KEF Reference 5 loudspeaker

Of all the speakers I have most enjoyed in recent years, two were from British manufacturer KEF: the LS50 Anniversary Model ($1500/pair), which I reviewed in December 2012; and the Blade Two ($25,000/pair), which I reviewed in June 2015. Though these two speakers lie at opposite ends of the price scale, they have in common KEF's unique Uni-Q drive-unit, in which the tweeter is mounted on the front of the midrange unit's pole piece, so that the lower-frequency cone acts as a waveguide for the higher-frequency output.
Thu, 09/21/2017

Rega Research Brio integrated amplifier Associated Equipment

Thu, 09/21/2017

Rega Research Brio integrated amplifier Specifications

Thu, 09/21/2017

Rega Research Brio integrated amplifier Page 2

Thu, 09/21/2017

Rega Research Brio integrated amplifier

"Looking back, my life's passions have mostly been sensual: food, females, fast cars, music, wine, sailing and skiing. My motivations, activities and work have stemmed from the need to fuel these passions rather than enjoyment of the process."

Who said this? John Atkinson? Art Dudley? Dr. Dre?

Thu, 09/21/2017

The Audeze LCDi4: Start to Finish

In June, I visited headphone manufacturer Audeze's factory in Southern California (they've since moved) and capture an abridged version of the making of a pair of Audeze LCDi4 in-ear planar magnetic headphones ($2495). In the first part of this video, which is narrated by first Sankar Thiagasamudram, Audeze's founder and CEO, we begin with the making of the LCDi4, followed by the testing, burn-in, and packaging. This is followed by the unboxing and very first listening session, with John Atkinson, Stereophile's editor in chief.
Thu, 09/21/2017

Bill Evans, Another Time: The Hilversum Concert

Resonance Records is emerging as the most vital jazz reissue house around—or, rather, not "reissue," for the music they put out has never been issued before: the producer Zev Feldman (or someone who contacts him) has found it in an unexamined vault, back room, or collectors' cove. Resonance is now filling in some blanks from Evans' middle years, the 1960s, for which there's also a paucity of albums, or at least of very good ones. The best of the new stack is the latest, Another Time, recorded before a live audience in the studio of Netherlands Radio Union in Hilversum, outside Amsterdam, on June 22, 1968. Until this release, no one ever knew the tapes of this performance existed.
Wed, 09/20/2017

VPI Prime Scout turntable Associated Equipment

Tue, 09/19/2017

COMMENTS
woodford's picture

Thanks for the insightful review- really, I mean it- but now one is forced to ask, how you’d describe the differences between a KT 88, 6L6, and EL34? Or more precisely, between at 6L6 and EL34?

Or, even more precisely, an EL34 and a KT77.

I get the EL84 reference.

mrkaic's picture

It is not very hard -- look up the data for these tubes (e.g. http://www.audiomatica.com/tubes/6l6.htm). You will find a lot of technical data, for example maximum plate voltage.

KT88 -- max plate voltage is 800 V
6L6 -- max plate voltage is 500 V
etc.

You can also define some tube models in SPICE and simulate the circuits. I love running SPICE, it is a lot of fun. Every audiophile should try it.

woodford's picture

that's interesting.

i'm interested in sound quality differences as well.

mrkaic's picture

Sound differences depend on the circuit and lots of other things. You cannot talk about the sound of a particular tube in isolation. It depends on the grid voltage, plate voltage, the quality of transformers, circuit topology etc. There is no simple answer.

If someone gives you a simplistic general answer, like KT88's are brighter than EL34's, then ask him: how many amplifiers have you designed? :))

tonykaz's picture

is that how I'd describe myself?, is that how we'd describe JA?

I suppose so. If I had to go out and buy a Turntable, I'd buy an original LP12/Ittok/Asak, even with it's original ( and quite horrible ) tone arm cable arrangement. I'd have it for old times sake, just a decoration.

But my last turntable love was for the turntables that Shela Weisfeld was selling me in 1985ish.

If I were to buy a playable turntable, I'd buy this Scout. It'd have a Sumiko MMT tonearm and I'd have plenty of Koetsu phono cartridges.

I'd have a complete record cleaning station set up and I'd build a sturdy record rack system. Phew

I'd also have about $10,000+ per year budget for Acoustic Sounds Vinyls.

I'd have Chad Kassem as a friend and entertain the hell out of him. Chad is the King of Vinyl, these days. He's exactly the kind of person I hang around with, he'd love my peerage and my straight talking and thinking peerage would love him. He's our kind of guy.

I'm not gonna buy into Vinyl, it was the only game in town back in the day.

Red Book MQA is just around the corner, it'll fit in the palm of a person's hand, it resonates with the Global Population.

Perhaps I've lost my "tweaky streak"

Tony in Michigan

ps. it's almost like the charm of vinyl today is Acoustic Sounds

Ortofan's picture
johnnythunder's picture

Belt vs. Direct. S Tonearm vs. unipivot. I would bet that the VPI has a more organic warmer sound vs. a clearer tighter sound of the Technics. It's certainly an alternative in the price range. Impossible to say what is "better" for the money.

