Steve Coleman, Synovial Joints

Two years ago, I hailed Steve Coleman’s Functional Arrhythmias as a career breakthrough. His new CD, Synovial Joints (on the Pi Recordings label), is his masterpiece—a thrilling kaleidoscope, densely polyrhythmic, but also brisk and airy: music for serious listening as well as dancing in your head and on your feet.
Sun, 05/03/2015
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Bow to the Temples of Syrinx

Deep into what Geddy Lee now calls their “kimono period,” the band wrote and recorded, 2112, ("Twenty One Twelve") a record that makes them incredibly pretentious dorks or prog rock gods (in kimonos).
Fri, 05/01/2015
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Singer/Songwriters: The Formative Years

While the mass ogling was in full swing and the sickly sweet aroma of jittery, prepubescent testosterone hung heavy in the classroom, I was equally interested in Miss Wagner’s musical selections.
Fri, 05/01/2015
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Bricasti Design M28 monoblock power amplifier Measurements

Fri, 05/01/2015
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COMMENTS
c1ferrari's picture

on some fora -- it's been reported that Stereophile panned the M28...that is not my inference after reading the review proper.

iosiP's picture

...or did the Bricasti sound just like the old crop of Mark Levinson gear?
Where did I hear the slightly subdued treble, the overall dark sound and the longish and somewhat less controlled bass? Well in older ML designs, of course!
While some may love it and some may like to go back to it, I certainly prefer the sound of the new ML gear... so sorry for ML (the man) but enthusiastic about ML (the company).

bpw's picture

The print magazine has the manufacturer's response, which is interesting and relevant although not included above. Since it has been posted on some audio forum websites it's probably fair to post a link to it.

John Atkinson's picture
bpw wrote:
The print magazine has the manufacturer's response, which is interesting and relevant although not included above.

I have added it to this Web reprint.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

bpw's picture

Thank you, John.

It's even handed and honorable of you to do so.

dmusoke's picture

Though I've never heard or listened to the M28, I have to agree with the manufacturer's response and logic. The M28 has much lower distortion and precise reproduction of high frequency signals like the 10kHz square wave. Michael's reference system has much higher distortion and slower in its electrical transient response so maybe that's what he's used to and prefers obviously. Nothing wrong with that but to slam the M28 as of "hi-fi" quality based on its measured performance is definitely wrong.

RaimondAudio's picture

".....darTZeel NHB-18NS preamplifier, I didn't feel the M28s' performance would be in any way compromised...." . Maybe you listening the darTZeel character(distortions), not the M28's.

Pages

Bricasti Design M28 monoblock power amplifier Associated Equipment

Fri, 05/01/2015
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COMMENTS
c1ferrari's picture

on some fora -- it's been reported that Stereophile panned the M28...that is not my inference after reading the review proper.

iosiP's picture

...or did the Bricasti sound just like the old crop of Mark Levinson gear?
Where did I hear the slightly subdued treble, the overall dark sound and the longish and somewhat less controlled bass? Well in older ML designs, of course!
While some may love it and some may like to go back to it, I certainly prefer the sound of the new ML gear... so sorry for ML (the man) but enthusiastic about ML (the company).

bpw's picture

The print magazine has the manufacturer's response, which is interesting and relevant although not included above. Since it has been posted on some audio forum websites it's probably fair to post a link to it.

John Atkinson's picture
bpw wrote:
The print magazine has the manufacturer's response, which is interesting and relevant although not included above.

I have added it to this Web reprint.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

bpw's picture

Thank you, John.

It's even handed and honorable of you to do so.

dmusoke's picture

Though I've never heard or listened to the M28, I have to agree with the manufacturer's response and logic. The M28 has much lower distortion and precise reproduction of high frequency signals like the 10kHz square wave. Michael's reference system has much higher distortion and slower in its electrical transient response so maybe that's what he's used to and prefers obviously. Nothing wrong with that but to slam the M28 as of "hi-fi" quality based on its measured performance is definitely wrong.

RaimondAudio's picture

".....darTZeel NHB-18NS preamplifier, I didn't feel the M28s' performance would be in any way compromised...." . Maybe you listening the darTZeel character(distortions), not the M28's.

Pages

Bricasti Design M28 monoblock power amplifier Specifications

Fri, 05/01/2015
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COMMENTS
c1ferrari's picture

on some fora -- it's been reported that Stereophile panned the M28...that is not my inference after reading the review proper.

iosiP's picture

...or did the Bricasti sound just like the old crop of Mark Levinson gear?
Where did I hear the slightly subdued treble, the overall dark sound and the longish and somewhat less controlled bass? Well in older ML designs, of course!
While some may love it and some may like to go back to it, I certainly prefer the sound of the new ML gear... so sorry for ML (the man) but enthusiastic about ML (the company).

bpw's picture

The print magazine has the manufacturer's response, which is interesting and relevant although not included above. Since it has been posted on some audio forum websites it's probably fair to post a link to it.

