November 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
>> Breadcrumb :/Tag:Preamplifiers

From an Editor’s Notebook: Glances in the Rearview Mirror

By | November 8th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

Robinson_on_porch_with_pipe

[Note:  All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.]

Last updated 09/11/2018.

The current system (09-2018) with a pair of the beautiful and powerful Merrill Audio Element 118 monoblocks on the top shelf of the Critical Mass Systems QXK rack.

The return of the Wave Kinetics NVS Direct-Drive Reference Turntable! Now updated with a new Durand tonearm, outfitted with a ZYX UNIverse Optimum reference MC cartridge, and the heavy-duty EAT Massive (2 lb.) LP record weight.Read the full article

The CHE Files: Shindo Lab’s Aurièges Preamplifier Reviewed

By | October 29th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , |

Shindo Laboratory Aurièges
Original Two-Chassis, Full-Function Preamplifier
Review Number 1 in the C/H/E* Files.
By Steve Graham

*Classic/Heritage/Exotic
This is the first instalment of what, hopefully, will be many evaluations of what I call the Classic/Heritage/Exotic equipment category.  I think the original, two-chassis Shindo Aurièges pictured above could fit in all three.

The esteemed Art Dudley of Stereophile usually bangs on about his Shindo gear nearly every other month in his column.  I’m being a bit snarky with Mr. Dudley, but he is doing his reviewer’s job, using what for him is his reference as a guide to new equipment sent to him for review. … Read the full article

Comments Off on The CHE Files: Shindo Lab’s Aurièges Preamplifier Reviewed

DIY All-Tube Phono Stage Project, Part 3: Metal Working For Dummies

By | October 21st, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , , , |

DIY All-Tube Phono Preamp Project

Part 3, Metal-Working for Dummies

By Steve Graham, chief dummy

Working with fire and steel?  Would you believe alcohol and aluminum?  Bonus points to those who can name the 80’s pop group that issued the album shown above.  No cheating searching the title online.

Before we start torturing some metal: If you are sitting on the fence, wondering whether or not to build one of these for the following reasons:

  1. You think this preamp won’t have enough gain because it uses a 6DJ8 for the first stage (a 12AT7 is used for the second stage): Most line stages have plenty of gain so it takes some of the gain burden off of the phono stage. 
Read the full article

Comments Off on DIY All-Tube Phono Stage Project, Part 3: Metal Working For Dummies

DIY All-Tube Phono Preamp Project: It’s on!

By | October 8th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , , |

Update: DIY All-Tube Phono Preamp Project / Part 1

By Steve Graham

Prototype shown above, the one I’m building for our kind patron will be similar but somewhat prettier

Thunderbirds are GO!

Hopefully International Rescue won’t need to be called.  (link)

I was a bit old for it when the Thunderbirds TV series arrived in the mid 1960s, but my two younger brothers enjoyed it. Now I find them charming, in that endearingly hokey way the Brits sometimes do things.… Read the full article

Comments Off on DIY All-Tube Phono Preamp Project: It’s on!

Impressions:  The Audionet STERN Preamp and HEISENBERG Monoblock Amp, Finale

By | September 29th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

Ye Olde Editor:  a portrait by John Robinson

Audionet’s STERN and HEISENBERG:  Back to the mountaintop again!

Fair warning:  This is yet another one of my evaluations that is not going to be a typical “review.”

No, not with these designs.

This is going to be more of a culminating mediation on my experiences with the STERN and HEISENBERGs, and the quality of these extraordinary designs. I’ll link back to several earlier reports, which I invite you to read or re-read, in order to get the progression of my thinking and evaluation.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Impressions:  The Audionet STERN Preamp and HEISENBERG Monoblock Amp, Finale

Impressions:  the Accustic Arts Tube Preamp II Mk2 Preamplifier and Mono II Monoblock Amplifier

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

Accustic Arts Tube Hybrid Preamp II and Mono II Amps

Image courtesy of Accustic Arts

A bloody busy year so far, with much more to go.

One of the projects that I took on very early in 2018…with some hesitation, I confess, due to the workload that was already building…was an offer to hear the Accustic Arts Tube Preamp II Mk2 and Mono II Monoblock Amplifiers. It was going to be tough to work them in, since I had other obligations that had already been taken on. Furthermore, I’d be at AXPONA 2018 in Chicago in April, and the Munich Show in May.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Impressions:  the Accustic Arts Tube Preamp II Mk2 Preamplifier and Mono II Monoblock Amplifier

The Path of Shindo – A Journey through Japanese high fidelity

By | April 14th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This is an article that first appeared in our new online PDF, downloadable magazine The Occasional this March in our Spring 2018 edition. We’ll be rolling out articles from it over the next several weeks in anticipation of our upcoming third issue – the Summer edition – which is scheduled for publication in May. We hope you enjoy this new, exclusive content, and that you’ll check out the current Winter Edition of The Occasional and its 140 pages of fresh high fidelity reviews, audiophile gear highlights, lifestyle stories, and editorial opinion.… Read the full article

Comments Off on The Path of Shindo – A Journey through Japanese high fidelity

Review: RJM Audio VSPS 400 Phono Stage

By | February 12th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

A Canadian Double-Double, by way of Japan*

By Steve Graham

*For non-Canadians: this is a coffee with double sugar and double cream, typically from our nation-wide coffee and donut chain.

Does DIY have a place in mainstream audiophilia?  Hard core DIY, we’re talking soldering irons and drill presses, will likely never be statistically significant.  But does even mild DIY have any place at all?  I would argue it does, though I’m going to stretch the definition a bit.  I contend that anyone involved in perfectionist audio is a DIY’er at heart. … Read the full article

Comments Off on Review: RJM Audio VSPS 400 Phono Stage

Goodies from Goldnote – the Goldnote PH-10 Phono Stage

By | February 6th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

Goldnote PH-10 Phono Stage

Goldnote of Italy are makers of bland black boxes for audio with a low functionality quotient. Not. I’ve had Goldnote’s PH-10 phono stage in for review, and wow it’s nice to look at. It’s a distinctly elegant design with a clear attention to detail, aesthetic, and functionality. My sample arrived in black, but is available in silver as well. The single knob on the lower right yields access to a wealth of functions. Push to activate the selection function, twist to cycle through the choices, and watch those choices manifest on a crisp, clear OLED screen that’s about three inches diagonal.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Goodies from Goldnote – the Goldnote PH-10 Phono Stage

Upcoming Review Update: Finale Maestro-Six Full-Function Preamplifier

By | February 5th, 2018|Categories: Wall of sound|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Upcoming Review Update:

Finale Maestro-Six Full Function Preamplifier

By Steve Graham

This will be a departure from the norm for me.  The Finale Maestro-Six is a minimalist design, compared to my usual ranks of separate tubed stages.

Finale Audio is a small Canadian company that makes bespoke audio components, along with its sister company Triode Lab (WoS has reviewed pieces from both brands before).  A prospective owner may order one with his or her choice of volume potentiometers, selector switches, various other bits and pieces and even custom stainless steel knobs.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Upcoming Review Update: Finale Maestro-Six Full-Function Preamplifier