LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 19, 2015  |  0 comments
How to explain this one? At other shows, the most problematic rooms for an exhibitor to control are usually the large rooms on the ground level, where a combination of air walls, air-conditioning ducts, wall composition, and secrets pacts between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (which, in this case, was literally across the street from the Westin SFO) can defeat any and all attempts at good sound. But at both the California Audio Show and the last T.H.E. Show Newport Beach, most of the big rooms on the ground floor produced excellent sound.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 18, 2015  |  11 comments
Sunday, for Stereophile, began in the larger rooms on the 2nd floor of the Westin SFO. In the first I visited, Pass Labs mated its INT-60 integrated amplifier ($9000) and XP-15 phono preamp ($3800) with an SP10 Mk.II turntable fitted with a My Sonic Lab Hyper Eminent cartridge, Oppo BDP-105, YG Carmel 2 loudspeakers ($26,300/pair), and a mixture of ART, Sound Source, homemade, and stock power cables. Pass Labs' signature midrange was gorgeous, and the sense of air supreme.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 17, 2015  |  2 comments
I wish I could tell you about the Linn system in this room, but both times I tried to enter, Steven Lester was in the middle of a long rap. Lester's video components always provide some of the most fun and unexpected treats at a show, and usually result in packed rooms. That was certainly the case the first time I came by.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 17, 2015  |  1 comments
Mexico's most distinguished audio manufacturer, Margules Audio, demmed a system at CAS6 headlined by the Margules U280-SC 25th-Anniversary, stereo tube amplifier ($5399). The midrange was warm and wonderful—just what the doctor ordered, in fact. Despite a little brightness on top, and a bit of shallowness on bottom, the set-up was supremely musical and capable of conveying joyful, delicate beauty with panache. That, my friends, means a whole lot in my book.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 16, 2015  |  14 comments
"Do you two have a bodyguard?" I asked Elac speaker designer Andrew Jones (right) and equally legendary Audio Alchemy electronics designer Peter Madnick (left) upon hearing the tremendous sound pouring forth from their bargain system ($5500 including custom-made music server and cabling). "If you don't, you'd be wise to consider hiring one. Given the virtually illegal amount of warmth, bass, and full-range sound you're getting from those tiny little speakers and that sub, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one high-priced manufacturer is tempted to do you in, lest you give the lie to the assertion that higher prices equate with better sound."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 15, 2015  |  19 comments
One of the highlights of Day One at CAS was the room put together by Bricasti. The opening track in Brian Zolner of Bricasti's sensational salvo may have been drawn from, God help us, the soundtrack to Alien 3, but the midrange was gorgeous, and the dynamic range immense. Simply immense. This Bricasti and friends system exhibited the largest dynamic range sweeps of any system I recall hearing in a standard-size hotel room.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 15, 2015  |  2 comments
On paper, the 6th annual California Audio Show, taking place this weekend at the Westin SFO in Millbrae, CA just south of San Francisco, qualifies as the smallest consumer audio show in the United States. But you wouldn't have known it from the lines at the registration table at 10:30am on opening day. The place looked packed. And the reality was, given 29 active exhibit rooms, some with multiple systems, plus other active exhibits in the lobby, Friday's turnout felt perfect.
Fred Kaplan  |  Aug 14, 2015  |  0 comments
News of yet another boxed-set of previously unissued Miles recordings never fails to zap the juices of anticipatory pleasure—and Sony's vaults, in particular, hold a lot of them. The latest, The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Miles Davis at Newport, 1955–1975 (Columbia Legacy), contains four CDs chronicling eight sessions from his appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Larry Greenhill  |  Aug 14, 2015  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1995  |  4 comments
The availability of the Pacific Microsonics High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD®) PMD100 decoder chip, manufactured by San Jose's VLSI Technology, has brought about a minor revolution in Compact Disc playback. It brings sonic improvements in imaging, soundstaging, and resolution of detail. In the past six months, Stereophile has published a number of reports on the HDCD decoder's operation, what HDCD recordings are available, and the improvements brought by the HDCD chip to specific digital audio processors (footnote 1). High-end manufacturers are incorporating the $40 HDCD chip in their newest decoders, including the $4695 Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 Mk.II D/A processor, the $15,950 Mark Levinson No.30.5, and the $8195 Spectral SDR-2000 Professional HDCD D/A Processor (reviewed in Vol.18 No.5).
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 14, 2015  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1989  |  0 comments
While the AT-OC9 bears the Audio-Technica logo, you won't find a sample of this moving-coil cartridge at your friendly Audio-Technica dealership. The US distributor of Audio-Technica products has apparently decided that their market does not include high-end cartridges. A quick perusal of the latest Audio directory issue (October 1988) lists the most expensive AT cartridge at $295, with no moving-coils in sight. When I first heard of the AT-OC9, the only reasonably accessible source, short of Japan, was Audio-Technica in the UK. A quick phone call and follow-up letter resulted in a review sample. Since that time, Music Hall in the US importers of the Epos loudspeakers, among other items) has begun importing the AT-OC9 (along with the less-expensive AT-F5). Mail-order company Lyle Cartridges also stock it, I believe.

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