December 2017
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Treating S.A.D. (Seasonal Amplifier Disorder)

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , , |

by Steve Graham

Living near 45 degrees North latitude and 80 degrees West longitude means short days, long nights, cold temperatures, howling winds and blinding blizzards this time of year.  Once I compiled my list of woes and stopped feeling sorry for myself, I suspected that a touch of seasonal affective disorder, aka S.A.D., might be the reason behind my funk.  A little activity (that doesn’t involve shovelling snow) might be diverting and beneficial to my amplifier specifically and the sound of my system overall.… Read the full article

Redcloud – PS Audio's New DirectStream Operating System

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

Main System


Von Schweikert Audio VR-35 Export Deluxe,  REL Strata III Subwoofer       


Pass Labs XA30.8 Class A Stereo Amplifier, “Fugly F4” DIY First Watt F4 Impedance Converting Amplifier (Thanks DIY Audio!), Homebrew Basic  David Slagle AVC Autoformer passive volume control, First Watt F7 Power Amplifier, Pass Labs INT-60 Integrated Amplifier


Analog: Music Hall MMF-9 Turntable with Project Carbon 9c Arm modified with with Cardas Litz phono wire and Expressimo Audio’s Half Moon Heavyweight Counterweight, Lyra Delos MC Cartridge,  Goldring Maestro MC Cartridge, George Wright WPP100C phono-stage and WP100 Sowter Step-up Transformer, Pass Labs XP-15

Digital: PS Audio DirectStream Junior, Sony DVP-S7700ES DVD player.… Read the full article

A Look Back at Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson's 40 Years in High-End Audio, Part 2: “It Just Sounds Right”

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , |

Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson

Lew Johnson (left) and Bill Conrad (right) with the ACT2 preamplifer at a CES many years ago!

This is the story of Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson of conrad-johnson. The always introspective Bill and the ever-affable Lew. Two audiophiles who in their personal quest for audio nirvana came together and successfully parlayed their unbridled passion about high-end audio equipment and music into a highly successful business. A company that celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and joined that exclusive list (for millennials, that’s like having 5000 Facebook friends!) of American high-end audio companies such as Spectral, Audio Research, VPI, Magnepan, Grado, Wilson Audio, Krell, McIntosh, and PS Audio achieving this feat.… Read the full article

conrad-johnson 40th Anniversary ART300 Monoblock Tube Amplifiers, Part 1: Forty Years and Still Going Strong

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , , , |

conrad-johnson 40th Anniversary ART300 Monoblock Tube Amplifiers

When conrad-johnson releases a statement product, everybody listens. Particularly when the new 40th anniversary ART300 amplifiers are the team of Bill Conrad, Jeff Fischel and Lew Johnson’s first crack at an amplifier design incorporating the newly designed Tungsol KT-150 output tubes.

Make no mistake. The new 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers aren’t the conrad-johnson Premier One amplifier your grandfather father knew. Nor the Premier 8 amplifier your father knew. Not even the original conrad-johnson ART amplifiers that I’ve grown accustomed to for the past seven or so years.… Read the full article

Cindy Wilson – Brother

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: ItisHifi - Vintage|Tags: , |

Cindy Wilson of The B-52’s has a new band togethr and is currently on tour. I missed the show last night and I’m bummed. If you see she is coming to yur town down’t miss it. 
Here is the video for Brother.

Review: Getting my groove on with one-step vinyl releases

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In business, it can be advantageous to cut out the middle man. In vinyl record production, too, less can be more. The latest mini-trend in the audiophile world is one-step recordings, which eliminate two parts of the manufacturing process.

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab dropped its first one-step record in 2016 with Santana’s Abraxas, followed early this year by the Bill Evans Trio’s Sunday at the Village Vanguard. Both quickly sold out. This fall, MFSL added Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly and reportedly is planning a handful more in 2018.… Read the full article

Seattle and Dausgaard Welcome Us to Nielsen's World

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Stereophile|

For those unfamiliar with the symphonies of Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865–1931)—that includes me—the startling opening of his Third Symphony, “Sinfonia espansiva,” will undoubtedly come as a shock. Its relentless pounding chords, played at an accelerating pace by the entire orchestra on the same pitch, may owe more than a little to Beethoven’s Third Symphony, “Eroica,” but their language is far more modern, and reflective of an era profoundly unsettled. Heard in high-resolution stereo (24/96 WAV) in the new live recording of Nielsen’s Symphonies No.… Read the full article

Cayin iDAP-6 Review

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Headfonics|Tags: , , , |

Build & Functionality8.9
Value For Money8.6
Our Score

The Cayin iDAP-6 is priced at $699 and is the last in the trilogy of their ‘i-series’ desktop components primarily targeted for headphone users.

I say last because shooting for a stack of four components, small as they may be, might prove otherwise physically unstable. I really can’t see it getting much taller than it already is. I am digressing though.

What you do need to know is that the iDAP-6 fills a bit of a feature gap from the previous iDAC-6 and iHA-6 combo.… Read the full article

The Reluctant Sommelier: You Blend

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

by Nina Sventitsky

Mona Lisa: What!

Vinny: Nothing, you stick out like a sore thumb around here.

Mona Lisa: Me? What about you?

Vinny: I fit in better than you. At least I’m wearing cowboy boots.

Mona Lisa: Oh, yeah, you blend.

I know you do it.  You have about an ounce of wine left in the bottle, it goes into the glass. Then if you do anything at all, do it big: “I’ll just open the next bottle and add it to the glass.”  You’ve just created your own plonk, er, blend.… Read the full article

Capital Audiofest 2017: Border Patrol, Volti Audio, Triode Wire Labs

By | December 17th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , |


I’ve always looked forward to the involving sound in the Border Patrol room, so I made a note stop by early on Saturday morning for a good listen, well before the crowds took over.  This year, head Border Patrol agent Gary Dews had the usual suspects lined up and working hard.  These included the usual P21EXD stereo amplifier ($11,900 USD as shown) and the affordable but hard-hitting Analogue DAC ($995-$1,850 USD depending on configuration).  I’m used to Gary showing with the English Living Voice speakers, which I have found to sound superb with his gear.… Read the full article