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Audition of a high end full analogue setup at AV Lounge, Chennai

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

Kannan

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The Full Analogue Experience:
Some months back, I had written about my experience (review as is called in audio circles) of listening to Xavian Calliope speakers in AV Lounge, Chennai.
https://www.hifivision.com/ threads/experiencing-xavian- speakers-at-avlounge.67406/
At that time the source was digital from a very high end Metronome CD transport, but the rest of the chain was tube in both the pre and power stage.

Couple of months back Venkat told me that he is introducing TURNTABLES.

Two days back I called him and went for a demo of his latest setup with turntable as the source.
I by the way have zero knowledge of the technicalities of turntables, as I have never used one, nor ever researched its functionality. I have of course heard a few here and there.

The Equipment:

1) The Turntable:
Kuzma Stabi Ref-2 with 4Point tone-arm and CAR-20 cartridge


Kuzma Stabi.jpg

2) The Preamp
CAT SL1 Legend


convergent_SL1_01.jpg

3) Power Amp:
CAT Signature mono blocks


IMG-20180323-WA0026.jpg

4) Speakers:
Rosso Fiorentino Siena speakers


Rosso_Fiorentino_Siena.jpg

These speakers are a 3-way infinite baffle design, with the 4th way taken by a ribbon diaphragm ultrasonic generator which as per specs goes up to 100 khz.
The main woofers are dual 8 inch aluminum cone design woofer in an isolated enclosure, the upper woofer is 6.5 paper diaphragm woofer from ScanSpeak and the (1.1 in) hand treated cloth soft dome tweeter. High grade network with full silver Van Del Hul wiring.

5) Allied Accessories:
High end analysis plus interconnects and speakers cables, isolators, cable rises and stuff that you find in any high end setup


The Setup:

IMG_20180319_184132.jpg

I listened to five songs: Three Tamil (all Illayaraja compositions) and two Hindi from the movie “Ek Duje Keliye”

The Listening Experience:
The speakers as you see from the picture are drawn by about 3 feet from the side wall and about 4 feet from the rear walls. They were spaced out by about 10 feet and the listening distance was about the same.
The toe-in was about 20 degrees into the listening spot.

This was after a very long time, I was listening to some ultra high end analogue setup.

The songs he played
‘Enge en Jeevan’ from the movie Uyarntha Ullam;
‘Sola Pasungiliye’ from the movie Yen Rajavin Manasile
‘Nilavu Thoogum Neram’ from the movie Kunguma Chimizh
‘Hum Bane Tum Bane’ and ‘Tere Mere Beech Main’ (SPB one) from Ek Duje Keliya

I have heard the songs of Ek Duje Keliye umpteen times and Tere Mere Beech is one of my favorites of SPB.

The Experience:
‘Sola Pasungiliye’ and ‘Tere Mere Beech Main’ took my breath away. They sounded brilliant, very transparent and detailed.
Even at higher volumes there was almost no fatigue with a uniform increase in overall resolution which Venkat told me is the hall mark of pure analogue source like turntables combined with tubes.

I personally don’t agree that it is the hallmark of only tube gear and that having a digital medium anywhere in the chain can cause fatigue.


But ultimately what you hear are the speakers, and the Fiorentinos were brilliant.

The dual woofer cabinet is totally isolated from the main cabinet with the idea of minimizing cabinet resonance. Also the separated upper part containing the 6.5 inch driver can be used as a separate bookshelf.
It performs with ease at all volume levels without exaggerating any frequencies, accurate, dynamic presentation without being forward. These are truly engaging speakers.
I will not get too much into details like staging, imaging, focus etc, they were all there in good measure and will leave it to the listeners to audition and decide.
We tend to look at taut lows, midrange fluidity and smoothness in the highs. These speakers deliver all that with aplomb. They do sound multi dimensional and very airy, probably due to the impact of the untrasonic generator.
But the midrange sounded warm, ream warm to my ears, but were real lush. I though like it more open and lush at the same time and I did point this out to Venkat, probably that is the character of turntable/tube combo that many ears relish.

Since I do not have too much of knowledge with turntables, I could not give much detail on it in this review.

I know there are many members here who are hardcore turntable fans and those who are intending to move over to turntables.
They can catch up with Venkat to have a detailed audition to judge the sound and the technicalities of the turntable.
He is a pleasant, and of course a highly knowledgeable gentleman in this field.

As usual a big thanks to him for his patience and hospitality.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MaSh

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Bangalore
Wow that setup looks like Barbeque's Nation's buffet;). Nice to the point and precise writeup. Are there any videos of this setup in action?

MaSh
 

Kannan

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Jan 13, 2008
Messages
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Chennai
Wow that setup looks like Barbeque's Nation's buffet;). Nice to the point and precise writeup. Are there any videos of this setup in action?

MaSh
I can afford dinner maybe once in a month in Barbecue Nation :).
Jokes apart, will check with Venkat if he has any and ask him to post it. I think he is a member here, though not that active I guess
 

square_wave

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Thanks Kannan for the writeup. Chennai hifi seems to be quite nice with a lot of niche brands in place.
 

