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  1. Item: Gieseler Groß DAC (USB Only) Location: South Yarra, Melbourne Price: $1425 Item Condition: Excellent Reason for selling: Bought (the TOTL) Gieseler Fein II DAC Payment Method: Cash, Bank Transfer, PayPal Extra Info: Arguably difficult to find a better DAC without spending a lot more! A few months ago I impulse purchased Clay's new TOTL DAC, so my Groß DAC is available for sale. There has been a lot written by owners here of Gieseler's DAC's, the full list being here: https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/126626-gieseler-dac-reviews-impressions/). But just to give you a sample of what people have said about the Groß DAC: From Max Headroom: https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/246058-ps-audio-vs-devialet/page/3/?tab=comments#comment-3899124 "At the other extreme is the Geiseler GroB DAC. I don't think I can find the words to explain how insanely good it is. @scumbag what system did you listen to the DS Jr and Geiseler GroB in? Did you say you couldn't tell a difference between the DirectStream and the Geiseler? Because the difference was so obvious to me and so dramatic its unbelievable. The Gieseler created more lifelike images of instruments and musicians, almost as if they're standing infront of you, better separation between instruments, better clarity with complex music. It's just a bargain at the asking price." From Rosco8: https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/232237-gieseler-groß-dac-official-release/page/19/?tab=comments#comment-3872685 "A new Grob owner. It replaced a Cayin DAC (Valve/SS), and I also have an ARCAM-II DAC II, both quite good DACS, at least to my listening. Very pleased with the Grob .. been running a couple of weeks now, great detail and I can hear little nuances in recordings I haven't heard before. I listen to quite a range of material, from Tidal and FLACs I have rendered from my CD's. Beautiful rendering of vocals, good separation and detail." From bhobba: https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/234066-groß-dac-owners-thread/?tab=comments#comment-3805282 "I will get right to it - my USB only GROB simply blows away the Direct Stream. That's right - a 2.3k or so DAC takes out, and make no mistake about it, the difference is not subtle, the much much more expensive Direct Stream with the latest software etc (I think its about $8k or so here in Aus)." From Conch: https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/232237-gieseler-groß-dac-official-release/page/20/?tab=comments#comment-3886445 "I have compared the Groß to the Klein II, Chord 2qute and Accuphase Dac50 and the Groß has the edge over all of them imo. Better bass control, improved clarity, extremely musical and a natural tone that is engaging and enjoyable to listen to for hours on end with all genres of music." Adding my own 2 cents to the commentary, when I upgraded to the Groß from an iFi iDSD Micro, my impression was how much 'more natural' or less digital the sound was from the Groß while detail retrieval was more extended at both ends. Needless to say that the Groß DAC is a truly excellent DAC and amongst the best Australian designed and made DACs available. The unit I am selling has been 'babied' since it was purchased in November 2017 and had it's firmware chip and software updated in March 2018. The internal are set for XLR output but can be configured for RCA output (to resolve ground loop/hum issues). Included are the main DAC body, standard power supply, remote control (which never left it's packaging), and I can provide the user manual given to me and invoice of the purchase (PDF). Pickup is available in South Yarra, Melbourne and I am able to post Australia wide at your expense. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have.
