Gary FineTune

Newbie Wammer
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About Gary FineTune

  • Rank
    New Wammer
  • Birthday 29/06/1979

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Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Technics SL1200GAE
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Goldring 1022
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Graham Slee Era Gold
  • Pre-Amp
    Exposure 3010 s2
  • Power Amp/s
    Meridian 557
  • My Speakers
    Dynaudio Contour 1.3
  • Headphones
    Sennheiser HD25 MK2
  • Trade Status
    I am in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. OK, I understand. I'm not too post here. I'm am an employee of a dealer, posting on my breaks, in my own time that owns some Audio Note gear. My posts are based on my experience, although I now understand the wam views this as shilling, I see it as sharing experience. I think it's sad that experience needs to be hidden behind a paywall, but if that's the wam way I guess I'll have to live with it. The readers seemed to understand it was a dealer engaging with them and were happy of the engagement, but if my comments have offended any of them or have been viewed as sales pitches that wasn't my intention. Sorry to the paying dealers I've offended and any readers that feel I've misled them by not being explicit that I do sell hi fi equipment for a living, but post in my free time. Just one man's opinion, albeit one with access to the a source. Best G
  2. Fair enough, I'll not mention the trade in scheme again. Apologies to the Mods. G
  3. Hi, I read his message. He isn't very clear, he seems to be asking for me to pay so I can comment here. I'm waiting for him to come back to me. G
  4. Hi, The AN DAC2.1X is £3145 and the AN DAC2.1X Signature is £4210. Best, G
  5. Bi-wire does bring benefits to the AN speakers. They do get a touch evangelical about it. For me chiefly the separation of the bass makes it clearer, which then supports the rest of the frequency range allowing voices to come out from the image. It's like it gives the sound a better foundation. A lot like filling the speaker stands with something heavy. I usually recommend adding bi-wire as a cheeky upgrade after the initial purchase. It's good to leave some tweaking room in a system, especially some vaguely hidden tweaks. If budget is the main issue there are options for "pseudo bi-wire" where the 4 cores of one cable are used singly opposed to in pairs. G
  6. I'll have to have a hunt for a CEC to listen to, Carlo (the owner at Audio-philia) spoke very highly of them to. The hope with our trade up scheme is that everyone gets as good deal. It does only apply to items originally bought from us, and it does need to be an upgrade (from one level up to another, so DAC 2.1X up to 2.1X Sig wouldn't count) we are usually competitive with other dealers offers to. We do what we can to make you guys happy, sure we want to make money but happiness and customer satisfaction come first then the rest will fall into place. G
  7. The DAC 2.1X Signature (budget permitting) would be closest to your OTO Signature as they have the same level of components. It is also one of the most entertaining, real world pieces of AN equipment we have had on demo. Peter Q described the DAC 2.1X Sig as the sweet spot in the range, it is the piece we built our first demo system around. Which is an OTO SE Sig with AN Js. It's a great system. G
  8. I'll get back to you on prices when I'm back in the office on Sunday. As to the comparison, I'm an Audio Note dealer. So the official answer is that they don't really compare as the CD2 isn't simply a red book CD player and so the multi function nature is a compromise that will be to the detriment of the sound. The up-sampling DAC being a further compromise that will be to the detriment of the sound. The DAC Bel Canto use uses digital filters to roll of the digital errors while Audio Note use a valve stage. Furthermore the component quality in the Audio Note equipment is higher. Which should all result in a more musical experience. That being said when I take my Audio Note hat off... The Bel Canto kit has a great sound, is beautifully made, the features and functions are really very useful. It is nice to be able to play non-red book discs. The CD2 with matching DAC I'd put up against an AN CDT Zero with matching DAC and expect it to be a close run thing sonically. The decider would usually be the amplifier\speaker choice as they would have the work to do to make the most of the sources and create that synergy. G
  9. I'm with you on the vinyl buying bit. A dedicated CD transport is for the audiophile that has the CD collection to make it worth it. If you do have the CDs, or if they are your medium of choice, then a transport will make it worth getting up to play them. They are all a lot more satisfying to listen to than any similarly priced steamer set up that I've heard. G
  10. Hi, I am afraid I have never seen or heard a working CEC transport. That isn't to say they aren't great (certainly the reviewers seem to think so) but, I am afraid I lack the experience with them to be able to comment on their sound. From my experience of Audio Note, however, I think that their DACs are best partnered with their CD transports as the synergy between components brings greater gains than expected. This has proven true with every alternative transport I have attached to an Audio Note DAC, swapping out for the similarly priced AN transport brings the music back. After you take UK import duty into account the CEC TL3 3.0 (£2000ish) is roughly the same price as a CDT ZERO/II (£2145) so I feel the value for money is roughly the same, but without actually hearing one my suspicions are based only on price. Sorry I couldn't be more help with this one. G
