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Marja & Henk
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; PS Audio PWD; Dr. Feickert Blackbird/DFA 1o5/Zu DL-103; Phasure PC and NOS1 DAC
Streaming sources: XXHighEnd; iTunes; Devialet AIR
Preamp/integrated/power: Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); Yarland FV 34 CIIISA; Qables iQube V1; Devialet D-Premier; Hypex Ncore 1200 based monoblocks; Trafomatic Kaivalya; Trafomatic Reference One; Trafomatic Reference Phono One
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Vaessen Aquarius; Parcin Art Technology VZ1 [in for review]
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; Nanotec Golden Strada #207 [in for review]
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
Music purveyors:,,,
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers
Room size: ca. 14.50 x 7.50m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls, wooden flooring upstairs, ca 7 x 5m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls and concrete floor downstairs.
Price of review item in Europe: €550 for set of 3

Vibration is everywhere. And that's a good thing. Without it there'd be nothing. When you zoom in on matter on a sub-atomic scale, at the very end there’s just energy. Vibrating energy. All things around us vibrate at low to extremely high frequencies and we are—apparently—quite happy with that flickering state of affairs. Until the inner audiophile comes along. He hates unwanted vibrations. Poor chap. He does however embrace welcome vibrations with great enthusiasm. Air vibrations induced by musical instruments and human throats are captured by a vibrating membrane that helps convert mechanical vibration into electrical pulses which can be stored for later use. At the audiophile end of the chain these encoded air vibrations are transformed back into electronic signal, then into physical motion to once again excite the air. Those final vibrations should mimic the originals despite the many conversions involved during this process. Any additional interference is to be blocked out as much as possible.

Of course our poor audiophile has no influence on the original capture and subsequent manipulation of the signal until he has the physical or nowadays electronic media in his hands. From that point on he's in charge. But hell he is. There are his speakers chosen to excite the air in his fine listening room in the best way possible. All air vibrations induced by his domes 'n' cones arrive in time—or not so much in time—at his sweet spot. The cables delivering the signal to the loudspeakers are specially chosen to combat external interference and thus create no obstruction to the signal riding on the wires inside his cable. Ditto for electronics. Within the allowable budget, each component was hand-picked with great care from the market's confounding choices. Nothing has been left to chance to get the most accurate reproduction of the original sounds (or what is believed to be the original sounds). But has it all been accounted for?

Just like the original performers, technicians and producers, our audiophile believes himself to be an artist. And a crafty one at that. He knows the materials he works with and has an idea of how he wants the final outcome to be. Where for the performer and accompanying recording chain the piece of art is finished when it finally hits the stores, for the audiophile it never ends. There’s always a little thing to alter, to touch up or even radically rethink from scratch.