Audio-Ultra Lifestyle News – December 2023 – Season Wrap-Up
With the year-end upon us, it’s common to hear, “I can’t believe the year has gone by so fast.” Perhaps this is because we are getting older or too busy having life pass us by, or maybe it’s a combination.
For us, it’s a combination, and it’s all good! This year was busy with a jam-packed schedule from successful exhibits at Axpona and the Pacific Audio Fest to attending the Munich HI END show and Capital Audiofest. In between all this were many client visits here in Seattle and around the country, plus many showings and events within our listening rooms. We have also been working on our YouTube channel to show what we are about, the fun we like to have, the products we represent, and the services we provide. When you have time, please visit our YouTube channel, and if you dig it, then help us by subscribing to the channel.
I am slow to sell, and fast to learn prior to any sale. I want to know about the existing system and its owner. Generally, there are some low-hanging fruit that will improve performance and in most cases costs little to nothing. First, we must establish a performance baseline and then visit the foundation aspects which in part include prior setup and tuning, AC power, and cables. There is no magic bullet, there are no shortcuts; it takes the commitment of time, understanding, and the willingness to execute.
Old Meets New
Once the hard work has been completed, and the baseline reestablished, then it is time to find that special piece that will move the needle in system performance. While you can purchase a new piece outright, this may be an excellent time to consider trading in equipment. I will make every effort to achieve higher trade-in allowances towards the brands we carry, freeing you from the hassle and process of selling your equipment directly. This allows you to get more for less to secure the latest technology, like the new S3 or M7 loudspeakers from Magico, or into the 10 series of products from CH Precision or even WADAX’s assault on digital playback as well as all of the other fine brands we carry.Also, we have a great selection of products from our curated collection on the floor, some open boxes, and others actively in play, regardless, every piece is in mint condition and available for consideration.
Dirty Records, Clean Records
YouTube video saying a “Clean Record” is a “Happy Record.” Following this video, I recently replaced my record cleaning machine with the highly regarded KLAUDIO brand with an optional record loader sourced from Acoustic Sounds. I am impressed with the results of the Klaudio; its ultrasonic design digs deep, resulting in more clarity that ensues a wake of high-level sonic attributes; however, as good as it is, it still does not get out all the oils, surfactants, and fungus tucked away in the groove that arrive embedded in albums as shown in my photo above on a recently unopened $250.00 collectors album I just purchased, and this seems to be the norm for me, and herein lies the rub.
I have been to a few seminars with Dr. Kirmuss, and each time, he proved the effectiveness of his removal/restoration process. I will admit that I am not all that excited about going through this multi-step process, but if I want to get the most out of a record, it will take the work required to do so, adding this as another stop on “This Journey of Ours”. So is Klaudio a keeper? Yes, it’s going nowhere; it does a good job and will continue to use this post-restoration. In support of clean and happy records, I will have Kirmuss restoration products available for those who decide it is essential, like me, to get more from the groove. On the bright side, you can restore up to four records in about 20 minutes, and it only needs to be done once; this assumes you take care of your records post-cleaning, as I hope you would.
Add Performance to Digital
I continue to have positive experiences with audio-grade switches, clocks, and re-clockers.
IDEON Audio offers amazing DACs and Servers, they also offer a re-clocker and filtration within the series rightfully called “Time”. The re-clocker uses SPDIF in and out connections that are universal to multi-brands and then USB out to your DAC – I highly recommend trying it in your system, especially those of you with transports.
SOtM is a highly recommended brand with an array of foundational products I like to use for digital. Network switches, external master clocks, and power supplies from SOtM (Soul Of the Music) all create a solid network foundation supporting digital performance downstream.
A foundational attribute is ensuring your equipment racks and speakers are level. There are many levels to choose from at your hardware store or through Amazon. Be sure to level left to right and front to back. I have found that using a spirit level (digital levels are up for review) that spans the distance of the rack versus a shorter level works better in my opinion, while smaller levels are better suited for speakers and components, and save you a bunch of time, and eliminate frustration!
Turntables now have a stable leveled starting point for additional setup
Speaker coherency becomes optimized, spooky almost
White Christmas – Bing Crosby (1945) Born in Tacoma WA in 1903, he sings Mele Kalikimaka, a favorite of mine when on and off the Islands for Christmas.
A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra (1957) I love the Jingle Bells opening track!
Christmas Song – James Brown (1966) – Merry Christmas Baby The “Godfather of Soul” brings his musical touch to the Holiday!
The BEST of the BEST. This slogan is more about our attitude looking at high-end audio as a whole. We realize there are a lot of great products out there, as well as the selection of brands we are trusted to represent, and herein lies the difference: A high-end audio system isn’t a system until it’s unboxed, properly mounted, properly connected, and meticulously positioned in your room. At Audio-Ultra, installation is not an afterthought, it’s our passion, and you will see this is a UNIQUE TRAIT in today’s audio environment.