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Commentary
Article Redux

How Important Is Soundstaging?


Commentaries | The Columns

Laurence A. Borden

This article was published in 2004 originally. When I first became interested in this hobby I was, like most aspiring audiophiles, quite enamored of soundstaging and imaging. In a scenario that will probably resonate with many readers, over the ensuing years I spent countless hours positioning and re-positioning speakers, an inch here, a millimeter there, […]

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Billie Holiday/Buddy DeFranco Quartet, Duke Ellington, Carole King Musical, Cat Stevens Records Review


Music | Vinyl

Jack Roberts

Billie Holiday/Buddy DeFranco Quartet Live in Cologne 1954 180g 2LP Musicians: Billie Holiday, vocals Buddy DeFranco, clarinet Carl Drinkard, piano Sonny Clark, piano Red Mitchell, bass Gene Wright, bass Elaine Leighton, drums Bobby White, drums   I am so thrilled that more and more people are getting into mono recordings. I discovered how great mono […]

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The Beatnik asks what vintage gear would cost today


Beatnik's Journey

Jack Roberts

So often, people talk like vintage audio equipment in today’s market was more for the average Joe than it is, but there has always been a market for very expensive audio equipment. For example, let’s start with the E.H. Scott company, not to be confused with H.H. Scott stereos. From 1924 to 1945, Earnest Humphrey […]

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World Premiere Review

Vincent Solidline SA-94 stereo preamplifier & SP-995 class A mono amplifiers Review


Amplification | Mono Block | Solid State

Kevin Fiske

Well it’s happened. Frankly I was not expecting it, and certainly not with a pair of solid-state monoblocks made in China and pitched at not a lot more than a bargain-bin price point. But there you go. What’s happened was a recalibration, an overturning of prejudices, a recognition that contrary to the usual pattern in […]

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Article Redux

A Beginning


Beatnik's Journey | The Columns

Jack Roberts

This article was originally published in November, 2006. This is my first of what I hope will be a monthly column where I share my 40 plus years of loving music, and yes, I admit it, equipment too. It’s been a great journey so far, and I look forward with great expectation to where it’s […]

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The Beatnik’s Breaking News! Johnny Cash American Recordings I-VI Box Set 180g 7LP Review


Beatnik's Journey | Music | Various | Vinyl
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World Premiere Review

Reference Fidelity Components Raptor speakers Review


Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Kevin Fiske

Are speakers the most critical element of the audio chain? That’s certainly the view of a lot of audiophiles, and it’s almost universally the view of speaker vendors. Myself, I’ve a feeling that to place the speakers alone at the top of the system tree is perhaps to miss a crucial point: speakers live and […]

Commentary
Article Redux

The Economics of High-End Audio Equipment: Separating Fact from Fiction


Commentaries | The Columns

Laurence A. Borden

Originally published in June, 2004. “High-end audio gear is all over-priced.” “When it comes to audio equipment, price has no bearing on performance.” “These speakers are as good as others costing twice as much.” It seems as if rarely a week goes by without our hearing one or more of these statements in the audio […]

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World Premiere Review

Verastarr Grand Illusion 2 interconnects, speaker wire and power cords Review


Cables | Digital Cables | Interconnects | Power Cables | Speaker Cables

Greg Petan

Who could have guessed that some 20 years after my first experiment with upgrading my radio shack wire with some entry level MIT Cables (Music Interface Technologies Cables) that I would still be investigating the effect of different wire on my ever evolving system. Even on my modest system of the time, the positive effects […]

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Sadurni Acoustics Staccato speakers Review, Part II: The Sound


Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Laurence A. Borden

Read Sadurni Acoustics Staccato speakers Review, Part I: Setup The Sound Remember back to the time you heard your first high-end audio system? If you are like most of us, it was a magical experience. Suddenly, the musicians were there in the room with you, and you forgot you were listening to a recording. You […]

