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08-23-2015 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions: The Merging Technology NADAC MC-8 DSD DAC

Product launches happen all the time in fine audio. We have well over 300 DSD DACs now, for example, new turntables and cartridges all the time, with amps, preamps, integrateds, headphones, wireless speakers, cables, accessories, music servers, NAS/hard-drive arrays, and speakers spilling forth continuously. It seems like nearly every day I get new press releases… Read More »

08-14-2015 | By Tom Gibbs

Classics Online HD•LL Streaming Service

Sometimes it's not just the destination, it's the journey, whenever it is that you finally arrive. Trust me, this is, in fact a review of Naxos' Classics Online HD•LL Streaming Service, but a little background is in order, so please bear with me…. I know myself pretty well, and, let’s face it—I can get pretty… Read More »

08-13-2015 | By Jim Merod

MONTEREY JAZZ, 2015: “A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations”

After laughter at the first GOP debate from Donald Trump's chauvinist dump on Rosie O'Donnell, jazz hounds, east and west, now look eagerly ahead to the impeccable vocal art of Diane Reeves on the third weekend of September this year near Carmel. Ms. Reeves is literally at the top of any astute list of jazz… Read More »

08-08-2015 | By Bob Neill

Notes of an Amateur: Bach, Vasks, and more Bach.

Helen Callus [viola]. Luc Beauséour [harpsichord] Bach – Krebs – Abel. Analekta. AN2 9879. There are reasons not to buy this album of Bach (and Krebs and Abel) cello sonatas. If you don't like your Bach played direct and frontal—and on a viola, which cuts the music less slack than a viola de gamba or… Read More »

08-06-2015 | By Jim Merod

John Fedchock Big Band: Like It Is (Mama Records)

This kick-ass New York jazz orchestra's fifth album, scheduled for release on Friday, August 7, is leader John Fedchock's eighth publication. Already a powerhouse big band leader and arranger, trombonist Fedchock gained chops and jazz sea-legs working for legendary jazz orchestra guru, Woody Herman. He was Herman's musical director—a ferociously exacting task which earned him praise from the no-BS… Read More »

08-05-2015 | By Austin Lefkowicz and Michelle Duffy

Riva Roadtrip – Commentary on the Riva Turbo X Bluetooth Audio System

AL: Freshly graduated from Syracuse University and done with my last school year, it was time to go home to California. With a daunting eight-day and 4,000-mile drive ahead, traversing the U.S. both east to west, and north to south, we had to make plans since our car had no working stereo. Our rite of… Read More »

08-03-2015 | By Wojciech Pacuła


The Tangerine Dream is considered either a co-creator of krautrock, or of electronic music in general, and new age in particular. In fact both ascertainments are true. The first four records released between 1970 and1973, during so called "pink period" (these were released by Ohr label that had a pink logo), were recorded with drummer… Read More »

08-03-2015 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Pylon Audio Loudspeakers SAPPHIRE 25

Talking only about the price of these speakers, about how impressive product we get for the price, how well it is made—that would be a classic reductionism. Focusing on one feature would suggest its dominance or even lack of other such features that make Pylon Audio Sapphire 25 speakers truly special. And that would be… Read More »

08-03-2015 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Chord HUGO TT Digital-to-Analogue Converter/Headphone Amplifier

Cutting edge technologies are expensive. Whether they are used in medical, food, or military industry, or for sound recording and playback. Small companies deal with this issue using solutions developed by major players, multinational corporations that sell licenses for their products. What they have to do is to tweak such product/solution, customize it for their… Read More »

08-01-2015 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions: Remembering Stan Ricker

David W. Robinson and Stan Ricker, VSAC 2003 (photograph by Dave Glackin) I got the word last week from an audiobud online. Stan Ricker, recently stricken with a stroke, was dead. Oh no. Not again. Another good man down…this one truly irreplaceable. Another great audio friend gone; more tons of audio lore and wisdom subtracted… Read More »

07-25-2015 | By Norman Tracy

Lone Star Audio Fest 2015 Show Report

With the bluebonnets in bloom spring is a lovely time to travel in Texas. Bluebonnet the Lone Star state flower For music loving audiophiles no better excuse can be had for a springtime drive in Texas than the Lone Star Audio Fest held in Dallas, the first weekend of May for the past 11 years…. Read More »

07-24-2015 | By Robert Schryer

Journeys In Audio Subjectivism, Part One

My Hot Tub Epiphany, or: "Where the heck did my ice cubes go?" A funny thing happened to me a couple of weeks into writing this article. While relaxing one cool evening in my hot tub thinking-spot, I had an epiphany. About audio. Specifically, about how we internalize the sound of recorded music. And I… Read More »

