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November - December 2014

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Audio Discourse

The 11th Annual Positive Feedback Writers' Choice Awards for...

12-20-2014 | By David W. Robinson

Beginning at the end of 2003, PF established its first annual awards for fine audio. The Brutus Award was established for the best that Dave Clark and...

The Acoustic Revive Chronicles: The Eleventh House!

12-08-2014 | By Jeff Day

As many of you know—and as the title reference to "The Acoustic Revive Chronicles" suggests—over the years I've written quite...

When Old Is New and Streaming Media: The iBasso D12 Anaconda...

12-06-2014 | By Andy Schaub

"Oh help me, please doctor, I'm damaged There's a pain where there once was a heart It's sleepin, it's a beatin' Can't ya...

My Favorite Tubes and Their Substitutes

12-03-2014 | By Robert H. Levi

I love and appreciate tube based audio gear and own sixteen pieces of tube gear between my two reference systems. Without a thorough knowledge of tube...

How Wall Street Destroyed the Record Business

12-01-2014 | By Dan Schwartz

"The digital music business has been a war of attrition that nobody seems to be winning," said David Goldberg, the former head of Yahoo...

Music Enhanced To an Astonishing Level: The Transcendent...

11-30-2014 | By Jim Merod

The First Blueport "Audio Transcendence" Award (With a response by Marshall Nack) What does it mean that the onset of Global Warming...

Kubala-Sosna XPander Power Distributor - Neutrality and...

11-30-2014 | By Marshall Nack

Talking About Power Distributors (With a response by Jim Merod) Every time I'd get in a new power product, Joe Kubala would come over to check it out....

Lampizator's 5th Generation DSD DAC: A Game Changer

11-28-2014 | By Brian Moura

The New Lampizator Generation V DSD DAC (Photo: Brian Moura) In May I attended The Show in Newport Beach with a list of new products I wanted to hear....

Why I Left TAS

11-24-2014 | By Dan Schwartz

I discovered the high end in 1978. But I seemed to have a natural inclination towards high-quality experience. My father was a largely self-trained EE,...

Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions' Premium One-Step Formula No.

11-23-2014 | By Marc Phillips

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." – Heraclitus That's how...

Covalent-Audio Nucleus Headphone Amplifier-Preamp Review

11-23-2014 | By Dean Seislove

A golden age only happens in retrospect: By the time you realize you're in one, you ain't. Hell, most of us have a hard enough time deciding...

Quick Notes: Astell&Kern Remote Control for AK 100, AK120,...

11-23-2014 | By Robert H. Levi

Bingo! Using the Astell&Kern AK 240 as a server in your main system just got super easy with the delightful AK Remote, $49.95. Using Bluetooth as...

But, What About The Music?

11-21-2014 | By Roger Skoff

I've just spent a little time reading posts—both the originals and the comments on them—in some of the more than fifty audiophile...

Response to Dr. Robinson's Essay on Harry Pearson - It's Like...

11-20-2014 | By Michael Mercer

A Portrait of Michael Mercer: THE Show, Newport Beach, CA, 2013 I have to admit, it felt great to laugh out-loud while reading Dr. D's (as I call...

The Audio Circular: No.11 in a Series of Parallel Narratives -...

11-16-2014 | By Gary L Beard

I admit it; I can be late to the party. The vast majority of gear I have written about is not new to serious audio buffs and some has had much previous...

Impressions: Harry Pearson

11-15-2014 | By David W. Robinson

Harry Pearson, a characteristic pose. RMAF 2009, Denver, CO With the death of Harry Pearson, Michael Mercer and I talked and decided that we would put...

Harry Pearson, Jr.: Godfather of High-End Audio, Sonic Explorer,...

11-15-2014 | By Michael Mercer

Harry Pearson was an extraordinary man. He was always curious, and could turn an acidic, negative situation into fine wine and smiles with a...

The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke & The Animals Come to DSD

11-15-2014 | By Brian Moura

The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke & The Animals in DSD Just over a year ago, Chad Kassem at Acoustic Sounds announced the launch of Super HiRez, a new...

From Clark Johnsen's Diaries: When Harry Met Clarkie, or, Harry...

11-12-2014 | By Clark Johnsen

Only my oldest, dearest friends call me "Clarkie", so be careful – but it does make for a better title, so, yeah. / The author When I...

HeaDSPeaker - A DSP Headphone Surround Sound Processor for Home...

