What High Fidelity Systems Do L.A.'s High End Audio & Home Theater Dealers Recommend?
|As a follow up to our duo of articles on recommended components (Issue No. 71, “Are Recommended Components Worth Recommending?” and “Components That Withstand The Test Of Time”), we asked those listed in our Directory of Southern California High-End Audio & Home Theater Dealers (Issue No. 69) what they recommend for a system, preferably in the below $5,000 range. All other criteria was left open ended. Dealers could opt for a home theater system or basic stereo; basic black versus cream and sugar. Here’s what the respondents came up with:|
AMBROSIA AUDIO & VIDEO
Dunlavy Audio Labs SC1 speaker $995 Golden Tube Audio SE-40 $980
We went $100 over the limit to squeeze the cable in. Ambrosia stresses the fact that cable plays a very important part in the sound of the system. In the cable world, we feel it is impossible to do better than Transparent Audio. The Golden Tube combo was chosen because there is simply no better value in audio. This little amp and preamp have been receiving a ton of well-deserved press, because no one else can offer their sound quality or build quality for anywhere near the price. The spectacular Dunlavy SC1 was chosen because of its sonic neutrality and complete absence of grain. This speaker may not have stunning bass, but you will be hard pressed to find a more accurate monitor. It definitely lives up to the legacy started by its bigger brothers, the SC IV and the SC VI. The source is where the chain starts, and usually where the problems start. The importance of a high quality CD player cannot be avoided. A cheap CD player will reproduce music with a harshness and glare, usually attributed to the $2.00 DACs used. No one has done more to advance the state of digital than Bob Stuart at Meridian. There 506 CD player may be the most expensive component in our system, but it is worth every penny and more.”
“You will find two recommendations below. The first one complies (not altogether successfully) with your general guideline of keeping the system price below $5000. The second is more of a ‘no holds barred’ type of recommendation, which produces a system with sound in, say, the upper five percent. I am able to assemble both systems for a customer, but I don’t always have every component for demo purposes. Generally, I can usually demo the more expensive system, as well as portions of the lower priced system.”
Merrill Heirloom B turntable $1095
EVOLUTION AUDIO & VIDEO
Here is our system recommendation for under $5000:
With our discount prices, you can afford good cables from Audio Magic, Audioquest, Kimber, Music Metre or XLO.
GENE RUBIN AUDIO
Naim CD3 CD player* $1800
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