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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 17, 2015 1 comments
Mexico's most distinguished audio manufacturer, Margules Audio, demmed a system at CAS6 headlined by the Margules U280-SC 25th-Anniversary, stereo tube amplifier ($5399). The midrange was warm and wonderful—just what the doctor ordered, in fact. Despite a little brightness on top, and a bit of shallowness on bottom, the set-up was supremely musical and capable of conveying joyful, delicate beauty with panache. That, my friends, means a whole lot in my book.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 17, 2015 2 comments
I wish I could tell you about the Linn system in this room, but both times I tried to enter, Steven Lester was in the middle of a long rap. Lester's video components always provide some of the most fun and unexpected treats at a show, and usually result in packed rooms. That was certainly the case the first time I came by.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 16, 2015 14 comments
"Do you two have a bodyguard?" I asked Elac speaker designer Andrew Jones (right) and equally legendary Audio Alchemy electronics designer Peter Madnick (left) upon hearing the tremendous sound pouring forth from their bargain system ($5500 including custom-made music server and cabling). "If you don't, you'd be wise to consider hiring one. Given the virtually illegal amount of warmth, bass, and full-range sound you're getting from those tiny little speakers and that sub, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one high-priced manufacturer is tempted to do you in, lest you give the lie to the assertion that higher prices equate with better sound."
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 15, 2015 2 comments
On paper, the 6th annual California Audio Show, taking place this weekend at the Westin SFO in Millbrae, CA just south of San Francisco, qualifies as the smallest consumer audio show in the United States. But you wouldn't have known it from the lines at the registration table at 10:30am on opening day. The place looked packed. And the reality was, given 29 active exhibit rooms, some with multiple systems, plus other active exhibits in the lobby, Friday's turnout felt perfect.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 15, 2015 19 comments
One of the highlights of Day One at CAS was the room put together by Bricasti. The opening track in Brian Zolner of Bricasti's sensational salvo may have been drawn from, God help us, the soundtrack to Alien 3, but the midrange was gorgeous, and the dynamic range immense. Simply immense. This Bricasti and friends system exhibited the largest dynamic range sweeps of any system I recall hearing in a standard-size hotel room.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 11, 2015 2 comments
There's a new audiophile-quality vinyl reissue endeavor on the scene: Intervention Records (IR). Dedicated to reissuing recordings that are "entirely new to the vinyl reissue market, particularly titles that never saw a vinyl release at all or only saw very limited release," Intervention Records' titles are sourced from the best available sources, primarily analog master tapes, and are mastered in the analog domain by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 10, 2015 2 comments
The sixth annual California Audio Show kicks off this Friday, August 14, 10am, at the Westin Hotel in Millbrae. In a lovely location facing the water and within walking distance of several restaurants, audiophiles and the equally curious will enjoy sound in 29 active exhibit rooms, a "Headmasters" room with 7 exhibits, and 5 more exhibits in the hallway...
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 09, 2015 60 comments
Alon Wolf with the Magico M Project speakers. All photos: Jason Victor Serinus

Ever since 2013, when Alon Wolf's California-based Magico loudspeaker company consolidated its original 5000 sq. ft. Berkeley headquarters and 5000 sq. ft. San Jose warehouse into a single 20,000 ft. facility in Hayward, people have been telling me that I had to experience the company's "incredible" listening room. Ironically, it was only after I had relocated from the Bay Area to Port Townsend, WA, that the opportunity arose to take Alon Wolf up on his long-standing invitation to visit.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 21, 2015 Published: Aug 01, 2015 32 comments
Most of us have experienced the proverbial curveball that comes out of nowhere to smack us right in the head. My most recent such encounter was pitched by Stereophile contributor Steve Guttenberg.

Steve's whammy arrived amid an e-mail exchange among Stereophile writers concerning a rather clueless column in another publication on the dearth of women audiophiles. After asking how many female audiophiles each of us knew, Steve G. defined what he meant by audiophile: "a person who frets over their system, agonizes over choices, loves gear, and sometimes music. You know, the kind of person who reads Stereophile or The Abso!ute Sound. Merely owning a nice stereo doesn't make you an audiophile. Owning a Leica doesn't make you a photographer. You have to be at least a little obsessed."

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 24, 2015 5 comments
The most refreshing music I encountered at the huge 2015 Munich High End Show was an excerpt from David Chesky's children's ballet, The Zephyrtine, which Paul McGowan played in the PS Audio room. Hence it comes as no surprise that another of Chesky's recordings, his Rap Symphony, has just won the Independent Music Award (IMA) for Best Contemporary Classical Album.


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