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Big Dog RJ

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About Big Dog RJ

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  1. Yes agreed Con, Sometimes we can only do with what we have in a given area... Hence, there will always be comprises. However, having lived in our little shoebox for nearly 15 years, having gone through various systems, from Maggies, to Wilson's, Sonus Faber, Apogee's, Quads, and now Martin Logan's, regardless of the limited space, I have really enjoyed the music, and that's what counts! Our new house was a long term project in the making. We finally got there! Now with all the added space and proper placement guidelines, I can certainly appreciate what the system is fully capable of doing, and once you experience that level of potential, it's a remarkable achievement by the designers I must say. As I said before, I've reached the limit and this is where it ends. There will be very minor upgrades along the way, as we Audiophiles always like to commit to... But nothing really major. On a similar note, going back a bit, when Comparing the new ARCM160's vs your current Ref250se's, as I heard these two pretty much side by side with very similar speaker systems, the differences were only marginal and this is simply because both systems have reached their full potential. That's when I mentioned to you that the price difference is pretty big but the performance is not quite... And not something I would spend on. Also having said that, after you yourself actually tried them out, you didn't really fancy them either. Another main reason that your system sounds far better in terms of overall musicality and synergy with the Ref250se's in there. I would just sit back and enjoy the fine music, and not to mention the fine wine! Cheers maties, have a good one! RJ
  2. The room will make dramatic improvement! I done the full upgrade on all my gear, class A voltage rails bias on the monoblocks , Vishay resistors, metal foil caps plus a full array of Teflon caps in both pre-power, pure silver wiring plus a full transformer upgrade on the monos, similar to those used in the Kondo Audio Note amps. Paid a pretty penny... But the room, just shifted and set up in the new house, wow wa wee,!!! What a "massive" difference and improvement in all areas. No real words to describe it. I say Con, until the room is sorted out you'll never know what you're missing... Cheers, all the best RJ
  3. Heard the Alsyvox ribbons earlier in Feb & Aug this year. My good mate no longer has the 30.7's, sold them to a sub-dealer based in HK, and now has the Alsyvox with his Relentless monos. The sound is unbelievable, phenomenal bass and whiplash everything! They use the most powerful magnets on earth, ferrite and Neyodimium magnets, very expensive too. They increase the overall efficiency of the panels by a far magnitude and the speed equals full range stats. This is probably the best on panels I've heard to date, other than the mighty top of the line ones that Graz makes. This particular Alsyvox panel starts at around 80 grand a pair. By the time it makes its way down unda, it will be over 160 grand a pair. Now I'm not sure if this would equal the same that Graz makes in our home Aussie soil but I think Graz's ones are around 150 grand. It will be a very close call I reckon. The materials used on the Avox are top notch, no compromise whatsoever! Point to point silver wiring, pure gold plated connections, the stand alone that comes specially ordered is 10 grand alone! This is very serious stuff and it's a beautiful panel. From the photos online you can't really tell but upfront oh boy, this thing looks like a classic Ferrari, just a beauty! If I had the means, I would have ordered one without any hesitation but since I've put all extra expenses towards internally upgrading my CJ gear in terms of more Class A operation, and top line caps, resistors plus upgraded transformers on the preamp, all funds are exhausted. It's just about good as it gets, plus the new house build... However, each time I do listen to the Avox, they are just extraordinary musical instruments, at their very finest. Next year around the same time I will be visiting this same chap and he's confirmed that he has finalised an order for the top of the line Alsyvox, which is a multi-panel config, a total of 4 or 6 panel system. I still feel his Martin Logan Statements are on top of the podium but these Avox are very very fine indeed! Nice to just experience this once or twice in a lifetime. I visit over there each year and each time I learn something new. Super stuff maties. Sadly, there's no current importer for Alsyvox in Aus, they cost a fortune! Cheers, RJ
  4. That's a definite Andy! In fact the series before as well, MG3a, 3.3, 3.5/r, 3.6/r utilising the true ribbon tweeter. The first time I heard the Maggies properly driven were a pair of 3.5/r driven by 400w class A Melos monoblocks, superb depth in soundstage, silky highs and whiplash bass. I've yet to hear a Maggie that can do that... Other than the Relentless driving the 20.7's and 30.7's. Ended up purchasing this 3.5/r system with the Melos, used for many years until changing over to Apogee Divas. The high current capacity and grip on the panels is so important, many don't realise the difference until they've actually experienced it! Just finishing up the finer touches on our new place, trying to finalise the acoustic treatments in place... Few more weeks, should be ready. Cheers, enjoy those true ribbons. RJ
