Lyra Connoisseur (Japan) 4-3 line and phono stage

Exclusively demonstrated in North American at Hi Fi One via Lyra Atlas and Etna SE cartridges.

These electronics are magnificently constructed and aesthetically pleasing in a minimalist design, and they are sonically SOTA. Lyra is one of the worlds best phono cartridge manufactures. The 4-3 pair are the ultimate companions "cost-no-object" utilizing a brilliant boundary-layer air-dielectric circuit design of Johnathan Carr who also designs Lyra cartridges.

The 4-3 line stage

The 4-3 line stage

The 4-3 phono stage in situ.

The 4-3 phono stage in situ.


Audio Note Kondo (Japan) KAGURA

New in 2016


50 wpc, parallel single ended, 211 monoblocks.

Two complete sets of factory supplied tubes. One brand new Feb 28, 2018 and still burning in.

All original packaging, manual and unused warranty card will be supplied.

World-wide  shipment included.

Demo available in Carlsbad showroom by appointment.

List price $215,000.00

Sell price $85,000.00 USD


Dan D’Agostino Momentum S250 Black $29,000

This unit was brand new Q3 of 2018. 250 wpc. Current generation. The amp is factory fresh and upgraded with a Audio Magic (beeswax) fuse. The factory white gloves, RCA to XLR adapters and manual are included in the flight case.

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Berning Quadrature Z, 220 wpc OTL mono amplifiers are back in stock. They incorporate David Bernings’s latest thinking on circuit refinement and tube management. The 33JV6 output tubes have a service life of 20,000 hours. And given the efficiency of the patented ZOTL circuit, only 4 tubes per channel are requires vs. the typical OTL with 20 each 6AS7G output tubes running so hard tube life is minimal and heat generation oppressive to get the same 220 wpc.

Moreover, the sonic excellence, load tolerance, reliability, low weight and low heat generation define these amplifiers as one-of-one for high power OTL operation. Full auto bias and worldwide plug-n-play operation borne of an advanced switch mode power supply and full power factor correction.

Like the absolute best medium power Berning 845 Reference amplifiers $75,000 that Robert Harley of the Absolute Sound made ‘Amplifier of the Year 2016’ and declared, “the best amplifier he has ever heard and in a class by itself”, the trickle down in the current iteration Quadrature Z is unmistakable. It remains the best high-powered OTL extant. Moreover, the amplifier can drive very difficult loads like the notorious MBL 101 because of its technical superiority.

$33,000 USD one left in stock Feb 14, 2019

Lyra cartridges are back in stock with immediate delivery subject prior sale. Etna $8,995, Etna SL $9,995, Atlas $11,995 and Atlas SL $12,995. Call for Lyra’s trade up pricing. All used Lyra cartridges in working order can be traded in at any time against a new Lyra cartridge.

Please visit my showroom in Carlsbad, California to experience the reference system.

Tidal Akiras speakers (one of two showrooms in the US), Berning 845 ZOTL Hi Fi One edition reference amplifier with custom made to specifications German Elrog 845 tubes, full EnKlein “David” cable loom including the Hi Fi One edition “Super David” AC cord, SMc / Hi Fi One line stage and AC Nexus filter, Lyra Connoisseur 4.3 line stage and Lyra Connoisseur 4.3 phono stage, CEC TLO 3 belt drive Transport and CEC DA0 3 DAC, Dohmann Helix 1 turntable + Lyta Atlas, Stillpoints reference isolation and room treatments and the Sonorus Proximity analogue room correction system.

This system defines the Hi Fi One ethos – technology in the service of music.

I look forward to serving you.

Rick Brown
+1 612 8171599


RBHIFI1 Newsletter
June 2017

Munich High End Show & Carlsbad, Ca reference system improvements

THE Show Newport 2015
New Report September 21, 2015

Jim Merod writing for

THE Show Newport May 31, 2015
New Report September 21, 2015

Jason Serinus writing for was on assignment covering "cost-no-object systems". 

The most mesmerizing system I encountered at THE Show—the one I most regretted not being able to revisit on Day 3—was jointly presented by Rick Brown of Hi Fi One of Southern California and Stillpoints. Brown, shown here with Steve McCormack, worked with Paul Wakeen of Stillpoints to assemble a system whose ability to convey delicacy and nuance took my breath away.
As Shirley Horn sang Joao Gilberto's "Estate" via a Sonorus ATR 10 tape machine ($17,000) and a special, holographically remastered 2-channel tape taken from the 6-channel SACD of her Here's to Life, the music's gorgeous midrange, glowing warmth, and to-die-for timbres were unparalleled in my experience. The world debuts of the SMc Audio/ HiFi One Silver Signature edition linestage ($50,000) and SMc Audio/Hi Fi One Nexus AC power enhancer ($16,000), as well Berning/Hi Fi One 211/845 OTL mono amplifiers ($75,000/pair), were also responsible for the magical presentation.
The virtually indescribably delicacy, warmth, and tonal beauty of a 24/96 track from M•A Recordings' Sera una Noche, as transmitted by a chain that included the US debut of the Wadax PRE 1 native DSD DAC with Zepto clock, phono, A/D, and SSD server ($72,670) as well the SMc Audio components, were astounding. In both setups, EnKlien David cabling and Entreq grounding cabling allied with Entrq's Silver Tellus grounding box ($2699) conveyed a pristine silence between notes that was positively addictive.
Equally essential credit goes to the Kaiser Kawero Classic loudspeakers ($65,000/pair), whose ability to convey height, clarity, and tonal beauty turned heads in several rooms at the show. Finally, the room's 13 Stillpoints Aperture room treatments ($650/each), 44 Stillpoints Ultra 6 equipment supports ($899 each), world debut Stillpoints ESS Low Profile Rack ($8295), and 2 Stillpoints ESS Grid racks with Ultra 6 supports ($25,172 each) were essential components in the system. They couldn't totally address bass booming in the extremely difficult acoustic, but they tamed it to a remarkable extent. Experience suggests that without the Stillpoints products, the system would not have been as breathtaking as it was.