  2. Item: EMOTIVA XPA1 MonoBlock Amplifiers (1 pr) Location: DOUGLAS HIFI - 454 Scarborough Beach Rd, Osborne Park, W.A Price: $3798 (pr) STEREONET PRICE Item Condition: Open Box Special - Present as New Payment Method: Visa, Master, Direct Deposit Extra Info: *** Our Last pair of the classic Emotiva Reference Class Mono Block amps with switchable Class A/AB operation *** These Reference range MonoBlock amplifiers from Emotiva are a genuine powerhouse (600w RMS into 8 ohm, 1000w RMS into 4ohm!) and have the option of running in pure class A mode for the first 60w. These weigh over 30kg each (due to the massive toroidal transformers utilised for stable, high power, high current delivery). These two MonoBlocks are sequentially serial numbered units too! Due to the weight - local pick up is preferred - however, freight can be quoted on for delivery anywhere in Australia as we still have the packaging. More Info on our webpage : https://www.douglashifi.com.au/products/emotiva-xpa-1-monoblock-power-amplifier cc
  3. Item: Rega P3 with Upgrades Location: Footscray/Seddon Price: $725 Item Condition: Excellent Reason for selling: Upgraded Payment Method: Pickup-Cash, Post-EFT Extra Info: Deep Groove Sub Platter upgrade XAD White silicone belt upgrade RB300 Arm Cart is MM AT95e HE modified by Promusica (linn specialist) genuinely low hours on it. Original Packaging. Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  4. Item: Location: Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Price: $390 FIRM Item Condition: Very Good Reason for selling: 6 months of use then been in storage for a few years. Item no longer needed. Payment Method: Paypal ONLY Extra Info: Tested and everything works well. Inputs: 3 Outputs: 2 (for biamping) No Manual and DOES NOT Included the 12volt DC power supply. Shipping for free within Australia. Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  5. Item: Myryad Z240 Integrated Amp Location: Perth 6034 Price: $250 Item Condition: New Reason for selling: Interim amp, not used Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Bank Deposit Extra Info: Purchased for $349 from Rio Hifi (originally $1199) as an interim Amp because the Arcam A19 that I bought from here was noted as "Lost" by courier company Sendle. I ordered the Myryad as a replacement, two days later, the Arcam miraculously is delivered! I received the Myryad a week later It is an ex display model - Rio tell me that it was not used. I have previously owned one of these amps, very good power supply, excellent Phono Stage. I have no room for it so up for sale it goes. Unused accesories included. Pick up or Interstate postage available.
  6. Item: Easy-Grip II Tow-ball mount 4 bike rack Location: Camberwell Vic Price: $110, plus PayPal Item Condition: Very good only used a few times. Reason for selling: NLR Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Very simple to use takes up to 4 bikes at any angle you want to fit them. Maximum capacity - 75Kg. Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  7. Item: Tivoli One By Henry Kloss FM/ AM Radio Aux in etc Location: Perth Price: $150 Item Condition: Good condition for age used for about a week Reason for selling: No use Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: No original box but will box it up very well to post. great sound out of a tiny very sturdy box. Wife hates music in kitchen - fail... Photos:
  8. Item: NAD M32 integrated amp with HDMI MDC card. Location: Brisbane Price: $3,700 Item Condition: Very Good Reason for selling: Upgrading Payment Method: Pickup - Cash | Shipping at buyers expense - PayPal or bank transfer. Extra Info: Fantastic Amp with the HDMI MDC card installed(HDM-2), but it's time for me to upgrade to a pre power combo. This stereo amp is under 2 years old and has worked well running a set of bookshelf speakers, over 3 years warranty left!!! It's complete with its original box and all accessories - RRP $7500 WITH HDMI card. There are a few small marks on the top of the remote, see photos. Can ship Australia wide at the buyers expense, any questions let me know. Photos:
  9. Item: Q Acoustics Concept 40 Floorstanding Speakers (Gloss Black) Brand New In Box Price: $1350 Q Acoustics Concept 20 Bookshelf Speakers (Gloss Black) Brand New In Box Price: $580 Q Acoustics Concept Stands (suits Concept 20 Bookshelf Speakers (Gloss Black) Brand New In Box Price: $320 Location: Rowville Reason for selling: Changing different Path Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only (postage preferred at this stage) Extra Info: Was imported from the UK. No more stock was available in Australia. Photo for reference (found online)