  5. This is what I'm talking about, fantastic reinforced structure. In fact, this all aluminium frame is exactly what my good mate is using on his 30.7's in Spore, driven by the Relentless monoblocks. They are rock solid and don't flinch one bit, bass is super tight with whiplash energy, something to really experience, especially with the Relentless. There's no comparison. If these are custom made for special orders in Aus, that's great news, in fact this should have been the all time best of show, at the hi-fi show, or at least I would think so... Apart from the Maggies, were there any other good ones? Not sure about the 350 grand Kharma setup at the lounge... Anyway, I guess some people would see that as value. Looking forward to the next high-end show, hopefully we'll see some new SOTA gear. Cheers for now, RJ
  6. Speaking of first world problems Con... This is what I was referring to one way or another, in terms of the high-end. When you have achieved a certain level of pristine quality, carefully selected and evaluated your gear to your preference and musical tastes, enjoying the sheer brilliance of musicality at its finest that you have put together over decades, that's as good as it gets! Reviewers will continue to "review" making claims such as "killer bass" , "blown out of the park", "blown away" , " best they ever heard / herd... " and so on. Obviously they have to make such rave claims otherwise who would buy these products? As long as your current system provides 100% enjoyment, that's all that matters. Cheers mate, and have a good one. RJ
  7. Yes, can certainly understand this comparison, however it is not simply stating that something else is better just because... Several parameters are not constant, such as preamps, linestage etc., source components, cables, interconnects and power cords matching with specific types of system configs / layouts, even the room. So I can only guess as to how much more of an improvement there is going to be, based on personal auditions and similar systems in place. Of course the ultimate judge would have been to have tested all of these amplifiers at home but that is a far cry... So just to summerise what I would feel is a step above, considering "excess expenditure", would be the following in terms of power amplification alone: 1. VAC statement monoblocks - top of the line, and very pricey. 2. Lamm Audio ML3 series dual chassis monoblocks SE. All up four separate chassis just for power amplification. 3. Kondo Audio Note - Kogaru monoblocks; so all of these run for around 100-150 grand a system, with the Kogarus going for 220 grand for a pair. Dam expensive but oh boy! What a luxury to listen to! These are all in the category of tube amplification, take this a notch further towards SS, and you have Dan D's Momentums and the my all time favourite, the Relentless monoblocks, in a class of its own! Now we're hitting the 250 grand mark and over... Boulder, CH Precision and Solution would follow next, however most of my auditions with these were either on Wilson's or the mighty Rockports. One system that had a full CH Precision amplifier setup, from pre-power-phonostage were driving the Genesis 1.1 Dragon's, which look very similar to the legendary Infinity IRSV. Another very very impressive and immersive system was the Relentless amps driving the ML Statement Evo-II's, another one of my all time favourites. However, as I stated earlier there are far too many external parameters too consider in these lofty systems. Plus they cost a bloody fortune! So I'm not in this league whatsoever in terms of finances but it was sure a lifetime of happiness to experience these systems once in awhile. Cheers mate, RJ
  8. Good one Con! I received your post notifications on my phone, read through them all and meant to reply but was held up across various factors... Only time to reply was now. I can certainly understand your comparison and especially with the Ref250se monos, those were built and designed with the 610T monoblocks in mind. Sort of a trickle down affect in terms of power amplification but with a slightly different twist, utilising the KT150 power tubes. CJ also uses this exact tube in their top of the line ART300 monos and the Art150 stereo amp, both very formidable amplifier designs at their finest! Earlier this Aug, I auditioned the ARC M160's driving two very different types of speakers. One was the ML Renaissance 15a stat hybrids that have ample built-in bass driver power. So only the main stat panel requires actual amplification in the upper-bass to the top end. My initial reaction to this experience was awesome! In fact I was nearly tempted to place an order... Then in the same room, we connected the M160's to a pair of YG Acoustics speakers. Now that was a very pleasant surprise! I wouldn't say either one was better, just quite different in every regard. From the lowest lows to the fullest highs, the stats had blistering speed as usual, as well as that sheer transparency. OTH the YG Acoustics had this sort of huge immersive soundstage to it, you could actually "look