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>> Breadcrumb :/Karl Sigman

About Karl Sigman

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So far Karl Sigman has created 29 blog entries.

Grado Labs Aeon Phono Cartridge

By | April 17th, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Two years ago I reviewed the Grado Labs Statement v2 Cartridge ($3500), at that time the highest priced Grado cartridge—the top of their Statement Series. Reviewed using my VPI Industries Prime Turntable, I was so impressed, it has remained as my reference since—it further pulled me into vinyl. After that review, I concluded that besides speakers (which are in general large and heavy), phono cartridges (always tiny and light) are examples of a component that can significantly change the sound quality of an audio system in a way that is immediately noticeable. 

The $6,000 Grado Labs Aeon Phono Cartridge debuted this year.… Read the full article

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VPI Industries HW-40 Direct Drive Turntable

By | March 14th, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|

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In October 2018, I was invited by Mat Weisfeld (President, VPI) to attend a party at the VPI Industries Listening House to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company. The main event was the debut of a new and remarkable item that is the basis of this review: the VPI Industries 40th Anniversary Turntable, HW-40, named after VPI founder Harry Weisfeld (HW), who attended the event and even swapped out various high-end cartridges on the fly throughout.

Although from a distance the HW-40 ($15,000 incl.Read the full article

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Wireworld Platinum Starlight Ethernet Cable

By | March 4th, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Audiophiles with a high-end audio system eventually recognize that cables make a difference in the sound quality (SQ) of their system. Interconnects, speaker cables, power cords, USB cables and so on. Sometimes the SQ is just different, sometimes ‘better’, sometimes ‘worse’ as compared to the cables they already have.

Controversial as it is, it is what it is. For me the time came about six years ago when I experimented with power cables that clearly made a positive difference in my ever evolving system, particularly amplifiers.… Read the full article

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Qobuz

By | January 30th, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|

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What is all the buzz about Qobuz?
In a nutshell: Think Tidal—but for the connoisseur.

Qobuz is a subscription based digital music provider/streaming service that is quickly gaining attention by offering lossless streaming of high-resolution (Hi-Res) 24 bit FLAC audiophile quality music files up to 24/192 PCM in addition to CD 16/44.1 resolution (and MP3). Yes: flawless lossless streaming of even native 24/192 FLAC files. Crucially, their files are curated carefully and thoughtfully from the best original sources they can get their hands on.… Read the full article

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PS Audio DirectStream (DS) DAC: Snowmass Upgrade

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Over four years ago, in May 2014, I reviewed the PS Audio DirectStream (DS) DAC. I ended up purchasing it and I still use it as my reference. Many times over these last four years I have been approached by other audiophiles asking why I have a DAC as my reference that is not ‘new’ and ‘up-to-date’ as compared to other DACs that have the newest DAC chip. ‘Oh no’, I say, ‘you are wrong’, ‘my DAC is only at most months old, it is yours that is old.’

My response is in fact, a fact, and that is what is so special about the DS DAC: Because its electronics are software based not hardware based, you get a new DAC every time PSAudio updates the software—and updates are free of charge.… Read the full article

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Master & Dynamic MW07 True Wireless Earphones

By | November 9th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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New York City based Master & Dynamic is a unique company. While not aiming for the highest ‘audiophile’ quality in the universe—together with the very high prices that go along with that—they, instead, produce superb sounding audio products displaying a savvy mix of fashion, art and modern culture. They even partner with legendary companies such as Leica Camera and make a special series of headphones in honour of legendary musicians such as Michael Jackson. The result? Gorgeous products of audiophile quality in both sound and construction that engenders pride of ownership.… Read the full article

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Periodic Audio Nickel Amplifier

By | October 26th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Much smaller (30x50x15mm) than a smart phone! About the same weight (20.9g) as many USB stick drives! Can easily power (250 mW into 32 Ohms) headphones (not just earbuds) without a sweat! It’s the Periodic Audio Nickel, a super-compact $299 headphone amplifier that can be used on the run.

It is essentially the size of a small box of matches. It is made in the USA. I gave it a quick try at the recent RMAF in Denver in early October 2018, was impressed, and the ever so friendly Periodic Audio Co-Founder Daniel Wiggins offered to send me a review sample (and thanks to Sue Toscano for helping).… Read the full article

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VPI 40th Anniversary & Turntable Launch Party

By | October 22nd, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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In January of 2018, VPI Industries held a wonderful homey event (party) for high-end audio lovers as an alternative to the annual Computer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company, VPI created a 40th anniversary turntable, and better yet organized (for October 21, 2018) a smaller event (party) to launch it at the now fully completed VPI Listening House in New Jersey, close by to the factory.

Here we would not only be able to experience the new turntable, and learn about VPI’s plans for 2019, but also have access to four different listening rooms each set up with a unique fine high-end audio system (with of course a VPI turntable) and music; bring your own LPs encouraged.… Read the full article

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Audio by Van Alstine DVA SET 600 Mono Block Amplifier

By | October 17th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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One day very recently my wife and children were outside in a park socializing with another family. I joined at one point, and the husband told me that my wife had mentioned that I was reviewing some new amplifiers, and that she thought they sounded amazing; she hoped I would keep them. When we came home, I watched as she listened on the couch with our daughters to various pieces of music, and I saw her tapping her foot. I never saw that before, let alone hear her praise a component of my audio system!… Read the full article

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Mojo Audio Deja Vu Music Server with Linux, Roon, Tidal, and HQPlayer Software

By | July 19th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Five years ago I began using a music server and DAC in lieu of a compact disc player, thus starting my journey into digital audio streaming. Keeping in mind that music servers are in fact computers, my main motivation came from discovering Mojo Audio, a company which at the time modified Mac mini computers to be serious music servers by (among other changes) replacing their internal power supplies with Mojo’s own high-end external linear power supplies. Over the last 5 years I have kept the Mac mini as my reference, only upgrading it by changing player software from JRiver to the revolutionary Roon Labs, subscribing to Tidal, and swapping out its power supply by a series of better ones—all made by Mojo Audio, too; currently I use their Illuminati V2—it is a ‘choke input’ power supply and is my favorite [my review of the V1 may be found here].… Read the full article

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