John Atkinson's picture
bpw wrote:
The print magazine has the manufacturer's response, which is interesting and relevant although not included above.

I have added it to this Web reprint.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

bpw's picture

Thank you, John.

It's even handed and honorable of you to do so.

dmusoke's picture

Though I've never heard or listened to the M28, I have to agree with the manufacturer's response and logic. The M28 has much lower distortion and precise reproduction of high frequency signals like the 10kHz square wave. Michael's reference system has much higher distortion and slower in its electrical transient response so maybe that's what he's used to and prefers obviously. Nothing wrong with that but to slam the M28 as of "hi-fi" quality based on its measured performance is definitely wrong.

RaimondAudio's picture

".....darTZeel NHB-18NS preamplifier, I didn't feel the M28s' performance would be in any way compromised...." . Maybe you listening the darTZeel character(distortions), not the M28's.

Pages

Bricasti Design M28 monoblock power amplifier Page 2

Fri, 05/01/2015
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COMMENTS
c1ferrari's picture

on some fora -- it's been reported that Stereophile panned the M28...that is not my inference after reading the review proper.

iosiP's picture

...or did the Bricasti sound just like the old crop of Mark Levinson gear?
Where did I hear the slightly subdued treble, the overall dark sound and the longish and somewhat less controlled bass? Well in older ML designs, of course!
While some may love it and some may like to go back to it, I certainly prefer the sound of the new ML gear... so sorry for ML (the man) but enthusiastic about ML (the company).

bpw's picture

The print magazine has the manufacturer's response, which is interesting and relevant although not included above. Since it has been posted on some audio forum websites it's probably fair to post a link to it.

John Atkinson's picture
bpw wrote:
The print magazine has the manufacturer's response, which is interesting and relevant although not included above.

I have added it to this Web reprint.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

bpw's picture

Thank you, John.

It's even handed and honorable of you to do so.

dmusoke's picture

Though I've never heard or listened to the M28, I have to agree with the manufacturer's response and logic. The M28 has much lower distortion and precise reproduction of high frequency signals like the 10kHz square wave. Michael's reference system has much higher distortion and slower in its electrical transient response so maybe that's what he's used to and prefers obviously. Nothing wrong with that but to slam the M28 as of "hi-fi" quality based on its measured performance is definitely wrong.

RaimondAudio's picture

".....darTZeel NHB-18NS preamplifier, I didn't feel the M28s' performance would be in any way compromised...." . Maybe you listening the darTZeel character(distortions), not the M28's.

Pages

Bricasti Design M28 monoblock power amplifier

Google Bricasti and all that comes up are sites relating to Bricasti Design products. The name must be fanciful—it sounds Italian, but cofounders Brian Zolner and Casey Dowdell most likely are not, and the company's headquarters are not in Milan or Turin but in Massachusetts.

While its name might be whimsical, nothing else about Bricasti is. As John Marks reported in his review of Bricasti's M1 DAC in the August 2011 issue, both founders previously worked at Lexicon: Dowdell as a DSP-software engineer, Zolner as international sales manager. Bricasti develops its products in conjunction with Aeyee Labs, formed by a group of ex-employees of Madrigal Audio Laboratories and based in New Haven, Connecticut.

Fri, 05/01/2015
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Audio Streams #6 Page 2

Thu, 04/30/2015
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COMMENTS
philipjohnwright's picture

Michael

Being able to download Apps presumably means you can also download music within the Tidal App for offline listening? If so that gives it a distinct advantage over the Pono et al

I have a small Android tablet in the car and have given up transferring music onto it, it's easier just to download it from Tidal.

(For Tidal read whichever streaming service you use that has offline downloads)

Rgds, Phil

michaelavorgna's picture

You are absolutely correct and this is a very important feature that I should have covered in my review. Especially seeing as I use Tidal darn near every day.

Thanks for pointing this out. I also should have mentioned the Sony's LDAC capabilities which allow you stream Hi-Res via Bluetooth to an LDAC-enabled receiver.

Tidal-Dave's picture

I've been listening all morning and it sounds awesome. It also has the offline ability which is important if you're outside of wifi land. Headed out now to get a BIG SD card.

dalethorn's picture

I don't think I'll buy the Sony player, but I did locate a 2011 "remastered import" Ellington CD, so looking forward to that. I've found over time that buying music featured in Stereophile reviews, both gear reviews and music reviews, has been a better way to go with less time wasted. BTW, I checked HDTracks first for the Ellington album - it's not there!

