What People Say?
RGA Review (Aug 2001)
If you know my prior posts you know that that is and always was the argument I made about these manufacturers.
I would say – “they always have an excuse and speakers should be designed to operate in real rooms and hotel rooms are often reasonably typical of people’s homes.”
So RGA have you changed that view – sorta. Why?
Well if you hear a system in 6 different rooms (two different dealers in 3 rooms, your own home, at a show in two rooms and in every case they sound stunning and world beating – then you go to a show and boom it’s maybe 50% of what you always hear then that’s a room issue, set-up issue, position issue – something.
One of our writers owns a speaker and loves it but really felt they failed miserably at CAS – different gear – something off on the set-up.
Why the Sorta?
Well I agree with you IF you have heard them in the variety of rooms I mentioned and you disliked them every single time no matter what the gear used.
For example there are speakers that I have heard in numerous settings for 20ish years. SS Tubes – huge power stable to an ohm big room small room positioned by owners dealers the manufacturers and they always leave me somewhat cold.
So they clearly have a different set of goals that don’t line up with me.
But if you can see a picture of the Wilson room at CAS – I can’t believe that that was their IDEAL set-up. How many homes at the short wall have an emergency exit door? In such cases we have to say – ok the room here is a bit of a disaster so they made do the best they could. Unfortunately when the speakers are $199,000 we’re less sympathetic because perhaps subconsciously we expect them to sound like $199,000 which means they have to be orders of magnitude better than say a company like Von Gaylord where people are like “who the hell are they” and they utterly trounced the Wilson room on the discs I brought.
But Von Gaylord had them pretty ideally positioned in a room that was very favourable to their speaker size – Wilson’s room was a disaster.
Since I have heard the Sophia sound quite good – I am willing to accept the fanboys who say the big ones are great if you can get them in “fair” room. The fact is few shows or even dealers have the space and room quality that can support massive speakers like that. So how does anyone hear them. Most reviewers are not billionaires – I certainly don’t have the room for them – so how do I hear them set-up well? How does anyone who doesn’t own them or have rich friends who own them.
So the question is do you hear enough in the WATT or Sophia to perhaps say ok this is quite good and make the leap of faith that the big ones would be considerably better in the right room?
Von GayLord Happy Client for 25+ years
I have been a Legend/Von Gaylord client for 25+ years. I cannot say enough good things about their customer service. The products speak for themselves. Music is very important to me. I am not a wealthy guy but every time I listen to my system I feel like a millionaire. You cannot get a better system for the price and their customer service is second to none. I feel like I have a lifetime warranty.
David L – Happy Customer Von GayLord Audio
My first experience hearing a Von Gaylord audio system was at the Stereophile Home Entertainment Show in NYC I believe in 2001. Up until that point I have heard many audio systems at various audio salons in New York City and thought I knew what good sound was. Walking into the Von Gaylord Room was a revelation- a new beginning for me. It sounded better then anything I had heard before. The system recreated a musical event in the room. The performers were in the room with me! The sound was so real. I never thought loud speakers could disappear the way they did and I learned the true meaning of imaging. I continued to return to the room during the show to enjoy the music and learn more about a company I hadn’t heard of up until that time. While other rooms at the show produced nice sound none produced such a memorable life changing event.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position to afford a Von Gaylord system or I would have taken a taxi home with everything! But I did learn a lot from that experience and compared my memories to a system I could better afford. Never happened!
Fast forward six or years or so and I was in a better position financially and decided it was time to try Von Gaylord Audio components in my home. I called their office in California and spoke to Ray Leung. We had a nice long conversation and he took the time to answer all of my questions. I decided to purchase the Legend loudspeakers. The sound quality was much better then the speakers I was using and I knew I wanted more of that sound I heard at the Stereophile Home Entertainment Show.
During the subsequent three years I was able to put together a Von Gaylord Audio system which now includes: The Uni Dac, LAD- L2 Signature preamp, Nirvana monoblocks (I upgraded from the LM Triodes), Legend loudspeakers and all wired with Chinchilla cables. I can now say my system sounds even better then my memories of the Stereophile Home Entertainment Show!
