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There’s Something Special in The Beatles (White Album) 50th Anniversary Reissues

By | November 12th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , |

As the albums in The Beatles’ catalog reach their 50th anniversaries, we’re seeing some interesting ‘deluxe edition’ reissue packages rolling out from the vaults of EMI’s Abbey Road Studio. The latest is The Beatles (‘White Album’), which came out around this time in 1968.

This double LP came barely a year after Sgt.Pepper, and the work on it started right on the heels of the lads’ trip to India to study meditation with their guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In fact, many of the songs that make up the White Album were written or conceived during that month in India.… Read the full article

Review: Finale Audio F-7591 Power Amplifier

By | November 11th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , |

Review: Finale Audio’s F-7591 Power Amplifier

by Steve Graham

I didn’t get to spend as much time with this amplifier as I’d have liked to.  I simultaneously had in-house the Spendor D7’s, the Shindo Aurièges and the Finale F-7591 you see here.  I was so entranced by the first two, that the poor Finale was somewhat neglected.  I know, me of all people, neglecting a tube amp!  In my defence, the kind person loaning this gear wanted a fairly quick turnaround of 2 weeks, 3 max. … Read the full article

Review: The Spendor D7 Loudspeakers

By | November 4th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , |

Review: Spendor D7 Loudspeakers

“Slim Fast”

by Steve Graham

Loudspeakers are sometimes tough to wrap your ears around.  Switching from one speaker to another often requires a re-orienting, or more precisely, a re-tuning of one’s audio sensibilities.  The traits of one speaker versus another are often immediate and jarring.  Changing amps or source components can, unless something is seriously amiss, require concentration to perceive differences.

So it was with the Spendor D7, compared to my PSB T8 speakers. But it didn’t take long to realize that the Spendors were something special. … Read the full article

DIY All-Tube Phono Stage Project: Part 4, Assembling The Circuit Boards

By | November 2nd, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , |

DIY All Tube Phono Preamp Project

Part 4, Assembling the Circuit Boards

By Steve Graham

What’s your kryptonite?  Chances are if you’re reading this it’s the warm glow of tubes.  Welcome to my club.

No more preamble, straight to work.  Open and save the attachments below, detailing the assembly of the three(!) circuit boards.  Three?  You’ll see.

The power switch instructions also lists the tools needed for the remainder of the assembly documents.

Link to: Attachment Power Switch PCB Assembly, PDF

Link to: Attachment Amplifier PCB Assembly Standard 6DJ8 Version Part 1, PDF

Link to: Attachment Amplifier PCB Assembly Alternate 12AT7 Version Part 1, PDF

Link to: Attachment Amplifier PCB Assembly All Versions Part 2, PDF

Link to: Attachment Power Supply PCB Assembly, PDF

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The CHE Files: Shindo Lab’s Aurièges Preamplifier Reviewed

By | October 29th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , |

Shindo Laboratory Aurièges
Original Two-Chassis, Full-Function Preamplifier
Review Number 1 in the C/H/E* Files.
By Steve Graham

*Classic/Heritage/Exotic
This is the first instalment of what, hopefully, will be many evaluations of what I call the Classic/Heritage/Exotic equipment category.  I think the original, two-chassis Shindo Aurièges pictured above could fit in all three.

The esteemed Art Dudley of Stereophile usually bangs on about his Shindo gear nearly every other month in his column.  I’m being a bit snarky with Mr. Dudley, but he is doing his reviewer’s job, using what for him is his reference as a guide to new equipment sent to him for review. … Read the full article

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Toronto Audiofest 2018 Show Report (Part 2)

By | October 26th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , |

Continuing my show coverage…

The most visually pleasing room I saw (overall), belonged to our friends at Charisma Audio. This setup looked and sounded great, with the beautiful Audio Space LS5/9 Ebony monitors, Audio Space monoblocks, and Well-Tempered Lab’s stylish new Amadeus 254 turntable. As at previous shows, there were two complete systems, this time each sitting on a stunning Codia Diagon rack. Unfortunately I only saw Bernard Li briefly on Saturday, and we missed each other when I was at the Charisma room on Sunday; we will follow up – especially about Charisma’s brand-new Musiko tonearm!… Read the full article

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Toronto Audiofest 2018 Show Report (Part 1)

By | October 25th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , |

Oct.19-21/2018

Toronto Airport Westin Hotel

The good news is that this year, Toronto got an audio show similar to what Montreal has been enjoying for years. It was well-organized, well-attended, with a fine array of exhibitors (also some notable absences), and maybe most importantly, the layout and location were excellent. The focus was on two-channel audio, and many of the rooms were able to achieve great sound. Admission was free. And the mood was decidedly upbeat this year, especially since for the last couple of years, the now-defunct TAVES show really struggled to attend to the needs of audiophiles.… Read the full article

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DIY All-Tube Phono Stage Project, Part 3: Metal Working For Dummies

By | October 21st, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , , , |

DIY All-Tube Phono Preamp Project

Part 3, Metal-Working for Dummies

By Steve Graham, chief dummy

Working with fire and steel?  Would you believe alcohol and aluminum?  Bonus points to those who can name the 80’s pop group that issued the album shown above.  No cheating searching the title online.

Before we start torturing some metal: If you are sitting on the fence, wondering whether or not to build one of these for the following reasons:

  1. You think this preamp won’t have enough gain because it uses a 6DJ8 for the first stage (a 12AT7 is used for the second stage): Most line stages have plenty of gain so it takes some of the gain burden off of the phono stage. 
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Review: The Stunning Xavian Perla Esclusiva Loudspeakers

By | October 19th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , , |

Review By Noam Bronstein

Some gear comes in and out of our lives casually. It’s different with speakers sometimes. When a speaker gets under your skin, it triggers a more emotional attachment. Some call it “speaker fixation” – the notion that you build your entire system around the speakers you love. And if done right, I think this can be a 100% valid approach: mate the right speakers to the right room, and you’ve nailed the biggest system interaction, or variable.… Read the full article

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Updates On Upcoming Reviews (Busy, Busy!)

By | October 12th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , |

Here’s a brief rundown (maybe not so brief) on what’s in the Wall Of Sound pipeline.

Steve’s Tetra Phono project is well underway. Knowing Steve, most of this should “happen” in October.

Noam is wrapping up his review of the Xavian Perla Esclusiva speakers, a most exotic Czech/Italian standmount. Coming very soon!

Noam, or one of us, with a little luck, will drop by the Toronto Audiofest next week, and share a report on the show.

Noam is reviewing an amazing biography on The Last Poets.… Read the full article

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