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Reel-to-Reel and Summary

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United Home Audio Phase 11S

Reel-to-reel tape decks are not something you see often these days, but I bet they would become more common if more of them looked as wicked as this UHA Phase 11S open reel tape machine with Celtic Cross graphic art. This model is a new design from United Home Audio with a base cost of $19,000 for the playback model and $26,000 for the playback/record model. One of the new features of the Phase 11 is a PCB design which eliminates all capacitors in the preamp, so UHA claims there are no capacitors in the signal path. The entire playback circuit is hard-wired, so there are no “plugs, connectors, gain, or volume pots to degrade the sound”. Another feature, and one of the reasons for the expense of the unit, is the silver wiring used from playback head throughout the deck to the outputs. One might wonder if the sonic benefits are worth the cost of a full silver path, but in a device as esoteric as a fully functional reel-to-reel player, you might as well go the whole nine yards. Reel-to-reel may not be destined for the kind of comeback vinyl has made, but if more people get exposed to the sound I heard from the Phase 11S at AXPONA, I think some kind of minor resurgence would be possible.

United Home Audio Phase 11 open Reel Tape Machine 3

 

Summary

Out of all the audio technology out there, media transports seem to change the most rapidly. If this show had been held just ten years ago, the shape of speaker, amplifier, and preamplifier technology would have been similar, although not the exact same. Transports, on the other hand, would have taken a very different shape. Digital music players would not have been nearly as prevalent. Vinyl may have had a less of a presence, and CDs and SACDs would have doubtlessly dominated the show. Today, few rooms were playing CDs or SACDs. My impression was most systems were using digital music file playback systems of some type. Many rooms were just using laptop computers as the source while others were playing back vinyl. Those changes over a single decade forces one to wonder how different the world of transports is going to look ten years from now.

In part 2 of our coverage, we will look at some of the amplifiers, preamplifiers, and DACs on display at AXPONA. Stay tuned!

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

oppman99 posts on May 31, 2014 15:22
I just don't understand the appeal of vinyl. IMO digital sounded better in every room that had both vinyl and digital sources. I thought the sq was much better at last year's show as well.
shadyJ posts on May 28, 2014 20:44
I think $73k for an amp is dumb. You could take a monster pro-amp like a powersoft digam k10, have it modified, and hire a guy to put it in an ultra fancy custom case for a lot lot lot less than $73k. I still think the Burmester is cool, but it's just a poor value.
haraldo posts on May 28, 2014 16:54
7
shadyJ, post: 1033282
13541
That big shiny thing at the bottom of that stack is the Burmester 909, it's a 600 watt x 2 @ 4 ohms amplifier. It also has a 1,250 watt x 2 @ 1 ohm spec. Burmester claims it is stable for a 1 ohm load. It costs $73,500. It's stupid and I want one.

What's stupid about that?
I'd like to buy a Goldmund amp … that makes the Burmester 909 look like a bargain … but I will never be able to afford it …. not even in my dreams ….
FozzieT posts on May 20, 2014 22:17
So, why the photo of the gorgeous Monitor Audio speakers, but no review? Did they suck?
shadyJ posts on May 19, 2014 23:58
13541.vB
That big shiny thing at the bottom of that stack is the Burmester 909, it's a 600 watt x 2 @ 4 ohms amplifier. It also has a 1,250 watt x 2 @ 1 ohm spec. Burmester claims it is stable for a 1 ohm load. It costs $73,500. It's stupid and I want one.
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