11-11-2014 | By Roger S. Gordon

DSPeaker is a Finnish company that manufactures audio products using DSP chips made by its parent company, VSLI Solution. The two most widely known...

The Neoteric Listener... Out of Your Head Software and the...

11-07-2014 | By Dean Seislove

Our entire hobby is predicated on the contradiction of music reproduction, and one chord strummed live shatters the illusion of high end. But the joy I...

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Hardware Reviews

Viero Equilibrio Level 3 Speaker Cables

12-20-2014 | By Mark Pearson

So the call came out from PF: Who wants to review a pair of expensive speaker cables made in Italy? I raised my hand, er, I mean I responded to the...

VPI Classic Direct Turntable - Turning Back Time

12-14-2014 | By Myles B. Astor

Dogma is defined in the dictionary as, "A belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or...

Zu Audio Druid V Loudspeakers

12-13-2014 | By Danny Kaey

'twas the year of our Lord twothousandandfive, when I had the very first opportunity to audition and opine about Zu's Druid loudspeakers...

LKV Veros One Phonostage

12-11-2014 | By Pete Davey

Quietude… That isn't a word you hear too often when describing high-end audio! But, what is most important with high fidelity LP playback? I...

Kronos Audio Products Sparta Turntable

12-10-2014 | By Marshall Nack

Watching the Kronos Audio Products Sparta Turntable being assembled on my rack, it's clear that this is not your father's turntable. Visually,...

Inex Innovation Photon USB2 Audio Cable and USB to S/PDIF...

12-09-2014 | By Roger S. Gordon

INEX Innovation, Inc. is a small audio company that was founded in 2004 by a group of audiophiles with strong engineering backgrounds in fiber optics...

Pendulumic Stance Bluetooth Headphones

11-29-2014 | By Pete Davey

I've never really been into headphones or personal listening, I usually enjoy an engaging experience with a normal 2 channel system where the...

REL Gibraltar G2 Subwoofer

11-28-2014 | By Robert S. Youman

I have owned several iterations of REL subwoofers over the years. Either as a single unit or in pairs. My first was the Stentor III at 133 lbs, 300 RMS...

Wilson Audio Alexia Loudspeakers

11-27-2014 | By Danny Kaey

Alexia. Everyone wants to know Alexia. Everyone wants to have Alexia. She's the femme fatale who has you wrapped up in dreams of being James Bond...

Audience AV aR2p-TOS Power Conditioner

11-25-2014 | By Roger S. Gordon

Audience has made a name for itself over the years by producing very fine interconnect cables, phono cables, speakers, and power chords well as the...

MG Audio Design Planus Cables

11-21-2014 | By Pete Davey

Cable reviews are always fun. They can be challenging, too as you're really trying to focus on the nuances and draw a positive experience....

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth DAC

11-20-2014 | By Andre Marc

Audioengine, based in the USA, is one of those companies that has worked to bring music into just about any environment, and at affordable prices. This...

Backert Labs Rhythm 1.1 Linestage

11-18-2014 | By Michael Wechsberg

I'm excited to tell you about this great new tube line stage from Backert Labs based in Hockessin, Delaware near Philadelphia. This is, I believe,...

Pass Labs Xs Preamplifier and Xs 300 Amplifiers

11-18-2014 | By Robert S. Youman

When I was in my early teens, one of my fondest memories was helping my Father while he was working on his various audio projects. This was in the...

Codia Acoustic Design Stage 3000 Duo Audio Rack

11-15-2014 | By Paul Candy

My first experience with an audiophile rack was Grand Prix Audio's Monaco which blew my mind both in price and performance. Up until that point I...

Jasmine Audio Tiger Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

11-09-2014 | By Gary Lea

I cannot remember the last time I did a review that exploded my mythological view of things like this one has done. I have said for a number of years...

Blue Circle FX2 6 XOe Power Line Conditioner

11-08-2014 | By Paul Candy

Blue Circle's Gilbert Yeung is one of high end audio's more colorful and unconventional characters. I can't think of another audio designer...

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David Robinson and David Elias on DSD Interviewed by Steve...

12-09-2014 | By David W. Robinson

Enjoy the Music.TV's interview with David W. Robinson of Positive Feedback magazine and singer/musician/songwriter David Elias. Hosted by...

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Music Reviews

Recondite, Iffy

12-28-2014 | By Michael Mercer

Recondite is a master of smooth grooves. 2013's Hinterland was/is a superb compilation of intelligent electronic music that's ideal for just...

