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Aaudio Imports: December 2015

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Lansche 8.2 towers

After a day of listening to the 3.1, in an about-face, the coach got turned around and moved back to face the Lansche towers. The 8.2 featured two 18-inch active woofers on its back! A pair of 1,200-watt internal amplifiers drove the twin woofers between 15 to 40 Hz. The notes were vented through the front for absolute phase coherency. A total of four 8-inch paper coated mid-woofers pressurized the listening space with information from 40 to 2,500 Hz. The Corona ion plasma tweeter took care of everything beyond. Rated frequency response was 15 to 150 kHz.

A Ypsilon PST 100 MKII ($37,000) combo valve & transformer preamp mitigated signals from the sources via a transformer attenuator with 31 taps. Preamplifiers using transformer attenuation is practically non-existent on the market. None of the major amplification houses uses it. The Ypsilon transformer attenuator is likely a device too costly to implement or technically difficult to put into mass production, and it is the only company undertaking the development and production of such attenuation method in-house at the highest level. Check out the specs: 52dB for maximum attenuation, 12dB maximum gain. A transformer-coupled, triode-rectified, choke-regulated power active gain stage precedes the transformer attenuator with custom silver wiring. This is certainly extreme and extravagant, although no more so than the PST 100 MKII Silver Edition due to be launched in the fall with the addition of silver wound transformers! The price will be doubled.

Analog and digital may go in a circle for the reign of day; a premium preamplifier will always be called upon.

Ypsilon SET 100 Ultimate monoblocks

The Lansche 8.2 was rated at 94 dB sensitivity at 8 ohms, and what a sonic tour de force it was. Brian drove them with the Ypsilon SET 100 Ultimate hybrid monoblock amplifiers ($125k/pair). The Ypsilon outputted 120 wpc pure class A power into 8 ohms and covered the frequencies between 8 to 80 kHz. Each SET 100 Ultimate was 24 inches at full height, not counting the additional elevation as provided by the Finite Elemente Pagode APS reference audiophile amp stand ($3,570 each), while also resting on four of the Finite Elemente Cerabase Classic Precision Audio Footer ($1,060 for set of 4).

Hartvig TT Signature Gramophone Turntable+Armboard

Analog source was via a Hartvig TT Signature Gramophone Turntable+Armboard ($29,700). A Hartvig Reference Grade DC Power Supply ($6,800)  provided power. Cartridge was an Ikeda KAI MC ($8,500). The Stage III Analord Master Ultimate Resolution Phono Cable ($5,300) completed the setup.

RIAA equalization and amplification was via the Ypsilon VPS100 Silver Edition phono stage ($52,000). This is the upgraded version of the $26,000 VPS100. In the standard VPS100, there are already such revolutionary measures that sets the Ypsilon phono stage apart from others, such as the use of passive RIAA equalization to eliminate feedback loop inherent in active equalization on top of a transformer-based LCR (Inductance-capacitance-resistance) implementation of the RIAA equalizer with zero capacitor and resistor in the circuit, so as to eliminate contamination of phono signals from dielectric absorption.

As if those extreme measures are still not enough, Ypsilon design and build its own transformer using special amorphous C-core material with paper winding insulation. Ypsilon claims the VPS100 is the most properly implemented RIAA equalizer and the result is a more natural, musical and open sound with better defined macro and micro dynamics. Who says money can’t buy happiness? And there is more to the tube VPS100. Check out the link above.

Reference Front End_01

Extreme extravagance does not begin to convey the presence I was in. We are talking about a quarter-million dollar-plus speaker system not counting what it is being fed. Do you have a Lamborghini Huracan or Mercedes SL65 AMG in your garage? Why not get the Lansche 8.2, too? Because while you’re not driving around in your supercars, staying home and listening to the ultra sensational music produced by the Lansche towers will go a long way towards completing your life experience.

The Lansche 8.2 and the 3.1 use the same ion plasma tweeter, but boy what a sound it makes in the company of the quadruplet of 8-inch mid-woofers. Sitting at a distance of 11 feet from the 8.2 while the speakers measured 9 feet apart from tweeter to tweeter, spectacular waves of lifelike dynamic scaling prevailed in a manner I have not experienced elsewhere, notwithstanding the fact that the Corona was now driven by the SET 100. The beautiful tone coalesced in mesmerizing details, such that emphasis on audiophile recording rewarded me with surreal listening experiences. With the Lansche 8.2, the singular, decadent pursuit of the golden tone was real and fun. In addition, although the 8.2’s mid-woofers now carry an even wider spectrum of 40 to 2.5 kHz versus the 80 to 2.5 kHz in the 3.1, there are four to accomplish it, and what a sonorous four they are. This is the pinnacle of the audiophile experience.

Same recordings played on the 3.1 are now giving up more intricate low-level details through the Lansche 8.2 towers, imparting greater precision in tonality that made the experience progressively rewarding. This also translates into more discernible  and realistic dimensionality on instruments and voices. In the bottom-ends, the 18-inch subwoofers were not mere beasts of brute force. At times, they were quite subtle in providing the extra oomph that gave just the perfect weight and speed to the feverish fiddling of the double basses. I’ve heard active speakers with extraordinary bottom-end force and yet lacking musicality and performing ordinarily in the midrange and top-end. The genius of the Lansche lies in the perfect balance stricken in creating a bottom-end experience both powerful and musical, on top of a million-dollar mid and high. Of course, I know, the 8.2 costs a quarter-million only.

Life is full of extremities. There are budget systems and then there are cost-no-object ones. The marketplace allows for both types of companies to exist because we, the consumer as a whole, demonstrated appetite for both. In the ever merry-go-round of supply and demand, we are blessed by competent manufacturers developing products to an ideological budget, as well as those producing uberperformance, stratospherically priced systems. History has shown us that the advancement of human knowledge and technology will eventually trickled down to even the least developed of countries. By the same token, more and more manufacturers will eventually attain the same engineering height reached by the most advanced of them, slowly but assuredly. Therefore, may the ultra wealthy ones among us spend their fortunes and push the manufacturers to develop uberperformance systems, then let the truly worthy products find its place into our lives.

May more of us bathe our spirit in the intensity of music and be at peace with one another.



Copy editor: Laurence A. Borden

One Response to Aaudio Imports: December 2015

  1. htnut3 says:

    There are just a couple of manufacturers of these amazing tweeters, here’s a list of some

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