About our MC-transformator for Denon 103:

Jeff Day on the Origin Live Silver tone arm:Listening Impressions Round 3 - Using the Auditorium 23 Step Up Transformer at Terry's Place

I drove over to Terry Cain's famed Cain & Cain world headquarters in Walla Walla/Washington with the full-boat Garrard 301 restoration project with his plinth, the VTAF and Silver arm and Denon 103 cartridge tucked carefully into my Miata. I also brought along a little surprise that had come from Jonathan Halpern - the Auditorium 23 moving coil step-up transformer designed for the Denon 103 cartridge. The Auditorium 23 is an unassuming looking step-up tranny that is about the size of a pack of cigarettes with RCA inputs on one side and RCA outputs on the other. That's about it. Jonathan Halpern of Shindo USA is so enamored of the design that he's begun importing it to the US so others can get in on the fun. But I'm getting ahead of myself again. Terry set up the Garrard 301 Project table in his system of Studio BEN (Big E-Nuff) ES double-horn loudspeakers that use a full-range 8" Fostex driver and a horn-loaded Fostex super tweeter. For amplification, Terry had the full spread of Josh Stippich's wondrous Electron Luv 45 amplifiers and preamplifier, which are easily the most gorgeous amplification devices ever created by human hands. They should be on display in the National Gallery of Art - really. I wish I could afford the Electron Luv gear; I'd buy a pair in a second. For phono amplification, Terry was using a big underground favorite known for its giant-killing performance: The George Wright-designed and -built vacuum tube phono preamplifier. When I got to Terry's place, his Teres turntable was sitting idle and music was playing through one of Vincent Sanders' computer hard-drive digital powerhouses to warm up the system. Terry's system has it all: Beautiful tone, great dynamics and a very musical yet detailed presentation. Then we dropped the needle on one of the many LPs we would spin that day and heard pretty much what Pete and I had heard with the burned-in Origin Live Silver in my system - good but not great.

"Hey Terry," said I, "Whaddya say we drop in the Aud 23 step-up tranny and see what happens?" "Sounds like an idea," said he. So we did and dropped the needle again. "Whoa!" said I. "Whoa!" Terry tossed right back at moi. All of a sudden everything that had troubled me about the Origin Live Silver arm vanished. In its place was one of the most stunning portrayals of the analogue kingdom I have ever heard - breathtaking! The vocal sheen and sibilance were gone and in its place was real flesh-and-blood vocal magic. The arm now conveyed music that was warmer, darker and fuller without losing any of the detail and snappiness that made it so engaging in my system. The notes became more liquid and fragrant too. Fed by the Auditorium 23 to amplify the Denon 103, I couldn't find a nit to pick with the Origin Live Silver arm. It was a beautifully emotive as well as a great-sounding presentation of the music. If you have a Denon 103 and a low-gain phono preamplifier, you should run out and get an Auditorium 23 tranny right now! Don't even think about it - just do it!

Jeff Day,

In context to Jeff's reveiew about our speaker cable Jeff Day liked to introduce also the person behind the the product.

Keith Aschenbrenner of Auditorium 23

Auditorium 23 is a HiFi import-export, retail sales and research & development business in Germany. It was established in 1980 and is owned and operated by Keith Aschenbrenner. Keith is largely unknown in the USA HiFi scene, except among those in the audio underground who are knowledgeable about the early history of the SET movement in France and Germany; or those hip to the glories of single-ended triode amplifiers, Platine Verdier turntables or the magnificent & historic Siemens Klangfilm loudspeakers (which have made a few select appearances at US HiFi shows in the last couple of years). At home, Keith has achieved the status of cultural audio icon over the years. His admirers refer to him as the Tube Apostle of Germany for his trials, tribulations and ultimate success in introducing fellow German HiFi and music lovers to the glories of the combination of vinyl playback, singled-ended-triode (SET) amplification and high- sensitivity loudspeakers, all built using the best principles of classic designs. I get the impression that Keith is a little uncomfortable with the domestic notoriety bestowed upon him, preferring instead to modestly play it down by viewing himself first and foremost as an audio everyman and music lover - just like you and me.

The full report you find here