Friday, August 31, 2012

Another visit to Whetstone...with the PureAudio Vinyl phono preamp

First things first...Colleen Cardas and I just announced that we are now the US distributors of PureAudio of New Zealand. We have been so impressed with the Vinyl phono preamplifier I talked about last night that we jumped at the opportunity to represent this brand in the US. We also set the US retail price of this unit at $4500.

The day before we made the announcement, we brought the Vinyl over to Brian Di Frank at Whetstone Audio, our Austin dealer for Unison Research. Brian had already heard the buzz about PureAudio months ago, and when I posted on Facebook that we had the unit, he immediately responded "I want to hear it!" So we scheduled a visit and put the Vinyl into his showroom system that consisted of a Line Magnetic integrated amplifier, Well-Tempered Amadeus turntable, Dynavector 20X2 cartridge and Harbeth HL5 speakers.

After just a few tunes, Brian was impressed with the performance of the Vinyl. I'm going to give him a few days with it, and then get it back into my system so I can keep breaking in that Transfiguration Phoenix cartridge in time for the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October. In the Vinyl's absence, I went back to my old Lehmann Audio Black Cube SE phono pre. (I had to give up my Unison Research Phono One phono preamp for a couple of months so it could be reviewed in TONEAudio.) While the Lehmann is my favorite phono preamp in the $1000 to $1500 range, phono stages such as the Phono One and the Vinyl simply trounce it in terms of texture, 3-D imaging, deep bass response and detail.

Just a few hours after we left the Vinyl at Whetstone, Brian blogged about it on his website. He called it "flippin' great!" We agree. We're so enamored with the Vinyl that we decided to take it to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest as well, where it will be mated with the Unison Research Giro turntable, Transfiguration Phoenix cartridge, the new Opera Grand Mezza speakers and a Unison Research amplifier TBD (either the Simply Italy or the Sinfonia, or maybe both).

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