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Hi-fi Holiday Gift Guide 2018 Edition (Part 2)

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

Noam’s Picks for the Season

What follows is an eclectic mix of mostly unrelated stuff that either interests me, and/or that I think would interest WoS readers. Most of my suggestions this year fall well below the $200 mark. So break out your wallet, and make some audiophile loved one happy this holiday season. (I’m just kidding, audiophiles are never happy)

Vincent Bélanger – Audio Note Music CD’s and LP’s. $20 – $60 CAD. By now the gifted cellist Vincent Bélanger is a staple on the audio show scene, but if you’ve not had the pleasure of hearing his recordings on the Audio Note Music label, I have to say, they are excellent.… Read the full article

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Hi-Fi Holiday Gift Guide 2018 Edition (Part 1)

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

Holiday Gift Guide, 2018 – Hi-Fi Stocking Stuffers and Gifts, Part 1: Steve’s Picks

By Steve Graham

Beteran KZ ATE Dynamic Balanced Armature IEMs.  $23 CDN

Hey Miss K, put those cheap and cheerful IEM’s in the box.  I already gave you a pair.  Santa Steve knows who’s been naughty.

These are super-fun earphones and so much better than anything that comes standard with most portable electronics.  I’ve already given seven pairs to friends and family in the last six months.  … Read the full article

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DIY Tube Phono Project Part 5: Circuit Board – Chassis Integration

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

The finished WOS – Tubecad Tetra Phono Project…..and friends

DIY All-Tube Phono Preamp Project

Part 5, Circuit Board–Chassis Integration

The Finish Line

By Steve Graham

This is it. We wrap it all up here. I hope I’ve enticed a few people to give this project a try. Yes, there have been many long attachments detailing the build procedure, but it’s the pictures that take up a lot of space. If you tackle this project, just take it step by step. Scrolling down to the attachment links below will get you to the finish line.… Read the full article

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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

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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

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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

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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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