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amey01

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Compared to all the countries I've lived in and visited; US, UK, SL, Thailand, Spore, HK, Malaysia, India, Dubai, and of course Aus, I must Aus is by far the most pleasant and peaceful, you just gotta love it! I really wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
Couldn't agree more!! We are very very lucky.

(And Ash retiring at the top of her game - surprised everyone. A shame too - but I guess it's a grueling lifestyle at that level and as much a mental game as a physical one. )
 

amey01

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Amey, We were in Sydney in 2019 and walked the beach trail from N Bondi to some town south of there and took the bus back to Sydney. Bondi Beach and that coast was absolutely beautiful.
The Bondi > Bronte > Coogee coast walking track - truly beautiful. There is also a northern one from Seaforth > Manly which is nice too (for next time you come, haha)
I can always purchase audio equipment and sneak it over there in my luggage. :)
Please do! .....haha......we just have to watch the 110v / 240v issue :)
 
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roberto

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Hola RJ, it is so great and good to have you with us. Please receive a warm welcome. Your knowledge is going to help us a lot!
A big hug from another 🐺

happy listening!
 

Big Dog RJ

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Hola RJ, it is so great and good to have you with us. Please receive a warm welcome. Your knowledge is going to help us a lot!
A big hug from another 🐺

happy listening!
G'day Robbo mate! Thanks for the warm and huggable welcome.

It was always my intention to join many years ago, even during my time with the CLSIIz's but I quite never got to it. I was busy on other forums, trying to help people set up their Quad ESL's, Maggie's and so on, plus I was enjoying the music! After we built our new home in 2019, setting up the CLX's was always going to be a learning curve as positioning is so crucial with these magnificent stats. Happy to be here mate, and big woof! to you as well.

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 

Robert D

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With prices being so high on everything in Australia, is it possible to buy things overseas and have it shipped to you? There must be a large tariff on goods? The cost of shipping can't be so high as to explain the very large markup.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Ohhh! This is dangerous ground or shall I say tricky as walking in a mine field...

Several people have attempted it by grey imports / parallel imports, which customs definitely frowns upon. So what happens when you do this is:
1. Shipping costs - not a big deal
2. CIF (cost insurance freight) very important to get the value and invoice right, otherwise customs will impose heavy penalties.
3. Custom duties- these need to be paid upon arrival. If customs see these items as used, under "personal effects" phew! Breathe easy... but if they view it as brand new, plus the local Aus importer also carries the same brand/ same model, they will land a duty charge to make up for it!
4. Brand new - means under Int'l warranty and NO local Aus warranty... not a good idea if something goes wrong, the Aus importer / dealer will not even look at it! Simply because you did a parallel import! They view this as being dishonest and dodgy. Grey or parallel imports are ok if the items are used/ second hand then no issues or have sentimental value (like my CLX's vs loving wifey...) 😉

After careful consideration of the above... might as well buy from local importer, after all full warranty is provided backed by service & technical support if things go wrong, and things do go wrong... nothing's bullet proof not even McIntosh!

I know of several people who did this, with CJ, ARC, VTL, ML, Maggie's and Genesis speakers, they all ran into serious problems to such an extent that some of their gear is rendered useless now, just sitting there collecting dust. Can't be fixed, since the importer won't bother ordering the parts simply because...
These people got their fingers burnt big time!

However, back in hometown anything goes! I had a real tough time dealing with parallel & grey imports, items were flying in & out through the entire Sth East Asian region. Plus you can bring anything you want as long as that white envelope containing a few 💸 💵 reaches the customs chief 😉 then all is well! No worries mate, and they end up at your place for drinks!

Can't do this down unda, our ABF (Australian Border Force) are fierce as those great whites! Piranhas & 🦈 roaming... no chance bro!

OTOH I know one chap who imported the Kondo Audio Note Overture integrated amplifier. It was costing about 20 grand here, and he imported it for 10grand. Then he had an issue with the tube bias circuit, and sent the unit all the way to Japan Audio Note HQ to fix. They did! And sent it back in full working order and his final bill was in excess of 3grand. He didn't mind since Japan HQ were the only ones who could do that particular repair.

Cheers, RJ
 
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Robert D

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Ohhh! This is dangerous ground or shall I say tricky as walking in a mine field...

