Robert Deutsch

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Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  0 comments
"Have you heard the Woo headphone amps?" Todd Garfinkle of M•A Recordings pulled me over. I told him that I hadn't—but then I have not kept up with the market in headphone amps. "Have a listen." So I did, over Sennheiser HD800 headphones. The M•A Recordings Seeing Unknown Colors (MO 15A) sounded great through the Woo Audio WA6 ($650), without the touch of extra brightness that these 'phones are prone to.
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Canadian-designed and assembled, the signal distinguishing feature of Tri-Art Audio amplifiers is that concrete is used extensively in their construction. Tri-Art Audio believes that class-D power amp chips offer superb power but suffer from microphonics, and only when the chip is isolated from vibration can its virtues be truly experienced. The Block amplifiers do just that. The amplifiers are available in various forms, some with and some without level controls, with optional battery power supply, power ranging from 25 to 200Wpc, prices starting at $1995.
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Ron Sutherland of Sutherland Engineering is famous for his phono preamps. At TAVES he introduced a new product: the N1 ($10,000), a line-plus-phono preamplifier. The most striking thing about this product is that it uses Nixie tubes for the display of source number and volume. Nixie tubes are those little tubes that light up to display a number or other characters. It's a charmingly retro look. I didn't think that these tubes are being made any more, and Ron Sutherland confirmed that this is correct; however, he has purchased a huge stock of Nixie tubes, so his customers are taken care of.
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  0 comments
The interior of the N1 shows an impeccable arrangement of circuit components. There are separate circuit boards for the left and right channels; these are identical, and are stacked, as shown in the photo.
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  0 comments
It's called Toronto Audio and Video Entertainment Show, but--just between us—TAVES is basically an audio show. This is not for want of trying on the part of show organizers. They've arranged seminars on the TV calibration, the differences between LCD, LED and plasma displays, and set up an elaborate blind comparison involving 20 flat panel displays that included LCD, LED, and plasma designs, all professionally calibrated, and with the brandnames obscured. I thought it was quite an interesting and useful comparison, but on the three occasions that I visited the room, there were hardly any people there—contrast this with the booths where LPs and CDs were being sold (below).
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  0 comments
TAVES had a number of vendors offering an excellent array of audiophile LPs . . .
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Reev Designs is a new Toronto-based speaker company, with so far just one model: the large, stand-mounted Aetma ($6950/pair). It's a striking-looking speaker, with wooden extensions on each side that are said to be critical in controlling resonances. Frequency response is claim to extend from 44Hz to 22kHz, ±3dB.
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  1 comments
Toronto-based Focus Audio has been around since 1993, and they manufacture a vast array of speakers. The ones on demo (Chord CD player, Conrad-Johnson ET5 preamp and LP125M power amps) were the FP88s ($6800/pair). I enjoyed a recording of Eva Cassidy played through this system.
Robert Deutsch  |  Oct 02, 2011  |  0 comments
I know that Zu is a manufacturer of loudspeakers, but what does "Omen Def" mean. I have no idea, but a pair of these speakers was producing a lively sound at TAVES. At $3400/pair ($2900/pair show special), the price seemed eminently reasonable. They were playing vinyl, courtesy of a KLM 15 turntable and Denon 103 Grade 2 (yes, it's still being made) cartridge.

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