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World Premiere Review

Sadurni Acoustics Staccato speakers Review, Part I: Setup


Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Laurence A. Borden

We audiophiles tend to be highly opinionated about pretty much everything, but I daresay in no area is that more true than horns, about which everyone seems to have a strong opinion. Over the years I’ve noticed that many opinion about horns are held by individuals who have very little — and sometimes none whatsoever […]

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Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC Junior and MiniMax DAC Supreme


DACs | Digital Sources

Doug Schroeder

Preliminary discussion: This review is related to the previous articles I have written regarding the Eastern Electric Minimax DAC series. I encourage those who wish to gather background information regarding the new DACs reviewed here to consult those articles. I also have spent considerable time opamp rolling these devices, and have written articles on rolling […]

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Pass Labs XA30.8 class A stereo amplifier Review, Part III


Amplification | Solid State

Jack Roberts

Also read Part I, Part II   I never really planned for there to be a Part III of this review; I didn’t even plan to review it in my reference system, but it came before the Wayne Picquet’s Restored Quad ESL 57 and I wanted to break the XA30.8 in before the Quads showed […]

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A Baker’s Dozen Plus One of Female Vocalists on 45 RPM Vinyl


Jazz | Music | Vinyl

Jack Roberts

I love the sound of 45 RPM LPs. I know you have to get up and change them more often and I wish no company were issuing one-sided 45 RPM LPs. Still, I love the wonderful way they sound. I find them seductive in a way that is similar to the sound of reel-to-reel tapes. […]

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World Premiere Review

Silnote Audio cables Review


Cables | Digital Cables | Interconnects | Power Cables | Speaker Cables

Doug Schroeder

The longer I am in the Audiophile game, the more I appreciate the particular capacity of cables to finish a fine rig. Having explored many and finding some exceptional ones, including Clarity Cable and Silent Source, I have made room in systems for a lovely “sleeper” cable named Silnote. As with so many of the […]

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The Beatnik on Wayne Picquet’s Restored Quad ESL 57


Beatnik's Journey | Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Jack Roberts

Let me start with saying it would be helpful to read my last Beatnik Column, Beatnik’s Pet Peeve #3 Modern Bass. Now, on to the introduction. After living with the Quads from the time I was 18 until I was in my late 20s(some of that time with stacked Quads) my expectations of what an […]

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Bricasti Design Model 1 USB DAC Review


DACs | Digital Sources

Ed Momkus

I will start this review of the Bricasti Design Model 1 USB DAC by taking out all of the suspense. The M1 is one of the best DACs available on the market at any price. In fact, when used in the right system it is actually a bargain, since it allows you to eliminate a […]

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Kingsound KS-H3 Headphones & M-20 Headphone Amplifier Review


Amplification | Headphone Amplifier | Headphones | Over Ear Headphones

Doug Schroeder

  The gushing regarding “all that” headphones is at a fever pitch lately, I thought as I read Arnie Nudell’s review of the Audeze LCD-X Headphones, wherein he said the LCD-X could compete with all of the very best high-end loudspeakers. By that he summarized the headphones had below 20Hz to beyond 20kHz response, very […]

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World Premiere Review. New pics added.

A.R.T. Super SE cable system Review


Cables | Interconnects | Power Cables | Speaker Cables

Ed Momkus

In the last few months I’ve reviewed the Pass Labs XS300 monoblocks, the Tannoy Canterbury GR speakers, and the Bricasti M1 Stereo DAC (review to come). In some cases these different components’ reviews overlapped one another, and for a short time all three were used together. The constants during all these reviews, however, were the […]

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Pass Labs XA30.8 class A stereo amplifier Review, Part II


Amplification | Solid State

Jack Roberts

Pass Labs XA30.8 Review, Part II: “Driving the Quad ESL”   I shared in Part I of the Pass Labs XA30.8 review that the reason for getting the stereo amplifier in was because I knew I had a pair of Wayne Picquet’s restored Quad ESL (the 57) coming in to listen to. So I was […]

