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Audio Research Reference Phono 3 – One Smart Phono Stage

By | September 11th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Phono preamplifiers come in all shapes and sizes and with varying amounts of user adjustability and convenience. The ARC Ref 3 phono preamplifier is hands down the smartest phono section I have ever had the pleasure of using and listening to.

At the bottom of the intelligence pecking order are phono preamplifiers that only have moving magnet (mm) inputs with fixed gain and loading set at 47k ohms. The next step up is a phono preamplifier that has both mm and moving coil (mc) inputs with adjustments for gain and loading.… Read the full article

Vandersteen Kēnto Carbon loudspeaker and M5-HPA amplifiers, VTL TP-6.5 Series II phono stage and TL-6.5 Series II Signature preamplifier, Aurender A30, AMG Viella turntable with Lyra Atlas cartridge, AudioQuest Niagara 7000 power conditioner and cabling

By | September 11th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|













Vandersteen Kēnto Carbon loudspeaker and M5-HPA amplifiers, VTL TP-6.5 Series II phono stage and TL-6.5 Series II Signature preamplifier, Aurender A30, AMG Viella turntable with Lyra Atlas cartridge, AudioQuest Niagara 7000 power conditioner and cabling | Stereophile.com


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Raidho Acoustics TD2.2 speakers; Moon Evolution 700i V2 amplifier, 780D v2 DAC/streamer, 610LP phonostage; VPI HW-40 Signature turntable, Van Den Hul The Black Crimson cartridge, Nordost Valhalla II cables

By | September 10th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

In the Gaylord Hotel’s North Tower, where room after room, regardless of its size or layout, seemed conducive to good sound, Raidho Acoustics was making a major impression with the world premiere Raidho TD2.2 2.5-way loudspeakers ($46,000/pair in black). Designed by Benno Baun Meldgaard, who formerly designed loudspeakers for Gamut, the TD2.2 was intended for rooms just a bit larger than the hotel room in which it slayed visitor after visitor.

While the TD2.2’s exterior is similar to the previous version, the TD2.1, the drivers have a new motor design with better sensitivity (89dB), and, in Meldgaard’s words, “much lower Q for better amplifier control.… Read the full article

Miyajima Takumi L Stereo Phono Cartridge

By | September 9th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Japanese artisanal cartridge manufacturer Noriyuki Miyajima has released an ‘enhanced’ L version of the company’s entry-level stereo moving-coil cartridge, the Takumi. [The Miyajima Takumi L is pictured above, click image to enlarge.]
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The Takumi L has a nude line contact stylus rather than the regular Takumi’s bonded elliptical stylus. The lower tip mass of the nude line contact stylus enables a more extended high-frequency response, with Miyajima claiming a frequency response of 20Hz–32kHz. (The entry-level Takumi’s frequency response is rated as 20Hz–22kHz.)

As with all Miyajima stereo cartridges, the Takumi L has the company’s unique, patented ‘cross ring’ design with a non-magnetic core where, rather than using a tie-wire to hold the cantilever and coil assembly against the magnet pole piece, there’s a pointed slide bar that correctly locates the coil assembly.… Read the full article

PS Audio DirectStream DAC, P20 and P15 PowerPlants, AN3 loudspeakers, and AC Series cables; BHK Signature preamp, Stellar phono preamp, and Signature 300 Monos; VPI HW40 turntable

By | September 9th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Here, I regret to say, is another report not on the equipment but on the room.

The story in the PS Audio room was the company’s new loudspeaker, the AN3, various prototypes of which have been demoed at audio shows throughout 2019. The RMAF demo pair was described by the company as the final prototype. The design—strongly influenced by the late Arnie Nudell, the “AN” in AN3—includes servo-corrected powered woofers, a folded ribbon tweeter, a rectangular planar midrange, and an 8″ cone “mid-bass coupler.Read the full article

YG Acoustics Sonja 2.3 speakers; Nordost QPoint, QSource and cables; VTL Siegfried Series II amplifiers, TP-6.5 Series II phonostage and TL-7.5 Series II preamplifier; dCS Rossini player and clock; VPI direct drive turntable; Lyra Etna Cartridge

By | September 9th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|













YG Acoustics Sonja 2.3 speakers; Nordost QPoint, QSource and cables; VTL Siegfried Series II amplifiers, TP-6.5 Series II phonostage and TL-7.5 Series II preamplifier; dCS Rossini player and clock; VPI direct drive turntable; Lyra Etna Cartridge | Stereophile.com


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Spendor D9.2 Loudspeaker; SME Model 12A turntable; Ortofon Cadenza Bronze Cartridge; Aurender ACS10 Server; Audience cabling; Chord Symphonic phono stage Hugo TT2 DAC, M Scaler, and CPM 3350 Integrated Amplifier

By | September 8th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Two more winners from Bluebird Music awaited in that distributor’s inner sanctum: the new Spendor D9.2 loudspeaker ($11,495/pair) and the SME Model 12A turntable ($10,900) outfitted with an Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge. I loved the Spendor’s midrange wall of sound and impressive low end. An evolution of the D9 that was introduced three years ago—it has the same drivers and cabinet—it uses a tweaked crossover, additional bracing, “dynamic damping” for both the cabinet and the drive units and sports a new magnetic grill.… Read the full article

MC Audiotech Forty-10 loudspeaker, Pass electronics, PS Audio DAC, VPI turntable, Air Tight cartridge, Luminous Audio phono preamp, Wolf Alpha 3 music server, Audience cabling

By | September 8th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Mark Conti’s MC Audiotech room was dominated by his company’s just-launched, Paul Paddock-designed MC Audiotech Forty-10 2-way loudspeaker ($35,000/pair including crossover). Hidden in the high-frequency spaced array are 10 identical bending wave drivers “of the latest generation,” covering everything above 100 Hz. In its Folded Cube low-frequency enclosure reside two “industrial type” woofers in a dipole arrangement. The speaker uses a dedicated hybrid external crossover with low-frequency level/contour controls.

With 4 ohms nominal impedance and a claimed efficiency of 95-96dB for the array and 93dB for the woofer, the speaker should be able to perform well with just a few watts of power.… Read the full article

EMM Labs Optical Equalizer Phono Stage, Focal Utopia Scala V2 Loudspeakers, Kimber Kable Interconnects and Speaker Cables

By | September 7th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Ed Meitner goes analog?

Not really. But the famed digital pioneer and founder of EMM Labs, known especially for his work with DSD/SACD, was showing his prototype optical phono preamp, the Optical Equalizer. Designed solely for use with DS Audio’s optical cartridges, it can be described as a marriage between analog and digital. With specific filters for the different DS Audio cartridge models, it’s expected in the first quarter of 2020.

“DS Audio’s optical cartridges are so different than regular magnetic-based transducers,” Meitner told me.… Read the full article

PS Audio at RMAF: New Speakers, Phono Preamp, Michael Fremer, and Ask Paul Live!

By | September 4th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: |

Final pre-production prototypes of the AN3 speakers, spinning discs through the new Stellar phono preamp, and Paul McGowan, Live! 

Boulder, CO: 9/3//2019—–At Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019, PS Audio will present our latest state-of-the-art components in the Homestead 2 room at the new Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center.

The demo system will feature the final pre-production prototypes of the PS Audio AN3 speakers. The configuration and driver complement of the AN3 have been completely revised from the prototype shown at Axpona earlier this year.… Read the full article