The system really took a giant leap forward when I recently added the Uni Dac. Everything improved including imaging, sound staging and bass response. But I wasn’t prepared for the incredible improvement in dynamics! This is where the Uni surpasses all other Dacs I had an opportunity to listen too. I didn’t realize a Dac could have such a profound effect on the overall sound of a system. After listening to the Uni Dac I am convinced there is no need for SACD, HDCD or vinyl for that matter. Standard CD never sounded better and I have no desire for other formats.
While I am perfectly happy with Von Gaylord components the experiences I have had dealing with Ray and Necole are even more important. They truly make you feel like family. Ray is always available. Just call him leave a message and he’ll get back to you anytime! I remember the first time I called and left a message on a weekend thinking I would get a call back Monday morning. Much to my embarrassment Ray called me back in a few hours! Try that with any other manufacturer!
It’s the combination of excellent components and even better customer service that I will be a life long customer of Von Gaylord Audio.
Long Term Satisfied Customer of Von GayLord Audio (July 2011)
I’m a long term customer of VonGaylord audio. I’ve own gears from Audio Research to Levinson to Spectral to Martin Logan, and I have say VonGaylord audio makes some of the most wonderful sounding equipment. My only wish is I discovered them earlier. Thanks guys!!
Von GayLord Audio Components Review (Dec 2011)
I discovered Von Gaylord after purchasing a pair of interconnects on Audiogon. This was the beginning of a slippery slope to completely revamp my entire audio system to all Von Gaylord components. Once I heard the interconnects, I was immediately hooked by the fluid and natural sound. I quick progressed to other cabling and then was lucky enough to get introduced to Ray.
Ray is one of the nicest and most pleasant people that I have ever worked with. He brought over a variety of Von Gaylord components (speakers, pre-amp, amp) for me to audition in my home. He set it all up to perfection and let me compare against my existing B&W, Lamm, and Allnic system, without ever being pushy or overly salesy. He simply let me enjoy the music and make up my own judgement. Less than a week after I auditioned his components, I bought the whole Von Gaylord system.
The components are amazing and the service from Ray is first-class.
Thanks again Ray.
VGA 1 Speakers, LAD – L2 and Chinchilla Cables (Jan 2012)
This is a long review, but I hope, worthwhile reading. I have always loved the sound from the Von Gaylord rooms at all the audio shows I have attended. I have been through more equipment changes then I care to mention but there have been many. While each has had it’s strengths I’ve always lusted after a different sonic presentation. I purchased some used Von Gaylord equipment on Audiogon to see if I could recreate the magic I had heard at the shows. Unfortunately, the Pre Amp I purchased had a loose ground so I sent it to Ray at Von Gaylord. He was very understanding and offered to repair it under warranty at no charge to me.
He also offered me a generous trade in towards the LAD-L2 Signature which I took advantage of. He never tried to pressure me to upgrade but let me decide. After that I purchased some VG1 speakers and I was constantly calling and Emailing him to help me dial in the system. I was quite the pest but he was always gracious and patient with me. I mentioned to him that I would be at “The Show” in Las Vegas and I would stop by and see him. As usual he had one of the best sounds at the show and that was with a room that was much less than ideal. He offered to stop by my home on his drive back from Las Vegas. I live in Seal Beach and it was going out of his way to say the least. I have never felt more taken care of after a sale! He took his time helping dial in the system and he also brought in the new Legend speakers the Uni DAC and some Chinchilla cables for me to demo. Wow! It was the best sound I had ever heard in my room. I was clearly able to hear every improvement because I was so familiar with the room. It is a cliche but the performers were in the room. I wanted to cut a check right there for everything but unfortunately I was not in a position to do so. I was able to upgrade to the Legend speakers and the rest will come as finances allow. I am now the proud owner of the Legend speaker with VG plus the LAD-L2 Signature Pre Amp and the LM Triode Mono amps. So how does it sound you may ask???????????
In one word FANTASTIC! I have been up till 2 am every night going through my music collection. The sound is both warm and transparent. This warmth does not come from attenuating the upper registers….exactly the opposite! I have played drums professionally for over 20 years and I can tell you that cymbals have never sounded as real. The imaging is first rate and the speakers disappear into the room. The bass cabinet blends seamlessly with the monitor and the bass is both deep and tune full. An added bonus is that many of the CDs I thought were marginal are now pleasant to listen to. Much of the grain that I thought was in the recordings was from my older system. I cannot tell you how much I attribute the improvement to the electronics or the speakers as I changed out both simultaneously. All I can say is that in my opinion, Von Gaylord get’s it! These components should be on everyone’s audition list. In addition, Ray is a pleasure to deal with and he has pride in the line. I apologize for such a long review but I hope it helps if anyone is still sitting on the fence as I was. Make the jump to the Von Gaylord family.
