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09-24-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Brief Impressions from an Editor’s Notebook:  The PS Audio LANRover USB Transport

In which our hero meditates… What a year it's been. As I observed in the first of these "Brief Impressions" articles, on the Oppo Sonica (HERE), there have been so bloody many products and projects here at PF Central in 2016 that I'll be writing from here until the end of the year to cover... Read More »

09-23-2016 | By Marc Phillips

Marc Phillips and the Music: Luis Filipe Fortunato’s 'Live and Pure'

Luis Filipe Fortunato’s Live and Pure A year or two ago I had to adopt a somewhat self-serving policy as a reviewer—physical formats only, please. I did this for a few reasons. First of all, too many publicists simply wanted to send me a link to some MP3 download of their clients—one in particular wanted... Read More »

09-23-2016 | By Bill Malcolm

National Audio Show 2016 (UK)

This is my fourth attendance at the National Audio Show held each year at Whittlebury Hall near Towcester, England. I believe this will be the first time our readership at Positive Feedback will have been exposed to this show. This has been the premier show in the UK until the last couple of years where... Read More »

09-23-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks' Vault Treasures: David Oistrakh, Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 (1956)

[Once again John Marks educates and enlightens us with his recommendation of a worthy recording from our audio treasures. "Some of the best recordings were done decades past" is a truth that is none the worse for being so true that is has become a truism.  Those who are newer to fine audio will want... Read More »

09-23-2016 | By David Williamson

Williamson on the Hardware: The Alpha Design Labs STRATOS

Incredibili Sine Compromissum   This is it. Think of Trader Joe's. The Hyundai Genesis. A Hamilton watch, Uniqlo clothing, a CAO cigar, the...well, you may begin to get the idea. Bear witness: this is the Alpha Design Labs STRATOS and it is the hidden value champion of USB DAC's. Long may it reign. God Knows... Read More »

09-19-2016 | By Bruce Walker

Cartoon: The Wild, Weird World of Walker!

[I'm pleased that our longtime cartoonist, Bruce Walker, is becoming active with us again. His unique style of edgy, crazy, Feifferesque drawings are unlike anyone else that I know of. He's been drawing for us on and off again from the very early days of Positive Feedback...we hope to have new work from him periodically. Enjoy!... Read More »

09-15-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Brief Impressions:  The YG Acoustics Sonja XV Reference Loudspeaker, a Photo Essay

Funny thing. You'd think that there wouldn't be any enormous mountaintops in Newark, New Jersey. And you'd be wrong…. Let me explain. Bill Parish of GTT Audio A couple of months ago I got an invitation from Dick Diamond of YG Acoustics, Bill Parish of GTT Audio, and Joe Kubala of Kubala-Sosna to attend a... Read More »

09-14-2016 | By Marshall Nack

YG Acoustics Sonja XV Speaker Launch

Select members of the audio press were invited to GTT Audio for the YG Acoustics Sonja XV speaker press event. Over the course of a week, each of us got to experience a personal listening session. Lynn and I were scheduled for the afternoon of the first day; Dr. David Robinson, ye olde editor at... Read More »

09-13-2016 | By Marc Phillips

Marc Phillips on the Music: Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate

Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate Polydor B0024912-01 2 LPs – $24.99 Purchased at The Sound Garden in Syracuse, NY   Tidal strikes again. Just a few weeks since I accidentally played The Avalanches' Wildflower on the streaming music service and discovered a mind-bending, sensibility-changing masterwork, I've done it a second time. Hmmm…Michael Kiwanuka…wonder who this is,... Read More »

09-12-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

Feuilleton: Acapella Audio Arts

Dirk Sommer, with photographs by Helmut Baumgartner For everyone who takes a real interest in High End it's a truism that even the best equipment can't recreate a live impression. This alleged fact, however, while perhaps not refuted, would be at least seriously shaken by visiting the Audio Forum in Duisburg, Germany, the Acapella Audio... Read More »

09-11-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions:  Ilya Itin, Debussy, Preludes Books I and II in Quad DSD [UPDATED]

[UPDATED VERSION with new purchase links for NativeDSD.com included at the end of the review.] For quite a while now I've been sitting on an advance copy of an important Quad DSD recording, waiting for it to be released commercially. Now, I'm glad to say, the time has come…at last! The album is music by... Read More »

