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To Jeff Fritz,

My apologies in advance for this unsolicited e-mail. I just happened across your article where you describe your recent purchase of a stereo system.

I am intending to purchase a system myself and have been researching components and educating myself on the various technologies. A while ago, I had settled on the MSB Premier DAC with of course the Premier Powerbase. After quite a bit of research, today, I started to lean towards the Vimberg Tonda. With those components somewhat settled, a few Google searches happened to land me on your article listing the components of your stereo system.

I was pleasantly surprised that we had a couple of components in common and I am somewhat tempted to largely replicate your system as we seem to have similar goals. I was barely familiar with Boulder before but am looking for class-A amplification and the amplifier you chose seems to fit the bill. Of course, I will have to go with the Boulder 2160 instead.

Now that you have had your system for a while, I am wondering how you are liking it and if you would do anything differently?

If you have any more thoughts on your system or general guidance, I would love to hear it. I appreciate you putting together the article.

Kind regards,
Johann
United States

Thanks for writing and the kind words. I’m flattered that you are, after picking your first couple of components, largely replicating my stereo system. Your letter has given me the occasion to consider if I would do anything differently. The short answer is no, I wouldn’t.

I’ve been very happy with the choices I’ve made this time around. My stereo represents many years of experience in the industry and lots of trial and error. That’s not to say that I could not be happy with other components, because I most certainly could be. But as I sit here today and listen as I type out this response to your query, I have no regrets. I’m very satisfied with the sound quality, build and finish, ergonomics, company support, etc.

Your proposed system has the capability to reach even higher than mine. The MSB DAC you have chosen is a step above mine, and the amplifier you are considering is a generation newer. Perhaps one product you should also look at is MSB’s own large-format stereo amplifier, the S500. It might have particularly good synergy with the Premier DAC. Although it has been my experience that you can’t go wrong with a Boulder power amplifier. Two fantastic choices to choose from, really! The Vimberg speakers . . . well, I’d put them up against anything their size at any price. They are simply superb in all the attributes I value in loudspeakers. I also chose Shunyata Research power conditioning and cabling -- you might want to consider that too. One other thing you might improve on -- at least in the opinion of some -- would be a dedicated music server instead of the MacBook I use. I’ve heard great things about Innuos.

You are definitely on the right path. Your core components will be fantastic pieces, and will never limit your system’s capabilities to deliver magical sound.

Congrats, and please let me know when you have everything in, and please send a photo of the completed setup. Thanks again for writing. . . . Jeff Fritz