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Latest Reviews & Commentary
Commentary

What is NAR?


Commentaries | The Columns

David Blumenstein

I was at a Hi-Fi show in the Fall where, as I walked down one corridor, I heard the same band, playing the same track and not wholly in sync with each other from four successive rooms. It dawned on me at that moment that there had to be more than the apparent restrictive canon […]

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2/18/2019: Manufacturer's Comment added.

Anticables Reference Level Cables Review


Cables | Interconnects | Power Cables | Speaker Cables

Doug Schroeder

Let’s get my bias against higher gauge speaker cables out in the open from the start. I am not a fan of higher AWG (thinner conductor) speaker cables. Nor am I impressed with higher AWG power cords. Audiophiles have their preferences, and mine is toward lower AWG (heavier conductor) speaker cables and power cables. Bill […]

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Frank “Big Boy” Goudie: Jazz on Three Continents Part 3 of 3, San Francisco 1956-64


Jazzed Up | The Columns

Dave Radlauer

  Frank “Big Boy” Goudie (b. 1899 Louisiana – d. 1964 California) has been almost completely overlooked by jazz history, a mere footnote until recently.  A skilled musician, his career paralleled the history of jazz itself: origins in Louisiana, migration to Europe, transition to Swing, integration with Latin music and the New Orleans revival. Tall […]

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Allo USBridge Review


Digital Sources | Others

David Blumenstein

Just say Allo to Digital Audio Motivation is a wondrous thing, as is procrastination, and if you get the timing just right, one saves you from the other. It’s at this crossroads that I find myself having to write about Allo’s USBridge device and respond to a letter forwarded to my publisher. Let’s start with […]

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Judy Collins ‘In My Life’ SACD Review


Music

Toby Tingskog

Can you buy an SACD for a single track? The Best SACD Track ever? With rising prices for everything from used LPs to new SACDs and downloads, can you really justify buying an album just for a single track? I guess all audiophiles have bought many discs to get their favorite track, just to find […]

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iFi iPurifier 3.0 and Mercury 3.0 Review


Digital Sources | Others

David Blumenstein

Earlier this year I wrote a piece contrasting a pair of USB devices that respectively market themselves as specialists in re-clocking, re-generating and recovering. As it happens iFi products have been making a bit of a splash and in writing up one of their portable DACs earlier this year I became more familiar with the […]

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Cambridge Audio CXC Transport Review


Digital Sources | Transports

Richard Austen

Finding a dedicated and reasonably priced CD transport in 2018 is no easy task. Indeed, it is difficult enough to find CD players nowadays dedicated to playing Compact Disc.  Before I continue a question that needs to be addressed, especially for younger readers as the CD is almost becoming the relic of LP, what is […]

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Gold Note PA-1175 MkII solid-state stereo amplifier Review


Amplification | Solid State

Doug Schroeder

I love both of the new amps by Gold Note, the PA-1175 MkII and the PA-1175 MkII. Both are solid state, 200 watts per channel. Both are bridgeable to 520 watts per channel and even have the same styling. These two amps inhabit the same chassis, but they are distinct. One switch makes them both […]

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Destination Audio System Review


Amplification | Floorstanding Speakers | Mono Block | Phono | Speakers | Tube

Constantine Soo

Destination Audio is the realization of company founder Sam Wisniewski’s dream of the sound of the directly heated 45 tube in triode mode. From the creation of the two-chassis 417A tube phono stage to the two-chassis 76 tube-based preamplifier, the 45 tube-based monoblock amplifiers and the Vista horn, the creative objective of all of Sam’s […]

Commentary

Speaker Tech Terms


Commentaries | The Columns

Marc Silver

How Well Do You Know Speaker Tech Terms? I was thinking that some of my readers might like to test their knowledge of speaker design and terminology. I decided to put a little test together for your enjoyment. Back in 1972 I was working for a company called California HiFi Warehouse, which was a major […]