09-11-2016 | By Stephen Francis Vasta

Pierre Boulez Conducts Mahler's Ninth

MAHLER: Symphony No. 9 Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Boulez Deutsche Grammophon 289 457 581-2 TT: 79.46 The death of Pierre Boulez earlier this year provides as good an opportunity as any other to consider his recorded legacy, as well as giving me an excuse to check out this 1995 Mahler Ninth, which I'd somehow managed to... Read More »

09-09-2016 | By Marshall Nack

A Visit to Distinctive Stereo

It was a glorious day for a Hudson River crossing, with clear skies and endless visibility, the kind of day that photographers love. Lynn and I were off to visit Distinctive Stereo in northern New Jersey. We boarded the New York Waterway ferry at West 39th Street. Eight minutes later we docked at Port Imperial/Weehawken,... Read More »

09-08-2016 | By Bob Neill

Notes of an Amateur: Podger's Bach Art of Fugue; Ibragimova's Mozart Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2; Wallfisch's Telemann Violin Concertos, Vol 6; Jennifer Koh's plays the Tchaikovsky.

J.S. Bach, The Art of Fugue. Rachel Podger, Brecon Baroque. Channel Classics CCS SA38316. There was a time, which for some may still be the time, when J.S. Bach's 24 Preludes and Fugues for solo keyboard (Well Tempered Clavier), six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, six Cello Suites, and The Art of Fugue were... Read More »

09-02-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Just released! The PF DSD Sampler, Volume 1

Great news! Positive Feedback and NativeDSD (http://www.nativeDSD.com) announce the release of a joint music project, the PF DSD Sampler, Volume 1. This project was done to celebrate NativeDSD.com's amazing achievement of passing 1000 albums at its site in early September of 2016. The PF DSD Sampler, Volume 1 is a collection of ten selections from... Read More »

09-01-2016 | By Jim Merod

Monterey Jazz 59 - Quincy Jones Takes Charge

In July, I visited all star music guru Quincy Jones at his mind-boggling hacienda near UCLA with its round ballroom's piano ready main gathering area looking out over Los Angeles. Description fails to capture the elegance and grandeur of Quincy's palace. Three Oscars sit here and there like Olympic paper weights. Q's two dozen-plus Grammy... Read More »

09-01-2016 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings - the PS Audio BHK Signature Preamplifier and DirectStream DAC

So here I am retired, and with lots of time. Time for music, beer, wine, the magazine… my art and more (like being on the Board of Directors for two non-profits here in LB—yikers what have I done?)... and time to listen to our music with the PS Audio BHK Signature Preamplifier and DirectStream DAC.... Read More »

09-01-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

The Editors Series - Edgar Kramer of Audio Esoterica

The audio domain is a field which combines a few spheres of human activity, i.e. music, the art of recording and reproducing it. The most important aspects of music reproduction are: technical knowledge, musical sensitivity and attention to artistic design. The last of the three is (or rather used to be) especially controversial. It is... Read More »

09-01-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Brief Impressions from an Editor’s Notebook: the Oppo Digital Sonica

Brief Impressions:  From an Editor's Notebook In which our hero meditates… What a year it's been. There have been so many products and projects here at PF Central in 2016 that I'll be writing from here until the end of the bloody year to cover them all. Some of these will require a more extended... Read More »

08-30-2016 | By David W. Robinson

John Marks' Vault Treasures: Van Morrison's 'Moondance'

[Well, right on, John Marks! Here's a real classic from the trove of audio loot. This week's album from The Tannhauser Gate (http://www.thetannhausergate.com) brings back a pile of memories from my junior year in high school, which was a time of ferment and fervor in my life, there with friends and life in the East Bay sprawl-town of... Read More »

08-29-2016 | By Gary L Beard

PS Audio's New DirectStream Junior DAC (Updated)

The DirectStream Junior DAC is my first in-home experience with a PS Audio product. It is also a brand-spanking new product, so my thanks to PS Audio's Marketing Director, Bill Leebens for making it happen. Having such a hot product on my review-plate does not happen to me that often. It's awesomely cool... It's Steve McQueen... Read More »

08-26-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Krakow Sonic Society Meeting 104 - King Crimson 7" Platinum SHM-CD

If one has to use the word "legendary" to describe a musician or band,  then when applied to the King Crimson it would be relatively painless from where I stand. Founded in London in January 1969 still the same year, in October they released the album that, let's not start to be modest now, forever... Read More »

08-24-2016 | By Bob Neill

Notes of an Amateur: Shostakovich, Penderecki, Adès.

