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An audiophile and petrolhead's journal: Buckle up! - Page 244

post #3646 of 9498
Can't mix low end ortho with hi end dynamic. Might end up cannibalising the TH600 as people might prefer the orthos more besides it wouldn't be less than $500 at which point it's not much of a bargain.
post #3647 of 9498
Thread Starter 
If it rains any more, I'm going to start gathering animals in pairs and tell the guys to start on that ark. blink.gif This is getting ridiculous. The roof at the local high school collapsed, luckily no one was in the building. This is the 4th incident like this in the last week.


I actually found a previous owner of that `73 BMW coupe that's on ebay (no joke), and I'm going to pass on it. He said it's been previously wrecked, badly, and even had the frame straightened, though there's no mention of that detail in the auction (I hate dishonest sellers). mad.gif Oh well, I retracted my bid, but I'm still looking for one.

We're working out the deal with the 250 GT Ellena & Lusso (still searching for a nice Boano), we seem to have reached a fair deal on those (I love bundling purchases), and it could get better. They have 3 other cars (consignments) that are really amazing. One is the previously mentioned 400 Superamerica cabrio, it's set to be sold at a future RM auction, but I can possibly head that off with an offer that's better for both of us. He wouldn't have to deal with a 20% seller's premium, and it possibly selling below estimate, and I don't have to potentially bid against some psycho who could be willing to spend anything to get it. I'm hesitant, though, 3M is a lot for me to tie up in one car. I did put more than that into the F1, but it's an F1 and the car I've desired more than any other. So I might let the 400 slide.

(Not the actual car, the one for sale is a darker blue with saddle interior, but I can't post images of it because I was asked not to, for some silly reason.)



The second is a BMW 507, the BMW that was at the Paris auto show in 1958. Not the most attractive or original example, but has a cool history.





The third is a Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada... yeah... cool.gif Gawd, doesn't that just stir the loins? Wow.


post #3648 of 9498

Hand down go for the Bizzarini. Whats the ask, if I may inquire?

 

A nice vintage Ginetta chaser would go well with that!

post #3649 of 9498

The Strada has always been one of my favorites; I'd love to see what you think of it if and when you get your hands on it.

 

On my way back from Michigan yesterday I stopped off for a few hours at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg museum in Auburn, Indiana (obviously), and sampled their collection. I was kind of expecting a warehouse-type museum like most manufacturer-specific showcases tend to be, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's an incredibly professional job in the restored factory, complete with exhibits on the different offices and displays of surviving design models and drawings. The E.L. Cord manufacturer's collection is a great mix of cars, from standard-model Auburns to coachbuilt Cord L-29s to Duesenberg grand prix cars, and they're all on a spectrum between preservation and restoration that will satisfy any car guy. There's a few hundred cars in the building, all noteworthy in their own way.

 

In addition to the (amazing) main collection of ACD wares, which includes many prototypes and show cars, there was also an interesting look at a number of independent car manufacturers that never quite made it. The main guy was obviously Studebaker (being the biggest one ever to come out of Indiana), but there were also cars on display from Stutz, Graham (which used Cord designs to make their cars), Stearns-Knight, Crosley, and a dozen or more others. My personal favorite car of the entire museum was a heart-achingly beautiful Cisitalia that was wedged in the corner of a specialty exhibit. I've never seen one in person before (nor did I expect to while at the ACD museum), but they've been the subject of many a desktop background of mine.

 

To the side on the first-floor, there's also a quick showcase of a dozen or so cars from various makes to kind of "capture" cars in general. These include an old LaSalle, a beautiful Series 1 E-Type, a 300SL Gullwing, a '57 Bel Air, and other random automotive landmarks.

 

Sadly, I cannot furnish you with any decent photos of the experience. I didn't bring a camera, and my phone didn't like the exhibit lighting at all. However, I can report that it's certainly worth the detour if you find yourself on the I-65 corridor in Indiana sometime.

 

I also meant to hit Bowling Green on my way back down south because I haven't yet laid eyes on a C7 'Vette in person, but the timing just didn't work out. I passed by the factory at about 10PM with reservations at a hotel in Nashville that I didn't wish to cancel.

post #3650 of 9498
Thread Starter 
They're asking $600k. Geezus, it was once owned by the Shah of Iran, along with two other 5300 GTs, and was restored just last year. Yeah, I'm getting that one, it's almost like getting a car from the Sultan of Brunei's collection. Speaking of, I can't wait until more of those start leaking out, some real gems in there.
post #3651 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

They're asking $600k. Geezus, it was once owned by the Shah of Iran, along with two other 5300 GTs, and was restored just last year. Yeah, I'm getting that one, it's almost like getting a car from the Sultan of Brunei's collection. Speaking of, I can't wait until more of those start leaking out, some real gems in there.


Holy smokes. What's a non Shah owned Bizzarrini going for?

post #3652 of 9498
A few past RM auction results here: http://www.supercars.net/cars/159.html

All I can say is wow. Even though I have always loved the flowing lines of the '60s Italian designs, this thread once again shows me just how little I know about Italian car history. I had never heard of a Bizzarrini. redface.gif That is a beautiful car!!
post #3653 of 9498

What's a Bizzarrini? I might be far to young to know what that is.......

post #3654 of 9498
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post


Holy smokes. What's a non Shah owned Bizzarrini going for?

