I started my true audiophile journey as an end consumer with 47 Lab (designer: Junji Kimura). At the time, if anyone said I would one day sell audio equipment, Iwould have thought they were nuts. Amazingly even at the time I thought if I ever had a business of my own, I would conduct customer service as well as 47 Lab folks (Yoshi, Sead, Teramura san, and Junji).
As I was living in Tokyo at the time, Teramura san, the marketing director of 47 lab in Tokyo was my main contact. Sead Leijlic of Bosnia taught me a lot and provided my Essence speaker units. Yoshi of Sakura Systems was his pleasant self as always providing me with detailed information. He even fedexed English manuals to me from America. I was so impressed with the quality of the service, and the teamwork. I think of Yoshi and Sead as trusted friends and appreciate their support all these years. Yoshi and I talk regularly about many things including arts (he is a great artist with amazing sense and eyes).
I bought my first set composed of a 47 lab gain card, a Flatfish transport, a Progression DAC, two units of Power Dumpty and one Power Humpty. Teramura san, also made lots of OTA cables for me. he and Junji came to our home in the Daikanyama area of Tokyo (near Shibuya) for dinner and set up of my system. After a few months, I learned more about analog; bought the 47 lab shigaraki phono stage, a Miyabi 47 cartridge, an input chooser, and a few other things.
47 Lab makes both analog and digital front ends, as well as amps. they also have both a reference line and a lower priced model called 47 lab Shigaraki. Even with the reference model, you do not have to buy everything at once. For example, you can start your Gaincard (amp) to one power supply first and upgrade with an additional power supply later on. The Flatfish transport does not really need a DAC first. If you want to, you can add a DAC (called Progression – which I recommend highly) with one power supply, and later on add another power supply. Same with the phono stage. so the design is pretty modular and helps you upgrade gradually if you wish.
The Shigaraki model comes pretty much with the power supplies included. these products have a ceramic enclosure from an area of japan, known for their pottery, called Shigaraki. Those who know me, also know of my interest in Japanese arts and ceramics. If you do not know me, then take a look at the earth section of this website and enjoy the pictures of my ceramics.
- Mc Bee phono cartridge ($1,500)
- Tsurube tone-arm ($2,250)
- Koma turntable ($12,000)
- 47 Lab phono cube (means phono stage $2,750)
47 lab products are just jewels. they look like nothing else you own or will see and for a reason. they keep to the minimum essentials and focus on neutral sound.
Yes. 47 lab only does what it is best at and what it sees as necessary. It does not make a pre-amp in their reference line but makes an input selector, called naturally Input Chooser. You can use it with the Gaincard easily as it has a volume control. In fact, I have two Input Choosers in one of my showrooms. One with the Gain card, and the other connected to my Wavac 805 mono blocks. It allows me to connect up to 4 sources to my Wavac 805 amps which has a volume control. I love the looks of the hairline thin Stratos OTA cables connected to my big big Wavacs.
- Gaincard amplifier $1,850
- Flatfish CD player/transport unit $4,400
- Progression DAC $3,400
- Progression/Gemini DAC (you need two power supplies for this) $4,500
- Phono Cube phono equalizer $2,750
- PiTracer CD transport unit with one Power Humpty $32,500
- Power Humpty power supply (25w/50w) $2,250 / $2,800
- Power Dumpty $2,250
- Input Chooser $1,000
- OTA cable kit $800
47 Lab Shigaraki model is composed of four main products:
- Shigaraki Integrated amp with three inputs $2,550
- Shigaraki Transport $2,550
- Shigaraki DAC $2,000
- and Shigaraki phono stage $2,250
Of interest also, 47 Lab has a tuner called model 4730. I have always longed for an audiophile quality tuner without all the extra crazy knobs. It is a full analog tuner with three gang variable conductor and has an 88 to 108 Mhz capability. What is more, is that it is as simple and beautiful as other 47 Lab products.