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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 1 comments
Walter Swanborn of Fidelis AV (pictured kneeling next to Holger Stein of Stein Music) hosted the North American debut of the Harbeth M30.1 monitor ($6495 in tiger ebony finish). Paired with the LFD NCSE 75 watt integrated amplifier with SE phono stage ($6295), Palmer 2.5 turntable with Audio Origami arm and Dynavector XX2 cartridge ($11,995), MSB Media Transport ($3995) and MSB Platinum Signature DACIV with Signature power supply ($17,500), the system produced the strongest and most predominant midrange of any I heard at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
In the second of four rooms from Sunny Components, Inc., Michael Manousselis paired Dynaudio's Confidence C2 Signature loudspeakers ($15,000/pair) with Boulder's 1021 Digital Player ($24,000), 1010 preamplifier ($14,000), and 850 monoblock amplifiers ($11,500/pair). Arrayed on a Finite Elemente Reference Rack ($15,000). Everything was connected with Transparent cable. The superb highs on this system immediately clarified why Dynaudio's Esotar2 tweeter has garnered so much praise.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
I have always greatly admired the match of Robert Lee's Acoustic Zen loudspeakers—in this case the wonderful Crescendo loudspeaker ($16,000/pair), a 3-way transmission line design with a horn-loaded ribbon tweeter—with the Triode Corporation electronics imported by Santy Oropel of TWIN Audio Video. Here, the Crescendos formed an especially sonorous alliance with the TRV-CD5SE CD player ($3250), TRX-1 remote controlled tube preamplifier ($3200), and TRX-M845SE monoblock power amplifiers ($22,500/pair).
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 1 comments
Finally I had a chance to hear the loudspeakers lauded by Stereophile equipment reviewers, the Voxativ Ampeggio Signature by Schimmel ($32,500/pair). This single-driver, ultra-sensitive speaker headlined an excellent line-up from Alfred Kainz's highend-electronics, Inc. that led me to write in my notes, "Beautiful. Remarkably close to natural sound. The highs are wonderful, especially the cymbals."
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
The title may have veiled what this seminar was about, but there were some light moments during the two-hour Friday afternoon session that discussed "what to listen to and for in music." Pictured (left to right) are Tony Weber, 40-year industry veteran and Regional Sales Manager for Cary Audio; Tim Brisson, formerly of MIT cables; Bruce Brisson, who engineered the first purposefully built audio cable in 1981, which was marketed by Monster Cable; Paul Stubblebine, for 34 years a mastering engineer; and Cookie Marenco, a five-time Grammy nominee who is founder and producer/engineer for audiophile label Blue Coast Records.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 2 comments
This system is worth learning about, because it nailed tonalities spot-on. After going room-to-room for three days, I assure you that getting tonality and timbre spot-on is no mean feat. In fact, it's a pretty elusive goal for most components.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 3 comments
During the brief amount of time I spent at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, one of my most impressive acquaintances was with the new Dynaudio Xeo 5 ($4500/pair) floorstander and Dynaudio Xeo 3 ($2300/pair) bookshelf wireless loudspeakers. Sold complete with a wireless transmitter and remote control, these loudspeakers deliver astonishingly good sound without need to spend money on speaker cables and the like.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
Gary Katayama of Affordable Audio constructed a system that allowed Randy Bankert's Sonist Concerto loudspeakers ($5895/pair) to show how much sound they can deliver. With apologies for my potentially flawed attempts at deciphering Gary's handwriting, I heard the Baetis Media Server ($2595) and Mach 2 Mac mini (approx. $1000) using Amarra 2.3, Human Audio Table USB–S/PDIF converter ($1000), Bel Canto 3.5 USB DAC ($3500), Audion 300B amplifier ($5500), EAT E-Flat turntable ($6000), and Synergistic Tranquility Base ($1000). The soundstage was impressively big, and the sound warm but overly smooth, to the point of softening the leading edge on Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's glorious mezzo-soprano.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
I fell in love with the adorable little system from Chris Sommovigo's The Signal Collection when I heard it play some of Todd Garfinkle's M•A Recordings at AXPONA 2012 in Jacksonville. In Newport Beach the love affair continued.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 02, 2012 0 comments
The KEF Blade has been a constant in my show and audio showroom experience of late. Here demmed by Johan Coorg of KEF America and Michael Silver of Audio High, the Blades ($30,000/pair) were making very warm, inviting, and, yes, coherent sound with lovely depth when paired with the Chord SPM 6000 monoblock amplifiers ($49,000/ pair), Chord CPA 5000 preamp ($20,000), Chord Red Reference Mk.III CD/DAC ($25,000), Audience Power Conditioner, and a MacBook Pro rigged to play J River.

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