September 2019
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A Black Diamond – The ATC 50SE Loudspeakers

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

I enjoyed hearing ATC’s 40A (then $12,999) speaker four years ago; enough so I was tempted to buy them (see HERE for the review). They had a fuller range than my reference, and the sound was a bit sweeter.

However, my reference ATCs employ an “SL” (super linear) driver for midrange and lower frequencies, as all of its “classic series” speakers do, whereas the 40A from their entry series do not. The SL technology, as I understand it, addresses problems inherent in steel’s magnetic non-linearity.… Read the full article

The Neoteric Listener – The Butcher Block Acoustics Rigidrack 3 Shelf Rack

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

I don’t suppose I’m alone in admiring those who can really work with their hands. Years ago, while serving a semester-long sentence in woodshop, I envied my pals who could cut, glue, plane, and sand mundane articles like planters and bowls into magnificent works of craftsmanship. Not being able to do any of this, I quickly found myself sitting on a stool on the other side of the room. Here, the inept and indifferent haphazardly labored on projects both assigned and illicit, with no expectation of ever actually bringing anything into being.… Read the full article

Schiit Ragnarok 2 Integrated

By | September 17th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

With a firm desire for innovation and iterative design, Schiit are a company which have taken the world of high-end personal audio by storm one product at a time. Their latest creation comes in the form of the Ragnarok 2—an integrated amplifier which improves upon the original with its modular design, heatsink components, and a remote control tracked to the 128-step relay attenuator. For now, the Ragnarok 2 can be purchased without multiple add-ons for $1499, or for $1799 with add-ons of a MM phono card and Multibit DAC.… Read the full article

Nordost QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer

By | September 17th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

I am sometimes ashamed of how little we know about audio, how little we understand about it. We fly to the Moon, we are getting ready to fly to Mars, we have quite good knowledge of how the universe is changing and what its structure is, we have found thousands of planets that are similar to the Earth and we have finally “seen” a black hole, but we still cannot comprehend what (often) negative or (sometimes) positive impact a little wire, a piece of wood or aluminum foil, etc., have on the sound of recordings.… Read the full article

Audio Research Reference Phono 3 – One Smart Phono Stage

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

Phono preamplifiers come in all shapes and sizes and with varying amounts of user adjustability and convenience. The ARC Ref 3 phono preamplifier is hands down the smartest phono section I have ever had the pleasure of using and listening to.

At the bottom of the intelligence pecking order are phono preamplifiers that only have moving magnet (mm) inputs with fixed gain and loading set at 47k ohms. The next step up is a phono preamplifier that has both mm and moving coil (mc) inputs with adjustments for gain and loading.… Read the full article

Linear Tube Audio's Microzotl Preamplifier and ZOTL40 Reference Amplifier

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

Prologue: A Berning Desire

Many years ago, I purchased a boxy little bespoke headphone amp for my Sennheiser HD600’s called a MicroZOTL. Built by a mysterious mid-Atlantic, not-so-mad audio scientist by the name of David Berning, the MicroZOTL was a mighty tiny wonder. I loved it so much I had physicist / audio manufacturer Berning build me his ZH270 integrated amplifier. It was a great amp. Mr. Berning’s creations are aural artworks to be treasured, but sadly, those were early days in my own high-end audio journey when I was continually choosing to try different paths, and I eventually sold both amps to lucky audiophiles.Read the full article

ampsandsound Suolo Monos: An And Game Amplifier in a Boutique Package

By | September 10th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

I tend to jump into things blindly, especially when it comes to this hobby. Most of the amps, headphones, and speakers that I am interested in are not sold locally. Some of the best things in this hobby are made to order, and they often times don’t have a 30 day trail. Needless to say, I have been burned many times when buying new gear. It is not the fault of the manufacturer or the dealer, just the fact of life in a hobby as subjective as audio.… Read the full article

Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme 1.3 Preamplifier: A Neutral Presentation That Excels in Micro Dynamics and Harmonic Delicacy

By | September 10th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Review By Dean Cacioppo

With this article, Positive Feedback continues its content-sharing relationship with Enjoy the Music. Dean Cacioppo shares his thoughts about the Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme 1.3 Preamplifier. Read, and learn….

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

In my humble opinion, the two most under appreciated aspects of high-end audio are room acoustics / speaker placement and the preamplifier. These are the unsung heroes of the best sounding audio systems in the world. Speakers are generally front and center—kind of like a quarterback for a great football team.… Read the full article

Pure Audio Lotus DAC5

By | September 10th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Pure Audio are a Taiwanese audio company with years of audio design experience under their belt. Despite not being famous amongst audio circles, the brand have attempted to break into international waters with their first successful distributor, Underwood HiFi, residing in the U.S. 

Part of their mission to win customers on a global scale has arisen from their firm desire to provide complete audiophile solutions using the best components. Enter the Lotus DAC5—which represents Pure Audio’s first stab at a hi-end DAC solution, complete with a full glass-front display.… Read the full article

Keces Audio P8 Linear Power Supply and BP-2400 Balanced Isolation Power Conditioner

By | September 5th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Keces Audio (stylized KECES) is a high end audio audio manufacturer based out of Taiwan. They curate several different components, mostly focused around power (both creation and conditioning), so this review will be in two parts. One for the BP-2400 Balanced Isolation Power Conditioner, and the other for the P8 Linear DC Power Supply (Dual Output).

Starting with the BP-2400, we have your standard sized unit measuring in at 430 x 340 x 133mm  or approximately 17″ x 13″ x 5″ weighing in at a hefty 25KG (or about 55 lbs).… Read the full article

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