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McIntosh announce full-range XRT2.1K loudspeaker

By | December 14th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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The McIntosh labs XRT2.1K loudspeaker.

2017 seems to be the year of McIntosh. The Binghamton, New York-based company has had 65 years of product rollouts, but for 2017 they seem intent on smashing product-release records. Their latest announcement concerns the XRT2.1K loudspeaker which is a  line-array design 2.1-metre tower with 81 drivers per cabinet. Yes, you read that correctly – 81 drivers. The four-way, 90dB units ring in at $130,00 USD, and utilizes six 8-inch woofers, two 6.5-inch low-frequency midrange drivers, 28 2-inch upper-frequency midrange drivers and 45 ¾-inch tweeters.… Read the full article

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Spending time with Fern & Roby for a factory tour, film, and interviews

By | November 19th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Virginia is for Lovers.

That’s what the bumper sticker said on the car in front of me.

The air was muggy, and charged with electricity as the windshield wipers tried to clear the rain from a summer thunderstorm. I was sitting with Christopher Hildebrand, and Sara Moriarty in their station wagon idling at a traffic light; that’s when I noticed the slogan. As I took in the scene of strip malls, and gas stations my mind wandered past the lowland forests in the distance, and the surrounding countryside gave way in the unseeable distance to the rolling Appalachian hills of the Blue Ridge mountains made famous by John Denver so many years before.… Read the full article

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Shinola launches new Canfield Headphone Collection

By | November 14th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Shinola-FEATURED

The good people in Detroit at Shinola are keeping very busy indeed. The hand built leather goods, watchmaker, lifestyle products, and high fidelity stereo company has just announced they are entering the headphone market with four new models to choose from in the Canfield Collection.

Following the great success of their Runwell turntable, and  Runwell Bookshelf loudspeakers, Shinola is swinging for the fence once again in the audiophile/lifestyle market with two new over-ear headphones, and two In-Ear Monitors to choose from.… Read the full article

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McIntosh drops 1,200 watt amp: MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier

By | November 9th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

MC1.25KW-FEATURED

Power.

Who wants it, who needs it, and who has got it?

Seems McIntosh Labs is looking to give those power-starved audiophile souls out in the land of bass, and treble a little taste north of 1,000 watts with its MC1.25KW power amplifier. If you’ve got monster speakers, or they just are of the hard-to-drive variety (watts are cheap, right?) then the big blue dial are probably just the medicine to juice those driver arrays. Tipping the scales at 158 lbs, the MC1.25KW is not for lightweights, so make sure you bring a friend to install this behemoth.… Read the full article

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McIntosh releases tube/solid state hybrid integrated amplifier MA252

By | November 1st, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

MA252-Featured

100 watts strong hybrid integrated.

Our very own John Stancavage teased the release of this amp last week HERE. Seems like McIntosh is unveiling a new model every month this year. This is a very good thing indeed, as the company already has a fairly healthy depth chart of gear on hand, so adding new ones makes me think the moans of those lamenting the death of high fidelity may start to die down.

MA252 Side

This new model, the MA252 is a hybrid design featuring a tubed input stage (and a Moving-Magnet phono stage) running a pair each of 12AX7, and 12AT7 valves with a direct-coupled, solid state output stage providing 100 watts/channel into eight Ohms, and 160 watts into four Ohms.… Read the full article

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Review: Merrill Audio Cara preamplifier

By | October 29th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Capturing the heart one album at a time.

When was the last time your heart was sent racing by the opportunity to audition a preamplifier? Yup, line stages are not the most exciting components. They just sit there, allowing you to select your source, and adjust the volume, right? Yawn.

Yet, when UPS pulled up outside my house with the new Cara preamp from Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, I felt a surge of anticipation. Merrill always seems to make a good sound on the show circuit, and this $3,500 USD unit was priced far below its reference line.… Read the full article

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RMAF 2017: Fern & Roby, Linear Tube Audio, and Black Cat Cable

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

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Montrose turntables by Fern & Roby.

Some rooms at hifi-audio shows are infused with synergy. Every component in the set-up works flawlessly with every other component in the signal path. Some call this a curated system – one that is built from time, research, and experience with many manufacturers. Knowing what amplifier works perfectly with what speaker, which tonearm with which turntable, understanding the properties of tubes or cables, and being able to choose those that can add a touch of warmth, timbral accuracy or transparency borders on the religious in its orthodoxy.… Read the full article

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McIntosh Labs announce new MAC7200 Receiver, MA7200 Integrated Amplifier

By | September 13th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

New Receiver on the block

McIntosh Labs is keeping busy these days, apparently they haven’t heard a fleetingly popular wail that the high fidelity industry is doomed. Or at least that’s what a bunch of people on some forums said, oh, and that I overheard whispering conspiratorially in the hall at the last North American show I attended.

But I digress.

The new MAC7200 – which is specified for the North American market – looks to be exceedingly well-equipped. Its got a lot of tech shovelled under the muscular hood (200 Watts/CH) including both Moving Coil, and Moving Magnet phono stages, a separate DA1 Digital Module with six inputs that can be swapped out at a later date for future-proofing, and an eight-channel, 32-bit capable DAC that handles PCM up to 384kHz, DSD 256, and DXD 384… and that’s a mouthful for just $7,000 USD/$8,525 CAN.… Read the full article

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Review: Audio Research VT80 Foundation Series power amplifier

By | September 2nd, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Audio Research VT80 Power Amplifier.

By John Richardson

I miss Sam Tellig. I always read Sam’s column in Stereophile as soon as the newest edition hit my mailbox; I found him to be an entertaining and informative writer. It was great to read about his European adventures, and the offbeat audio personalities he hung out with (Roy Hall included). I also learned an important lesson about audio reviewers from Sam: We don’t always agree.

This lesson I learned the hard way.… Read the full article

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Road Trip: Escape to Seattle for hifi adventure

By | August 24th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Seattle-Mohammed-FEATURED

Getting out alive…

Sometimes getting out of town can be difficult. Just ask Snake Plissken,  the antihero of John Carpenter’s 1981 cult classic Escape from New York. Plissken (played by Kurt Russell) is forced to rescue the President of the Untied States from certain death after Air Force One goes down on what’s left of post-apocalypse Manhattan, and it’s been turned into the world’s largest prison. I won’t give away any spoilers if you haven’t seen it, but I can tell you that it’s more exciting than forgetting you have a banana in your car while crossing the border to the U.S., and not declaring it.… Read the full article

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