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Thread: A Visit to Tom's Place (Montesquieu)

  1. #81
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 3,951
    I'm Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by montesquieu View Post
    Back and sounding utterly awesome.

    I had the good fortune some years ago to hear a Kondo M77 in my system (the same one in Jonjin's latest recent sales post). The Kondo's fleeting visit was a real event, and stuck in my memory as the moment when I really learned the value of a preamp as being about letting music flow - yes the hifi attributes of timbre, texture, timing, atmospherics, soundstaging are all important, but at it's heart a preamp is about bringing coherence and flow to the sound, not in an artificial way but in a realistic, organic way that allows all those hifi attributes to take their proper place, none of them centre stage.

    Will's pre is having a similar game-changing effect to the Kondo and indeed strongly reminds me of it. My system has been sounding very nice lately, but getting the pre back has been genuinely transformational. I'm sitting here feeling that it honestly can't get much (if any) better than this.
    Outstanding result Tom and well done to Will. It seems like he has a real winner in that preamp design.

  2. #82
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 3,951
    I'm Paul.

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    As an update, I visited Toms again yesterday for an evening of music and Tom, talented chap that he is, also included a recital on his Harpsochord and another interesting instrument called a Clavichord (Harpsichord Clavical?). Fabulous sound and if ever anyone needed convincing that no hifi comes really that close, just listening to music from the real thing is enough to convince. Better to achieve the sound you like and connect with (even if ditching what is commonly referred to as "accuracy" because it's a term with limited meaning).

    Tom's system has come on in leaps and bounds since my last visit, and playing things from Leider, choral, Beethoven quartets and Jazz just convinced that this is close to about as good as I've heard hifi get to real music. In particular some early Leider-type pieces with a small ensemble really brought the voices alive in the room, thanks partly to the stunning collection of high end MC cartridges, Vida MC stage into Modwright Instruments Pre and of course that powerhouse of a Radford power amp. The crossover teaks have also brought notable improvements to the clarity and detail that his speakers now deliver. It was neither "Hi-Fi" sounding nor an obvious "facsimile" but frighteningly real in some senses, very refined and the micro-dynamics and clarity were outstanding....it just conveyed music well, allowing you to concentrate on the recordings and not drawing attention to any particular area of the system.

    We played about a little with swapping various things in and out, includung my TRON MC phonostage, which gave the much more expensive Vida a real run for its money!

    Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Tom.

  3. #83
    Join Date: Jul 2011

    Location: Northamptonshire

    Posts: 1,376
    I'm Peter.

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    Harpsichord and clavichord, eh? You're honoured, Paul ... he threatened me with a banjo recital! Obviously, a tactic reserved for those that overstay their welcome
    Guitar for sale in 'Abstract Chat' sub-forum

    Rega Isis Valve. Platine Verdier. EAR 912. EAR 861. Tannoy Prestige Canterbury SE.

  4. #84
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 1,597
    I'm Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petrat View Post
    Harpsichord and clavichord, eh? You're honoured, Paul ... he threatened me with a banjo recital! Obviously, a tactic reserved for those that overstay their welcome
    Obviously didn't paddle fast enought Peter

    Was great to have you round Paul.

    For those interested in the preamp story the Radford Revival one has gone back to Will for further tweakery and eventual finishing with proper casework, given workload though this could take some time.

    Preamp status is therefore in a state of flux, I do like the Modwright in many ways but could really do with something with a tape loop ... being a bit flush right now having sold the EAR 899 I'm actually actively looking ....
    Speakers - 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys with custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Preamp - EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII with Ikeda IT345-CR1 and Ortofon 309 Limited tonearms; Cartridges: Miyajima Kansui, Zero Mono and Premium 78, Ikeda 9TT, Ortofon SPU Royal N and SPU Mono GM MkII, and GE VX II vintage mono; phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for early mono and 78; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport and RPI2 with HifiBerry Digi+ board, heavily upgraded Audio Note Kit DAC.

    'Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Gesang der ist ein Narr sein Leben lang.'

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