"No doubt about it—Linn's top-of-the-line Komri loudspeaker is a queer-lookin' duck," says Jonathan Scull as he set up a pair in his listening lair. The claimed frequency response for the Komri extends out to 40kHz. "Why even bother going out that high, where even the most beautiful of women cannot hear?" J-10 explains why.
In his review of the SimAudio Moon P-5 preamplifier and W-5 power amplifier, Kal Rubinson wrote, "something about their aesthetics appealed to me: Canadian ruggedness coupled with a decidedly French panache. I remember that those attributes also characterized the demo's sound, although I can't recall the speakers or the sources involved. At succeeding shows, it gradually dawned on me that the Moon components were the fixed elements in a succession of impressive demos."
Sure, we review a lot of big-bucks equipment in Stereophile, but readers constantly remind us to try the cheaper stuff as well. John Atkinson does exactly that in his review of the Acoustic Energy Aegis One loudspeaker. As JA puts it, "Acoustic Energy has introduced the Aegis One; its price is one-tenth that of the AE1 in its current, Signature guise. Does the Aegis One live up to what its heritage promises? I asked the company's US distributor, Audiophile Systems, to send me a pair so I could find out."
Amplifier of the year? We'll have to wait until the votes are tallied in the December issue, but Paul Bolin reviews the Halcro dm58 monoblock power amplifier and reveals what the fuss is all about. As Bolin notes, "the sheer audacity of Halcro's claims generated much curiosity and interest."
Robert Deutsch says, "There is something special about SETs: a kind of midrange magic, a harmonic rightness that tends to elude other amplifier designs." But how to get more power from a single-ended triode design? In his review of the Air Tight ATM-211 monoblock power amplifier RD discovers one answer.
Last week's Vote! question about vibration control garnered one of the most interesting groups of comments from readers so far. Everything from bicycle tires to bubble wrap is being employed in audiophile homes around the world in an attempt to subdue the dreaded curse of the shakes.
When it comes to power, VTL's Luke Manley is definitely in the "more is better" camp. But when Lonnie Brownell sat down to listen to the VTL ST-85 tube power amplifier, he elected to start with a single amp and go for more power later. Lonnie writes: "How's about I go with just one amplifier for a while? After all, that's what most people would buy, at least at first. Then I can drop in another one and see what that does." But in the end, was one enough? Brownell tells all.
Back in 1985, J. Gordon Holt wrote: "It seems, these days, that many of us audiophiles have become so preoccupied with the minutiae of sound reproduction that we haven't even noticed that it doesn't sound like music any more." He was talking about the obsession with soundstaging and detail at the expense of musical accuracy. In "Getting the Notes Right (Midrange Madness)," he renders his lesson in classic JGH style, observing that "I have played on this old saw in these pages for so many years that it has turned into a dead sawhorse, but somehow the message never seems to get through. There should be no harm done by beating it into the ground a little farther."
As Paul Messenger states in his 2000 review of the Linn Arkiv B phono cartridge, "This Stereophile review is long overdue. Furthermore, this review addresses a complaint often directed against reviews and reviewers: that we rarely spend enough time with a component to gain a properly balanced, long-term perspective."
Chip Stern notes that, "as often as not, it ain't the heat—it's the stupidity. When confronted by the smattering of self-referential dilettantes, acrimonious Internut wannabes, and obsessive-compulsive types who suck the air out of our aural fun-house, I find myself overcome with the desire to program my phaser for Clip." And fire away he does in "Snobs, Slobs, & Marley's Ghost," added to the Archives this week.
Can Jah Atkinson believe his ears? The PS Audio Power Plant P300 touched an audio nerve with JA, who interviewed the designer, Paul McGowan: High-End Survivor, for the May 2000 Stereophile. As a bonus, we include JA's follow-up to Robert Deutsch's review of the P300, also from the May issue.
While doing research for his analysis of the Totem Acoustic Forest loudspeaker, Larry Greenhill uncovered a legacy of great reviews for the company's previous products each ending with a final "but . . ." comment. But . . . does Greenhill discover any killer "buts" with the Forest? He explains in detail.
More from the August issue: Larry Greenhill updates his system with the Mark Levinson No.436 monoblock power amplifier. LG says, "I was concerned when [Mark Levinson] discontinued its entire 300 series of dual-mono amplifiers, but the company reassured me that they had a suitable replacement in the No. 436." Greenhill decides for himself.
A comprehensive set of reviews awaits those interested in learning everything there is to know about the legendary Quad ESL-63 loudspeaker. Writers checking in with analysis, background, and opinion include J. Gordon Holt, Anthony H. Cordesman, Sam Tellig, Martin Colloms, Larry Greenhill, and John Atkinson.
Dick Olsher and various other writers take a spin with the Apogee Stage loudspeaker, whose "resemblance to the rest of the Apogee family is unmistakable" in spite of its small size. But the real story is that, "surprisingly, the sound quality does not take a back seat to its more expensive relatives."