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So far David W. Robinson has created 180 blog entries.

Robinson's Positive Feedback Brutus Awards for 2018, Part the Fourth

By | December 28th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

David W. Robinson:  a portrait by John Robinson

Onwards into Part the Fourth of my Brutus Awards.

PASS Labs HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier

Wait! I’m not done yet with reference headphone amps.

Early in the year, the good folks at PASS Labs sent along their HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier for my evaluation. I was pleased to get it, since I’ve been nothing but impressed by my extended experience with the PASS Labs Xs reference line of electronics, and wanted to hear how their initial design for headphone amps would perform.… Read the full article

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Robinson's Positive Feedback Brutus Awards for 2018, Part the Third

By | December 23rd, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Continuing…

ZYX UNIverse Optimum X MC

What a year for phono cartridges 2018 has been.

I’ve already extolled the seductive charms of the Air Tight PC-1 coda and the return of the van den Hul Colibri Signature Stradivarius in this year’s Brutus Awards. Magnificent achievements, both of these, whose awards were richly deserved.

But there was a third MC that also made its way to PF River-City-and-up-the-hill, from a company that I had not evaluated before. This was ZYX, who sent along a new reference cartridge, their UNIverse Optimum X.… Read the full article

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Robinson's Positive Feedback Brutus Awards for 2018, Part the Second

By | December 19th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

van den Hul Colibri Signature Stradivarius (the second coming!)

Late in 2017, Randy Forman…he of Finest Fidelity distribution fame, and a jolly good gent…got me a van den Hul Colibri Signature Stradivarius (CSS). It got its break-in and fun run-out in the later days of the class vintage professional turntable, the direct-drive EMT 948’s visit here in 2017. Paired with Joel Durand’s exceptional Kairos 10.5″ tonearm, the van den Hul made fantastic music, and did so all the time on all kinds of music.… Read the full article

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Robinson's Positive Feedback Brutus Awards for 2018, Part the First

By | December 13th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Unbelievably enough, it’s the end of the year 2018…already! I know that I say this every year, but every year it’s worse and worse; time whizzes by faster and faster, and the final quarter always arrives long before I’m ready for it. The Earth rotates, and faithfully follows its annual orbit around yon Sun, so no surprise. But experientially, years now are like months used to be when I was younger. Maybe you’ve noticed this too…

Anyway, it’s time for me to announce my Brutus Awards for 2018.… Read the full article

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Impressions:  The LAOC Audio Society 25th Anniversary Gala Weekend

By | December 10th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Last weekend I traveled to Buena Park, CA, to attend the 25th Anniversary Gala Weekend for the Los Angeles and Orange County (LAOC) Audio Society. Some background:  The LAOC was founded originally with the help of two of my partners at Positive Feedback, Carol and Dave Clark. They recently told the story of that development earlier this year, right HERE. They themselves are winners of an LAOC Founders Award and a President’s Award, and were named Lifetime Members of the Society very early on.… Read the full article

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Impressions:  The Ayon Audio HA-3 SET Headphone Amplifier and the Focal Utopia Headphones

By | November 30th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

High-end headphones and Personal Fi. I’ve evaluated a goodly handful of ‘phones and headphone amps over many years, with some excellent results. Some were large cost-no-object designs, built for home, listening room, or office use only; others were compact and portable, for the music lover on the go. (I do a fair amount of flying, and appreciate good portable gear.) I also have some great headphones and headphone amps for stay-at-home. Either way, I’m well served.

As a result, over the years I’ve built up a collection of reference headphones, of various types.… Read the full article

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From an Editor’s Notebook: Glances in the Rearview Mirror

By | November 8th, 2018|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.]

Last updated 09/11/2018.

The current system (09-2018) with a pair of the beautiful and powerful Merrill Audio Element 118 monoblocks on the top shelf of the Critical Mass Systems QXK rack.

The return of the Wave Kinetics NVS Direct-Drive Reference Turntable! Now updated with a new Durand tonearm, outfitted with a ZYX UNIverse Optimum reference MC cartridge, and the heavy-duty EAT Massive (2 lb.) LP record weight.Read the full article

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Impressions:  The exaSound DM Network Audio Server and DAC

By | October 1st, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

Ye Olde Editor with pipe weed. Portrait by John Robinson.

This seems to be a season for culminating projects. Given that autumn is upon us now, I reckon that the time matches the season, and the mood matches the moment.

exaSound DM Network Audio Server DAC

Having finished my summing up of the Audionet STERN and HEISENBERG reference products, it is time to turn my attention to another reference-level product that arrived earlier this year:  the exaSound DM (Dual Mono) Reference Network Audio Server and DAC.

But first, a walk down audio memory lane.… Read the full article

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Impressions:  The Audionet STERN Preamp and HEISENBERG Monoblock Amp, Finale

By | September 29th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

Ye Olde Editor:  a portrait by John Robinson

Audionet’s STERN and HEISENBERG:  Back to the mountaintop again!

Fair warning:  This is yet another one of my evaluations that is not going to be a typical “review.”

No, not with these designs.

This is going to be more of a culminating mediation on my experiences with the STERN and HEISENBERGs, and the quality of these extraordinary designs. I’ll link back to several earlier reports, which I invite you to read or re-read, in order to get the progression of my thinking and evaluation.… Read the full article

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From an Editor’s Notebook:  Linn Returns to the USA!

By | September 23rd, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

I just back from a quick (two day) trip to Chicago, courtesy of the good folks at Linn in Scotland. On Tuesday, September 18, a very limited number of audio press representatives received an important briefing about new developments at the company. In addition to myself, my longtime audiobud Greg Weaver of The Absolute Sound and Positive Feedback was in attendance. There was also a representative from Dagogo.com, Doug Schroeder, and a couple of other folks whom I did not recognize or get a chance to meet.… Read the full article

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