STEREOMOJO SPECIAL DUAL REPORT

Part 2

There are a lot of beautiful things in this Coincident Speaker Company room picture, but we think the award atop the left speaker is the best;

Our Stereomojo Best of 2009 Award for the Coincident Super Victory speakers. We have reviewed everything Coincident in this picture, except for Effie, Israel Blume's better half who just deserves a special award herself, as you can see. We just closely inspected her...

 

On the top shelf is the two-chassis Line Statement preamplifier which is one of the best sounding preamps at any price, much less it's $4,995 going rate. That's why it is our 2009 Linestage of the Year. We guess Israel didn't want to display too many awards... As he demonstrated, after our review he has eliminated the one bugaboo we noted, the tubes sensitivity to feedback. He engineered new mountings that, as he demonstrated, are less prone to feedback than most other preamps on the market - a remarkable improvement. Israel has never been one to exaggerate his product's qualities, so when he tells us that the improved version sounds even better than the early model (a world's first review) we believe him.

On the floor are the mighty Dragon monoblocks that put out over 120 watts of peak power, 80 watts continuous that performs more like 150 watts for $8,999. Not each, but per pair!

Our review is coming soon. Also on display were the incredible The M300B Frankenstein MK II monos we reviewed last year that turned out to be the very best we've heard in a low-powered (8 wpc) SET.  Absolutely magical mated to the Super Victory's and a steal at $5,599 per pair. Coincident simply makes some of the most musical audio devices on the planet at prices that are a real bargain.

New at the show is the Coincident Statement Phono preamp. Like the Linestage, it also has a separate power supply (not pictured). The Coincident Statement Phono Preamplifier is a high gain, all tube unit employing the highest quality MC step up transformers to accommodate virtually all moving coil cartridges. Due to employing only 2 all tube gain stages, high gain is achieved with low noise. The RIAA curve is passive, zero feedback utilizing the closest tolerance resistors and polystyrene capacitors to obtain accuracy of less than .1 db deviation from 20hz – 20khz.

The 66 db overall gain coupled with low output impedance and the use of the finest discrete resistor volume pots allows the Statement Phono Preamplifier to be directly connected to an amplifier without the use of a line stage.

There are no circuit boards to deteriorate the signal transfer. Everything in the Statement Phono Preamplifier is hard wired. The separate power supply has enough capacity and energy storage to power a 100 watt amplifier. There are separate transformers for the high voltage and low filaments. Furthermore, the high and low voltage sections have independent choke and large capacity filtering.

The build quality of the Statement Phono is the finest available. It was designed with no cost restraints. It represents an all out assault on the state of the art at only $5,499.

 

Nola speakers are also our favorite open baffle designs. We have reviewed several of them

and all represent the very best available n their price ranges. Above is the new Metro Grand Reference which, at $22,000, sound an awful lot like the $55,000 Baby Grand References we went gaga over last year.

Coming soon to Stereomojo is the new Nola Micro Grand Reference, a stand-mounted loudspeaker that utilizes the same driver technology and concept as the floor-standing Baby Grand Reference. Driver complement consists of two magnesium woofers, one alnico magnet open baffle midrange and one open baffle true ribbon tweeter in a 3½ way design. The driver array utilizes our 45° mirror-imaged array for the midrange and tweeter. The twin 120mm cast-frame magnesium woofers operate in a rear vented enclosure. The vent is an oversized, double flared design to eliminate port noise. The 110mm cast-frame alnico magnet midrange operates as an open baffle dipole. The open baffle ribbon tweeter eliminates any type of extra diaphragm, as the ribbon is the diaphragm. The moving mass of this design is about 25 times less than any type of dome tweeter and provides the natural reproduction of a wealth of musical detail. The lack of an enclosure in the midrange and high frequencies eliminates a large source of coloration.


The 3½ way integrated crossover system is built on three separate boards and utilizes top quality audiophile-grade passive components throughout. Inductors are flat wound oxygen-free copper types and capacitors are 630 volt polypropylene units. The crossovers are hard wired (no printed circuits) for maximum quality.

The Micro Grand utilizes a built-in double platform base with ball bearing isolators to further reduce coloration as is used in the Baby Grand Reference. The bases are finished in a true Piano Black. The Micro Grand is designed to provide the same musical experience as the Baby Grand, and is ideal when state of the art sound quality is desired for smaller venues.

 

Grant Audio is another Stereomojo multi award winner for their ultra high performance, high value products from China. Grant provides everything from cables to monster monoblocks amps, turntables and even equipment stands; all beautifully made at extraordinary prices.

 

Take this new Opera Consonance turntable for example. For only $1,3325 (shipping included!) you get a table that others (like Project) would charge up to three grand for and a very sophisticated arm that would normally cost another couple thousand by itself.

New at the show was this very VTL looking W30GT tube integrated amp with tube phonostage for only $1,950. It uses either EL-34 or KT88 tubes with a minimum of 40 wpc. it even has a built in DAC! The 12AX7 tubes on the back are for the built in phono stage. $1,950....unbelievable.

We recently reviewed this "Forbidden City" table and arm.

 

This out-of-this-world CD-1000 also recently received the rigorous Stereomojo review treatment.

Grant does speakers, too. This WZ-5 SE Collector's Edition Reference features Custom Vifa 1" ring radiator tweeter (XT25TG30), magnesium chassis, coated paper cone 6.5" midrange (M17WH-09) and 8" woofer (M21WO-39).

We get a lot of emails from all over the world asking us to review Paradigm speakers and other competing brands. We usually don't pursue reviews from the big mass market suppliers because everyone else in the universe reviews them, but it seems our readers want our take on them since we are known for our more straight forward, unbiased opinions. Because our readers asked, we respond.

Paradigm's Ashley Daigneault showed us the Paradigm SE-3 at  $749 each. We made sure Paradigm knows we want to work with them on reviews. We'll let you know.

Paradigm has three levels of speakers and the Signature S8 at $3,499 each represents the top shelf. We hope to get one model from each level to review for you.

Phillip O'Hanlon is one of our favorite distributors. He knows his job and does it better than anyone in audio. He's knowledgeable and easy to work with.

Here he explains the finer points of Luxman gear to our Publisher James Darby  - also knowledgeable and easy to work with.

 Luxman listens to their fans, too. They offered four other integrated amps, but they kept getting requests for a higher performance model around the $7,000 mark, so here it is. We reviewed their entry level L-505u two years ago and found it to be very musical and very un-solid state. We liked it a lot and gave it a rare Maximum Mojo Award. This new made in Japan L-507u promises even more with circuitry from their much more expensive models and 110 wpc at 8 ohms and 200 into 4. it includes balanced circuits as well as a good phono input for both MC and MM cartridges.

What many audiophiles in the US don't know is that Luxman also makes some of the finest tube amps in the world, like this 30 wpc SQ-38u tube integrated. A friend of ours has one of the early SQ-38's from around 1970. It still works beautifully. We're looking forward to reviewing this new version of a true classic.

 

O'Hanlon's "On a Higher Note" company is also the new distributor for Brinkmann turntables. We're glad - and so is Brinkmann we bet - the former distributor was a jerk...

    This is the Brinkman Balance with level 3 upgrades - $8,000.

 

GO TO PART 3