Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 27, 2017  |  24 comments
Never have I had to work so hard to convince someone that a product that first surfaced at CES 2017, just started shipping, and was just awarded MQA certification belonged in a new-product show report. Finally, after several minutes of what was beginning to look like a Socratic dialogue, Michael McCormick, President of Minneapolis-based Bel Canto Design, acknowledged that the single-box Bel Canto Black Box ACI 600 ($25,000) was indeed deserving of coverage by the publication that awarded the three-box Bel Canto Black system "Best Amplification Product of 2015."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 26, 2017  |  4 comments
If you want to know why Stereophile's John Atkinson, Jana Dagdagan, and Herb Reichert journeyed to Philadelphia earlier this year to conduct two video interviews with Doug White of The Voice That Is, you only had to hear his set-up at AXPONA to understand that their trip was in pursuit of excellence. If what they heard in Philly was anything like the sound Doug managed to produce in a modest-sized hotel room, they must have left elated.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 26, 2017  |  2 comments
While ubiquity is not necessarily synonymous with high quality, the fact that Aurender's music servers/streamers appeared in at least 12 exhibit rooms at AXPONA 2017 certainly indicates that they're doing something right. In fact, in the third-floor room in which Aurender partnered with GamuT and Grand Prix Audio, their A10 caching music server and player with analog outputs ($5500) was the crucial source of excellent sound.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 26, 2017  |  2 comments
My second-day new-product coverage began with a visit to the Playback Designs room, manned by the company's president and designer, DSD champion Andreas Koch. There, I found two new Playback Designs products, the MPD-8 DAC ($22,000) and MPT-8 Digital Music Transport (target price $14,000-$20,000). Both are due out at year's end…
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 25, 2017  |  7 comments
GamuT's designer and CEO, Benno Baun Meldgaard, was on hand in the first room I entered on Floor 4 to introduce the new optional R2R tape playback board ($1990) for the GamuT D3i dual-mono preamp ($8490). Whether the presence of a number of new and old tape decks at AXPONA—the one in this room was a rebuilt Studer—signals a rekindled interest in tape amongst anyone other than confirmed audiophiles is unclear. But what was clear is that the piano on Ben Webster's Gentle Ben sounded beautiful and mellow. The horn, in turn, was appropriately bright, and the presentation distinguished by a nice sense of depth.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 23, 2017  |  13 comments
Kyomi Audio's was the first room I'd entered where I was so taken by the sound that all I wanted to do was sit and listen, and then listen some more. And it wasn't just the fabled Jadis midrange that had me in its grip; the bass was also quite good, and the highs divine…
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 22, 2017  |  14 comments
The doors of the 2017 AXPONA—taking place this weekend at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, close to Chicago's O'Hare airport—had opened but 15 minutes when yours truly (far left) joined (L–R) Steve Guttenberg (The Audiophiliac blog for CNET.com/ Stereophile), panel moderator Chris Martens (Hi-Fi+), Conor Cawley (Tech.co), Steve Rochlin (Enjoythemusic.com), and an audience of at least 50–60 people to discuss "What does 2017 mean for audio?" I didn't know what to expect, or what to discuss besides the resurgence of vinyl and the promise of better sound through MQA. But thanks to excellent questions from Chris and attendees, and some truly stimulating contributions from my fellow panel members, I think some major ground was covered.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 18, 2017  |  9 comments
The biggest audio show in the United States, AXPONA (Audio Expo North America), takes place April 21–23 at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, close to Chicago O'Hare International airport. Since planting its roots in America's heartland just a few years back, the show has grown to offer, in 2017, at least 142 active exhibit rooms, 453 unique brands and exhibitors, an Ear Gear Expo so large that it has spilled over into surrounding hallways, and a full schedule of seminars and entertainment.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 15, 2017  |  6 comments
In honor of the Lou Harrison Centennial, Naxos has just released a CD of three of Harrison's great pieces: the Violin Concerto (aka Concerto for the Violin with Percussion Orchestra), Grand Duo, and Double Music (with John Cage). Every piece on the recording, which is also available as a 24/48 download from multiple sites, is so unique and engaging, and the percussion so resounding, that tracks from the recording are guaranteed to open ears and turn heads in rooms I visit at the forthcoming AXPONA and LAAS audio shows.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 08, 2017  |  19 comments
Ah, Carolyn Sampson. Ah, Mozart. Put both of you, along with the Great Mass in c and the marvelously tuneful early motet, Exsultate, jubilate, in the hands of Masaaki Suzuki and the period-instrument Bach Collegium Japan. Then, record it all in 24/96 for a BIS SACD, which you can download in its original format from multiple sites, and the results are pure pleasure.

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