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John Atkinson Posted: Mar 08, 2015 43 comments
MBW/Nielsen Soundscan statistics. Presented without comment!
John Atkinson Posted: Feb 27, 2015 2 comments
Looking back at our September 2014 issue, I think my review of the Triangle Signature Delta loudspeaker marked something of a watershed in the evolution of my taste in loudspeaker sound quality. For decades I have been a devotee of what might be called "British" sound: low coloration and, overall, a rather polite presentation, coupled with low sensitivity. The Triangle speaker opened my ears to what could be achieved with a very different approach: still-low coloration but high sensitivity, impressive clarity, and a hefty dose of what the late J. Gordon Holt called "jump factor," in which the leading edges of transients are neither smeared nor tamed. So when, last September, on a visit to Dallas and The Sound Organisation, the US distributor of Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries (DALI), I encountered DALI's Rubicon 8 speaker (footnote 1), which had benefited from a low-loss design philosophy similar to the Triangle's, I asked for a pair for review.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 3 comments
Richard Vandersteen points to the detailed improvements to his flagship Model Seven speaker, which produced one of my best sounds at the 2015 CES.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 1 comments
Gilad Tiefenbrun, Managing Director of Linn Products (above), along with the Scottish company's Technical Director Keith Robertson, gave me a convincing demonstration of Linn's Exakt system. According to Linn, "Exakt pushes the lossless digital signal path all the way to the speaker," turning the loudspeaker into "an intelligent, connected, software-upgradeable product. This enables a wide range of performance- and personalisation-enhancing capabilities in design, in manufacture and in your home."
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
Jon Iverson already reported on MBL’s new Noble Line N31 DAC/CD player, and for me, one of the best sounds at the 2015 CES was listening to MBL’s system, based on this digital source feeding signal to the preamp section of the MBL N51 stereo integrated amplifier, with the amplifier section of the integrated and a N21 stereo amplifier (which have the same gain) to bi-amp the unique MBL 101E Mk.II omnidirectional speakers.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
Brooklyn, NY-based Wes Bender Studio was demming the new leather-covered Hansen The Dragon Legend E speakers $60,000/pair), driven by EAR 509 monoblocks ($15,700/pair), an EAR 912 preamp ($13,000 with phono stage), and an EAR Disc Master turntable ($28,500) fitted with a Helius Silver Ruby tonearm ($5225) and Transfiguration Proteus ($6000) or SteinMusic Aventurin 6 Mk.2 ($6500) cartridges. Cabling was all Waveform Fidelity; racks were the impressively made Stillpoints.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
Going into the Audio Arts room at CES was like going through a time portal into the 1986 CES, as Flim and the BB's classic album Tricycle was playing. The system was based on the top-line Zellaton speakers ($79,750/pair) driven by Swiss CH amplification connected with Schnerzinger cables. According to the meters on the Precision M1 monoblocks ($94,750/pair), while the average level was 4–5W, the peaks on the drums reached 360W and more! Yet the sound remained clean and uncompressed. An impressive if expensive sound.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
Danish speaker manufacturer Gamut showed its new RS7 speaker at CES. Costing $39,900/pair, the RS7 is basically the smaller RS5 ($31,990/pair) that I favorably reported on in our 2014 RMAF report with an extra woofer mounted above the tweeter to give a full three-way design.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 1 comments
Rega introduced its first low-output moving-coil cartridge, the Apheta, in 2006, but it got mixed reviews, due to a high-frequency peak at the top of the audioband. Rega showed the Apheta 2 ($1895) at CES, mounted on the vestigial RP10 turntable. The Apheta 2 has benefited from some serious production engineering and has a lower moving mass, the latter moving the treble peak higher, to 18kHz or so.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 3 comments
As I was leaving the Venetian after closing up the Stereophile room on the last day of CES, I bumped into AudioQuest's Steve Silberman in the elevator. "I've got one left, take it," he said and handed me the little USB thingie in my photograph. "It's going to cost $49 and will be available in the spring."

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