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  1. paolo

    For those who have experience with both CJ and ARC integrated amps

    A bit of an update. I recently found a pair of Maggie MMG's for essentially audio pocket change. They came with MYE stands and had been nicely and neatly modded by a previous owner. Out of curiosity I hooked the CJ CAV 45 up to the planars and was I pleasantly surprised. :) I've also got a...
  2. paolo

    The Rise of the Uber-High End Integrated Amp

    I should think that the more expensive Aavik integrateds would be in the "uber" class? A discerning audio pen pal of mine recently got the I-280 which I believe retails for about $13k, and he is in love.
  3. paolo

    Buying the Discontinued ARC VSi 75 Integrated Bad Idea?

    I'd love to some feedback from user's of the i50- it's on my list of possibles. Thanks... P:)
  4. paolo

    EH 6922 Gold Pin: An Appreciation

    @tima Thanks for the tube suggestions. I may have one of those already,. I’ll check, but for now I’m quite content. :)
  5. paolo

    EH 6922 Gold Pin: An Appreciation

    I recently replaced the very tired Sylvania 6922 in my CAV 45 S2 control amp, with one of Upscale "Kevin's Stash" EH gold pin tubes. After about 48 hours the little CAV is singing a much sweeter and detailed tune. The sound stage in my 11' wide listening room is wider, deeper, and much more...
  6. paolo

    New ARC Integrated Amp

    But, but....what does it sound like?
  7. paolo

    I Am Seeking a Bit More of the CJ GOLDEN GLOW. Please Share Your Thoughts On What Newer CJ Separates to Consider

    Greetings all, and may 2023 be a fine year full of good health and sweet music. I'm happily using a CJ CAV 45 S-2 paired with Guarneri Homage. I have absolutely no complaints about this latest CJ control amp. I enjoy it so much that I got to thinking about going to CJ tube separates, those...
  8. paolo

    What SONG are you listening to right now?

    Mercy Street Mr. Peter Gabriel
  9. paolo

    Which cables and power cords ?

    I've got a pretty good system. Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage, Luxman Class A integrated, sometimes alternated with a Conrad Johnson CAV 45S-2 control amp. Cables are Mogami, and I recently added a pair of REL T5x subs. One of the best aspects of this gear is that I am able to simply listen to the...
  10. paolo

    The home of Anubis.

    @Anubis Are you still loving your Pathos? I had a Classic One MKIII which I mistakenly sold and while my Luxman Class A and Conrad Johnson Control amps are wonderful, Pathos keeps popping up in my audio psyche. :)
  11. paolo

    Brand-New 550 AXii in the house and my first Luxman component. :)

    @Drulz75 "interesting" is one of those "buzz words" but nevertheless, I'm going to use it in response to your experience testing both Luxman amps in your setup. While I'd love to be able to do the same, that is not going to happen. I do remain curious though.... One dramatic addition to my...
  12. paolo

    Brand-New 550 AXii in the house and my first Luxman component. :)

    One of the most pleasurable characteristics/qualities of the 550AXii is how this component matches so well with my Guarneri Homage speakers and how the music I'm hearing makes me forget about "gear" and "hi-fi" and enables me to simply listen. The SQ is now much higher, but I'm reminded of "the...
  13. paolo

    Which cables and power cords ?

    Thank you Ron, for your reasoned post. I don't deny that there are differences in how various cables sound. The options and combinations are virtually endless. But, I sometimes do marvel at the extent of the hype, the sometime beyond silly claims, and verbiage, and from my perspective, the...
  14. paolo

    Brand-New 550 AXii in the house and my first Luxman component. :)

    I wanted to buy new, hence the 550, but I have no idea about how the 590 would sound in my system compared to the 550. And for more $. Might it be greater dynamics at high listening levels? I rarely, if ever listen to above 75 db and mostly to jazz, small scale or solo classical. My room is...
  15. paolo

    what's best sounding speaker you have ever heard?

    And why in the world are those sorts of questions even asked on a "What's Best Forum?". :)
  16. paolo

    Brand-New 550 AXii in the house and my first Luxman component. :)

    After decades of dealing with, and mostly enjoying tube separates, despite costly maintenance and upgrades, and later tube integrateds, I decided to try getting off the tube roller coaster. Based on a review by, and an email exchange with, the estimable Jeff Dorgay of Tone, I decided to...
  17. paolo

    Gestalt: A Great High-End Audio Dealer...

