September 2017
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Arturo Delmoni & Yuri Funahashi: Amy Beach Violin Sonata (complete performance)

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

A gift, a sudden gift from audio compadre John Marks, proprietor of The Tannhauser Gate blog site. John is also the driving force behind John Marks Records, which was active in the 1990s but is now lamentably no longer producing recordings. His work moved me so much that he was featured on the cover of one of the issues of Positive Feedback back in our paper-and-ink days.

This in the days of his very fine album, Glass Bead Game. I still have my copy of the CD.Read the full article

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Walter Becker (1950–2017)

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: Stereophile|

The world has lost another irreplaceable musical legend in Steely Dan guitarist, bass player, songwriter, and co-frontman Walter Becker. I spent Sunday listening to Dan records, and trying to write about Becker’s legacy. The guy was elusive, hard to read and reticent to the point of obsession (footnote 1).

Few rock bands have ever inspired such a sharp cleavage in fan opinion. And both sides are extremely passionate about their beliefs. One side despised the band’s precision. For them they were a soulless mob of overprivileged SoCal studio cats (although Fagen was clearly a New Yawker) who played frivolous, overly clever jazz rock confections.… Read the full article

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Control App for Audionet STERN über-Preamp Reaches the App Store

By | September 4th, 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.

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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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MQA and Deezer announce partnership

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Cobrand_MQA + Deezer-2

MQA continues to gain market share.

Even though it’s Labour Day around the world, and we’re all supposed to be doing our level best to avoid work like the plague, I felt compelled to bring you news that digital-music juggernaut MQA has announced yet another partnership, this time with streaming heavyweight Deezer. The agreement promises to significantly expand MQA’s global reach, and put MQA into the earbuds of millions of 20-somethings who’ve probably never heard of it before. Having firmly landed on the positive side of the fence some time ago for MQA’s proprietary music-software codecs I see this as a boost for the audiophile world, and music lovers in general.… Read the full article

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AFTER CLASS – Usung Time Delay Relays

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: ItisHifi - Vintage|Tags: , |

A short vintage article on time relays.

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MQA Announces Global Reach on Smartphone, Portable Devices, and Music Services

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: |

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

LOUDSPEAKERS

Vandersteen Quatro Wood Carbon. Enigma Acoustics Tweeters. Reimer Speaker Systems Tetons (with the Hi-Vi Isodynamic Planar tweeters and series crossovers) heavily treated with Marigo VTS Dots. 

ELECTRONICS

PS Audio BHK 250 amplifier, PS Audio BHK Signature preamplifier. Clayton Audio M200 monoblock amplifiers (with Hi-Fi Tuning and Furutech fuses), Channel D Lino phono stage, and the Heed Thesis phono stage. DEQX PreMate + (preamp) Marantz 2230 receiver, and the Kora integrated.… Read the full article

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Apple AirPod alternatives: these are the best true wireless earbuds around

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: TechRadar|

Looking for the best true wireless earbuds? Welcome to TechRadar's guide to the best cord-cutting buds you can buy in 2019.

If you haven't noticed, headphone cables are no longer in fashion. That's because wireless audio sounds better than ever, compression formats for Bluetooth 5.0 are more reliable, and flagship smartphones are shipping without headphone jacks. 

True wireless means there aren't any cables between the two earbuds at all, so there's no wire or neck band to contend with. Nothing to get tangled in your pocket or caught on your zipper, nothing to whack around your neck in the middle of that run, and also nothing to keep your singular earbuds together. 

The original Apple AirPods were the first model to truly bring true wireless to the mainstream, but there are far better options out there in terms of audio quality, battery life, design, and crucially, price. So, before you buy a pair of old-school 'Pods, check out our list of the best AirPod-alternatives you can buy in 2019. 

Sony WF-1000XM3

Considering it's still rare to get noise-cancellation in wired earbuds at all, the fact that Sony has managed to pack it into a pair that are not only wireless, but true wireless is very impressive indeed. 

The Sony WF-1000XM3 manage to offer a level of noise-cancellation that's very good for a pair of earbuds – it won't offer the same isolation as a pair of over-ear cans, but its a worthy trade off for that sleeker form. 

Sony has really knocked the ball out of the park with the WF-1000XM3.… Read the full article

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Move over Tidal, Deezer is getting serious about hi-res audio with MQA support

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: TechRadar|

Bringing to an end Tidal's reign as the only hi-res music streaming service in town, MQA has announced that it's working with Deezer to bring its audio technology to the platform. 

MQA is a music codec that allow hi-res audio files (generally defined as audio that's better than CD) to be compressed down to take up no more size than a standard CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz track. 

The highest quality service offered by Deezer at the moment is CD-quality (16-bit/44.1kHz), but in order to get this service, called Deezer HiFi, you'll need to use the music streaming service with particular hardware from Sonos or Google

The technology is already available through rival music streaming service Tidal, but this deal will mean you have much more choice about which service to use, in addition to allowing you to user Deezer-specific features such as 'Flow', its algorithmically-generated playlist feature.… Read the full article

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Deezer ends Sonos exclusivity, joins hands with MQA

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

More news from IFA 2017. French streaming company Deezer has announced that its CD-quality streaming tier – previously dubbed “Elite”, now “Hifi” – will soon be freed from Sonos exclusivity for accessibility from its desktop and mobile apps, as well as devices from hardware partners such as Bluesound, LG, Onkyo, MOON by Simaudio, Yamaha, Devialet and Sony.

The upshot being that Deezer’s 12 million strong active user base, currently spread across 185 countries worldwide (including the all-critical US market), will soon be able to access lossless versions of its library (45 million songs) at US$19.99/month but without an interceding Sonos device.… Read the full article

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