Ortofan's picture

... the operating speed is not accurate or stable?
The $2200 VPI has worse speed accuracy and stability than a $500 Onkyo.
Why doesn't Stereophile test for tonearm resonances, as does Hi-Fi News (UK)?

Glotz's picture

And that's okay.

Dudley vs. Fremer - CAGE MATCH ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Apples vs. Oranges... for after the post-fight disappointment!

I think it would be killer to own both, or at least one direct-drive and one belt-drive. They each have their advantages. It's all about personal preference.

mrkaic's picture

"Turntables and LP jackets show up in photos in Elle Decor and Vanity Fair. New LPs are sold in stores in nice neighborhoods, and in malls with Cinnabon franchises and J.Crew stores."

Since when is being mainstream something to venerate? Is attaining repressive petit bourgeois respectability a subliminal goal of supposedly rebellious and individualistic audiophiles? :))

dalethorn's picture

"Since when is being mainstream something to venerate? Is attaining repressive petit bourgeois respectability a subliminal goal of supposedly rebellious and individualistic audiophiles?"

I think what most of us want is for the tech to spread, to become more popular, so the audiophile companies have lower levels of development and supply to draw from, which would result in lower prices and more variety on the higher end.

avanti1960's picture

The text says "you place the plinth and the motor pod next to each other..."
How does one align the pulley centers for proper belt tension?
Is the position of the motor easily repeatable if we need to move the turntable on occasion?

Pages

VPI Prime Scout turntable Specifications

Tue, 09/19/2017

COMMENTS
woodford's picture

Thanks for the insightful review- really, I mean it- but now one is forced to ask, how you’d describe the differences between a KT 88, 6L6, and EL34? Or more precisely, between at 6L6 and EL34?

Or, even more precisely, an EL34 and a KT77.

I get the EL84 reference.

mrkaic's picture

It is not very hard -- look up the data for these tubes (e.g. http://www.audiomatica.com/tubes/6l6.htm). You will find a lot of technical data, for example maximum plate voltage.

KT88 -- max plate voltage is 800 V
6L6 -- max plate voltage is 500 V
etc.

You can also define some tube models in SPICE and simulate the circuits. I love running SPICE, it is a lot of fun. Every audiophile should try it.

woodford's picture

that's interesting.

i'm interested in sound quality differences as well.

mrkaic's picture

Sound differences depend on the circuit and lots of other things. You cannot talk about the sound of a particular tube in isolation. It depends on the grid voltage, plate voltage, the quality of transformers, circuit topology etc. There is no simple answer.

If someone gives you a simplistic general answer, like KT88's are brighter than EL34's, then ask him: how many amplifiers have you designed? :))

tonykaz's picture

is that how I'd describe myself?, is that how we'd describe JA?

I suppose so. If I had to go out and buy a Turntable, I'd buy an original LP12/Ittok/Asak, even with it's original ( and quite horrible ) tone arm cable arrangement. I'd have it for old times sake, just a decoration.

But my last turntable love was for the turntables that Shela Weisfeld was selling me in 1985ish.

If I were to buy a playable turntable, I'd buy this Scout. It'd have a Sumiko MMT tonearm and I'd have plenty of Koetsu phono cartridges.

I'd have a complete record cleaning station set up and I'd build a sturdy record rack system. Phew

I'd also have about $10,000+ per year budget for Acoustic Sounds Vinyls.

I'd have Chad Kassem as a friend and entertain the hell out of him. Chad is the King of Vinyl, these days. He's exactly the kind of person I hang around with, he'd love my peerage and my straight talking and thinking peerage would love him. He's our kind of guy.

I'm not gonna buy into Vinyl, it was the only game in town back in the day.

Red Book MQA is just around the corner, it'll fit in the palm of a person's hand, it resonates with the Global Population.

Perhaps I've lost my "tweaky streak"

Tony in Michigan

ps. it's almost like the charm of vinyl today is Acoustic Sounds

Ortofan's picture
johnnythunder's picture

Belt vs. Direct. S Tonearm vs. unipivot. I would bet that the VPI has a more organic warmer sound vs. a clearer tighter sound of the Technics. It's certainly an alternative in the price range. Impossible to say what is "better" for the money.

Ortofan's picture

... the operating speed is not accurate or stable?
The $2200 VPI has worse speed accuracy and stability than a $500 Onkyo.
Why doesn't Stereophile test for tonearm resonances, as does Hi-Fi News (UK)?

Glotz's picture

And that's okay.

Dudley vs. Fremer - CAGE MATCH ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Apples vs. Oranges... for after the post-fight disappointment!

I think it would be killer to own both, or at least one direct-drive and one belt-drive. They each have their advantages. It's all about personal preference.

mrkaic's picture

"Turntables and LP jackets show up in photos in Elle Decor and Vanity Fair. New LPs are sold in stores in nice neighborhoods, and in malls with Cinnabon franchises and J.Crew stores."