    ...since this is The What’s Best Forum, I thought it appropriate to make mention of one of the best audio dealers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. That man is Colin King of Gestalt Audio, in Nashville. My only affiliation is that of a happy customer. At the beginning of 2022 I was...
  18. paolo

    For those who have experience with both CJ and ARC integrated amps

    Update: I decided to sell the VTL IT85. I'd found an almost new CJ CAV45-S2 so had a chance to compare both fine components in my home.The CJ is still breaking in, but overall I preferred it to the VTL. I was happy that the fellow who bought the VTL was a big fan of the marque and planned to...
  19. paolo

    CAV 45S-2 In The House

    First of all, I would like to express my great appreciation for RJ, aka "Big Dog" who has sent me a wealth of information about not only conrad-johnson but about tubes in general. I am not new to tube gear, having used MFA separates for decades, but RJ imparted some new-to-me info that gave me...
  20. paolo

    CAV 45S-2 In The House

    Well, after more playtime, this wonderful amp has gone from good, nice, to IMO, MAGIC. I thought it was broken in when I bought it but no. The entire front of my listening room is now filled with music, left to right, and with considerable depth. The presentation is intoxicating. Thank...
  21. paolo

    CAV 45S-2 In The House

    As good as the amp sounds, at this point I'd wish for a bit more of the legendary cj "golden glow." Perhaps with time and some judicious tube rolling. We shall see....
  22. paolo

    CAV 45S-2 In The House

    Just acquired this control amp about a week ago, and while it still needs a bit more settling in time, it's already sounding mighty fine. Speakers are Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage (circa 2004) and the synergy is excellent. I sold my vintage tube separates a few months ago, and while I certainly...
  23. paolo

    Zen and the Art of Audio, Part 1

    Karen referenced the following: "...but the physical characteristic that most distinguishes women from men in terms of how they engage with music listening is that most women are more sensitive to high frequencies and noise interference than men.[1]" Of all the stereo systems we've had, the one...
  24. paolo

    For those who have experience with both CJ and ARC integrated amps

    Hello Sir, Increasingly, I'm streaming and my lovely Linn sits idle more often than not. Lately, I'm vacillating between keeping the TT or selling it. My vintage tube gear (beefy monoblocks) sounded wonderful with the GH's, so perhaps I should be looking for more power. I hadn't even...
  25. paolo

    For those who have experience with both CJ and ARC integrated amps

    Thanks. What gear are you running with your I/50?
  26. paolo

    For those who have experience with both CJ and ARC integrated amps

    I recently sold my vintage tube separates and am using a VTL IT85. (60 WPC EL34 integrated) As good as I find the VTL I'd prefer a tube integrated that offered a warmer, more forgiving presentation. Speakers are Guarneri Homage. My budget is limited and I've narrowed my choices down to either CJ...
  27. paolo

    Tubes for VTL it85

    The VTL is a keeper. I've decided to sell my vintage tube separates. I've learned a great deal over the past few weeks about tubes, even though I've had decades of experience with them, the kind of musical reproduction I enjoy, synergy, speaker cabless, and expectations. I'll end my comments...
  28. paolo

    Tubes for VTL it85

    I'm posting yet another observation in the hope that it might be helpful to others. I've been rolling small signal tubes into the amp with successful and "interesting" results. Today I inserted a DSPeaker AntiMode 2.0 device into my system. I created a custom EQ profile that takes the...
  29. paolo

    Tubes for VTL it85

    This amp keeps getting better and better with more hours of playtime on the new production, NOS, and anos tubes. I have no idea how long the various tubes take to break in, but I can unequivocally say that the amp has undergone quite a pleasant transformation since I first hooked it up the...
  30. paolo

    Tubes for VTL it85

    Today I replaced the clear top RCA 12AU7's with strong ANOS Mullards. Another very nice improvement in terms of smoothness and dare I say, "sweetness?" I've never owned a component which has been as "sensitive" and/or responsive to changes in cords, IC/s, etc. ano of course in this case...

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