Michael Fremer  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  108 comments
Are well-heeled audiophiles ready for a knob-free future? Gryphon Audio Designs thinks so. In contrast to Gryphon's volume knob–dominated Pandora preamplifier, the Danish company's new Commander offers nothing on its bold front panel to grab or turn.

Instead, there's a large, extra-thick, triangular glass protuberance that extends dramatically below the chassis's vertical dimension. That's where you'll find an "on/off" button, the main unit's only physical switch.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  7 comments
Look into the faces of Jashan Bahl and Anmol. The boy, who is 5, came to the show with his dad because he loves music and instruments. He's wide-eyed, curious, and ready to learn. He is the future of high-end audio.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  3 comments
Given the legendary status of 300B tube-based amplification, this blog may surprise you. But in all my years at audio shows, I cannot recall more than one or two instances when I've been treated to a 300B-based product. If I'm wrong, then it's safe to say that those products did not leave a lasting impression. Since none of my audiophile buddies owns 300B-based electronics, that renders me, at this late stage of life, a 300B virgin.

Which made my half hour in the room sponsored by Oz Turan's High End By Oz even more enlightening...

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  0 comments
First things first. This was one of the best-sounding rooms at T.H.E. Show. Given its sheer size, I have no question that some of the success was due to the various and sundry magical Synergistic Research accouterments—I counted 10 so-called "Acoustic Room Treatment" devices and 5 Synergistic Power Conditioning devices (including Purple fuses)—along with new Synergistic Racks (intended for internal use) and, no surprise, Synergistic Research cabling.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  2 comments
After I joined Emiko Carlin, Senior Vice President for T.H.E. Show, for our wrap photo op, she said, "What? You missed the opportunity to see MC Audiotech's new speaker?"

What the ever-delightful, tell-it-like-it-is and then some Emiko says, Jason does (within reason)...

Julie Mullins  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  3 comments
In last month's Re-Tales, I discussed what was happening on the vacuum-tube landscape, especially tube shortages resulting from Russia's war on Ukraine and its consequences for trade. Tube availability is, of course, a small concern compared to continuing Russian atrocities and the resulting suffering of Ukrainians. Still, it's a question tubed-electronics lovers and makers must grapple with, and we're a hi-fi magazine. So: If that Russian tube supply is curtailed or boycotted, what are the alternatives for manufacturers and individual buyers?
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  1 comments
Yes, it's a mouthful. And perhaps the name will change. But as for now, the new SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speaker Pair ($800/pair), an active/passive self-powered combo whose 200Wpc driver amps are housed in one of the two speaker cabinets, is due out in mid-August. This is a fine-sounding alternative to a sound bar, complete with a 24/192 DAC and an active digital crossover. Connection will be either wired or wireless, with options including DTSS, Play-Fi, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, aptX Bluetooth. Play-Fi will enable listeners to stream 24/192 signals.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  0 comments
Ken Boyce's Cake Audio of San Clemente united many well-respected brands in a fine system that impressed many show goers. At the top of my "Wow, this is good" list were the lovely piano timbres on a 45rpm pressing of Eugene Istomin performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No.24, and good old Elvis' absolutely fabulous, prime voice, do-with-me-what-you-want rendition of "Fever." Not yet the overdone cynic of his later years, Presley perfectly gauged every single syllable and nuance in his surprisingly tasteful, no questions left to ask performance. Need I say that it would not have sounded half as mesmerizing if the gear had not been up to snuff?
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  0 comments
In a large, exceedingly difficult-to-tame room, Acora Acoustics SRC-2 loudspeakers ($37,000/pair) did a superb job with voices. I sat mesmerized, trying to figure out who was singing "Largo al factotum," aka "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, etc . . .," from Rossini's The Barber of Seville.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  0 comments
Once the volume was turned up, the fourth movement of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade filled Aaudio Imports' large space with exciting sound. Distinguished by appropriate bite and a solid midrange, the system also excelled on Ray Charles and Norah Jones' "Here We Go Again."