From here to there... what are we doing with 2 different Meishu's
When we received our first AN Meishu, we were barely able to achieve 100 or so hours on it before we had to move on with other gear to burn in. Of course, we will have to get back to this burning in of our Meishu Line. No sooner than our thought process is wrapping up around its new sound signature ( some if not many folks will not bother to read the date of on line reviews, so should you have read an older review, older Meishu's do sound different than newer Meishu's ). Since the Meishu is approximately 25 years old already, there are "3" versions of it.
Out of the box the Meishu Line ( Basic model ) the sonic signature sounds warm and inviting... from the get go, it lets go of the note. After the first 10 or so hours, the Meishu Line becomes highly involving with what can be better described as the space and the silence between the notes, especially the former. Its a breathy amplifier, basically music comes out gushing at you like a tidal wave, folk, Chamber, well crafted pop, symphonic, you play it, better get ready to have and hear that same music delivered to you in a natural and a very expansive real way. Where the Audio Note Meishu's come at you in the macro dynamic level, this would not be so scary, if it were not in its exemplary Micro approach to music that equals its Macro level of play. One senses become in a way, overloaded and jubilent at hearing so much. Of course one assumes you are placing a equal quality source.
Where this amplifier has a grandeur about its delivery of music, The Audio Note Meishu assails you in a bigger way with the "small stuff", its micro dynamics. It is here that upon hearing these Meishu's, any one of the newer models, one senses has a tough time at first, in trying make sense of the veritable sonic buffet that is assailing ones sense. It takes a few hours to calm down in a way after you start listening, and yes even if your used to working in the audio world all the time stuff, one understands why in quite quick fashion, why they still make this amplifier 25 or so years later. I cannot explain nor will not write about everything this does (make sure you attend our next by invite AN show), but without much thinking, one ultimately knows that the Meishu is a real special product. The Meishu is not for everyone, to be sure.
Speaking of being sure, just as some of you are blinking hard with what I just wrote, well, the Audio Note Meishu Line is the starting point in the AN Meishu series. There has never been a Meishu fronting any AN show here. Nearly happened, but not enough burning in and by our April 2019 AN show. I am quite rigid on playing only gear ( any gear ) that is fully burned in within our company walls.
So here walks in for the true prima donna it is, the top of the heap Meishu Silver Signature Phono. Quite literally, what was implied above with the basic model, well, I can assuredly attest, it will be 2 or 3 times the sonic results, with added silence, inner detail that is somewhat bewildering and a kind of scary dynamic that ressembles the Audio Note Jinro on a smaller scale. Yet we are dealing still with a "mere" 300B tube.
Some may have read on line that the OTO Signature is as good as a Meishu Line. I say, "Yeah, go ahead, think that". We all know how the OTO is great, any OTO, from basic to OTO signature. As special as the OTO is or any SORO's are, they are not... Meishus. How do we know, well we also have a basic OTO and an OTO Signature on display and equally have sold a few SORO's in our long past with AN, yeah right here in Ottawa... how do you guys like them apples. The Audio Note Meishu stands apart and actually should btw!
On display as well
Now back at our Meishu's, one or both are bound to be within our shop wall this year. They are massive big beasts, and can easily become either part of a swan song system or a retirement systems as old audiophiles make one final statement about their life long love of audio and musical paths. Actually what I just stated here is not a light statement. Being a special component in high end, is if your lucky enough, quite special. Deciding on what is really special and making this part of your life, is more than really special, its a damn fine place to be at in one's life.
The Audio Note Meishu's is really just a beyond word special product that makes one stretch in your listening chair as you prepare music, and place your hands behind your head, and think, life is good... no kind folks, I can wager you will be thinking... its beyond damn good.
PS: For those that demand better, well, we even have better Audio Note than our top of the line Meishu, and yes those that like to have everything proven, let us prove how great both our OTO's play at... maybe you people will be entitled to be the same feeling that life can be damn fine for you as will.
All present and near future planned system of the month and both spring events are suspended due to exceedingly high demands on our services. These will come back at a later date.
Details are being worked out as this is being written. We intend to be playing vinyl once again. A rather simple yet elaborate set up. Cables by Audio Note, phono stage by TRIGON. What we will be after is proving that tubes can be as dynamic as all hell, we will be providing jump factor galore. The 845 tube will be front and center, as well as The Audio Note Cd player which is the worlds best.
There may be a surprise Audio Note Meishu, a rare glimpse at quite literally the worlds best tube amplifier in the world. April is the month. Speakers are being decided upon. So this event is taking place. This is a Lounge376 level event. We suspect a March 13th or 20th date event, more details will appear soon.