If you talk about music long enough, you tend to forget where you are coming from. I tend to talk about the succession of musical styles (baroque, late romanticism, modernism) while some others write about differences in formal technique, because for my amateur mind, the succession of styles is the history of music. And for... Read More »

08-22-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks' New Music: Speaking of Tannhauser...

[This time around, John Marks introduces us to a recording by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Andris Nelsons. He points to the dicey realm of talented musical parents and the unknown musical outcomes of their children. Like the proverbial "pastor's kids," perhaps they will be inspired by parents...and perhaps not. An artist... Read More »

08-02-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Polish Jazz Forever

When the heads of Warner's headquarters learned of the sale of Polish Recordings, then—as Bartek Chaciński writes in the article Marka dużej wagi—they asked only whether it is a company that has Krzysztof Komeda's Astigmatic in their portfolio. This album is still among the best jazz recordings—not only in Poland but all over the world.... Read More »

07-29-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks: Q&A with Sergey Schepkin

[In this continuation of his assessment of the artistry of Sergey Schepkin, John Marks spends a few minutes with him discussing how his ongoing maturity as a performer has affected and deepened his understanding of Bach over the years. Every musician must decide the point at which it's worth recording a new set of performances... Read More »

07-27-2016 | By Norman Tracy

Lone Star Audio Fest 2016 Show Report

We had a great time at Lone Star Audio Fest 2016. From my vantage point inside the event as an exhibitor and listener from Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening LSAF 2016 was once again any audiophile's candy store. The first paragraphs of my Positive Feedback report on LSAF 2015 (HERE) details the history of this... Read More »

07-08-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions:  THE Show Newport Beach, 2016, Part 2 – Photographic Portraits and Moments

A portrait of the artist at play:  David W. Robinson with EveAnna Manley (photograph by Dave Clark) The second part of my THE Show report from Newport Beach 2016 shifts the focus (so to speak) from the event, the rooms, and the equipment, to the people in our high-end audio community. As an artist, I... Read More »



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GET SuperSub XXL Pair-2-2_RESIZED
The GoldenEar Technology SuperSub...

09-26-2016 | By Gregory Petan

Over the last twenty-five years of system building, external subwoofers have never been part of the equation for me. Despite my love of deep bass, my love for the seamless continuity between drivers has always won out over... Read More »
Grado Statement Series 2 Phono...

09-17-2016 | By Robert H. Levi

Out of production for two years, the Statement Series top of the range of Grado Cartridges is back and remarkably improved. Sporting a newly designed shape of all imported Jarrah wood from Australia, the lowest mass coils... Read More »
Sound Galleries Monaco Server...

09-11-2016 | By Bill Malcolm

I first seriously embraced the advantages inherent in computer audio when Linn released their first iterations of the DS range of ethernet based streamers and dropped CD players altogether. I felt instantly liberated with... Read More »
Stock 4B³
Heavy Metal Fantasies: The...

09-09-2016 | By Maurice Jeffries

Defying Expectations   For some time now, I have hinted that the Bryston Limited 4B³ Stereo Power Amplifier (pronounced "Four Bee Cubed") is not your father's Bryston (to wit, neutral, quiet and highly linear, but also... Read More »
ATC SCM19AT Active Tower Speaker...

09-06-2016 | By Michael Wechsberg

If anyone out there has been following my reviews, you may know that I like active powered loudspeakers (such as the ATC SCM19AT reviewed here). My leanings in this direction are mainly technical, but backed up by certain... Read More »
LP Gear Vessel A3SV Moving Magnet...

09-06-2016 | By Victor Chavira

LP Gear is an online vendor of analogue products and accessories based in Nevada. After spending few moments browsing their vast array of offerings, I began to think of LP Gear as the Amazon of vinyl. Unlike other on-line... Read More »
Cardas Audio Clear Ethernet Network...

09-05-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

No matter what type of hi-fi component currently makes a splash, whether it is headphones or network-based storage systems, shortly after they have popped up, the respective companies have added the required cables to their... Read More »
totaldac d1-single-mk2 Digital to...

