I have recently struck some deals with a few of my vendors where I will now be selling their overstock, B stock, and other items as they come up. Look for Margules, some PS Audio, occasional Atlas Cables, and others. They will be featured here first, then later put on the internet for sale. To control distribution (and make some of my vendors happy) they will be here for 30 days, and if not sold, then will proceed to US Audiomart or Audiogon for sale. I do not sell on Ebay for several reasons. All CC and sale transactions are handled by Paypal. Some items will have warranties, some not, I will be clear about that in the item description. All items will have large discounts off the original retail, expect 20-60% off.
Also I will be carrying a selection of used gear as well. I check each piece out prior to posting on the internet, and generally run the item 2 or more hours. Items that haven’t been run in a while go to my tech, who thoroughly checks them out. These will come with his receipt, itemizing what has been done to check out or repair as needed. I only guarantee that the item works upon shipment. I also insure the shipping, just in case problems stem from the shipper dropping the item.
Please periodically check the website, as items will be here that are not listed on US Audiomart and Audiogon.
Shipping and shipping insurance within the continental USA is included in all purchases from this website. We can ship international, but the receiving party will have to pay for all duties and taxes. Marihart Audio will make an estimate of the duties and fees and add them onto the international shipping expenses. Experience has shown that the shipper generally never collects these fees at the receiving end, but from the shipper. On international shipping there will be an accommodation for the shipping costs within the USA and that will be credited to the international shipping costs.
On smaller items I will ship USPS-I have found they are quicker and cheaper. On international shipments, remember that USPS tracking is only in the continental USA, that ends once they hand it over to foreign mail servers.
Return Policy, New and Demo Gear
Hours of Operation and Appointment Information
Hours of Operation
We are now open by appointment only, please call at least 24 hours ahead to set up an appointment. Am open for appointments only Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and occasional Saturdays. Please call first so I can kennel our dogs.
Marihart Audio is located in beautiful Weimar in the Sierra Foothills off I-80. Phone is 530-320-1576. Please Call First 24 hours in advance to set up appointments and to get our easy directions. Thank You
Cary Audio and PS Audio Trade In Policies
Cary Audio has recently started a trade-in policy for their gear so the customer can trade up. It benefits the customer in that you get a cash value for your Cary gear which is applied toward your new gear purchase, and you don’t have to go through the hassle of selling the piece. If your dealer opts, he can also take it on trade in and resell it, but that is up to the individual dealer. For more info go to: http://www.caryaudio.com/2016/04/12/trade-in-program-certified-pre-owned-products-on-carydirect/
For great gear on sale at Cary Audio go to: http://carydirect.com/certified-pre-owned.html
They have their own policies on trade-in, and are very liberal on this issue. Just don’t try giving them an old tire. Again the dealer can give you credit on a trade-in and resell it, or you can deal direct with PS Audio. PS Audio does make the final decision on what they will accept and for how much. for more info see: http://www.psaudio.com/buying-options/trade-ups/
The neat thing about this is it makes it easier for us consumers to have that toy we always wanted from two major manufacturers of great gear.
Brodmann Acoustics Back in the USA
Brodmann is back. After a reorganization in Europe and a change in ownership, Brodmann speakers are back. Brad Paulsen of Arceuarts is importing them, with a new price structure and shipping out of Santa Maria, CA . It will still be a few months until they are up and running, but the future looks good for us consumers in the US. The pricing has gone down on some speakers, and staid the same on others. I still own a pair of FS that my honey runs in her system, and will never sell them. No speakers I have heard do imaging and timbre as realistically as the Brodmanns. I have decided to have for demo the F2 and the VC2 (veneered) speakers. These will be floating out to customers to try in their systems, I already have a list for trial, especially for the VC2. Of course the VC2 will be in basic black or white 7 layer lacquer paint, or the choice of 6+ veneers. Please see www.brodmann.at for more info.
