Since around 2009, my migration to computer based audio was complete and the beloved Ah! Tjeob 4000 moved to the closet. For those who don’t know, the Ah! Tjeob is essentially the PrimaLuna CD player that was released (2 versions) between 1999 & 2001. They took a basic Marantz transport and chassis, and hotrod-ed the insides with a tube stage, and quality power supplies/ parts. For the past 12 years, the Ah! only came out to break in new equipment. Repeated non scientific A/B test over the years consistently showed my various computer based rigs sounded better, especially in these days of Roon, HQPlayer, and streamers. The debate had been settled. Until now.
I recently acquired the newly released Marantz Model 30 integrated. It’s companion component is a matching SACD player/ digital media hub. Marantz designed the RCA CD input on the integrated with special parts, clearly differentiating it from all the other RCA inputs. They did so in order to make the companion SACD player sound as good as possible.
I had a pair of Duelund interconnects sitting in a drawer, awaiting the “well into the distant future” arrival of the Decware ZRock2. On a whim, I decided to give the Ah! Tjeob one more chance. While fumbling through the Ah! box, I noticed a pair of Siemens tubes that had come from Upscale with the original purchase. They have been unused for 20 years. Installed those as well.
After one hour of warmup, the listening began. This was the first time the Marantz/ LRS/ Ah! Tjeob trio had been together.
I was blown away. It sounded so so good. Better than the Ah! Tjeob 4000 had ever sounded before. Easily on par with my computer based rig, and at times better. And it was so refreshing to not have to look at an iPad or computer screen to simply listen to music. My life is so inundated with screens, it was nice to take a break.
Duly inspired, I’ve ordered a spindle of 100 high quality CDR’s to burn audio CD’s of my favorite digital downloads.
Yesterday was like an unscheduled Christmas, stumbling backwards into an unseen tree.