Refererence 3 A speakers
There are technologies that have stood the test of time because they are great technologies. Some others get passed by time and generations. Most younger and older grey heads will remember and have heard what a one resistor crossover point design is. They may even remember how it sounds like because it sounds very unique and provides fresh vision and take on music it has. Many of the younger types may not know, or even wonder how let's say Planar speakers sound like, but they do have a sound of their own. One thing for sure, once anybody hears either one, they tend to be hooked. I am hooked, I have both of the above mentioned designs at home.
After a fairly extended resting hiatus, our Reference 3a line will demonstrate that its unique blend of openness, agility, speed, follow through, relative efficiency and low noise floor can be at the service of music in a very serious way. The end result is this is a speaker that gets out of the way of music. It sort of gets out of the way, its makes music sound vibrant, vivacious, alive, immediate and yet intimate.
In many ways, I suspect why the Volents 3.5's did so well despite not being of this design. This very expensive multiple speaker design had a way of sounding like these Ref 3A's. The above description is very addictive I must admit. As I must cleanse a life long passion in all audio at home, I am having a terrible time selling one of my pairs of Reference 3A... a real terrible time indeed. There is something quite natural about its sonic delivery.
This company has been logged as the next major demonstration cycle, once we stop being so busy. I encourage specifically younger audiophiles that we see and know, place this one demo cycles under your cap. You will realize why I'm a big fan of these, but also a owner of this great speaker company. Also opening up your senses about audio is not a bad thing in your audio journey.
We suspect April at the earliest, this prestigious company will see the light of day again.
Trigon in Ottawa
It is a relatively new line up at SPI, since 2016. It's placed where it belongs, in the middle to upper high ground of high end audio within our walls. The line up starts at somewhere between 4-5,000.00 and up from there.
In 2017, this one TRiGON line up managed to amass 2 the best shows within our walls where transistor gear is involved. They have fronted 2 Nordost yearly events. The Trigon Trinity all in one, managed to be awarded THE component of the year ( Called POYA awards ) in 2016, surpassing our own Sim Audio Ace. In one of the first Nordost events, The Trigon Energy blew away the entire group of attendees, being backed by nobody else than a Volents Paragone VL 3.5 speakers. People still recall this event and the performance they heard, yes still. One of our crew possesses a TRIGON amplifier, just try to take this amp from Steves dead cold prying hands. As Judas Priest song sing... you got another thing coming
Trigon will now effectively see growth in our main upper line ups. The sound is on the complex side to explain, but think it better to come and see our TRIGONS right here at SPI. Like most folks will have experienced, hearing TRIGON will not leave you indifferent. We promise !
A word to the wise !
Cables can be fun, they can also be a pain. We have tried not to get into cables debate for at least 10 years if not more. I am glad I can share in on our knowledge base with what we know. I was reminded of 2 things that I stopped elaborating about many moon's ago.
I learned that many will use what they learned on this very website, and buy cables blind to place into their systems at home. I know this happens BUT I had really placed this in the back of my mind. Should I recommend anything cables wise, it comes with one caveat... I have tested the cables on several systems usually at home.
Many cables are great, yes even inexpensive one's, but even at this level, cables can turn a system inside out and sounding not right. This is why I always offer the following few words of caveat... the cables have low compatibility ratio, or medium of high as the case may be. SOoooo, should you be one of these folks that do this, make absolutely certain that I am saying that such and such cable have a medium or preferably high COMPATIBILY ratio. I can speak about cables that are superlative, but that have a super low compatibility ratio.
The last thing I would want is having instilled the idea that great cables are great no matter where they are installed... reality sadly is different than a one size fits all in our audio world.
I hope explaining this aspect of our website helps you fine folks.
There are some that companies...
When I say the Meishu is big, I mean big, Jackie my dog is over 20 LBS
... change gear by the year, making it damn impossible to build brand loyalty, and there are some companies that do the inverse. AN is of the latter school of thought, they prefer to work on designing better units while keeping the components architecture intact. The Audio Note Meishu is one of these as with all AN products.
Consistently revered as one of the best tube integrated in the world since its conception about if not over 20 some years ago, its not the kind of amplifier that would win awards in terms of units sold ( even though in absolute terms they still sell many of these world wide ). As in most of AN, its dedicated to a unique individual, and devoted music listening audiophile. This would be a Lounge376 dedicated product, rarely seen on our shop floor and demonstrated privately. The AN Meishu is big, very big, bulky for sure, and a piece one cannot help but notice. It occupies real estate in a big way. Pix will be provided soon, I am not joking fella's.
The iconic Peter Q says in writing, that all Meishu's are made not for technical prowess ( a fact I will come back to ), but they are built for musical capabilities. I would beg to differ respectfully with Peter, I would add to Peters perception, is that his Audio Note Meishu's are so musical in a far fetched sense, that this represents by itself, a technical predisposition of this amplifier.
