Small and Great
Todd Garfinkle of MA Recordings (right) has built an enviable reputation as one of the finest producers of quality audiophile recordings on the market. The repertoire is remarkably diverse. From performances of Bach organ music and the Chinese GuZheng to such one-of-a-kind gems as Buenos Aires Madrigal and the fabulous Será Una Noch albums, MA Recordings are as notable for their diversity of instrumentation and repertoire as their full range sound.
Now Garfinkle has pushed the limits of audiophilia with his first hi-res issues. In addition to Será Una Noche as a 96kHz WAV file DVD-ROM (with four bonus 2.8MHz DSD files) and Será Una Noche: La Segunda as a 176.4 kHz WAV file DVD-ROM, MA. Recordings' has just released Opening, a special double-disc set of Swedish jazz by Mathias Landaeus, Palle Danielsson, and Jon Fält ($40). One of the discs is a One Point stereo CD; the other is a high-res DVD-ROM that contains 176.4kHz WAV files and 88.2kHz FLAC files, as well as the cover image and liner notes. The tracks were recorded on a 5.6MHz master recorder.
Equally exciting was the sound produced by diminutive Davone Rithm speakers ($5595/pair). These attractive babies' low end sounds as if it extends beyond their published frequency range of 40Hz. And the highs extend to 22kHz. Designer Chris Sommovigo (left), who years ago achieved fame for his excellent Illuminati digital cable, had as his goal to bring great sound to "normal people's lives, people who care about how their speakers look."
Chris is also preparing to release a new line of Tombo cables at the 2010 CES specifically designed for SE triode playback. The prototypes I heard, powered by a commercially unavailable SE amp, delivered astoundingly full-range sound without the rolled-off highs and lows and over-emphasized, monochromatic midrange I have come to expect from my SE triode set-ups.
It's great to see MA Recordings emerge from the vendor area to a room of its own. To quote Chris: "I feel Todd's recordings should be widely used to demo equipment because they're recorded in such a pure way." I'll second that motion.