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PHC1 07-10-2019 06:58 PM

Comparison of two systems
So I thought it would be neat to compare and contrast a case of two systems.

The obvious goal is to reach some pinnacle of audio nirvana. Do we get carried away in our quest? That is the question... You be the judge

Both are obviously my own, one from 2012 and one from today. Worlds apart in price.

Playing the same track of Ramsey Lewis Trio. Track 5, "Air from Suite #3"

Video number 1.
Wilson Alexia speakers, D'Agostino Momentum monos and I believe I was using a Krell S1200 as a preamp at that time. CD Player was the fantastic EAR Acute tubed CDP. Room fully custom built and fully treated to the tune of $20k for just the treatments. All together the system and room were over $150k easily. All Transparent cabling costing as much as an entry level automobile...

Video number 2.
Harbeth 30.2. PrimaLuna Dialogue HP. Bryston DBP Pi used as streamer. Roon for streaming instead of CD playback. Cables are a mix of entry level Transparent and some mid line WireWorld IC's.
Room completely untreated.
Cost 1/7 of the other system, under $20k.

So the question is, do we tend to go overboard with our quest? :D I know the amount of satisfaction each system brought. Being completely honest, I derive no less satisfaction from system number 2. Ok, it is not as "Cool" but hey, it is some $130k cheaper too!

PHC1 07-10-2019 07:29 PM

Ok, perhaps not exactly fair to throw a triode running PrimaLuna into a SS comparison.

Here is the Luxman L590AXII going head to head.



2fastdriving 07-10-2019 07:29 PM

Very cool to compare, however as you are undoubtedly aware, it's difficult to do on a computer listening to youtube!

Still, to me, the wilson system sounds more balanced. Of course I would say that because I have the same speakers :D

I am fully aware that much of this stuff is "in our head" and that you can derive practically the same enjoyment from a carefully executed system costing a fraction of what the super high end systems are.

I'm just glad to see you are happy, period!

2fastdriving 07-10-2019 07:32 PM

ooh i liked the luxman better than the tubes, I can tell you that. Still prefer the wilson setup.

PHC1 07-10-2019 07:43 PM


Originally Posted by 2fastdriving (Post 972405)
ooh i liked the luxman better than the tubes, I can tell you that. Still prefer the wilson setup.

Yes, speaking in absolute terms,

It's that effortless dynamic contrast that Wilson is so good at bringing out. Paired with the ultra resolving but oh so smooth and natural sounding D'Agostino, that has tons of current and grip over the speaker and it is tough to beat that combination for sure.

Harbeth can't quite match it and neither can the Luxman pull off that ultra resolving response. What they both lack in the ultimate resolution, together they still create a very enjoyable and musical presentation.

I am fully able to resolve the differences, even on the computer but as I said, I am just as emotionally moved by the Luxman/Harbeth as I was by Wilson/D'Agostino.

The question is still left up for the debate, are these differences worth the heavy premiums. Is that elusive pinnacle so important in chasing? What are your opinions on this?

crwilli 07-10-2019 08:39 PM

There is as many answers to your question as there are audiophiles. We each answer it for ourselves.

rnrmf1971 07-11-2019 12:28 AM

I heard the illusion of actual performers in the Wilson/D'agostino versus either of the other two videos and I prefererred the Luxman to the PrimaLuna.
I'd definitely say the Wilson/D'Agostino was worth spending more for. The difference in sound between systems seems wide, to me, based on the sound in the videos.

PHC1 07-11-2019 12:55 AM

Umm, OK, what about these Sasha's driven by Bryston amps? Could have stopped there but I kept raising the bar to Alexia and D'Agostino. Sorry, not the same track but an enthusiastic level/ dynamic presentation of Rush/Tom Sawyer

GSOphile 07-11-2019 09:21 AM


Originally Posted by 2fastdriving (Post 972405)
ooh i liked the luxman better than the tubes, I can tell you that. Still prefer the wilson setup.

+1 here

W9TR 07-11-2019 09:31 AM

Serge - it would be interesting to edit these videos and remove all the visual cues - maybe just a black screen with a number on it. Only the audio would be different. Then see what the results are.


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