Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rega RS1 Speakers to Smoke By...

My Texas friends, as well as my Facebook friends, know that I'm part-owners of a liquor store/cigar lounge here in Kyle named Copper House Liquor & Cigars. My audiophile friends, once they discover this, all tend to say the same thing: "You should put a nice little sound system in your cigar room!" Colleen and I have certainly thought of that already, although we decided early NOT to put a turntable in a smoky, sometimes crowded little room.

It all started with one of our Unison Research Simply Italy integrated. It was the first one in the US, the one we used at last year's CES--its American debut. From Vegas, this little amplifier went from dealer to dealer until we heard from one that said, "I think the volume knob is broken...and it's all beat up." What the hell, we said to ourselves, and arranged to have it sent back to Texas. We don't know what happened to it, but it definitely needed some TLC. And with all the scratches and dents in the powder-coated chassis, we knew we couldn't sell it as a demo. So we decided to keep it and use it as the foundation for our cigar room system. So we sent it off to one of our service centers to get a new attenuator and now we await its return to the CCI fold.

The second piece of the puzzle came from Brian DiFrank of Whetstone Audio, our Unison dealer here in Austin. Brian had a pair of Rega RS1 speakers that had a shipping accident or two--just like the Simply Italy. He managed to have all the drivers replaced, but the cabinets were a bit banged up and one of the grills no longer stayed on the speaker. We were actually looking to purchase something affordable from Brian like the new Wharfedale Diamond 10--the cheapest speaker that Colleen and I import costs $1500 per pair--but the Diamond simply wasn't efficient enough for the 12wpc Simply Italy. The Regas, as it turns out, are 90 dB efficient, and are an excellent match for the Unison. Brain sold the RS1s to us for a song.

Once we get the Simply Italy back--probably in the next week or so--we'll get the system going in the cigar lounge. I have a Denon DVD player that actually performs well as a CD player, and I have plenty of old cable sitting around (as most audiophiles do). I'll give you an update when everything is hooked up and playing music!

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