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The New Apartment Lounge: Two Memorable Winter Road Trips

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

Back to the Midwest-SR

In late January 2019, over the MLK holiday weekend no less, I ventured north by northwest from Florida to the wilds of exurban Indiana to pay my close audio bud, Greg Weaver, a long-overdue visit. I made a similar trek a year earlier to hear his then reference setup, namely Audionet’s Max monoblock amps and matching preamp, the stunning GamuT Zodiac loudspeakers, Greg’s stellar Kronos Sparta turntable, a loom of Stealth cables, and a gaggle of other goodies.… Read the full article

Impressions:  My Photographic Portraits from AXPONA 2019

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

Robinson_on_porch_with_pipe

[Note:  All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.]

Last updated 05/16/2019

LOUDSPEAKERS

Evolution Acoustics Micro One Monitors.

(A new loudspeaker setup will be installed in the near future.)

004_Robinson_Audionet_Pre_G2_DSC_0293

The Audionet PRE G2 Preamp.

ELECTRONICS

The PASS Labs Xs 150 Monoblock Amps and Power Supplies on Critical Mass Systems QXK Amp Stands

Merrill Audio Element 118 monoblock amplifiers; PASS Labs Xs Reference Phono Amp, Xs Reference Preamp, and Xs 150 Reference Monoblock Amps; Accustic Arts (components to be detailed); Audionet Pre G2 reference preamplifier, Audionet MAX monoblock amplifiers, Audionet Pam G2 reference phono preamplifier with EPX power supply, darTZeel CTH-8550 Integrated Amplifier; Walker Audio Procession Reference Phono Amplifier (updated 2015).… Read the full article

Impressions: My Audio Oasis! Awards from AXPONA 2019 – Part the Fifth & Final

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

Here is the final installment of my Audio Oasis! Awards from AXPONA 2019. A major event; a major set of articles reflecting upon the awards that I gave.

Daedalus Audio/Vacuum Tube Amplification/LampizatOr/WyWires

In the Daedalus Audio/VAC/LampizatOr/WyWires room…great beauty here!

Lou Hinkley, Fred Ainsley, Kevin Hayes, and Alex Svetinsky were making beautiful music in Room 496, for sure. The linkup of these companies led to me being pulled into the room, with the LampizatOr Golden Gate 2, an SET tubed DAC that I know extremely well here at PF Central, providing the source music.… Read the full article

Impressions: My Audio Oasis! – Part the Fourth

By | June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Robinson_on_porch_with_pipe

[Note:  All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.]

Last updated 05/16/2019

LOUDSPEAKERS

Evolution Acoustics Micro One Monitors.

(A new loudspeaker setup will be installed in the near future.)

004_Robinson_Audionet_Pre_G2_DSC_0293

The Audionet PRE G2 Preamp.

ELECTRONICS

The PASS Labs Xs 150 Monoblock Amps and Power Supplies on Critical Mass Systems QXK Amp Stands

Merrill Audio Element 118 monoblock amplifiers; PASS Labs Xs Reference Phono Amp, Xs Reference Preamp, and Xs 150 Reference Monoblock Amps; Accustic Arts (components to be detailed); Audionet Pre G2 reference preamplifier, Audionet MAX monoblock amplifiers, Audionet Pam G2 reference phono preamplifier with EPX power supply, darTZeel CTH-8550 Integrated Amplifier; Walker Audio Procession Reference Phono Amplifier (updated 2015).… Read the full article

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What isn't Black? Roger Skoff Writes about the Real Sound of Sound

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

How many times have you read a review of some recording, some system, or some individual piece of gear that said something like this? “The orchestra was rendered perfectly, with each individual instrument hung in its own separate space, emerging from a perfectly black background…” Or maybe the reviewer had enthused that “It was easy to tell that there were three rows of violins,” and had gone on to describe the spaces between them and between the violin section and the other instrumental sections as “velvety black,” “…with no sound at all to interfere with sonic imaging or mar the purity of the soundstage.” Perhaps he just wrote that “Each individual note was crystal-clear, against the perfect silence of a dead-black background.”

That’s vividly poetic, but can it really be true?… Read the full article

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Impressions: My Audio Oasis! Awards from AXPONA 2019 – Part the Third

By | May 31st, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Continuing my Audio Oasis! Awards, reflections on AXPONA 2019, and my photographs…

Merging Technologies/Evolution Acoustics/Wave Kinetics/darTZeel/Durand Tonearms/ATR/Analog Audio

 In the Blue Light Audio room…world-class components, all!