T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2015 Report
The Home Entertainment Show 2015 / SMc Audio & Wadax

The Audio Federation Newport Beach 2015 Report

AV Showrooms Newport 2015 Video Report

Hi Fi One / Stillpoints System Suite 1406

            Berning / Hi Fi One 211/845 OTL amps $75,000 pr.
            Kaiser Kawero Classic speakers $65,000 pr.
            EnKlien David balanced interconnect $16,000 mtr. 2 each
            EnKlein David USB cable 1.50 mtr pricing TBD
            EnKlien David AC cable 5 ft. $8,000. 8 each
            EnKlein 8 foot speaker cable $28,875 pr.
            Entreq Silver Tellus grounding box $2,699
            Entreq Eartha Atlantis grounding RCA $1,639
            Entreq Eartha Apollo grounding RCA $849
            Stillpoints ESS Grid Rack with Ultra 6’s $25,172. 2 each  
            Stillpoints ESS Low Profile Rack $8,295 - world debut
            Stillpoints Ultra 6's $899 ea. 44 each
            Stillpoints Aperture room treatments $650 ea. 13 each
            Sonorus ATR 10 tape machine $17,500
            Sonorus / Hi Fi One Proximity room compensation system $12,000
            SMc Audio / Hi Fi One Silver Signature edition line stage $50,000 - world debut
            SMc Audio / Hi Fi One Nexus AC Power Enhancer $16,000  - world debut
            Wadax PRE 1 Ultimate Native DSD DAC with ZEPTO clock, phono, A/D, and SSD server - $72,670 US debut



The Munich High-End Show
The Absolute Sound Show Report

By Robert Harley | May 23, 2014


David Berning’s patented ZOTL circuit that allows an output-transformerless (OTL) amplifier to maintain a constant output impedance and to drive real-world loads has been applied to an ambitious new monoblock amplifier called the 211/845 OTL. The model number says much about this amplifier; it can operate with either 211 or 845 output tubes—without any user adjustment. The self-biasing output stage automatically adjusts for the tube type. The 60W amplifier operates in pure Class A triode mode, is differentially balanced, and features zero global feedback. The power supply is power-factor corrected. Price: $73,500 per pair. The amplifier is represented by Rick Brown of Hi-Fi One.

2013 CES / THE show

My favorite of both shows may just be the pairing of the TNT Audio amps and Kaiser Kawero Speakers ($66K)  in the Wadax room at THE Show. One of the most profound show turnaround stories was the appearance of the Audio Power Labs 833TNT Monoblock Tube Amplifiers ($175K) which were used in a less than acceptable system with the Leonardo Model 8 Ribbon-Planar Speaker at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. At that time I had said, “I believe, individually, these components have the capacity to sound far better and perhaps utterly enchanting, but this was a tough demo.” In a stunning about face the 833TNT was glorious when paired with the Kaisers!
Ricky Brown at Wadax had this rig set up superbly. Though the Kaiser is not a huge speaker, by placing them farther away than usual they were able to breathe and cast a monstrously large and utterly natural soundstage far closer to attendance at a live event than most systems at the shows conveyed. Both vinyl and file playback were neigh unto unassailable; hearing a comparison of Una Sera Noche first via a 24/196 file from the Wadax Hermes Server ($44K), then from the test LP through the Wadax Pre 1 with Phono ($34K) was a treat.

2012 CES / THE Show
The Audio Beat

Spain’s Wadax showed their fascinating PRE 1, a combination preamplifier/phono stage/DAC ($32,500) together with their new La Pasíon powered loudspeakers ($106,500/pair, with dedicated 400-watt amplifiers for each woofer and midrange driver). A C.H. Precision CD player ($36,000) was used as a transport for digital sources, while a Brinkmann Oasis direct-drive turntable ($13,700) with the Brinkmann 9.6 'arm ($4000) and Brinkmann Pi cartridge ($2700) and Echole cabling completed the system.
The ferociously complex Wadax PRE 1 is a fascinating component. As explained to me by importer Rick Brown of HiFi One, it can perform a remarkable array of functions, including analog-to-digital conversion of phono signals, in which RIAA equalization is applied in the digital domain. It can also serve as a DAC via its USB, S/PDIF, TosLink and BNC inputs and, when coupled with the Pasíon, contains a 5Wpc amplifier for the speakers’ tweeters. Even more impressive, a user can, using a test LP supplied with a phono-equipped PRE 1, play that recording, record the signal generated by the analog playback setup to a thumb drive or laptop, and send it via e-mail to Wadax. He will receive back software that can be uploaded into the PRE 1 to compensate for any and all electronic discontinuities in the owner’s analog system entirely within the digital domain. In addition to being an incredibly sophisticated piece of audio gear, the PRE 1 is built like a battleship and a striking piece of industrial design.
Now I am someone who generally prefers to keep digitization as far away from my LPs as possible, but the Wadax was, as far as I could hear, sonically indistinguishable from the top echelon of dedicated phono stages. The system sounded superb with the jazz LPs and acoustic-guitar duets Brown spun as well as the Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger "Light My Fire" from the remastered CD of Streetnoise. Bass guitar and upright bass had first-rate pitch definition and were exceptionally articulate and bloomy. Driscoll’s voice was dead-bang on in every way and surrounded by a well-defined space. While very expensive, the Wadax gear may well be a precursor of high-end things to come.