LATEST ADDITIONS

Herb Reichert  |  Apr 16, 2019  |  3 comments
Jolida Audio began life a fabricator of vacuum tubes. But since the early 1990s, it has been known for its musical-sounding, modestly priced tube amplification. Jolida was also famous for its association with Jim Fosgate, famous for his Dolby Pro Logic inventions and, more important (to me at least), his battery-powered cartridge-azimuth alignment tool, the Fozgometer. Which I use all the time.
Herb Reichert  |  Apr 16, 2019  |  3 comments
My personal selection for Stereophile's 2018 Product of the Year was the super-resolving, highly-involving TAD Micro Evolution One loudspeaker ($12,495/pair). I heard it first at a MoFi demonstration at an audio show. Wherein I repeated the words "wow" and "my god" over and over. Think goosebumps and awe. But I never thought, or imagined, how much more fleshed out and expansive the ME1s could sound with another octave of energy at the bottom. This year, in the second Tenacious Audio room, the $27,995/pair TAD Evolution E1TX-K loudspeakers produced a much larger and more forceful energy field—with an enhanced octave to octave tonal balance. The E1TX-K's dual 7" woofers and CST coaxial mid-tweeter array delivered an extremely beguiling transparency.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 16, 2019  |  1 comments
The impressive-sounding room from dealer Audio Video Interiors featured the Anthem STR integrated amplifier ($4499) that Tom Norton reviewed for Stereophile in July 2018. Speakers were the Paradigm Persona 3Fs ($10,000/pair), a smaller sibling to the similar-looking Persona 5F ($17,000/pair) that Kal Rubinson reviewed in October 2018.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 16, 2019  |  0 comments
The final MoFi Distribution room I visited at the show featured the version of the classic BBC LS3/5A minimonitor made by Falcon Acoustics that I reported on in our report from the 2018 RMAF. This is said to be the only version currently manufactured that is truly identical to the original and was very favorably reviewed by Herb Reichert in October 2017.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 16, 2019  |  18 comments
Ken Micallef was impressed by this British company's CDA2 Mk.2 CD player/DAC ($4249) when he reviewed it in the January issue, and ATC were using it as the souce in their room at AXPONA. But pride of place went to their SCM50 tower speakers ($22,000/pair, far right in my photo) and the similar-looking SCM50SE powered towers ($60,000/pair, near right).
Herb Reichert  |  Apr 16, 2019  |  3 comments
Look at that photo and notice the elegant wood grille on the Gershman Acoustics Grande Avant Garde loudspeaker ($13,000/pair). How good does that speaker look in person? I put a high value on imaging and what an orchestra looks like between the speakers. Therefore, I prefer speakers with grilles: Exposed drivers distract me from the sound and the illusion . . .
John Atkinson  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  7 comments
. . . proclaimed posters everywhere on the Renaissance Convention Center's ground floor. It turned out that the show had run out of exhibit rooms, so a purpose-built listening room had been built for Chicago dealer Kyomi Audio at the back of the big hall that housed the LP fair, the Master Class space, and the Ear Gear exhibits. Inside—forgive the grainy photo; it was quite dark inside this room—were a pair of Raidho TD1.2 stand-mounted speakers ($27,000/pair) connected with Gamut Reference cables to a pair of Jadis NEC 845 push-pull monoblocks ($29,990, the first pair in North America), a Jadis JPS2 preamp ($15,500), and a Jadis JPS3 phono preamplifier ($14,900).
John Atkinson  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  0 comments
I had forgotten how dynamic Avantgarde's Uno XD speakers ($32,000/pair) could sound, coupled with a fine delicacy that was in evidence on an SACD track by Jenn Chapin (daughter of Harry Chapin), where Ms. Chapin was palpably placed in the center of the stage, with a double bass on the right and a baritone saxophone on the left. Electronics were all from Esoteric: the new Grandioso P1X SACD transport ($50,000) feeding DSD data to two of Esoteric's new Grandioso mono DACs ($50,000/pair), these all clocked from an Esoteric Grandioso Rubidium Master Clock ($26,000). The transport uses a new mechanism and the D/A processor a fully discrete DAC topology with 64-bit processing.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  4 comments
The 3rd-floor room shared by Schiit and Salk Signature Sound was so crowded the first two times I stopped by that I couldn't listen, But the third time, Béla Fleck's classic "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo" was playing, I snagged a second-row seat and liked what I heard. A big, clean sound from an affordable system. Speakers were Salk's Song3 BeATs ($4495/pair, $4795/pair in custom finishes like those at the show); source was either a Salk Streamplayer Gen III ($1695) feeding Schiit's Yggdrasil DAC ($2395) or an SOL turntable (estimated price $799); phono preamp a Schiit Mani ($129); preamplifier a Schiit Freya ($699); and amplifier a Schiit Aegir ($799).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 15, 2019  |  2 comments
Voxativ's deceptively simple-looking Absolut Hagen System ($7900 with Voxativ speaker cables), which consists of a Voxativ Absolut Box 30Wpc class-AB integrated amp, complete with custom DAC with DSP, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth aptX, and a pair of Voxativ Hagen single-driver loudspeakers, took advantage of a Samsung S10 Android phone to stream music wirelessly from Qobuz via aptX Bluetooth. The Absolut Hagen System, which used optional Synergistic Research cabling in the demo, can stream files up to 24/192. Thanks to built-in DSP, it is claimed to descend flat to 45Hz.

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