Cary Audio Designs Sales Policy
I thought everyone would like clarification of Cary’s new sales policies. I am a Cary Rep and stock demo gear as I detailed on my other blog. See http://www.stereophile.com/content/cary-audio-takes-direct-sales-route-kinda-sorta#xqIgFRpXdAoYgDlz.97 for more info. Go to www.CaryDirect.com for purchase of gear. You can hear what I have by making an appointment by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-320-1576.
Cary Audio Designs Changes
Cary Audio has made major changes in the way we do business. I am a Retail Representative now, and carry a few items of theirs for demo so you can hear them first hand. If you want to buy, you MUST go to www.carydirect.com to purchase. Former dealers as myself will no longer sell to the consumer unless it is old stock or old demo gear. You can buy direct from Cary, get to try it in your home, buy it or send it back under this new way of doing business. I will get credit for it through Cary.
I currently have the DAC 200ts, the SLI 80 Ultimate, the SLP98L (direct coupled), and the PH 302 Mk II for demo in my showroom. I also have the older DAC 100T going up for sale soon, this model still has warranty on it.
For info on these models go to: http://carydirect.com/shop-now/phono-stages.html, http://carydirect.com/shop-now/digital-sources/dac-200ts.html, http://carydirect.com/shop-now/preamplifiers/slp-98l.html, http://carydirect.com/shop-now/integrated-amplifiers/sli-80.html.
For Cary direct go to: www.carydirect.com.
We are on Facebook
We are now on Facebook!! So please like my page. Also a good place for questions and answers. Most likely others will have the same questions so fire away.
New JoLida and Acoustat
I am picking up a set of JoLida gear (ordered today) for next week: The JD9 Phonostage (upgraded), the FX 10 integrated amp (upgraded), the FX Tube DAC III with Bluetooth, and the FOZ XT_R Phono Sound Stage Expander. The JD 9 does MM, MC, and has carbon resistors, ESA clarity cap outputs, and gold Pin Tungsol 12AX7 tubes and sells for $899. The FX 10 is being upgraded to Vishay resistors and carbon resistors, which will deepen and widen the soundstage, allowing more detail to shine through. Cost is $849. The FX tube DAC III has Toslink, Coaxial Inputs, USB 96/24, Galvanic isolation, RCA Output, volume Control, headphone minijack, and Bluetooth. All this for $599. FOZ XT_R is an electronic compensation unit solving for turntable cartridge crosstalk and axial tilt. This makes an inexpensive turntable sing like a $2000 table with a $500 cartridge. The cost on the FOZ is $350. See http://www.jolida.com/index.php?p=news for more info.
Also I have 2 pairs of Acoustat speakers coming in next week. Please check the specials as well.
Digital Audio Adventures
I have been experimenting with digital audio for a while now, and have read a number of articles written in Absolute sound and Stereophile. I have an older Windows 7 device that has been selectively updated-and please people-KEEP Windows 7 if you do high end audio. 8 and I understand 10 do not allow you to make the necessary modifications in the software to get to audio nirvana. Most of that is hidden, and geared toward low res files.
I digress. If you want to upgrade your older computer for audio- do two things right off the bat-install a 240GB SS Hard drive (7 times faster than stock) and a current 24bit/192 soundcard. Those two will set you back $600 or so, but are well worth it. I use the USB out to my Cary Audio 100T DAC, but it all runs through that soundcard. I found my J River was being down scaled to 16bit/44 by the old soundcard, no matter how you tried to get by it. It is frustrating to no end to download a good high res file and have it screwed up by an old soundcard.
Also I have found that power cords make a noticeable difference-upgrade that too and you will hear it-for the better. Play with different power cords-they will have different effects. I am using a lesser expensive Siltech for my computer.
