What was the last bit of gear you bought in 2023?

They were 50% off so couldn’t resist…


Second hand (circa 2008) Kondo - KSL SFz - step up transformer.

Includes 1 metre of captive (fixed) multi strand Litz silver Kondo KSL VZ output wires (36 strand 99% silver x4 cores shielded cable of 0.09 mm diameter making a total of 144 strands of pure silver per channel).

The internal transformer wires are pure silver and it’s also internally lined with copper.


Thank you Dan, that’s kind.

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That’s a lovely looking thing.

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You want to upgrade your Allnic 700 or just have a choice with 2 different flavours, the Allnic all in one and with the Kondo?
Just by curiosity, have you heard once the Ypsilon phono with its separate transformer?
For Fremer it’s the best tubes phono he has heard to now.

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I have another valve/tube phono stage which doesn’t have an internal SUT so the Kondo is used with that or any other phono stage I might buy in the future that doesn’t have its own internal SUT.

I tested the Allnic H7000 last week using the Allnic’s internal SUT with its moving coil input then with the Kondo into the H7000’s moving magnet input and there wasn’t a lot of difference.

But the Kondo works really well with my other valve/tube phono stage and my Ortofon Cadenza Black on my Technics 1210.

Before buying I also tested/demoed a copper and a silver Consolidated Audio SUT and the Kondo at Definitive Audio.

I preferred the Kondo although I had previously heard the Consolidated Audio silver SUT at a HiFi show and it sounded really nice.

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Moved from FraimLite to Fraim. Surprised by the extent of the improvement in sound quality.


Yes, but the Best sounding possision this room. First reflektion is damped with 40mm rockfon.

50% off, new?

Interesting how the new 250 is as powerful as the 300DR !

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What power cord are you using from the wall to the 3000?

An audioquest hurricane is the cable I use with the 3000.

The Hurricane High Current? That’s an excellent combination. Keep in mind they need at least a 100 hours of run in to loose some of the brightness. FWIW I use a medium sized fan to speed up the run in process. Just plug in the fan and let it run. If you want you can move the fan to different outlets on the 3000 every 24 hours or so.

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After all the talk about these matts I thought, what the hell and went and ordered one (with the discount code). Is it better?, well yes for me it is. It has replaced a 2/3 year old Linn matt so to be honest I wasn’t expecting much of a difference, but everything just seems better, more authoritative and firmer. So I am well pleased and its staying!


Thanks for your advice, never thought of that but makes perfect sense.

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A lot of movement so far in early 2023 - in addition to some Triode Wire Labs interconnects which I am currently evaluating, I picked up a like new Audible Illusions L2B, which I loaded with hp branded/tested Amperex Holland 6dj8 tubes and sounds absolutely lovely. Of course, being a line stage, the L2B required an outboard phono stage - a Vertere Phono 1 mk.II L, which I use with a Cotter step up x-former and all gain and loading shut off (visible at bottom of photo).

However, the big catch for me was that the preamp came with a Unicorn - an Audible Illusions S-120 SS power amplifier, I’ve been after one of these for 25 years, and to get it at the giveaway price at which I landed it is just a bonus. The story I was told (which I have no way of confirming because Art Ferris of AI is near impossible to get to impart any information - Ican’t even get him to focus long enough to sell me a download of the owner’s manual!) is that this particular unit belonged to the owner of a shop named Quintessence Audio (about whom I know nothing else) and that it received “special factory upgrades” in late 1990. I have been able to confirm that the dedicated subwoofer outs have been disabled (presumably for better sound at the regular speaker outs), and the thing is packed full of wonder caps which may or may not have been standard for this amp, none of which really matters because, so far, the amp is more than living up to my expectations - the thing has limiteless reserves of power, at least in my smallish listening room, it does delicate and nuanced as well as it does loud and full and, despite its advanced age (~33 years), the background is unsullied by any unwated noise whatsoever. Very happy.

Here’s how it all comes together (although I have located the missing shelf from my CWD cabinet so that the CD3.5 and Flatcap2 are no longer stacked - they each have their own separate shelves - and any MIT cable you see in the photos has been replaced with either TWL or Tara Labs). The system being ‘in flux’, none of the ancillaries (cables, isolation cones, discs, pillows, etc.) has achieved ‘permanent’ status yet.

@RichardPW - I know others will tell you that it’s not the best cd player ever produced, and maybe not - depending on how you define ‘best’ - but the cd3.5 has been my second primary source (after the tt) for several years. My father bought it new in 2000(?) and used it maybe a dozen times before he gave it to me a few years ago as a placeholder when my BAT VK-D5 crapped out. I liked it so much that I added the Flatcap2 a short time later and have been living with it happily ever since. I briefly considered ‘upgrading’ to a cd 5xs or other newer model, but this one is so satisfyingly musical, all the time, that I couldn’t justify the expense. I am considering whether or not there’s a benefit to the witchhat or other SNAIC upgrades (am I allowed to ask about that here?), but I’m quite happy with it as is.


I’ve had my trusty Shure SE846 IEMs for 8 years now. Partnered with my Sony Walkman 1Z they make a sublime combination for great music when i’m away from home.

Time to step up a gear now with Shure KSE1200 Electrostatic IEMs which hopefully arrive tomorrow.

(piccy from the internet)


Gaia IIIs for the Stand 20. Great to finally finally find out what all the fuss was about! Remarkable things. Suddenly everything snaps into focus.


I had the same result with the Townshend podiums. Who would have thought? Glad they have been a success.
Thanks to Peter R for the recommendation :ok_hand:

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New meets old!

We’ve had a muso Qb in the kitchen for a few years and I kept mulling over trying something else from the uniti range so when a new old stock Atom appeared at a very attractive price it seemed rude not to.

It has slotted in nicely in the living room driving some Mk1 Kans with LP12 and Sony CD as sources. I’ve also plugged a USB SSD in the back to start the move to local streaming.

The best feature however has to be the multiroom - we now get to hear records via the Qb whilst cooking without having to shake the walls!