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CAS7 Richard Austen Reports, Part 3

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |

Spatial Audio/Vinnie Rossi
Continuing with coverage of rooms with speakers under $10,000 that I feel offer good sound for the money, here is the Spatial Audio/Vinni Rossi room. This system generated a nice sweet sound with no bass issues. Unfortunately, they did not have a CD player which left me without the ability to play known tracks. The particular piece of music was classical and seemingly without much center fill. Nevertheless, I liked what I heard. There is some terrific potential here, enough that I would like to review one of their smaller open baffle designs.
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Playing J.S. Bach in the Style of Nicholas Bruhns

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me as of fall 2016

J Marks System fall 2016

The essential sound of this system is determined first by the loudspeakers, prototypes called Esperanto Parolantos. That’s something of a pun, in that it means “Esperanto Speakers.” (Esperanto, from the audio company I started after leaving Stereophile magazine.)

Mike Zisserson designed the Esperanto Parolanto loudspeaker while taking into account my “Wish List” of desired characteristics and capabilities. In that list I tried to express both in technical terms and in musical terms what I believe a music lover’s relatively affordable two-way non-mini monitor loudspeaker should sound like.… Read the full article

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Reviewer Video Profile: Michael Lavorgna (hey! that’s me)

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Audiostream|

Our resident Director of all things video, Jana Dagdagan, and a few friends were over for some listening fun and to shoot my reviewer profile for Stereophile. After Jana’s crafty editing work, it’s ready.

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Grandinote Reaches Oz

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: AV Hub|

Queensland distributor PuraSound has been appointed the sole Australian distributor for Grandinote amplifiers, which use what the Italian company calls ‘Magnetosolid’ technology.

Our Magnetosolid technology combines the advantages of solid-state and tube amplifiers, overcoming their respective limitations,’ says owner/designer Max Magri of Graninote. ‘The result is a tight, precise and dynamic sound, yet one that’s also gentle, airy, warm and pleasant… natural.

Magri says that all Grandinote amplifiers have independent power supplies, all low-level signal stages are direct-coupled, and all are Class-A designs without feedback.… Read the full article

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The Raspberries: Pop Art Live

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Stereophile|

In football there’s a saying to describe an unexpected outcome: “That why they play the games.”

The recorded music equivalent might be “That’s why you have to listen to the records.” Much as you might be tempted to gaze at the cover art, remember a band’s last record or think about the one time you saw them live and they really blew it, prejudging can be dangerous. In the end, you still gotta listen.

So there I was, waving around a CD copy of Pop Art Live, by 1970s power pop band, The Raspberries about to launch into a tirade about how most bands from the ’70s should just stop.… Read the full article

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What’s the Problem with HDMI Audio Return Channel?

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Sound + Vision|

Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at [email protected]

A What’s the problem with HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC)? I’ve heard that most people simply give up on ARC and use an optical digital audio connection from their TV to their receiver instead because they can rarely get it to work between devices, especially ones from different manufacturers.
What can the HDMI Forum do to improve the situation? —Phis Tomaskovic / via e-mail

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AVM Ovation CS 6.2 Streaming CD-Receiver

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , , , , |

AVM Ovation CS 6.2 Streaming CD-Receiver

AVM Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH is a German company that has been around more than 30 years but has only recently made a significant push into the United States. They have a huge catalog of electronic components separated into three product lines. The Ovation series is their current top of the line brand. After living with the AVM CS 6.2 for several weeks I’ve come to believe the “V” in the company name really stands for “Versatile” as this single device can play just about anything (except phono which requires a separate phono stage) the modern audiophile has to draw from.… Read the full article

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Elliott Carter – A Personal Recollection by Radio Free Chip

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , |

Elliott Carter Radio Free Chip

There’s an old adage folks like to dust off whence we suffer some loss, as wrenching as it is inexplicable, not unlike a late April ice storm, midst that initial gush of springtime bloom, which heretofore has served to affirm the promise and wonder of life and renewal after such a long, harrowing winter: “They say only the good die young.”


©Mandala by Mary Morgan Stern/Collage by John Potis

Be that as it may, from time to time, the ill-tempered Desert God of my Old Testament Tribe is apparently willing to sign off on a few exceptions of such profoundly creative temperaments, that one is tempted not only to embrace the notion that there truly is a Divine Intelligence, but that He-She-It has exquisite taste. … Read the full article

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Analogue Productions Goes to the Dogs: RCA Living Stereos on 15-ips Reel-to-Reel Tape

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Shaded dogs that is!

This isn’t the first time these absolutely legendary RCA Living Stereo recordings have appeared on reel-to-reel tape (Scheherazade (FTC2017) was according to Discogs released in 1960 on four-track tape). This is, however, the very first time this pair of now close to 60 year old recordings are available on real time duped, 15-ips, 2-track tape. And what a special treat!

Back in the mid-’50s—two years prior to the release of the first stereo record in 1957—reel-to-reel stereo tape ruled the roost.… Read the full article

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The Higher End: Shifting to Symantec VeriSign “Norton Secured” at Positive Feedback

By | September 1st, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , |

Robinson_on_porch_with_pipe

[Note:  All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.]

Our current (August 26, 2017) stereo reference system, featuring PASS Labs Xs Phono Amp, Xs Preamp, and Xs 150 Monoblock Amps, feeding Evolution Acoustics MM2 Loudspeakers with EXACT External Crossovers. Our new GamuT Lobster Chair optimized for audiophile listening and maximum comfort is in the foreground to the lower right.

GamuT Audio Zodiac with SACD rack_web

The GamuT Audio Zodiac Reference Loudspeaker next to one of our racks of SACDs.

001_Robinson_system_view_DSC_0286

The Evolution Acoustics MM2 Loudspeakers with a pair of Audionet MAX monoblock amplifiers and the PRE G2 preamp on the Walker Audio Prologue Rack.Read the full article

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