September 2019
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Rick Beato: A Musical and Audio Analysis of Boston's “More Than a Feeling”

By | September 15th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

…in which my good audio friend John Marks, Head Honcho of The Tannhauser Gate, continues his series of essays on a creative thread within rock music, wrapped about the music of Boston. This time, he introduces us to the commentary of Rick Beato, a connection for which we can all be thankful.

I’m with John:  buy a Beato Shirt!

Dr. David W. Robinson, Ye Olde Editor

Through Arturo Delmoni, I got to know Boris Goldovsky (1908-2001). I treasured our get-togethers and phone chats (and I also did some intellectual-property legal work for him).… Read the full article

Olympic Glory…Sonus faber’s Olympica Nova Loudspeakers

By | September 11th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

The last event I attended at the World of McIntosh (WOM) Townhouse in SOHO NYC featured the debut of Sonus faber’s Reference Aida 2. After about 10 seconds with the Aida 2 I realized I was in the presence of greatness. The Aida 2 is one of the very few experiences in recent memory that forced me to re-calibrate what I considered a true reference speaker.

When I was invited to attend the launch of the Olympica Nova line in late August, I was thrilled to get a shot at hearing the latest addition to the Sonus faber lineup, and hoped to hear some trickle-down brilliance from the Aida 2 to the Nova line.… Read the full article

Lawrence Listens to Some K2 HD Music

By | September 4th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

I seem to have gotten onto this bandwagon a bit late, but on the bandwagon I am. K2 HD remastering is a new technique (c. 2014) that the Japanese have pioneered to try and improve the quality of that stalwart of music delivery, the RedBook CD, now seemingly in it’s twilight in favor of hard drive music servers and audio streaming devices.

Developed by JVC / Japanese RCA Victor and described as an ‘epoch making’ mastering technology, K2 HD is supposed to deliver the ‘ambience of analogue sound,’ ‘higher resolution,’ ‘lower distortion,’ and a ‘richer sound field.’

Superior as the XRCDs are to all standard CDs I’ve purchased and auditioned the K2 HD recordings presented a more significant excursion in the prowess of the XRCD24, yielding a considerably more meticulous presentation and separation of instrument bodies.… Read the full article

Miles Davis, “It Could Happen to You”: a poem

By | September 4th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

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


Acoustic Zen Crescendos, Genesis G7.2Ps, Tetra Manhattans (also: Apogee Stages, SP Tech Time Piece 1.2s, Vandersteen 2Ce-modified, Acoustic Zen Adagios, von Schweikert VCL-15 monitor reference and sub), Silverline Minuets.


McCormack 125 Platinum Full-Rev Edition, plus McCormack VRE-1 preamplifier Nuforce P-9 mono blocks, Birdland Odeon-Ag 24-192/SACD Upsampling DAC, Audio Research SP-8 (Dahong Seeto version) preamplifier, Nuforce P-9 mono blocks, KR VT600-MK tube mono blocks, McCormack 0.5 high-mod amplifier.… Read the full article

Boston: “More Than a Feeling” (Reveries, Part 2)

By | September 2nd, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Yon goode fellow John Marks continues his reflections on our recent musical past that he began in his just-published essay, “Walk Away Renée,” to be found at his excellent Web site The Tannhauser Gate, as well as its re-publication here at Positive Feedback.

Frankly, I was gratified by how quickly John continued the thread that he had started. I’ve entitled them as “Reveries,” Parts 1 and 2, because he tells me that he’s already working on a third essay along these lines.Read the full article

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How We Listen

By | September 1st, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

(Roger Skoff writes about getting the most from our audio hobby.)

Many years ago, Stereophile, to get a better handle on its marketing, had a study done to find out who and how many its readers were. One of the (then-surprising) things that study turned-up was the fact that almost all (well more than 90%) of Stereophile’s readers, both direct and pass-through, were male.

After that information was released, I and some of my audio reviewer friends found ourselves at CES, wondering why that might be, and two of us (who, besides being major-magazine reviewers, were licensed clinical psychologists) offered the thought that, just as men and women are known to hear differently (with women generally having better and more extended high-frequency response), it might also be that men and women listen differently.… Read the full article

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Thom Mackris: exaSound DACs

By | August 22nd, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

This guest article is by Thom Mackris, head honcho at Galibier Design. PF Senior Associate Editor Lynn Olson shared it with me right after Thom published his comments on a very recent three-hour listening session that he had with Lynn. They were doing some listening comparisons with exaSound DACs; the comments below summarize Thom’s take on what they heard.

Thom’s article is re-published here with his kind permission.

Dr. David W. Robinson, Editor-in-Chief

And now for something completely different … auditioning DACs.… Read the full article

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Impressions:  Final Thoughts on the Merrill Audio Element 118

By | August 21st, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

David W. Robinson:  a portrait by John Robinson

The Merrill Audio Element 118. Why that name?

Simple, says Merrill Wettasinghe, the designer:  “Element 118 is named after the newest element in the periodic table called Oganesson, which completes the 7th row of the periodic table. The name Element 118 reflects the newest in technologies in the Element 118 Monoblock Power Amplifiers.

Merrill Wettasinghe with a pair of his Element 118 monoblocks, here driving some very nice Tidal Audio loudspeakers.Read the full article

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Creating a Path to Digital Music Bliss with Roon

By | August 20th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

From left to right, Intel Nuc Roon Core, Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra, Raspberry Pi 3 B+, Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Over the past year I have spent a significant amount of time working on solving what appeared to be a simple problem. How do I distribute my digital music throughout my home in an easy to use, yet high fidelity manner? While the problem initially seemed like it should be simple, the reality was that there were many different paths I could pursue to get to digital audio bliss.… Read the full article

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A Transition from iTunes and Hi-Resolution Players to Roon

By | August 13th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Why is that with all the music we have access to, we still play the same 50 albums?

I grew up in a time of Hi-Fi that I thought was the golden age. It wasn’t centered on the gear… it was all we had, but was centered on the music. I suppose we all have that same sense of nostalgia, whether gear or music.

My family’s system was a huge Kenwood SS receiver, tape deck, Technics SL-1200, and a pair of Acoustic Research AR2s, or at least as I can still imagine it.… Read the full article

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