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So far David W. Robinson has created 174 blog entries.

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

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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Impressions:  Xact Audio's The Beat MagDrive™ Turntable with the Schröder Linear-Tracking Tonearm

By | September 20th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

Xact Audio The Beat MagDrive Turntable

The Beat MagDrive™ Turntable with Schröder Linear-Tracking (LT) Tonearm

Ye Olde Editor, in medias puffus (photograph by John Robinson)

Me, I call it “Big Red.”

Here was a real mountaintop moment for me with turntables earlier this year. It came in two parts:  First, getting to meet Steve Dobbins, the creative master turntable craftsman at Xact Audio, and his wife Polly. Steve is a master audio artisan who specializes in turntable and tonearm design and construction. His company is Xact Audio, headquartered right here in the Pacific Northwest, in Boise, Idaho.… Read the full article

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Impressions:  The Playback Designs MPS-8 Reference SACD/CD Player with Quad DSD DAC and StreamX Streamer Module, Part 1

By | August 15th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , |

Ye Olde Editor, Happy Valley, Oregon, 2018. Portrait by John Robinson.

Playback Designs has returned again…with a vengeance! Their Dream Series of digital audio designs debut here at PF River City with their MPS-8. Part one of my impressions is here…read on for my take on what Andreas Koch and company have achieved.

Playback Designs MPS-8 Reference SACD/CD Player

The powerful and seductive Playback Designs MPS-8. (Image courtesy of Playback Designs)

It’s true:  Andreas Koch of Playback Designs shipped me a sample of their Dream System MPS-8.… Read the full article

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Impressions:  The Munich High-End Show 2018, Part 2, and Audio Oasis! Awards

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

Munich High-End Show 2018

Munich 2018, or “What the hell was that?!

Fair warning:  This is not going to be a standard show report, whatever that is. There are plenty of audio scribes, showgoers, bloggers, and videographers running around high-end audio shows these days. There are tons of articles, postings, discussions, YouTube videos, bloggo-blather, and camera dumps going on, quite often right in the middle of the show itself. Some of it is helpful; much to most of it is forgettable. The signal-to-noise ratio is pretty bad, and deep hip boots are required to traverse even a fraction of it.… Read the full article

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Impressions:  the Accustic Arts Tube Preamp II Mk2 Preamplifier and Mono II Monoblock Amplifier

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

Accustic Arts Tube Hybrid Preamp II and Mono II Amps

Image courtesy of Accustic Arts

A bloody busy year so far, with much more to go.

One of the projects that I took on very early in 2018…with some hesitation, I confess, due to the workload that was already building…was an offer to hear the Accustic Arts Tube Preamp II Mk2 and Mono II Monoblock Amplifiers. It was going to be tough to work them in, since I had other obligations that had already been taken on. Furthermore, I’d be at AXPONA 2018 in Chicago in April, and the Munich Show in May.… Read the full article

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Impressions:  Select Portraits and Studies from the Munich Show 2018

By | June 5th, 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.]

The superlative Audionet STERN Reference Preamp…

…together with the monumental HEISENBERG Reference Monoblock Amps. Absolutely stunning in every way!

Our current 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.Read the full article

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From an Editor’s Notebook:  Follow-Up Thoughts on the LampizatOr Golden Gate 2 Tubed DSD DAC

By | May 5th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Ye Olde Editor, in medias res… (photograph by John Robinson)

No, this is not a major review. It is more of a retrospective and reflection on what I’ve heard in the upgrade of our LampizatOr Golden Gate DSD DAC from its original design to its new Golden Gate 2 version. As it turns out, that upgrade wasn’t merely cosmetic; it was a complete and significant rethinking and redesign of the GG DAC.

This is a summary of the improvements as I’ve heard them here.Read the full article

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