07-23-2015 | By Dan Zimmerman

Dimensions of Sound: Ilya Itin Performs Scriabin and Rachmaninov

I was a bit breathless. My friend and spiritual colleague David Robinson had invited me to sketch and cover a uniquely intriguing event at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, July 12, 2015. To kick off the Golandsky Institute’s summer series, noted pianist Ilya Itin was slated to perform the music of Scriabin and Rachmaninov…. Read More »

07-21-2015 | By Karl Lozier

Music of Mozart, Grieg, Schubert, Brahms, Stravinsky, and More.

Grieg. Peer Gynt Suites. Six Orchestral Songs. Orchestra: Malmo Symphony. Conductor: Bjarte Engeset. Recording: Naxos CD8-570236 These Peer Gynt suites are the heart and soul of Grieg's incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play of the same name. This beautiful and very impressively melodic music is one of my personal favorites of all time. The immense… Read More »

07-20-2015 | By Jim Merod

Celebrating the Joyous Music of the Great Ruben Estrada

For more than two decades I've been a fan of vibraphonist/pianist/band leader Ruben Estrada, whose lyrical delicacy and musical intensity define, and extend,the profound artistic heritage he absorbed on his way to Number One world class Latin jazz vibe and timbales guru. Estrada is an enormously modest man. His pride in his playing and his… Read More »

07-20-2015 | By Marek Dyba

Audio Tekne TFM 2000 + TEA 2000 Integrated Amplifier and Phonostage

It so coincidentally happened that me and Wojtek, both love Japanese audio products. I admittedly prefer devices with tubes on board, but am also capable of appreciating solid-state devices manufactured in this country. It seems to me that almost every Japanese product apart from certain technologies, solutions, and so on, carries one more element that… Read More »

07-17-2015 | By Carol Clark

In Search of a Perfect Song, Part Two

In Search of a Perfect Song… I recently republished that old article because I've had further opportunity to explore the concept. I began that article with a lesson about the difference between opinion and fact. Again I will remind you that this is my opinion of what makes a song perfect. Naturally, if you have… Read More »

07-17-2015 | By Dean Seislove

The Neoteric Listener – The MrSpeakers Mad Dog Pro Headphones

"You paid too much for that junk! Take off those fake Vanilla Ice headphones and put on a pair of the real deal!" That's what I'd like to shout when I see somebody sporting one of those garish, neon metallic McHeadphones. Granted, that's hardly polite or inclusive, and who am I to go Grandpa Simpson on… Read More »

07-17-2015 | By Wojciech Pacuła

RT Audio Design Ultra USB DAC Orpheus Digital to Analogue Converter

More and more interesting devices come to us from countries that, not that long ago, seemed to have nothing to offer for audiophiles, and today, to many people's of the West surprise, these countries deliver some widely appreciated products. Fortunately, as Heraklitus said, panta rhei. Many companies from behind Iron Curtain today are recognized an… Read More »

07-15-2015 | By Dean Seislove

The Neoteric Listener – The Music Technology Incorporated Oppo BDP 105D Upgrade

Audio consumers only want to know one thing: "Is it worth it?" You can write, speak, sing, or finger paint about audio products all you want, but nobody stops reading and starts buying until cash equals contentment. What's more, determining value is a tricky thing. The glamor goods have it easy. Speakers the size of… Read More »

07-14-2015 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings – The Antipodes DX Music Server

As we move along the time continuum, expectations are that activities or whatever will become easier and easier. That is, what was time consuming and laborious, is now, and should become, faster and less difficult. These are the goals of a modern society. Which does not mean to make tasks or activities less fun or… Read More »

07-12-2015 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions: My Audio Oasis! Awards for THE Show Newport Beach 2015

THE Show Newport Beach 2015, held on May 28-31, is in the books now…and what a show it was! Upwards of 9,000 people were in attendance…crowds everywhere…a terrific time for audiophiles from all over. Looking back on all of the audio shows that I've attended over the past 26 years, I'd say that this year's… Read More »

07-11-2015 | By Brian Moura

Horch House Launches DSD Wafer Cards

One of the interesting exhibits at the recent High End Audio show in Munich earlier this year featured Horch House. For those of you who aren't familiar with the company, Horch House is the analog audio division of Lutz Precision, a worldwide leader in auto making equipment based in Austria. While it probably seems a… Read More »

