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The Da Vinci Dual Mono MM Phono-stage

All the transformers are hand made by Peter.


  • How does the sound like with the Swiss Cow? It sounds like nothing but music!
  • Click the question mark to see pic
  • I had a chance to listen to the DaVinci MMTransformer+Mono Phono 2 days ago in AE's showroom. In fact, it is a straight chain of DV from the cartridge to the phono. On the other side of the Raven AC turntable, there sat the ShroderSQ arm+Jan Alaert cartridge on the Zanden phono.

    I am a redbook CD listener at the outset and the music produced by the Shroder/Zanden combo is a much more advanced form of presentation compared to my homebase Zanden super clock CD combo in all sort of hi-fi attributes. But still, I know I am listening to hi-fi as somewhere I think certain domain in musical articulation is missing but I cannot find the right words to describe. When I listen to the DV straight-hand combo, one immediate reaction from my hi-fi nerve is, it lacks the treble extension, soundstage is not high enough, bla bla bla...but it didn't take long for me to realise I have VonStade standing in front of me singing, I have Ah Lam (a Chinese pop singer) singing in front of me, I have Szymon Goldberg playing violin in front of me...the degree of realism is record high and it just redefines to me the real meaning of resolution. Resolution is not just in terms of the contour of the musical images, accuracy on the tonal color. IN DV, I can feel the resolution is in the domain of timbre and tonality and most different compared to the Shroder combo is the flow and coherence when timbre and tonality change alongside with the performer, be it the timbre and tonality of the vocalist or the my all but limited hifi experience, this is an unchartered domain which I had not even realise it exists in the is the articulation on the variations of timbre and tonality. Yes, there is some slight compromise on the treble but here we are talking about a back-to-back comparison with the ultra highend combo: ShroderSQ+JanAlaert+Zanden+ArgentoSMRSE cables. In isolation, I bet no one would find such as an issue if there is no such strong contestant.

    With my system starting to build up and my experience getting a bit more matured, I have a stronger hand in controlling my otherwise impulsive instinct... but on that night, I needed to be cooled down by a can of refreshing lemonade while I kept listening to a familiar voice (mine) asking the price of the 3 piece combo....

  • Marvel,

    What is the performance of von stade recording with complete dv gears compare to dv arm with zanden phono?

    I need help. I cannot reproduce the quality heard there.

  • What do you mean by uncharted domain? Ain't timbre always foremost important? I don't get you, Marvel bro. I was there listening to Von Stade, no problem with timbre with Zanden phono. Von Stade singing eloquently with tron phono, no problem with timbre. Can you elaborate more?
  • Where is Marvel bro? I am waiting for your reply. I am considering the phono seriously after your message. I'd appreciate a more detailed description of the uncharted sound you talked about, please.
  • Dear Voy,

    The system in AE's showroom that I listened is DV from cartridge to phono and then a pair of Japanese WE tube preamp + mono power amp followed by the upgraded version of Eufrodite. When I said uncharted domain, I meant the realism produced by this super combo has reached a level which I really cannot tell the difference between AE showroom and the location where the recording was made. When I closed my eyes listening, I was simply put inside the studio or the concert hall with the ambience of the environment and shadings of the vocals and instruments so precisely reproduced.

    The skills are not entirely rest on the choice of the components which I suspect only constitute half of what has been achieved. It is the unrelented effort in tuning and tweaking with a sole aim to minimise the 'room effect' thus enabling an undistorted re-construction of the original timbre that counts. PT is no doubt a crazy fellow on this and all I can say is the level of performance in his setup is not achieved by accident (which I always hope I could do in a short cut but in the end find myself back to square one or even minus one!!).

    DV Phono is a 'strong-buy'. Why? When I switched to listen to Shroder Ref SQ+Zanden, the magic disappeared and I was forced to switch back to my hi-fi mode where I still could not help to give it a 'AAA' compared to my home system.

    Frankly it is not easy to draw conclusion on which combo is at a higher league than the other as simply put, they represent 2 different schools of thoughts. One goes for a 'Left brain' approach to reproduce all details in the most accurate and precise manner while the other one goes for the 'Right brain' approach to give the most lively big picture even at the expense of certain sacrifice on the two extreme ends of the frequency spectrum.

    I was brought up as a 'Left brainer' both at work and hi-fi listening but when for music appreciation, I think I have certainly used the wrong part of my brain and somehow DV connects me up by waking my 'Right brain' up and this is really an 'uncharted domain' for me....

    PT and Jlam are 'Right brainers', no doubt about it.

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