Recording of the Month: Vivaldi: L'Estro Armonico

Vivaldi: L'Estro Armonico: 12 Concertos for Violins, Op.3
Rachel Podger, Bojan Cicic, Johannes Pramsohler, violin; Brecon Baroque, Rachel Podger
Channel Classics CCS SA 36515 (2 SACD/CDs). 2015. Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, prod.; Jared Sacks, eng.; Ernst Coutinho, asst. eng. DDD. TT: 96:54
Performance *****
Sonics *****

It's no big secret that classical music is in trouble. At a time when selling a few hundred CDs will land you squarely in the upper reaches of the classical music chart, and the venerable New York Philharmonic faces an unsettled future in terms of its endowment, future conductor and hall renovation, many say that what the genre most lacks are genuine shining stars. It's been a long time since maestros like Leonard Bernstein or Georg Solti trod the boards, or a brilliant instrumentalist like Jacqueline du Pré became a celebrity and attracted the attention of a larger public that then might actually buy a record or attend a concert. In 2015, building an audience is classical music's central dilemma—so having a dominant player like baroque violinist Rachel Podger is a much-needed development. It's a sign of our fragmented times that a baroque violinist, rather than one who concentrates on the classical and romantic repertoire, has now become a leading light in the classical world.

Tue, 06/23/2015
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Bricasti & Aurender in Illinois This Weekend

This is the front end of the system Essential Audio of Barrington, IL be using on Saturday June 27 and Sunday, June 28, 2015 to demonstrate Bricasti Design's M1 DAC (top right) and M28 monoblock amplifiers. Guest of honor will be Bricasti Design president Brian Zolner, who will be demonstrating and talking about his products. Essential Audio is the first US dealer to have the new Aurender N10 music server (top left), which will be on demonstration with the Bricasti components.
Tue, 06/23/2015
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Acoustic Sounds' Major Vinyl Expansion

Just three months after buying 13 vintage record presses, Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds (above) has purchased The Mastering Lab (TML), the legendary facility of Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer, Doug Sax, who died of cancer on April 2 at the age of 78...
Sun, 06/21/2015
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Palisades

Being a Scene means that people will come no matter who or what is onstage, just to be a part of the…Scene.
Fri, 06/19/2015
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Rip It Up

His screams, rapid fire delivery, and end-of-line trills in tracks like “Lucille,” “Jenny Jenny” and of course, “Tutti Frutti,” every one recorded with an overloaded microphone, are impassioned in the extreme.
Fri, 06/19/2015
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Ran Blake & Singers

Ran Blake may be the most unjustly obscure jazz pianist out there, so it's worth noting—shouting, even—that he has three new albums that rank in the top tier of his career: Cocktails at Dusk (Impulse!), The Road Keeps Winding (Red Piano), and Kitano Noir (Sunnyside).
Fri, 06/19/2015
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KEF Reference Series 103/4 loudspeaker Measurements

Thu, 06/18/2015
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COMMENTS
kensargent's picture

I think what you mean is something other than that the woofers in the KEF 103/4 operate IN phase. For there to be any pressure generated in the central chamber, and thereby generation of any velocity at the port, the drivers must be OUT of phase, both electrically and mechanically. That is to say that as one of them moves away from its' frame, the other moves toward its' frame. As a result, the pressure in the central chamber is increased in one half of a cycle, and decreased in the other half of a cycle. This is the actual arrangement that would create the situation you describe: when the pressure is at maximum in the central cavity, it will be at minimum in the opposing cavities at the ends of the enclosure.

The rod connects the woofers' frames, surely, as this arrangement would, in fact, reduce vibration as the manufacturer states, but only if the cones were moving opposite each other. If the woofers were moving in phase, the rod would serve only to equalize, or average, the vibration, but not reduce it.

There are some arrangements in professional loudspeakers that put the woofers out of phase both mechanically and electrically, on an ordinary baffle, with one facing into the cabinet (front-loaded) and one facing out (rear-loaded.) In this arrangement, the advantage is said to be a cancellation of nonlinearities caused by the woofers' suspension, with the result reportedly being measurably lower distortion.

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KEF Reference Series 103/4 loudspeaker Specifications

Thu, 06/18/2015
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COMMENTS
kensargent's picture

I think what you mean is something other than that the woofers in the KEF 103/4 operate IN phase. For there to be any pressure generated in the central chamber, and thereby generation of any velocity at the port, the drivers must be OUT of phase, both electrically and mechanically. That is to say that as one of them moves away from its' frame, the other moves toward its' frame. As a result, the pressure in the central chamber is increased in one half of a cycle, and decreased in the other half of a cycle. This is the actual arrangement that would create the situation you describe: when the pressure is at maximum in the central cavity, it will be at minimum in the opposing cavities at the ends of the enclosure.

The rod connects the woofers' frames, surely, as this arrangement would, in fact, reduce vibration as the manufacturer states, but only if the cones were moving opposite each other. If the woofers were moving in phase, the rod would serve only to equalize, or average, the vibration, but not reduce it.

There are some arrangements in professional loudspeakers that put the woofers out of phase both mechanically and electrically, on an ordinary baffle, with one facing into the cabinet (front-loaded) and one facing out (rear-loaded.) In this arrangement, the advantage is said to be a cancellation of nonlinearities caused by the woofers' suspension, with the result reportedly being measurably lower distortion.

Pages

KEF Reference Series 103/4 loudspeaker Equipment

Thu, 06/18/2015
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COMMENTS
kensargent's picture

I think what you mean is something other than that the woofers in the KEF 103/4 operate IN phase. For there to be any pressure generated in the central chamber, and thereby generation of any velocity at the port, the drivers must be OUT of phase, both electrically and mechanically. That is to say that as one of them moves away from its' frame, the other moves toward its' frame. As a result, the pressure in the central chamber is increased in one half of a cycle, and decreased in the other half of a cycle. This is the actual arrangement that would create the situation you describe: when the pressure is at maximum in the central cavity, it will be at minimum in the opposing cavities at the ends of the enclosure.

The rod connects the woofers' frames, surely, as this arrangement would, in fact, reduce vibration as the manufacturer states, but only if the cones were moving opposite each other. If the woofers were moving in phase, the rod would serve only to equalize, or average, the vibration, but not reduce it.

There are some arrangements in professional loudspeakers that put the woofers out of phase both mechanically and electrically, on an ordinary baffle, with one facing into the cabinet (front-loaded) and one facing out (rear-loaded.) In this arrangement, the advantage is said to be a cancellation of nonlinearities caused by the woofers' suspension, with the result reportedly being measurably lower distortion.

Pages

KEF Reference Series 103/4 loudspeaker

By now most readers will be familiar with the relatively new tuned-cavity method of low-frequency loading. Such designs have popped up all over the place of late, especially in those little satellite/woofer systems, but KEF can rightly lay claim to generating the design's theoretical basis, as JA described in his review of the KEF R107/2 loudspeaker in Vol.14 No.5 (May 1991). Essentially, the technique consists of loading the rear of a woofer in a conventional fashion—usually a sealed box—but also loading the front of the driver into another enclosure, ducted to the outside. Basically, the design acts as a bandpass filter with its response centered on the port-tuning frequency. The rolloff is smooth and rapid on either side of this frequency, providing a natural low-pass characteristic but thereby virtually mandating a three-way system. If properly designed, this configuration offers a number of theoretical advantages. The radiating element is actually the air in the port, which is low in mass. Low distortion is possible, as is relatively high sensitivity.
Mon, 06/01/1992
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