Jon Iverson

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Jon Iverson  |  Jan 02, 2017  |  3 comments
Stereophile tried something a little different for our CES coverage last year: we brought Graham Nash to the show. This year several new artist names were tossed about, and when Jake Shimabukuro came up we jumped at the chance to bring him to Las Vegas. Jake is a stellar musician, and has turned the ukulele into a respected instrument with his interpretations of classical and modern works, collaborating with a wide range of artists from Yo-Yo Ma to Alan Parsons. He is stunning to watch: If you've never seen or heard him play, check out the videos at the bottom of this story.
Jon Iverson  |  Dec 22, 2016  |  6 comments
I prefer and have owned electrostatic speakers for most of my audiophile life. Depending on your point of view, this makes me either the most qualified or the least appropriate writer to review MartinLogan's new electrostatic loudspeaker, the Masterpiece Renaissance ESL 15A.

Oh, I've flirted with dynamic speakers. I've owned and loved—and ultimately, when I was an audio retailer, sold—models from Revel, Thiel, Vandersteen, and many others, while my long-term choice has been electrostats. And while I've spent plenty of time with electrostatic speakers from Acoustat and Quad, I've ended up owning MartinLogans: Sequels, Quests, ReQuests, and, currently, Prodigys.

Jon Iverson  |  Oct 04, 2016  |  13 comments
"They're so damn hard to tell apart!"

So exclaimed my longtime pal and fellow audiophile Bruce Rowley when I revealed to him that T+A Elektroakustik's new DAC 8 DSD digital-to-analog converter ($3995) had arrived for review, just after I'd finished writing up the Ayre Acoustics Codex DAC–headphone amp ($1795). Bruce had recently compared his own brand-new Codex with a DAC he'd owned for a couple years, both costing about the same but built to very different designs. He was surprised that, after carefully matching levels and working to eliminate any other variables, they sounded more alike than not, and only slightly different even after hours of listening. Technically, these were two very different animals.

Jon Iverson  |  May 25, 2016  |  4 comments
I first spied the Ayre Codex two Januarys ago, at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, and its scrappy proletarian vibe sure made it look different from any other Ayre creation. On learning that its price would be well under $2000, I was immediately curious what Charley Hansen and his gang—makers of the $3450 QB-9DSD USB digital-to-analog converter, plus a few five-figure amps and preamps—could create when cost is an object.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 16, 2016  |  7 comments
Many of you have seen the posts about Graham Nash touring the high end audio exhibits at CES earlier this month. The experience taught me this: it isn't how good you hear, but how well you listen.

I'm not sure what readers expected from this, and I certainly wasn't sure what to expect, which is why it was an attractive idea. Yes Nash ended up liking what he heard, but for those cynical enough to think he was just being polite, I'm here to tell you first hand that he was excited by the experience, and his enthusiasm was genuine.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  1 comments
The day was getting long at this point and we'd already listened to a couple hour's worth of music, but we wanted a little variety from the floor-standing speakers we had heard to far. So we popped into the Crystal Cable/Siltech room to hear This Path Tonight on a dimensionally smaller system.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  1 comments
We had spent the morning and early afternoon listening to systems in the big suites, and now it was time to downscale the room size and budget just a bit. I promised Graham Nash that we would try to mix up the types of products he heard, so we headed down to Devore Fidelity on the 30th floor of the Venetian.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  12 comments
For some reason I liked this product the moment I saw it. And at $1,099, including a lifetime full Roon license (for $1,000 you get a lifetime limited Roon license), it became even more interesting once I started digging into the features. Essentially, you can run Roon on your tablet and use the DS-S101 as your endpoint without the need for a computer.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  2 comments
CES being quite hectic and hotel rooms being what they are, I try not to do too much listening on the 29th and 30th floors of the Venetian (there are exceptions and the upper suites are a different story, sound-wise). But Vincent Galbo in the MSB room on floor 29 politely insisted I listen to the new Select DAC on the YG speakers they had set up, driven by MSB amps. He played a CD and it was some of the best sound I've ever heard at a show!
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2016  |  0 comments
One of my favorite new digital products, from an industrial design point of view, is the new all-in-one system from French company Micromega, designed by Daniel Schar. Assuming you have a nice flat place to put it (flat or on a wall), you can request a custom finish or go with standard black or bright orange as shown in the photo.

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