Art Dudley

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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 14, 2012 2 comments
This beautiful Stellavox tape deck, restored by Charles King, was used in the Robyatt exhibit to play recordings provided by the Tape Project. It sounded wonderful.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 14, 2012 0 comments
Robert Stein of Ultra Systems (and of the innovative retail outlet The Cable Company) introduced an accessory called the WA Quantum Chip. Available in different sizes, ranging in price from $7.50 to $65 each, the German-made WA Chip is a removable sticker that contains an impregnated film, which is reportedly subjected to a special treatment. Sized for everything from fuses to cell phones to speakers, WA Chips are claimed to increase component efficiency and current flow, for audibly enhanced performance.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 13, 2012 0 comments
The New York Audio and AV show (wait a minute: Doesn’t the A in AV already stand for Audio?) takes place at the famed Waldorf=Astoria from 3:00pm to 8:00pm today, from 10:00am to 6:00pm Saturday, and from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Sunday). Yesterday I was weary from traveling (I arrived here by train from Philadelphia), so it wasn’t until this morning that I noticed the carpet pattern outside the door of my room: a William Morris-style bunny. I’m clearly in the right place.
Art Dudley Posted: Apr 10, 2012 2 comments
The sound of the Stenheim Alumine loudspeaker—its openness, transparency, and freedom from temporal distortions, not to mention its good bass extension for such a small enclosure—reminded me at once of my favorite small loudspeaker from the late 1980s, the Acoustic Energy AE1. On reflection, the comparison is extraordinary: The two products are as different as night and day, the AE1 being a wooden loudspeaker with a metal-cone woofer, the Alumine a metal loudspeaker with a pulp-cone woofer. I suppose one can skin a catfish by moving the knife or by moving the fish.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 29, 2012 5 comments
The late Bill Monroe may have been the father of bluegrass music, but it was the distinctive banjo playing of Earl Scruggs that most listeners came to recognize as the voice of an entire style. Scruggs, who died on March 28 at the age of 88, left an indelible imprint on American music, influencing virtually ever player of the five-string banjo to follow.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 26, 2012 4 comments
So another SSI has come and gone. On the downside, the trade-only day was slow, a surprising number of SSI stalwarts—Legacy, Luxman, Vivid, Reference 3a, Ocellia, AvantGarde, and Antique Sound Lab among them—were missing in action, and the blue-wig thing is getting kind of old. On the up side, there was good traffic on the consumer days, the food and drink were great—even on-site at the Hilton—and the Coup de Foudre party was a blast (thank you, Graeme, Jennifer, et al). I was genuinely impressed by several new products, especially the Michael Tang tonearm, AudioQuest Dragonfly USB DAC, LM Audio 211IA integrated amp, Audio Note DD 4.1x CD player, and Naim NDS two-box network player. And, best of all, it was good to see some old friends, many for the first time since SSI 2011. It was a busy, fun time, a sort of a four-day moment, and I congratulate organizers Michel Plante and Sarah Tremblay for succeeding once again.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 26, 2012 0 comments
Tim Ryan of SimpliFi Audio demonstrated the always-enjoyable Gradient Helsinki loudspeaker ($6000/pair) in tandem with Gradient's SWS dipole bass speakers (also $6000/pair, outboard crossover included), to excellent effect. Ryan says the SWS, to whose development the late Peter Walker contributed, also works a treat with the Harbeth P3 and other smallish speakers from that line. (That's exactly how he said it, too.)
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 26, 2012 2 comments
Musicians and harmonica players of Montreal, take heed: You are all fair game for a painter named Patrick Larrivee, whose unambiguously available work filled one hall of the Hilton during SSI 2012. Unfortunately, it was the hall that led to my room.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 26, 2012 2 comments
A tonic for the homesick: I entered the Audio Note room and saw, in the far corners, a pair of their reliable AN-E Spe/HE loudspeakers ($9000/pair): the very speakers I own and love. (This pair was veneered in a strikingly grained raw rosewood, while mine are done up in glossy yew.) There, too, was the brand new Audio Note CD 4.1x CD player ($12,000), my review sample of which arrived at my home on the very day I left for Montreal (this according to my wife). The sound in this room was so extraordinarily good—with especially fine bass reach and drama—that I feel compelled to tweak, slightly, the positions of my own AN-Es when I get home.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 26, 2012 2 comments
Kudos to Doug Graham of Naim for bringing so much new music to Plurison Audio's suite at SSI. Especially interesting was the French singer Jehro's Cantina Paradise—seen here on Doug's Apple iPad, running Naim Audio's free controller app—which I intend to buy as soon as I get home.

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