  10. Item: Avantgarde Zero 1 XD Active Speakers DSP Location: Brisbane Price: $18,000 Item Condition: Mint Reason for selling: Time for a change Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: These are the top of the line model, above the pro model and come with DSP, digital and an analogue (A/D card) for turntables etc. They are incredibly dynamic! They sound just as good when theyre shaking the house or playing whisper quiet. I have all original packing As im going to need a complete new system Im happy to look at trades + cash Specs can be found here https://www.avantgarde-acoustic.de/en/products/zero-serie/zero-1-xd.html
  11. Item: AKG K-701 Headphones Location:Sydney 2036 Price: $180 Item Condition:good Reason for selling:NLR Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only - bank transfer Extra Info:just gathering dust someone else could use them Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  12. Item: Classical CDs Location: Sydney east Price: See below Item Condition: New/Mint/NM Reason for selling: Doubles/NLR Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Post - Bank deposit Schubert Symphonies 3, 5 & 8 "Unfinished" - Gardner, Birmingham Symphony (SACD hybrid) $15 Chandos, England (2019) Bruckner Symphony No. 8 - Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (new, sealed) $15 BR Klassik, Germany (2018) Beethoven Symphonies 3 "Eroica" & 1 - Leibowitz, Royal Philharmonic $15 Chesky, USA (1992) Ivan Moravec - Chopin Nocturnes (2CD) $12 Nonesuch, USA (1991)
  13. Item: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Hard Promises [MFSL Gold] Location: Sydney east Price: $60 Item Condition: Everything perfect Reason for selling: NLR Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Post- Bank deposit Extra Info: UCDC-565 (1992)
  14. Item: Indiana Line Puro 800 Integrated Amp - Italian Made Location: Southern Sydney (2232) Price: 600 ono plus postage Item Condition: Great, other than a couple of light superficial scratches on the top Reason for selling: NLR / funding upgrade Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Original RRP was EUR 1,200 in 2014, now available for EUR 869. The RRP if ever released in Australia would've been about $2k ( when EUR 1.2k ) or 1.3k ( when EUR 869 ). This unit was imported by @Cafad a couple of years ago and I bought it from him about a year ago. It is a great little unit and has an onborad DAC. Here are the specs... • 2 x 80 watt rms / 2 channel driven (8 ohm) • 2 x 110 watt rms / 2 channel driven (4 ohm) • 10 ÷ 80000 Hz +/- 0.5 dB frequency response • 20 ÷ 20000 Hz +/- 0.5 dB (Phono) • 0.006% THD @ 1 KHz (80% nominal power) • > 92 dB A weighted signal noise ratio (CD, Aux) • > 82 dB A weighted (MM Phono) • 400 mV / 47 Kohm input sensitivity • 1.2 mV (MM Phono) • 750 mV / 600 ohm pre output • 24 bit / 192 KHz digital to analog converter • 500 mVpp / 75 ohm coaxial input • JEITA format / CP-1212 optical input • 32-96 KHz USB input sampling • 220 ÷ 240 VAC / 50 Hz power supply • 280 W max power consumption • dimensions : 430 x 88 x 345 mm • weight : 8.2 Kg • remote control included Here is a review... https://headmania.org/2015/04/23/indiana-line-puro-800-integrated-speaker-amplifier-review/ And for the Italians amongst us... Photos: First two images are from the internet, then my unit
  15. Item: Manfrotto Tripod_MT190XPRO4 Location: Kingston, Tasmania. Price: $350 Negotiable, PLUS postage. Item Condition: Very Good Reason for selling: Not suitable for the new camera - lens combination. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash or Bank transfer Extra Info: This tripod has served me well, but I now have a heavier camera - lens setup and this tripod is not up to heavy weights hanging from it when setup horizontally (second photo down), especially when photographing orchids. It does have a few scratches but nothing that affects the usage. Photos:-
  16. Item: see above Location: Western Suburbs Melbourne Price: $1600 Item Condition: I consider it fair to good, some nicks and scuffs here and there, expect wear and tear. Reason for selling: surplus Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal Extra Info: This preamp needs no full introduction as it is one of the best tube dht preamps you can buy for its money so I’ll jump straight into the specifics. I’m the 3rd owner, the unit has had some TLC done to it. All resistors changed on the CCS boards, HT PSU etc where necessary. The cheap crappy CCS trimpots have been changed with US made Precision 10 turn 1k pots so forget about jumpy measurements with the default pots which are inaccurate. All electrolytic capacitors bypassed with poly and metalised films where necessary. Some boards cleaned up a bit but I’ll still be adding some final touches to it today (mainly just dressing it up and cleaning the internals). Lovely dht sound. Dead quiet. The Tramp 2 comes with a pair Of Sylvania 45’s, 2 x 5U4G rectifiers and 2 x 6AS7G tubes. Also comes with original remote.
