Line Magnetic 216IA Amp and Well Tempered Amadeus Turntable

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by MWalt, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. MWalt

    MWalt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I made an appointment at Don Better Audio in East Cleveland today. Don Better has a boutique audio store located in a bazillion dollar century home that has a bunch of real cool rooms of very high end equipment. I was there for two reasons; I wanted to demo the Line Magnetic amps and the Well Tempered Amadeus Turntable. I learned a lot by this experience. I can assure you that Mr. Better is a very nice guy and extremely helpful in regards to assisting his customers in the audio hobby as well as being a gracious host. After walking around in a daze looking at Shindo, Tannoy, DeVore and other equipment that I will never have, we got down to demo the LM amps. I was most interested in the LM 216IA and the 211IA. The first thing I noticed is that the Line Magnetic amp is built like a brick shithouse. I love the easy bias adjustment and the plain industrial rugged appearance. Don had the amp (211IA) set up with a Musical Fidelity CDP and a pair of DeVore Gibbon standmounts. He played a couple cuts and my first impression was that the sound was VERY clean, tight and articulate. Sweet highs. It just sounded great! I did miss the lowest register of bass and I asked Don if the amp had a preout for a subwoofer and he gave me this look of complete amazement that I would even consider a sub with a high end system. It struck me as hilarious and made me think of Art Kyle and his stance on integrated subs, and in that moment I completely "got" ArtK. I just laughed and told Don to cut me some slack because, "hell it hasn't even been that long since I graduated to no tone controls". As we listened to both the 216IA and the 211IA, I came to the conclusion that I loved both of these amps. Don seemed to be partial to the EL34 tubes, but after listening to both, I ended up preferring the KT88 amp. Does it sound better than my Plinius amp? No, but it sounded as good in a different way. I have to have one! I found it interesting that the DeVore Gibbons are rated at the same sensitivity level as my Nola's so this amp will work. I don't want to bore you with flowery metaphors and Joe reviewer analogies, so you will just have to take my word on it. I just know "good" when I hear it and so will you.

    It was now time to demo the turntable. The Well Tempered Amadeus is well built and...different. It was kind of hard to wrap myself around a golfball and some fishing line for a tone arm, but after I listened to it I was sold. I know my Basis Audio 1400 beats up on Rega RP3's, lower end VPI's, and modded SL-1200's but the Amadeus just wipes the floor with my Basis. This is the TT that anyone should want. Don has had customers trade in their 10k decks for this one. At $2800 it is a steal. I will buy this one at my earliest oppportunity. The good news here is that this amp and turntable are affordable for average middle class folks like myself. Don Better audio will get my business very soon!
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  2. psyopwak

    psyopwak Active Member

    Great review.
    Don Better Audio is where I bought my Vandersteen speakers and where I got my 216IA. He's a good salesman and great for good Hi-fi advice, not to mention he gives top notch customer service. I think you will be very happy with the LM Audio gear.
  3. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Questionable Morels Subscriber


    That goofy, Rube Goldberg Well Tempered is one of the few times I'll ever use the word "Giant Killer".

    If you can get by your prejudices of the look of the design, and can live with the unconventional design and how it works (look up the ingenious spindle bearing arrangement), you'll be quite rewarded with glorious sound, as you've witnessed.

    It's not a practical table for me- a bit too finicky in my situation- but if my situation was more stable and I could set up the TT once, and leave it alone, this would be the table to go to next.

    I've never heard a bad word about any Well Tempered, new or old, and never heard a disappointing word about 'em.
  4. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Questionable Morels Subscriber

  5. MWalt

    MWalt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I just turned my sub off in honor of ArtK. :D I really don't need it because the Nola's go pretty low. They sound great.
  6. slippers-on

    slippers-on Music...let it move you!

    I never use a sub in my two channel and besides, the Canton's put out nice bass....they go down low as well.
  7. estreeter

    estreeter Super Member

  8. MWalt

    MWalt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I think my small listening area probably does have an effect on bass for the better. The Devore Gibbons that were part of the demo were in a very large space on stands that were way out from the walls and outer boundry.
  9. MWalt

    MWalt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Same as the audio shop I was in. An absolute bargain at that price. I still don't know how thay can sell them so low, but I am certainly not complaining.
  10. slippers-on

    slippers-on Music...let it move you!

    How low does your Boxers go? I have a pair of Nola Mini's...the speakers the Boxers replaced. I wonder how much different the two are.
  11. MWalt

    MWalt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Allegedly they are flat at 44hz. Thay sound about that. One thing I like about them is they have sensitivity of 90db at 1w/1m. But, they have a pretty constant impedence across the bandwidth that make them pretty efficient as well....

    I am listening to them now with the Pass F5 clone. This little amp has some sack. It plays plenty loud in my room for 25w a side.
  12. slippers-on

    slippers-on Music...let it move you!

    At 90db you should have no problem. The Boxers are nice looking speakers. I believe they out class my Nola Mini's.

    How about some pic's of the Boxers with the Clone?
  13. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

    Well done! Sounds like a fabulous time. I definitely believe that you know good sound when you hear it.
  14. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

    BTW do you remember what cartridge was on the WTA and was he using the DPS.
  15. MWalt

    MWalt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I think I was still in a giddy state from my amp demo and didn't pay much attention to the cart, etc. I can guarantee that like everything else he had for demo that it was very high end. I didn't see the DPS or any other external power supply, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. I guess I was blinded by the TOL Line Magnetic amp (I think they were 2 Line Magnetic 91A 300B Single Ended mono amplifiers), and what I believe were Tannoy Prestige Kensington SE speakers on the receiving end. We're talking about gear for the rich and famous here. What an eye opener!!
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  16. MWalt

    MWalt AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I'll take a pic and post it here tomorrow.
  17. datafone

    datafone Super Member

    Sounds like an awesome time had with all that nice gear :thmbsp:

    So are you getting one of those LM amps?

    I wish I had somewhere down here to audition the LM amps, just to hear them first hand :scratch2:

    Love the WT turntables.
  18. MikeT.

    MikeT. Displaced Irish Cajun Subscriber

    So are you taking the plunge into tube amplification? Once you have that much fun in one day, it's hard to change course. Your current system looks really awesome but when you get the urge to change, sometimes you just have to go for it. I've heard raves about the Plinius amps and am curious as to what is drawing you to the LM tube amps.
    I Have to look into the Well Tempered line of turntables. I think Art K. Recently got one. Is it really a golf ball that is used in the arm suspension? Nothing but rave reviews.
    Good luck with your upgrades to an already impressive system:music:
  19. komoyuki

    komoyuki Super Member

    Those today's bookshelf just do not need a sub anymore. Even for those folks who play concert volume. Look like a fun experience you had there my friend. You looking for a replacement over your Plinius ?
  20. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber


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