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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 11, 2015 1 comments
Grant Samuelson of Shunyata Research introduced me to the company's new Sigma series of power cords. Designed to intercept noise at a component's power supply, the Sigmas are available in different models specifically intended for digital, analog, and high-current equipment. Each model has a different ETRON™ filter set that measurably reduces noise for the class of equipment for which it is designed.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 11, 2015 4 comments
It's not every show that a cable company invites a publication's staff to breakfast to preview a power conditioner whose faceplate isn't even ready for viewing. But after a short but most impressive listen to the patent pending circuitry in AudioQuest's forthcoming Niagara 7000 Low-Z Power–AC Grounded Noise-Dissipation System ($TBD), I'm convinced that something special is coming our way.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 11, 2015 7 comments
No, we're not talking alchemy, but rather AudioQuest's new line of USB to Lightning cables. Designed to facilitate transfer of music from iOS devices to computers or whatever, AQ's Cinnamon, Carbon, and Diamond models made their first appearance at CEDIA. Steve Niemi of AudioQuest (above), who introduced me to the cables, forecasts the lowest-priced Forest model by summer.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 11, 2015 0 comments
Synergistic Research has just introduced four levels of its new, hand-fabricated Atmosphere interconnects ($695–$2500 for a 1m/pair, depending upon level) and Atmosphere speaker cables (approx. twice the price). Non-active, which means that they don't need to be connected to an external power supply, albeit actively grounded, the cables come complete with blue and red tuning bullets specifically designed for this new "passive" cable line.
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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 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: Nov 25, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2014 23 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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