into" the music and what each musician is really doing. Plus that added weight and authority in terms of grip and transient control was superb! I walked away happy and content knowing that was a great learning experience to get a feel of what ARC is offering down the line in terms of tube amplification in monaural configs. Then a few days after, I visited my usual ML guru, who also has the same CLX's that I have, plus using several versions of monoblocks as collectors items: ARC 610T CJ Premier 8A CJ ART300's ARC Ref250se Preamps were mainly two versions, one being the CJ GATS2 and the other an ARC Ref top of the line dual chassis preamp. When connected to the CLX's, which I'm very very passionate about and extremely familiar with, being driven by both the 610T monos and Ref250se's, that was basically the overall sound I definitely preferred over the M160's. And that's all she wrote! However, on the ML-Hybrid system and YG Acoustics, the M160's were bloody marvellous! Glad you're still keeping the mighty Ref250se monos, they're one of a kind and legendary status in true tube power amplification. To better these you would have to pay an awful lot more. At the end of the day, the question is whether they're worth the extra small margin in overall improvement... Cheers and hope your next encounter with the M260's goes well. RJ
  9. Sorry, I meant Flamenco not flamingo... Damn smart phones! RJ
  10. And that's all she wrote! Well there you go Flamingo! Now you've heard this from our site founder and administrator, Marc himself! What more assurance do you require... As I said, based on my last phone conversation with one of my highly reliable ML sources, he actually stated that what you have now is not only an "upgraded" panel but also quite a different one altogether. Hence, first off listening experience is bound to be way different to what you were used to... Further went on to state that placement options, sound absorbent material, furnishings, room characteristics etc., need to be reassessed, simply because this is a different panel! Blade Technology is ML's very latest type of panel, it took several decades for them to get to this perfection, and you currently own them now, there's no denying it. Also as stated above, Audio Active have done well, not only looking after the customer but also making sure that the product they represent is upto the standard that it was intended for. This explains that ML HQ appointed AA as their sole representative for Aus, they have to be on par with ML's standards, no short cuts there mate! If I were you, I'd relax.... Get to know these news panels, the tech involved to create them, try a few different kind of amplifiers to begin with, ancillary gear such as cables, interconnects etc., see how the panels react snd settle in nicely, you will be rewarded with the outcome, which is yet to be discovered! You haven't quite got there as yet, and please don't rush the break-in process, allow it to naturally settle down each time you listen. I sincerely believe that this is a special type of panel, and you're not really experiencing what these are capable of. All the very best mate, you will get there with a little patience and understanding. Cheers and big woof! RJ😊
  11. Finally! The Teflons and all those high quality Vishay resistors and metal foil caps plus all the goodies have finally broken in, and very very nicely indeed! Been running around like crazy today, with finalising our new place, back & forth, got home only around midnight to just sit back and relax... Fired up the system and started out with Norah Jones Day Break. It was OK... Played alright but nothing too exciting. Then moved onto the better labels on LP. Played Anushka Shankar Traces of you with Norah Jones on Deutsche Gramophone, wow! What speed and agility through the CLX's, very fine indeed! Then finally onto the third LP since it was nearly 3am... This time round it was Patricia Barber Companion on high quality reference recordings. Look out! Oh my goodness! What a superb level of realism and brings it to such a level, I could actually reach out and shake her hand! The opening track on The Beat Goes On... Side A is mighty fine! Then side A, B & C are all 33 1/3rpm and for some reason side D is 45rpm. With only one track- Black Magic Woman, oh yeah! No that's what I call Patricia Barber is in the house! Overall, these Teflons and top grade resistors plus caps on the TEAse take an awful long time to run in properly and once it does, oh boy oh boy, get ready for some serious couch potato time... It's now just past 4:30am, I just have to shut this down, otherwise it's going to be another hard day to concentrate during the work week... Cheers maties, and enjoy those stats! Woofety woof woof! RJ
  12. If I was AA representing ML down unda, I would go the extra mile to look after my customer base regardless of what ML model they purchased... Whether it be the Theos entry level or the CLX's or the Neoliths, I will ensure that he is provided with a full replacement! Otherwise, I would never sign up as the sole importer / distributor. I also don't think we've got the full story here, something doesn't make sense... I've spoken to three importers last night / early this morning, around 2am, and all of them confirmed that AA should have provided a full replacement not alternative parts, unless unavailable, which is not the case. In that case how come all three of my contacts actually have the Ethos panels in stock? Go figure.... It's very easy to blame the importer and slash bad remarks on AA but I sincerely believe there's always two sides to a story/issue, which can be resolved as without a problem the solution does not exist! I truly do hope that Flamenco is once again able to enjoy his favourite music on these marvellous stats! Cheers to that 🍻 RJ
