For a limited time, Glenn Poors Audio Video is offering an amazing deal on three Balanced Audio Technologies systems. Right now, incredible tube pre and amp systems from BAT can be had for under 10K. Call Geoff for more details!
On July 20th (4:00 PM - 8:00 PM CST), Glenn Poors Audio Video hosted a demonstration event for Magnepan's incredible new flagship loudspeaker system, the 30.7. The 30.7 has been co-awarded “Overall Product of the Year” in The Absolute Sound magazine along side the $685,000 Wilson WAMM Master Chronosonic. Over forty folks came, enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow music lovers, and heard one of the best systems we have ever put together. Fronted by Playback Designs reference all-in-one MPS-8 DAC/SACD/CD player, BAT REX II line stage and VK-655SE mono-block power amps (all on Critical Mass Systems racks and filters), and wired with Transparent Reference XLII cabling - the new Maggies simply came alive! From large-scale symphonic pieces to Pink Floyd's "The Wall", some of us felt it was perhaps better than live. The 30.7s can do it all - from small-scale jazz to the most majestic of Chicago Symphony recordings. Solo vocalists sound like they're in the room. Magnepan has achieved something that is truly monumental with the 30.7 - a MASTERPIECE!
Kudos go out to Ann, Glenn Poor's Marketing Director, for bringing in the food and beverages. As anyone who has been to one of our Christmas parties knows, she throws a great party. Also, thanks go out to all the folks who took the time to come to the event - some from as far away as Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis.
In 1976, Glenn Poor's Audio Video added LUXMAN to our roster of brands. LUXMAN was the highest of the high-end of Japanese electronics brands, and, on first listen, was obviously a step above other products from Japan. There was a "feel" that simply exuded quality - from the switches, to the connectors, to the beautiful real rosewood cabinetry. Of course, the sound was the "hook." LUX amps and pre-amps had a sound quality that took the listener closer to the music than anything we had heard up until then. The M-6000 and M-4000 solid-state amplifiers had power to spare but were nimble like the best tube amps, and they reflected the live music experience in ways that we hadn't previously heard in our store. Likewise, the C-1000 pre-amp was in a quality class of its own. Granted, these products were quite a bit more expensive than others with similar specs, but sonically, they were spectacular! In fact, the arrival of LUXMAN created an excitement in our stores that we'd not experienced before. We liked the solid-state gear so much, we brought in the venerable CL-35III tube pre-amp and MB-3045 tube mono-block amplifiers. Again, we were knocked out.
All went well until 1987, when the company was sold to Alps, owner of the car stereo brand, Alpine. The brand's quality steadily eroded to the point where one couldn't really distinguish Lux products from middle of the road offerings from Japan. Our association with the brand diminished soon after, and we dropped the line. The brand was rescued, however, in 2009, when the International Audio Group (IAG) took control of the assets of the brand. Now, with the establishment of Luxman America in 2017, wholly owned by the parent company, the brand is being re-established as a built-in-Japan flagship company.
I heard the new products at AXPONA this year, and met Jeff Sigmund, Luxman America's president. I was impressed with both the products and the plan to bring Lux back to prominence. It was decided that we would listen to a couple of products and compare them to similar offerings in our Champaign store. I had already bought a limited edition of the hand-built SQ-N100, a 10 watt/channel integrated amp that also excels as a headphone amp. The N100 sounds spectacular on my Avantgarde horn speakers, and the build quality is spectacular, so I was anxious to hear the new L-505 uX MarkII integrated amp ($4,495) and the D-05u SACD player. To say we were impressed is an understatement, as the entire staff, including ultra-critical Craig, was blown away. LUXMAN is now a valued part of Glenn Poor's line-up, and a terrific addition to our store's offerings.
Come in soon and audition LUXMAN. You'll find another reason to keep coming back, believe me.
AXPONA has become the largest (by exhibits), most attended HiFi show in N. America, and it only appears to be on a rapid growth curve. Beginning on Friday, April 13th, and running through Sunday the 15th, AXPONA 2018 was a smashing success. The Renaissance Schaumburg is a terrific venue with size, accessibility and even elevators that work.
Glenn Poor's Audio Video teamed again with Technics at this year's show in a smallish room that surprisingly ended up sounding quite good. In fact, Craig and I were amazed at the sound quality attained with the Technics R1 Reference System. Going in, I had high expectations for the star of the show, the soon-to-be-released SL-1000R turntable, but was doubtful that the large Reference speakers would work in the small, rectangular room Technics had reserved for the show. I needn't have worried as we decided to try the old Dunlavy trick, and place the speakers against the long wall, spread far apart, facing the short distance, but with very little toe-in as the SB-R1E Reference speakers have incredibly linear off-axis dispersion. Even in the small space, we heard breathtaking dynamics, bass extension and musical honesty. After a few test selections, Craig looked at me with a genuine smile. Those of you who know Craig know that he never pulls any punches, and is proud of his reputation as our most skeptical, critical audio consultant. Now, I wish we had the space to show the whole Technics R1 Reference System here at our store in Champaign. We currently don't have the room, but maybe someday........
