December 2018
« Nov    
>> Breadcrumb :/Tag:Audio Discourse

Robinson's Positive Feedback Brutus Awards for 2018, Part the First

By | December 13th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Unbelievably enough, it’s the end of the year 2018…already! I know that I say this every year, but every year it’s worse and worse; time whizzes by faster and faster, and the final quarter always arrives long before I’m ready for it. The Earth rotates, and faithfully follows its annual orbit around yon Sun, so no surprise. But experientially, years now are like months used to be when I was younger. Maybe you’ve noticed this too…

Anyway, it’s time for me to announce my Brutus Awards for 2018.… Read the full article

Papa's Got a Brand New DAC! PS Audio's New Snowmass Operating System for DirectStream Junior

By | December 12th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

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

Main System


Von Schweikert Audio VR-35 Export Deluxe,  REL Strata III Subwoofer       


Pass Labs XA30.8 Class A Stereo Amplifier, “Fugly F4” DIY First Watt F4 Impedance Converting Amplifier (Thanks DIY Audio!), Homebrew Basic  David Slagle AVC Autoformer passive volume control, First Watt F7 Power Amplifier, Pass Labs INT-60 Integrated Amplifier


Analog: Music Hall MMF-9 Turntable with Project Carbon 9c Arm modified with with Cardas Litz phono wire and Expressimo Audio’s Half Moon Heavyweight Counterweight, Lyra Delos MC Cartridge,  Goldring Maestro MC Cartridge, George Wright WPP100C phono-stage and WP100 Sowter Step-up Transformer, Pass Labs XP-17 phono stage, Pass Labs XP-15 phono stage

Digital: PS Audio DirectStream Junior, Sony DVP-S7700ES DVD player.… Read the full article

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

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

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

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

Impressions:  The Ayon Audio HA-3 SET Headphone Amplifier and the Focal Utopia Headphones

By | November 30th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

High-end headphones and Personal Fi. I’ve evaluated a goodly handful of ‘phones and headphone amps over many years, with some excellent results. Some were large cost-no-object designs, built for home, listening room, or office use only; others were compact and portable, for the music lover on the go. (I do a fair amount of flying, and appreciate good portable gear.) I also have some great headphones and headphone amps for stay-at-home. Either way, I’m well served.

As a result, over the years I’ve built up a collection of reference headphones, of various types.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Impressions:  The Ayon Audio HA-3 SET Headphone Amplifier and the Focal Utopia Headphones

The New Apartment Lounge: It's an Analogue World Part 1 – The Sutherland Engineering 20/20 Phono Stage

By | November 26th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

When Less Offers More

In Issue 96 (this review has taken far too long, about which more in Part 2), I previewed several knockout products that had taken up temporary residence here at the Lounge (HERE). One of the new arrivals, Ron Sutherland’s knockout 20/20 phono preamp, a unit that has been available to music lovers for some time, really tickled my fancy. Introduced to the listening public in 2011, the third year of the Obama Administration (man, that really seems like a long time ago), the 20/20 follows on the heels of its smaller, less-expensive sibling, the KC VIBE phono stage that I raved about in issue 94.… Read the full article

Comments Off on The New Apartment Lounge: It's an Analogue World Part 1 – The Sutherland Engineering 20/20 Phono Stage