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September - October 2016

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Audio Discourse

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest: The Good and Bad

10-16-2016 | By Carol Clark

Every October for the past 13 years I have looked forward to RMAF (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest). It is my favorite audio show because I can just walk...


John Marks: My Audio System Description

10-13-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks' Stereo System (as of fall 2016) The essential sound of this system is determined first by the loudspeakers, prototypes called Esperanto...


Impressions:  The Playback Designs Merlot Quad DSD DAC and...

10-07-2016 | By David W. Robinson

So here I am again, returning to one of the touchstone companies for DSD and digital audio:  Playback Designs. Am I surprised? Should anyone be...


Deep Impressions:  The Wave Kinetics NVS Turntable, Durand...

10-01-2016 | By David W. Robinson

There's glory for you! In which our hero meditates… This isn't going to be anything like a standard review, which is something that I don't do...


Brief Impressions from an Editor’s Notebook:  The PS Audio...

09-24-2016 | By David W. Robinson

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),...


Williamson on the Hardware: The Alpha Design Labs STRATOS

09-23-2016 | By David Williamson

Incredibili Sine Compromissum   This is it. Think of Trader Joe's. The Hyundai Genesis. A Hamilton watch, Uniqlo clothing, a CAO cigar, the...well,...


Cartoon: The Wild, Weird World of Walker!

09-19-2016 | By Bruce 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...


Brief Impressions:  The YG Acoustics Sonja XV Reference...

09-15-2016 | By David W. Robinson

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...


YG Acoustics Sonja XV Speaker Launch

09-14-2016 | By Marshall Nack

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...


Feuilleton Acapella Audio Arts

09-12-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

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...


A Visit to Distinctive Stereo

09-09-2016 | By Marshall Nack

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...


Just released! The PF DSD Sampler, Volume 1

09-02-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Great news! Positive Feedback and NativeDSD (http://www.nativeDSD.com) announce the release of a joint music project, the PF DSD Sampler, Volume 1....


Audio Ramblings - the PS Audio BHK Signature Preamplifier and...

09-01-2016 | By Dave Clark

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...


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

09-01-2016 | By David W. Robinson

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...


PS Audio's New DirectStream Junior DAC (Updated)

08-29-2016 | By Gary L Beard

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...


Krakow Sonic Society Meeting 104 - King Crimson 7" Platinum...

08-26-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

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...


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Hardware Reviews

The Pass Labs XP-15 Phonostage Preamplifier

10-20-2016 | By Gary L Beard

Perhaps I should start at the end. I love the XP-15 phonostage preamplifier. In fact, I love it so much that one night I dreamt I had barricaded myself...


The Lumen White Mystere Reference Turntable

10-15-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

From the first glance onwards, the Lumen White Mystere turntable fascinates with its visual elegance and noble appearance. Its beauty however still...


The HIFIMAN SuperMini Digital Audio Player

10-10-2016 | By Tom Gibbs

Here in the Dungeon, I'm challenged in every way to enjoy good music on any level possible. Almost all my equipment is still packed away in a storage...


Ortofon MC A95 Moving Coil Cartridge - Delivering the Goods

10-06-2016 | By Myles B. Astor

Amazingly the Ortofon MC A95 Moving Coil Cartridge is the very first Ortofon transducer—particularly given the company's long tenure in the cartridge...


Luminous Audio Technology Axiom II with Walker Modifications...

10-05-2016 | By Ian Aharon White

Luminous Audio Technology Axiom II "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." – Ferris Bueller...


Ryan Speakers R610 Loudspeakers

10-05-2016 | By Ian Aharon White

Call me old-fashioned, but I have always preferred a good two-way. There is something comforting, but not necessarily boring or same-old-same-old as a...


LP Gear - The Vessel A3SM Cartridge

09-29-2016 | By John Hoffman

In 1995 the world of analog playback was a dark place, and hobbyists had very few places to find the parts and supplies needed to keep their turntables...


Audio Research Reference 6 Preamplifier – A Flash Back to the...

09-29-2016 | By Robert S. Youman

This review brought back some wonderful memories. It has been quite some time since I have auditioned an Audio Research Corporation (ARC) product....


The GoldenEar Technology SuperSub XXL Subwoofer

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...


Grado Statement Series 2 Phono Cartridge:  World Premier Review

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...


Sound Galleries Monaco Server (SGM2015)

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...


Heavy Metal Fantasies: The Beautiful Bryston Limited 4B³ Stereo...

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...


ATC SCM19AT Active Tower Speaker System

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...


LP Gear Vessel A3SV Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge

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...


Cardas Audio Clear Ethernet Network Cable (CAT 7)

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...


Pass Labs X350.8 Stereo Amplifier and XP-30 Preamplifier

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...


Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered IEMs

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...


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...


Linnenberg Elektronik Vicace 2 and Unisono

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...


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Interviews

John Marks: Q&A with Sergey Schepkin

07-29-2016 | By John Marks

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...


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Music Reviews

John Marks' New Music: The Parker String Quartet: Felix...

