You know me. I'm not perzackly an audio slut, but I am easy. When Audio Advisor's Wayne Schuurman called me to pitch the Vincent KHV-1pre tube-transistor headphone amplifier, he pretty much had me at "tube" and "headphone." But I wasn't familiar with Vincent Audio.
When Audio Advisor's Wayne Schuurman contacted me about reviewing the Vincent Audio KHV-1pre headphone amplifier, I felt confident that I had everything I needed to handle the task, owning, as I do, both the AKG K701 and Sennheiser HD-650 headphones, which have long been my references. That oughta get 'er done, I thought.
I can't think of a product that was as eagerly anticipated as was Ayre's KX-R preamplifier ($18,500). Following in the footsteps of Ayre's MX-R monoblock amplifier, a Stereophile2007 Product of the Year, and milled, like the MX-R, from a 75-lb billet of aluminum, the KX-R also shares with its monoblock stablemate the Ayre ethos of zero feedback and fully balanced operation. But what really caused the buzz was the declaration by Ayre founder and chief designer Charles Hansen that the KX-R, with its use of a technology he calls Variable Gain Transconductance (VGT) to control the volume, would set new standards for signal/noise ratio.
Last December, when Wadia Digital announced that it was releasing an iPod docking cradle that could access the digital signal before it had passed through the player's own D/A converter, many audiopundits were surprised. I was disbelieving, and nearly told Wadia's John Schaffer that he was shining me on. After all, Apple has tiptoed around the whole issue of consumers being able to digitally copy their iTunes files, going so far as to wrap its iTunes Music Store files in digital rights management (DRM) code.
I first encountered Avalon Acoustics' loudspeakers about 20 years ago. The hi-fi shop I worked for sold Jeff Rowland Design Group electronics, and Jeff Rowland insisted that no loudspeaker better showcased his electronics than the Avalons. Rowland sent us a pair of Ascents, and we were startled by their gem-like, faceted cabinets and remarkable soundstaging. As we packed them up to return them to Colorado, I remember thinking, I could live with these speakers.
Strange collection, but that's the point. How do you categorize that which is beyond category? Of course, Wittgenstein said, " Whereof one cannot speak, thereon one must remain silent." I say, "Eff off, Ludwig."
Like many perpetually adolescent, emotionally-stunted hipsters, I had a radio show at the campus station back in the day. Crafting a show that had flow was an arcane artone that is virtually impossible to experience on commercial radio stations with limited play lists. Therefore, it was an art that, once mastered, would be of almost no practical use. It certainly wasn't going to get you a good paying job.
Interesting article on subharmonics. There are links to recorded examples, which are certainly interesting, but for me, the money quote is: "She demonstrated her ability to top scientists in the US, but they gave up trying tofind out howthe effect happens."
As we reported almost a year ago, US District Court Judge Michael Davis awarded record labels $220,000 in damages for Jammie Thomas' having posted digital files to the KaZaa peer-to-peer site. To date, that has been the RIAA's sole victory in its prosecution of file sharers and it hinged upon an instruction Judge Davis gave the jury, specifically Jury Instruction 15, which said that Capitol Records did not have to prove anybody downloaded the songs, only that Thomas had posted them. This is known as the "making available" argument and was vigorously opposed by Thomas' lawyer.
Audiophiles probably know Steve Guttenberg for his writing about hi-fi and home theater in numerous publications, as well as his blog The Audiophiliac. What only a handful of folks know, however, is that Steve is a talented graphic artist, manipulating photographic images to express the world as he (sort of) sees it.