09-01-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Language is a very imprecise tool. But also thanks to it the evolution of apes resulted in an Aristotle, Michelangelo and Fangor. Still, however, we struggle with ambiguities, gaps, misunderstandings. Often, we ourselves are... Read More »
X350.8 Front View Final
Pass Labs X350.8 Stereo Amplifier...

08-19-2016 | By Robert S. Youman

"When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That's relativity." - Albert Einstein I have auditioned, reviewed, and owned... Read More »
Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered...

08-15-2016 | By Smit Patel

With their headquarters based in sunny-side California, Ultimate Ears was initially founded in 1995 by Jerry and Mindy Harvey. The former of which has played such an influential role in the design of headphones that within... Read More »
Violectric V281 Amp

08-15-2016 | By Smit Patel

Headed by Fried Reim, Violectric specialises in a wide number of reputable amplifiers which have caught the attention of many in the avid world of personal audio such as the Violectric V281 Amp under review here. Being the... Read More »
Aequo Audio Ensis Loudspeakers

08-11-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Ivo Sparidaens, Concept Manager, and Paul Rassin, Marketing & Communications Manager, are members of a six person team of a Dutch company Aequo Audio that designed Ensis loudspeakers. It's the only product of this... Read More »
Fritz Carrera BE Loudspeakers

08-09-2016 | By Francisco Duran

The drivers on the new Fritz Carrera BE Loudspeakers have been used in one combination or another in more than a few speaker designs to varying degrees of success, and usually costing many times more than the new Fritz... Read More »
Cadenza Red
Ortofon Cadenza Red

08-02-2016 | By John Hoffman

Several years ago I had the pleasure of an extended visit of the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze in my system. The Bronze is a remarkable cartridge in every facet, and it was with no small regret when my acquaintance with it ended.... Read More »
Linnenberg Elektronik Vicace 2 and...

07-26-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Linnenberg Elektronik offers thousands of products and most of them come from the Far East. China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan quickly conquered a market segment that seemed to be reserved for DIY products. DACs designed... Read More »
The Maggie 1.7i in the House
High End Audio in the Age of...

07-26-2016 | By Maurice Jeffries

First Impressions   As I reported in Part 1 of this installment, I first encountered the Maggie 1.7 loudspeakers (recently upgraded to its current 1.7i iteration) during a brief audition at Audible Elegance, a respected... Read More »


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industry news
OPPO Introduces HA-2SE Portable Headphone Amplifier and DAC

Award-Winning HA-2 Gets a Performance Boost Continuing the pursuit of innovation and value for customers, OPPO Digital...

Sonoma Acoustics Heads To CanJam@RMAF To Debut Model One Electrostatic Headphones

Sonoma Acoustics Heads To CanJam@RMAFTo Debut Model One Electrostatic Headphones Following on the heels of CanJam London where Sonoma...

Roon-Enabled Merging+NADAC Player at RMAF 2016

ROON ENABLED MERGING+NADAC PLAYER AT RMAF 2016 A new generation of integrated audiophile server will be demonstrated by On a Higher Note...

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Occupy Hifi
[a]pendics.shuffle: Crazy Music Connection By Michael Mercer

[a]pendics.shuffle: The name jumped off the screen during some late-night online record shopping. One day I'll share...

Music is My Favorite Drug By Michael Mercer

I love experiencing great sounding music. It's my favorite drug. The high is everlasting, and the withdrawals are...

Music Never Fails Me By Michael Mercer

OccupyHifi readers know it's been a trying year for me. Ok, that's puttin' it rather mildly. Pardon my French, but it's...

HIFI Statement
MEE audio Pinnacle P1 By Bert Seidenstücker

Pinnacle: der Gipfel, der Höhepunkt! MEE Audio stapelt bei der Produktbezeichnung seines In-Ear-Hörer gewiss nicht...

Acoustical Systems Pickup The Palladian By Dirk Sommer

Acoustical Systems' Tonarm Aquilar zeichnet sich ebenso wie das Topmodell Axiom durch die von Dietrich Brakemeier neu...

Melco N1ZH60 By Dirk Sommer

Sie möchten auch hochaufgelöste Audio-Files genießen, ohne einen Laptop oder PC in Ihrer Kette zu haben und sich mit...

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