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Marja & Henk
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; PS Audio PWD; Dr. Feickert Blackbird/Zu DL-103;
Streaming sources: Foobar2000; XXHighEnd; iTunes
Preamp/integrated/power: Tri TRV EQ3SE phonostage; Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); Yarland FV 34 CIIISA; Qables iQube V1; Devialet D-Premier; Qables iQube V2; Qables iQube V3 [in for review]
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Vaessen Aquarius;
Cables: complete loom of ASI LiveLine cables; full loom of Crystal Cable cables; Nanotec Golden Strada #79 nano 3; Nanotec Golden Strada #79; Nanotec Golden Strada #201
Power line conditioning: Omtec Power Controllers; PS Audio Powerplant Premier; PS Audio Humbuster III
Equipment racks: ASI amplifier and TT shelf
Sundry accessories: Furutech DeMag; ClearAudio Double Matrix; Nanotec Nespa #1; Exact Audio Copy software; iPod; wood, brass, ceramic and aluminum cones and pyramids; Shakti Stones; Manley Skipjack
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers
Room size: ca 5 x 7m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls and concrete floor downstairs,
ca. 14.50 x 7.50m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls, wooden flooring upstairs.
Price of review items:
4730 Midnight Blue FM Tuner €1.190
4733 Midnight Blue Pre/DAC/USB €1.660
4734 Midnight Blue Power Amp     €1.780
4735 Midnight Blue CD Player €2.610
4736 Midnight Blue Stereo Integrated

47 Labs Midnight Blue series. As a name, 47 Labs hints at an occult society, mystic’s club or something. Fortunately this is not the case even though enthusiasts of 47 Labs gear around the world do form a kind of informal friend’s club. That’s not strange. 47 Labs is synonymous after all with audio equipment that celebrates its very own unique style to almost automatically create a kind of user fraternization or polarization. Who are these guys? 47 Labs is Junji Kimura and Junji Kimura is 47 Labs. Kimura-san originally started as an audio designer with a very strong focus on everything vinyl. Tubes, turntables and cartridges were the things which made Junji’s clock—undoubtedly an analog specimen —tick. From this perspective it is easily understandable how the shy first digital developments of 1982 deeply frustrated the man. With all the faults and horrible sound of early digital it would have been far easier to continue focus solely on analog and forget about the advertised perfect sound. Forever. But not for this Tokyo resident. Instead of sticking to his analog comfort zone he took on the task of getting the best possible sound from the new medium. His technical background was put to work but even for a veteran electronics designer this was not easy.

It took several years to accomplish the self-imposed task. A 20 kilo monster of a CD player was the culmination of the project. Though not marketable as such, his associated research and results got Junji Kimura plenty of attention, albeit with an addition to the CD player rather than the player itself. To assess the CD player in progress, Junji had quickly thrown together a solid-state amplifier that turned out not to sound like a solid-state amplifier at all. For this electronics 101 side project he'd used an extremely short signal path and the barest minimum of parts. Everyone who heard the amplifier was enthusiastic. Suddenly the basis of the very marketable Gaincard was in place. Its sound quality and circuit simplicity created a serious drawback for the designer however. Many copied him and built what became known as gain clones - understandably not to Kimura’ San’s liking.