The August Issue Is Here!

Two silly-expensive preamplifiers, from Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems and Lamm Industries, are featured in the August Stereophile and both offer sound quality and measured performance that are beyond reproach. Rounding out this issue's amplification theme are a tubed integrated amplifier form Octave Audio in Germany and a high-quality class-D integrated amplifier from the American Rogue company. Contrasting with the preamplifiers, the Rogue is affordably priced, as is a Tascam CD player that John Marks raves about in his "Fifth Element" column and the Musical Fidelity V90-DAC, which gets the full review treatment from John Atkinson.

Add Art Dudley on the intriguing Well Tempered Amadeus LP player, Michael Fremer on the so-wrong-it-might-be-right Rigid Float tonearm from ViV Labs, and Robert Baird on how a jazz club turned itself into a recording studio and the resurgence of the ancient 78 as a DJ tool, with a kick-off essay from new writer Herb Reichert on how an audiophile must define his needs before he chooses his system, and you can see why we feel this issue is a winner!.

Devil Doc's picture

Once again, mine arrived before it hit the newsstands. That's two months in a row. I guess the squeaky does get the oil. Thanks again JA. I know it does seem trivial, but back in the day, it used to be a perk of subscribing.

jimtavegia's picture

I also found some new music to look into thanks to Mr. Marks.

I liked AD's article on the Well Tempered turntable, but that arm makes me nervous.

volvic's picture

Toyed with getting the Well Tempered several times but that arm always made me think twice - just too fiddly for my shaky hands. Otherweise what a great table - so clean sounding. Agreed great issue.

dr.larkos's picture

Great issue, starting with the "As we see it" section. Great new writer. Loved his Rogue amp review...seemingly a "Mejias" but with a broader old world musical formation and general culture--nicely expressing his reaction to the quality of the experienced sound and the emotional message of the music used for the review, but avoiding too much personal minutia. More important, keeping a determined focus on a balanced evaluation of accuracy and musicality while reviewing the component.

John, your follow up review of the Musical Fidelity V90, no doubt, put you in a tough position of facing the need to demote it from the previously granted A+ notch, two notches!? But, then, the question remains why was it placed in the A+ rank in the first place? Did you wrongly trusted Sam's enthusiasm too much (in contrast to the way you still trust Art's "continued" enthusiasm with the Halide)? My take is that there is no conflict or contradiction here, you and Sam reviewed the V90 from two completely different perspectives, or uses, if you wish! You used it as part of your well established computer-audio platform...but Sam "does not do computer audio," he abhors it, he only spins silver disks. In fact, he used the V90 and the Musical Fidelity M1 Transport, we could say, as a CD playing system (without question,a well integrated one, I dare to say). That was what Sam listened when playing those wonderful CD sets he got as Christmas presents from his children. So, John, you were listening to the USB DAC capabilities of the V90, comparing them to the USB capabilities of the Auralic Vega....Well, I own a Vega and was, yes, seriously offended when I saw the V90 ranked shoulder to shoulder with my Vega as A+. After all, the Vega made my previous DAC sound like a toy (a previously known good implementation of the same Sabre DAC chip). A typo, I told myself, in an attempt to rationalize the situation...while, at the same time (that's my nature), I was readily pressing Amazon's single click purchase button to buy myself a V90. I found out that Sam was totally right. I cheated a little bit. I did not bother with the pitiful wall wart and I used a quality lab-grade regulated linear power supply (a couple hundred dollars). I can tell you that to my ears and in my system, playing CDs, the V90 and the Auralic Vega are at par. A bit more detail, perhaps, with the Vega, but a bit more musical involvement with the V90. Ah! all comparisons were made at 0.2 dB volume matching and with the V90 connected to the CD transport's SPDIF toslink output and the Vega to the coaxial one (done initially on purpose as an attempt to vex a bit the V90 for the heck of it, but no real difference when reversing setup). No doubt, when it comes to computer Hi-Rez playback the Vega wins hands down (the V90 is not intended as as a Hi-Rez player, after all, no DSD and is limited to lower PCM Hi-Rez files).

Cheers, Dr.L