First the rain came straight down. Then the rain came sideways. Then it seemed to be coming up at me from the ground as I ran from a coffee shop to make my way to Hi-Fi Centre for the opening of the Vancouver Audio Festival late Friday afternoon. I was reminded of a scene in Forrest Gump where he describes similar rain experiences in Vietnam during his time in the war, and I was silently thankful to be taking shelter from the storm in warm, and cozy environs with like-minded audiophiles.… Read the full article
All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.
Marten Bird Loudspeakers, Marten Duke 2 Loudspeakers, and REL Stadium III subwoofer.
E.A.R. 324 phono preamplifier, two E.A.R. 890 amplifiers (ran as monos), E.A.R. 534 stereo amplifier, E.A.R. 912 Professional preamplifier, E.A.R. 834L tube line stage, E.A.R. HP4 headphone amplifier, Grado Battery headphone amplifier, and KingRex headphone amplifier.
Analog: E.A.R. Disk Master Turntable with two Helius Omega Tonearms.
Cartridges: Koetsu Rosewood Signature, London Reference and Grado Statement1.… Read the full article
More than a few audio companies have set sail with the simple mission of delivering budget gear, only to get lured into sometimes-rocky shores by the siren call of the higher-end market. Such temptations make it even more laudable when an entry-level manufacturer stays the course, such as Audioengine.
Audioengine has been enjoying strong tailwinds for a while now as it navigates its narrow shipping lane in the audiophile ocean. The company makes a line of mainly self-powered budget speakers and accessories that are so good at what they do, it’s easy to take them for granted.… Read the full article
Disclaimer: I picked up this Grado GH2 at Fujiya Avic’s 2017 Spring headphone show from Grado’s Japan distributor, Knicom. I got it for like 50$ off the regular modest gouge of 650$ or so. It’s a Grado. Single driver. Wood. Sponge pads. Leather headband. Aesthetics straight from the early 90s. And it’s an awesome, historically connected headphone.
I find it strange that I’m the only Grado super fan and evangelist at Headfonia. Grado rock. Grado headphones look great in photos.… Read the full article
Disclaimer: The star of this week’s picture Sunday is Fujiya Avic’s 2017 Fall Headphone Festival. Wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, Nathan went there.
I just came back from Fujiya Avic’s latest and greatest headphone show. There was a lot of stuff there. I was there both days. Still, I saw only a tiny fraction of it all. Why? I’m just one guy. I had other meetings. My bag was heavy as hell. The biggest reason is that I’ve reached headphone fatigue. Every show is like the last, but with more and expensiver stuff.… Read the full article
This week’s picture Sunday features Beautiful Audio’s Grado headband and earpad mods.This is a bit of a different Picture Sunday. It’s a praise column of sorts, with lots of photos. You can find all about Silvian’s Grado pad and headband mods here: Beautiful Audio. The pads go for 115$ USD, and the headbands go for 60$ USD. To check out all previous Picture Sunday Posts click HERE.
Beautiful Audio’s Grado pads are game changers. Not only can you match or contrast the colour of your ear pads and headband, it’s all reversible.… Read the full article
Received some rather interesting news out of Brooklyn, NY today. Grado Labs has some brand new phono cartridges!
The Brooklyn Company Kicks Off The Lineage Series With Sapphire And Cocobolo
Grado Labs is proud to announce a major step forward in phono cartridge design, the all-new Lineage Series. The first two cartridges to join the series are the Brooklyn built Epoch and Aeon. For the first time in the family’s sixty-four year history, sapphire, gold, diamond, and cocobolo wood join forces to produce the finest hand-built cartridge ever.… Read the full article
Igor Kivritsky wanted to make a difference with the Vancouver Audio Festival, and bring some of the expertise that the staff at the Hifi Centre had to the uninitiated of high fidelity. The goal was to make an audio show accessible to the average music listener, not just audiophiles. So when he started putting together the festival, he kept one thing in mind: making it fun.
Looking back on the show, Kivritsky says they’ll definitely do another one next year, and the year after, and the year after that… you get the picture.… Read the full article
Mat Weisfeld of VPI industries contacted me Thursday to announce that the company’s $900 USD turntable/tonearm/cartridge combination that I spoke about with his father Harry in Montreal several months ago – dubbed The Cliffwood – would be shipping in late July or early August. This looks to be quite an accomplishment to deliver the quality VPI is known for at such an entry-level price point. I think many in the industry will be taking notice of this salvo across the bow of other turntable manufacturers like Rega, Pro-Ject, and U-Turn who have seen great success carving up the sub-$1,000 record player market for some time.… Read the full article