That's asking price, which is always higher than what you can get it for. I'm going to offer 500 and target in @ 525k.
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

A few past RM auction results here: http://www.supercars.net/cars/159.html

All I can say is wow. Even though I have always loved the flowing lines of the '60s Italian designs, this thread once again shows me just how little I know about Italian car history. I had never heard of a Bizzarrini. redface.gif That is a beautiful car!!

I know, reminds me of a cross between a Lambo and a Pagani. The former's body with the latter's interior, and a long wheelbase for more comfortable GT use. Interesting thing, they use a fuel-injected small block Chevy 327, making 400hp. That's easy to get parts for. smily_headphones1.gif
post #3655 of 9498
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is a review or what, mostly an observation and a little grousing.

The Wilson Alexandria X-2: A case of less being more, while more is still better.





As some around here know, ~6 months ago I bought a used pair of Wilson Watt/Puppy speakers (Series 8) and they were good. In fact, they were amazing, with the proper calibration, placement, and treatments, they do what all great speakers do, they completely disappear. At the time they were the pinnacle of Hi-Fi for me, but after running into a great deal on some X-2 Series 2s ($55k, delivered, set-up, and all), I wanted to give them a shot, and frankly, they're much more similar than different. The X-2s have a larger and deeper soundstage, slightly more mid-range presence, and substantially improved sub-bass extension (they don't need a sub, even for organ music). However, they aren't without some issues, one being their size and weight, each being roughly the size of an Imperial Star Destroyer, and despite that size increase, there's substantial shrinkage in the optimal seating area (the sweet spot), due to the more directional nature of their mid/tweeter assemblies. In other words, they're quite a bit less forgiving in terms of position. This goes back to a comment I made not to long ago about extreme “luxury” items being so focused, even to the point of losing some basic utility. Yeah, a Veyron is faster, but an M5 is still pretty damned fast and a lot more comfortable and practical, so you're paying substantially more money for a no-compromise improvement of one attribute, at the additional expense of greater utility. Yeah, yay for “upgrades”... :P

Looking at MSRP, the W/P (now Sasha W/P) is by far the best value in the Wilson line (*I've not heard the Alexias, so that could be incorrect), there's no way I can say the Alexandrias are $120k better than the W/Ps. In fact, I'll go on the record and say their retail price is absurd, given how much sound quality is available with their smaller sisters. Especially since they're actually a little worse for home theater. That aside, they are worth every penny of what I paid, based on two channel performance alone. They are the most neutral, engaging, and evocative speakers I've ever heard. They handle the most delicate passages and visceral overtures with equal aplomb; there are no inconsistencies, no lapses in performance, what was recorded in the studio or live show is what you get, warts and dimples. Quite demanding in terms of source material, they are (more so than the Sashas), as well as more revealing of weaker links in your audio chain. Again, though, these are what you get when great audio engineers don't spare expense or cut corners.

If you can get them secondhand for a great price and treasure stereo above all, jump on them, provided you're willing to potentially upgrade most of your gear. However, W/Ps are available used for $8-15k, depending on series, and new for 25k, and aren't as fussy, making for a really tough choice... Fortunately, I don't have to, we kept the W/Ps and moved them to the library, where they're content to play from my Accuphase integrated and an iMac. So I can still listen to them any time I want. biggrin.gif
post #3656 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post


That's asking price, which is always higher than what you can get it for. I'm going to offer 500 and target in @ 525k.
I know, reminds me of a cross between a Lambo and a Pagani. The former's body with the latter's interior, and a long wheelbase for more comfortable GT use. Interesting thing, they use a fuel-injected small block Chevy 327, making 400hp. That's easy to get parts for. smily_headphones1.gif


Not uncommon for euro cars of that era to use American Iron for powerplants. The Facel Vega used Chrysler, the Ginetta G10 used the Ford. The later Jensen Interceptor of course used the Chrysler as well. Of course the AC Ace became a Cobra with the 427:)

 

A lot cheaper than building your own motor at the time or trying to buy from Ferrari.

 

 

Then again for the less affluent among us, perhaps a SAAB Sonett III might slake the exotic lust, for a whilewink.gif

post #3657 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

Not sure if this is a review or what, mostly an observation and a little grousing.

The Wilson Alexandria X-2: A case of less being more, while more is still better.