07-09-2015 | By Carol Clark

In Search of a Perfect Song

This article was originally published in Issue 26 of Positive Feedback. I decided to republish it because I've gotten the bug to write another article with some more perfect songs. Back when I wrote this article it seemed like I was a topic for discussion on message boards. I was everyone's favorite target because I… Read More »

07-09-2015 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions: HDTT’s Brilliant Quad DSD release of Cootie Williams in Stereo

If you love DSD downloads as much as I do, but haven't yet heard of High Definition Tape Transfers, then brother, let me do you a big favor. Some of the best DSD downloads now available in classical music and jazz are coming from Bob Witrak and his operation over at HDTT. Possessed of a… Read More »

07-06-2015 | By Jim Merod

GTT’s Bill Parish & Audionet’s AMP 1 V2 Truthful, Happy Stereo Amp

The Always Unimaginable Future The First World War pre-dated the arrival of vivid sonic capture. It's not difficult to imagine that—despite the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, which let loose animosities ready for release after Europe's and Asia's 1870 conflicts—almost anything might have helped stave off the disaster of that delusional… Read More »

07-03-2015 | By Marek Dyba

Trenner&Friedl ART Loudspeakers

For whatever reason, despite my best intentions, until now I've never had a chance to listen to any product of Austrian company Trenner&Friedl in my room. Sure, I listened to a few models during shows, also in friend's system, but never at home, never in my system. Each time I listened though, I was truly… Read More »

07-03-2015 | By Wojciech Pacuła

C.E.C. CD5 Compact Disc Player

The latest Compact Disc player manufactured by the Japanese company C.E.C. (which I am going to simplify to CEC in this article), which was launched at the end of the last year, is officially called "CEC Belt Drive CD Player CD 5" (with the note: "USB Sound System – 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD128/5.6MHz"). So, everything… Read More »

07-03-2015 | By Dan Schwartz

My Dinner With Paul – or – Design and Direction: Getting Up, or Getting Down

On Friday, after T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach—actually in Irvine—California, I went to dinner with PS Audio's Paul McGowan and company: Arnie Nudell, Bill Leebens, Scott Schroeder and Paul's son, Scott. Ostensibly, I was there to talk about something Paul wants to do that will probably involve me. But the talk took an interesting direction…. Read More »

07-02-2015 | By Roger Skoff

Cars and Watches and HiFi: Roger Skoff Writes About the Things We Buy

What kind of a watch does James Bond wear? That's easy; everybody knows that, at least as written by Ian Fleming, it's a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. Now, what kind of a car does he drive? Odds are that, whether in a book or a movie, it's an Aston-Martin, a Lotus, a BMW, or a Bentley… Read More »

07-01-2015 | By John Acton

Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett cites a poster hanging in her Grandmother's bathroom when she was a child as inspiration for the title of her first full-length album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom+Pop Records MP221-2). Distilling the mundane into lyrical profundity extends beyond just the titular for Barnett, whose songs on… Read More »

07-01-2015 | By Dave Clark

THE Show – Newport 2015, Part 2

To reiterate from Part 1… Before we get to our show report… here are a few general thoughts on shows and the people who attend: People count, in most cases, more than gear. You have to have an emotional connection to whatever is playing, so if your room is empty it might be because you… Read More »

06-30-2015 | By David W. Robinson

The Higher End: Welcome to the New Look of Positive Feedback!

At last! And welcome! The NEW-LOOK Positive Feedback Web site will be going live on July 1, 2015, with the launch of Issue 80. You'll see that we've spent an enormous lot of time, effort, and money to take PF to a state-of-the-art new publication system. The results speak for themselves, as you'll see:  A… Read More »

06-29-2015 | By Robert H. Levi

Two Really Strong Reference Quality CDs for Audiophiles

Sagebrush Rebellion Papillon Recordings  BluePort Jazz, BPJ-024 Producer: Dmitri Matheny Recording Engineer: Jim Merod Mastered by: Jim Merod and Steve McCormack Recorded Live at Dizzy's in San Diego, CA, 11/29/13  [Image courtesy of Dmitri Matheny and BluPort Jazz] Dedicated to the artistry of Art Farmer, four stellar jazz musicians (Dmitri Matheny on flugelhorn, Nick Manson playing piano,… Read More »

06-29-2015 | By Bob Neill

Notes of an Amateur: Bartok and Erickson.

