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John Atkinson Posted: Apr 07, 2008 0 comments
Something I found fascinating about the Reference 3a Veena loudspeaker that Robert Deutsch writes about below is that it (almost) dispenses with a conventional crossover. The Murata supertweeter at the top is driven directly, as is the 8" woven–carbon-fiber-coned unit beneath the tweeter, which covers the range from 94Hz upward. The soft-dome tweeter is fed via a single capacitor, and the twin woofers have a simple 2nd-order low-pass filter. Tash Goka explained to me that saving money on the crossover allowed the designer to use high-quality internal components such as Bybee Quantum Purifiers, Mundorf silver capacitors, and van den Hul wiring. I agree with Robert that the sound of the Divergent system was surprisingly good.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 1 comments
Rega introduced its first low-output moving-coil cartridge, the Apheta, in 2006, but it got mixed reviews, due to a high-frequency peak at the top of the audioband. Rega showed the Apheta 2 ($1895) at CES, mounted on the vestigial RP10 turntable. The Apheta 2 has benefited from some serious production engineering and has a lower moving mass, the latter moving the treble peak higher, to 18kHz or so.
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John Atkinson Posted: Mar 31, 2010 4 comments
I had been impressed by Micromega's Airstream, the WiFi-connected DAC ($1595), when Jason Serinus and I heard it at Axpona at the beginning of March. But it was the French company's new owner, Didier Hamid, who caught showgoers' attention with the Airstream at SSI. Holding his MacBook Pro in his hand and playing songs from iTunes, Hamid dramatically demonstrated the benefits of doing away with wires. (The rest of the system included Focal 1038Be speakers driven by Micromega amplification; control of volume was provided by the iTunes level control on the laptop.)
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 15, 2004 Published: Oct 01, 2004 0 comments
"Let's face it, we recommend way too many components."
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 22, 2010 5 comments
One of my two best sounds at RMAF was from Revel's Ultima Salon2 speakers ($22,000/pair), which have been favorites of mine since Larry Greenhill's review appeared in the June 2008 issue of Stereophile. At RMAF, the Revels were being driven by Mark Levinson No.53 monoblocks ($25,000/pair), which in turn were being fed straight from the variable output of a Mark Levinson No.512 SACD player ($15,000). Cabling was all-Transparent. The superbly stable soundstaging extended beyond the physical positions of the speakers, the tonal balance was one of the most neutral I heard at the Show, and the bass was both extended and defined. I would have stayed listening for longer, but the Show only had 30 minutes more to run and I had two more rooms to visit.
John Atkinson Posted: Jan 13, 2002 0 comments
Loudspeaker lore has it that a "good big'un will always beat a good small'un." But my experience has been that the traditional wisdom is often wrong. Price for price, large speakers often have larger errors compared with minimonitors, the smaller speakers offering more rigid cabinets, better-defined stereo imaging, and, because the owner can experiment with stand height, a better chance of being optimally sited in a room. So while I was as impressed as Stereophile reviewer Kalman Rubinson with what I heard from the floorstanding, $3500/pair Revel Performa F30 (footnote 1) when we visited the Revel facility in California's San Fernando Valley in spring 2000 (footnote 2), it was the big speaker's smaller sibling, the $2000/pair Performa M20, that caught my eye—and ear.
John Atkinson Posted: Oct 12, 1998 0 comments
A dream I have had since I discovered the pleasures of music is to possess a time machine. Not a fancy one, just a small device that would allow me to escape modern music-making and drop in to hear what must have been some of the greatest musical experiences of all time. Classical music presents no problems: Off to 18th-century Leipzig on Sunday, of course, to hear J.S. Bach play the organ in church, after an early 19th-century Saturday evening spent in Vienna listening to Beethoven improvising at the pianoforte. During the week it would still be Vienna, but forward 80 years or so to hear Brahms premiere one of his chamber works after afternoon cocktails at the Wittgensteins', with perhaps a trip to England's Three Choirs Festival just before the Great War to hear the first performance of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius. And the time machine would have to have transatlantic range—I couldn't miss Mahler conducting the New York Philharmonic around the same time. But with jazz and rock—music that is reborn every time in performance to a greater extent than in classical—there is a bewildering choice of live events from which to choose.
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John Atkinson Posted: Aug 30, 2010 Published: Apr 30, 1988 0 comments
Way back in the mists of time, around 1980 to be exact, the Marantz company in Europe introduces a range of ostensibly cost-no-object solid-state electronics under the "Esotec" banner. Manufactured in Japan, but apparently designed in the USA, these ruggedly constructed components are noteworthy in that the power amplifiers are capable of being operated with the output stages running under class-A bias as well as class-B. The relatively expensive Esotec amplifiers sell in small numbers in the UK—remember that this is before the rebirth of the British high end—and pass into the history books. I am reminded of them, however, when I visit my friend Ivor Humphreys of Gramophone magazine at Christmas 1987; he is using a pair of the 30W mono class-A Marantz amplifiers to drive KEF R107s—and making very nice sounds.
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John Atkinson Posted: Mar 14, 2016 5 comments
We received the following email this afternoon. Sad, sad news. I shall remember the Richard Beers of unlimited energy and enthusiasm, pictured above at the 2013 T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach, CA. Richard made audio shows fun for all—exhibitors, press, and most all audiophiles of every persuasion. We’ll miss you, Richard.—John Atkinson


Dear Industry Friends,

My name is Maurice Jung and I am the interim President for T.H.E. Show Newport. It is with heartfelt sorrow that I must inform you of the passing of Mr. Richard Beers. . .

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John Atkinson Posted: Apr 23, 2006 0 comments
We were saddened to learn of the passing of Richard "Dick" Powers on April 5, 2006, in Fremont, CA after a short battle with cancer. Dick was just 53.

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