Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 07, 2015 49 comments
Neil Young, the great man himself, paid a visit to the hi-res exhibits at CES to herald the arrival of his righteous hi-res music file player, Pono. Among the announcements: Pono is now available at something like 80 retail outlets, as well as in 35 Fry's Electronics locations. Among the stores selling Pono are In Living Stereo in NYC, Audio Consultants in Chicago, The Audio Salon in LA, Audio Element in Pasadena, Audio Vision SF, Music Lovers in Berkeley, Definitive Audio in Washington State, Amoeba in SF and LA.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 06, 2015 3 comments
Almost everyone has their own unique lens through which to view the alternate reality which some call "Lost Vegas." Without wishing to put my own prejudicial stamp on the site of the annual Consumer Electronics Show—would I ever?—I instead offer you this view from the 16th floor of the Mirage Hotel, across the Strip from the Venetian Resort, where the high-end audio exhibits are housed.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 05, 2015 17 comments
On Monday January 5, Naxos rings in the New Year with the worldwide launch of their ClassicsOnline HD•LLclassical music streaming and download site. ClassicsOnline HD•LL streams music in both "high-definition"—Naxos' term for high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192kHz sampling rate—and full CD quality (lossless, or, in Naxos' lingo, LL). The site also sells high-def, lossless, and MP3 downloads in FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, and 320kbps MP3 formats.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Dec 10, 2014 46 comments
The world's first download site devoted exclusively to ultra hi-resolution DXD downloads, Promates Music Store, has launched from Copenhagen. The brainchild of Peter Scheelke, who in 2003 helped found Digital Audio Denmark (DAD), creator of the world's first commercial DXD converter, the site currently offers 26 native DXD recordings (352.8kHz sampling rate and 24-bit bit depth) from labels Dacapo and OUR Recordings.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Nov 25, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2014 22 comments
With increasing frequency, many audiophiles and industry professionals have accepted that the quest for highest-quality sound quality is a luxury and esoteric pursuit that, by its very nature, can appeal to only a small niche market. According to this view, the masses—the 99%, if you will—are either satisfied with Pioneer, Bose, Samsung, Dr. Dre, and iPhone/Android/tablet sound; can't tell the difference between quality and dreck; or will never have the money or imagination to move beyond lowest-common-denominator sound. To the extent that the vast majority knows anything about high-end audio, it regards it as an absurdly overpriced indulgence and a target for their disdain.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Nov 30, 2014 2 comments
Musical Surroundings' Jesse Luna (left) and Garth Leerer (right) flank Nuts About HiFi's Jim Lee.

If that title hasn't gotten your attention, nothing will . . . except, perhaps, the Northwest preview of: 1) the forthcoming Aesthetix Metis linestage preamplifier (est. price $20,000–$25,000), which is expected by the second quarter of 2015; 2) Clearaudio Concept Wood turntable with tonearm ($2200); and 3) DS Audio DS-W1 "Nightrider" Optical phono cartridge with dedicated phono equalizer ($8500). This tempting trio of coming outs, arranged by Garth Leerer and Jesse Luna of Oakland, CA-based distributor Musical Surroundings, took place at Nuts About HiFi, a Seattle-area high-end emporium that celebrated its Silver Anniversary in Silverdale, WA on November 30, 2014.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 27, 2014 0 comments
New location, new features, and a more inclusive, consumer electronics-orientated approach: that's the word on the fourth annual Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES). Now ensconced in the Sheraton Centre Hotel in downtown Toronto, which offers far more large exhibit rooms than did TAVES' former venue, the three-day show opens on Friday, October 31 with four floors' worth of audio, video and consumer electronics-oriented exhibits.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 18, 2014 4 comments
Stereophile editor John Atkinson claims the best seat in the house to listen to the system put together by Luke Manley and Bea Lam (top right). Photo: Peter McGrath.

Despite having covered more audio shows than there are angels dancing on the head of a pin, I always look forward to the moment when all preconceptions vanish, the rug is pulled out from under, and I can do is marvel at the mystery of music reproduction at its finest. The time doesn't always come, but when it does, it feels as if childlike wonder has been born anew. Such was my experience in the VTL and Wilson Audio Room . . . this $548,483 system [breathe] was so mesmerizingly musical that it really cannot be discussed in the same space as the other systems I encountered at RMAF 2014.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 17, 2014 3 comments
In one of their many rooms, the Audio Alternative of Fort Collins showcased a luscious system that paired an AMG Viella 12 turntable and 9W2 tonearm ($21,500 total) and a Linn LP12 table with Lingo Mk.III power supply ($6000), both outfitted with Lyra Kleos MC cartridges ($2995 each), with D'Agostino Master Audio Systems' integrated amplifier ($43,000), Audio Research Corporation's Reference 2SE phono preamp ($13,000), and Wilson Duette Series 2 loudspeakers with dedicated stands ($22,500/pair).
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 16, 2014 8 comments
The big news—the really big news at RMAF—was the "before winter" US launch of five-year old Tidal of Oslo's full CD-quality, (lossless 1411kbps) music streaming service. Demonstrated in a fine sounding room with Electrocompaniet equipment, the sound was convincingly good when we cued up a track from pianist Leif Ove Andsnes' recording of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto. (More on the sound in another blog, where Hegel was using Tidal's service to source music for their room.)

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