  17. Item: 2 Limited edition soundtracks (details below) Location: VIC Price: As listed below or $100 for both. Item Condition: See below. Reason for selling: Surplus. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Bank Deposit Extra Info: 5% of all sales will be donated to the forum Two limited edition coloured soundtracks available. • Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (Songs From The Motion Picture) - Deluxe 2LP Red translucent vinyl - NM/NM - $70 • Mark Fox – Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth (Original Soundtrack) - Limited edition grey marble with red and white splatter - NM/EX - $45 OR $100 for both. Postage available at cost. Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  18. Item: Withdrawn from sale Location: Adelaide Price: Withdrawn from sale Item Condition: Vg+ or better, mostly Ex Reason for selling: Complete cull continues Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Selling as a job lot only. Will post Aust wide. Some nice UK EMI and a few other morsels to tempt you... Photos:
  19. Item: Custom Rega Based Turntable, AudioMods Tonearm, IsoDrive Location: Tasmania Price: $3500 Price Drop $3350 & $50 for shipping Australia Wide. Item Condition: Excellent Reason for selling: New Project/Build Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: This is a complete custom build from the ground up based on a Rega P series design. Raw cost of materials and items was over $6000. Plynth milled from single block of billet alloy on CNC router (around 15kg) Finished in red automotive paint Followed same dimmensions as a Rega P3 plynth. 5x Maglev feet (tried with 3, 4 and 5 configurations and 5 was the best) IsoKinetic IsoDrive Power Supply with 33/45 speed selection IsoKinetic 25mm Acrylic Platter IsoKinetic IsoSub Groovetracer Machined Subplatter IsoKinetic Phosphor Bronze Bearing Sleeve IsoKinetic Ruby Bearing + Spindle Oil (lifetime supply left in bottle) IsoKinetic Puck/Stabiliser IsoKinetic Red Thing Silicone Belt + Spare New One in Packet IsoKinetic MTB-D Motor Thrust Bearing + Motor Isolation Mod for Premotec Motor Premotec 50hz Synchronous Motor Audiomods Series 4 Tonearm with Series 5 bearing, lift and arm hold. Full VTA Adjustment - no VTA adjuster. All original weights and headshell weights/spacers included to adjust to any cart. Custom Acrylic Dust Cover to accomodate arm height No cart included, but I did have an Ortofon MC25e on it and it was stunning. *I have covered the hole bottom left corner where a power button would have gone if I didnt use the motor PSU with a samurai silver coin from WA mint. So the turntable is dubbed The Samurai. For interstate buyers, it will be professionally crated and foam lined for shipping with tonearm back in original transport box. Shipping Australia wide with insurance around $50, will need your postcode to confirm. For those that want to know where to from here - my next build will be in the similar vein...but using the MK6 Audiomods tonearm for primary, 200mm monster delrin platter, ceramic bearing sleeve, larger billet plynth with 2 armboards for future arm addition and external motor and controller. Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  20. tem: Polk RTiA7 Floorstander's (Black) Location: Bendigo, Victoria Price: $600 $450 Item Condition: Excellent Reason for selling: Upgrade Payment Method: Pickup - Cash Extra Info: Purchased new February 2018 from Aussie HiFi (now The Audio Tailor), these are in mint condition. Have been repacked into original boxes, come with all original documentation, jumpers and floor spikes. Photos:
  21. Item: SOLD: Vincent SA-T8 PREAMP Location: Southern Gold Coast Price: $1300 Item Condition: very good Reason for selling: consolidated two systems Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: This highly regarded preamp was purchased at the end of 2012 for $2200. I have since consolidated two systems and decided to keep a recently repaired Balanced Audio Technology preamp. The Vincent sounds great and is in excellent condition. However, the tubes are original and will likely need replacing soon. Includes remote, manual and original packaging, but no power cord. Prefer pickup at my location in the southern Gold Coast. It can easily be installed in my current system if you want a listen. Will ship at cost. Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  22. Item: 90+ LPs $70 Location: Adelaide Price: $70 + $30 postage capped Item Condition: Vg or better, mostly Ex- Reason for selling: Complete cull continues Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: An eclectic mixed bag of pop, world, jazz and soundtracks in this lot. Selling as a job lot only, will post Aust wide. The Crowded House is at Vg++. The Zoot Locker is Ex-. There's also a Jethro Tull Broadsword LP with no outer cover. Photos:
