Two Recent FollowUp Reviews

Stereophile has reviewed two somewhat controversial products in recent issues. The Italian Grandinote Shinai integrated amplifier, which Robert Schryer wrote about in November 2020 is a solid-state design but with an output stage that resembles that of a typical push-pull tube amplifier. Falcon's "Gold Badge" edition of the BBC-designed LS3/5a minimonitor, which Herb Reichert reviewed in April 2021, is a re-engineered version of a design that will soon be celebrating its 50th birthday.

John Atkinson's measurements of the Falcon loudspeaker are now posted here. JA compares the new speaker's performance both with that of Falcon's original take on the design and of his 1978 Rogers LS3/5as. His conclusion: "46 years after the introduction of the original, this is still a competitive loudspeaker."

Robert Schryer returned to the Grandinote amplifier in the April issue, following a disturbing experience after he had submitted his original review. "Eight weeks after I'd submitted my review . . . the Italian integrated amp blew open," he wrote. "I don't mean that it exploded; I mean its sound exploded: It blew open musically. As good as it was already, the sound went from here up to there, overnight. In 16 hours, the amp underwent a transformation that caused it to sound expressively freer."

For an amplifier's sound to improve in such a manner such a long time after it had first been installed in a system is unusual, to say the least. Click here to find out more about Robert's longer-term experience with this intriguing amplifier.

COMMENTS
Briandrumzilla's picture

I think your link is busted.

John Atkinson's picture
Briandrumzilla wrote:
I think your link is busted.

Thanks for the proof reading :-)

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

shawnwes's picture

First published May 1 2021? Do you have a DeLorean? :)

davip's picture

"Eight weeks after I'd submitted my review . . . the Italian integrated amp blew open ... I mean its sound exploded: It blew open musically. As good as it was already, the sound went from here up to there, overnight. In 16 hours, the amp underwent a transformation that caused it to sound expressively freer". For an amplifier's sound to improve in such a manner such a long time after it had first been installed in a system is unusual, to say the least...

'Unusual' indeed. So which is more likely: 1) that a solid-state device somehow changed its electrical performance more than 1,300 hours after it was first switched-on for subjective assessment, or 2) that the initial subjective review was not worth the time that it took to write?

If you want to 'Follow-up' something with an even more 'unusual' disconnect between subjective experience and objective assessment for the benefit of your readers (and your magazine's credibility), why don't you follow-up the JVS review of the Aavik u-380 amplifier (https://www.stereophile.com/content/aavik-acoustics-u-380-integrated-amplifier) that is now almost one-year in (not) coming, an amplifier that is merrily doing the review-rounds of other, non-measuring magazines, but is seemingly unavailable for an increasingly neutered-looking Stereophile?

rschryer's picture

How did you come up with that crazy number?

1300 hours represents over 3.5 hours of music listening every day for an entire year.

I assure you that I was no way near that many listening hours when the unit's sound changed.

For more info, read the follow-up.

davip's picture

To come up with that "crazy number" try dividing the eight weeks that you had this device for by the number of hours in eight weeks. I'm surprised that you're suggesting that it's the number of hours that you listened to this unit for that is relevant to the major perceived change in the sound (unless your intent is to call your own critical faculties into question) rather the number of hours that it could (and should) have been switched on for. Either 1) this unit has an extraordinarily long warm-up period, or 2) your initial subjective assessment was erroneous. There is no 3).

rschryer's picture

Let me put this another way: I did not have a signal running through the Shinai every single minute (162.5 hours/week) of the eight weeks I used it.

Say what you will about my original review, but your 1300-hours number is misleading and you are being disingenuous.

And you do know that there's a difference between warm up and break in, right?

Glotz's picture

As with Analog Planet, Davip's comments are consistently disparaging and intentionally insulting.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Let's get civil in this public forum, please.

IMO, you are stereotyping davip that could be deemed as "insulting" as well.

FYI, all staff in the international chain organization I am working with, are constantly reminded, during periodic on-screeen training, mutual respect is a condition of employment.

So be nice & happy. No finger pointing please. Thanks.

Jack L

Glotz's picture

You don't work for Stereophile, and are finger-pointing as well.

Jack L's picture

Hi

No, I don't work for Stereophile.

Yet the way you have been behaving here (e.g. being an all-time yes-man & pointing fingers for Stereophile), gives us the impression you were working for this magazine instead.

Please show me incidents of my pointing fingers = confronting whoever face-to-face.

Jack L

PS: Honestly I doubt any employer(s) in this business can afford hiring a Jack of all audio trades, like yours truly - (too expensive !!). I am still working simply for keeping myself active & productive, instead of idling at home like a couch pototo, spinning my vinyls to kill time. FYI, I am making easy bucks in the money markets (managed for me by my better half). I don't need money for my bread & butter.

Glotz's picture

Speak for yourself.

Your finger pointing comments litter the comments section every single day. Herb's 'gun reference' in his GD #48, where you had 13 comments in a single thread out of 48 comments, much of it accusing several people.

You're rude to other posters like JHL and Michael Lavorgna in that very thread. You even needed to be told his comments were a joke or to 'let it go'. You'll even defend a davip, whose ready to get banned here. You're dense and insulting for your own sake.

