LATEST ADDITIONS

Herb Reichert  |  May 23, 2019  |  19 comments
I had never been alone with a Russian-manufactured 6C33C tube. At least not at night, in the dark. The first night Balanced Audio Technology's VK-56SE tubed amplifier was in my system, I sat on the floor studying the unusual shape and dark orange glow of its four 6C33C-B output tubes. I noticed their brightly lit, cathedral-like innards. My Russian neighbor told me they were used as regulator tubes in MiG jets during the Cold War. I could believe it—their exposed cathodes were the exact color of the Soviet flag. From more than a foot away, I could feel the heat from their high-amperage filaments.
Herb Reichert  |  May 23, 2019  |  1 comments
Every time I review a digital-to-analog converter, my memory drifts to the spring of 1983, when the first Compact Discs arrived at Tower Records in New York City. They appeared in the opera section. Sitting next to big, thick boxed sets of opera LPs, these new discs looked truly compact. A few months later, boxed sets of popular opera LPs, in almost untouched condition, began selling in the Tower Annex for $1/disc.
Art Dudley  |  May 21, 2019  |  31 comments
It's a toss-up: The house where my family and I lived for 15 years was bigger than the one we have now, and had a much nicer view. On the other hand, we now live in a less economically depressed region, as suggested by the relative scarcity of inflatable lawn decorations. During the last year I saw in my neighborhood far fewer leprechauns, reindeer, Easter Bunnies, purple-and-green Draculas, and turkeys wearing pilgrim hats (which makes about as much sense as Russian soldiers wearing lederhosen). I find those things unspeakably sad, because they're horrible, cheap, gaudy wastes of money.
Art Dudley  |  May 21, 2019  |  7 comments
Audiophilia is nothing if not nostalgic—in fact, it's doubly so. Listening to recorded music is an act of looking back, often with the hope of re-creating some wistfully recalled wonder. On top of that, the zeal to perfect the playback experience, whether by means of better-quality recordings or better hardware, is far less common than it used to be among middle-class consumers. Although in recent years our pastime has surprised with its resilience, we're surely nearer the immolation scene than the Prelude to Act I.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 19, 2019  |  41 comments
Pretty eye-catching, eh? Such was the class act from Göbel High End, who even brought their own room treatment panels to the show.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 19, 2019  |  1 comments
When Dynaudio’s Mike Manousselis told me that the new Dynaudio Confidence 30 ($20,000/pair) has a new Esotar3 tweeter, I thought of John Atkinson, who praised this company’s tweeters in a review some years back. The new tweeter includes a Hexis inner dome to help dissipate back wave energy and, as with all the other new drivers in the speaker, uses new “ultra-powerful” neodymium magnets.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 19, 2019  |  1 comments
I was never able to take a photo of Octave’s full system, because so many people were walking up to the equipment rack and Focal Scala speakers to ogle Octave’s new Jubilee 300B amplifier (54,000 Euros). (That’s what happens when you display in one of the big glass-entranced spaces surrounding three sides of the first floor Atriums in the MOC.) You’ll have to settle for this photo, taken of a static display on the other side of the room divider from the active system.
Herb Reichert  |  May 18, 2019  |  9 comments
At AXPONA 2019 and now at High End 2019, Cube Audio demonstrated their beautifully finished complete speakers, like the €16,000 Nenuphar that I would die to hear in my own system.
Herb Reichert  |  May 18, 2019  |  0 comments
Without forethought, at every audio show I attend, I inevitably end up smiling, relaxed, and happy in the Gershman Acoustics room. Especially lately, when the always-cheerful Ofra Gershman is playing the $13k/pair Grand Avant Garde floor-standing loudspeakers.
Herb Reichert  |  May 18, 2019  |  6 comments
I quit smoking before cigarettes hit $5/pack. I sold my last car, a nickel green 1977 Mercedes 300D, for $500. But I have sold a lot of six-figure audio amplifiers, and clearly, the juicy audio good stuff—the super-exotic—blows everybody’s mind. 1893 Chateau Lafite Rothschild gear is out of the reach of the lumpen proletariat. But so what? It is still cool and spectacularly wild and a blast to listen to, which anyone can do at an audio show. Take the all-out Aries Cerat system Joshua Masongsong of Believe High Fidelity was showing at Munich 2019. Have you ever heard anything like this?

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