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Commentary

Meet the Designers: Marten and EMM Labs


Commentaries | The Columns

Fred Crowder

In early March, I spent a week with my friend “Encinitas Jim” about whom I have previously written at length. While he has several high performance systems set up in various parts of his home, one is very similar to my own: Acapella Triolon Excalibur speakers, Einstein preamp, Ypsilon VPS 100 tube phono preamplifier, Jorma […]

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High Fidelity Cables CT-1 power cable Review


Cables | Power Cables

Jack Roberts

Jack’s other High Fidelity Cables Reviews (in descending chronological order): CT-1 Ultimate Reference Rhodium Plus Power Cord (June 2014) CT-1UR Ultimate Reference Speaker and Interconnect Cables (February 2014) CT-1 Ultimate Cables (May 2013) CT-1 and CT-1E speaker cables (May 2013) CT-1E Phono and Interconnect Cables (February 2013) CT-1 interconnects (October 2012)   I have heard […]

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Article Redux

Audio Note Quest Silver monoblock amplifiers Review, Part 2


Amplification | Mono Block | Tube

Chris Redmond

This Review was published in February, 2007 originally. Also see Audio Note Quest Silver monoblock amplifiers Review, Part 1   A few years ago while using a pair of ‘valve like’ solid state Mitchell Engineering Alecto monoblocks, I was keen to try out the real thing, and so made numerous requests for information and recommendations […]

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Audio Note AN-K/SPe speakers Review


Bookshelf Speakers | Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Jack Roberts

When you think of Audio Note UK speakers it’s the AN-E they are best known for and certainly the most widely reviewed of all their many speakers. I have seen both the AN-E and AN-J speakers at many shows and in many dealers’ showrooms. I have even seen some of the less expensive AX and […]

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The Beatnik Bops On Over To Novato


Beatnik's Journey | Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Jack Roberts

A couple of Fridays ago I got up and drove over to the little town of Novato, California. My day trip was for two reasons. The first was to return the Quad Electrostatics and the Quad tube amps to Ken Askew. I admit I hated to see the Quads go. The other and much more […]

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Wells Audio Innamorata Signature stereo amplifier Review


Amplification | Solid State

Greg Petan

The last few years has seen a bounty of great audio components coming through for review. The Pass Labs XA200.5 mono amplifiers, Triangle Arts Signature turntable, and the D’Agostino Momentum Integrated to name a few, have made indelible and long lasting impressions. The countless hours spent pouring over these great examples of the alchemy of […]

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Krell Industries Connect Stream Player


DACs | Digital Sources | Stream Music Services

Greg Petan

I remember my first audiophile-grade CD player like it was yesterday. A Rotel of some early vintage as I recall. It was a fun little player that sounded odd, but that was par for the course back then. While my Rotel plugged along and my obsession with audio bloomed I spotted an ad for the […]

Show-Report-2015

2015 Axpona Chicago, Part 2


AXPONA | Event Reports

Doug Schroeder

Each show venue has its own quirks and issues, and the Westin O’Hare Chicago/Rosemont was no different. The bugaboo was a rather noisy ventilation system, which in some rooms manifested itself nearly as a low howl. Some of the main and lower floor larger rooms were affected. Still, I would rather work with that background […]

Show-Report-2015

2015 Axpona Chicago, Part 1


AXPONA

Doug Schroeder

Axpona 2015 was chilly outside, but warm inside, where the audiophile masses and industry insiders mingled in a comfortable atmosphere of semi-seriousness and heart-felt devotion to the art of audio. Here are some memorable moments from the show as I experienced it. My time was quite limited, as I lost most of Saturday due to […]

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Audio by Van Alstine ABX Comparator Review, Part 3: New Twists & Conclusion


Audio Accessories

Doug Schroeder

Part 1: Audio Store & Wiring Part 2: Trials A new twist, amp comparisons I haven’t said much to this point about the amps used because this is where the ABX testing got downright weird. Though I was able to differentiate between all other components and speakers with some assurance, if not absolute precision, I […]

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Audio by Van Alstine ABX Comparator Review, Part 2: Trials


Audio Accessories

Doug Schroeder

Read Part 1: Audio Store & Wiring Read Part 3: New Twists & Conclusion The components and speakers used I completed the listening sessions for ABX testing by building four distinct systems, using two at a time and separating two large blocks of listening sessions over several days by a few weeks in between. The […]

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Audio by Van Alstine ABX Comparator Review, Part 1: Audio Store & Wiring


Audio Accessories

Doug Schroeder

A note to the reader: This is a lengthy and technically oriented article, with much discussion of setup, wiring and ABX testing conditions. I attempt to keep my articles accessible to the average audiophile, but admit that this will be too much for some. If you find yourself uninterested in the mechanics of setting up […]

Commentary
Article Redux

Are you a beginner audiophile?


Commentaries | The Columns

Ray Seda

This article was published in the 2010 California Audio Show’s Official Directory originally.   If you are attending Dagogo’s California Audio Show and are reading the show’s program, two things are self-evident truths; 1. You love music; and 2, you have more than a passing interest in the gear that is necessary to listen to […]

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47 Labs Midnight Blue system Review


Amplification | Bookshelf Speakers | Cables | Digital Sources | Disc Media Players | Integrated Amplifiers | Interconnects | Solid State | Speaker Cables | Speakers

Jack Roberts

47 Labs Midnight Blue system: Lens II Speaker: $3,250 (read Review) Midnight Blue Integrated Amplifier Model 4736: $2,500 Midnight Blue CD Player Model 4735: $3,250 (read Review) *Midnight Blue Tuner Model 4730: $1,500 (read Review) 47 Labs OTA Cable Kit Model 4708: $800 Also read the 47 Labs Model 4733 Midnight Blue headphone amplifier/preamplifier/USB DAC […]

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World Premiere Review

Loricraft PRC 6 record cleaning machine Review


Audio Accessories | Disc Treatment

Kevin Fiske

Only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. So, apparently, said Benjamin Franklin. To which he might have added (if he had been feeling particularly far sighted that day) “Loricraft record cleaning machines.” Loricraft machines are everywhere. I even encountered one in a London lending library a couple of years back – legacy […]

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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