And yet hypocritically again, you claim to be so grateful when others apologize like HR, but then you cannot do the same apologizing when you finger point, make facetious, pseudo emotional comments and generally rant about yourself when literally no one cares about what you do, or what you make. A Jackass of all trades to be sure.

Jack L's picture

Hi

I don't know why my post did not go thru.

In rschryer's re-review above, he stated clearly "In 16 hours...".
So I think he switched on the amp for 16hours before he started his re-auditioin. I makes sense to me.

From my decades audition experience, I am not convinced :"In 16 hours, the amp underwent a TRANSFORMATION that made it sound expressly freer" unless the amp had been switched on to run in for quite a long time that he did not mention in above re-review.

So logically, I agree to yr 2nd suggestion: erroneous initial subjective assessments. That could turn the dice to discredit Stereophile subject reviews. Hopefully this error so made was only incidental.

Jack L

Jack L's picture

Hi

For low powered amp as such that took so long to run in, I think there could be something inadequate in its design. Maybe some self-curing cold joints in its internal connection during its first review. Who knows ?

Jack L

Mev Dinc's picture
John Atkinson's picture
That is the issue in which the Falcon measurements were published. May 2021.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Mev Dinc's picture

Silly me, I completely forgot the fact that you were referring to the printed magazine date. Sorry.

John Atkinson's picture
Mev Dinc wrote:
Silly me, I completely forgot the fact that you were referring to the printed magazine date.

No Problem. Magaxine people have a very fluid concept of time. The calendar month is April; the current issue month is May; and the issue that we are all currently working on is July.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Mev Dinc's picture

Yes, I know it from the gaming mags (when I developed games back in the 80s and 90s in the UK).

tonykaz's picture

They are all supposed to sound pretty much identical, aren't they?

Perhaps improved or better sounding individual components would or should produce an improved version of the old reliable Standard.

Over the Decades since the LS3/5a's introduction, many improved competitors arrived including the outstanding Pro-Ac Tablette in all it's 7 versions and the wonderful LINN KANN design.

I personally love the LS3/5a and still consider it the Father of Audiophile dynamic Transducers.

The Quad 57 is another great as are the continuing Klipsch designs.

Transducers haven't gotten better but Recorded music certainly has.

Tony in Venice Florida

Jack L's picture

Hi

Wait until you hear the minis made by a well-known brandname guitar builder in Japan .....

My jaw was virtually blown away sonically by this little David!
No kidding ! Rogers & it's crones ? Not even in the same league !

Listening is believing

Jack L

tonykaz's picture

If its well known, why not mention it?

I'll consider the Sennhieiser headphone transducers to be superior.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Why should a reader like me to introduce quality loudspeakers here?
This is the job of Stereophile, right? Not mine !

I've mentioned it a few times here simply for its performance blows away any minis I've auditioned so far, including the Rogers & it's crones being reviewed here.

I don't mind if requested by the editor here.

You just mentioned the Rogers made the best dynamic transducers. Now you turn around to tell us Sennheiser HEADPHONE transducers are superior. Are you comparing apple to orange or what ?

Jack L

tonykaz's picture

Rogers didn't make transducers. KEF made the LS3/5a transducers.

Sennheiser's transducers are headphone transducers not room pressurising transducers. As far as I can tell, the sennheiser HD580/600/650 series transducer is a higher resolving device than any known loudspeaker transducer.

I didn't quite complete my comments of the previous "Well known" post because of an emergency, can you offer a traceable description of your wonderful device? I follow transducer developments and would love to learn of another advancement.

Tony in Venice Florida

Jack L's picture

Hi

Sennheisser headphones are 300-ohm high impedance. So make sure you get a headphone amp that can provide high output voltage with enough current to make the headphone sound good. Best up to 10Vrms to make it 'happy'.

A good headphone amp should provide high current low voltage (min over 1V) for low impedance headphones, as well as high voltage (up to 10V) for high impedance headphones, e.g. Sennheiseser, Beyer etc.
Some headphones, like some Sony models can go down to 8-ohm that can screw up those headphone amps not desinged to provide such high currents enough to make the headphone good souding.

Jack L

Jack L's picture

Hi

As consumers buying loudspeakers, we only concern how they sound, not to worry about who made what transducers or whatever for the loudspeakers. Right? Rogers supplies you the loudspeaker system, not KEF. It is the job of Rogers or whatever crones to ensure they sound right before launching them in the marketplace.

Loudspeaker & headphone transducers function in totally different criteria. They are on the different 'planets'. Apple can't replace orange & vice versa. They should NOT be compared. Like you compare biking with cycling. Totally different riding !

If you asking me, I would difinitely prefer loudspeakers for closest-to-life music reproduction vs headphones which should be used as a minor alternative to loudspeakers when situation does not permit using loudspeakers.

If you understand how our ears/brain work on soundwaves, you would appreciate why I have such opinion. This is human nature ! No ands or buts !

That's why I would NOT take headphone music for serious music enjoyment. This is a human nature issue.

Listening to loudspeakers is believing

Jack L

PS: Loudspeaker sounding good or not does not depend only on the transducers or driver units used. The cabinet box design/constrution play a very substantial part in its sonic performance. I did not know until I had the chance of auditioning this mini loudspeaker which is built like a musical instrument, contrary to conventional loudspeaker cabinet designs. More on this later.

MikeP's picture

The all new Pure Audio ONE.2 Integrated might be one of the best on the market !

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