Phono 2 feedback

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Audiovista

Phono 2 feedback
« on: 9 Mar 2017, 05:15 pm »
I read the following email last Monday morning. It made my day, my week, and my month! With great sense of humility and appreciation I post it here in full, with only minor formatting.

*****************************************************************
From: Joe
To: Boris
Sent: Sunday, March 5, 2017 10:22 PM
Subject: Phono 2 review
_________________________________


This has taken a while..... been in heaven!

Please use any of the following as you see fit. You may edit all or part at your discretion.

Thank you my friend!



Vista Audio Phono 2 Review

Associated Equipment


Sota Star upgraded to series V
http://www.sotaturntables.com


Eminent Technolgy 2 Tonearm
http://www.eminent-tech.com/main.html

Monster Alpha 2 MC cartridge


McIntosh MX-117 preamp
http://akdatabase.org/AKview/albums/userpics/10004/MX117%20Brochure.pdf


McIntosh MC-2155 Amp
http://sportsbil.com/mcintosh/Amps/MC2155/MC2155_own.pdf


Spica Angelus
http://spicaspeakers.com/specifications/spica-angelus-datasheet.php


Mirage Omni S-12
http://www.hometheatersound.com/equipment/mirage_omni_s12.htm


Interconnects Diy "Dark Matter"
http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=1490


Speaker Cables Diy "White Lightning Moonshine"
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/whitelightning/moonshine.html


Power supply Furman
http://www.furmanpower.com



Introduction

I have been a while writing this review, but as you will come to understand the Vista Phono 2 has demanded a serious amount of "chair time"!

Prior to the arrival of the Vista I have spent years aquiring equipment and fine tuning my setup, in my dedicated listening space. My final lineup has been so wonderful despite many auditions I have not added any new gear in over a decade.

The Sota/Eminent combo is a well known symbiosis.

The McIntosh Mx-117 has a unique and maybe the best MM phono stage made.

The McIntosh Mc-2155 is legendary

The Spica Angelus (Angelii?) in a small room are amazing.

"Dark Matter" interconnects....Cardas and Switchcraft.... beautiful!

"White Lightning Moonshine" I built them and never looked back!

Back in the eighties I had been listening to the Monster Alpha Cartridge, designed by Hisayoshi Nakatsuka of Zyx fame, built by hand, and highly compatible with the ET arm.



The Audio Vista Phono 2


Jump forward to 2016 and on one of my rare boxes of audio cleanout days, I discover an unopened Monster Alpha 2! The Mx-117 has a truly superb MM phono section but will not accomodate the 0.3mv of the monster.... phono stage shopping!


I came across Boris and Vista Audio through my phono stage research. Reviews of the Phono 1 and 1+ were credible, written without encumberence of sales,  by audiophiles like you and me. In my best "Serbian" I contacted Vista in reference to a tantalizing photograph of a "Phono 2" printed circuit board prototype.

Firstly I discovered Boris speaks perfect english, and that the Phono 2 was indeed a prototype that he was working on. I gave him the specs for the Alpha 2, and with the variable loading and gain we believed a good match would be possible.

I offered to help fund the project, after all where for a few hundred USDollars can you get a hand made phono stage with variable load & gain? My offer of funding was rejected as Phono 2 was already in the works and would be available for sale after thorough testing was complete.

Wow a boutique audio manufacturer in a stable financial condition, who was willing to bring a product to market properly!

I immediately pledged to be patient.

Patience apparently is rewarded. Testing of the Phono 2 took many months. For some a wait like this drives them to turn elsewhere, to me this demonstrates the absolute dedication of a designer/manufacturer to his craft. Boris maintained contact with me throughout, and finally offered me serial # 4 which I promptly purchased and had him sign the unit.

Shipping from Serbia to the USA is apparently very inexpensive, and super fast.... nothing however prepared me for the packaging I received.....encased in a plain wrapper, within a custom six sided polystyrene enclosure, was a printed sleeve wrapped foam case cut out for the Phono 2 and power supply. This is how you pack and ship, absolutely 5 stars!

That first weekend I installed the cartridge, Phono 2, and the extra pair of interconnects required. It took a couple of weeks experimenting to settle on tracking force, VTA points for various record thicknesses,  and gain and loading for the cartridge. This also allowed about 50 hours or so for burn in.

On the Phono 2 I ended up with 65db of gain and 147ohms loading. I set the filter to 10Hz fast rolloff.



Listening


I have tried to be as varied in my listening as possible in order to give a review consistent with many musical genres.

The Vista Audio Phono 2 keeps giving me one word...... "precision"

The Phono 2 can throw an immense and deep soundstage if required, yet also can deliver an intimate space or line array if the source requires. The soundstage is always reflective of the space required not overblown or contained just precise.

Instrumental positioning is extremely acurate, air and note placement again precise.

The following are excerpts from my listening notes.

Diana Krall live in Paris

The audience surrounds me, the band extending well beyond the speakers, the piano peddle noise draws attention, the unusual way Diana pronouces "S" in words.....


Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd Jazz Samba

The soundstage!

Deep, wide, the precision of instrument placement. The tone emanating from that saxophone.


Muddy Waters Folk Singer

The chairs creak!

That Organ is playing in my kitchen! (Kitchen is on the right side of music room wall)

The studio air just "clicked" on!

This is the best blues recording ever!


The Bee Gees Gold

Intimate...the difference between their voices is startling, at any time even on harmony I can pick each one.

This is beautiful. They are so talented.


Emerson Lake & Palmer Trilogy

Unlike the instruments firmly located in space the synthesizer sounds swirl around me even overhead "from the beginning" has never sounded like this!


La Boheme Pavarotti/Berlin Philharmonic

Full orchestra and chorus soundstage huge!!