  23. Item: 33 Classical CD's, Decca, Naxos, etc. Refer photo Location: Bulleen, VIC Price: $20 Item Condition: Good Reason for selling: No longer required Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Pickup only from Bulleen, VIC Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  24. Item: GoldenEar Triton One Location: Sydney Price: $5000. PRICE DROP....... NOW $4600........Now $4000 FIRM Item Condition: Excellent Reason for selling: Moving to fully active speakers Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Never thought I would be replacing these speakers, however,you know how it goes...... So much written about these on the net, and I can't remember a negative in all that I read. What you will find out when researching, is these are commonly referred to as "giant killers". While they weren't cheap at $9500 retail price, they were often compared to speakers costing considerably more than the Tritons. I believe they won Product of the year award among many glowing reports and reviews. Don't be put off by the numerous bass drivers...it has the most controlled tuneful bass that I have come across and can be tailored to your taste and room with each speaker having bass controls on the back of speaker. I have owned many speakers with some costing twice as much as these, however these have been the best in my system hands down. In excellent condition Will be selling my ATC power amp also if interested. Forget to add that they have 1600W amps in them powering the bass drivers so they don't require a huge musclebound amp to get these sounding amazing https://www.avhub.com.au/product-reviews/sound-image/goldenear-technology-triton-one-stereo-loudspeakers-review-407332 ht Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
  25. Item: TAC- C60 (Tube Audio Company) high end Switchable Top mount tube / Solid State High-END CD player Location: Perth Price: $500 discount to only $2000 FIRM was $4700 US dollars. Very low use 200- 300 hours max. Item Condition: Excellent just serviced with new laser By Clifford D' Souza at Audio Synergy from which i purchased it and its ready for sale its perfect in tube or SS mode. Built like a tank. Laser perfect condition. metal remote. Stunning CD Player, tiny mark on front edge of Aluminium top plate in last picture. Reason for selling: To many cd players and raising funds across system. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Post at buyers expense normal etc.. Extra Info: Description: Single-chassis, top-loading CD player. Fully balanced, hybrid circuitry with 8x oversampling and 24-bit/192kHz D/A conversion, tubed power supply, and user-selectable tubed or solid-state analog output stages. Tube complement: two 6922EH, one 6Z4. Inputs: none. Digital outputs: S/PDIF, 1 coaxial, 1 optical (TosLink). Analog outputs: 1 pair unbalanced (RCA), 1 pair balanced (XLR). Analog voltage output: variable, 2.5V maximum. Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz, +0/–0.5dB. Signal/noise ratio: >90dB. THD: <0.003%. Dynamic range: >100dB. Channel separation: >90dB. Power consumption: 50W. Dimensions: 17.7" (450mm) W by 4.6" (118mm) H by 15.4" (395mm) D. Weight: 26.5 lbs (12kg) net, 28.6 lbs (13kg) shipping Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/vincent-audio-c-60-cd-player-specifications#OrJdeY26E5YgMlMt.99 Should an audio component accurately reproduce the signal it's fed, or should it evoke the sound and feel of live music? Accuracy or musicality? This question has been at the heart of high-end audio since its inception. Back then, the question often took the form of the tubes-vs-transistors debate. Proponents of solid-state pointed to the far superior measured performance of transistor designs, and claim that they thus more accurately reproduced the input signal. Tube lovers steadfastly maintained that their gear sounded better, more natural—more like music. Since then, both camps have eliminated the obvious colorations of their respective technologies, and the levels of performance of today's best tubed and solid-state gear have converged. At the same time, the circuits themselves have blurred into hybrids of various sorts, different mixes of devices and circuits. The Vincent C-60 CD player ($4695), designed in Germany but manufactured, I believe, in China, is a throwback to when there were large differences and clear battle lines between the tube and solid-state camps. Rather than a single optimized—or even hybrid—analog output stage, the C-60 gives the user a choice of two. Per US importer WS Distributing's website: "If you're in the mood for rich, romantic audio performance that brings analog complexity to compact discs, then bask in the vacuum tube output stage. But if you want a bit more edge to your music, you can simply switch to transistor output instead by clicking the C-60's front panel switch." Description The Vincent Audio C-60 is a thoroughly modern take on the tube-transistor hybrid design that reflects the best of today's concepts. For example, physical and electrical isolation were a major consideration, so the C-60 actually consists of four isolated subchassis, each floated off a common backbone. Front and center is the top-loading disc transport, made by Philips. Just behind this, a second subchassis houses the power supply for the digital circuits. A full-depth subchassis on the left houses the main power-supply elements, two huge toroidal transformers, and, on a small board, the output stage supply. The latter is itself a hybrid design incorporating both solid-state elements and a 6Z4 rectifier tube. On the right, another full-depth subchassis supports the fully balanced audio circuits, including digital-to-analog converters based on Burr-Brown's PCM1792 24-bit/192kHz