level 5 mod
Jadis DA 5 amp (40w/channel)

The ModWright is likely still breaking in some with the upgrades, and the VSE mod is absolutely new. The Vantages are sure to still need break in time, so I'm going to be patient.

On the plus side, they are absolutely smooth, not etched, and the bass is very well integrated, much better than my Aerius i, which I thought were very good at integrating the panel with the woofer.

My amp will change in the next day or so to a CJ Premier 140, and I'm also going to be adding a BPT balanced power conditioner with separate transformers for the preamp and the cd player.

I'll keep a little log as things progress and change.
 

Statman

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Slow down

Steve,



After reading your post I can imagine with so many changes being done at the same time it's going to take you awhile to become accoustomed to the change? Have fun I know I would,LOL
:D
 
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Steve Daigneault

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well, i swapped out the jadis da 5 for a CJ premier 140, and things opened up instantly. definitely a big step in the right directly, but still not that wonderfully open and big, easy, toneful sound I was getting with my VAC 70/70 and aerius i. We'll see, but my gut is saying that the VAC 70/70 is really one very very special amp. i'm still going to wait and see how things flesh out...
 

Spike

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Steve Daigneault said:
well, i swapped out the jadis da 5 for a CJ premier 140, and things opened up instantly. definitely a big step in the right directly, but still not that wonderfully open and big, easy, toneful sound I was getting with my VAC 70/70 and aerius i. We'll see, but my gut is saying that the VAC 70/70 is really one very very special amp. i'm still going to wait and see how things flesh out...
The VAC 70/70 is a lofty reference point for others to compare. I don't think the CJ Premiere 140 being a 3-stage amplifier, utilizing 6550 tubes in ultra-linear configuration poses a fair comparison to the VAC with those 300B in triode mode. IMHO, the VAC at 65wpc is more than enough to drive the Vantage(s). Just out of curiosity, why did you get rid of the VAC to go with CJ? I would think that the Cary 805s, Canary, DeHavilland, or Manley may fare better going head-to-head with the VAC than the CJ. Those utilizing big-tone tubes (805 or 300b) have a better chance for a fair comparison than the KT88s or 6550. At the minimum, I'd go with the Cary V12R utilizing EL34s in triode mode.

Just my 2-cents...

Spike
 
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Steve Daigneault

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well, first, cost of retubing. but mostly because i wanted to downsize my system and save some money. i ended up going kind of laterally cost wise with the CJ. saved some money, but not much. retubing 8 300bs is a lot though. i also thought i'd try more power. i thought i'd do some switching, partly to itch my itch to try something different. wanted to see the difference. i've got lots of changes happening, so i think it's only fair to hold off. i've also got a NOS amperex 6922 white label tube coming that i think might help. that, and i've got a set of bear labs interconnects going from my cd player to my preamp that i think might be a little bottleneck. want to get that up to the same level as the rest of my equipment, maybe some purist audio venustas or something similar.

after that's done, and i've listened for a month or two, if i still dont feel like i've got that magic sound, i'm going to start looking again. the cj promised to be magical, we'll see.

the sound sort of reminds me of the VAC with the negative feedback engaged. but when you drop that feedback switch to zero, things just really open up tone wise. that's what i'm missing.
 

Spike

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Steve Daigneault said:
after that's done, and i've listened for a month or two, if i still dont feel like i've got that magic sound, i'm going to start looking again. the cj promised to be magical, we'll see.
That's a tall order for the CJ to fill and I suspect that you're setting the bar too high expecting the (VAC) magic sound from the CJ set-up.

Steve Daigneault said:
the sound sort of reminds me of the VAC with the negative feedback engaged. but when you drop that feedback switch to zero, things just really open up tone wise. that's what i'm missing.
This is what I was trying to get across... The 6550 in ultra-linear mode will always sound anemic compared to the 300B in (push-pull) triode mode. And I have not begun on the 6922 vs 6SN7 (driver) tubes, nor the 3-gain stage vs 2-gain stage design which contribute greatly to the sound. If you really like to keep the CJ, you might consider converting it to using EL34 in triode mode to get more tone, albeit less power. But then, if you have to go that far, the Cary V12R is a much better implementation of push-pull triode using EL34.

Good Luck
Spike
 
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