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>> Breadcrumb ://Audiophillia

Grado Labs Aeon Phono Cartridge

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


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

Kiseki Purple Heart NS Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

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


As soon as most vinylphiles see a trapezoidal nugget in wood, stone or metal with some delicate Japanese Kanji, our moving coil hearts skip a beat. I’m a Phasemation guy—Japanese made, but no Kanji. Just a beautiful hunk of Duralumin. How many of us have lusted after a Koetsu Jade Platinum or Blue Lace? Hand made gems of the very best audiophile jewelry. And the heart of a fine analog front end.

The Kiseki Purple Heart NS (New Style) is the modified version of the Japanese cartridge that made the turntable rounds thirty years ago.… Read the full article

J.S. Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin—Henryk Szeryng, violin; DG Limited Edition 180g vinyl reissue

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


For the past two or three years, German classical music label Deutsche Grammophon has been quietly releasing some rather deluxe vinyl box sets of their catalog cornerstones. One of which; Herbert Von Karajan’s recording of Brahms’ Four Symphonies, has already received a review in Audiophilia. Now again, the historic label has reissued one of its classic recordings, the Bach Sonatas and Partitas, recorded in 1967 by Polish-Mexican violin virtuoso Henryk Szeryng.

I must admit I approached these deluxe vinyl reissues by DG with trepidation.… Read the full article

ModWright Instruments PH 9.0 Tube Phono Stage

By | April 5th, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|


Quality phono stages are all the rage. Records are now so popular with audiophiles, vinyl returners and the general population, a quality phono stage is aspirational in any fine analog set up. Dealers and vinylphiles have been shouting this from the rooftops for years. Audiophilia has reviewed five in the past twelve months. All first class, with outstanding fit and finish, varying designs, and with quality sounds unique to themselves. A wide array of prices but all significant investments. Ah, the cost, always the elephant in the listening room. 

Dan Wright of ModWright Instruments took all this to heart when designing his new PH 9.0 Tube Phono Stage ($2900).… Read the full article

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Pure Fidelity Harmony Turntable

By | March 28th, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|


John Stratton is the hardworking owner/designer of Vancouver High End analogue start up, Pure Fidelity (PF). He made a splash last year with his very well received initial opus, the Eclipse Turntable. It takes guts to dive into audiophile waters as a start up. If you are not in for the long haul with creative ideas, solid engineering and tireless work energy, don’t bother.

Stratton had a busy winter. The Harmony Turntable is the result of eight months of research with a new design; the Harmony has a larger plinth than his Eclipse with a larger sub platter, sitting within an 18lb machined, 6061 aluminum isolation platform and retaining the exquisite finishes.… Read the full article

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No Filter—Jerome Sabbagh & Greg Tuohey

By | March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|


Last month, I received a very pleasant email from Parisian-born, Manhattan-based tenor sax player Jerome Sabbagh asking if Audiophilia would be interested reviewing his latest release on vinyl. If it’s jazz, blues or classical vinyl, I’m usually a hard yes. No Filter is a collaborative project with guitarist Greg Tuohey (songs are original and about 50/50 on the record between Sabbagh and Tuohey) with bassist Joe Martin and Kush Abadey on drums.

I received the album promptly and scheduled it for some late night listening and a full review session the following day.… 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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T+A Elektroakustik DAC 8 DSD High End D/A Converter

By | March 8th, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|

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The grandly named T+A Elektroakustik GmbH was a company hitherto unknown to me. After years in the business, many reviews, shows, events and store visits, I was surprised such a highly regarded company had escaped my notice. I’m going to set that straight with an in depth look at one of the company’s DACs, the DAC 8 DSD High End D/A Converter.

T+A is a German company founded in 1978 and produces a full range of electronics and loudspeakers. The company is based in Herford, very close to my old stomping grounds in Westphalia.… Read the full article

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Wireworld Platinum Starlight Ethernet Cable

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


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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Brahms: 4 Symphonien—Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado/ESOTERIC remaster

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

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I have been a long time fan of Claudio Abbado’s Brahms since my father bought me an early Abbado DG Brahms LP in 1972 (Serenade No. 2; Academic Festival Overture). Grade 8 in Canadian School years. I was never a fan of the Serenade, but Abbado’s Academic was stunning and sounded as such with Karajan’s remarkable band. This new Esoteric release is a remaster of the late 80s, early 90s DG Brahms set recorded at the beginning of Abbado’s reign with the Philharmoniker.… Read the full article

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