I have to admit having "audio envy" after spending three days playing LPs on the soon-to-be released SL-1000R turntable system. The build quality is simply stunning, the industrial design is incredible and the sound, augmented by the Ortofon Windfeld TI, was equally amazing! The SL-1000R has the best signal-to-noise ever measured (for a turntable), combined with the most consistent speed accuracy ever (Wow & Flutter less than 0.015%!). In fact, the 1000R is 14 dB quieter than the SL-1200G, which is currently reputed to be the world's quietest. Simply put, the new SL-1000R is the finest piece of gear for doing what it does that I've ever experienced! Those of you who know me can attest to the significance of that sentence. I want one. I don't need one, but I still want one.........
The weekend brought with it my wife, Ann, partner, Ron, and Ryan, our newest consultant at the Champaign store. Ron and Ann came for the fun of the show, while Ryan was a big help in the room. Ryan's a big fan of Technics turntables, and did a great job answering questions about the history of the various iterations of Technics 1200s.
Having Craig and Ryan there gave me a break so I could visit some of AXPONA's outstanding exhibits - the highlights of which were the Playback Design room and the Harbeth room. As usual, each of the three Harbeth models that were demonstrated sounded terrific, and left me thinking, "I'm so lucky to be a Harbeth dealer". Andreas Koch of Playback Design had his ultimate Dream system on display, and, as is typically the case with PBD's systems, the sound was so pure and live sounding that the "analog vs. digital" question was thrown into the irrelevant file. We'll be bringing the Playback Design "Dream" components to our store sometime this summer. You'll want to come by for a listen.
Please accept my apology for not seeing you if you attended AXPONA this year, and didn't realize we were there, but Glenn Poor's wasn't listed either in the catalog, on the room sign, or otherwise. Slight oversight, to say the least. That will not be the case next year when we'll have two contiguous rooms with our name prominently listed - along with several of our best suppliers. Stay tuned.
We have some great news to share! The OTTAVA SC-C70, Technics' all in one system, is now in stock at our store. These units have been sold out worldwide until now! These units have have finally been delivered and are available for purchase. It sounds just as good as it looks!
Since I came back to our store last April, I've wanted to talk about a subject that has been on my mind for quite some time - so much so that I've made it a point of discussion with the staff here at Glenn Poor's. That is simply the fact that high quality music reproduction doesn't require a hugely fat wallet (or an Amex Black Card). In other words, a great sounding hi-fi system can be put together for a reasonable budget.
The goal should be to assemble a system that is greater than the sum of the parts. I've felt that this talent is what separates a good audio/video specialist from a typical salesperson. For instance, listening to a client and accurately "hearing" what he/she is saying is critical. Once we have a good idea of what the customer is trying to accomplish, then we can move on to putting together a system that make sense. Again, it's important to really listen to the customer - paying attention to aesthetic as well as technical qualities. All this being said, it's also important to pay attention to budget boundaries setby the customer. If we've done our job, the customer should be thrilled - enough so that the playback of music becomes a major focus in one's daily routine.
In the last couple of weeks, we put together several systems that fit this example. Despite modest budgets, the satisfaction I felt after getting feedback from the customers was so gratifying that I would like to make affordable HiFi a point of emphasis at our store. I know, I know, this could lead to less on the bottom line, but I feel it's critical to introduce more people to the fun of living with a proper component music system. And, it doesn't have to break the bank! For instance, listen to a pair of Golden Ear 7's ($1400/pair) powered by an NAD 316BEE integrated amp ($379) with a Rega Planar 1 turntable ($475). This system sells for less than $2300, and it sounds terrific on virtually any kind of music. Or, how about adding the new NAD C538BEE CD player for only $299? Of course these are just a few of the components that fit in the "affordable" category. Glenn Poor's has terrific speakers that start at less than $300 for the pair. The key, though, is the synergy and how well they all work together.
Just for fun, come in, and listen to some affordable HiFi for yourself. You may just realize how much music you've been missing, and how easy it is to get it back in your life.
