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AXPONA 2018: Stereo Haven lives up to it’s Name

By | April 20th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Keeping it real with Stereo Haven.

Stereo Haven is probably one of the most aptly named bricks & mortar outfits out there. I came across it late in the afternoon Friday during the AXPONA weekend at a time when I needed a stereo haven the most. If you’ve never been to one of the big audiophile trade shows, it’s hard to describe how tired you get from concentrating all day on listening. Usually around 4 p.m. I start to hit a wall, and need some sonic sanctuary in the form of a dark room, super-mellow tunes being played through an analog front end, and no interruptions.… Read the full article

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LA Audio Show 2017: MoFi masters the art of audiophile pressings

By | July 18th, 2017|Categories: Nordost, Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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A glimpse into the deep catalog of Mobile Fidelity Master Recordings.

Glancing at the deep stacks of vinyl albums in the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab room at the Los Angeles Audio Show, I could only think of two things: When do these guys go on lunch break, and how fast could I get a dolly up here? laas9Indeed, seeing all those LPs adorned with their “Original Master Recording” labels across the top can easily bring out an uncharacteristic larcenous streak.… Read the full article

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MoFi: Wharfedale, Quad, TAD and Isotek

By | June 8th, 2017|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Mofi Distribution curates a lot of high fidelity brands, and as such their rooms at audio shows are usually 100% available through them as a one stop shop. The listening station was split into two last weekend, with one side featuring a higher-ish end (but not really, in comparison to most other rooms) and one budget side.

The “high end” side had the same TAD Laboratories Micro Evolution One ($12.5k) we saw at AXPONA this year. During that demo, MoFi’s Jon Derda gave us a sample of Led Zepplin’s “Moby Dick” that we won’t soon forget.… Read the full article

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RMAF 2016: Soundings Dials-in Boulder, Rockport

By | November 13th, 2016|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

dsc_0450I had my glasses down at the end of my nose and my severely myopic eyes were about an inch from the screen of my Nikon D5300 as I attempted a Rafe Arnott-esque extreme close-up on a Boulder 2110 preamp. Suddenly the needle dropped and I was startled by what sounded like a rifle shot fired from just behind the Rockport Cygnus loudspeakers.

I staggered back a few feet as a pulsing accordion joined in, followed by a driving bass that seemed to be singing its own subterranean language.… Read the full article

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RMAF 2016: GamuT Does it All (Almost)

By | November 2nd, 2016|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , |

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The majority of manufacturers in the high-end concentrate on a limited number of product categories. Some focus on just one. Others, though, seek to run the gamut from speakers and electronics to wire and accessories.

The aptly named GamuT Audio, based in Denmark, falls into this latter category. You could easily buy most of your system from the company, just as you can with a few other similarly ambitious firms like McIntosh Laboratories and Naim.

One of the advantages of going with such a comprehensive equipment maker, aside from saving a lot of shopping time, is that you theoretically don’t have to worry about those puzzling component mismatches.… Read the full article

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The Listening Sessions – Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab

By | September 19th, 2016|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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Many audiophile traditionalists spin tales of a time when fans of music huddled around the warm glow of tubes and spinning vinyl to pay homage to their favorite albums. Lovingly placed together in basements and man caves around the world, its no doubt these moments in time contained far more emphasis on community and sharing than the current state we find ourselves in. It’s easy to draw lines to how the advent of iPod and the evolution of personal listening has concentrated most consumption of music to small white buds and train commutes.… Read the full article

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