J. Gordon Holt

J. Gordon Holt  |  Oct 14, 2021  |  First Published: May 01, 1984  |  3 comments
Although one of the most innovative firms in the audio electronics field, the David Berning Company seems determined to keep as low a profile as possible. The company advertises little, does not actively seek out new dealers, and seems content to let potential customers seek it out, as though to say "Okay, here's my product, take it or leave it." Thus, even though both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound, in a rare outbreak of agreement, a couple of years ago declared Berning's TF-10 to be one of the best preamplifiers available, most serious audiophiles are still unaware of the Berning Company's existence. Perhaps the EA-2100 will change that.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Aug 11, 2021  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1984  |  3 comments
The $1485 PV-5 is a "budget" version of C-J's $2850 Premier Three preamplifier, but according to the manufacturer it embodies much the same kind of circuitry.

Tubed preamplifiers have a well-earned reputation as system busters. Many of them during warmup produce horrendous bangs or plops so severe that every speaker fuse in the system blows. If fuses are absent, or rated too high to protect things, the amplifier, speakers, or both are likely to blow up (not literally; they just twitch once and lie down dead). The PV-5 contains one of the most effective pop suppressors I've encountered, and produces no noise whatsoever during warmups and turnoffs.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Jul 08, 2021  |  First Published: May 01, 1985  |  4 comments
Prologue: The context for this review is that back in the 1980s, preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers with remote controls didn't exist. In early 1985 I borrowed a sample of Acoustic Research's Stereo Remote Control, which I believe was designed by Ken Kantor (later to find fame with NHT) and set it up in my bedroom. It drove a pair of powered loudspeakers with auto turn-on, and I very quickly grew to appreciate, not just the sound quality, but the convenience of being able to control the system from the comfort of my bed. So what did JGH think of the SRC?—John Atkinson
J. Gordon Holt  |  Jun 09, 2021  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1982  |  4 comments
In 1978, when I reviewed Sony's first audiophile-type PCM-1 converter, I earned the undying scorn of a large segment of audiophilia by reporting that, on the basis of a rather short testing period (which did however include some live recording), I was unable to hear anything the matter with its sound. Four years later, but after substantially more testing, I am obliged to report the same thing about the PCM-l's son, the PCM-Fl.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Mar 08, 2021  |  First Published: May 01, 1966  |  10 comments
In the introduction to "Recommended Components" in the final issue in Volume One of what was then called The Stereophile, published in May 1966, founder J. Gordon Holt briefly described his Top-Rated Loudspeaker Systems.

Altec A-7
A highly efficient horn-loaded system for use in large to very large listening rooms (at least 15' from the listening area), or for very high-volume "Row-A" listening. Excellent woofer-tweeter blending, moderately deep (useful 45Hz limit in most rooms) and very taut, well-defined low end. Highs smooth and slightly soft, yielding most natural high-end quality at high listening levels. Middles smooth, rather forward, placing closely miked instruments somewhat in front of the system itself.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Feb 12, 2021  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1968  |  9 comments
This review of one of the first solid-state preamplifiers was published in 1968. It includes some of JGH's first thoughts on the ongoing subject of "Accuracy vs. Musicality."

Preview, from July 1968 (Vol.2 No.6): Overall sound extremely good, but phono sounds slightly lacking in deep bass, despite impeccable measurements. Scratch filter judged very highly effective, but tone controls felt to be less than ideal be cause of excessively coarse action and marked tendency to affect midrange output. Spring-return Tape Monitor switch probably will not appeal to serious tapesters. This preamp is slated for a full report in the next issue.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Jan 07, 2021  |  First Published: Mar 01, 1988  |  0 comments
Coincident stereo miking (footnote 1) has two advantages and one disadvantage. Its advantages are that it gives the most stable, specific imaging of any mike technique, and its outputs can be summed for mono reproduction without loss of quality. Its disadvantage is that, in most of its configurations, it tends to produce an overly narrow, shallow soundstage.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Nov 13, 2020  |  First Published: May 01, 1966  |  0 comments
One of the best pickups we've heard to date, the Grado A was introduced with some fanfare in the fall of 1964 (footnote 1) and then, for no apparent reason, was withdrawn just one year later. It is probably still available, though, either used or, discounted, as new stock at some dealers.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Nov 11, 2020  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1964  |  9 comments
These are two of Electro-Voice's "middle-ground" speaker systems, filling the quality (and price) range between the huge Patrician 800 and the diminutive Coronet system.
J. Gordon Holt, Bill Sommerwerck  |  Jun 09, 2020  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1963  |  10 comments
Almost a dead-ringer for the early-model Sharpe HA-10, Koss's PRO-4 ($45) is readily distinguishable by a large knurled protuberance sticking out of the lower part of the right-hand phone. This, in case you've wondered, is a mounting for a "boom-type" lip microphone, for use in speech labs and for communication purposes. (Sharpe and Permoflux also provide facilities for attaching a lip-mike.)

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