We are now taking pre-orders for Technics SL-1000R and SP10R at Glenn Poors Audio Video! The video above highlights the SL-1000R's performance that Michael Graves, a multiple GRAMMY-winning mastering engineer, recommends! The revival of the SP-10 Series establishes a new reference point for the modern high-fidelity turntable. We're beyond excited for this product release! Call the store for more details.
As I wrote in my report on AXPONA 2017, Technics has released their new SL-1200GR turntable - a more affordable turntable with much of the sound quality of the heralded SL-1200G (in my opinion the greatest value in turntables). Incorporating a single-rotor, surface-facing, coreless direct-drive motor, the new SL-1200GR actually has most of the performance of the "G". Like the twin-rotor coreless motor used in the "G", the "GR" motor also eliminates cogging - thus providing smooth, even drive of the platter. Instead of the magnesium alloy arm used on the SL-1200G, the GR has an aluminum, high-sensitivity tonearm. The heavy platter has two layers - die-cast aluminum and rubber (for vibration damping). Basically, one can confidently suggest that the GR comes quite close to the overall performance of the now-famous SL-1200G, but it costs less than half as much - $1699! An incredible value............
Now, we are just beginning to receive the all-black version of the GR , the SL-1210GR! The same performance as the SL-1200GR, but black.
Stop by soon to audition the new "GR" turntables from Technics. They're terrific examples of the high quality, yet affordable lineup of components offered by Technics and Glenn Poor's Audio Video.
The new Technics Grand Class G30 Series is one of the best sounding solid state systems that we have ever heard. Consisting of the ST-G30 Music Server and the SU-G30 Network Audio Amplifier, this is Technics' response to the growing popularity in network and wireless audio systems. Both of these components have been built like audio jewelry, and optimized from the ground up. The music server was designed with comprehensive noise reducing measures, along with new proprietary technologies like Bit-Perfect Ripping and a custom made SSD with enhanced vibration resistance. The output signal to the Network Audio Amplifier is transferred through a Low Noise USB Transfer to achieve data transmission with minimal sound degradation.
The Network Audio Amplifier has also been built from the ground up, and shares technologies with Technics' reference level R1 series. It features their JENO Engine (Jitter Elimination and Noise-Shaping Optimization) which suppresses jitter distortion. Jitter is caused by the mis-timing in the master clocks used in D to A conversion. Technics has created a clock generator in the noise-shaping system to reduce jitter in the low frequencies and has added a high precision sample rate converter for suppressing jitter in the high frequencies. This product also features a Gallium Nitride FET Drivers allowing for extremely low resistance, enabling the construction of a high power amp using a single push pull configuration. All of these technologies work together to create an extremely clear and linear amplification. Furthermore, the LAPC (Load Adaptive Phase Calibration) that's available on the amplifier allows for the system to analyze the impedance and frequency amplitude-phase characteristics of the speaker that it's connected to. Additionally, the new SU-G30 supports TIDAL Spotify Connect, vTuner, and now MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology. It also performs equally well with analog sources, and has a very quiet, dynamic phono section.
The ST-G30 and the SU-G30 are regularly priced at $4999.99 and $3999.99, respectively. However, there is currently a factory authorized, limited time offer that allows us to sell them as a system at an unbelievable price! Call, or, better yet, come into the store for more details!
The Dynaudio "Special Forty" is an aptly named loudspeaker, representing forty years of business for the Danish firm, Dynaudio. What makes it so special? First of all, the fact that Dynaudio has chosen to sell their 40th Anniversary speaker at the very affordable price of $2,999 came as a big surprise, given that the company makes speakers ranging from $800 all the way to $115,000 per pair. Don't be fooled by the relatively low price, though, because the "40" is a phenomenal performer, and it looks as good as it sounds!
One of the classic attributes that has always attracted me to Dynaudio is that they make all their own speaker drivers - tweeters, midranges, and woofers. Thus, they have control of the whole process, including cabinet and cross-over construction. This has been the case from the beginning, and some of the biggest names in the world have, at one time or another, incorporated Dynaudio drivers in their speakers. One of the first times I learned about Dynaudio was back in the 80's when Duntech incorporated Dynaudio drivers in their reference "Sovereign" model - still used by some of the top mastering studios in the world. The Sovereigns required drivers that could work effortlessly over uncharacteristically wide bandwidths because the design employed first order (6db/octave) filters. This was critical because only first order filters allow for phase linearity in a multi-way speaker system, and that was part of the magic of the Duntechs. Unfortunately for the many companies wanting to use the Dyn drivers, Dynaudio eventually made a strategic decision not to sell their drivers to other companies, preferring instead to keep their proprietary designs for use in their own branded products. To be sure, there are copies coming from a number of companies, but there is only one Dynaudio. The Special Forty is the culmination of all that they have learned about speaker design - and in an affordable, gorgeous, compact design.