  11. Hi, I haven't got an Oppo 203 to do a direct comparison, but I have had a very happy morning listening to the differences between a Panasonic BluRay Player an Exposure CD player (used as a transport) and an AN-CDT ONE/II all feeding into an DAC 0.1X/M2/P2se/AN-J combo (AN-CD 4.1X, AN-DAC 2.1x Signature and COS DAC D2 also used for comparison). The upshot (TL;DR) was that a dedicated Audio Note transport has a synergy with their DACs and systems that is worth investing in. The more Audio Note kit you join together the greater the gains are. 1. For reference the CDT ZERO/II costs £2145, the CDT ONE/II is £3145 and the CDT TWO/II is £5720. The CDT ZERO/II uses a modified Philips transport, as does the CDT ONE/II. The main difference between the two is the increased power supply in the CDT ONE/II, coupled with the larger chassis. The bigger PSU gives a more stable sound, this lets the instruments hang in the air in a more realistic scale. The bigger chassis also allows for more space between the PSU and transport, this gives quieter backgrounds and less PSU "haze". THE CDT TWO/II is a large step up from the CDT ONE/II. The inclusion of the modified Philips Pro 2 mechanism, silver internal wiring, 3 separate mains transformers along with the improved components in the output stage bring gains in all areas. The mech gets as much detail from the disc as is available, the silver internal cable loses little detail while the improved output stage lets it leave in a timely manner that will arrive in a DAC 2.1X Balanced in the manner it is expecting. This is the CDT that will really let you hear what your DAC 2.1X Balanced is capable of. The CDT TWO/II has many components in common with the DAC 2.1X Balanced that will give synergy that will increase the transparency of the components and so the end result will be a more musical listening experience. In my opinion the Oppo is a great machine for a universal player; a dedicated CD player/transport will do a better job. An Audio Note transport will do an even better job in your system as it will give synergy with your DAC, regardless of the level of AN transport. By better job I mean that the sound will be more musical, you'll be able to get on with toe tapping and enjoying the music. They also look great together, a small consideration, but still a consideration. We (Audio-philia) offer a trade in deal to our UK customers. If you buy a piece of equipment from us and trade up within a year we give you what you paid (less the VAT mans cut) off the upgraded item (T&C's do apply, but so long as you are upgrading we are quite flexible). For example a CDT ONE/II (less than one year old and bought from Audio-philia) traded in against a new CDT TWO/II would leave a balance of £3204. Still expensive, but maybe brings your dreams of a CDT TWO/II a little closer? 2. Audio Note have suggested system levels, the numbers in the product names (more often than not) apply to the level number in the system. The idea is to give a quick reference for dealers like me, a sanity check if you like; is this upgrade mental? The LEXUS cables are level 2, the ISIS are level 4. So to upgrade to Audio Note ISIS is overkill for your current system and the LEXUS is an ideal loom to build your whole system around. That being said, if you were planning on eventually having a CDT FOUR (£13349) and corresponding components then switching would make sense. In practice ISIS is a better cable than LEXUS and will bring more sonically to your system, however, not as much as I would hope for with that kind of outlay. Also I would save my money for the CDT TWO/II as that will bring bigger gains, albeit only to CD playback. An AN-LEXUS digital cable would also be recommended to join the CDT and DAC they are around £200 depending on termination type, £200 on the nose for the XLR type. The 'sensible' upgrade option here would be to an AN-V digital interconnect (If you went for a CDT TWO/II, as that is the cable used inside the CDT TWO/II) a 1m of this is £385 with the XLR connections. For me the choice between these cables would be informed by the rest of my cables. If all the rest of the cables are copper stick with the LEXUS. Silver cables are brilliant if the synergy in the system is working, otherwise they just show up the bad bits. It's like cleaning your windows without cleaning the house first. I hope this helps, G
  12. Hi, Glad to hear and happy to help. Thanks for the feedback. G
  13. Hi Marko, The Audio Note UK CD2.1X/II is currently £3575.00. Those that have read the comments above about the CD Zero and CD1.1x may be interested to know that the CD2.1X/II is the same overall design as the CD1.1x but has been upgraded at each component level. The same DAC and transport are used, but the Tin Foil Caps are replaced with Copper Foil ones, the resistors change to tantalum resistors and the non-output caps change to Cerafine versions. The price list has the CD2.1x/II as a level one product, but the new website calls it a level 2 item. For t performs closer to a level 2 item than level one. The improved components let more of the detail shine through, the increased scale of the CD1.1x is improved upon with more solid imaging and better musical timing. Other improvements are brought by the better components, but these were the main points for me during my listening. Best, Gary
  14. Hi Tarzan, We have the Audio Note UK CD Zero on demo and I have heard the CD1.1x. The main internal difference is the Tin Foil output capacitors that are in the CD1.1x that aren't in the CD Zero. These effectively hold the output charge, making it more stable. This has a similar sonic improvement to making a power supply better. The main difference to me is in increased image size, without loosing definition. The depth of field as well as the stereo separation increase. The difference in price: £1900 for the CD Zero and the CD1.1x is £2380. The £480 for the improved output scale is well worth it in my opinion, the larger box also allows for less mechanism noise. Although I don't see this as an issue with the CD Zero in use here, the CD 1.1x is quieter in operation. I hope this helps, G
  15. Hi, The SPe model with the silver wire has the treble extension and smooth mids, while the LX models with the hemp cones focus more on the bottom end. The copper cable and hemp driver combine to give fast, punchy, deep(er than the paper cone) bass. Also worth noting choosing one doesn't preclude the other as all models can be factory upgraded to any of their levels. So our ex demo set can have the hemp cone fitted and so move up a model giving similar bass to the LX while retaining the extended treble. Hope that helps, G