User Details - Julien

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  Julien Gaudfroy
  Former professional cellist. Presently TV and radio host in China. Audiophile.
SACD is the best thing for the moment... but system quality is so much more important than the format. Some mp3s sound richer on my system than SACDs on others people's systems. Some people here who pretend to be able to discern SACD from CD without knowing the recording nor the system have never heard CD on a really good system. They'd be surprised to hear high frequencies on CD sounding richer and smoother on excellent systems than SACD on theirs. Anyway, if the recording is good SACD is a safer bet most times...
Also, when I read comments about a recording's quality sometimes it tells me more about the reviewer's system. Sound engineers make choices and judgments according the the system they are monitoring onto. If they monitored with big speakers having excellent bass reproduction, they will likely not boost the bass, so that the recordings will sound bass shy on many people's systems (MTT Mahler series...). On the other hand, some excellent recordings were engineered with small monitors lacking deep bass, thus the engineers may have balanced with more bass and the bass may sound too heavy on some systems... No one is right or wrong, just choices...
Here is my truth in matter of importance: 1) Performing quality/recording quality. 2) System reproduction quality. 3) Format.
  Beijing, China
  Power distribution: all Quantum Resonant technology. QBASE distribution block QB8, and QX4 field generator unit (once in my system I couldn't take it out. Brings back immediate coherence and smoothness).

Power Cables: Shunyata Research Power Snakes Taipan cables.

Interconnects (XLR) & speaker cables: all by Vacuum State, best cables I've ever heard, even better than Nordost Odin. For a fraction of the price. And VSE sells cookbooks and kits for DIY enthousiasts.

Source: Vacuum State upgraded Sony SCD-XB940 SACD player (modded by Allen Wright to level 6). Wonder how it sounds? Forget about Marantz, think closer to Meitner Emm Labs. I used to have a Cary 306 SACD player, there was such a veil on the sound once I got used to the modded Sony that I'm selling the Cary.The amount of information coming out of the modded player is just breathtaking.

Line stage: Audio Research LS5III with NOS Telefunken 6922 tubes.

Power amplifier: Pass Labs XA30.5.

Speakers: Thiel CS2.4.

Last but not least, and this is the biggest difference maker: vibration control. I have tube dampeners, component and speakers feet by Herbie's Audio Lab, Nordost Sort Kones, a TAOC SCB-RS50G Sound Creation Board, and an audiophile rack by Sound Mechanics.

Found: 26 show all

Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben - Jansons        (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
  April 29, 2008

The 45 minutes I just spent listening to this piece were magic. The recording places you further away than most recordings I've heard, and I didn't appreciate it before. But my system now is so much better than it used to be that I prefer this type of recording now. Because the distance and the ... more
Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Dejan Lazic          (9 of 13 found this review helpful)
  December 14, 2007

Folks, I really don't have time for the bad ones. I always feel that I should write a couple of bad reviews once in a while just to add a little credibility... But I can't help it, these days I put the bad ones in "not recommended" and just jump on my computer when a disc is so good I have to write ... more
MA on SA        (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
  November 11, 2007

Good Lord. Not only is Ma on Sa a selection of highly enjoyable, wonderfully played fantastic music; not only does Ma on Sa feature some of the best natural sounding recordings on the Planet Earth; I have to say this sampler is truly addictive. I have many samplers. This is the first sampler where ... more
Mozart: Die Zauberflöte - Kuijken        (13 of 21 found this review helpful)
  July 29, 2007

Oh my... This recording desperately needs a review. When you think that this near-perfection performance was live, it is even more impressive. As we say in French, you'd have to get up early to be able to imagine better. The orchestra and the singers combined are among the finest I've heard in a ... more
Beethoven: Piano Trios - Kempf Trio        (7 of 9 found this review helpful)
  July 19, 2007

This recording is a revelation. I wasn't aware that we had such a great trio on SACD. I didn't know those players before, because 1998 was my last year in Paris as a musician, and I'm not very aware of the "new" generation (about my age I guess) since then. First of all, these players individually ... more

Latest Posts

A CHALLENGE RB CD v SACD mainly for Teresa
December 8, 2009
Disbeliever, We do not question everything you say, but your motives behind it. Apparently you are here to try to question the existence of Personally I agree that it's easy to be fooled between SACD and CD sometimes. For reasons related to human hearing ability or playback equipment. I too have a modded player on which CDs sound warmer ... more
Wheatus Download Release in DSD for Playstation3 Korg MR1 Etc...
December 5, 2009
Thanks. ... more
Wheatus Download Release in DSD for Playstation3 Korg MR1 Etc...
December 4, 2009
Wheatus, How do I get to download from here ? I've tried every click possible on the site and didn't find how to start the download. ... more
SACD came in first place in the new Stereophile poll
November 26, 2009
You don't need to ask this, Flyingdutchman was just writing that to upset Teresa. ... more
Discussion: Dvorak, Szymanowski: Violin Concertos - Steinbacher, Janowski
November 24, 2009
Come on Bruce, this means nothing. You could could say that about any artist... sounds like the fortune teller who starts with such sentences as "you have quite a personality...", waits for an impressed reaction and starts guessing from what people reply. Or the hi-fi reviewer that writes: "I could feel Diana Krall breathing in my room. She was ... more