Commentary

A Story of the EVGA Nu Audio Card engineered by Audio Note UK


Commentaries | Digital Sources | Others | The Columns

Audio Note UK

Publisher’s note: Audio Note UK has graciously provided the following article detailing the conceptualization and design of the EVGA Nu Audio Card in collaboration with EVGA. The article is authored by Andy Grove of Audio Note UK. (The EVGA Nu Audio Card is scheduled for launch on January 16, 2019. Price is $249. See the […]

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Audience OHNO III speaker cable Review


Cables | Speaker Cables

David Blumenstein

Just recently I penned a commentary piece bemoaning the state of affairs concerning speaker cables, binding posts, termination and how the twain shall indeed never meet. Keeping the hyperbole to the limit, let’s just say of all the speaker cables I managed to easily plug in and out of speakers and amplifiers, one manufacturer stood […]

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Frank “Big Boy” Goudie: Jazz On Three Continents Part 2 of 3, South America 1939-46 and Europe 1946-56


Jazzed Up | The Columns

Dave Radlauer

Also read: Frank “Big Boy” Goudie: Jazz On Three Continents  Part 1 of 3, France and Europe 1924-1939 Frank “Big Boy” Goudie (b. 1899 Louisiana – d. 1964 California) has been almost completely overlooked by jazz history, a mere footnote in the jazz chronicles until recently.  A skilled musician, he played saxophone, trumpet and clarinet.  […]

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VanL Speakerworks Silhouette speaker Review


Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers

Doug Schroeder

When I was a young boy, my father, who traveled the world extensively, brought back from Japan a Sony short wave radio the size of a paperback novel. That country made some cool audio electronics back then. John Van Leishout, the owner of VanL Speakerworks, must have thought so, too. The year was 1968 when […]

Commentary

A jungle out there?


Commentaries | The Columns

David Blumenstein

It’s a jungle out there Disorder and confusion everywhere No one seems to care Well I do Hey, who’s in charge here? It’s a jungle out there – Randy Newman Prominent: standing out so as to be seen easily; conspicuous; particularly noticeable Popular: regarded with favor, approval, or affection by people in general Both prominent […]

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Sumiko Rainier and Olympia cartridges Review


Analog Sources | Cartridges

Byron Baba

During the 1980s I had a Sumiko Talisman S sapphire low-output moving coil cartridge, which was a great match for my Sumiko Premier MMT tonearm. It had a beautiful midrange to go along with a rich natural sound. By the time it wore out, that model Talisman  had been continued. I did find a less […]

Commentary

Spinning round and round


Commentaries | The Columns

David Blumenstein

Hours, days, years were spent listening to records only to find tape cassettes more portable and Compact Discs closer to perfection. Hindsight, as it is, makes me regret so many life choices, but we’ll stick to recorded music formats. It is safer that way for everyone concerned, especially for me. Tempted by the shiny disc, […]

Commentary

Nothing but a …


Commentaries | Digital Sources | The Columns

David Blumenstein

Streamer, you know you are a Streamer Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no! I said Streamer, you’re nothing but a Streamer Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no! I said,  “far out, what a day, a year, a life it is!” You know, well you know, […]

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Manufacturer's Comment added

Esoteric Sound Rek-O-Kut Trovatore six speed belt-drive transcription turntable


Analog Sources | Turn Tables

Ray Seda

Introduction – A bridge between two worlds for the music enthusiast Rek-O-Kut enjoys a long and storied history in the evolution of turntables for studio, broadcast, and home use. Esoteric Sound are the owners and curators of the Rek-O-Kut brand since 2004 and have continued the tradition of serving varied industries, archivists, and hobbyists. Eight […]

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Audiophile recording

Dream of An Opera 1 – Rhymoi, Music of China


Music | Various | Vinyl

Constantine Soo

Dream of An Opera 1 Audiophile recording pressed on 180 gram vinyl in Germany Tracks: Side A: 1. Dream of the Red Mansion 2. Mulan 3. Peony Pavilion 4. Madame Butterfly 5. The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl Side B: 1. The Bramble Hairpin 2. Flowers as the Keepsake 3. The Great Award 4. Buddhist […]

