February 2018
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MCINTOSH AND LAAS REVEAL “MCMASTERS CLASS” DETAILS FOR THE LA AUDIO SHOW 2018

By | February 25th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: |

IRVINE, CA, February 22, 2018 – The LA Audio Show and legendary audio manufacturer, McIntosh, have announced details for the company’s first certificated technical training course for consumers. “The McMasters Class” is adapted from the two-day course given to McIntosh dealers and the inaugural presentation will be at LAAS 2018 – Orange County.

There is no “extra-charge” for the course, it is included in the Show registration fee. However, attendance will be strictly limited to a total of 120 registrants. 

The McMasters classes will be taught by McIntosh experts Ken Zelin and Ron Cornelius, the same trainers who handle McIntosh’s dealer and distributor McMasters classes.… Read the full article

The New Apartment Lounge: An Abundance of Riches 

By | February 25th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: |

Good, good, good, good migrations

I have some great gear in the house!  

I feel like a kid at Christmas who received way more than s/he ever expected. The new arrivals represent the work of a talented group of engineers and designers that span the globe: The U.S, Japan, South Korea, Great Britain, and Canada.  Topping the list are two arrivals sent to me at the specific request of their distributors. The British Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225 integrated amplifier ($5999/US with built-in CD player/music server/DAC modules, review forthcoming), the first of my review cue chain migrants, comes courtesy of John Bevier and the good folks at Audio Plus Services (APS).… Read the full article

Noa Fort, No World Between Us

By | February 25th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Noa Fort No World Between Us

Noa Fort, No World Between Us. Self-released, CD $15, available at https://noafort.bandcamp.com/album/no-world-between-us

I’ve been really hard on contemporary jazz singers lately. Most of them are extremely talented, but I always feel like I need a little more from them. If they’re going to raid the Great American Songbook, they should come up with a unique approach that sets them apart from the crowd. If they’re going to focus on original songs, those songs should be special and personal and sound like the lyrics have meaning to the singer.… Read the full article

A Stunning Improvement in Computer Audio Sound Quality – the Samsung 960 EVO SSD

By | February 22nd, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

First, a little background on recent system developments…when we moved into the new house last January, my goal was to modernize our computer, audio, and video accessibility as much as possible. I had a new dedicated listening room with beefy, dedicated electrical wiring, and the new room had three times the internal volume of my previous setup. I wired the whole house with CAT 6 cable, and had all the cable modem/gigabit switch/audio connections made with CAT 6a cables. I set up a new QNAP NAS to stream audio and video to a variety of devices; ROON’s Core was installed on the NAS in a separate solid state drive, and I had open source software set up to stream music to the Sonore microRendu.Read the full article

Prism Sound Callia USB Digital DAC and Digital Audio Preamplifier

By | February 22nd, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Fidelity – a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed

Ambrose Pierce

“Fidelity to the source!” A ton of money has changed hands on the promise that some gizmo or recording can, “Put you right there next to the performers!” Unfortunately, those who actually make recordings are rarely content with raw footage. Making recordings is a messy business, and engineers have no qualms about adding a limiter to ease a shaky vocal performance or using gobs of Pro Tools to tame an overblown woodwind section.… Read the full article

PS Audio Stellar M700 Monoblock Amplifiers

By | February 21st, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

PS Audio Stellar M700 Monoblock Amplifiers

Enter Stellar…

Early last year, PS Audio introduced a new line of audio components. Dubbed Stellar, the initial line includes the Gain Cell DAC/Preamp, the S300 Stereo Amplifier, and the M700 monoblock amplifiers. I caught wind of the Stellar M700 while at AXPONA 2017. Always on the prowl for reasonably priced, high-end audio components, I decided then that I needed to review them. Having owned or reviewed several Class D amp designs, I’ve always been impressed by their excellent sonics, relatively low price, and (generally) smaller form factor.… Read the full article

Audio Ramblings – The Acoustic Research AR-H1 Headphones

By | February 18th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

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

LOUDSPEAKERS

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

ELECTRONICS

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.

SOURCES

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

CH Precision Reference Cables

By | February 18th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

CH Precision Reference Cables

The Age of Bulk

Occasionally I invite non-audiophile, classical music aficionados over to listen. I intentionally leave them unprepared for what they will see, except to mention that I’m an audiophile. It’s a setup and it always works. They enter my living room/cum soundroom and they freeze. After a pause, they point to the Kronos Sparta, the CH M1 monoblocks, or the YG Anat speakers. “What is that?” they want to know. My rig is full of machines they’ve never encountered in a domestic space.… Read the full article

Impressions:  The Blues Masters at Acoustic Sounds, Salina, KS, 2017, a Photo Essay, Part 3 of 3

By | February 18th, 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.]

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.

GamuT Audio Zodiac with SACD rack_web

The GamuT Audio Zodiac Reference Loudspeaker next to one of our racks of SACDs.

The Evolution Acoustics MM2 Loudspeakers with a pair EXACT External Crossovers and the PASS Labs Xs150 Pure Class A Monoblock Amps with separate power supplies.Read the full article

Merrill-Williams Audio LLC of Memphis, Tennessee is Proud to Announce the Latest Version of Its Celebrated R.E.A.L. Turntable

By | February 17th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: |

Merrill-Williams Audio LLC of Memphis, Tennessee is proud to announce the latest version of its celebrated R.E.A.L. turntable, the model 101.3. The R.E.A.L. 101.3 retains the essential elements of the 101 and 101.2 models while adding fundamental improvements.

The most essential element retained in the 101.3 is a thoroughgoing approach to energy management design. The plinth consists of rubber elastomer sandwiched with phenolic (hence Rubber Elastomer Acoustic Laminate). All sources of vibration (motor, platter, bearing, and tonearm) are attached only to the elastomer, and each is isolated from the others in such a way that none is allowed to transmit vibration through the laminate.… Read the full article