chip, as well as the tubed and solid-state output stages. Other, smaller boards handle such ancillary duties as the control buttons and the front-panel display. The C-60 is nicely styled and built, with a handsome, solid chassis that incorporates into its exterior design such functional elements as a beefy aluminum top plate, a thick, smooth-sliding disc drawer, and oversized tower feet. The top plate incorporates buttons for the drive control functions, two mesh-covered windows that show off the tubes, and a nifty, countersunk logo plate of glass that can be illuminated by flipping a small rear-panel switch. The rear panel has both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analog outputs, coaxial and optical (TosLink) digital outputs, and a standard IEC receptacle for a removable power cord. On the front are a large, well-lit display and two more buttons, one for power and the other to switch between the tubed and solid-state output stages. There's also a small, rubber-surfaced magnetic clamp to hold the CD in place. image: https://www.stereophile.com/images/511vincent.bac.jpg The C-60 uses a Philips top-loader transport; opening or closing the cover stops or starts the playing process—or at least that's how it's supposed to work. Not infrequently, the C-60 would refuse to acknowledge that there was, in fact, a disc in its transport. The C-60 eventually did play every disc I threw at it, but something about its drive or error-correction circuitry was finicky. Often, discs that would play perfectly in a half-dozen other players needed a fresh, more careful cleaning and polishing before the Vincent would read them. But other than that occasionally finicky drive, the Vincent was completely intuitive to operate, and proved bulletproof over several months of heavy use. Listening The months the C-60 spent in my system overlapped with the visits of a number of other review products. Although the C-60 did have a recognizable sonic signature—actually, more than one, as I'll discuss in a moment—its performance was easy to incorporate into my reference system. I never felt I was degrading the system's performance or changing its fundamental character by using the C-60 as a source. In fact, the ability to switch between the player's two different-sounding output stages proved a benefit as I tweaked the system around other components I was reviewing. I did play with the volume control some, including driving my amplifiers directly. The control's range was such, however, that I could only use the first one or two "clicks," so I ended up using the Vincent with the volume control set to its maximum. Tubes or transistors? I've always been a tube kind of guy, so I expected to prefer the sound of the Vincent's tubed output stage. That proved to be the case, so that's the configuration I'll discuss. The differences between the two output stages weren't huge, though, so most of the comments below apply equally to both. Glowing tubes, glowing praise As Steve Guttenberg pointed out in "Being There," his "As We See It" in the November 2010 issue, audio systems tend to better approximate the feel of live music with recordings of smaller-scale performances, where they don't have to cope with the huge and complex dynamics, or the sheer size of an orchestra and concert hall. Indeed, with such recordings as Warren Zevon's solo Learning to Flinch (CD, Giant 24493-2) and Rickie Lee Jones' Naked Songs (CD, Reprise 45950-2), the Vincent C-60 did a stellar job of capturing the live feel of these intimate concert performances. The Vincent's superb resolution of low-level detail was a big part of how it re-created this live feel, and one way that it distinguished itself from most other CD players I've heard. Many CD players, even some of the very best, struggle at the very softest end of the volume spectrum, losing the finest, lowest level of detail in a digital silence that feels a bit electromechanical. With the Vincent, those tiny details were there, distinctly drawn yet coherent, with a realistic surrounding ambience, just as they are with a top-flight analog front end—or a live performance. Even more unusual among CD players, and even more impressive, was the C-60's ability to resolve and distinctly render these low-level details beneath and behind much louder voices and instruments. Track 1 of the Zevon disc, "Splendid Isolation," was a great example of this. Zevon's 12-string Ovation guitar was miked much more closely than his voice, so there is relatively little ambience information around the guitar. All spatial cues and information about the audience and venue are superimposed on the vocal track. The guitar is also balanced very high in the mix, so with most CD players I've heard, the volume and sheer presence of his guitar overpowers all the spatial and ambience information, leaving no clear picture of the stage or venue. image: https://www.stereophile.com/images/511vincent.rem.jpg The Vincent beautifully sorted out all of this. The guitar chops rang brightly, with the power and energy that the instrument has live, and all of the instrument's complex harmonics and body resonances were rich and distinct. At the same time, Zevon's gruff, hoarse voice, while lower in level, was perfectly reproduced, and the way it spread out