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CAF 2018: Spatial Audio, Linear Tube Audio, ANTICABLE and a Lesson in Value

By | November 22nd, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

At last month’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I asked a couple of audio buddies if they’d seen (well, heard) anything interesting at the show. Both of them immediately mentioned the fantastic open-baffle speakers from Spatial Audio, and how they sounded incredible for just four grand per pair. Hmmm, I thought, I’ll have to check them out. But I didn’t—and I was looking everywhere for them. It was the last day of the show, however, and I was tired and my eyes might have been on the blurry side.… Read the full article

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CAF 2018: Fern & Roby, Linear Tube Audio, Black Cat Cable; ring in a new era

By | November 17th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Fern & Roby take us on a journey into the wide open bandwidth, while Linear Tube Audio rings in a new era for tube integrated amplifiers, Black Cat Cable crosses our path.

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Sunday at an audio show is always a little bit slower, a little more relaxed, and a whole lot more “are we done yet?” Many of us on the press side are tying up loose ends, or returning to our favourite rooms to squeeze in another listen. I on the other hand am still clamoring to hear everything I can.… Read the full article

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Daedalus, Linear Tube Audio, LamizatOr, WyWires; All Reference – CAF 2018

By | November 15th, 2018|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

This is a system I could listen to every day and twice on Sundays. Which is exactly what I did at Capital Audiofest. On Friday, I poked my head in for a listen, Saturday, much of the same. Sunday morning I was there first thing to gather some final impressions of the system and snap some photos when I was called away for an urgent show-going responsibility. So I finally return on for my “twice” listen on Sunday, along with some photos — and I am noticing as the show is winding down, that the Daedalus, Linear Tube Audio and LamizatOr room is still rather busy.Read the full article

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McGary Audio SA-1 Stereo Amplifier Review

By | September 1st, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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One of the fun aspects of reviewing gear from small start-up companies is getting to know the owner/proprietor, who is also usually the designer and builder of the piece of gear I’m reviewing. Such is the case with Mike McGary, something of a new kid on the block in the world of vacuum tube amplifier design. Mike is the owner, designer, builder, and chief bottle washer at upstart McGary Audio, which is based in Gainesville, Virginia, not quite a two-hour drive from my home in south-central Pennsylvania. … Read the full article

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AXPONA 2018: Spatial Audio open baffles will open your mind

By | May 27th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller

Spatial Audio, Linear Tube Audio, and Fern & Roby each arrive at a new reference this weekend at Axpona, and I’m glad I was able to hear it.

Cone drivers bolted into wooden boxes are a dime a dozen. On the tip of my tongue I’m lucky if questioned to name more than a handful of open-baffle speaker companies that are more than a garage business.Read the full article

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AXPONA 2018: The Expo Hall (Part One)

By | May 23rd, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Bigger and better
than ever, this years Expo Hall at AXPONA was alone worth the cost of admission. Vendors were pulling all the stops with their displays and demo exhibits. Traffic was consistent throughout the weekend, and I imagine the Expo Hall will be a popular destination for both attendee and exhibitor next year.
On with the show!

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AXPONA 2018 Coverage brought to you by Zesto Audio

Wynn Audio had six displays featuring ThalesTurntable, KalistaDigital Playback System, Karan AcousticsAmplifier, EntreqGroundbox (recently reviewed by Rafe), PenaudioSpeakers, and ZenSatiCables.Read the full article

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Munich High End 2018: Fern & Roby make it feel like the first time

By | May 10th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Christopher Hildebrand of bespoke high-fidelity manufacturer Fern & Roby showed off some impressive pieces of kit at AXPONA a few weeks ago, and when I spoke with him there he related his excitement at attending his first High End in Munich this weekend. He came to Chicago loaded for bear with the company’s new 89dB/4-Ohm/Two-way The Tower loudspeakers, new phono stage designs, tonearm designs, and updates for his existing combinations of Montrose deck guises. Hildebrand has also been rolling his sleeves up on cable design/construction for tonearms, and interconnects, and was showing off several preamplifier/amplifier chassis redesigns that he had collaborated on with Linear Tube Audio and their main man Mark Schneider.… Read the full article

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Fern And Roby – AXPONA 2018

By | April 24th, 2018|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Fern and Roby are slightly different from most other audio companies. Their work offers up a heightened emphasis on texture, not just within the details of fidelity, but also on the surface of their hand crafted, delicately machined works of audio art. The industrial design shines as much as the gleam off off the finish does. Christopher Hildebrand’s handiwork is at the helm of the company and his high-level design sensibilities can be found everywhere in room 606 at AXPONA 2018.… Read the full article

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AXPONA 2018: The MUST SEE Rooms of Day Three

By | April 18th, 2018|Categories: Nordost, Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

There are over 160 rooms and exhibits here at Axpona. Making this event the largest audio show in North America. For some this can be overwhelming and cause a bit of anxiety. But have no fear, the Part-Time Audiophile Dream Team of journalists, personalities, and humorists are ready to be your guide.

Just one part of the Paragon duo of rooms at the show, Doshi Audio had us befuddled at how well his new seventy-five watt per channel amplifier was handling the load presented by the Wilson speakers.Read the full article

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Capital Audiofest 2017: Fern & Roby

By | March 4th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , |

Fern & Roby doesn’t really fit in with the current audiophile culture. I also don’t think they want to. That’s not to say they aren’t focused on creating the best sound they can. Given the chance to meet and listen to Christopher Hildebrand you will hear his soft spoken effusing of long hours in the shop refining and experimenting with materials and implementations of speaker components. On display is a full gambit of turntables and electronics crafted from high quality but rustic looking materials.

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