Since when is being mainstream something to venerate? Is attaining repressive petit bourgeois respectability a subliminal goal of supposedly rebellious and individualistic audiophiles? :))

dalethorn's picture

"Since when is being mainstream something to venerate? Is attaining repressive petit bourgeois respectability a subliminal goal of supposedly rebellious and individualistic audiophiles?"

I think what most of us want is for the tech to spread, to become more popular, so the audiophile companies have lower levels of development and supply to draw from, which would result in lower prices and more variety on the higher end.

avanti1960's picture

The text says "you place the plinth and the motor pod next to each other..."
How does one align the pulley centers for proper belt tension?
Is the position of the motor easily repeatable if we need to move the turntable on occasion?

Pages

VPI Prime Scout turntable Page 2

Tue, 09/19/2017

COMMENTS
woodford's picture

Thanks for the insightful review- really, I mean it- but now one is forced to ask, how you’d describe the differences between a KT 88, 6L6, and EL34? Or more precisely, between at 6L6 and EL34?

Or, even more precisely, an EL34 and a KT77.

I get the EL84 reference.

mrkaic's picture

It is not very hard -- look up the data for these tubes (e.g. http://www.audiomatica.com/tubes/6l6.htm). You will find a lot of technical data, for example maximum plate voltage.

KT88 -- max plate voltage is 800 V
6L6 -- max plate voltage is 500 V
etc.

You can also define some tube models in SPICE and simulate the circuits. I love running SPICE, it is a lot of fun. Every audiophile should try it.

woodford's picture

that's interesting.

i'm interested in sound quality differences as well.

mrkaic's picture

Sound differences depend on the circuit and lots of other things. You cannot talk about the sound of a particular tube in isolation. It depends on the grid voltage, plate voltage, the quality of transformers, circuit topology etc. There is no simple answer.

If someone gives you a simplistic general answer, like KT88's are brighter than EL34's, then ask him: how many amplifiers have you designed? :))

tonykaz's picture

is that how I'd describe myself?, is that how we'd describe JA?

I suppose so. If I had to go out and buy a Turntable, I'd buy an original LP12/Ittok/Asak, even with it's original ( and quite horrible ) tone arm cable arrangement. I'd have it for old times sake, just a decoration.

But my last turntable love was for the turntables that Shela Weisfeld was selling me in 1985ish.

If I were to buy a playable turntable, I'd buy this Scout. It'd have a Sumiko MMT tonearm and I'd have plenty of Koetsu phono cartridges.

I'd have a complete record cleaning station set up and I'd build a sturdy record rack system. Phew

I'd also have about $10,000+ per year budget for Acoustic Sounds Vinyls.

I'd have Chad Kassem as a friend and entertain the hell out of him. Chad is the King of Vinyl, these days. He's exactly the kind of person I hang around with, he'd love my peerage and my straight talking and thinking peerage would love him. He's our kind of guy.

I'm not gonna buy into Vinyl, it was the only game in town back in the day.

Red Book MQA is just around the corner, it'll fit in the palm of a person's hand, it resonates with the Global Population.

Perhaps I've lost my "tweaky streak"

Tony in Michigan

ps. it's almost like the charm of vinyl today is Acoustic Sounds

Ortofan's picture
johnnythunder's picture

Belt vs. Direct. S Tonearm vs. unipivot. I would bet that the VPI has a more organic warmer sound vs. a clearer tighter sound of the Technics. It's certainly an alternative in the price range. Impossible to say what is "better" for the money.

Ortofan's picture

... the operating speed is not accurate or stable?
The $2200 VPI has worse speed accuracy and stability than a $500 Onkyo.
Why doesn't Stereophile test for tonearm resonances, as does Hi-Fi News (UK)?

Glotz's picture

And that's okay.

Dudley vs. Fremer - CAGE MATCH ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Apples vs. Oranges... for after the post-fight disappointment!

I think it would be killer to own both, or at least one direct-drive and one belt-drive. They each have their advantages. It's all about personal preference.

mrkaic's picture

"Turntables and LP jackets show up in photos in Elle Decor and Vanity Fair. New LPs are sold in stores in nice neighborhoods, and in malls with Cinnabon franchises and J.Crew stores."

Since when is being mainstream something to venerate? Is attaining repressive petit bourgeois respectability a subliminal goal of supposedly rebellious and individualistic audiophiles? :))

dalethorn's picture

"Since when is being mainstream something to venerate? Is attaining repressive petit bourgeois respectability a subliminal goal of supposedly rebellious and individualistic audiophiles?"

I think what most of us want is for the tech to spread, to become more popular, so the audiophile companies have lower levels of development and supply to draw from, which would result in lower prices and more variety on the higher end.

avanti1960's picture

The text says "you place the plinth and the motor pod next to each other..."
How does one align the pulley centers for proper belt tension?
Is the position of the motor easily repeatable if we need to move the turntable on occasion?

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