One may want to know that its a very different breed that any OTO, no matter what level of OTO, we have several of these different levels of OTO's on display. Note that some have stated that our Audio Note system of November 23rd 2018, was thought of one of the best sound in 2018. No surprise really folks. Now, we know this to be a fact, but what will many say once they hear our Audio Note Meishu on that same system... hmmm !
Many may know that our Meishu runs a pair of 300B tubes, but its what AN designed behind these 300B tubes that make the AN Meishu that clearly make it some of the world's best.
I would recommend for the sake of being able to upgrade one's AN system, a AN preamp with a AN Conqueror. It was tantamount to having a Meishu model, but with upgrade options for later on. Its now time to bring it onto another level, take away the upgrade options of the above and just heavily make folks focus onto that one box solution. Of course one can upgrade the tubes, power cords etc. We have been selling AN for a very long time, going on 20 years... we know what works on AN gear.
As we are returning our long established AN line up into the upper scale territory, so it begins that the Meishu will be taking center stage amongst Audio Note giant's that we have on hand and yes, ON DISPLAY. Like all AN products, there is a waiting period as they make whatever you order JUST FOR YOU.
Once burn in is complete on our Meishu, it will be making its formal introduction sometime in March/April.
As a great beer commercial said way back when... this one is for you. Well, I suppose that how we will all feel on that day.
NOW here in Ottawa ( are we surprised folks ), burning in and soon to be introduced in early 2019. As I like to say, how do you like them apples.
Audio Note new Novembers systems display
December 8th yearly farewell xmas send off will spell a few firsts of a new introductions of Audio Note gear. These December events, we always use our classic AN-E's as the front man for our desired and designed systems. We also tend to use quite elaborate AN gear as well.
This year, we will be using its little brother, the AN-K speaker system. Its imperative that the appropriate AN stands back the AN-k up. Something we will be having of course.
As to having a world class AN source, we will be using a AN 4.1 x Cd player. Clearly one of the best in the world. Have not decided where we head on the analogue front.
As to amplification, well, let it be said that we will be reasonable, something we are not usually on those days. We will be using one of the most used amplifiers that AN uses at show fest. The AN OTO SE Signature. One of the best in the world. We may opt to use my baby, the AN Meishu as well. God audio can be viciously fun. Either way, the one that will not play, will be used in shop for the remainder of the week following December 8th.
Cables will of course be all Audio Note, from the Lexus to the Sogon and across those in between models. As far as AN goes, on that day, other if I pull a switch on amplifiers, it would be one of the most affordable AN systems to date.
Novembers AN system, Kris will be building a real affordable AN system around the AN P1, M1, Aqua DAC, but for a week, Tannoys REVOLUTIONs 8F's will be used. After our full week is done, then we will also be using a coup de grace with a very special and classic model called the TRIANGLE Antal EZ.
Of course, AN cables will be power for the course.
She begins early on Saturday the 10th of November. Our AN display ends on the 24th. No appointments necessary.
Our private affair. How high can we go folks ! Watch us go.
On this entirely different plain, Audio Note will be sharing the lime light with a few others... equally great companies. For those that have good memory, as far back as 2012, our variant system will be sharing quite a few attributed.
Not intending to let go of the surprises that are reserved in that private affair or ours, let me say, that it will be certainly one for the books. We are heading quite with a rare and elevated Audio Note variant system. Even Audio Note show fest systems will pale in comparison, this system will be at a very high level of play.
So it goes without saying that on that evening, our friends will be sharing plenty of laughs and yes, music and spirits to boot. I even plan on staying the night at the shop to continue listening at this system after all have left... may not be there next day, but my boys will take care of you all. How do you guys like them apples ! Life is tough, we do need to roll with it sometimes.
Comedy aside, this is by strictly by invite special evening.
Who says we love tubes !
Fair warning folks, keep an eye on this website. A real world tube system that again, is just not seen elsewhere, and I do mean this... nowhere. It will be advertised ahead of time, and pictures taken and uploaded, we know you fellas love our exclusive pics... we do need to prove we have you guys covered big time in all areas of audio.
Line Magnetics complete system playing on what is an affordable Audio Note speaker. Key qualities to remember will be holographic staging, gigantic space between notes, great timbre, super bass, and a suave midrange and edgy live upper presentation. Sometimes Single Ended tube systems need not be so expensive, even though this system will still be hovering at 30,000.00 or so $.
We of course expect a lot of folks to eventually show up, and I venture even some of our Montreal crowd. All welcome. Dates to follow quite soon. Show season is now upon us after resting for a year... why not enjoy these folks.
