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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 21, 2016 1 comments
Slam and visceral impact were superb, highs transparent and extended, and percussion extremely impressive in the ENIGMAcoustics room…
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 20, 2016 12 comments
The AudioEngine team at AXPONA—from left to right: Brett Bargenquast, Morgan Day, Gavin Fish (also of LH Labs), and Patrick Carr—were really happy with their flagship HD6 self-powered loudspeakers ($750/pair). These handsome little babies integrate aptX Bluetooth and Toslink optical to play 24/96 files. They also stream Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube wirelessly via smartphone, tablet, or good old fashioned computer. Optical yields the highest-resolution sound. You can even connect your TV or turntable.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 19, 2016 3 comments
From left to right: Larry Marcus president of Paragon Sight Sound, Nick Doshi of Doshi Audio, Dave Wilson, Peter McGrath, John R. Quick, dCS America, Jon Zimmer of Transparent Audio.

At an after-hours press listening session sponsored by Paragon Audio/Video of Michigan, Dave Wilson was in a major upbeat mood for the show premiere of Wilson Audio's new Alexx loudspeaker ($109,000/pair). . . The Alexx, Wilson's successor to the MAXX 3, acquitted itself admirably through the Doshi Audio 3.0 line stage, 3.0 phono stage, and 3.0 tape stage ($16,999/each), as well as their Jhor mono amplifiers ($29,995/pair); dCS Vivaldi digital system ($115,000 total); Transparent Opus cabling and power conditioning ($208,360 total) along with an extra-long version of John Marks' Esperanto Audio Small-Batch S/PDIF cable on Peter McGrath's Sound devices portable digital.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 18, 2016 10 comments
I scored big this year, because my floors included High Water Sound's room. As usual, Jeffrey Catalano was a breath of fresh air, playing LPs of music not encountered in other rooms…
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 17, 2016 3 comments
Once Pro Musica Chicago discovered that one of the electrical outlets in their room was severely handicapped, as it were, and switched to another, the VTL TL5.5 preamp with phono stage ($10,500) and VTL S200 power amp ($12,500) delivered eminently neutral sound…
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 16, 2016 8 comments
Even before 10am had rolled around on opening day, eager audiophiles were obtaining badges in the lobby of the Westin O'Hare…
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 11, 2016 3 comments
111 seems to be the magic number for AXPONA 2016, aka Audio Expo of North America. Taking place April 15–17 in the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, IL (near Chicago's O'Hare airport), AXPONA promises 111 exhibit rooms, including 29 larger meeting spaces which sometimes house multiple systems. AXPONA will also host 111 booths and table displays, with a good 50 of those located in the Ear Gear Expo. All told, the show will feature products from 375 brands, most of which will sing away every day starting at the mercifully civilized hour of 10am.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 08, 2016 8 comments
Prediction: The visionary new music, system-testing percussion, and virtual rainbow of colors that distinguish Dawn to Dust, the latest hybrid SACD in Reference Recordings' Fresh! series, guarantee that it will become a hit among music-loving audiophiles who dare play tracks beyond 3 minutes in length. The inventive genius that courses through the recording's three compositions—Control (Five Landscapes for Orchestra) by Nico Muhly, 34; Switch by Andrew Norman, 37; and Eos (Goddess of the Dawn), a ballet for orchestra by Augusta Read Thomas, 52—is, in and of itself, enrapturing, formidable, and breathtaking. But when combined with the spectacular coloristic and percussive effects captured by the Soundmirror engineering team, you have a recording virtually certain to earn Dust to Dawn at least one Grammy nomination and countless airings at audio demos.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 01, 2016 4 comments
When do 12 hands + 12 eyes = boundless creativity? When you gather up the six New York-based composers of the highly heralded Sleeping Giant collective, set them loose in an extraordinary collection of contemporary art, and invite them to compose art-inspired music for four-time Grammy-winning Chicago new-music sextet, Eighth Blackbird. From this is born Hand Eye, a recording that opens the ear, eye, and mind simultaneously as it transport you to landscapes all their own. If you crave music that stimulates and provokes, you have to hear it.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 10, 2016 3 comments
Two weeks shy of the Ides of March, Cary Audio has announced its transition from an all-dealer sales model to a direct-to-consumer web store in the U.S. it calls "CaryDirect." But rather than leaving its brick'n'mortar US dealers in the dust, the North Carolina-based company says it has assimilated them into a rather novel hybrid business model.

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