Audio-Ultra 'mini-show' near Seattle today--enjoyed it yesterday--good sounds, Fremer there too.

Mike Lavigne

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started around noon yesterday. today starts at 9am. our WBF member Ed DiVito runs Audio-Ultra (he was also with Rex, WBF member Kingrex, doing the electrical help for Michael Fremer at his home......Stereophile write-up this month.....Rex is not part of Audio Ultra).

i got there about 4pm and stayed till around 6pm. the session i enjoyed was Michael Fremer playing some really fine pressings on a Kuzma tt and 4-point arm, Ortofon Winfield cartridge, Boulder phono, D'Agostino preamp, MSB 500 stereo amp, and Magico S5 speakers, and Magico Q-sub (Magico A5's are also in-room). it's a big room and they were getting really great sound, maybe the occasional bass overload, but only occasional and Fremer was cranking it. it was a fun session as it always is with Fremer DJ'ing. i'm planning on returning today when i can.

i've heard Magico's and MSB amps before, and these were more mid-line Magico's, but this sound was better than my memory of those more spendy M6 versions. maybe it was the Fremer pressings? don't know, did not hear the digital.

it's at a very nice up-scale hotel near SeaTac airport.

there are MSB Reference and Select dacs, and a Taiko Extreme music server too, so this is the real deal to hear what digital can do.....the same gear i have.

some of these pressings Michael played are unobtainium 'Fremer-only' stuff and i was impressed by what i heard. crazy how a great pressing simply lifts the sound of any system. a dominant aspect of our hobby. i was able to talk to Michael for 10+ minutes before the session, i'm still processing all the stuff he said. he is a treasure (and i appreciated him tolerating me).

bravo to Ed and his team for giving us an 'audio show' experience that we are so starved for, then pulling it off so splendidly his first go-around. i'm impressed.


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SCAudiophile

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Great post Mike!

Congratulations to Ed with AudioUltra LLC for putting on a great event when the industry needs it the most
and to Rex from KingRex Electric who led the design and execution of that entire project at Fremer's.
 
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Macattack

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Well done Ed. Thanks for supporting our hobby.
 

Al Stewart

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I second Fremer as a treasure. He did a Zoom call with our audio club in Dallas recently and was gracious, funny, a good listener (not just to music, but to what others were saying) and opinionated. It was informative and highly entertaining.
 

Ron Resnick

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How many different rooms were set up for demo displays, Mike? In other words, how big was the show overall?
 

Mike Lavigne

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How many different rooms were set up for demo displays, Mike? In other words, how big was the show overall?
if you go to the link, it shows different products being featured at different times.

one large room, one turntable and phono, 2 different MSB dacs, one amp, two different sets of Magico speakers. each 60-90-120 minutes; a different product focus and factory rep or expert presenting. in person and zoom.

the room can seat 40-50 people. but it's not so big that sound gets lost. it holds the sound.

well thought out, nice venue, the vibe was just right to me. it's mini, but it's going on right the hell now! :cool:

it's what he could do, and he did it.
 
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Ron Resnick

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if you go to the link, it shows different products being featured at different times.

one large room, one turntable and phono, 2 different MSB dacs, one amp, two different sets of Magico speakers. each 60-90-120 minutes; a different product focus and factory rep or expert presenting. in person and zoom.

the room can seat 40-50 people. but it's not so big that sound gets lost. it holds the sound.

well thought out, nice venue, the vibe was just right to me. it's mini, but it's going on right the hell now! :cool:

it's what he could do, and he did it.

Wonderful!
 

SCAudiophile

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I think it's fantastic that one person/dealer would go out on a limb like this, and out of pocket to make something like this happen.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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Can you give a few examples please.
these are the one's i can recall. i have most of these, but not lacquer's. as i recall more cuts i will post them. of course, no one can tell 'pressing' stories like Michael Fremer, and that part was really cool.

--test pressing lacquer from music from the Red Skelton show from the 50's. (5 minute intro)
--45rpm lacquer from Who's Next (never was released; Chad got the metal parts when he bought Classic Records). (Babba Riley)
--Electric Record Company mono pressing--Quiet Kenny. (first cut)
--33 rpm lacquer--Ellington's Masterpiece (played all of Mood Indigo)
--"RL" LZ2 original pressing--(played Whole Lotta Love)
--45rpm test pressing--Stairway to Heaven"
---45rpm lacquer of 'Tommy' never released in 45rpm (played PinBall Wizard and See Me, Feel Me)
---45rpm lacquer of 'A Night In Tunisia'--Blackey
---2nd pressing of 'Abbey Road'. (Michael has the 1st pressing as do i) we played all of side 2.
---direct to disc--Bruckner 7th--we played all of side one.

i apologize if i got any of them wrong.

every cut sounded really fine.....group listening always adds a bit of emotional weight on the experience which tends to maybe inflate the net value.

i did go home last night and play them all on my system to calibrate my memory.

now i need to do that again tonight for today's cuts.
 