Kannan

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Messages
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Location
Chennai
Thanks Kannan for the writeup. Chennai hifi seems to be quite nice with a lot of niche brands in place.

I am more of a DIY guy due to passion and budget constrains and rarely visit hifi showrooms. More than a decade back, the scene for audio was much better in terms of audition, but with focus shifting to home theater, it is a privilege to find dealers offering dedicated 2-channel experience in Chennai. Except for a few like AV Lounge, the ATC dealer (I think it is Cinema Focus) and a couple others, most hifi guys scoff at dedicated 2-channel audio space.
A year back when I was hunting for bookshelves for a friend with a reasonable budget, I took a long tour of hifi shops in Chennai and one very leading showroom with no proper 2-channel setup was trying to explain me the nuances of a high end model piled between multitude of speakers.. it was a funny experience.
Another caveat is that most shops audition 2-channel setups in heavily treated HT rooms.
 

square_wave

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@ Kannan, This is so true. Both 2 and multi channel are capable of making great experiences happen but both needs a different approach and mind set.
 

RajithKumar

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Oct 31, 2013
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Chennai,India
The Full Analogue Experience:
Some months back, I had written about my experience (review as is called in audio circles) of listening to Xavian Calliope speakers in AV Lounge, Chennai.
https://www.hifivision.com/ threads/experiencing-xavian- speakers-at-avlounge.67406/
At that time the source was digital from a very high end Metronome CD transport, but the rest of the chain was tube in both the pre and power stage.

Couple of months back Venkat told me that he is introducing TURNTABLES.

Two days back I called him and went for a demo of his latest setup with turntable as the source.
I by the way have zero knowledge of the technicalities of turntables, as I have never used one, nor ever researched its functionality. I have of course heard a few here and there.

The Equipment:

1) The Turntable:
Kuzma Stabi Ref-2 with 4Point tone-arm and CAR-20 cartridge


View attachment 26613

2) The Preamp
CAT SL1 Legend


View attachment 26614

3) Power Amp:
CAT Signature mono blocks


View attachment 26615

4) Speakers:
Rosso Fiorentino Siena speakers


View attachment 26616

These speakers are a 3-way infinite baffle design, with the 4th way taken by a ribbon diaphragm ultrasonic generator which as per specs goes up to 100 khz.
The main woofers are dual 8 inch aluminum cone design woofer in an isolated enclosure, the upper woofer is 6.5 paper diaphragm woofer from ScanSpeak and the (1.1 in) hand treated cloth soft dome tweeter. High grade network with full silver Van Del Hul wiring.

5) Allied Accessories:
High end analysis plus interconnects and speakers cables, isolators, cable rises and stuff that you find in any high end setup


The Setup:

View attachment 26617

I listened to five songs: Three Tamil (all Illayaraja compositions) and two Hindi from the movie “Ek Duje Keliye”

The Listening Experience:
The speakers as you see from the picture are drawn by about 3 feet from the side wall and about 4 feet from the rear walls. They were spaced out by about 10 feet and the listening distance was about the same.
The toe-in was about 20 degrees into the listening spot.

This was after a very long time, I was listening to some ultra high end analogue setup.

The songs he played
‘Enge en Jeevan’ from the movie Uyarntha Ullam;
‘Sola Pasungiliye’ from the movie Yen Rajavin Manasile
‘Nilavu Thoogum Neram’ from the movie Kunguma Chimizh
‘Hum Bane Tum Bane’ and ‘Tere Mere Beech Main’ (SPB one) from Ek Duje Keliya

I have heard the songs of Ek Duje Keliye umpteen times and Tere Mere Beech is one of my favorites of SPB.

The Experience:
‘Sola Pasungiliye’ and ‘Tere Mere Beech Main’ took my breath away. They sounded brilliant, very transparent and detailed.
Even at higher volumes there was almost no fatigue with a uniform increase in overall resolution which Venkat told me is the hall mark of pure analogue source like turntables combined with tubes.

I personally don’t agree that it is the hallmark of only tube gear and that having a digital medium anywhere in the chain can cause fatigue.


But ultimately what you hear are the speakers, and the Fiorentinos were brilliant.

The dual woofer cabinet is totally isolated from the main cabinet with the idea of minimizing cabinet resonance. Also the separated upper part containing the 6.5 inch driver can be used as a separate bookshelf.
It performs with ease at all volume levels without exaggerating any frequencies, accurate, dynamic presentation without being forward. These are truly engaging speakers.
I will not get too much into details like staging, imaging, focus etc, they were all there in good measure and will leave it to the listeners to audition and decide.
We tend to look at taut lows, midrange fluidity and smoothness in the highs. These speakers deliver all that with aplomb. They do sound multi dimensional and very airy, probably due to the impact of the untrasonic generator.
But the midrange sounded warm, ream warm to my ears, but were real lush. I though like it more open and lush at the same time and I did point this out to Venkat, probably that is the character of turntable/tube combo that many ears relish.

Since I do not have too much of knowledge with turntables, I could not give much detail on it in this review.

