01 December, 2018

Genesis V, EAR G-88, 549

Not anyone's idea of fun: Jumping the car at night and in the rain.

Audiophilia: Rain or Shine, Dead or Alive
Home Visit: Genesis V, EAR G88, 549
Return Visit to VAS

The weather forecast was not promising, but under our great leader's guidance we soldiered on. Andy had organized the New Jersey trip with a visit to composer Han Yong's home in central Jersey as an opener.

With Kevin chauffeuring Andy and I, we started early and made good time but just short of target we were derailed by the GPS. We ended up on the wrong side of a river and the road across was closed due to flooding. It took us quite a while, with the help of Google map and considerable detour, to finally reach destination. By that time, the raining had started. We were met there by James, who had had no trouble driving from Philadelphia.

Home Visit: Genesis V, EAR G88, 549
HY has just recently moved into this very handsome, and cavernous new home. The listening room is not the largest, longer than wide, and with a somewhat low ceiling.

Han proclaimed that he just want a good system to listen to music, but from his compulsive tweaking it seems to us he is also every inch an audiophile.

Analog Rig: Acoustic Signature Final Tool/Benz Micro ACE (temporary)
CDP: Sonic Frontier SFCD
Preamp (with MM/MC phono): EAR G88
Amp: EAR 549 monoblocks
Loudspeakers: Genesis V

Nothing is what it seems. There is quite a bit of studied cabling around. HY likes a particular kind of teflon-coated silver-plated cable and not only his power cords are made of it, he has replaced most of the wiring in his EAR preamp and amps with it too.

Image result for reiner kijeThe sound was very good, clean and with good perspective. Orchestral details were impressively layered and revealing (as on Reiner's Lt Kije), though I found solo piano and violin to be a trifle lean for my taste. Also, I am very particular about the bass - good as it was, it was not the last word in tactile quality, as I'd expect from managed and powered bass (this from a 15" paper cone horn aficionado).

Image result for han yong cantandoWe only heard one CD, and that was HY's own composition. It is a rich and nicely crafted amalgamation of Eastern and Western elements. Importantly, the tonal balance of the digital sound was commensurate with the analog, as I believe is the way it should be. Of course, analog is more involving, and coming from a composer one could hardly argue! Nothing argues the case more than the fairly large collection of LP's in the basement. I love the pics of the composers!

We did not get to hear HY's other rig, said to be very good for CD:

CD Transport: MBL CDP used as such
DAC and (Re-clocker): dCS
Preamp: CAT SL-1
Amp: Canary 300B

I was also intrigued by the disc washing setups. Aside from a VPI 17, HY has a cheap Ultrasound setup, comprising a professional Vevor Cleaner and a Vinyl Stack Record Spinner.

When we left it was raining hard, but we proceeded to Princeton, where we had lunch and visited Princeton Record Exchange, which has a lot less interesting things than before. Although slim picking, I still bought 2 CD sets and 2 LP's.

Return Visit to VAS
In the rain, it took quite a while to reach Steven at VAS (next to VPI; earlier visit here).

The sound was the best we have heard at his place, also the best I have heard from the 802, not a model that I like usually.

Analog: VPI TT (rim drive)/VAS MC cartridge/VAS MC SUT
Preamp: ARC SP-11, heavily modded, with tube PS.
Amps: VAS "Citation II" monoblocks (tube swaps of 5R4, 5755 and 12SX7)
Loudspeakers: B&W Nautilus 802

A very fine day!

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