Another big-time non-surprise:  The Blue Light Audio et al. room was gassed, stoked, and ready-to-go! once again. Jonathan Tinn, Kevin Malmgren, and Joel Durand hosted a really seductive room, filled with state-of-the-art designs, and the amazing Maestoso Loudspeakers with their Exact external crossovers.

The system:

  • Wave Kinetics NVS Reference Turntable ($45,000)
  • Durand Tonearms Tosca 10″ Gimbal Tonearm ($14,900)
  • Ortofon MC-Century Cartridge ($12,000, limited edition, sold out)
  • darTZeel NHB-18NS MkII Preamplifier ($44,000)
  • darTZeel NHB-108 Model Two Stereo Amplifier ($44,000)
  • Merging Technologies MERGING+NADAC DAC ($10,000)
  • Merging Technologies MERGING+CLOCK ($36,000)
  • Merging Technologies MERGING+POWER power supply ($6000),
  • ATR Services Ampex ATR 102 RTR Tape Deck (price varies; contact ATR Services)
  • Evolution Acoustics Maestoso loudspeakers ($18,900 per pair)

The Evolution Acoustics Maestoso Loudspeaker with a Merging Technologies stack; in the lower right rear is the Exact external crossover, a technical tour de force

The unique Evolution Acoustics Maestoso Loudspeakers have impressed me every time I’ve heard them at audio shows.… Read the full article

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Toes in My Head, er Sand – MrSpeakers' Aeon Flow Headphones, Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC, and Ampsandsound Kenzie Amplifier

By | May 30th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , |

This note reflects, essentially, my first toe in the water of a higher end headphone setup, at least as a reviewer. I’ve heard high end speaker systems for decades. My first “high end” headphone setup was sometime in the late 1970s, an unknown model of magical Stax “earspeakers.” At the time I thought them better than any regular speakers I’d heard. Since then, I’ve heard numerous excellent two channel setups, but I have made little or no effort to familiarize myself with headphones.… Read the full article

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Video Interviews from Munich 2019, Part 2: NativeDSD.com Talks with the Industry About DSD

By | May 29th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Continuing their video interview series from Munich 2018, the good folks at NativeDSD share more of their conversations with people from that event. Great stuff!

1. Giulio Cesare Ricci, Fonè Records

Floor van der Holst from NativeDSD Music catches up with Giulio Cesare Ricci from Fonè Records at High End Munich 2019. They discuss 2 new Fone albums from Sax Player Scott Hamilton and Guitarist Andrea Castelfranato that have just been released in DSD Stereo at NativeDSD.

The new albums are recorded live, with no editing, “with a natural sound that captures the music’s emotion.”

Giulio Cesare Ricci also talks about the special nature of the DSD format and how it enables the listener to experience “the emotion from the music in your home.”

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEgQAwpuCKY

2.Read the full article

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Leaving Class A – 2019 Redux: A Biased Opinion from Nelson Pass

By | May 29th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: |

In spite of the improvements in efficient Class D switchers, watt-sucking Class A power amplifiers continue to attract high-end audiophiles. The breed remains as popular as ever—and why not? Any product of our school system knows that A is better than B, or C or D…

I get quite a bit of email, and it is filled with general questions about compatibility of components, the sound of different products, how high the cables should be lifted and so on, but there is a topic which comes up a regularly: “Where does this amplifier leave Class A?”

It is generally understood that ordinary Class AB amplifiers operate Class A at some low power level and then fall to Class B at higher levels.… Read the full article

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Impressions: My Audio Oasis! Awards from AXPONA 2019 – Part the Second

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

Continuing with my Audio Oasis! Awards series from AXPONA 2019…

Synergistic Research/Scott Walker Audio

In the Synergistic Research/Scott Walker room

Ted!

I spent time in the SR/Scott Walker room, checking out Ted’s latest innovations at Synergistic Research. There is always something interesting going on with Ted and company, and I’ve had nearly 25 years of experience with Ted and his designs. Regardless of the controversies that have followed him about in high-end audio over the years, I am convinced that Synergistic Research products really do make a positive, significant difference in the sound of the systems that I’ve used them in.… Read the full article

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