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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
In one of three NYAS rooms sponsored by the Manhattan dealer Rhapsody Music & Cinema, a pair of Vivid G3 Giya loudspeakers ($40,000/pair) sounded colorful, spacious, and well-textured with a pair of mono amps ($15,000) and a line-level preamp ($10,000) from the new Dutch company Mola Mola. (The company’s chief designer, late of Philips BV, is said to be the originator of “universal Class-D.”) Digital files supplied by Vivid’s and Mola Mola’s distributor, the reliable Philip O’Hanlon—he never fails to make my Top Five list of people who bring the best music to the show—were played on Luxman’s DSD-friendly DA06 converter ($6000).
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 26, 2013 0 comments
Audio Note has long been a believer in high-torque turntables, having brought to market a number of belt-drive designs that use multiple motors (à la the original Voyd). One of the less expensive such models in their line, the twin-motor TT Two ($3500), has now been upgraded, with a plinth made from the same veneered Russian-birch plywood as the company's well-regarded loudspeakers. (The sample here is in Rosewood.) And external power supply ($2400) is also available, either at the time of initial purchase or as a subsequent upgrade, providing greater electronic stability and easy speed selection. Seen with the TT Two are the Arm Three V2 captured-unipivot tonearm ($2000) and an Audio Note Io-I moving-coil cartridge ($4100)—which, for SSI, drove an S4L silver-wired transformer ($6200).
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Art Dudley Posted: Nov 07, 2015 3 comments
There are shows that raise our expectations and there are shows from which greatness is not expected. And after October 26, when the organizers of the New York Audio Show, taking place at the Rye Hilton in Westchester County this weekend, announced that they were capping the number of exhibitors at 30—imagine Mike Huckabee or Hillary Clinton announcing a limit on corporate donations—this event slipped into the latter. No amount of positive, industry-healthy attitude on the part of myself or anyone else can shiny that up.

And yet . . .

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Art Dudley Posted: Nov 10, 2015 0 comments
The word flagship takes on new meaning when the product in question is literally the size of a small boat; so it is with MartinLogan's 75"-tall, 385lb Neolith loudspeaker ($79,995/pair), which combines electrostatic and dynamic transducers in a high-tech phenolic frame. Appropriately enough, the Neolith's appearance at the Rye Brook Hilton took place in one of the two largest rooms reserved for the New York show. (One day after the show, I'm still not sure if those are sound-enhancing accessories, objets d'art, or dinner plates on the wall behind the Neoliths: There exist some questions that even the bravest reviewers are too squeamish to ask.)
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Art Dudley Posted: Nov 08, 2015 5 comments
We make our beginnings in the manner of our endings; so it was on Saturday morning, when I headed back to the Rye Brook Hilton's Maple Room, where Friday evening Michael Lavorgna, Steve Guttenberg, and I had spun ripping yarns of shipping labels and galley proofs on the high seas of audio reviewing. (Yarr.) I was there to hear a presentation called Great Sound: Beyond the Gear: Life and Technology: A Compromise—a title with more colons than a lower-GI specialist sees in a week!—by an audio engineer/designer/producer/acoustical consultant named Stuart Allyn. I was running a minute or two late, and when I opened the door to the Maple Room I saw: a capacity crowd. Wow!

And that set the tone for the rest of the day...

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Art Dudley Posted: Nov 09, 2015 18 comments
The day after I met manufacturer/industrial artist David Stanavich, it dawned on me why I was so taken with his Waxrax record racks: These sturdy, stylish, steel-and-aluminum structures resemble the shelving in my elementary school's library, ca 1960. If I could, I'd fill my home with multiples of the Waxrax LP-V3 tower seen here (LP capacity: 550). But at approximately $4000 per unit, depending on finish and options, this Brooklyn-built rack is too pricey. (To store 550 LPs for $4k works out to over $7 per record—which is more than many records themselves are worth.)
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 13, 2012 0 comments
The New York Audio and AV show (wait a minute: Doesn’t the A in AV already stand for Audio?) takes place at the famed Waldorf=Astoria from 3:00pm to 8:00pm today, from 10:00am to 6:00pm Saturday, and from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Sunday). Yesterday I was weary from traveling (I arrived here by train from Philadelphia), so it wasn’t until this morning that I noticed the carpet pattern outside the door of my room: a William Morris-style bunny. I’m clearly in the right place.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 01, 2014 1 comments
I have experienced my first cable demo in French. The very animated and enthusiastic Bruno Delorimier conducted a Nordost interconnect comparison for an appreciative audience of Quebec audiophiles, using a pair of Dynaudio Confidence C1 loudspeakers ($8500/pair, plus $600 for stands), and all SimAudio Moon electronics. Going from Nordost's Blue Heaven ($350/1 meter pair) to their monofilament-technology Heimdall (ca $800/1 meter pair), the differences in rhythmic nuance and sheer touch—in favor of the Heimdall—were apparent, regardless of language.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 28, 2014 0 comments
I’ve reported from Salon Son et Image almost every year since joining Stereophile in 2003, and as much as I enjoy the show itself, my favorite part remains the evening before the opening day. That’s when, in accordance with an informal tradition, members of the industry and the press gather together at the Hilton Bonaventure’s hotel bar—which also happens to serve the best food of any hotel bar in my experience—to shake the dust of the town from our boots, as it were. Pictured here, from left to right, are Peter McGrath (Wilson Audio), Mike Manousselis (Dynaudio), Lionel Goodfield (Simaudio), Keith Pray (publisher, Stereophile), Philip O’Hanlon (On a Higher Note), and Costa Koulisakis (Simaudio).
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 24, 2012 0 comments
New at SSI was Rethm's first foray into amplifier design: a 16Wpc single-ended integrated amp called the Gaanam ($7750), built around the Russian 6C33C tube and featuring an outboard power supply, 6922-based preamp stage, and an all-transformer driver stage. Using a Lector CD player and Rethm's own all-silver speaker cable ($1250 for an 8' pair), the combination of Maarga speakers and Gaanam amp sounded spacious, clean, well textured, and very tactile, with fine bass extension and bass color; my impression was that the consistently large crowd of listeners in this room agreed.


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