Osgood Crinkly III's picture

$1200 for an iPod substitute that doesn't even decode wav?

Krang's picture

The device itself looks to me more like an experiment to find a new niche in this busy market. The price tag is a complete overkill, you can just buy an iPhone 6 for that.

Shahram's picture

Thank you for the great review. But there was no mention of the excellent Ibasso DX90 as an alternative! At a 1/3 of the cost it also functions as a USB DAC and has an optical output so you can use the fancy DAC in a hifi system. Granted the interface doesn't hold a candle to the Android OS in the Sony.

omar's picture

For some reason Tidal does not sound better than Apple's stream. Any idea of why?

I listen to Tidal most of the time because I like the convience of sampling new music and listening to old music for a monthly fee instead of purchasing the music for thousands of dollars.

Still, I am neurotic enough to notice that the music is homogenzed via the Tidal selections. I'.e, tonal accuracy is not as true as it is streaming music through Apple's itunes.

Tidal is louder but Apple has better quality sound.

Why? Or have you not noticed?
Omar

Pages

Music in the Round #72 Page 2

Thu, 04/30/2015
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COMMENTS
ssimon's picture

Dear Kal

I confess I've posted this to a forum, but given your dedication to "music in the round" and your commitment to high end and music, I was hoping I might be able to get your take on a serious dilemma.

I'm facing a situation where I can't have both a 2 channel system and a separate multichannel rig but have to have a multichannel rig that will sound at least somewhat as good as my 2 channel set up (Maggie's, McIntosh tube preamp, Bryston amp plus benchmark DAC and Sony SACD player). I suppose that's not super high end or anything, but I like the way it sounds. My A/V rig consists basically of a big Integra integrated and an Oppo universal player.
My question is what combination of pre/pro and multichannel amp -- or integrated A/V amp -- would be good enough to do double duty as both stereo HIFICRITIC rig and home theater setup?
there is one thing I forgot to mention-- I'm not rich!
many thanks for advice on this dilemma.

Regards

S

Kal Rubinson's picture

A better place for this would be on the forum. What you need is a preamp/processor with the ability for pure analog pass-through (stereo and multichannel) as well as the usual digital in/outs. Obviously, the McIntosh prepros would work and, I understand, a new one is in gestation now. The Emotiva XMC-1 offers every option you might need/want and comes with a 30day return offer. It would be work a try-out. Above that, look at the Marantz AV8802 (or 8801) or the NAD M17. Finally, see if you can find a clean used Bryston SP3.

Amps are easy.

ssimon's picture

You're right -- I was stumped for a way to reach out to you so I deployed a somewhat uncool expedient, for which I apologize.
But while I have you on the line, could I ask a somewhat idiotic followup?
By pure analogue pass through, you mean I'd have two preamps: (a) a two-channel audio optimized preamp that would pass the signal straight through (b) a normal A/V pre/pro?
Thanks, S

Kal Rubinson's picture

No. What I meant was that you could pass analog audio, stereo or multichannel, through the prepro without without digitizing it but with a volume control.

You could, of course, do the other way, keeping the Mac for stereo and using one of its stereo inputs for the LF/RF outputs of the prepro. But that only works if the analog preamp has a fixed volume setting and/or a defined pass-through function.

ssimon's picture

OK... I got it. Much less complicated than I'd feared. Linking the Mac to the pre/pro along the lines of option (2) sounds rather cumbersome, although it would retain the imposing appearance of the Mac in the rack. Thanks for this... I'll investigate your specific component suggestions and be on the lookout for the new Emotiva pre/pro as well.
Best
S

Kal Rubinson's picture

Emotiva in July issue.

ssimon's picture

I'm eager to see your review. Timing is perfect. Thanks, S

Audiofan131's picture

I'm looking to replace my current pre/pro and amp. I'm most interested in a system that will provide the best sound for music from a turntable and music files on a PC through a DAC. The other bells and whistles really don't interest me and I'm willing to fight through a less than friendly user interface to configure the pre/pre. From my point of view it's all about the sound from playing music. I believe if it's a quality product it will adequately take care of the 5 channels associated with movies. It appears that both Krell and Classe have built products with these criteria in their design.

About a year ago you reviewed, quite favorably, the Krell Foundation pre/pro. Would it be possible for you to compare, from a sound quality perspective only, the Krell and the Classe pre/pros? Do you favor one over the other in regards to reproducing music?

Audiofan131's picture

Was my request for your preference regarding stereo sound between the Classe and Krell pre/pro inappropriate? Looking at other posts you normally respond very quickly, sometimes within minutes.

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