Dynaudio created new, purpose-built drivers for this incredible, compact 2-way. The tweeter is a new version of the classic Esotar2 high frequency driver, dubbed the "Esotar Forty". The range covered by this tweeter easily exceeds typical soft dome designs. It also has the ability to easily handle high sound pressure levels. The mid-bass driver in the 40 is equally special, incorporating Dynaudio's signature over-sized voice coil for low distortion and high power handling ability. Again, it's frequency and power response is shocking, allowing the incorporation of 1st order filters in both directions (high and low pass) - thus making the "40" virtually phase linear!
Oh, and by the way, the 40's are gorgeous! You have to see them in realtime and space to appreciate their beauty.
I could go on and on about these special speakers, but I really want you to come in Glenn Poor's Audio Video, and audition the Special Forty. You will be blown away! I guarantee it.
When we first became interested in GoldenEar Technology as a brand for our store, there had already been a "buzz" about the brand as representing terrific value. I spoke to Sandy Gross (GoldenEar's founder) a couple of years ago while we were both attending the Munich HiFi Show. I've known Sandy since late 1976 when he visited my store in downtown Normal (IL). I'll never forget Sandy getting two large boxes from the trunk of his car, and carrying them in so we'd have to give them a listen. The speakers were the Polk 10's, and Sandy, co-founder of Polk Audio, was at the beginning of his career as a successful "speaker guy". Needless-to-say, we became a Polk dealer, and sold hundreds of Polk loudspeakers over the next ten years. Therefore, it was no surprise that his latest venture, GoldenEar, has become so successful. We brought in GoldenEar earlier this year, and are glad we did. Virtually every model they make, is a great value, and competitive with much more expensive speakers.
The rumor that Sandy and his team were working on a true "industry reference" loudspeaker - one with extremely linear frequency response and dynamic range - became a reality this year in the form of the Triton Reference. Before our first pair arrived, I read Anthony Cordesman's review of the T-Ref in the September issue of "The Absolute Sound" magazine. Tony is a very thoughtful, reserved individual who is not known for waxing overly enthusiastically about products he reviews. On the contrary, he never goes crazy about a product. In other words, when AHC (as he's known in the HiEnd world) highly recommends something, it's worth checking out. To say that he likes the T-Ref is a gross understatement! Read his review for the whole story.
Selling for less than $10K, the "T-Ref" is truly the embodiment of Sandy's goal to produce a world reference loudspeaker system that sells for a fraction of the price of other products in its performance class. From the first recording we played, it was blatantly obvious that the Triton Reference is a product that is destined to be a classic! They've been on display now for almost a month, and they seem to get better each time we play them. There's an ease to their ability to play any scale of music with extremely low distortion, and the fact that you can listen from way outside the "sweet spot" makes them easy to enjoy from anywhere in a room - or even in another room.
Take a break when you're able, and come in for a listen. Bring some of your favorite music, sit down and prepare to be blown away - at any volume level. The GoldenEar Triton Reference is capable of doing it all - any type of music, played at any level.
Oh, and by the way, they are also beautiful..........
This year, Glenn Poor’s Audio Video exhibited at AXPONA for the first time, partnering with Technics. AXPONA is this country’s premiere hi-end audio show, and, fortunately for us, is held every spring in Chicago. Unlike the giant Consumer Electronics Show, held annually in Las Vegas, AXPONA is a consumer show so you don’t have to be a manufacturer or a retailer to attend. AXPONA is a funfest – with live music events and demonstrations of some of the finest gear in the world.
The Technics/Glenn Poor’s Audio Video room featured three different systems - two of which featured Technics turntables. Both turntable models employed Ortofon’s brilliant 2M Black cartridges. The reference-class SL-1200G was the prime source for one of the systems, while the (soon-to-be released) SL-1200GR sourced the new “Grand Class” amp and speakers. Originally slated to sell for between $2000 and $2500, the “GR” was announced at AXPONA to sell for $1,699! Based on the extraordinary SL-1200G, the new “GR” is destined to be the best selling turntable/arm combination in the history of Glenn Poor’s! Its motor, like that of the “G”, is a cogging-free, coreless direct-drive design that sets a new standard in its price class. The resulting sound achieved feeding the also soon-to-be-released SU-G700 integrated amp ($2500) and SB-G90 loudspeakers ($5000/pair) was beautiful, and, like what we’ve heard with the more expensive “G” system, performed way beyond its price class.
