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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 02, 2012 6 comments
Using as his source a MacBook Pro playing iTunes/Pure Music, Dusty Vawter of Channel Islands was using his Transient MK II asynchronous USB converter ($699) with the VDC-5 Mk.II upgrade power supply ($399), PLC-1 Mk.II preamp ($899), D-500 Mk.II monoblock amplifiers ($5000/pair), and speaker prototypes that, perhaps a year from now, will yield Channel Islands loudspeakers. Playing a cover of "Sounds of Silence" on an Usher sampler, the sound was invitingly warm. The system also did a beautiful job of transmitting the natural sound of cymbals, which is no easy task.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 02, 2012 0 comments
It's 11am Friday morning. The ribbon has been cut, the doors and flung open, and the lines begin to form at the Hilton. By midday, the line to the elevators on the other side of the lobby extends out into the hallway. Some attendees resort to the stairways instead of waiting.

And to think, this is only the first day. Bob Levi is predicting up to 10,000 attendees over the course of the three-day show.

Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 02, 2012 0 comments
It's 6pm on Thursday night. Stereophile editor John Atkinson has proposed that we rendezvous in the lobby of the Hilton, secrete ourselves in a corner over a beverage of choice, and discuss how we three (John, Stephen Mejias, and moi) will cover the show.

Having covered shows with John before, and seen how many people come up to him to chat as he attempts to get from point A to point B, I had my doubts that we could somehow manage to talk undisturbed. Talk? We never even got that far. Conversation upon conversation began as soon as John hit lobby. Here, Bob Levi, President of the Los Angeles Orange County Audiophile Society (left), engages John in conversation as, right behind them, Jonathan Scull, PR man extraordinaire and former Stereophile Contributing Editor (second from left), and Dave Clark of Positive Feedback Online (second from right) do the same. Unseen are the many exhibitors who are staggering into the lobby after spending an entire day trying to get their equipment unpacked and positioned optimally.

Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 02, 2012 2 comments
Because it was housed in a protective plastic case, which was allergic to my flash, my photo cannot possibly do full justice to the US pre-debut of the gorgeous Rubicon Atomic AD/DA preamp (price not yet announced, probably under $40,000, hopefully to be demonstrated in full form at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October and available for purchase at the end of the year). This 384kHz converter, phono preamp, and headphone amplifier with an integrated atomic clock and gold-plated relay volume control utilizes the 10M Rubidium atomic clock, which is said to be 100,000 times more stable than a traditional crystal oscillator. Coupled with Antelope's 64-bit "Acoustically Focused Clocking technology" the Rubidium purportedly manages jitter superbly. Already boasting an award from Japan, the unit is one of several from the company that uses DACs endorsed by Morten Lindberg, founder and chief engineer of audiophile label 2L.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 26, 2012 2 comments
"Bigger, bigger, bigger...more, more, more!" That's how Richard Beers, President of The Home Entertainment Show Newport Beach, aka T.H.E. Show Newport Beach, describes the second installment of what he and co-conspirator Bob Levi, President of the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society (LA&OC Audio Society), wryly call "An Audio Tradition...Since Last Year."

Scheduled for Friday June 1–Sunday June 3 in sunny Orange County, California's red state within a blue state, the second annual T.H.E. Show Newport Beach has already expanded from the Hilton Hotel, right across the street from the John Wayne/Orange County Airport, to the adjacent Atrium Hotel. Just shy of 300 exhibitors are expected to fill 80 hotel rooms and 15 huge exhibit rooms in the Hilton, 10 or 12 booths in the Hilton "Marketplace," and another 35–40 hotel rooms and 15 huge exhibit rooms in the Atrium.

Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 19, 2012 17 comments
If any single voice was synonymous with the flowering of the LP era, it was that of German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The great artist's death at his home in Bavaria on Friday, May 18, 10 days short of his 87th birthday, sets the final seal on an age in which art song, oratorio, and opera received equal respect from record companies and the listening public.

Equally adept at all three disciplines, Fischer-Dieskau became perhaps the most recorded baritone in history. There was a period in which nary a month went by without another LP from Fischer-Dieskau on which he sang either solo or in ensemble. Even today, when so many recordings have gone out of print, and large number of LPs have never been remastered for CD, arkivmusic.com lists no less than 490 titles that include Fischer-Dieskau's voice. The most recent release, a four-SACD remastered compilation of some of the monaural Schubert lieder (art song) recordings he made with pianists Gerald Moore and Karl Engel early in his career, became available on the website on May 8. Its 39 performances are but a fraction of the Schubert recordings he made in his five decades before the microphone.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 17, 2012 6 comments
Pictured (from left to right): Rhonda Wilson, Senior Member, Technical Staff, Products & Technology Group, Dolby Laboratories; Craig Eggers, Director, Content Creation and Playback, Home Theater Ecosystem, Dolby Laboratories; Poppy Crum, Senior Staff Scientist, Dolby Laboratories pose with some of the most recent titles using Dolby TrueHD with advanced 96k up sampling.

At 12 noon PST today, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. announced the availability of the first Blu-ray Discs™ premastered using Dolby® TrueHD with advanced 96k upsampling, The process, designed for use by studios, authoring houses, and mastering facilities, elevates playback performance of lossless audio on Blu-ray Disc™ by using the apodizing filter developed by Meridian.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 07, 2012 1 comments
"New York, New York, It's an Audio Town!" After far too many years without a large-scale audio show, New York City is about to get a taste of what regularly enriches the lives of audiophiles in other major centers around the world. The first, hopefully annual New York Audio and AV Show, brought to you by the same Chester Group that mounts audio shows in the UK, Australia, and Sweden, and by T.H.E. Show USA, takes place in Park Avenue's grand Waldorf=Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Avenue on Friday April 13–Sunday, April 15.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 05, 2012 2 comments
2L, the Norwegian label that made audiophile history in 2006 when one their early high-resolution SACDs, Immortal NYSTEDT, received Grammy Award nominations for "Best Surround Sound Album" and "Best Choral Performance," has taken a big step back to the future. After releasing a number of recordings packages that feature both hybrid SACD and hi-resolution Blu-ray discs, as well as making their DXD (352.8kHz/24-bit) recordings available for download, 2L has just ventured into the black hole known as vinyl.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 29, 2012 8 comments
Unique circumstances conspired to make the March 15 US debut of Raidho's handsome 2.1, 2.5-way floorstanding loudspeaker ($28,000/pair) at AudioVision San Francisco an unusual event. Despite ample planning on everyone's part, US Customs, which has never been known for putting audiophiles first, held up delivery of Raidho's new babies until the afternoon of the demo. Did they perhaps think that the "Raid" in Raidho was code for a terrorist plot?

Due to this unforeseeable snafu, what a very full house of eager audiophiles heard was not the Raidho 2.1 in all its glory, but a literally out-of-the-crate speaker whose drivers, capacitors, and circuits, by all accounts, had undergone only something like 5 hours of break-in. There was nothing that even Nordost's Lars Christensen, creator of the most masterfully conceived and executed audio demos I have ever witnessed, could do about the fact that the speaker could only provide an tantalizing albeit incomplete indication of its ultimate potential.

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