Kalman Rubinson  |  Jun 20, 2023  |  20 comments
Over a lifetime of involvement in audio, I have had standmount speakers—bookshelf speakers, as they were called back then—only twice. My very first loudspeaker was a vinyl-wrapped fiberboard bookshelf box with no name. It lasted barely a year and was replaced with a two-way system I built with a 12" RCA woofer in a floorstanding bass-reflex cabinet. My second bookshelf system was a Weathers "Book" speaker lashed up to a University dual-voice-coil woofer. I was determined to try that new thing, stereo.

Since then, I've had only floorstanders, home-made and manufactured, and I never seriously considered owning small speakers again except, perhaps, as part of a surround sound system. With that bias, why am I reviewing the B&W 705 S3?

Herb Reichert  |  Jun 19, 2023  |  5 comments
The Stereophile crew at AXPONA 2023, minus Herb Reichert (L–R): Jason Victor Serinus, Rogier van Bakel, Michael Trei, Jim Austin, Ken Micallef. Photo by David James Bellecci-Serinus.

At AXPONA 2023, I saw teenage besties cruising rooms together. I saw fashion-conscious 20-somethings listening in sweet spots, and young parents with younger children. Yeah, there were a few gray boomers like me, but only a couple were wearing Hawaiian shirts. AXPONA 2023 vibed like a tribal conference at a sacred pilgrimage site, and I've never enjoyed an audio show this much before.

Julie Mullins  |  Jun 18, 2023  |  1 comments
Many family-owned hi-fi companies have experienced generational leadership transitions over the last few years: Wilson Audio, Von Schweikert Audio, PS Audio, and VPI Industries, to name a few. In two of those cases, the founding father is still around. One of those is VPI Industries.

Harry and Sheila Weisfeld founded VPI in 1978. A succession plan? "Initially there really was none," VPI President Mat Weisfeld (above), who took over for his father Harry, told me. "They'd hoped to work to the last of their days. Unfortunately, my mom's days were cut short."

Andrey Henkin  |  Jun 17, 2023  |  1 comments
Dave Lombardo: Rites of Percussion
Ipecac IPC-265 (Auditioned as LP). 2023. Lombardo, prod.; Lombardo, David A. Lombardo, John Golden, engs.
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  3 comments
T.H.E. Show VP Emiko Carlin (left) with Pandora Pang of On A Higher Note (right)

As one of the first US audio shows to reopen as the pandemic seemed to be winding down, T.H.E. Show's attendance figures had no way to go but up. Thanks to some good PR and the excellent choice of a new venue, The Hilton Costa Mesa in Southern California's Orange is the New Red County, attendance exceeded expectations. Saturday, for example, was so packed that I couldn't get into a number of rooms on floors 2 and 3.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  1 comments
It has been too many years since I last encountered Von Gaylord Audio's Ling and Ray Leung of West Sacramento, CA. Celebrating 25 years in business, the couple now sells their equipment direct at half their old prices.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  0 comments
No sooner had I finished listening in the Audiophile Zone room than ATC's Leland Leard corralled me into the AGD room. There, Alberto Guerra, AGD President and CEO, introduced me to his AGD/Ocean Way system and discussed the rationale behind his "tube" GaN MOSFET class-D amplifiers.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  0 comments
The best sound I have ever heard from an ATC loudspeaker poured forth in the room commandeered by Audiophile Zone of Los Osos, CA. On a 24/192 file of the Engegärd Quartet performing Haydn, every timbre sounded spot and believable. Switching gears to DSD64, highs were excellent and depth convincing on Frank Sinatra's "When You're Smiling." And, on 24/96 tracks from Spirit Hiromi, I was blown away by the excellent bass, believable piano timbres, and musicality of the presentation. If I could have stayed longer, I would have.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  1 comments
It took three attempts and a show near closing time for me to squeeze into the Volt room. Not only were there only three seats, arranged in a line in the center of the room parallel to the side walls, but the space was also illumined by a frequently changing light show that proved as enticing to show goers as those transformative "Eat Me" morsels in Alice in Wonderland.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  5 comments
Upscale Audio saved one of its finest lookers, the Pathos InPol Legacy 100Wpc class-A integrated amplifier ($49,995), for Klipsch Klipschorn AK6 loudspeakers ($16,448/pair) and a REL Acoustics 212/SX subwoofer ($4999).