Though I was exhausted from a long day of walking through enormous casinos and down seemingly endless halls, I couldn’t resist the allure of flashing lights and loud dance music. I walked into the room and was startled by red-and-white-striped jump ropes spinning dizzying patterns to the music.
I heard a surprisingly engaging, well-balanced sound coming from SkullCandy’s new Navigator on-ear headphone ($99.95), a smaller, lighter version of the company’s popular Aviator ($149.95). I brought along my own review sample of the Aviator and enjoyed the attention it garnered from showgoers and exhibitors, but these headphones aren’t just about fashion. Stay tuned for reviews of the Navigator and Aviator in upcoming issues of Stereophile.
Cayin’s beautiful new A-88T Mk2 integrated amplifier ($2500) is rated to deliver 25Wpc in triode mode or 45Wpc in ultralinear and uses pairs of 6SL7, 6SN7, and KT88 tubes. Fit and finish were excellent. Sam Tellig favorably reviewed the original A-88T in our December 2005 issue.
A shot of me at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. The headphones are Skullcandy's Aviators. Photo: Robert Deutsch.
Tomorrow afternoon, from 3 to 5pm EST, I'll be joining the Reddit social news and entertainment website for an "I Am A" question-and-answer session. Participants can ask me anything pertaining to Stereophile magazine or, I suppose, life in general. I'll do my best to answer intelligently.
Each morning, before heading to the Palace Hotel, I’d stop at the Stereophile office to check on the state of our current issue and answer any important email. On Friday morning, I noticed an email whose subject line was made of a single intriguing word: cancelled.
Woo Audio’s WA7 Firefly headphone amp ($999) uses a pair of 6C45 power tubes in a single-ended, class-A design, and employs a Texas Instruments PSM5102A 32-bit DAC chip. Around back, a USB input is specified to support 32-bit/192kHz playback, while a single set of RCA jacks are switchable for use as analog inputs or D/A outs.
Coincident Speaker Technology and NYC dealer Audio Loft demonstrated a system made of Coincident’s Pure Reference Extreme loudspeakers ($26,800/pair) driven by Coincident’s 75W Dragon 211PP monoblocks ($10,999/pair), Statement Line Stage ($5499), and Statement Phono ($5999). Source was a VPI Classic 4 ($8000) with a beautiful rosewood base and HR-X 12.7 tonearm mounted with a Dynavector DRT XV-1t cartridge. Cables were Coincident’s own, and the gear was supported by a Steve Blinn Designs Monarch equipment rack.
Gibboni and the Gibbon: At Stereo Exchange’s annual Spring High-End Audio Show, Roger Gibboni (left) of Rogers High Fidelity debuted his EHF-200 Mk.II tubed integrated amplifier. Meanwhile, DeVore Fidelity’s John DeVore provided two surprising NYC debuts: the new three-way Gibbon X loudspeaker and a two-way mohawk.
Stereo Exchange’s annual Spring High-End Audio Show was held Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14, at 627 Broadway in Manhattan’s bustling SoHo neighborhood. I visited on Sunday afternoon, just as the weekend festivities were winding down, but nevertheless in time for some outstanding demonstrations.
The demos given by High Water Sound’s Jeffrey Catalano are as much about music as they are gear. Attending one is like sitting in on a music history lesson with a wonderful professor. Catalano most enjoys making direct connections between the seemingly disparate.
On this occasion, he practically shook with excitement. As he walked across the large listening room, on his way to select one of the many vinyl LPs that had been propped up against a side wall, he paused to address the crowd: “For me, what I’m about to play . . . this is just the best piece of music I’ve heard . . . in . . . years.”