LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 09, 2019  |  4 comments
That the first big room I visited sounded as good as it did, which was far from the best I’ve heard those components sound, was due to the expertise of setup wizard Stirling Trayle. A lot of room treatment was brought in at first, but after Trayle did his thing, most of it was stashed in a hallway. The system, from Nordost, VTL, and YG Acoustics, was headlined by VTL’s Siegfried Series II monoblocks ($75,000/pair), TP-6.5 Series II phonostage ($12,500), and TL-7.5 Series III linestage preamplifier ($30,000); a special edition of YG Acoustics Sonja 2.3 loudspeakers wired with Nordost ($112,800/pair); and enough Nordost Odin 2 cabling and power products to keep several silver and copper mines operating for weeks.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 09, 2019  |  4 comments
McIntosh had (at least) one big system, two smaller systems, and one minisystem in their huge room.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 08, 2019  |  15 comments
Occupying a small but significant place in Bluebird Music’s outer suite, the new Jadis Orchestra Black integrated amplifier ($3995) was producing sweet and enjoyable sound that, on a track from Count Basie Meets Oscar Peterson, felt like a lovely warm kiss.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 08, 2019  |  3 comments
The big news in the Musical Surroundings room was the introduction of the AMG Viella Forte 12 Turbo turntable ($30,000), shown in its engraved version ($32,000).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 08, 2019  |  8 comments
Mark Conti’s MC Audiotech room was dominated by his company’s just-launched, Paul Paddock-designed MC Audiotech Forty-10 2-way loudspeaker ($35,000/pair including crossover). Hidden in the high-frequency spaced array are 10 identical bending wave drivers “of the latest generation,” which cover everything above 100 Hz. In its Folded Cube low-frequency enclosure reside two “industrial type” woofers in a dipole arrangement. The speaker uses a dedicated hybrid external crossover, with low-frequency level/contour controls.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 07, 2019  |  7 comments
Do VAC tube components possess chameleon-like powers? That's the question I've begun to ask: Each time I encounter their components in different settings, I hear radically different sound. Here, from a system including Nola's towering new Concert Grand Reference Gold 2 loudspeakers ($250,000/pair), an Audio Research REF CD8 CD player, Nordost Odin 2 cabling, and VAC's Statement 450S IQ amplifier ($63,000), Master line stage ($28,000), and VAC DAC MK II ($12,000), the sound was midrange preponderant—not at all what I expected to hear from either VAC electronics or a 275lb open-baffle line-source array design with a claimed frequency range of 18Hz–100kHz, 91dB sensitivity, and 8 ohm impedance. I think the room was simply too shallow in depth, with seats too close, for these speakers to strut their stuff.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 07, 2019  |  1 comments
For a room too small for Tekton's massive, multi-driver Moab loudspeakers ($4500/pair), Parasound and Tekton were getting surprisingly good sound. The small system lineup was headed by the new Parasound Classic 200 Integrated ($1195), which includes an all-analog signal path, analog bass management with high and low pass outputs, a DAC whose circuitry is, in the company's words, "pulled directly out of the award-wining Halo P-5," and far more goodies than you might expect at this price point.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 07, 2019  |  3 comments
Ed Meitner goes analog?

Not really. But the famed digital pioneer and founder of EMM Labs, known especially for his work with DSD/SACD, was showing his prototype optical phono preamp, the Optical Equalizer. Designed solely for use with DS Audio's optical cartridges, it can be described as a marriage between analog and digital. With specific filters for the different DS Audio cartridge models, it's expected in the first quarter of 2020.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 07, 2019  |  2 comments
Haniwa's chief designer, Tetsuo Kubo, surprised me with the sound of his new Clear Focus speakers plus digital phase control system amplifier ($25,000 total). With a much larger cone than in previous versions and an impedance of 1.3 ohms, this loudspeaker sounded totally smooth, with a very strong midrange presence, when mated with their 400Wpc amplifier. Even the bright voice of Luciano Pavarotti was pleasant to listen to, and thrilling as well.

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