Bartok. Sonatas for Violin Nos. 1 and 2; Sonata for Solo Violin. Barnabás Kelemen, violin; Zoltán Kocsis, piano. Hungaroton HSACD 32515. SACD. How do you like your Bartok? Do you like Bartok? It took me several years to persuade a good fellow graduate student (who knew a lot about music) to believe me when I… Read More »

06-28-2015 | By Steve Lefkowicz

THE Show Newport 2015 – Part 1

The past few years I've been pretty soured on the whole Audio Show routine. Too much excessively high priced equipment being demonstrated to appeal to a smaller and smaller market of ultra rich clients, left me feeling I'd be more welcome in a yacht club membership committee meeting than most of the rooms exhibiting at… Read More »

06-28-2015 | By Dave Clark

THE Show Newport 2015, Part 1

Before we get to our show report… here are a few general thoughts on shows and the people who attend: People count, in most cases, more than gear. You have to have an emotional connection to whatever is playing, so if your room is empty it might be because you are playing music that is… Read More »

06-28-2015 | By David W. Robinson

Reviewers’ View, THE Show Newport 2015: David Robinson and Peter Breuninger of AV Showrooms.com, Our Final Show Impressions Part 2

Watch David Robinson and Peter Breuninger of AV Showrooms.com, share their thoughts on the THE Show Newport 2015 on YouTube Part 2 Courtesy of AV Showrooms . . . Read More »

06-28-2015 | By David W. Robinson

Reviewers’ View, THE Show Newport 2015: David Robinson and Peter Breuninger of AV Showrooms.com, Our Final Show Impressions Part 1

Watch David Robinson and Peter Breuninger of AV Showrooms.com, share their thoughts on the THE Show Newport 2015 on YouTube Part 1 Courtesy of AV Showrooms   . . . Read More »

06-28-2015 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings – Acoustic Imagery Atsah Amplifiers and Jay-Sho Passive

Last late Winter… or early, early pre-Spring, depending on how you prefer your "pretty much the same with some slight differences, though not really all that much" seasons here is SoCal, I found myself staring at John Young's Acoustic Imagery Atsah (Htpex NCore 1200 Class D power amplifiers, $9995/ pair based on the Hypex NC1200… Read More »

06-18-2015 | By Brian Moura

DSD and Analog: The Great Convergence

The recent edition of THE Show Newport was held at the Hotel Irvine and featured not only a host of audio exhibits and demonstrations, but also a series of seminars titled "Audio University". One of these sessions focused on the similarities between Single, Double, and Quad bit rate DSD and Analog Recording. The panelists have… Read More »

06-14-2015 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings – Verastarr Grand Illusion AC Power Cords

Verastarr Grand Illusion AC power cords ($2500 in 6 foot length) use high purity copper metal foils and produce a musical presentation that is big, bold, and robust. Not to be clichéd here, but being a copper-based cable, and using lots of copper to address skin effect with its four 2-inch wide foils, music with… Read More »



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Soundstring Cable Generation II...

08-16-2015 | By Francisco Duran

Talk about the proverbial can of worms. Recently Soundstring Cable Company's Len Miller asked if I would like to review two full complements of wire from their new line of cable. Whoa, that is a lot of cable. I have... Read More »
Zesto Audio Andros 1.2 Phonostage...

08-11-2015 | By Mark Pearson

The Zesto Audio Andros 1.2 phonostage has been one of my tougher reviews to finish. I know it sounds cliché, but the Andros 1.2 is one of those pieces of gear that makes you want to quit writing and just listen to the... Read More »
Nordost Heimdall Headphone Cable

08-03-2015 | By Danny Kaey

Nordost. Seems that these days Nordost is everywhere. Norse 2 series? Check. Valhalla 2 series? Check. Odin 2? Check. Headphone cables? Check. HDMI cables? Check. You get my point. All made in America, all made with... Read More »
Merrill Audio ANAP animated
Mini-Review: Merrill Audio ANAP...

08-02-2015 | By Robert H. Levi

Let me just say right up top that I generally do not review cables in this low price range. At $1149 per meter, whether RCA or XLR, the Merrill ANAP is expensive for many, but not for the audiophile like me who has to have... Read More »
Mini-Review: Grado Limited Edition...

08-02-2015 | By Robert H. Levi

The Grado GH1 Headphones…the sound of Brooklyn-born Maple! "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and becomes not furniture, but headphones for music lovers around the world. This limited edition headphone is Grado's... Read More »
Resonator on YG
Finite Elemente Resonator Reference...

07-22-2015 | By Marshall Nack

I like the idea of resonators as a prescription: Take one a day to keep the shakes away. Ha! Not quite, just me being silly. Seriously though, they are a sonic purgative. The actual prescription is to put them at strategic... Read More »
PS Audio Front
PS Audio Power Plant P10

07-16-2015 | By Pete Davey

I may have said this before, but I'll say it again… all of these amazing cables you have in your system (as beautifully constructed as they are) will not amount to much if you have garbage power coming into your... Read More »
WyWires Platinum Series USB and...

