SERVICE, SALES... DID WE SAY SERVICE?
Audiophilia Volume 1, Issue 1 August 15, 2008
dCS Puccini—Incorruptible! By Parker King
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Special points of interest: • Audiophilia is recommended for Audiophile Systems dealer/rep reading ONLY! • Charlie Krone. VP/customer service, wants to warp time! (see page 3) • Meet Jenny Smith, the hardest-working woman in ASL-biz (see page 2)
After many months of saving from my rental property income, I recently purchased a dCS Puccini, their one-box CD/SACD machine (afford it on just a hifi industry income? …not likely). There is much to be said about this machine, even more than the abso!ute sound review presented recently. But first, I must relate how the above title came to mind. I was out of the hifi industry for 4 years, from 99-03, and during that time I was forced to sell off my Linn Aktiv Kaber system. So, I started rebuilding following being hired by ASL and found that Arcam had dramatically improved in my absence, so I was happy for a long time with a DV139, AVR350 and a Piega surround speaker setup with a REL B2
sub. But, something was missing, I wanted to get back into music more, and after the Puccini was released, I just had to have one. Of course, my budget would not allow improving more than one component at a time, so now here I am with a Puccini into an AVR350. As a ‘front-end first’ guy from my days with Linn, this is not too bad. In fact, it’s surprisingly good.
OMG!…the sound of the Puccini’s analog out, through the Arcam’s ADC and finally through the Arcam’s DAC, was STILL better than the DV139 analog output on stereo direct! The output from the Ring DAC is SO-O-O good that it loses little going through all that extra crap! Basically, analog output from the Puccini is incorruptible, you can’t make it bad no matter how hard (cont’d page 2)
Having the AVR350, with its connection and processing flexibility, allowed me to do some comparisons after enjoying the Ring DAC analog out through my Nordost Frey intercons. One day recently I decided to push the ‘direct’ stereo button to off –
Nordost Pulsar Points not just pointy …and neither are the Quasar Points. Yes, we are all familiar with isolation devices, going back to Mod Squad Tiptoes with the bendy points. Well, let me tell you, the points of the Nordost products won’t be bending any time soon, unless maybe you put a ceilinghigh stack of Burmester 909
amps on top of them! Seriously, the Nordost points DO work. The best demo we’ve experienced is to start with something like an Arcam CD player by itself, playing music with a wide dynamic range and heavy overlay mix,
something like Roger Waters’ Amused to Death, and play 30 seconds. Then pop just 3 of the aluminum Pulsar Points under it (4 takes too much time and is too exacting, with 3 you can put two under the front easy enough, then easily put one under the middle of the back of the (cont’d page 2)
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1
dCS Puccini—Incorruptible! (cont’d) you try. Now I am listening to music all the time and enjoying every genre even on my bookshelf Piega TP 3. I have been wonderfully stunned by what I’m hearing from my standards – Van Morrison’s Moondance, whole album but a special new appreciation for the title track, Bjork’s first album, you know the woodwind track with the prominent bassoon is awesome, heretofore irritating. Sinatra even in mono, so much more going on in the Nelson Riddle backup, surprising amount of acoustic seeping through. Overall, the most noticeable things are, of course, the near analog acoustic space, and the harmonic resonance and richness in group vocal and instrumental works.
Puccini as digital preamp, and source in two more digital sources (out of records, sorry), the DV139 for the occasional movie, and the DirecTV box for music videos. Looking forward to getting the max out of my incorruptible Puccini!
My next plan is to save for a Burmester power amp, probably the 036 but maybe the 956 Mk2, drive it with the
ASL Beehive—who’z who heah. Bzzzzzzzz. Meet Jenny Smith, one of the newer Jenny facilitates incoming and outgoing ASL employees with 1 1/2 years serproduct flow, she tries to get vendors vice. to play nice, she assists dealers and Jenny brought to ASL a wealth of reps get what they want, and she’s knowledge in marketing and distribuCambre’ girl! You got the questions tion management, about Cambre’ and domestic and intershe’s got the answers, national business and if she doesn’t, she’s “You got the questions management, a jolly fine guesser, very about Cambre’ and she’s AND...she likes mucreative. got the answers, and if she Finally, Jenny is one of sic! (Not only that, doesn’t, she’s a jolly fine she is also a musithe few people of her cian, playing guitar generation not to have guesser, very creative.” and piano, Hoo-ah!) had the work ethic
molly-coddled right out of her. This lady can work, pick ‘em up and lay ‘em down!!! Call Jenny directly at extension 215.
Nordost Pulsar Points not just pointy (cont’d) the unit). Do another 30 seconds and you’ve made the $120 sale because of the increased resolution. But wait! In a big step, swap out to the Titanium points and play another 30 seconds… greater resolution, much more precise placement, more detail and more comprehensible vocals. A $450 step up in a couple minutes. And, your customers will love you for it.
