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My Audio Life: Part 9, Headphone Amp Obsession

By | September 20th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , |

By Steve Graham

Tubular Obsession Confession Time

Have you ever had an audio obsession?  Never happened to me, not much!

I became preoccupied with headphone listening for a while.  I still do it occasionally, but I really became obsessed with headphone amps.  The line of Earmax HPA’s from Germany became a particular fixation after reading a Ken Kessler review in HiFi News and Record Review many years ago.  I actually saw one in a display case at a stereo store some years ago but the shop owner didn’t offer me a chance to actually touch it, let alone listen to it.  Read the full article

DIY All-Tube High End Phono Preamp Project

By | September 10th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , |

Its face may be a bit plain, but its heart is golden.

DIY All-Tube Phono Preamp Project (Update)

by Steve Graham

The response to my proposed DIY Phono Preamp project has been a bit tepid.  So, once more with feeling: WoS is looking for a patron to finance this project.  The kind person that fronts this project will, at the end of it, receive a phono stage very similar to the one pictured here.

The preamp pictured here (my prototype) uses a Tubecad Tetra phono amplifier board and PS-3 power supply.… Read the full article

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Top Of The Line HiFi Gear From Yamaha Announced

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

Well, well. First it was Technics, and now Yamaha….

Back in the 1970’s, Yamaha was a formidable player in the audio world. And ever since, really. The lower and mid-priced gear gained huge market acceptance. Some of their higher end electronics were made in partnership with Accuphase, while their top turntables like the GT-750 and GT-2000 were collaborations with Micro-Seiki. This TOTL stuff from the 70’s and 80’s is still sought after today. And the trickle down effect was pretty good too.… Read the full article

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Review: Beteran KZ ATE Dynamic Balanced Armature IEM’s – Great Sound for $23 Cdn?

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

Ultra-Affordable Equipment Review: Beteran KZ ATE Dynamic Balanced Armature IEM’s ($23 Cdn on Amazon)

In Ear Monitors that are a bargain for audiophiles and non-audiophiles alike

Click for a larger view

As I write this, the temperature outside is over 30ºC – but the humidity makes it feel like 40.  The electrical grid in my neighbourhood is so loaded down that the normal line voltage of 118 to 123 is running around 107 to 109.  My PS Audio AC Regenerator will hold the output at a steady 120 regardless of the input voltage. … Read the full article

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Review: Finale Audio’s New F-168-II Integrated Tube Amplifier

By | July 16th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , |

F168-II as reviewed (Left) and F168R (Right)

Finale-ly: A Finale F-138 FFX Owner Takes The New F-168-II Integrated For An Extended Spin

It’s always a pleasure when Frank Ng of Finale Audio/Triode Lab drops by. His cheery disposition is part of the reason, but playing with amplifiers is my idea of a great time! On that sunny afternoon, Frank left a diminutive Hammertone grey 13.5″ x 9″ case known as the Finale Audio F-168 II integrated amplifier. Frank is the lead person on many fine amplifiers made by Finale and its sister company, Triode Labs.… Read the full article

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Upcoming Review: NAD 50.2 Digital Music Player

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

Upcoming Review by Steve Graham

And now, for something completely different –  The NAD 50.2 Digital Music Player

In a complete about-face from the LP groove I’ve been in lately, a NAD 50.2 Digital Music Player has taken up residence in my system.  Before you analogists start sending off nastygrams to my long-suffering editor, please note that no records or turntables were damaged, abused or displaced during this process.

My ancient, but well-loved, Cambridge 840C CD player has been getting creakier by the day.  Read the full article

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Data Privacy Statement 5/25/18

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

Posted by Noam Bronstein

Boring housekeeping stuff, no audio content. Today, the European Union implemented G.D.P.R., their new data privacy internet regulations. This is to protect all EU users and customers from improper collection and use of their personal data.

Just to cover our butts, I’d like to make the following points about our business model, since Wall of Sound does have readers in the EU.

WoS is a free service, we have never collected personal information about our audience. Actually our only paying ‘customers’ are the nice vendors that pay us for advertising space.… Read the full article

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Ortofon Quintet Red Vs. Quintet Bronze Comparison Review

By | May 15th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , |

Comparison review By Steve Graham

Ortofon vs Ortofon…

Quintet Red vs Quintet Bronze…

Low Output Moving Coil vs Low Output Moving Coil…

Elliptical Stylus vs Fine Line Stylus

The Quintet Red

The Quintet Bronze, though it looks more orange to me

I’m a long-time Stereophile subscriber, but there are times when I feel like an even poorer relation than usual, while reading the monthly exploits of Messrs. Fremer, Dudley and Reichert.  In the April 2018 issue, the analogue trio reviewed moving coil cartridges costing from US $999 to $16,000. … Read the full article

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DIY Tube Phono Stage Build, Needing a Sponsor

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

The TubeCAD Tetra phono stage prototype

Attention: Tube-Loving, Vinyl-Spinning, but DIY-averse Wall of Sounders!

A Proposed Phono Preamp project, by Steve Graham

Our first foray into DIY tubing was a success, judging by the over 22,000(!) views across all sections of the project.  A few people actually took the plunge and built their own, too.  The two Aikido line stages I built both sold and as far as I know the gentlemen that bought them are happy with their purchases.  At least I haven’t had any complaints, yet.… Read the full article

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Double TT Review: Pro-Ject’s ‘The Classic’ SB Super Pack & Funk Firm’s Flamenca

By | April 15th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Double Turntable Review, by Steve Graham

  • Pro-Ject Audio Systems “The Classic” SB Super Pack
  • The Funk Firm Flamenca

Mars and Venus, Cats and Dogs, Tubes and Transistors, Blondes and Brunettes……

In my short career as an audio reviewer, I thought there were two types of reviews that would be hard to write. The review where I disliked a component but didn’t want to crap all over it, and the review where I really, really liked a piece of gear but didn’t want to sound like a shill for the manufacturer.… Read the full article

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