As some around here know, ~6 months ago I bought a used pair of Wilson Watt/Puppy speakers (Series 8) and they were good. In fact, they were amazing, with the proper calibration, placement, and treatments, they do what all great speakers do, they completely disappear. At the time they were the pinnacle of Hi-Fi for me, but after running into a great deal on some X-2 Series 2s ($55k, delivered, set-up, and all), I wanted to give them a shot, and frankly, they're much more similar than different. The X-2s have a larger and deeper soundstage, slightly more mid-range presence, and substantially improved sub-bass extension (they don't need a sub, even for organ music). However, they aren't without some issues, one being their size and weight, each being roughly the size of an Imperial Star Destroyer, and despite that size increase, there's substantial shrinkage in the optimal seating area (the sweet spot), due to the more directional nature of their mid/tweeter assemblies. In other words, they're quite a bit less forgiving in terms of position. This goes back to a comment I made not to long ago about extreme “luxury” items being so focused, even to the point of losing some basic utility. Yeah, a Veyron is faster, but an M5 is still pretty damned fast and a lot more comfortable and practical, so you're paying substantially more money for a no-compromise improvement of one attribute, at the additional expense of greater utility. Yeah, yay for “upgrades”... :P

Looking at MSRP, the W/P (now Sasha W/P) is by far the best value in the Wilson line (*I've not heard the Alexias, so that could be incorrect), there's no way I can say the Alexandrias are $120k better than the W/Ps. In fact, I'll go on the record and say their retail price is absurd, given how much sound quality is available with their smaller sisters. Especially since they're actually a little worse for home theater. That aside, they are worth every penny of what I paid, based on two channel performance alone. They are the most neutral, engaging, and evocative speakers I've ever heard. They handle the most delicate passages and visceral overtures with equal aplomb; there are no inconsistencies, no lapses in performance, what was recorded in the studio or live show is what you get, warts and dimples. Quite demanding in terms of source material, they are (more so than the Sashas), as well as more revealing of weaker links in your audio chain. Again, though, these are what you get when great audio engineers don't spare expense or cut corners.

If you can get them secondhand for a great price and treasure stereo above all, jump on them, provided you're willing to potentially upgrade most of your gear. However, W/Ps are available used for $8-15k, depending on series, and new for 25k, and aren't as fussy, making for a really tough choice... Fortunately, I don't have to, we kept the W/Ps and moved them to the library, where they're content to play from my Accuphase integrated and an iMac. So I can still listen to them any time I want. biggrin.gif


About a million years ago when disposable income was aplenty I had a shot at the Grand Slamm's for (relatively) cheap. Astounding sound but once again with a finicky soundstage requiring you to basically tailor your environment to them. As I was unwilling to do renno's to my residence I gave them a pass. For about a tenth the cost the Watt Puppy's were a far better alternative. Wilson having designed the Watt to replace the KEF's he used for on site monitoring duty, made for an incredibly environment friendly set up. You have to try fairly hard to mess up their imaging and soundstage and unless your listening room is the size of Westminster Abbey they will kick out about all the sound you can stand. If your used prices are accurate, then they would have proved an actual investment had I kept them.

post #3658 of 9498
Whenever I read about a speaker, I always tend to look at the design from a basic physics standpoint to see if the BS being spouted by the marketers makes any sense. When I look at speakers like the Wilson, it *does* make sense. He's not promising any magical sonics that defy the known laws of the universe. He has big drivers in a big enclosure to create bass, and separate midrange drivers and directional tweeters. And he pays great attention to the crossovers and the phase alignment. The enclosures are very carefully sized and absolutely resonance free. This is speaker design 101 - and by using good fundamentals combined with the absolute best materials and attention to the smallest details - the result is a world class speaker. Easy Peasy... tongue.gif

Now, compare that to the typical BS put out by some speaker manufacturers that want you to believe that sub-bass can be accurately produced by 4" drivers in thin fiberboard enclosures, or that an entire musical spectrum can be produced by two tiny drivers and a handful of low-grade electronic components. rolleyes.gif
post #3659 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

Whenever I read about a speaker, I always tend to look at the design from a basic physics standpoint to see if the BS being spouted by the marketers makes any sense. When I look at speakers like the Wilson, it *does* make sense. He's not promising any magical sonics that defy the known laws of the universe. He has big drivers in a big enclosure to create bass, and separate midrange drivers and directional tweeters. And he pays great attention to the crossovers and the phase alignment. The enclosures are very carefully sized and absolutely resonance free. This is speaker design 101 - and by using good fundamentals combined with the absolute best materials and attention to the smallest details - the result is a world class speaker. Easy Peasy... tongue.gif

Now, compare that to the typical BS put out by some speaker manufacturers that want you to believe that sub-bass can be accurately produced by 4" drivers in thin fiberboard enclosures, or that an entire musical spectrum can be produced by two tiny drivers and a handful of low-grade electronic components. rolleyes.gif

 

I still can't put my head around on why a high-end speaker can costs upward of $50k. Is it the material of the drivers? The enclosure? Or just the research and development that justifies its price tag?

Compared to headphones, the end game is the Stax SR-009 which is basically the pinnacle of all headphones and that doesn't cost as much as a BMW 5 series whereas high end speakers can cost as much as a 911 Carrera S.

post #3660 of 9498
I don't think you can justify the cost of any summit-fi products with terms like "value". The cost to produce the product is also not a direct relationship to the selling price. I suspect selling price is set more by what they believe they can get people to pay - then they work backwards to set the target cost to produce and the total investment the company is willing to make to launch the product.
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