07-13-2015 | By Malcolm Gomes

If there is one credo that Alex Sventitsky the founder of WyWires Technology goes by, it is that the accurate reproduction of music is a very complex process and so "One size does not fit all!" This dogged... Read More »
Charisma Audio MC-2 Moving Coil...

07-10-2015 | By Myles B. Astor

The $1495 Charisma Audio MC-2 moving coil cartridge sounds far better than it has any right to! In fact, this recently introduced cartridge–and cartridge line—is undoubtedly one of today's best bangs... Read More »
music hall 006
Music Hall Audio On Merit:...

07-07-2015 | By Ken Micallef

Tipping the register at $1095 and $1195, respectively, the Music Hall MMF-5.1SE and recently introduced Ikura turntables share certain design and implementation features in their equally attractive frames. Both share a... Read More »
Ultimate Ears Reference...

07-02-2015 | By Robert H. Levi

The old proverb is false. You can teach an old dog new tricks! After 55 years as an audiophile, I finally have inner ear monitors (IEMs) that are not hearing aids! They are Ultimate Ears Reference Pro Monitors developed for... Read More »
Audionet PAM G2 Phono Preamplifier...

07-02-2015 | By Marshall Nack

At a Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance in Carnegie Hall one night I struck up a casual chat with the greybeard seated next to me. I learned he was a retired professional violinist and now, beyond being an enthusiast, he... Read More »
iFi Vanguard
The iFi Micro iPhono – and...

06-29-2015 | By Bruce Kinch

  If you have followed the trending audiophile markets for headphone amps and DACs, you've probably stumbled across the iFi line of shiny, pocket-sized electronics much as I did. iFi is the budget brainstorm of UK... Read More »
Pyon step-up MC Master
The Art of the Subtle – The...

06-29-2015 | By Al Chieng

Although a stalwart in many the audiophile setup, you can really see the resurgence of analog playback in mainstream society. Even chain stores are now trying to tap into the market where it once was deemed prehistoric,... Read More »
Funk Audio 6.1P Loudspeakers

06-29-2015 | By Victor Chavira

Nathan Funk resides in Canada. Nathan lives for music. He is handy with shop tools and would love to build you a pair of speakers. That is exactly what Nathan and his team has been doing at their shop in Halfmoon Bay British... Read More »
Atmosphere RCA Interconnects
Synergistic Research Atmosphere...

06-28-2015 | By Robert S. Youman

Synergistic Research continues to be one of the driving forces in the high end audiophile community. Teaming up with several industry leaders at the various audio shows throughout 2015, their showrooms have been receiving... Read More »


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industry news

Puidoux, Switzerland. August 2015: Merging Technologies is delighted to announce that On a Higher Note, LLC has been appointed as the...

ALO Audio announces the launch of Campfire Audio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Portland, Oregon – ALO audio is excited to announce the launch of Campfire Audio, a dedicated earphone brand...

Burson Audio Launches Supreme Sound Audio Components Website for DIY and OEM Products

Burson Audio Launches Supreme Sound Audio Components Website for DIY and OEM Products And Introducing the SS Lycan Op-Amp Test...

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Occupy Hifi
The Chems are re-Born in the Echoes By Michael Mercer

f you're into dance music and you haven't heard of The Chemical Brothers, well, I was gonna say you gotta be livin'...

ETHER’s just that F____in’ Great By Michael Mercer

I love it when people get their "sheeple" on, especially in a niche group. One person says something isn't comfortable,...

JADED: Thoughts on Sennheiser Momentums By Jadin

I mentioned the Sennheiser Momentums that uncle Mikey lent me in my Audioquest Dragonfly review at OccupyHifi.org. I...

HIFI Statement
First Statement From The Allgäu Alps: Netnakisum featuring Matthias Schriefl By Dirk Sommer

Wie die Staus auf den umliegenden Autobahnen beweisen, ist Bayern momentan ein attraktives Urlaubsziel. Wir hatten es...

Melco HA-N1A, Teil 1 By Dirk Sommer

Sie möchten Ihre Sammlung digital gespeicherter Musik bequem verwalten und vor allem auf hohem klanglich Niveau...

NAD D3020 By Matthias Jung

Wenn NAD eine digitale Verstärkergeneration auf den Markt bringt, ist das natürlich für sich schon eine Nachricht....