and filled the space painted clear pictures of the different recording venues. The ability to re-create three-dimensional images and soundstages was a consistent strength of the C-60. With smaller venues, such as on the Zevon and Jones discs, I could close my eyes and be there, in the audience. Jones' "Chuck E.'s in Love"—or, more correctly, the audience's applause, laughing, and whoops during the song—were goose-bump moments. The combination of Jones' voice and Rob Wasserman's double bass drawing the stage, and the audience defining the venue, described the space so precisely that I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise with the electricity and excitement in the air. And with works of larger scale—some of my favorite opera and orchestral recordings, for example—I felt as if I could stand up and walk around the hall and out onto the stage, among the performers. The Vincent's reproduction of multimiked studio recordings was superb as well, and again, felt more analog than digital. Regardless of the mix, it created solid, well-defined, three-dimensional images that were precisely located in a soundstage, albeit an often artificial one. Also, the C-60 consistently captured the harmonic richness and complexity of instruments and voices, and beautifully reproduced the fine, inner detail that distinguishes individual voices in a chorus, or individual violins in a large orchestral section. Trio II, a collaborative album by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton (CD, Asylum 62275-2), had never really impressed me through other players, but I absolutely loved it through the Vincent. Listening to "High Sierra," I noticed how realistic the voices sounded, and how "right" it felt when the three merged during the choruses. John Coltrane's classic 1958 recording with the Red Garland Trio, Settin' the Pace (CD, JVC XRCD2 0207-2), really showcased the C-60's strengths. Arthur Taylor's faint cymbal strokes at the opening of "I See Your Face Before Me" had a gorgeous mix of ringing, overtones, and metallic swish, and faded perfectly into the surrounding space. Coltrane's tenor sax reminded me anew of how masterfully he simultaneously worked every aspect of the instrument, getting a level of expression that far transcended other, even virtuoso, players' work. Throughout the recording, I was impressed with the level of natural, organic detail in each of the instruments, but I kept coming back to Taylor's brushed cymbals and how perfectly the succeeding waves of sound cascaded over each other, each with exactly the right mix of a bell-like ring decomposing into a bright, metallic hiss. Dynamic transients through the Vincent were satisfyingly large, if not unusually so. Smaller works again fared best, with the guitars on Learning to Flinch and Naked Songs being great examples, both having a good portion of the power and presence they do live. Both the leading and trailing edges of sharp transitions were always crisp and clean, and the C-60 did a great job of reproducing the pace and flow of a performance. This latter characteristic was especially evident on temporally complex works, such as much of Settin' the Pace, where dramatically different lines need to mesh for the piece to work. Each player, heard on his own, seemed to be using different timing and chord structures, yet from a step farther away—and through the C-60—they all came together as a coherent whole. All of the these strengths were evident on large-scale performances as well, even if the overall illusion wasn't quite as realistic. Performances don't get much larger than Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony's of Sunrise, from Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra (CD, RCA Living Stereo 61494-2); while the Vincent didn't re-create the CSO and Orchestra Hall in my listening room, it certainly captured enough of the thunder and bombast to take my breath away! This isn't to imply that the C-60's soundstage was smaller than those of other source components. To the contrary, the Vincent's soundstage was consistently large, extending well outside the speakers, projecting slightly in front of them, and creating whatever depth had been coded into the bits and bytes. Images were always appropriately sized, and I never felt that the Vincent was expanding or limiting the scale of the players or stage. In fact, the C-60's knack for reproducing fine detail behind louder, more prominent lines worked well with recordings of a soloist and orchestra. Listening to Jascha Heifetz's performance of the Allegro vivacissimo of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with Reiner/CSO (CD, RCA Living Stereo 61495-2), I noted how clearly and consistently the orchestra was portrayed, even behind Heifetz's most forceful and dramatic passages. Even the faintest horn lines from the very rear of the stage were lifelike, and very obviously the work of a group of individual players. Solid state, solid performance That Heifetz recording is a good place to switch gears and compare the C-60's tubed and solid-state output stages. I loved listening to the Tchaikovsky concerto through the tubed stage, but its tonal balance was a bit on the warm side of neutrality. Heiftez's violin sounded a little bigger, almost viola-like at