Pavarotti in his prime everyone should hear this!


Belafonte at Carnegie Hall

I have been transported to another place and time! Harry walks around the stage singing and talking to me while the audience laughs, applauds, and sings along all around me


Pink Floyd Dark side of the moon

Rotary speaker overload... those solos, the highs the harmonics. AAA+++


Conclusion


With the Phono 2 I wish I could convey the shimmer, the way notes hang in the air, the accurate musical bass.

The exquisite placement of instruments, artist, and backup vocalists on the realistically sized stage.

If you are like me with a lifetime of musical enjoyment and are looking for a phono stage, look no further than Vista Audio Phono 2. She will serve you well through the years to come, integrating with your future systems or cartridges.



Final Thoughts


The Phono 2 gives you everything you want, quality, adjustability & compatiblity all wrapped up in a boutique package at a price so reasonable you wonder why this is not on every "class A highly recommended " list on the planet.

Then you realize Boris cares about music, does not place full page ads, buy lunches or send reviewers gifts.

I say bravo Boris and Vista Audio, you have a truly great phono stage that really plays music!







WireNut

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #1 on: 9 Mar 2017, 05:48 pm »
I'm waiting on the delivery of my Phono-2. Right now I'm using the Phono-1 ACLE unit and I love it.

Audiovista

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #2 on: 9 Mar 2017, 09:33 pm »
I'm waiting on the delivery of my Phono-2. Right now I'm using the Phono-1 ACLE unit and I love it.

Hi Steve, it should not take much longer!

bacobits1

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #3 on: 9 Mar 2017, 11:33 pm »
Hey...... waiting too.
No problem. Didn't leave Serbia yet on tracking.

Audiovista

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #4 on: 10 Mar 2017, 08:56 am »
Hey...... waiting too.
No problem. Didn't leave Serbia yet on tracking.

Hey Den,

I am checking the tracking on Serbian post office's site (it offers little more detail). Your and Steve's preamps left Serbia on March 2nd. Next tracking info will come when US customs scans the package. Soon, I hope!

Thank you,
Boris

bacobits1

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #5 on: 10 Mar 2017, 12:04 pm »
Tracking does seem to be slow this time. I figured it had to be somewhere in the last 10 days.
NY customs usually sits for 4 days but noted as such. NO bother though. It shall arrive.
 As always ........
Thanks B!

sfox7076

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #6 on: 10 Mar 2017, 12:25 pm »
I waited for a month for each of the last two European purchases I had.  Customs is insanely slow right now.  They also are not scanning it in.  My Saba radio left Frankfurt on 12/2. I got it  on 1/24.  No tracking update from 12/2 until 1/22.

WireNut

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #7 on: 14 Mar 2017, 04:36 pm »
Hey...... waiting too.
No problem. Didn't leave Serbia yet on tracking.

Hello bacobits1.

 Just wondering if your Phono-2 started moving from Serbia. Mine hasn't moved since Feb 2nd.
I know it will get here, just wondering if you've seen any movement.

Thanks.

bacobits1

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #8 on: 14 Mar 2017, 04:51 pm »
As a matter fact, just checked, No change there.
Boris shipped the Feb 28.
Last one came in fast like 7 working days Priority
Feb 2 is long time.
I got a fat Prioity package in from Australia in Dec 23 took 10 days.

WireNut

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #9 on: 14 Mar 2017, 04:54 pm »
Thanks. Same as mine, shipped on Feb 28th. Stuck in Serbia since the 2nd of March.

bacobits1

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #10 on: 14 Mar 2017, 04:56 pm »
More than likely otta Serbia sitting in NY customs to be scanned. S-N-O-W

WireNut

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #11 on: 14 Mar 2017, 04:58 pm »
Yeah. I'm hoping we'll see some movement by the end of the week.

GregC

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #12 on: 1 Apr 2017, 07:17 pm »
Any comments on the Phono-2 from those who received theirs?

bacobits1

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #13 on: 1 Apr 2017, 08:08 pm »
Not arrived yet. :scratch: :scratch:

Somewhere over the rainbow........................ :lol:
« Last Edit: 1 Apr 2017, 09:34 pm by bacobits1 »

bacobits1

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #14 on: 7 Apr 2017, 08:07 pm »
We got movement today. Constipated? :scratch:
Out of NY so next week I expect.

WireNut

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #15 on: 7 Apr 2017, 08:14 pm »
We got movement today. Constipated? :scratch:
Out of NY so next week I expect.

Same here.  :bounce:

Audiovista

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #16 on: 8 Apr 2017, 12:54 am »
Yeah, apparently the packages got stuck in West Nassau, NY. To be honest, I have no idea where that is. But it seems that search effort unearthed the misplaced packages, just as I was ready to send you new ones which (in the meantime) arrived to NY stock.

Thank you for the patience, and I hope you get your packages shortly.


bacobits1

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Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #17 on: 8 Apr 2017, 01:04 am »
Aha!!
West Nassau, NY is near Amityville.................. :scratch:

 :lol:


GregC

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #18 on: 8 Apr 2017, 05:24 am »
I look forward to hearing about people's experience with the phono-2 stages.  I am glad they finally were tracked down. 

sunnydaze

Re: Phono 2 feedback
« Reply #19 on: 8 Apr 2017, 01:34 pm »
There is a Nassau County in NY.  It's on Long Island.   I've lived in Nassau County my entire life.  Never heard the term "West Nassau".

But apparently it exists.....
A google search shows a post office by the name "Western Nassau".   It's in Garden City, Nassau County, LI.   Not far from me.  Perhaps I'll pick it up and give it a test listen?       :lol:        :thumb:

http://postofficefinder.org/ny/nassau/garden-city/11599/western-nassau/