Vancouver 2015: Element Acoustics with Burmester, Transrotor, Koetsu


By Rafe Arnott

Vancouver-Audio-Show-CustomIt’s a hot, sunny Saturday in Vancouver and every brew pub patio between my place and the SkyTrain station beckons to me like a mermaid to a sailor.

But I stay focused.

A beautiful woman raises her pint glass to me and smiles as I walk by…

I lower my head. I walk faster.

As I make my way back to the cool, dimly-lit rooms of the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, I look a bit out-of-place with my oversized sunglasses and goofy smile, so I ditch them and my bag with David and Don in the Audio Note room, and after a couple quick laughs I head upstairs to listen to Element Acoustics Tier Two room.

Edward Ku has done another amazing job of choosing a very synergistic system to showcase his mid-priced balanced approach to high fidelity.

A gorgeous Transrotor Fat Bob Reference sporting a Transrotor/SME309 arm tipped with a Koetsu Onyx Platinum was piped through a Burmester Phono 100, a Burmester 111 Music Center preamplifier and a pair of Burmester 911 Mono power amplifiers.

So much polished metal.

The speakers were Burmester BA-71s and despite some technical difficulties, this system instantly impressed with its smooth, tonally accurate presentation and crystal-clear highs.

Midrange was crazy smooth and for some reason I was thrown back in time to Grade Four when I had a coveted pair of silver satin shorts for gym that neither I nor a handful of bold girls could help themselves from touching (bless you Heather Goode, wherever you are). It was THAT kind of smooth. Silky, creamy, palpable mids that just made you want to reach out and TOUCH it.

OK, I got that out of my system.

This was my first extended listening session with a Koetsu in the mix and it’s easy to understand why these Japanese cartridges beguile so many. There’s something to the sound that is difficult to put in words: it just sounds right.

(Great audiophile writing Rafe).

Edward had several Koetsu carts on display, and they look as great as they sound. You want to touch the stone, metal and wood bodies… just incredible craftsmanship apparent from any angle.

Edward very kindly offered a Koetsu for review, so look for my impressions in the coming weeks.

I’m off to his Tier Three room next. Acapella Violon Mk VI Speakers and Airtight amplification await.

Check back soon.


  • Burmester BA71 $55000 USD
  • Burmester 069 Reference $75000 USD
  • Burmester 111 $55000 USD (Used as preamp, but it’s a CD/DAC/music server/preamp)
  • Burmester phono 100 $20000 USD
  • Burmester 911 mono $35000 USD (each)
  • Burmester 948 conditioner $10000 USD
Koetsu Onyx Platinum ($8,999 CAN)






Koetsu Rosewood Signature ($4,999 CAN)


Koetsu Goldline Black ($2,499 CAN)


Koetsu Jade Platinum ($8,999 CAN)





About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream

1 Comment

  1. Those Koetsu cartridges are beautiful! Never seen anything like them before. Also the Burmester setup looked really great, like the stand too.

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