I know there are many members here who are hardcore turntable fans and those who are intending to move over to turntables.
They can catch up with Venkat to have a detailed audition to judge the sound and the technicalities of the turntable.
He is a pleasant, and of course a highly knowledgeable gentleman in this field.

As usual a big thanks to him for his patience and hospitality.

Thank you Kannan ji for the detailed review,Mr.Venkat was a nice gentleman who is very approachable and offers a good demo for highend setups . I have visited AV lounge around 6 months back ,that time the turn table were not available. Hope our Chennai FMs who are interested in 2 channel music should visit to have a pleasant experience.
 

balaji.jkb

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May 8, 2014
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United States
Honestly the best Audition I have ever attended. Both the Isaignani and Symphony(Forgot the name) Vinyl records really shined through as unique, Isaignani songs was recorded as well to catch the unfiltered spirit of this amazing Live Recording. If you are looking for a reinterpreted "Blissful" version of Old songs, this is it for sure.

My Impressions over the Vinyl Records are gone by its Sound stage. Dedicated Multiple rooms to 2 Channel setups

Class Equipment's . Thumps up for the astonishing Output

Thanks to AV Lounge & Kannan Sir.
 
Last edited:

srinisundar

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I am thinking of visiting AV lounge for very long time and hope soon i will hear those pretty speakers with TT
 

drkrack

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We tend to look at taut lows, midrange fluidity and smoothness in the highs. These speakers deliver all that with aplomb.
This line is enough for me to visit them during my next Chennai Visit..
Any idea on what is the rough price of the components you listened to?
 

sidvee

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This line is enough for me to visit them during my next Chennai Visit..
Any idea on what is the rough price of the components you listened to?
Us retail - Speakers $24,995 pair
Preamp - $19,995
Amplifier - $40,000 pair
So speakers and amplification alone is $85,000 (or apprx. 59 lac) and that is US pricing, not sure what the Indian markup will be.
Cheers,
Sid
 

Kannan

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This line is enough for me to visit them during my next Chennai Visit..
Any idea on what is the rough price of the components you listened to?

What is featured above is Rosso Fiorentina branded flagship model number Siena priced in India at 15.75 lakhs.
For prices on other components listed in the above picture, please contact Venkat as I never asked him

He is distributor many speaker brands including Xavian and Rosso. You can check all the details on his website,

The Xavian series starts from around 67000 for bookshelf and 1.15 lakhs for floor standers.. The Rosso starts from 1.7 lakhs for stand mounters and 3.4 lakhs for floor standers.

He has quite a few choices for amplifiers, preamps and DACs to suit budgets.

I never meant it to be some kind of an advertisement thread as I have no business association with Venkat.
 

drkrack

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Us retail - Speakers $24,995 pair
Preamp - $19,995
Amplifier - $40,000 pair
So speakers and amplification alone is $85,000 (or apprx. 59 lac) and that is US pricing, not sure what the Indian markup will be.
Cheers,
Sid
I Should Stop thinking about buying Another 2 BHK Perhaps Land Rover also , and buy this !
thanks for the info .

I never meant it to be some kind of an advertisement thread as I have no business association with Venkat.
No doubts on that , thanks for sharing. Otherwise there is no way to know about these fancy brands, unless one closely follows international forums/reviewer websites.
 

vinothkumar

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Thanks for writing up Kannan ji. Gears apart, we should appreciate Mr. Vekat's kindness towards the customers whoever is visiting to the showroom which many dont do in chennai. As you mentioned he has a variety of gears based on budget (though the budget does not suit for everyone).

I visited his showroom along with Rajith and we had a demo of both of his highend stereo and movie setups and we got more exiceted that time as both of us were listening highend gears for the first time. Xavians are truly enjoyable along with the ayon scropio which we thought that ayon is the one which we could afford in near future. The thing to consider at the main stereo setup is that it does not have much acoutic work still sounds damn good without any fatigue to ears.

Hope i will go and have a demo of these pure analog setup soon with FMs.
 

liverpool_for_life

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Another caveat is that most shops audition 2-channel setups in heavily treated HT rooms.

Here's a question the answer to which might help me understand the difference you imply (for purposes of simplicity, let's assume similarly capable but physically different audio equipment for 2-channel vs HT):

How is audio quality in "heavily treated HT rooms" different between the two?
 

Kannan

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Here's a question the answer to which might help me understand the difference you imply (for purposes of simplicity, let's assume similarly capable but physically different audio equipment for 2-channel vs HT):

How is audio quality in "heavily treated HT rooms" different between the two?
Sir, We had a short discussion on this over phone and I had shared my viewpoint with you.

HT setups use multitude of speakers, which means the approach to room treatment has to be from that standpoint. So the approach has to be drastically different. A 2-channel setup could sound too laid back or flat is a heavily treated room. I have experienced the sound stage itself collapsing.
 

essrand

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Thank you for starting this thread.

After reading it. Given I am in Chennai currently, I will make it a point to visit Mr. Venkat and listen to this system that you have so eloquently praised.
 
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