Von GayLord Audio System Review (April 2013)
I was introduced to Von Gaylord Audio by a coworker who I discovered is a fellow audiophile. When I asked him what was in his system he said everything was from Von Gaylord Audio and proceeded to gush over how musical and just “right” all of their products sounded. Curious, I decided to try a pair of Chinchilla interconnects with no expectation that I would want to replace my Audience AU24e cables, which I was quite happy with. The moment I first connected those Chinchillas and hit play proved to be a huge turning point for me. I was stunned. These cables had it all — lots of detail, spaciousness, air, rich tone that was smooth yet amazingly textured at the same time, extension on both ends. Even handed, vibrant but soothing, eminently musical.
Okay, so the interconnects were great, but what about the slew of other components that Von Gaylord offers? Still with a dose of skepticism, I came across a local deal on an LAD-L2 linestage preamp and decided to give it a go. Sure, the Chinchilla interconnects were able to upstage the comparably priced AU24e cables, but at the time I was using a very highly lauded Conrad Johnson CT5 preamp with 6H30PDR “supertubes”, which cost the better part of $10,000. Could the LAD-L2 even compare to a unit costing nearly double? Well, the L2 is still here and the CT5 is long gone. Did the L2 step all over the CJ as the Chinchillas did to the AU24e? No, not quite. There were a few a things the CJ objectively did better. A little more stage depth, a little larger scale, more macro dynamic punch, but the L2 had the upper hand where it really counted. The music flowed better. It was more fleshed out, simultaneously richer and airier, just more emotive and soul piercing. Simply put, the L2 put a bigger smile on my face.
Fast forward a year and Von Gaylord Audio has replaced nearly every piece of my systems — that’s plural. Pass Labs, Luxman, Sonus Faber, Berkeley Audio Design, Bel Canto, VTL, JPS Labs, Placette, Belles, McCormack, Almarro — gone, gone, gone, gone, gone… The only pieces I haven’t replaced are due to budgetary constraints. The Nirvana power amps truly marry the best of tubes and solid state, and are very quiet with very low heat output to boot! The Legend 7000 power cords and interconnects improve upon the Chinchillas by a pretty substantial margin — I NEVER would have thought that would be possible had I not heard it first hand. The Chinchilla speaker cables trounced the AU24e speaker cables even more handily than the interconnects did. The Uni DAC is EASILY the most turntable-like DAC I’ve ever heard, hands down. The Legend speakers combine the detail, clarity, and imaging precision of Wilson with the sweet, rich tone of Sonus Faber. Everything is just superb, well balanced, and brings the MUSIC out of the sound. I believe there is some kind of Von Gaylord voodoo magic that is injected into every product they sell.
Best of all, the level of service I have received from Ray has been absolutely first rate, top notch. He personally picks up and delivers goods for service and upgrades to my home and sets them up, free of charge. He even brings by goodies just to try them out with no pressure to buy. Really, who does that these days? Any questions and the response is always prompt, friendly, and informative.
I could not be happier as an audiophile and a customer. I need to buy my coworker a drink. Many thanks to Von Gaylord Audio!
Von Gaylord Audio System Review by Justin (June 2013)
Von Gaylord Audio is simply stunning. The quality of the sound is unparalleled. I am by no means an audiophile and therefore not great at telling the difference between high end audio systems. That was until I heard Von Gaylord at the insistence of a long-time audiophile friend. I have not yet heard an audio system that comes close the the crispness and fullness of the sound of a Von Gaylord setup. You are doing yourself a horrible disservice if you buy an audio system prior to listening to Von Gaylord.
I’ve now had the system for over half a year and I could not be happier with the sound. Friends that come over regularly and unprompted comment on how amazing it sounds. I actually had a neighbor leave a note at my door after a late night of listening to music with friends that said “I love your music. You should do that more often.”