Several people have attempted it by grey imports / parallel imports, which customs definitely frowns upon. So what happens when you do this is:
1. Shipping costs - not a big deal
2. CIF (cost insurance freight) very important to get the value and invoice right, otherwise customs will impose heavy penalties.
3. Custom duties- these need to be paid upon arrival. If customs see these items as used, under "personal effects" phew! Breathe easy... but if they view it as brand new, plus the local Aus importer also carries the same brand/ same model, they will land a duty charge to make up for it!
4. Brand new - means under Int'l warranty and NO local Aus warranty... not a good idea if something goes wrong, the Aus importer / dealer will not even look at it! Simply because you did a parallel import! They view this as being dishonest and dodgy. Grey or parallel imports are ok if the items are used/ second hand then no issues or have sentimental value (like my CLX's vs loving wifey...) 😉

After careful consideration of the above... might as well buy from local importer, after all full warranty is provided backed by service & technical support if things go wrong, and things do go wrong... nothing's bullet proof not even McIntosh!

I know of several people who did this, with CJ, ARC, VTL, ML, Maggie's and Genesis speakers, they all ran into serious problems to such an extent that some of their gear is rendered useless now, just sitting there collecting dust. Can't be fixed, since the importer won't bother ordering the parts simply because...
These people got their fingers burnt big time!

However, back in hometown anything goes! I had a real tough time dealing with parallel & grey imports, items were flying in & out through the entire Sth East Asian region. Plus you can bring anything you want as long as that white envelope containing a few 💸 💵 reaches the customs chief 😉 then all is well! No worries mate, and they end up at your place for drinks!

Can't do this down unda, our ABF (Australian Border Force) are fierce as those great whites! Piranhas & 🦈 roaming... no chance bro!

OTOH I know one chap who imported the Kondo Audio Note Overture integrated amplifier. It was costing about 20 grand here, and he imported it for 10grand. Then he had an issue with the tube bias circuit, and sent the unit all the way to Japan Audio Note HQ to fix. They did! And sent it back in full working order and his final bill was in excess of 3grand. He didn't mind since Japan HQ were the only ones who could do that particular repair.

Cheers, RJ
Dang, sounds like a police state. I didnt know it was that bad. I guess duty charge is really high, and thats a form of tax that goes to the governement? We dont have anything like that here in the US. Ive never had to deal with it and glad I dont.

I still remember when Sylvester Stallone got caught by customs brining Hgh into Australia. There was a big deal about that. Your customs has a world wide reputation of being tough.
 

amey01

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With prices being so high on everything in Australia, is it possible to buy things overseas and have it shipped to you? There must be a large tariff on goods? The cost of shipping can't be so high as to explain the very large markup.

It is possible, and done quite often by us residents :)

There are several problems though.....yes, shipping is expensive. We have to pay GST and import duty, often increasing the price to the level where it is cheaper to buy local. And in the majority of cases, we have the manufacturer and importer actively working against us.......for example not honouring warranty or even ML with their audacious and vindictive little circuit that prevents 60Hz speakers operating on 50Hz mains.

ML will say "we don't talk to customers directly - talk to your local importer".
The local importer will say "you didn't buy from us - piss off".

Where does that leave us?

Shipping is often a point of contention - China is closer to Australia than the US, yet products made in China are still cheaper in the US - even when you ship them back to Australia. Go figure.

I've sometimes used price in the US as a base for negotiation - and I am always met with the same response - "if you can arrange to buy from the US and have it imported at less than what we are selling for, go ahead".
 
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Big Dog RJ

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Yeah, I remember that time when Sly was denied entry, basically due to failing the "character test." I've done this test as well when I had to process my permanent residency. It's a very comprehensive form and asks a lot of background info... so you have to be clean. Unfortunately for Rocky Balboa, he was in possession of steroids...and other illegal substances. That's a no go!

ABF are the same mob who kicked Novac out during the AO, he wasn't vaccinated the silly bugger. Anyway, life goes on...

Clearly, they should be enjoying their music!
Cheers, RJ
 

Robert D

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Yeah, I remember that time when Sly was denied entry, basically due to failing the "character test." I've done this test as well when I had to process my permanent residency. It's a very comprehensive form and asks a lot of background info... so you have to be clean. Unfortunately for Rocky Balboa, he was in possession of steroids...and other illegal substances. That's a no go!

