Absolute Pleasure

Luxman Amplifiers India

coaltrain

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Absolute Phase, Bangalore A Review

Buying a new piece of kit is always a time of mixed emotions for me. Theres the thrill of the hunt, coupled with the fear of being taken for a ride. And, going by a recent thread on this forum (boycott dealers), Im sure there are many others who share my feelings. It is, therefore, a real pleasure when you come across a dealer who makes the entire experience a memorable one.

What follows is a quick recap of my interaction with Absolute Phase and Prithvi, in a quest to upgrade my speakers:

At the outset, let me state that Im one of those people who doesnt like to buy new hi-fi kit unless Ive tested it in my system, in my home. Sure, Ill read all the reviews and scour the forums for user comments. But at the end of the day, only a home dem can tell me if the change is worthwhile. And, this is where the problem starts with a lot of dealers. Perhaps, its the beady look in my eyes, or my seedy appearance that causes dealers to balk at letting me take equipment home. Imagine my surprise, then, when Prithvi offered to deliver a pair of well run-in speakers for a home dem over the weekend. The catch? It would cost me Rs.2k for the privilege.

Ah well, I thought, if Im going to spend over a lakh on new speakers, then 2k is a small price to pay for ensuring Im making the right choice. Man, was I ever right!

The speakers I was auditioning, the ProAc Studio 140s, were a completely different animal from my Epos m22s. No way would Ive bought these speakers after spending 2-3 hours with them in a demo room somewhere. In fact, for the first 2 days I didnt think they fit in my system at all! Luckily for me, Prithvi was traveling, and called to say I could keep them for a few days more. This is not a speaker review, so Ill skip the gory details. Suffice it to say, that, at the end of the third day I was sold. What followed was even more amazing.

At 10am yesterday, Prithvi and Babu, his ever smiling and knowledgeable assistant, arrived with a shiny new pair of Studio 140s. As Id been working till 4am the night before, I was keen to have them unpack and plug in the speakers, and leave me to crawl back to bed. But that was not to be. They werent here merely to install the speakers, collect the money and run. No sir, they wanted to treat me to a level of service I had rarely seen before.

The first thing they did was unpack an industrial-size blower and begin blasting the dust off my cdp and amp. Then, Babu unplugged the two components and went to work with a cloth and cleaner. The speakers were still in their boxes.

After a while, the now gleaming cdp and amp were inserted back onto my rack (also cleaned), and the speakers were unwrapped. As this post is getting really long, Ill rush through this next part:
Install plinth, insert spikes, polish gorgeous cherry wood to a high gloss, use tape measure to set speaker distances, tighten spikes, plug in cables, power up system, insert disc, smile broadly!

Its not every day that I get to experience a level of service that exceeds my expectations. Especially when the dealer has a host of other customers, all with much deeper pockets than mine. Needless to say, I have no hesitation in recommending Absolute Phase to others. Im sure youll be blown away, too.

By the way, heres the icing on the cake: when I asked Prithvi what the demo charges were, considering Id kept the pair for a week, heres the figure he quoted Rs.101!

I paid up gladly. :)
 

psychotropic

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hey coaltrain, cogratulations!

and yes prithvi is an absolute gentleman. My friends and I once landed up at his place without any warning, while he was in the middle of supervising some construction work (at about 6.30 in the evening). Although he initially told us he only works by appointment, a few minutes of conversation had him opening up the shutters to his demo room and demoing a whole range of equipment for us. He also then proceeded to invite us to listen to the Rethms he had, after he'd reconnected them. Amazing guy!
 

cooltoad

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Congrats on your purchase. Good to see that "Customer being the King" is no more a dream in india, at least for high value business. The value of purchase is also an important factor here. Not sure if the same service would be offered for a 5 or 10k purchase.Hopefully, it will become a reality in future.
 

AMITNOIDA

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I had also privilege to interact with Prithvi. I had an appointment with him at around 2-30 p.m. on a Saturday. That day I first went to ARN systems in the morning to listen to Usher S520, BE-718 and Mini dancer. After that audition I took my lunch and then went to Prithvis place. I was about half an hour late. Before knocking the door of Prithvi, I gave him a ping. To my surprise, he started to tell me about his dissatisfaction over my being half an hour late. To be honest I was initially very annoyed for his mildly rude words. Anyway I entered his listening demo room. Prithvi made all arrangements for the audition of ProAc response 1SC.

During my listening, there were two more young customers looking for floorstanders and subwoofer. Prithvi was somehow busy with them. Meanwhile, I kept on trying my CDs on his Cyrus CDP + Cyrus Pre-Power amps system. As soon as I started playing Katie Melua album, Prithvi as well as those two young customers were completely floored. It was Katies mesmerising voice and ProAc response 1SCs awesome detailed representation made the whole air sublime.

Seeing that Prithvi was so pleased with Katie album, I told him to make FLAC of it. He shown me his collection of albums specially female voice albums. After knowing that I like Kitaro band, he presented me a JVC Kitaro album. It was a fantastic recording and I cherish almost all the tracks of this album. My favourite genre of music is found to be close to Prithvis favourite also. After knowing that, it took very short time to be friendly with each other. He subsequently realised that my half an hour late was not intentional; it was due to Bangalore traffic. He was apologetic.

