No I have not. They may be very good. But they wouldn't be my first choice (by intuition that is). For me they are too expensive and I have never seen them IRL. Maybe because the last high-end shop I visited didn't even bother to 'help' me or even talk to me even with a ton of money in my wallet. Because of my youthful look, slender appearance, or lack of expensive looking apparel, who knows. I have kind of had it with elitist 'high-end' shops. Maybe because the magic has waned since I've seen that there isn't a real wizard behind the curtain. What opened my eyes 10 tears ago was when my Audio Note amp broke down and it took the whole of 6 months to get it fixed. I started looking online and found a cheap Chinese alternative just for the time being. At first it was promising but utterly lacking (sub)base. At that moment I learned just what 1 pair of capacitors can do to the entire system! A world of difference. I'm not exaggerating.
So then I started looking for answers. And found them. So I modified it. Lo and behold; it turned out to be the equal of the expensive Audio Note (Oto SE), even better it in certain important aspects. That little Yarland cost me €100 less than the repair
of the Audio Note ( I even had to phone the shop how the repair was going and had to tell them were to get the replacement tranny). This really got me started on Chinese audio. I led a forum on Chinese audio in my country for years, on how and where to buy and how to modify. I now know a lot of ins and out of hifi. What really brought me down to earth was the story of a certain Mr M Levinson who lost the title to his own name and went to China to make a deal to sell Chinese engineered and manufactured electronics under his own newly blooming red flower name. But at ten times the price! Of course it was met with appraisal in the writing press. All the while (and still) the exact same Chinese products and brands are still met with derision. Maybe rightly so (I know those products were certainly flawed and how) but why were the rebranded items praised in magazines and sold in renowned retail stores? I'm stepping off my horse. I've ridden it long enough now.
Suffice to say I've upgraded immensely the last 10 years, beyond what I ever imagined possible (my system beats a 100k$ McIntosh/Focal system I heard that I liked very much), at very sensible prices, being lucky buying 2ndH (the Genesis IV and Koetsu Urushi) but also getting parts close to the source and doing the upgrades myself. In my opinion nothing beats a system made up of balanced, very good components tweaked on parts level.
To get back on topic: ATM I'm listening to a Chinese Jolida phono-preamplifier I bought in 2007 that was going for $450 at that time (I bought it @ Chinese price). TNT audio even 'borrowed' my pictures at the time. It is also sold modified with (questionable) upgrades at prices reaching >> $1000. Mine is quite an original. I didn't just upgrade some components. I modified the design, taking out unnecessary parts, rerouting dumb 'reference design' parts and replaced crucial parts for the best I could fit in the signal path. So I dare say (I'm quite sure) my phono-amp is unique. But also very, very good. I know where I came from, I know how much better I made it, and I know that improving will be very costly.
I appreciate the offer on meeting the designer of the Genesis line. But I'm on the other side of the pond and on a budget. I always enjoy meeting designers because I'm on the same level talking to them, but I'm not interested in manufacturing speakers (I do need a workshop, as in place to work in, though).Edited by ]eep - 7/27/15 at 8:10am