ABF are the same mob who kicked Novac out during the AO, he wasn't vaccinated the silly bugger. Anyway, life goes on...

Clearly, they should be enjoying their music!
Cheers, RJ
I wish we could have a "character test" for people coming into our country.
 

Brad225

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I wonder how many people in our country that wouldn't do well on the test. I would like to think I would pass but, who knows.
 

Brad225

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OK Big Dog... It is finally time to ask about your moniker.
Is it because you like big dogs?
You like dogs and your a big guy?
Is it a variation of top dog?
Or, none of the above
 

Big Dog RJ

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OK Big Dog... It is finally time to ask about your moniker.
Is it because you like big dogs?
You like dogs and your a big guy?
Is it a variation of top dog?
Or, none of the above
Hah! That's a good one mate.
Well, many have asked this, and I try to keep it simple but it's such an interesting story when I say it in person with all the mannerisms of "da hoood, ya naw wha um say'n daag?"

The name was affixed back in Chicago during an AMA (American Marketing Association) session. At my Uni, I was the president of the AMA on campus and we had a T-Shirt, Uni Jumper and Hershey chocolates run/ sales drive. Our members consisted of 45 on campus and and another 65 on our satellite campuses around IL. So my team were tasked do to the Hershey chocs and Jumper run. We sold everything! We were nearing the top position, just one short... when I had approached some brothers in da hood, sold them the remaining Hershey's that I had including all the jumpers.

Just when I went to the Den (little dug out in the student union Cafe that served burgers, fries, hot chicken wings... also had pool tables, arcade games etc) for a late bite. As I approached the entrance, there were a gang of bros from da hood! One big fella (6ft5 300lbs approx) started going off, "that's the daag who stole my money!" Then the whole gang approached me... and he (Darnell was his name) started to yell out, " hey daag where's my money!!!, where's my chocs ya promised? Yo a no good doggy, I'm gonna have to grass you up man..." then there happened to be a lovely girl (Chantelle) in the group who said, "wait a minute fellas, y'all tripping out on Raji daag here, he's a good daag, he my fraane, and I kind of luv him!" Oh boy did that save the day!

Then it suddenly hit me, that I had completely forgotten about Darnell's chocs & Jumper! I had taken his money and promised to get him a special color and the Hershey's dark version that he liked... so I had to finish off the other sales first, promising to get his but totally forgot all about it!

So, I told the whole gang, "da hood" hold on fellas! I'll be back! And I ran so fast all the way campus across to nearly the other side of no where to my dorm room, where I had actually kept Darnell's items in a separate box. Got the box and added three free Hershey bars just for him! I sprinted back like a Gazelle and handed it right to him, huffing & puffing to catch my breath. He opened the box and his eyes lit up! He also said that I had given him too many Hershey's, he only wanted one. I said keep the other three man, they're for you free of charge on my behalf.

He then stood right up in front of my face... and said, "you awright big daaaag!" And smiled with half his teeth missing! Then all da hood fist pumped, and Chantelle was saying, "see I told y'all my big daag is awright, we're in luuuv...) yeah whatever 🙄

And so the name just stuck, big dog RJ. Since that incident, 1995 fall, I'll never forget. Same year that shooting happened on our campus... never will forget that either. Seems like yesterday! Just so vivid. By the way, da hood had around 35 gang strong, even my size of 6ft3 120kg at the time would have no chance with 35 bros!

Usually when I tell this story in person, with all the gestures and mannerisms, people are nearly in stitches after laughing so much... believe me it was a blast!

Thought I'd just add; those bros in da hood, about half of them were in our basket ball team, representing NCAA Div II, and the other half were up to no good! I was also part of campus security, and had to arrest some of these guys for violent crimes on campus. Usually being tasered first and then hand cuffed, simply because some of them were huge! Bit difficult to man handle when they're about 7ft tall and 4ft wide... but the taser works! Then we hand them over to the Sheriff's dept and they take over.

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
Woof! RJ
 
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Brad225

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That is a fantastic story.

I always try to picture you in person knowing your are a Sri Lankan, speaking with a OZ accent now throw in RJ from the hood makes it put a huge smile on my face.

My nephew went to Uni of Chi and played basketball. Unfortunately he ended up like some from your story there. After 2 years he dropped out of school and returned home a heroin addict one step from being in jail. Very sad, he lived for basketball.

