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Art Audio amps?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Scott_N, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    I'm thinking about buying a Art Audio Carissa amp and I was wondering if anyone here has had a chance to hear this amp or other Art Audio amps? I saw a review of the amp and the reviewer thought it sounded more powerful than his 500 watt Bryston 7B ST's.
     
  2. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    What happened to the Conrad Johnson upgrade path?

    I have not heard the Carissa yet.

    But I have heard the Symphony II drving Avantegarde Duos and I have owned an Art Audio Concerto MKII for little over a year now.

    To me Art Audio makes some of the best tube amps and ranks up there with the best of the best tubed companies.

    Prior to owning the Art Audio, I owned a Bryston 5B-st, and had an opportunity to demo in my house a Rogue Audio Magnum 88 and an Air Tight ATM-2.
    Quick comparsions:
    Bryston - has more bass, but at the same time I felt that the Bryston bass was over accentuated and not as true to the source. In all other categories the Bryston is shamed.
    Rogue - close to the sound of the Bryston, certainly not nearly as refined as the Concerto
    Air Tight - damn good amp. Incredible sound and in my opinion one of the best PP designs in the world. However it has a few design features that I don't like, tubes driven very hard, not auto-biased, and it has captive power cord. The Concerto, I have no such qualms about and it is the sonic equal of the Air Tight, plus it costs $2500 less.


    Unless you need more than 100 watts by using one of the gargantuan tube amps, I don't think you can do better than the Concerto as a PP KT88 amp design. With that said the PX-25, JOTA, and Symphony are all suppossed to be even better though with less watts from being SET designs.

    Where the Carissa ranks in their pantheon of amps, don't know? But I imagine it is worth seeking out an audition.

    As you can probably guess I am bigger fan of Art Audio than C-J, so my vote would be to go for it as long as it has enough watts for your Space speakers.
     
  3. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Scott

    My Space's don't drop below 7 ohms and my listening position is about six feet from the speakers so I don't need much power. The reason I started thinking about Art Audio amps is that i've heard their SET amps have a cleaner more dynamic sound than Cary SET amps and since i'm not even pushing my CJ very hard and the Carissa seems to be a good value it would be a least worth an auditon. What's that Spacedeck sound like?
     
  4. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    I am really enjoying the Spacedeck, and I also really like the Hadcock tonearm that I took a chance on pairing with it. I am positive I did the best thing by chosing it over a Spacearm.

    Vinyl certainly has a steep learning curve, but I think I have nearly reached the point where curve starts to level off. Still need to fiddle around with VTA and anti-skating more, but as of right now things are sounding pretty sweet.

    Picked up White Stripes "Elephant" on vinyl yesterday and OMG what an improvement over the CD.
     
  5. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Well i've decided on a Spacedeck since ASL group isn't bringing in the Interspace anymore. I'm going with a Rega RB250 arm which I will do the Incognito rewire and Express stub and counterweight change and a Dynavector 20XH. I'm still trying to decide between a CJ EV-1, Cary PH-302, Coph Nia or EAR 843P for a phono preamp. I hoping Jan or Feb to get the system together.
     
  6. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Really, ASL isnt going to import the Interspace?
    I don't think to highly of them as an importer.

    They charged me an arm and a leg for a mounting sleeve for my Hadcock and it only took them two months to do so, and then they just sent the part with no word as to how to install it. They seem to be running a racket for sales. Try to make it impossible to go with a tonearm other than their own, and then drop the middle table that probably had the lowest profit margins.

    Oh well, at least the product is very good.
     
  7. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    My dealer told me that ASL thinks the SE version of the Horizon sounds better than the Interspace so they weren't going to bring in the Interspace anymore. They don''t have the Interspace or the Hyperspace anymore on their website so I guess he was right. Have you heard the Unison Research S8? It looks like a nice integrated for the money.
     
  8. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Haven't heard anything personally from Unison Research.

    The Unico seems to get good pub however.

    And then someone over on AA speaks (spoke) highly of the Smart 845's.

    They are not going to carry the Hyperspace as well.
    Damn now that really pisses me off, I figured that if I ever wanted to go above the Spacedeck the Hyperspace would have been my first look. If it can't be had, ASL just lost a future upgrade customer.

    Don't know for a fact but my educated guess is that they would not carry the Interspace, because too many people were choosing it with the upgraded platter over a going with a Spacedeck. So they asked N.A. to give the Spacedeck a bigger platter as well to try to up the sales again, which N.A. complied with. And of course as soon as they did this they hiked the prices up. And now they get rid of the Interspace all together probably because it was still too popular.

    The Spacedeck is a great deck, but they shouldn't be shortchanging U.S. customers like this.

    Then now they get rid of the Hyperspace, which to my way of thinking was a great bargain at $3300.
    It had the big platter plus it came with the Heavyweight Carbon graphite platter. Then all of it's internal parts were upgraded and it had a better mounting pod that allowed 12" arms.

    The Heavywieght kit costs $1000 as an upgrade to the Spacedeck.

    So why in the world would one chose to get a Spacedeck with the Heavyweight platter at a cost of $2800, when a few hundred more gets you a much better turntable in the Hyperspace. You wouldn't is the answer. So now they just drop the Hyperspace as well.

    These actions are all about trying to move product with the highest profit margin and are shameful, especially since we are talking about N.A., a company that has always been talked about having a good bang for the buck performance.

    I am going to have to call my local dealer and voice my displeasure and see what he thinks of these moves.
     
  9. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Well I checked their website and the price listing does not show the Interspace or Hyperspace. Yeah going from a Spacedeck to a Dais would be too big a jump for a poor guy like me. Do you really think the platter on a Interspace is better than a Spacedeck? Isn't it HDF and the Spacedeck's an iron platter?
     
  10. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    I think the Spacedeck is an improvement over the Interspace, no matter which platter size you get. And I have heard, read, and talked to many folks who would agree.

    But there is also a contingent who speak very highly of the Interspace nad reportedly there were some dealers who felt the Interspace upgraded platter to be better than the Spacedeck. Again my ears and my dealer do not feel this way.
     
  11. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    My dealer thinks the Horizon has a better platter than the Interspace and likes the Horizon over the Interspace overall.
     

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