After finishing my audition, he invited me to his drawing room and we listened to his Rethm Sadhana over a cup of Earl Grey tea with nice cookies. He played the same Katie Melua album in his Rethm Sadhana and it was a memorable time. I was there upto about 6-30 p.m.

It was really a memorable experience of listening ProAc and Rethm Sadhana speakers that day and more than that interaction with a perfect gentleman Prithvi, getting warmth of his passion to music.

Although, I could not finally place my order for ProAc speakers yet due to some budget constraint. But hope within a month I will be able to telephone Prithvi and say Hi Prithvi send me a pair of ProAc.
 

anm

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thanks cooltrain for sharing this. I hope we have more such dealers in Delhi/ NCR. May Mr Vedpathak start something in Delhi too.
My experience with Viren has been similarly pleasant.
 

sachi

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Prithvi has been great to deal with..very engaging and the place where I heard the exact same speakers you bought for the first time.

While I've never bought anything from Prithvi he has always been patient and willing to share information and let me listen to some of the choice offerings in audio hifi.. My first foray into what high end hi-fi is, was at Prithvi's place.

Btw, the Studio D140s..A brilliant choice sir! They truly are excellent VFM speakers IMO.
 

coaltrain

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hey, thanks everyone, for your good wishes! :)

@ cooltoad

yes, you're right in assuming that a low cost product would not be accompanied by this level of service. however, i've bought my fair share of inexpensive kit over the years, and here are a few tips i've picked up on getting the most from any dealer:

- try and find dealers who run their own business, rather than going to the big chains. a salesperson in a large multibrand outlet is not interested in your long term business, only his short term sales.
- ask your friends to put you on to dealers they have bought from before, or try and join forces with friends to buy stuff together. there is always an advantage in numbers.
- evaluate a dealer's knowledge of his product, along with the equipment. if the person starts quoting pmpo figures, leave!
- don't volunteer too much information or broadcast your knowledge of hifi beforehand. a good dealer will always give you pertinent advice. listen first, and judge for yourself if the person is telling you all the right things.
- once you do find a good dealer, stick with them. they should be your first port of call when it's time to tweak or upgrade your system. if you're really lucky, you'll have a dealer who's also a friend and advisor.

hope that helps, and happy hunting. :)
 

cooltoad

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Thanks for your tips coaltrain,one has to agree that customer care and dealer's knowledger is far better in hifi as compared to other consumer durables where the seller is naive and not suave.
 

heliumflight

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hey coaltrain, congratulations on your purchase!


What amp and source do you intend them with?

--
Bryston + B&W
 

coaltrain

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hey coaltrain, congratulations on your purchase!


What amp and source do you intend them with?

--
Bryston + B&W

thanks helium :)

ca 840c > primare i30 > proac studio 140
cdp and amp in balanced mode via mogami xlr cable
speakers currently bi-wired with qed silver xt.

once the proacs are run in, i plan to change the speaker cable. then sit back and enjoy the music until the upgrade bug bites again :)
 

spirovious

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In Mumbai,its difficult to get similar type dealor.If dealor(here) is sure that person will buy the product,he is interested in real Demo.He will ask -
KABHI LENA HAI?
 

square_wave

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Prithvi is an absolute gentleman and a thorough professional. He is a bit old school so can get annoyed if you are late :) I too am old school it does not really matter.;)
My first experience with hi-end was at his place. It is here I met Mr Murthy who introduced me to the art of perfect audio system setup.
His service is second to none.
 

thevortex

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thanks helium :)

ca 840c > primare i30 > proac studio 140
cdp and amp in balanced mode via mogami xlr cable
speakers currently bi-wired with qed silver xt.

once the proacs are run in, i plan to change the speaker cable. then sit back and enjoy the music until the upgrade bug bites again :)

It is as though you are wanting for it to bite you:).

Good luck and congratulations on the acquisition!
 

coaltrain

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It is as though you are wanting for it to bite you:).

Good luck and congratulations on the acquisition!

LOL! you got me there, vortex! :)

just the other day, i was making a mental list of hifi i've owned and sold over the last 20 years. here it is:
5 cd players, 4 amps, 5 speakers, 2 tape decks and 1 turntable.
and that doesn't even include my ht setup!

oh well, i guess it's cheaper than therapy :)
 

rgs2k7

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Another vote for Mr.Prithvi!
I was random dialling the a/v shops in blr to find out the prices of certain components. No one really helped me. There it was the first time I spoke to him, he sounded polite and didnt even wince a moment to say that he will find out the price for me from his dealer even though he doesnt carry the certain model i was interested and ask me to call back later. When I call back later, lo behold he has the price list of the model i was interested and also other competitive models. Though our interaction was brief and that too over the phone.. his attitude towards customer really shines. A true audiophile supporter!
 

soulforged

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Prithvi's passion and inolvement in his field is evident when you speak to him. He is not there just to sell you stuff and make money. He can spend hours talking to you about his passion, the equipment or music in general (mainly jazz). I have not bought anything from him but have gone to listen to his stuff a couple of times and always received the same reception.

BTW. He also has LP cleaning service (at least used to have if my info is dated). You can go to him to get that precious album cleaned thoroughly.
 
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