Releases by Tacet Audio, Navona Records, Art Haus Musik and

12-22-2014 | By Karl Lozier

Phoenix in Flight. Orchestra: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Kirk Trevor. Clarinetist: Richard Stoltzman. Navona Records CD NV801 This...

Notes of an Amateur: Schubert, Gubaidulina, Shostakovich.

12-20-2014 | By Bob Neill

Schubert, Winterreise. Matthias Goerne, baritone. Christoph Eschenbach, piano. Schubert Edition, No. 9. Harmonia Mundi. HMC 902107. Schubert's...

Caribou, Our Love

12-16-2014 | By Michael Mercer

Some records, I find, are best described as a sonic journey, a whole, rather than dissecting each track (though, admittedly, I'll be doing some of...

New Music - David Roth, Guru Guru, and More

12-13-2014 | By Wojciech Pacuła

David Roth - Will You Come Home Stockfisch SFR 357.8079.1, 2 x 180 g 45 rpm LP The tradition of Stockfisch LP releases goes back to the 1990s. On a...

Notes of an Amateur: Rachel Podger, Margaret Brouwer, Galina...

12-11-2014 | By Bob Neill

Perla Barocca. Early Italian Masterpieces. Rachel Podger, violin. Harpsichord, organ, and therobo accompaniment. Channel Classics. CCSA 36014. CD/SACD....

The Beatles In Mono LP Box Set

12-09-2014 | By Tom Gibbs

When the Beatles' digital remasters came out a few years ago on CD (and the higher-resolution 24-bit FLACs loaded onto the USB Apple version), a...

Stockfisch Records Finds Analog Pearls

11-30-2014 | By Brian Moura

Analog Pearls, Volume 1 Cover Stockfisch Enters the Remastered SACD/DSD Market Some of our readers are familiar with Stockfisch Records. It's a...

Darren Chase Sings Schumann Lieder

11-24-2014 | By Stephen Francis Vasta

SCHUMANN: Kerner Lieder, Op. 35; Lenau Lieder und Requiem, Op. 90; Liederkreis, Op. 39. Darren Chase, baritone; Sergey Schepkin, piano. Arabesque...

Notes of an Amateur: Harbison, Couperin, Jonathan Harvey, and...

11-22-2014 | By Bob Neill

John Harbison, String Trio; Four Songs of Solitude [for solo violin]; Songs Americans Love to Sing [flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano]. Members...

Sonic Satori – Thom Yorke Brings it on Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

11-20-2014 | By Michael Mercer

The weight of expectations must be huge for Thom Yorke. I mean, not only is he the front-man for Radiohead, but he's got deep commitments musically...

Impressions: Howard Hanson: An American Romantic in Quad DSD...

11-15-2014 | By David W. Robinson

The movement of reference-grade reference tapes to DSD for downloading continues apace. One of the industry leaders in this regard is High Definition...

Vinyl in the Round: ECM Re:Solutions

11-09-2014 | By Ken Micallef

Mastered from the original 1970s era analog tapes and pressed in Germany on beautiful 180 gram vinyl (and also released on CD), ECM's Re:Solutions...

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New Old Stock - Articles from Our Days in Print

Acoustic Masterpiece M-101 Amplifier

05-08-2017 | By Positive Feedback

This article, by Dave Clark, Victor Chavira, Larry Cox, and Francisco Duran, originally ran when audioMUSINGS was in print - Issue 6, 1998.  Some...

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Our Friends at HIFI Statement

And enjoy a free download of a song in highres and DSD played by...

12-20-2014 | By Dirk Sommer

Nein, es geht hier nicht um irgendwelche Hifi-Klänge: Die britische Band heißt wirklich The New Mastersounds und groovt wie der Teufel: endlich mal.... . . Read More »

Listen to it's sound via three free downloads in our sound...