times, and even the brass and woodwinds were a little sweeter and more golden than reality. This extra lushness and warmth was even more evident with another classic RCA, Gregor Piatigorsky's recording of Dvorak's Cello Concerto with Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony (CD, JVX XRCD13): the cello had a slightly deeper, richer body tone than the instrument has when heard live. In both cases—in fact, across the board in my listening sessions—I preferred the sound of the Vincent's tubed output stage, but had to admit that the solid-state stage sounded more accurate and more tonally neutral. Coltrane's tenor was a little sweeter through the tubes, for example, but its honk didn't have quite enough edge or bite to be realistic. The same was true for women's voices; they were richer and sweeter through tubes, but their initial transients had a more realistic bite through transistors. The solid-state output stage also had a little more bottom-end punch than the tubed stage, and notes stopped and started with a bit more precision and authority with the transistors. Conversely, individual instruments were more distinct through tubes, with a better sense of a resonating, wooden instrument following the initial transient. In the Dvor†k concerto, for example, it was a little easier to sort out the bass drum, timpani, and sharp double-bass notes through the tubes, but the lines sounded quicker and had a bit more impact via solid-state. On top, the transistor stage might have been more extended, but didn't have quite the harmonic richness of the tubes. For example, the brushed cymbals on "I See Your Face Before Me," from Settin' the Pace, were largely a metallic hiss, without a distinct ring at their core. The two output stages also handled detail differently. Spatial detail, for example, was more precise and more sharply defined through the transistors. On the other hand, the tubed section did a better job of capturing the subtleties and complexities within an instrument's tone or voice. The tubes also did a much better job with the lowest-level information, the point where a note finally disappears into the surrounding space. Combined with the tubes' slightly better re-creation of low-level ambient information, the way notes faded out felt much more real, the instruments and singers more three-dimensional. The transistor output stage matched, or perhaps even slightly bettered, the tube stage's large, open soundstage. When I dissected the sound and concentrated on audiophile criteria, I noted that images were more sharply defined with the transistors, with more open space between them. But when I listened to the overall performance—to the music itself—sonic images interacted with the surrounding space in a way that felt more natural through the tubes, and I found it much easier to close my eyes and imagine the hall or club in front of me. Accuracy or musicality—40 years later and we still have to choose? Comparing the C-60's solid-state and tubed output stages was a fascinating exercise. Both were excellent, but while the differences between them weren't huge, they were profound. In most cases, I felt the transistor configuration was more accurate, and would have fared better on an audiophile scorecard. At the same time, I found the tubed section to be more musical, more evocative of the original performance, despite its more obvious colorations. The solid-state section of the Vincent C-60 is an excellent performer, and I can imagine many listeners preferring its more neutral sound—its leaner tonal balance, sharper transients, and tighter, more powerful bass. It's well designed and beautifully built, and completely in line with the competition at $4695. The C-60's solid-state section didn't quite match the resolution, or the overall flow and clarity, of far more expensive, super-premium solid-state players such as the Simaudio Moon Evolution Andromeda ($12,500), but it handily outperformed really good midpriced players like my Primare CD-31 ($2500). Thirty-some years ago, I chose musicality over accuracy and traded my solid-state Audio Research D-120 amplifier for a tubed Audio Research D-76A. Night after night, I made the same choice with the Vincent. The solid-state configuration was good, but with its tubed output stage in circuit, the C-60 transcended the performance of the similarly priced players I've heard. In many ways, it sidestepped the limitations of "Red Book" CD performance, sounding more like a good analog rig—or, better yet, and sometimes more like a live performance. Its tonal balance was probably a little warmer and sweeter than reality, but instruments and voices had an uncannily lifelike energy and presence. Players, singers, and the space around them were re-created in a way that just felt a bit more real than through the transistor stage, or through most other CD players. With the tubed stage, it was as if the Vincent were vanishing and taking the rest of my system with it, letting me hear back through the recording chain to the original performance or session. Was it completely accurate? Maybe not. Did it evoke live music? Absolutely! Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/vincent-audio-c-60-cd-player#HIQ3l0oQvjszR2xj.99
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