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Robert Deutsch Posted: Nov 01, 2015 4 comments
The first room I visited at the 2015 TAVES, held this past weekend in Toronto, was Update Stereo & TV's big room that had MartinLogan's flagship Neolith speakers—and they sounded completely different from the pair that I heard at the 2015 CES. Transparency, tonal neutrality, precise imaging, presence: it was all there. These are great speakers!
Herb Reichert Posted: Oct 30, 2015 4 comments
Like baking bread or watering my garden, playing records in my monk's cell is an expression of my devotion to living mindfully. It is part of my search for identity and comfort. It shows me how my thoughts, feelings, and poetic imagination fit in with yours, Keith Jarrett's, and everyone else's. The only problem: Often, the stereo components that most enhance my experiences of devotion and identity are not those that I can sincerely declare to be the most accurate or neutral.
Kalman Rubinson Posted: Oct 30, 2015 13 comments
I first saw Benchmark's AHB2 stereo power amplifier at the 2013 Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, in New York City. On silent display in Benchmark's booth on the convention floor, its compact size and comprehensive features made the amp immediately attractive, and the design was described as a departure from traditional analog and digital amplifiers. It was also explained to me that the AHB2 was based on designs by Benchmark's founder, Allen H. Burdick (whose initials it bears). By the time of Burdick's retirement, in 2006, Benchmark didn't yet offer a power amplifier, but the company used a prototype based on his work to evaluate their new digital products, and that amp was soon developed as a commercial product; Burdick died just weeks before the AHB2, now named in his honor, was shown at the 2013 AES convention.
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Robert Baird Posted: Oct 30, 2015 1 comments
It was with great pleasure that I slapped on my recently arrived LP copy of Dave and Phil Alvin’s Lost Time, which was released on September 18. Not surprisingly, given the brothers’ roots rock leanings, the sound here also has a healthy respect for the past. Dave Alvin’s guitar is drenched in reverb throughout, the mix is balanced (which is a minor miracle given lead singer Phil Alvin’s forceful voice and presence) and all the instruments—even the piano!—have great presence in the mix.
John Atkinson Posted: Oct 29, 2015 1 comments
I first met electronics engineer John Dawson in 1979, at a British audio show. The company he'd co-founded, A&R Cambridge, had just launched the A60, a slim, elegant-looking, 40Wpc integrated amplifier costing only £99 (then equivalent to $217).

By the time I reviewed the Mk.2 version, in the October 1984 issue of Hi-Fi News & Record Review, the A60's price had risen to £199 ($248), the company was now called Arcam, and more than 22,000 A60s had been sold, making it one of the best-selling amplifiers in England. While preparing that review I had visited Arcam's factory, near the English town of Ely, where Dawson had shown me filing cabinets containing a separate manufacturing report for each and every one of those A60s.

Art Dudley Posted: Oct 29, 2015 4 comments
Please don't tell her I said this, but lately, my wife has been getting twitchy about my records. Twitchy as in: She wants me to sell them. Or at least some of them.

I have only myself to blame. For years, I have shared with her my every joy that came of finding, at a lawn sale or garage sale or on eBay or at a record store whose proprietors "had no idea what this thing is worth," some rare and valuable treasure. And therein lay another facet of my problem: As often as I would rejoice at the music I was poised to enjoy, or the sheer pleasure of acquiring something rare and well made, I would roll, pig-like, in the pleasure of the thing's potential monetary value. Old Testament–style dark clouds fill the sky outside my window even as I type this.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 28, 2015 0 comments
Canada's biggest three-day consumer audio and lots more show, TAVES, is poised to break its former attendance record when it opens in Toronto, Ontario on October 30. Newly reframed as "Canada's Ultimate Consumer Electronics Show," it opens less than a month after Denver's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, and a mere week before the start of the Westchester County version of the New York Audio Show.
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Robert Baird Posted: Oct 23, 2015 1 comments
They live to seek the little black holy grail…with the big hole in the middle.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 22, 2015 2 comments
Tuesday, October 27, 6–9pm: Huppin's (8016 North Division, Spokane) will host an evening of music, hi-fi, and technology. Manufacturer representatives from AudioQuest, Klipsch, MartinLogan, and McIntosh will be on hand to share new products, play great music, and answer questions.
Michael Fremer Posted: Oct 22, 2015 1 comments
Nuvistors—miniature, small-signal, vacuum tubes made of metal and ceramic—were introduced by RCA in 1959, at the dawn of the transistor revolution. RCA used them throughout the 1960s in its New Vista line of television sets, mostly in the tuner section. But by the early 1970s, solid-state devices had all but replaced tubes, nuvistors included (with a few notable exceptions). Ampex based the electronics of its well-regarded, late-'60s MR-70 open-reel tape deck on nuvistors, which were also used in microphone preamplifiers—in both cases for their very low noise and reputation for reliability and long life. For a time, Conrad-Johnson used them as well. While nuvistors may seem exotic today, they're hardly rare. On eBay you can find for sale hundreds if not thousands of used and new-old stock (NOS) nuvistors, as well as nuvistor sockets, without which the tubes are less easy to implement. (But they can be, and often are, hard-wired into a circuit.)


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