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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

The Acoustic Revive Chronicles, Chapter 14: The Absolute Power Cables, The RCA Absolute FM Interconnects, and the PC-TripleC/EX Headshell Leads

By | December 9th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

I first became aware of Mr. Ken Ishiguro’s Acoustic Revive products in 2007 when they were recommended to me by Mr. Yoshi Hontani (The MuSon Project, Osaka, Japan), who exports hifi exotica from the Leben Hi-Fi Stereo Company, the Spec Corporationfo. QAudio ReplasKRYNA, SFORZAT, Murasakino Ltd, and of course, the subject of this article, Acoustic Revive. 

This is Chapter 14 of my series entitled the Acoustic Revive Chronicles, and it sort of amazes me to think that from my first review of the Acoustic Revive RR-77 Schumann Ultra Low-Frequency Pulse Generator (photo below), back in February of 2008, that with this article for Positive Feedback, I’ve now written fifteen different articles about Acoustic Revive products over the last ten years.… Read the full article

Critical Mass Systems CenterStage2 Footer: Unparalleled Performers

By | December 9th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

The new 1.5 inch tall Critical Mass Systems CenterStage2 footer with its packaging, and two different thickness of shims, provided to assure the best possible contact.

I’ve honestly no idea why I was so surprised to hear from Critical Mass Systems’ Joe Laverncik this past July asking if I’d like to audition the “new” CMS CenterStage2 footers. He has shown himself to be unrelenting in his pursuit of performance, so I suspect that it was because it was coming so closely on the heels of the publication of my profound experiences with the radically effective original CenterStage footers just some three months earlier (HERE).… Read the full article

The Gingko ARCH Platform and Acoustic Resonance Clarifier™ (ARCH) Follow-up

By | December 6th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

After I had such a positive experience with the Gingko ARCHs vibration control devices, Vinh Vu of Gingko asked me if I’d like to listen to the latest addition to the ARCH line, the ARCH Platform. It took me about a millisecond to say “yes, please.”

The ARCH Platform is an attractive, low-maintenance vibration control solution that is tuneable to suit your listening taste. It works in concert with Gingko’s Mini ARCHs to help your components vibrate less, and thus sound better.… Read the full article

Christmas Music (Part 4), ORA Singers: “The Mystery of Christmas”

By | December 6th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

ORA Singers: The Mystery of Christmas. Music of Allain, Anonymous, Byrd, Hall, Hyde, Lauridsen, Macmillan, McDowall, Peacock, Rowarth, Rutter, Samitz, Sixten, Tallis, Williams, and Weir. CD Harmonia Mundi HMM 905303.

Downloads (24-bit/96kHz stereo AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, and WAV) available from HDTracks. Streaming available from Tidal.

Recorded at St. Augustine’s Church, Kilburn, London, January 23-28 and August 7-12, 2017. Nicholas Parker (all tracks except track 5) and Tim Handley (track 5 only), producers; Mike Hatch, engineer. Support for the arts from the Pureland Foundation.… Read the full article

McGary SA-1 Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier

By | December 4th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

McGary SA-1 Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier

Okay everyone! Time for the obvious disclosure! How could I not want to review an amplifier that emblazons my name right on the front of the amp in such fashion? Just ignore that Mc part. This is truly a Gary amp!

I was a bit surprised when the unit showed up at my door as I completely spaced on doing the review. (Let’s hand that off to advanced age.) So I unpacked the amp from its shipping container and set it in between my mono blocks, installed the tubes, powered it up, and we were off to the McRaces!… Read the full article

The New Apartment Lounge: Mighty Midgets – The Gravity Defying Studio Electric M4 Monitor Loudspeakers

By | December 4th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Great First Impressions

I’ll never forget the look on Greg Weaver’s face the moment he and I got to hear (at the AXPONA 2018 high end show) what Studio Electric and chief designer Dave McPherson’s latest thinking on what small loudspeakers, the diminutive M4, could do. Greg had that classic “I told you so” grin on his face, one that seemed to say, “Dude, can you believe how good this thing sounds?” a few seconds after Dave lowered the stylus of what I think was a Hana MC cartridge (here tethered to a Fern & Roby turntable/arm combo with ModWright Instruments supporting electronics) into the lead groove of Janis Ian’s dark reflections on the Holocaust “Tattoo,” from her seminal 1993 release Breaking Silence.Read the full article

25 Music Releases That Ended Up Making Me Smile

By | December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

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


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


PS Audio BHK 250 amplifier, PS Audio BHK Signature preamplifier. Channel D Lino phono stage, and the Heed Thesis phono stage. DEQX PreMate + (preamp) Marantz 2230 receiver, and the Kora integrated.


Digital: PS Audio DirectStream DAC and DirectStream Memory Player, DEQX PreMate +, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, and an Oppo BD-105.… Read the full article

Notes of an Amateur: Saariaho, Dusapin, Sierra, Finckel and Wu Han

By | December 2nd, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Saariaho and Koh. Jennifer Koh, violin. Nicolas Hodges, piano. Hsin-Yun Huang, viola. Wilhelmena Smith, cello. Anssi Kaarttunen, cello, Curtis 20/21 Ensemble, Conner Gray Covington, conductor. Çedille CDR 90000183.

There is some contemporary music we listen to because we just want to know what’s going on. This is not the same as keeping up with fashion, though I expect it’s more different in degree than kind. We find ourselves willing, even eager, to attend to things we’re not really ready for, yet.… Read the full article

The Beginner's Guide to Vinyl

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

The Beginner's Guide to Vinyl

The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl: How to Build, Maintain, and Experience a Music Collection in Analog, by Jenna Miles. ISBN-10: 1440598967. ISBN-13: 978-1440598968. Published by Adams Media (2017)


Global Appreciation: 8.5.

Presentation: straightforward, non-deluxe.

Category: music, vinyl record guide.

Format: paperback book. 5.5 x 8.5 inches approx. 256 pages all B&W except for 8 semi-gloss colored pages located half-way plus a few basic diagrams.

Written and researched by Jenna Hanes. Cover Design by Colleen Cunningham.

It’s that time of the year once again and if you are wondering like many I’m sure, what could I possibly give to a friend, spouse or audiophile buddy without breaking the bank?… Read the full article