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Far from it. I just no longer have a "high end" system. If I could just have 1/4 of the money back I've spent on audio over the years, I'd have a brand new luxury car.
One question I would ask the OP (if he's still around; this is the reason I'm digging up this thread) is this ... did it come with the original manual? The Apt Holman owner's manual is the best organized, best written, best example hands down, of what an owner's manual should be. If it were up to me, I'd make every audio manufacturer read it, and learn from it. It's an outstanding document and should be the template for every manual for every thing, period.
One question I would ask the OP (if he's still around; this is the reason I'm digging up this thread)
Ha! Yeah, I think John's still around, unless someone has taken over one or both of the circles he facilitates here. God forbid that he's had a heart attack lifting some heavy item on his Magna Cart, so I would expect a reply. It'll be a hoot comparing his thoughts on audio equipment today vs 2007, can't wait.As far as your post, I love vintage gear and have two older pre amps, a PS Audio and a B&K. The Apt unit while groundbreaking in it's time, has always been flawed sonically from the start and durability wise over time. Worth it as a piece of audio nostalgia if you can get it for under $100 + servicing, otherwise a non starter.
We sold the Apt Holman when it was new. Broadly speaking, I can't really argue with the conclusions of the OP, but I think he places too much emphasis on the age of the unit versus it's inherent qualities. His description of it sounds exactly the same as my overall assessment of it's sound, only I came to my conclusions 30 years ago.It was a very good, but not drop-your-jaw great, preamp at the time. It is very quiet, one of it's best qualities. It has no glaring flaws. The phono section was above average compared to most, but not all, preamps you could get then. You have to realize that compared to it's peers it was revolutionary in the way it approached flexibility along with high sound quality. There were few standalone phono preamps available from anyone ... the dB Systems and PS Audio units were around, and of course there was the very expensive Mark Levinson. There were a few more, but the list was still very short. For the most part, you used the phono section of the preamp you ended up buying. dB Systems sold a kit of matching resistors and capacitors you could add to any unit to mimic what the Apt does in it's phono section (in fact, they still do sell it).You could get preamps that had the flexibility of the Apt Holman, but they were mid-fi units to a large extent, and the Apt either beat them, or cost half or more as much as the ones it couldn't beat. You could get "no-knobs, no buttons" type phono and control preamps at the time, and the better examples beat the Apt Holman. In the end, it was a cool unit that didn't sell very well because it's target market was small. High End users preferred one group of products, and the "every amp sounds the same, but I like those knobs and buttons" crowd preferred another group of products. Both groups "liked" the Apt Holman, but usually ended up buying in their comfort zone.We sold a few, mostly to musicians who were also into good sound. They loved the flexibility; it has great tape options as well, and this was a crowd that had a TEAC 3340 in the rack, beside the Technics SL-1200 with pitch control. Perhaps not everyone is aware of it, but pitch control allows a musician to play an LP and adjust the pitch to his instrument so he can play along and learn the song without re-tuning, since every song is typically tuned differently. The tape options allowed him to record his guitar, or whatever, and compare it to the record in real time. At the same time it could form the heart of a decent system for recreational music listening. If you were looking for one word to describe it, it would have to be "flexible". I think it did as much as you could reasonably expect it to sound-quality wise, considering the design goal.Now, the musician with a good system is a rare breed ... musicians don't necessarily need accuracy since they use musical cues to replicate music in their head in a way ordinary listeners do not. Plus, they are always broke, and when they do have money, spend it on different electronics than audiophiles do. So, no-one ever made money selling quality hifi to musicians.One question I would ask the OP (if he's still around; this is the reason I'm digging up this thread) is this ... did it come with the original manual? The Apt Holman owner's manual is the best organized, best written, best example hands down, of what an owner's manual should be. If it were up to me, I'd make every audio manufacturer read it, and learn from it. It's an outstanding document and should be the template for every manual for every thing, period.
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