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BEST ELECTRONICS (AUDIOPHILE) Minneapolis 2002 - Audio Perfection

We came to Audio Perfection with a dream: a dream of returning to vinyl-record use after a dozen or more years, with the help of upscale equipment that would make the most of this old, warm, and arguably still-superior technology. Owner Mark Balkowitsch heard our dream--in stereo--and began to speak softly and without pressure about the "elegant simplicity" of the Rega P3 turntable and its rock-solid construction. He explained that using the P3 at home with our 2001-era Harman/Kardon receiver would require the addition of a "phono stage" apparatus to prepare the signal for amplification, and that Rega manufactures one of these pieces quite carefully. Finally, he suggested that a modest cartridge (or "needle," if you prefer) by Rega or Shure would get us into the groove without breaking the piggy bank. Total cost of this dream? Twelve hundred bucks: $750 for the turntable, three bills for the phono stage, a C-note for the needle, and $50 for an original master recording of Kind of Blue on wax. We left the charmingly unpretentious Audio Perfection feeling that one day this little dream might be within our reach. The point of our story is to say that Balkowitsch never once seemed disappointed that we hadn't stopped in to place a down payment on the Wilson Audio speakers that he sells for...uh, $175,000 a pair. But we imagine that if this were the reason for your visit, he'd treat you with the same respect.

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