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Pass Labs X260.5 Class AB monoblock amplifiers review


Amplification | Mono Block | Solid State

George Papadimitriou

I have heard so many wonderful things about the products from Pass Labs, that I was very intrigued, to say the least. I have heard from many sources, that their products sound excellent, are very well designed, are beautifully built and that they are extremely reliable. I’ve also heard great things about the company’s main […]

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Anne Bisson; Shelby Lynne; Duke Ellington; The Sonny Rollins Quintet Records Review


Jazz | Music | Vinyl
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Beatnik Pet Peeve #3: “The Way Modern Speakers Play Bass”


Beatnik's Journey | Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Jack Roberts

Very few people like a speaker that has fat, flabby sounding bass. More people nowadays seem to like fast, tight bass with lots of slam. People also seem hung up on how low speakers play bass. There are speakers which can place bass down to the low 20 Hz regions that don’t have satisfying bass. […]

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AUDIO BLAST: iFi Micro iDSD USB DAC


Audio Blast | DACs | Digital Sources

Doug Schroeder

It seems that as fast as I can conduct a thorough assessment of an iFi Micro device, the company has released another moving the product up in terms of performance. I am putting the finishing touches on a brief discussion of the iFi Micro iDSD USB DAC, and I see there is already an “octa” […]

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New pics added

Audio Blast: iFi Micro iDAC USB and iUSBPower


Audio Blast | DACs | Digital Sources

Doug Schroeder

  There are two economic worlds for audiophiles, the Extreme and the Budget and ne’er the two shall meet – at least in theory. In reality, these two rub shoulders more than hobbyists may think. Trickle down of technology happens to a greater or lesser degree in all manufacturers that produce more than one line […]

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World Premiere Review

Electra-Fidelity A3-500 300B monoblock amplifiers Review


Amplification | Mono Block | Tube

Jack Roberts

I first met Tony Chipelo at the 2014 California Audio Show. He was sharing a room with Fritz Speakers and it was the best I had heard the Fritz speakers sound at a show. Electra-Fidelity is a boutique high-end audio company in Las Vegas, NV. It was founded by Tony Chipelo in 2010. In addition […]

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World Premiere Review

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury Gold Reference speakers Review


Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Ed Momkus

A Brief History of the Tannoy Prestige Line It doesn’t go all the way back to the time that Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, but Tannoy is an audio company with a long and illustrious history. In 1948 Ronald Rackham of Tannoy (which had already been in existence for 22 years) invented the dual-concentric speaker, […]

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Pass Labs XP-20 Preamplifier and X600.5 monoblock amplifiers Review


Amplification | Mono Block | Preamplifier | Solid State

Doug Schroeder

Publisher’s note: This Review was originally submitted for publishing in March, 2014, but somehow was overlooked. With apologies and thanks to Doug Schroeder, the author, for his insightful work and understanding, as well as to Pass Labs which was expecting the Review, we present this article for our readers to enjoy.   When I first […]

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Empirical Audio Overdrive SE USB DAC/PreDAC Review


DACs | Digital Sources

Laurence A. Borden

A Survey of Upper-Echelon DACs Part 1: Empirical Audio Overdrive® SE USB DAC/PreDAC (and Short Block USB Filter)   This is a follow-up to Ed Momkus’s March 2011 review of the Empirical Audio Overdrive DAC, Pace Car Reclocker, and Monolith Battery Supply. Introduction I am one lucky guy: For the past few months I have […]

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PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP power amplifier Review


Amplification | Tube

Paul Mah

  International union–a confluence of four countries for the sake of high-end audio Question: What do you get when you have Dutch, Chinese, American and Italian joined together? Answer: Mighty good eating if I’m referring to international cuisine. But since I’m writing about food for the soul, the new PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP power amplifier […]


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