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RMAF 2018: The Allure of the Rockies

By | October 5th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Around 20 years ago, I met my friend Howard at the local Atlanta audio club.  Over time Howard and I became pals in part because we both loved Magnepan speakers.  But we also loved exploring various audio tweaks and had a lot of lively discussions around how to get the best sound for our, at the time, limited audio dollars.  Sometime around six years ago, Howard and I started to attend the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.  We both loved the show and the hospitality of the great Colorado Audio Society.… Read the full article

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LA Audio Show 2017: Magico, VAC provide head-soothing sound

By | July 11th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Toward the end of three hectic days covering the Los Angeles Audio Show, I was coming down with a nasty migraine as I entered the large Scott Walker Audio room at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel.

Valve Amplification Co. CEO Kevin Hayes was standing just inside the door. I managed a weak “hello” and followed with a probably incoherent question about one of his preamps, before plopping down on the nearest chair.

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Magica S5 MK II

The headache was actually starting to obstruct my visual field, so I had to turn sideways and squint to see that the front of the room held a pair of Magico S5 Mk.… Read the full article

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High End 2017: Soundsmith hits the nail on the head

By | June 23rd, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , |

Down the hall there was a cosy booth with all things Soundsmith, including Peter Ledermann and his trusted director Chris Sommovigo. They invited us in for a listen, the lure was the 7th generation of the notorious strain gauge cartridge, which is actually more of a system as it requires its own specific electronics. On this occasion they brought the top of the line Signature 810 pre-amp which features “the SG function plus 4 line inputs & tape monitor, front panel “touch” & remote control input switching, volume, mute and power with full Strain Gauge performance displays and lighting intensity control”, a frequency extension up all the way to 70KHz and no RIAA equalization as the SG system is a volume displacement one.

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AXPONA 2017: Fern & Roby’s Tredegar turntable impacts Chicago

By | May 12th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

There was something special happening in the Fern & Roby room shared with Voxativ in Chicago, and it kept me coming back for more. The turntables that Christopher Hildebrand, and cohort Jesse Brown had brought from Richmond, Virginia not only looked amazing, they did that thing where they sounded amazing.

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Fern & Roby Tredegar Turntable, starting at $10,500 USD.

The analog translation duties were being handled through Voxativ T-211 amplifier with Oshima transformers ($22,900 USD, $31,400 CAN) and 97dB Zeth-B loudspeakers ($17,000 USD, $24,500 CAN), and had palpable emotional weight, texture, and rocksteady pitch.… Read the full article

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