Finally, the DAC is very important. The DAC’s in the computer soundcards are good, some better than others, but an independent DAC is superior. It doesn’t rely on a power supply that was designed to be the minimum necessary for the computer to function. Computer power supplies are notorious for some fluctuation, much greater than tolerated by high end DAC designers. The computer clocks are also not that precise, fine for digital, not for high res audio. The very design of the computer and its lack of internal isolation also adds jitter and distortion. My Cary Audio DAC 100T has high grade power supplies, a super accurate clock (all input is reclocked), and superb circuit isolation. This is typical of most high end DAC’s. The end result is audio nirvana-which I define as NO digital artifacts, smooth detailed reproduction, and music one can listen too for hours with no fatigue. Nirvana is very, very close to vinyl-my reference for all audio. Cary’s info is at http://www.caryaudio.com/products/dac-100t/
One note is the quality of the file-16Bit/44 can sound very good depending on the source. Better is 24/96 and 24/192. DSD is supposed to be the best, but as yet very little is out there on this format. I do find FLAC to be a bit better than WAV for PC’s. As always there are exceptions. I would be careful with 32/384-no one records in this format, and all files of this type are upscaled to the best of my knowledge.
I hope this helps you find your ideal digital. Contact me if you have questions at email@example.com.
Marihart Audio System Notes
Many of you may wonder what type of system we run here at Marihart Audio. We have an eclectic mix of gear, some old and some new. All of it is very high resolution, and being played in a tuned room engineered by Tony Grimani of MSR Acoustics. Sources are many: Linn LP12 table with Origin Motor and Controller with a Grace F9 Cartridge and Soundsmith Ruby needle; Soaring Audio Media Center run via USB through a Cary Audio DAC 100T (24bit/192); Exemplar 95 Blue Ray Player with external power supply; Phonostage is a Cary Audio PH 302MkII; Margules Audio BTV4 Bluetooth; and all Acoustic Zen Hollogram II and Absolute Copper interconnects. Amps vary: We use mostly a Cary Audio Ultimate SLI 80 tubed with EAT 6922, and Psvane TII KT88 (also use NOS Sylvania 6SN7). We are trying a pair of Stax DT100-M monoblocks and a prototype tube preamp (cannot reveal builder) in the system soon. Speakers are varying-right now we are running the Acoustat 2+2 that are rebuilt and strengthened over the stock unit from 1982. Sound? Very smooth, very revealing (to a fault), and very musical. Come by and listen-just give me a heads up. And bring some vinyl and CD’s.
Room Acoustics and You
Room Acoustics are a commonly misunderstood factor in homes, sound systems, even 2 channel systems. The room is the final determinant of what you hear from any reproduction system. Yes improving placement of the speakers, even the equipment, can help with the sound, but ultimately the room determines what you hear. Research has shown that up to 80% of what one hears in music is the room, not the original sound from the speakers or the instruments. Speakers are some of the worst offenders as the tweeters and drivers tend to spray the sound out of the speaker in a 180 degree pattern-exciting the walls, ceilings, and floors. All of this sound bounces off these surfaces and winds up at your ear out of phase with the original signal. FYI-you can detect at your ear a phase difference of 1/3000 of a second at 500-4000 Hz-dead in the midrange where most music exists. Your ear is very good at discriminating direction and phase as well-so a note bouncing off the ceiling vs. a note directly from the instrument or speaker will not sound “right”. You can thank our ancestors and their survival skills for our hearing today. We really do need to know what it is and where it is so we can run from it and not be dinner. Unfortunately our hearing was developed for open spaces, not rooms. Hence the sensitivity to phase and direction.
There is also the interpretation of the sound that occurs in the brain. Ever notice how something sounds weird when you first turn on music then it sounds much better and more melodic a few seconds later? An excellent example of the brain in motion. The brain builds up a library of sound over your life, and then applies that to what you are hearing on a daily basis. Notice again how when you hear something new-you concentrate on it-to determine what it is (fight or flight response), then the brain files it for later reference. When you listen to music all of this comes into play. Research has shown that we tend to hear that that is familiar, not necessarily what is really being heard. Also our brain will filter out what is not important for us-this happens daily.
Next time I will talk a bit about room acoustics-the room itself.