Copland KT 120 amplifier
How many systems are we supposed to have playing for you fine folks... countless I say. The more the merrier Santa Claus would say, its never enough James Bond would say, well, you guys get my point.
An entirely different flavor, and with a lot more power to spare. In many ways, this one system is the one to remember because of what I will be placing around what is one of the best tube amplifiers bargains around. This is the only system where an analogue rig will be front row and center. Our Copland ports a 4 tube internal phono stage and pushes with relative ease approx. 75 wpc. It's all academic.
Acoustic Solid table take the honors. As many know, our shop is kept to busy to play vinyl, but we will make it a point before our holidays, but for a brief while.
Just to make matters better as in good, better and best, I intend to play with your emotions on this set up. Some of our guys will forget where the exit to our shop is. It will be easy to do this, The Tannoy Kensington's will do this every time. These need no introductions whatsoever.
So in a matter of 5-6 weeks, SPI will have played more than 7 different Oxford systems, with many to spare. I have not even mentioned our complete Line Magnetic system on Audio Note AN-Z speakers playing in our green room late October for more than a week.
However debuting December 13th our Copland affair will cap off a cherry on all our Sunday's. Great I could not find a better way to finish off our 2018 together.
So a happy and merry Christmas are in order folks.
We finish off our 2018 with JMR
Should there have been a brand that has closely honed in its careful attention to its sound and design detail in general, JMR would be on top of many list. Extremely well know on the Euro front, it still makes people think aloud here on this side of the pond. The feedback is all good, no surprise really.
Already in high mileage mode here with us, our JMR models have already acquired 2 main shows at the OXFORD Reference level : In October of 2017, mated with our ROKSAN BLAK series, and in May, our second NORDOST show. As Bruno ( Nordost master of ceremony ) privately said to me privately... "the speakers are really good". This man has listened to a lot of great speakers in his day. We concur.
Even our very own Kris is likely to buy a pair of 7K JMR Cantabile. Kris is a prickly listener.
For the better part of January, 2 French brands will be highlighted within our walls.
Jean Marie Renaud family, sound is everything.
What is not to like about JMR, clearly walking the line between organic and detail.
Our JMR Bliss, the near baby of the line, has in and for the past 3 months through its burn in process amassed a little army of fans. Coming at you at several levels of shadings, open dynamics, transparency, timbral richness and an emotional maturity that comes shining through the music. These we say are unique sounding, and equally at home with good transistors and yes, tubes. Somewhat inexpensive in high end ways, its will be for your emotional listener, and we really think they are superlative on classical and acoustic music, of the highest order.
Their sonic signature of our Bliss as well as our Euterpe Supreme is reminiscent of our much more expensive Audio Note AN-E’s that so many love here in Ottawa.
Our Eutrepe Jubilee : As many know we burn in our models near and fully, everyone of them. Unlike the JMR Bliss, our Euterpe Supreme held their secret for nearly a full month of burning in. Once the burn in was nearly and done with, the ES provide quite the homogeneous impression as well as being quite transparent. Spatial information was there in spades we all noticed, room ambiance as well as air around clapping hands. A clear window inside the room and the performance all the while maintaining JMR’s distinctive warmth. It relays abundant texture and a wide array of what some call diverse nodal interplay, something one does not get for the less than 4 k price. Typically French performer, offering spontaneity, naturalness of delivery, and what I hear is incredible nuance within the musical message. We expect to do well with this speaker, and for good reason.
Our Cantabile Jubilee : What many Euro journalist call one of the best pound for pound speaker for the price anywhere. Spatial information and an absolute capacity to lay out everything that the music has to offer. Even if you want it or not. Incredible extension, and elegant in manner, style and precision in all matters of music. Note the word, elegant. For those that cannot afford the best, but who would want to have a hint of what other do at a much expensive level. More dynamic, than our ES, it offers plenitudes of imaging, and a word to the wise, gear begins to matter at this level.
Our Abscisse Jubilee : Touching a tad less than 5 figures, and just when you think you have tempered the JMR line in ones mind, one clearly goes into another level. Think Volent but with less attitude, a more forgiving and organic delivery as well as that pure Volent predisposition to lays pretty much everything on the line... but our AA’s does it with more softness, some would call soul. Sonics play at what would say an entirely different level, and while one listen to our AA’s, one gets the picture why our Cantabiles come in where they come in, these hint at where our AA’s play at. Another level of texture, transparency, ambience, homogeneous delivery, utter extension and a smooth, organic and full midrange without being soggy, and a full and very clean bass line. A word to the wise, only incredible gear need apply to drive these.
Should one be interested in listening to these marvels, by all means, give us a call. All of the above require an appointment with no exception.