Nordost Quasar Points
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1
WAY too much information...from Charlie Charlie Krone, ASL Vice President for Customer Service, is at the sharp edge of our drive to continue being the best in the industry at taking care of our customers. He recently took some time out of his busy day to respond to questions about customer serviceAudiophilia: “As VP for customer service, what do you see as your most difficult task?” The Krone: “Temporal customer service. When I get a call at 2:30pm from John Q. Hifi asking if he can use the dual-AES output of his Lynx soundcard with a dCS Elgar @24/192 (for example), I can make an educated guess based upon online research and my own knowledge-base. But, seeing as it is 2:30pm, that would make it cocktail hour in Cambridge, and the usual support contacts across the big swimming pool are not at their posts. That means
I have to put a client Until I can learn off until the morning to warp time so I can confirm my either ahead 19 answer with a Brit. hours or back 5 ASL clients have hours (remember invested in a qualitythat movie Freof-life product. If quency w/Dennis there is an issue, Quaid?), this requestion, or concern mains my most that they need to troubling and have addressed, and difficult task.” I cannot address it, I feel personally that Audiophilia: the service has not “What are the lived up to the prodmost common uct. I do have a operational quesrather unique knowltions that you see Charlie graduated from college. edge of our product that are not well lines (OW!!!! My addressed by the arm!), but even the owner’s manual?” great Charlie sometimes needs to consult with the Big Brains who designed the stuff. The Krone: “We represent several lines, so I’ll pick one (cont’d below)
New Burmester Products! Burmester Audiosysteme debuted three new products at this year’s Munich Hi End Show: The 077 Reference Line Preamp, the 082 Classic Line Integrated Amp, and the B30 tower loudspeaker. The 077 is offered as a reference alternative to the venerable 808 (scheduled soon for Mk6 incarnation) and offers an internal
or optional external power supply. Sound quality is reference all the way, US MAP is expected to range from $40-55k depending on power supply.
“The 077 is offered as a reference alternative to the venerable 808 (scheduled soon for Mk6 incarnation)”
The 082 classic-line integrated is expected to fill the gap between the $9500 Rondo 051 and the $22,500 Classic Line 032. At a US MAP of about $18k, the 082 is descended from the 035 preamp and 036
power amp. The B30 tower loudspeaker is a continuation of the Burmester tower lineup at about $16k in standard Elsberry,
WAY too much information...from Charlie (cont’d) from each. I’d like to say upfront the documentation is excellent for all of our products. That being said, there is always room for improvement. For dCS: I often get the question, “Do the SPDIF inputs run through the upsampler in the DAC?”, and most commonly with respect to the Puccini. The Paganini and Scarlatti DACs have no upsampler built-in, so that would be a rather obvious ‘no’. The Puccini will only upsample redbook discs, not ex-
ternal digital sources. For Burmester: Tricky. There is such a wide variety of products, electronic and otherwise, that it would be prohibitively time consuming to try to excerpt each handbook. Since Burmester manufactures their products with a ‘system approach’, I do sometimes get questions about how easy it is to integrate Burmester products with those of other manufacturers. The short answer is that it is a breeze! On this front, it is worth mentioning that the
069 and 001 CD players have a variable analog output that allows them to be hooked directly to power amplifiers. They also feature several digital inputs which effectively make them fantastic preamps for digital sources. All of the CD players sport digital inputs, but I really dig the flexibility of the upper tier of CD players. (But of course, you really should get a preamp or integrated amp with that. Why? Because I said so, that’s why!)” (continued in next issue of Audiophilia)
Audiophilia is an occasional publication of Audiophile Systems LTD. Volume 1, Number 1, August 15, 2008 Executive Editors: Tony Gregory, CEO and Karen Richardson, President Managing Editor: Parker King Contributors: Charlie Krone, VP/customer service, Parker King, Jenny Smith, Paula Harris 8709 Castle Park Drive Indianapolis, IN 46256
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SERVICE, SALES... DID WE SAY SERVICE?
high-end audio electronics. Our primary focus is the retrieval and transmission of all musical information from any music storage medium, including computer files, digital discs, and vinyl discs. For 35 years, our customers have looked to us for the
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Nordost seminars week of August 17th Nordost will be conducting two seminars at Audiophile Systems in Indianapolis the week of August 17th. Bjorn Bengtsson, Nordostâ€™s International Sales trainer will be here from Sweden as our presenter. Michael Taylor, Director of North American Sales, and Joe Reynolds, President of Nordost, will be here as well. WE HOPE THAT YOU CAN COME!
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A limited number of slots are still available. Travel expenses will be reimbursed. If youâ€™re interested in attending, please contact Karen Richardson or Mike Marko.
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