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Art Dudley Posted: Sep 06, 2015 2 comments
An opportunity to return to Sonor Filtronique came sooner than expected: I was invited there for a September 4 new-product launch co-sponsored by AudioQuest, Wilson Audio, Audio Research, and dCS America. Encouraged by the dual prospects of good sound and a chance to enjoy the beautiful city of Montreal without an overcoat, I booked my train ticket right away.
Herb Reichert Posted: Sep 04, 2015 13 comments
My girlfriend, "bb," a 6'-tall Aries artist, always says, "Math, science, religion, and even history, are all simply stories we tell ourselves about our experiences with a phenomenon we call energy."

My father, Herb Senior—the Deacon—always said, "The fundamental nature of the universe is vibratory—everything we experience is just waves!" He explained that waves—possessing power, amplitude, and frequency—are the basic building blocks of our reality. The universe actually "works" and is "comprehensible" because these waves are not random, but organized into exponential intervals called octaves. Our job, he told me, was to recognize and study this mathematical (and mystical) nature in action.

It's a shame that bb and the Deacon never met.

Art Dudley Posted: Sep 04, 2015 1 comments
In a bizarre but happy turn of events, recent consumer trends have given even the most socially awkward audiophile something to talk about at cocktail parties and family gatherings at which normal people predominate: the PonoPlayer and vinyl. These are hot topics; each is among the best-sounding music sources available, and both offer hope for our hobby, if not for music lovers in general. But vinyl has the advantage of appealing to a much wider range of budgets. LPs can be had from anywhere to "We'll pay you to haul these away" to "Your loan officer is on line one." Likewise, vinyl playback hardware is available in virtually every price range, from a second-hand Dual 1229 ($50 and up) to the highly praised Continuum Audio Labs Caliburn ($200,000 and down).
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Art Dudley Posted: Sep 03, 2015 3 comments
Our small hobby contains many even smaller subgroups, some of them openly hostile to one another—itself a partial explanation for the whole small-hobby thing. I have been a card-carrying member of some of those groups, have lurked at the edges of others, and have ignored only a few—most notably that community of manufacturers who believe that the surest way to make a better piece of playback gear is to make it bigger and heavier and more expensive than anything else on the market: a group sadly notable for its influence over much of the reviewing community. Those exceptions aside, almost every approach to domestic playback gear has, at one time or another, had at least some appeal, and I'm lucky to have learned something from many of them.
John Atkinson Posted: Sep 03, 2015 18 comments
I got an early start on computer audio. At the end of the last century I was using WinAmp with first a CardDeluxe PCI soundcard, then a similar card from RME, to play files on a Windows PC. After I became a MacPerson, I used FireWire audio interfaces from pro-audio company Metric Halo and an inexpensive USB-connected ADC/DAC from M-Audio. But it was with the USB version of Benchmark's DAC 1 that the computer began taking over from physical discs for my music listening. At first I used iTunes au naturel, but as I acquired more high-resolution files, I began using Pure Music to handle all the tedious audio housekeeping, assigning as a dedicated music server a G4 Mac mini I'd bought in 2006.
Herb Reichert Posted: Sep 03, 2015 1 comments
They played Dead Can Dance for me . . .
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Sep 01, 2015 0 comments
On Friday, September 4, from 6 to 10pm, Sonor Filtronique (9343 Rue Lajeunesse, Montreal) will host a special event with Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio Specialties, John Quick of dCS, Dave Gordon of Audio Research, and Garth Powell of AudioQuest. Featured gear will include Wilson's Sabrina loudspeakers, dCS's Vivaldi DAC, ARC's GSi75 integrated amplifier, and AudioQuest's new Niagara 7000 AC power management system, pictured above. There will be 45-minute seminars held throughout the evening.
Herb Reichert Posted: Sep 01, 2015 6 comments
Music played through custom Quads from Wayne Picquet of Quads Unlimited in Florida via Dave Slagle's Direct Drive Amp ($36,000 for two amps and two full-range electrostatic speakers) made me shake and sob (there are a bunch of witnesses) . . .
Art Dudley Posted: Aug 31, 2015 3 comments
People who speak of running with the big dogs describe the experience as a good thing; I can't imagine why. I'll take the small dogs any old time: They're more characterful, less self-possessed, and just plain friendlier. And among hi-fi shows, Capital Audiofest is the friendliest and most interesting small dog on the porch, and still one of my favorites.

Gary Gill's regional show, which retains its slight and very pleasant DIY vibe, returned to the Washington DC area on August 28–30 for its sixth year, and drew respectable numbers of people, especially by the end of the day on Saturday . . .

Herb Reichert Posted: Aug 31, 2015 0 comments
Fern & Roby make artful-looking, and (to me) an impressive sounding turntable with a 70lb cast-bronze plinth and 35lb bronze platter. I have always believed that most audio gear sounds like what it is made of, how it is made, and what it looks like. I saw their beautiful plinth and I saw their elegant thick paper literature, and I thought, maybe this will be all show and no go. I thought this might be a lifestyle product. Then I saw the Syrinx PU-3 tonearm and remembered how all my Japanese friends admired the PU-3's lively, natural sound.


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