Not only is the sound amazing, the service from Ray is excellent. He is one of the nicest people I’ve met and it is immediately evident when you meet Ray that Von Gaylord and audio equipment is his passion. Ray brought over his equipment for me to try out so I could hear the sound in my own place. While we were listening, Ray was helping tweak each part of the setup from wires to speaker position to ensure I had the perfect experience and was clearly looking for candid feedback on what I liked and didn’t like about the sound. In my case, I loved everything about the sound and didn’t have anything I didn’t like. He let me keep the equipment at my place for a few days before I decided to keep it. I guess he knows that once you hear Von Gaylord there’s no way you’ll settle for anything less.
Von Gaylord Speakers
“Am I the only one blown away by the amazing Von Gaylord speakers? Tucked away in the very last ice hut, just them and an unassuming tube amp on the floor, I think they were the best speakers at the show. Astounding, they were. Anybody familiar with this San Francisco outfit? Seems they also have a 200-watt per channel liquid-cooled triode amp on their roster. But those speakers, piano black truncated pyramid stand-mounts with 8 inch fiberglass woofers and 1.5 inch titanium tweeters, they were absolute magic. They could be my last speakers. Already half price at 5 thousand, the guy said I could have them for 3500. If I had that kind of money I would have grabbed them in a heartbeat. “
Starlet-4 & VG – 8 Review
Hi I have the Starlet-4 & VG – 8 speakers it is magnificent very smooth sounding zero-listening fatigue I can only imagine what the Higher priced sound like i’m absolutely thrilled I chose Von Gaylord
VG Audio Products
Although the name may or may not be familiar you, Von Gaylord Audio (formerly known as Legend Audio) have a strong reputation for great sounding hi-fi in many parts of the world and it is not by no surprise to learn that their customer base has been rapidly growing in the UK. They are very much known for producing exceptional and innovative designs such as water-cooled amps but also Von Gaylord Audio are one of the very few companies that will provide the complete audio setup including speakers, cables and interconnects.
My personal experience of VG Audio products has been one of the best in all the years of owning different hi-fi systems. High standards of after-sales service, exceptionally well-built products and most importantly, great sound. The company has also impressed many other reviewers of audio equipment including Stereo Times, Sterophile and IAR. It seems that a well-balanced VG Audio system is capable of bettering much more expensive systems and in fact, has on several occasions reported to be the best one of the best sounding rooms at annual audio events. It is no doubt that Von Gaylord are a fresh face in audio equipment here in the UK and are here to offer something special in the audio market.
During my first listening experience, I was left in complete admiration of the overall quality of the equipment on show. What struck me straight away was the incredible level of depth and soundstage coming from the two-way ported design Von Gaylord Return of the Legend speakers. They sounded much larger than I would expect coming from a speaker of such design. That said, these were not small bookshelf speakers and therefore would need solid stands to support their heavy weight and size. They also looked absolutely stunning in the mahogany high gloss finish. The rest of the setup consisted of the new Nirvana mono block valve amplifiers with an impressive power output of 110w ($8495), a Legend Audio Harmony valve pre-amp ($12,995), a VG Uni DAC ($12,995), VG Chinchilla Interconnects and speaker cable.
So how would I personally describe the sound after a couple hours of listening? I would have to say that this is a subjective question and everything depends on the individual listener and their ears! However for me, this system was just sublime, packing punch with an incredible dynamic expression that almost resembled live performances. Music just sounded so good, so far as to say that it was almost addictive. The highs were smooth and not intrusive whilst the lows were full of depth with great slam, a real credit to the powerful Nirvana amps that sounded and looked wonderful. I later had the pleasure of listening to the system through vinyl playback; Rega RP6 and a Dynavector 10X5 cartridge and the system continued to make music sound detailed, full bodied and sweet, using the source to its full potential and giving back every last detail in a natural and uninterrupted way. I have heard some expensive valve systems that sound good but not quite as good as this one. Some valve setup listening experiences have left me somewhat unimpressed because they can tend to be too much on the warm side and even uneventful at times. However, Von Gaylord in my opinion, seem to have mastered it in revealing the true potential of high quality valve setups.
I was also lucky enough to meet Ray Leung of Von Gaylord Audio at the show. He has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the hi-fi industry and I would recommend anyone to get in touch with him for support and advice on building the perfect Von Gaylord audio system.
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