  13. Flamenco, Not too sure about my way / speech of arrogance... Especially when I'm very very passionate about ML stats and ribbons as well for that matter. Perhaps my post confused the plot as usual... I don't ever mean to be arrogant in any way whatsoever! I am the messenger and I only made a few calls directly to the people I've been in contact with since 1989. Therefore, based on my last phone chat to Spore, who is the direct importer for ML, that was his analysis not mine. Therefore, don't shoot the messenger, I'm only trying to assure you that you're in good hands, which leads to my next point... Speaking of "good hands" I'm really not sure whether Audio Active are upto par... I would certainly hope so? Compared to the importers I have dealt with directly as a previous dealer / owner myself. So AA attending to your issue this particular way is upto them I'm affraid... Nothing I can do to help simply because I do not represent AA. It certainly looks like they are quite different to the type of service we used to provide in the South East Asian Region, I'm wondering if Aus is considered secondary... I do remember very vividly in the past with rare issues like this, we always provided the original parts period! As I said before, only if ML HQ certified that alternative parts could be used, then it's upto the importer AA to carry out the job properly. Again, seems like this is not the case, since: 1. You obviously seem unhappy with the sound... 2. You would prefer to have your original Ethos panels back! Was this conveyed to AA? Did AA convey this to ML HQ? And the questions go on... At the end of the day mate, it's a panel failure issue which is clearly covered under warranty, AA should have provided a brand new pair of Ethos or something else is missing in this whole story... Whatever it is, I'm trying to only help, if my explanations seem arrogant and useless, then so be it. Best of luck with it all and I truly hope that you are able to enjoy your music once again on those marvellous hybrid stats. Cheers, RJ
  14. OK fellas, I've got the info... Contacted three people, first off in Ma, Bkk, both confirmed the following points below, then last onto my very trusted long time distributors for ML, Genesis Advanced technologies and Dan D'Augostino plus now the new importer for Alsyvox ribbons, based in Spore & HK, nice to have a good chat after a few months: 1. It seems like if ML HQ doesn't have a ready part available for a particular speaker system, they will recommend an alternative. 2. That alternative must be certified and installed by a trained ML tech to be installed on that particular hybrid model. 3. The only parts that cannot be altered are on the Neolith because they're bloody huge and the CLX's, since they are one of a kind. 4. ML HQ always gets in direct touch with their main importers / distributors represented in that country with up to date info regarding replacement parts, panels etc., therefore no one is left in the dark... 5. When parts are required under warranty or even after warranty, ML HQ will endeavour their best to provide replacements to the best of their ability, that is even if the parts are brand new and can be fitted as alternative replacements. Summary: it looks like in this case, the Ethos panels were replaced by a brabd new 11a panel, which is their latest blade technology, and is far more transparent than the original Ethos panels. This is a good thing! Provided that the tech knows what he's doing...? I hope. Also these are "brand new " hence take at least a minimum of 100-150 hrs to run in properly. My sources claim that over time you should begin to hear that mid-range being more fluid, more open with some fantastic transparency across the mid-range to mid bass, then the woofers take over. The highs will reach way beyond the original panels, to the point where they're virtually limitless. It will capture every minute detail of the recording. So with that said, looks like you got an upgraded panel, plus a brand new one fitted on an older discontinued line of hybrids! I wouldn't complain about that, rather just sit back and enjoy the wonderful music yet to be discovered... Cheers and all the best mate. RJ
  15. I also have access to ML HQ directly, and I'm still in touch with my very reliable dealer network in Spore, Thailand, HK and Malaysia. We would never accept an "alternative" part unless it was fully certified by ML HQ and can be fully and properly installed by a trained ML tech. I can very easily ascertain this and confirm that ML will never send across something different unless it was guaranteed to work. I'll make a few calls tonight! I truly hope you will once again begin to enjoy that superb musicality and transparency from ML stats. Cheers for now, RJ
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