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tima

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every cut sounded really fine.....group listening always adds a bit of emotional weight on the experience which tends to maybe inflate the net value.

Good memory! Thanks for taking the time to write that up.

If that Bruckner 7 is Haitink with the Berlin Phil - I have that one only, but know the other music - well maybe not the Red Skelton - a fine set of choices for a demonstration.
 
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BlueFox

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the session i enjoyed was Michael Fremer playing some really fine pressings on a Kuzma tt and 4-point arm, Ortofon Winfield cartridge, Boulder phono, D'Agostino preamp, MSB 500 stereo amp, and Magico S5 speakers, ...

i've heard Magico's and MSB amps before, and these were more mid-line Magico's, but this sound was better than my memory of those more spendy M6 versions.
Interesting. I was thinking of maybe upgrading my Magico S5Mk2 to the M6 as my final audio purchase since I am 72. Other than price, the biggest negative to the M6 is no removable grill. Having cats, I really have no desire to leave the speakers exposed 24/7.
 

Mike Lavigne

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Interesting. I was thinking of maybe upgrading my Magico S5Mk2 to the M6 as my final audio purchase since I am 72. Other than price, the biggest negative to the M6 is no removable grill. Having cats, I really have no desire to leave the speakers exposed 24/7.
i have to say that i listened to Magico's (S5 MK2) today for 4 hours, and at no time was i aware of any sort of fatigue, tipped up FR, or sense of non-musicality. the Q-Sub 15 did a nice job of providing a bit of extra weight and completeness to the picture. it was over-ripe from time to time, but considering show conditions and only minimal set-up time, i was impressed.

i have a new found level of admiration for Magico, at least with the Q Sub 15. Peter (from Magico) did a great job of selling the tech features of the Magico line up. classy guy.

previously i had always commented relative to Magico, that i had never 'loved them' and that i had never heard them in a mature system where they were really fine tuned. no longer will i need to go there. i guess who cares? well, i do. nice to know they could be options for me. you never know.

add the Q Sub and have the Magico tech optimize it remotely. we did play it with the sub on and off, while not perfect as it is show conditions, the Q-Sub seems to take things to a whole different level. without it my previous Magico perspective applies.

take this as an anecdotal data point, but if you get a chance to try the Q Sub then you should.

heck, that is exactly what shows like this are for. and the service it provides. never proof of anything, but it can open doors to thinking.....or connect dots.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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Good memory! Thanks for taking the time to write that up.

If that Bruckner 7 is Haitink with the Berlin Phil - I have that one only, but know the other music - well maybe not the Red Skelton - a fine set of choices for a demonstration.
yes; it was the Haitink. listened to it again last night in my system. worth 2 listens all the way through, as was side 2 of the Original Pressing of Abbey Road. as it's my all time choice for a desert island piece of music i don't need much encouragement to listen again. :)
 
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rando

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previously i had always commented relative to Magico, that i had never 'loved them' and that i had never heard them in a mature system where they were really fine tuned. no longer will i need to go there. i guess who cares? well, i do. nice to know they could be options for me. you never know.

...

heck, that is exactly what shows like this are for. and the service it provides. never proof of anything, but it can open doors to thinking.....or connect dots.


Since barns are less common in AK this will be what, a Qasgiq.
 

Kingrex

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A friend of mine has Ref 160 tied to Wilson Alexx. He said the S5 tied to MSB was much faster. Do others get this sense of Magico. Are they very fast. Or is this more a amp attribute. Or is it not true at all and this is just a room speaker interaction.

Out of curiosity, how fast is a Kharma DB to a S5.
Rex
 

Mike Lavigne

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A friend of mine has Ref 160 tied to Wilson Alexx. He said the S5 tied to MSB was much faster. Do others get this sense of Magico. Are they very fast. Or is this more a amp attribute. Or is it not true at all and this is just a room speaker interaction.

Out of curiosity, how fast is a Kharma DB to a S5.
Rex
the amps are very different in presentation. so that is part of it. but also i think your (our) friend has not yet optimized his Wilson's.

i do think if we were to have both those Magico's and his Wilson's in the same room and amp, and the S5 Mk2 did not have the Q Sub, then you would be talking trade-offs between the two results. the Q Sub when optimized does take the Magico to another level, and it did work well in that room. his Wilson's are not yet synergized with his room.

might the Magico have a higher ceiling? and be faster? maybe. i would lean that way. but then consider the newest version of the Wilson too to be fair. it's more money, but with the Q Sub? not too much more. the Alexx V is formidable.

i'm not a Wilson or Magico guy.
 
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