I'm sorry America...

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by skraggs, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. skraggs

    skraggs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Basel, Switzerland
    Ok, I'm going to be very honest with you guys: Most of my life I haven't had the highest opinion of american engineering and craftsmanship. My audio stuff came from the Brits, zee Germans or my own little country and I was always very happy with it.

    But I think two of the most important traits of a grown-up are the ability to change your mind when the evidence demands it and to admit that you were wrong. And boy have I been wrong!

    It all started when I bought new headphones, a pair of Beyerdynamic T90 and the A20 headphone amp. Liked them, never loved them. So I kept listening to other headphones, but nothing ever really convinced me. Until a german friend recommended the Audeze LCD2. I really didn't want to spend more than 1000$ for a pair of headphones but my friend's praises were very convincing, so I ordered a pair without having ever listened to them. And what can I say, to this day these things still blow me away and I have completely lost interest in the headphone market.

    America 1 skraggs 0

    Soon after that I switched out the Beyerdynamic amp with the Schiit Lyr 2, another massive upgrade.

    America 2 skraggs 0 (you see where this is going)

    Then came the hunt for a new turntable and I had pretty much settled on a Pro-Ject when my record dealer came along with a fantastic offer for a VPI Classic. I had always loved the vintage style of these babies but they were simply out of my league financially but at just a bit more than the Pro-Ject, I simply couldn't resist. Paired with the Benz Wood cartridge it just sounds fantastic and is the coolest thing I've every owned. If there's ever a fire at my place, the VPI is the first thing I will save.

    At this point, not even Tom Brady or LeBron could turn this around...

    Next upgrade: I like what Schiit are doing and I was wondering what all the fuss about their multibit dacs was. So I ordered a Gungnir Multibit and it completely destroyed my NAD dac. Never heard such good drum sound from a digital source, highly enjoyable.

    I think this is what sports commentators call "garbage time".

    Last but not least: A week ago I treated myself to a pair of Klipsch Forte III. I listened to a lot of speakers over the past few months. Like, A LOT! Apart from a pair of Tannoys, they were the only ones that had IT. I can't really define what IT is, but it's the kind of thing that makes you listen to the music, not the speaker, that makes you listen with your entire body, not just your ears. These speakers are just pure fun and they are beautifully made, the wood work and the lamb wool grills are simply a work of art. I think speakerwise I'm all set for the next 20 years.

    Final whistle, what a blow out...

    So, this was a long and silly thread. I guess what I'm trying to say is: Cheers to my american audio friends, your stuff kicks ass and I'm going to play Jimis Star Spangled Banner now.

    Also, if there's an american company that builds nice tube amps, let me know... :biggrin:
     

     

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  2. prisoners

    prisoners AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Rogue. I have a Metis Magnum preamp and currently have an ST-100 power amp on loan from my local dealer. Now I have to find the fun money to pay for it because I don’t want to send it back.
     
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  3. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    It’s been rumored that the McIntosh MC275 and MC2301 tube amps don’t suck ...
     
  4. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    My BIL has one of these and really likes it and I think it sounds quite nice as well. I believe they are made in USA, the middle part.
    http://www.decware.com/newsite/MYSTERY.html
    Capture.JPG
     
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  5. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    *Cough* Ahem.
    [​IMG]

    :D
     
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  6. rollei35guy

    rollei35guy Well-Known Member

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  7. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    Audio Research Corporation, Conrad Johnson, Vacuum Tube Logic, Cary and VAC are a few American manufacturers of tube gear you should investigate. They currently manufacture new tube gear. There are plenty of others.
     
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  8. rollei35guy

    rollei35guy Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  9. teal'c

    teal'c It's all moo

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    I could be wrong, but I think all of Jimi's guitars were of American manufacture.
    Just like everywhere else, there's good, bad, and ugly.
     
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  10. davidb1

    davidb1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    My Van Alstine preamp/amp "seem" to have added an octave of deeper bass than the prevous NAD C370, and the volume control is very much more precision. Also I get a much "fuller" sound at low volume.
     
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  11. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If I were to judge Swiss craftmanship by cheap Swatch watches, I would say the same. Fortunately, my reference is an Omega Speedmaster 3520.50 my wife gave me years ago. Very similar to the model chosen by NASA for the Apollo missions. And wifey has a Rolex Presidential.

    Significant difference!

    Similarly, it all depends upon what US products you choose to compare. I would put the quality of hand assembled Audio Research gear up against any. All precision parts hand stuffed and hand soldered.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018

     

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  12. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    Glad to hear of your discovery and appreciation of some of the great products from the proud American names in hi fi. :)
     
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  13. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  14. richamor

    richamor Blue Collar Subscriber

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    A Dennis Had Inspire tube amp completely hand built in Cary NC. Each and every one hand built by Dennis himself. Normally sells on ebay under radioman731.
     
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  15. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Nice picture. My lights are down in the lower right corner............................................................................... (Infranor)
     
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  16. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    There's the fine folks at McIntosh Laboratory in Binghamton, NY, and there's the excellent Audio Research as two major brands, and you also have Conrad-Johnson.
     
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  17. markshan

    markshan Sir Thrift a Lot Subscriber

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    You need to get rid of the Benz and put a Grado on that VPI!
     
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  18. markshan

    markshan Sir Thrift a Lot Subscriber

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    I didn't even know they were Made in the USA, but a quick Google search shows that they are headquartered in my state of PA. Very cool!
     
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  19. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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  20. OMGCat!

    OMGCat! AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This is very much what I was thinking when reading the thread.
    Hanging around the low end may not give the best impression but once you step it up some you start to see the craftsmanship. You can get some absolutely amazing gear made in this country. Hell, even the circuit boards Audio Research uses are impressively designed. Plus you get the lady with the crazy work station populating the boards for you by hand.
     
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