LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 05, 2022  |  2 comments
If any company's sonic signature has changed from the first time I encountered it, it's Dan Wright's ModWright. While Dan still does tube modifications to products from other companies—his Cambridge CXN V2 Tube Modification ($1500/mod only) to the Cambridge DAC was part of the show system—the KWH225i class-AB Hybrid Integrated ($9750), PH9.0X Tube Phono Stage ($4750), and world debut Analog Bridge (maybe $2900/TBD) are 100% ModWright.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 05, 2022  |  0 comments
Of the two systems in Parasound's large room, time only allowed a listen to the big one. Given that room's entire front wall was composed of outward-facing glass, Parasound's Phil Jackson had no choice but to opt for heavy draping that, as with all heavy draping, nipped depth in the bud.

I initially typed "death" rather than depth. Whatever that may say about my own internal preoccupations, it does not reflect on the core of the system's sound, which was gratifying alive without being hot or splashy.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 05, 2022  |  0 comments
The email read, in part, like an equipment list with Herb Reichert's name on it. The room had one raison d'être: to showcase Pure AudioProject's Trio15 Classic open-baffle speaker ($9740/pair), which includes a Voxativ AC-PiFe wooden-cone center driver and three 15" woofers custom-manufactured for PureAudioProject by Eminence. To do so, Ze'ev (Wolf) Schlik paired his speaker with Pass Labs' INT-25 integrated amplifier ($7500) and XP-17 phono preamp ($4300), the Denafrips Terminator Plus DAC ($6400), and VPI Industries' Avenger turntable ($12,000) with Shyla cartridge ($2000).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 04, 2022  |  4 comments
The setting is surreal. As you drive into the Satsop Business Park in rural Elma, Washington (pop. 3500, max), eyes immediately fixate on the looming 481'-tall cooling towers of an abandoned nuclear facility. Remnants of the largest nuclear power plant construction project in the United States, the site was mothballed in 1983, in part due to concerns triggered by reports of what had happened at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island four years earlier.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 04, 2022  |  0 comments
With the support of Seattle's 76-year-old Hawthorne Stereo, Focal Naim America presented a system described by the company's Tom Graham as "The best of the best of what Focal and Naim have to offer." The sound in the large room was extremely open and spacious on a 16/44.1 wireless stream of a very naïve sounding soprano singing the "Pie Jesu" from John Rutter's Requiem.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 04, 2022  |  0 comments
When I entered the room shared by Ken Stevens' CAT (Convergent Audio Technology) and Michael D. Griffin's ESP (Essential Sound Products), recording engineers/life partners Jim Anderson (above) and Ulrike Schwarz were finishing up a talk/demonstration about recording Patricia Barber's album Clique. They are not the only world-class engineers I've encountered who, standing well to the side and above speakers' tweeters, played tracks so loud that voice and instruments spread and distorted. But in soft passages, and once they'd turned the volume down, the beautiful liquidity of the CAT sound, the superb engineering, and the excellent dynamics of system and recording alike came through for all to relish.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 04, 2022  |  0 comments
Since 1995, Michael Griffin's Essential Sound Products (ESP) has focused on manufacturing quality power cables for audiophiles. Then, starting with its Music Cord, Michael began manufacturing cords for musicians and recording studios. Jim Anderson and Ulrike Schwarz, for example, use ESP power cables in their recording projects.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 04, 2022  |  0 comments
In a room that better suited Margules electronics than the room at the 2022 Long Beach show, and with smaller Raidho TD3.2 loudspeakers ($70,000/pair) replacing the 3.8s used there, Margules electronics delivered an extremely pleasing sound with a lively but non-edgy top. The all-male a cappella rendition of "These Bones Will Rise Again"—I believe they rose in Long Beach as well—joined another resurrected oldie, the silly "Jazz Variants" from the O-Zone Percussion Group, to showcase how successfully these tube components reproduce deep bass and high-pitched percussion.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 04, 2022  |  1 comments
"Who would be crazy enough to exhibit these speakers in a 60' x 65' room?" asked Von Schweikert designer Leif Erickson (left in photo, with VAC's Kevin Hayes) as he cozied up next to me. Given what I was seeing and hearing, in the company of audiophile and the owner of the late Art Dudley's Altec Flamencos, Bob Lichtenberg, craziness seemed beside the point.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 04, 2022  |  1 comments
Ed DeVito, whose by appointment Audio-Ultra showroom is located a short ride from SEATAC airport, had planned to exhibit his Dohmann Helix 2 Base turntable ($33,000) with optional Carbon Fibre Top ($2700) and composite armboard ($2600). The table was equipped with the even newer Kuzma Safir 9" Arm with Silver Kondo wire XLR ($22,000) and Ortofon Verismo cartridge ($6999). But when he finished setting it up to perfection in his showroom, it sounded so right that he decided to leave it where it was.

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