Without getting into too many boring technical details, suffice to say these new Technics components are working examples of what can be achieved if a large company decides to commit its considerable resources to the execution of high quality designs. So far, Technics is batting 1000!
Ron, Craig and I had a great time at AXPONA, and were happy so many of you came by to say “hi” and listen. We recommend the experience, and expect we’ll all be back next year.
Loudspeakers come in a variety of prices, shapes and sizes, employing a wide range of technologies. The majority of loudspeaker manufacturers use “piston-type” drivers (cones and domes), and employ various cabinet loading techniques. Others, such as Magnepan and Quad, move air with a film-like diaphragm over a large surface area. The “Maggies” are magnetic ribbons and “quasi-ribbons”, and are noted for their speed and open, natural sound quality. The Quad ESRs are electrostats that use charged panels – thus requiring power supplies connected to AC. Like the Maggies, the Quads are extremely fast and open sounding. There are a number of examples, too, that use ribbon tweeters with cone drivers, as well as companies that combine electrostatic panels with cone woofers. At our store, we show almost all types with the goal being the same for each - the natural reproduction of music.
I’ve never been too dogmatic as to which “type” is superior as there are great products in each of the aforementioned categories. I’ve already mentioned Magnepan and Quad, and both of these companies’ products are at, or near, the top of my list. In fact, I own examples of both – much to the consternation of my wife, Ann, who has a much more practical outlook on most things than I do. Nonetheless, I rationalize the importance of all my speakers. Like everyday life, value judgments are personal and sometimes irrational. For instance, I love my Avantgarde Duos, although there is no place for them in our home. Thus, they reside at our store. The same goes for my Magnepan Tympani IVa’s, etc., etc., etc.. You get the picture – it’s a good thing we have a store to keep my speakers that are currently “unemployed”.
The speakers that are on display at Glenn Poor’s Audio Video are all speakers I would personally own. There are currently thirteen different speaker manufacturers represented in our showrooms, with most manufacturers being represented by a number of different models. Even so, it’s easy for me to recommend any of them. The choice comes down to budget, how they’re to be placed, and, most importantly, how they sound to the person who will own them. Like everything we carry, the speakers chosen by our customers represent a personal decision. We want our clients to buy products they’ll enjoy for many years – whatever the price range. That’s why we carry so many brands and choices. We want to give our customers the opportunity and variety of products to make good value judgments – without any pressure from us. And, we want to give our customers an environment that allows good choices to be made.
Come visit us at our Champaign store in the Old Farm Shops, bring in your own music, relax, and just listen. I guarantee you it will be fun.
Every so often a product comes along that exceeds the expectation of what is possible in a given price class. Such is the case with the new Technics incredible SL-1200G direct-drive turntable.
The production rollout in America was several months later than had been originally anticipated, which is typical of hi-end audio products. We were anxious, however, having read a couple of reviews from highly respected journalists who had received advanced samples. The word was out that this new 1200G was beyond special, but rather a true “reference-class” product - competitive with respected products many times the Technics suggested price.
We received our first unit in September, 2016 (after a long wait), mounted the new Hana SL cartridge, and started listening. To say we were surprised at its performance is a huge understatement! It was immediately obvious that the SL-1200G set a whole new performance standard in its price range – and way beyond. Finally, a direct-drive turntable, with the speed accuracy inherent in such designs, but with the open, beautiful, yet natural, sonic characteristics of much more expensive belt-drive rigs. It became clear that a closer look was required to understand why this new Technics sounded so good………………
Cosmetically, the new 1200G mimics the look of previous generations of Technics’ SL-1200 tables.
But the looks are all that the new SL-1200G has in common with its predecessors. It is literally new from the ground (the feet) up. The Technics design team set out to make a true reference table and arm, and this goal required all new everything. From the non-cogging (think continuous), coreless direct-drive motor, to the tri-layered platter (brass, die-cast aluminum and rubber), to the incredible magnesium alloy tonearm, to the four-layer cabinet/plinth, to the height-adjustable isolation “feet” – the Sl-1200G goes way beyond anything we thought possible in its price class.
If you’d like to learn more details about the SL-1200G, read Michael Fremer’s detailed review on his “Analog Planet” site. You can also go to the Technics website for technical details.
Or, if you just want to look at and listen to the new SL-1200G, come into Glenn Poor’s showrooms in Old Farm, and get an up-close, personal audition. You’ll be amazed.
- Geoff Poor
Hear from our customers!
Geoff, While the cost of the Technics SL1200G was not trivial, the benefits of ownership are truly rewarding. Just wanted you to know I continue to be very pleased with my purchase. Your advice was spot on, "You won't regret getting the SL1200G."
Thanks again. - Larry R.