12-10-2014 | By HiFiStatement

Klangbeispiel 70 • Transrotor Figaro. . . Read More »

A review of the EINSTEIN's MC-cartridge The Pickup (in German)

12-08-2014 | By Dirk Sommer

Manche Tests sind das Resultat langer Planung, andere ergeben sich spontan. Zu letzteren zählt dieser. The Pickup war noch im SME V montiert, den.... . . Read More »

A review of THOMAS MAYER's tube amps 10Y (in German)

11-25-2014 | By Jürgen Saile

Thomas Mayer ist ein Hersteller, der bislang in der Highend Szene in Deutschland noch nicht so bekannt ist. International sieht die Sache wieder ganz.... . . Read More »

A review of the van den Hul's cartridge The Crimson (in German)

11-18-2014 | By Dirk Sommer

Das Crimson ist zwar nun schon seit über einem Jahr auf dem Markt – aber dennoch ist dieser Bericht hochaktuell. Aalt van den Hul, der.... . . Read More »

A review of the KORG's DAC DS-DAC 100 and the Audiogate...

11-15-2014 | By Dirk Sommer

Keine Angst, in den Hörräumen der Kollegen und in meinem warten schon Plattenspieler, Tonabnehmer, gewichtige Mono-Endstufen und Lautsprecher auf.... . . Read More »

A review of AQUA ACOUSTICS QUALITY's cd-transport and DAC La...

11-11-2014 | By Jürgen Saile

Die Mailänder Firma Aqua hat nun nichts mit dem Städtischen Wasserwerk zu tun, sondern dies ist ein Wortspiel mit der Abkürzung von Acoustic.... . . Read More »

A review of the KRON's integrated tube amplifier (in German)

11-07-2014 | By Jürgen Saile

Bei Hybridverstärkern denkt der Audiophile als solcher irgendwie an: nicht Fisch und nicht Fleisch. Insbesondere die Hardcore Röhrenliebhaber haben.... . . Read More »

Read a portrait of MYTEK DIGITAL in Warsaw (in German)

11-06-2014 | By Dirk Sommer

Mytek baut Digital-Elektronik mit einem faszinierenden Preis/Leistungsverhältnis, ist seit Jahren in der Studioszene bestens etabliert, hat aber bei.... . . Read More »

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Our Friends at High Fidelity

Fonica - F-901 VIOLIN Turntable + F-03 rev.3 Tonearm

11-20-2014 | By Wojciech Pacuła

The turntable is a relatively simple mechanical design. Its task is to spin the platter with a vinyl disc in an appropriate manner, i.e. at a...

Rogoz Audio 3RP1/BBS Isolation Board

11-15-2014 | By Wojciech Pacuła

It was with great pleasure that I unpacked the newest isolation board from Janusz Rogoz, which is marked as the 3RP1/BBS. Large and heavy, employing...

Phasemation HD-7A192 D/A Converter

11-14-2014 | By Wojciech Pacuła

When I think about Phasemation I see a picture in front of my eyes of an older gentleman, the CEO of this company, standing next to the TechDAS Air...

Ultrasone EDITION 5 Headphones

11-10-2014 | By Wojciech Pacuła

In a year 2003, a not so widely known German company called Ultrasone launched the Edition 7 headphones. It was a limited edition of 999 units. That...

Abyssound's ASP-1000 Preamplifier and ASX-2000 Amplifier

11-08-2014 | By Wojciech Pacuła

The pictures that accompany High Fidelity's review of the ASX-1000  amplifier show that it is a fairly large, not to say massive, unit. Short...

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Show Reports

2014 TAVES Show Report Part Two

12-10-2014 | By Malcolm J. Gomes

One of the fastest growing distributors in Canada is Charisma Audio. Owner Bernard Li always puts on a good show and this time was no exception. This...

2014 TAVES Show Report Part One

12-09-2014 | By Malcolm J. Gomes

Tis the season for TAVES and yet again, it provided a reason for celebrating sonic excellence. This is the one high-end audio show that I truly enjoy...

Jon Mayer Solo: LIVE! in Portland

11-20-2014 | By Jim Merod

Jazz pianists are the archivists and barometric interpreters of the Great American songbook, a repository of melodic brilliance that legendary pianist...

Impressions: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2014, & My PFO Audio...

11-11-2014 | By David W. Robinson

The registration lines at RMAF 2014…busy! The Intro… Shazam! How does time pass this bloody quickly? It seems like just the other day that I was at...

The Three Musketeers See the RMAF 2014

11-10-2014 | By Lynn Olson

Gary Dahl, Thom Mackris (of Galibier Designs) and I have been working on a high-efficiency speaker for a while now. This is the outcome of the enormous...

RMAF 2014

11-09-2014 | By Myles B. Astor

During the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2014, Myles Astor posted images and thoughts daily on the Positive Feedback Facebook page. Check out his reports...

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