November 2018
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Wilson Audio Sasha DAW with dCS Bartók DAC | First Listen

By | November 11th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Brian Berdan, owner of Audio Element in Pasadena California grew up in a household filled with music, his late father was a well known hi-fi  dealer, so I can suspect that he had some killer vintage gear to play around with.  Brian’s first pair of Wilson Audio Speakers were a pair of Wilson Watt 2/Puppy 1 loudspeakers that began his Wilson journey and which he still owns today.  As Brian and his wife Jennifer geared up to celebrate Audio Element’s 5th anniversary this month, it couldn’t have been better timing with a debut of the Wilson Audio Sasha DAW speakers.… Read the full article

Big sky sound from Neat’s compact Iota Xplorer

By | November 6th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

Little bro just got a bigger bro, for to kick the sand back at the sceptics.

Say what? Well according to Doug Graham, Sales Director at Neat Acoustics, the little Iota Alpha floorstanders were too small and weedy to be taken seriously…by some audiophiles. Novelty value, not real speakers. Never mind that they were seeded by the acclaimed original Iota, a diminutive shelf/desktop speaker with planar magnetic tweeter and optimised to work close to a wall. I heard the Iota first – king of where’s-the-sub – at a Manchester show.… Read the full article

KEF Has A New LSX Wireless System For Your Desktop

By | November 2nd, 2018|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

KEF sold a lot of LS50s. KEF also sold a lot of LS50 wireless systems. Now the British brand is looking to jump even closer into mainstream sales figures with a smaller and significantly cheaper wireless system the clearly mimics the original inspiration of the clever coaxial-studio-montior-turned-hifi-beauty-queen.

Right off the batt its easy to tell that a unmistakable stroke of industrial design has been retrofitted to the overall look. The website touts a direct relationship is a product designer named Michael Young for credit on the color scheme accents and fabric wrapped changes from the previous 50s.… Read the full article

Zu Omen Tweeter and Capacitor Upgrade – A Stunning Improvement in Clarity

By | November 1st, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

I’ve had the “Dirty Weekend” version of the Zu Audio Omens for almost five years now; retailing for right at $1K USD, they’re the least expensive way to taste the Zu experience. Zu has a very liberal upgrade and trade-in policy; they’re constantly improving the technology of the drivers and cabinets they employ. The “Dirty Weekend” (DW) line takes drivers that have been traded in and re-purposes them by placing them in standard Zu Omen cabinets, at a price that is significantly lower than the built-to-order Omens ($1500-$2K, depending on finish).Read the full article

Odeon 17 Loudspeakers

By | November 1st, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

This article, as reviewed by Victor Chavira, Dave Clark, and Larry Cox, originally ran when audioMusings was in print. Issue 3. 1998

I always welcome the opportunity to listen to speakers other than my. own. Usually, the experience confirms my wisdom in choosing Magneplanars. No matter the strengths of a particular speaker, I always return gratefully to the open and spacious sound of my Maggies. (I wear my audio bias proudly on my sleeve.) A dynamic speaker would have to swing mighty hard in order for me to consider switching.… Read the full article

A short film about the KEF LSX

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

“Honey, I shrunk the LS50 Wireless” might be the snappiest way to describe KEF’s latest active loudspeaker: into a compact, Danish-fabric-wrapped cabinet, designed by one Michael Young and landing in five colour options, goes a new version of the British loudspeaker company’s Uni-Q driver array, internally juiced by Class D amplification – 70w for the mid/bass, 30w for the tweeter – and crossed over in a DSP engine that takes its binary feed from the (also internal) digital streaming board. An attractive hi-fi system in a box for apartment dwellers and bedroom producers.… Read the full article

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ESS Laboratories 12″ AMT Series Loudspeakers

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Part 1 – The Review

You know, it’s not every day you get the opportunity to review something as legendary as the ESS speaker. It reminded me of my journey with Jantzen speakers long ago, it can be a tad intimidating as there is just so much rich history about the brand that you want to convey—with words and pictures keeping with a concise article so that the readers don’t lose interest too fast. As you may have learned by now my style is succinct, to the point conveying emotion and such—less “sciency” stuff (that can be found just about anywhere).… Read the full article

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Sonus Faber Electa Amator III & Gravis VI Sub – RMAF 2018

By | October 29th, 2018|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Sonus Faber actually had two rooms rocking at RMAF this year. The bigger setup featured the new line-array XRT2.1Ks we covered at our visit to the NY World of McIntosh secured to a pair of the MC1.25KW monos. A very nice sounding system in its own right, but our attention was drawn even closer to the secondary room which housed an MA8000 integrated and MC80 transport to a pair of the new Electa Amator III bookshelf-style speakers.

The two-way speakers were sitting next to a new Gravis VI ($7k) sub due out in early December, but at the time of my visit wasn’t hooked up.… Read the full article

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RMAF 2018: McIntosh Labs, Sonus Faber and a Gorgeous Sea of Binghamton Blue

By | October 28th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

Can I talk about McIntosh Labs without mentioning the beautiful blue meters? Can anyone? Should I even bother?

As I wandered down the corridors at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, those ubiquitous blue meters beckoned me to enter the two Mac rooms and bask in that legendary glow. I can’t resist this timeless gear, mostly because I’ve always had a secret lust in my heart for Mac ever since I first set the loading for my cartridge on a borrowed McIntosh MC2300 preamp via the remote control.… Read the full article

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Wilson Audio Sasha DAW | First Look

By | October 25th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

It was a once in a lifetime experience about 1.5 years ago when I got to sit alongside David Wilson in his inspiring listening room and hear the WAMM Master Chronosonic. I will never forget those precious minutes with David, nothing has gotten closer to being there. In a world where many high-end companies fade away when they lose their founder, one American company is breaking the mold and demonstrating that a new generation can deliver breath-taking products, namely Daryl Wilson who has taken the reigns at Wilson Audio (website).… Read the full article

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