Good news is he got help found god and has been sober for 5 years now. Married with a beautiful daughter and a solid life.
 

Big Dog RJ

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That is a fantastic story.

I always try to picture you in person knowing your are a Sri Lankan, speaking with a OZ accent now throw in RJ from the hood makes it put a huge smile on my face.

My nephew went to Uni of Chi and played basketball. Unfortunately he ended up like some from your story there. After 2 years he dropped out of school and returned home a heroin addict one step from being in jail. Very sad, he lived for basketball.

Good news is he got help found god and has been sober for 5 years now. Married with a beautiful daughter and a solid life.
Oh that's fantastic that your nephew was able to properly adjust and carry on his life. Only a handful really make it back, especially after the drugs related addictions... over here, it's a pretty big problem. Our govt and health officials are trying their best to control and educate people but it's a tough battle.

Actually, I don't have an Aussie accent at all, maybe just a tiny bit... most of it is actually an American accent with a slight British twist! Lived in the UK as well, so overall about 11 years between the US & UK before settling in Aus. Now we've been living here since 16 years but if and whoever I meet a yank, there goes my accent, sudden switch into the US of A! Wuz up doode... have you got your paaasport! It's funny as.
The US were the best of my years, both during under-grad studies and work. I met with my idol legends, Arnie Nudell, Jeff Rowland, Nelson Pass, Lew Johnson, and of course Gayle Martin Sanders and a few others.

Went to see live concerts from George Benson, Diana Krall, Cassandra Wilson and my favourite jazz group of all time, Four Play by Bob James. In fact, my system is custom made around that Four Play sound, dynamics, speed and total transparency, it's always been my benchmark.

All that is long gone in the past now... but the system and music is outstanding. It's reached a certain threshold that I'm extremely proud of very much pleased with. So now for me I guess it's downsizing in time to come. Until then, I'll just embrace every bit of it, it's an absolute marvel to partner CJ amplification with CLX's.

Cheers mate, and enjoy those very fine tunes!
RJ
 

amey01

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Nice to know the story!

Sorry I missed you in Melbourne. It was a very underwhelming show to say the least. That Nirvana Sound Gryphon system was the best at the show, and nothing special to say the least.

I took a few photos, but not worth posting.

Which is lucky - because I saw a few guys get thrown out of a room for taking photos! Can't remember which room - but the guy said "it's really busy and we're about the music - so if you're just here to fetishise gear, then you can leave".
 

Big Dog RJ

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Ha! That's a good one mate.

Yes, from what I heard so far, the show was very average. The thing is, during the past few shows, prior to 2017, they were ok... at least getting there, and both vinyl and digital gear were creating good awareness. Then the show in 2017 was a disaster! I attended and posted my sincere opinion on SN and nearly got shot!

Apparently I had upset a lot of retailers... whatever. I covered everything possible at the show from parking facilities to the lady making coffee in the foyer, which was awful. The only good thing during 2017 was the parking, it was free on Sunday!

Then came the highend show from Sydney to Melbourne held on Chapel Street, that was fantastic! They had real highend gear, Aries Ceret, Kondo Audio Note, Martin Logan stats, and a host of wonderful tube and SS gear, including Avant Garde Horns. That was around 2018, and then the dam covid hit. Since then, nothing really picked up, standards have dropped and many of those past exhibitors weren't present for this one.

The other thing is, since most of my close mates and I have visited shows across Munich, the RMAF, Axpona, and CES shows in London, plus Japan and Singapore, we're pretty much used to that sort of standard. So when this average to mediocre thing takes place, obviously expectations fall short...

However, I'm not sure that the true highend would really take off here, given the cost of living and other priorities we have to live with and get by... there's far more to life than just highend audio!

Having said that, if you've carefully put together a high quality system that captures all the required details from your favourite recordings, that's all that matters regardless of price! Therefore, I would have expected shows like this to educate the music enthusiast and set them on the right path to building a great system. It takes time and effort to put together a highend system, it can take several years to decades... it's an Art form.

One thing for sure is, where we're all concerned, at least we've got things right in terms of owning ML stats! Their clarity, definition, inner detail and true transparency is like no other speaker. So at least all of us should thank our lucky stars and be grateful for what we've achieved!

Now, just sit back and enjoy those fine tunes !
Woofty woof'n! RJ
 
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