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Robert Deutsch Posted: Nov 02, 2016 4 comments
How often do you find that a new model of a loudspeaker or other audio component is less expensive than the one it replaces…?
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Oct 31, 2016 4 comments
The Muraudio PX2 ($US79,500/pair) was introduced at TAVES 2016, and sounded very impressive indeed…
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Oct 30, 2016 13 comments
Does marketing work? You betcha!
Robert Deutsch Posted: Oct 27, 2016 9 comments
Monitor Audio's Platinum PL300 II loudspeakers weigh 120 lbs each, and my listening room is on the second floor, but I was spared the heavy lifting. The speakers were delivered by Sheldon Ginn, Jeffrey Ginn, and Jamie Arseneau—respectively, the VP of Sales and Marketing, Account Manager, and Service Manager of Kevro International, Monitor Audio's North American distributor. We set up the PL300 IIs, ensuring that the distance from each speaker to my listening seat was the same, then optimized the toe-in: the speakers ended up almost directly facing the listener position, close to where I'd had Wilson Audio's Sabrinas.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Oct 17, 2016 1 comments
Peter Wolter, owner of a hi-fi shop in the town of Orangeville, Ontario—about an hour's drive from Toronto—in another life worked in marketing for a major pharmaceutical company. This marketing experience undoubtedly informs Wolter's approach to audio retailing . . . he recently presented a vinyl playback evening, celebrating (a little early) the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love, and, coincidentally, the renaming of his store. (The pieces of strudel in the picture came from Peter Wolter's family's bakery. And, yes, they were as delicious as they look.)
Michael Fremer Robert Deutsch Posted: Sep 13, 2016 21 comments
Synergistic's PHT ($199/set of two) is a very tiny, tweezer-ready HFT designed to placed atop a phono cartridge, and is marketed with a nod and wink: "grown in California, legal in all 50 states" (PHT is pronounced pot). Analog vets might remember Apature's line of moving-coil cartridges from the 1980s, which included the models Panama Red, Maui Blue, and Koce (which was white). Think I'm handing you a line? I've got a Koce here.
Robert Deutsch Posted: Aug 30, 2016 7 comments
To those who were into audio in the late 1980s and early '90s, the name Audio Alchemy is a familiar one. I've owned DACs and jitter-reducing devices made by Audio Alchemy and Perpetual Technologies (the first successor to the original AA) and found them to provide excellent performance at modest prices. Indeed, at the time, many in the industry felt that the Audio Alchemy products were underpriced, leaving too little room for profit, and that this led to the company's demise. The new Audio Alchemy—led by its original designer, Peter Madnick, and having on staff other employees from the old AA—is what Madnick describes as a "grown-up" version of the original company, maintaining "the brand's original ethos of superior technology and value." And the prices, while quite reasonable for the performance they seem to offer, appear high enough to allow the new AA to survive.
Robert Deutsch Posted: Apr 21, 2016 12 comments
I first encountered the work of Dave Wilson in the late 1970s. He was then a recording engineer responsible for some great-sounding records, including pianist Mark P. Wetch's Ragtime Razzmatazz (LP, Wilson Audio W-808), which quickly became one of my favorite system-demo records.

Then Wilson turned his attention to designing loudspeakers. His first model was the Wilson Audio Modular Monitor, reviewed for Stereophile by its then-publisher, Larry Archibald, in August 1983, who described it as "the most enjoyable speaker system I've listened to, and significantly valuable as a diagnostic tool." At $35,000/pair ($83,577 in today's dollars), the WAMM may have been the most expensive speaker then on the market.

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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 05, 2016 6 comments
Was a sunny day. Not a cloud was in the sky. (With thanks to Paul Simon.) A good day for a drive. But where? "Is there some audio store you haven't been to for some time that you'd like to visit?" (My wife is well-acquainted with my interests.)

But of course! Aardvark Boutique Audio, in Orangeville, Ontario.

Robert Deutsch Posted: Feb 09, 2016 5 comments
For some time now, I've been thinking that my record player was due for an upgrade. My Linn LP12 turntable and Ittok LVII tonearm are about 25 years old, and my AudioQuest AQ7000nsx cartridge is going on 15. During that time, my listening has become increasingly dominated by CDs, but I am not yet ready to give up on LPs. Updating my LP12—for which I have Linn's Lingo power supply but no other upgrades—would involve installing the Keel subchassis, for $3250—for which price I could get another maker's new, current-design turntable and still have the LP12 to sell. The Linn Ittok can't be upgraded, and its replacement, the Ekos SE, costs $4950—out of my range. AudioQuest no longer makes cartridges. Examining my AQ7000nsx's stylus under a microscope showed no visible wear, and there was no obvious audible problem that could be traced to the cartridge's suspension, but age must be having some sort of effect. Taking all these factors into account, I decided to replace my entire phono front end.

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