10-11-2016 | By John Marks

Here's a hot flash update (if such things exist in the world of classical music!) from John Marks of The Tannhauser...


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

09-23-2016 | By Marc Phillips

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....


John Marks' Vault Treasures: David Oistrakh, Shostakovich...

09-23-2016 | By John Marks

Once again John Marks educates and enlightens us with his recommendation of a worthy recording from our audio treasures. "Some of the best recordings...


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

09-13-2016 | By Marc Phillips

Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate Polydor B0024912-01 2 LPs – $24.99 Purchased at The Sound Garden in Syracuse, NY   Tidal strikes again. Just a...


Impressions:  Ilya Itin, Debussy, Preludes Books I and II in...

09-11-2016 | By David W. Robinson

[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...


Pierre Boulez Conducts Mahler's Ninth

09-11-2016 | By Stephen Francis Vasta

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...


Notes of an Amateur: Podger's Bach Art of Fugue; Ibragimova's...

09-08-2016 | By Bob Neill

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...


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

08-30-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Well, right on, John Marks! Here's a real classic from the trove of audio loot. This week's album from The Tannhauser...


Notes of an Amateur: Shostakovich, Penderecki, Adès.

08-24-2016 | By Bob Neill

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...


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

08-22-2016 | By John Marks

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...


Polish Jazz Forever

08-02-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

When the heads of Warner's headquarters learned of the sale of Polish Recordings, then—as Bartek Chaciński writes in the article Marka dużej...


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Our Friends At HIFI Statement

MEE audio Pinnacle P1

09-21-2016 | By Bert Seidenstücker

Pinnacle: der Gipfel, der Höhepunkt! MEE Audio stapelt bei der Produktbezeichnung seines In-Ear-Hörer gewiss nicht tief. Und auch die Transportbox.... . . Read More »


Acoustical Systems Pickup The Palladian

09-21-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

Acoustical Systems' Tonarm Aquilar zeichnet sich ebenso wie das Topmodell Axiom durch die von Dietrich Brakemeier neu entwickelte Uni-Din-Geometrie.... . . Read More »


Melco N1ZH60

09-21-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

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


Cardas Audio Clear Ethernet Network Cable (CAT 7)

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...


Dynaudio Excite X44 Speaker

08-29-2016 | By Peter Banholze

Dynaudio hat mit der X44 ein neues Topmodell der Excite-Serie auf den Markt gebracht – wir haben nicht lange über einen Test der eleganten.... . . Read More »


Dayens Ecstasy III Custom 2 Integrated Amp

08-29-2016 | By Wolfgang Kemper

Ein kleines, etabliertes und weltweit erfolgreiches Familien-Unternehmen aus Serbien baut Verstärker, die ihren eigenen Stil haben. . . . Read More »


Harmonix Tuning Devices

08-29-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

Manchmal geht es schneller als gedacht: Nur ein paar Tage nach dem Erscheinen des Berichts über die großartigen Hijiri Netzkabel war Ed Doggen, der.... . . Read More »


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Our Friends At High Fidelity

Krakow Sonic Society Meeting 104 - King Crimson 7" Platinum...

08-26-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

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...


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...


Polish Jazz Forever

08-02-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

When the heads of Warner's headquarters learned of the sale of Polish Recordings, then—as Bartek Chaciński writes in the article Marka dużej...


Linnenberg Elektronik Vicace 2 and Unisono

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...


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Our Friends At Occupy HiFi

Music is My Favorite Drug

07-29-2016 | By Michael Mercer

I love experiencing great sounding music. It's my favorite drug. The high is everlasting, and the withdrawals are nothing compared to chemicals flowing.... . . Read More »


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Show Reports

RMAF 2016 Photo Essay - Part 4

10-13-2016 | By Carol Clark

Vandersteens at RMAF 2016. Musical Surroundings and The Audio Alternative were together with Vandersteen Model Seven MkII and a new subwoofer. Two...


RMAF 2016 Photo Essay - Part 3

10-13-2016 | By Carol Clark

Margules. All the way from Mexico for RMAF 2016. Andrew Jones from ELAC, what a joy to hear him talk! Standout Room Winner. ELAC, new integrated...


RMAF 2016 Photo Essay - Part 2

10-13-2016 | By Carol Clark

MQA showing the difference at RMAF 2016. Aurender had two rooms. The source was the Aurender A10 Server with MQA DAC, 4TB storage. Loudspeakers were...


RMAF 2016 Photo Essay - Part 1

10-13-2016 | By Carol Clark

Lines were long at registration on Friday for RMAF 2016, that's a good sign! Everyone seemed ready to enjoy the show! Even with all the distractions...


National Audio Show 2016 (UK)

09-23-2016 | By Bill Malcolm

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...


Monterey Jazz 59 - Quincy Jones Takes Charge

09-01-2016 | By Jim Merod

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...


Lone Star Audio Fest 2016 Show Report

07-27-2016 | By Norman Tracy

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...


Impressions:  THE Show Newport Beach, 2016, Part 2 –...

07-08-2016 | By David W. Robinson

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...


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