Commentary

Of Railway Gauges and Speaker Cables/Posts: One Size Does NOT Fit All


Commentaries | The Columns

David Blumenstein

It is 2018 and the very idea of having to exit the train on the Trans-Siberian Railway between Mongolia’s Ulan Bator and China as neither country can find it in their diplomacy to coordinate their respective railway gauges is absurd. So, for just about 3 hours the bogies (wheels) have to come off and every […]

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PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player and DirectStream DAC Review


DACs | Digital Sources | Disc Media Players | Stream Music Services | Transports

Dan Rubin

The CD transport would make an interesting business school case study. Its market performance over the years has seemingly had relatively little to do with the product’s own identity and functionality and has instead been at the mercy of the shifting winds of how high-end audio approached digital playback. Briefly: early consumer CD playback was […]

Commentary

Room 323: Behind the Music


Commentaries | The Columns

David Blumenstein

Also read Capital Audio Fest 2018: Room 323 – In Through the Out Door At this point, my Capital Audio Fest Room 323 piece has gained a certain degree of notoriety, making it simultaneously famous and infamous. For the purposes of this interview and the privacy of the interviewees: the 14-year-old daughter, SV, and the […]

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Analog Survey, Part 3: Audio Note UK Arm Three/II & IoI Moving-Coil Cartridge Review


Analog Sources | Cartridges | Tone Arms

Constantine Soo

Listening to high-end vinyl playback means experiencing music recreated collectively by a turntable system and phono stage. Significant changes in the caliber and character of an analog system can very often occur by changing cartridges, as long as is the cartridges are compatible in mass to the tonearm used. To many, this constitutes the most […]

Commentary

Digital Audio & Audiophiles: Convenient and Inconvenient Truths


Commentaries | The Columns

David Blumenstein

Digital Audio, streaming and digital downloads, is more convenient than Analog Audio, turntables and records. There’s a reason why I own two Denon DP-300F fully automatic turntables and am proud of it. They are my drunk turntables for when I am too far gone, tired or lazy to fully respect my VPI Prime Scout and […]

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Ortofon MC1 Turbo moving coil cartridge Review


Analog Sources | Cartridges

Byron Baba

I recently retired after spending the past forty years as a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Constantine Soo suggested that I try something both new and different, such as writing about audiophile gear for his Dagogo webzine. Since I do not own or have access to the super expensive gear that most reviewers have, I decided […]

Commentary

Interview: Mike Sanders of Quicksilver Audio


Commentaries | The Columns

Constantine Soo

Mike Sanders, founder/chief engineer of Quicksilver Audio, has been in the audio industry since the 1981. Quicksilver Audio participated in the recent California Audio Show, partnering with the Sierra Nevada Audio Society, Bernhagen-Porter speakers, Syncopation (dealer, Stockton) and Genesis Advanced Technologies. Known for his reclusiveness, Mike’s public appearance was anticipated by many of his loyal […]

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Capital Audio Fest 2018: Room 323 – In Through the Out Door


Capital Audio Fest | Event Reports

David Blumenstein

Hi-Fi Shows are by their nature about the many and not the few, but this year’s Capital Audio Fest (CAF 2018) managed to do the unthinkable. One of its rooms managed to encapsulate the ethos of Hi-Fi as both a hobby and as an industry, and in the process managed to a shine a light, […]

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Merrill-Williams R.E.A.L. 101.3 turntable Review


Analog Sources | Turn Tables

Ray Seda

Introduction I can scarcely believe that it has been seven years since my introduction to the original Merrill-Williams R.E.A.L. 101. Since that time, the 101 has not only been my reference, but has always proved to be the under-stated silent star in the sound of my analog system. It was therefore quite surprising when earlier […]

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Frank “Big Boy” Goudie: Jazz On Three Continents Part 1 of 3, France and Europe 1924-1939


Jazzed Up | The Columns

Dave Radlauer

Also read: Frank “Big Boy” Goudie: Jazz On Three Continents  Part 2 of 3, South America 1939-46 and Europe 1946-56 Frank “Big Boy” Goudie (b. 1899 Louisiana – d. 1964 California) has been almost completely overlooked; a mere footnote in the jazz chronicles until recently.  He was a skilled musician who played saxophone, trumpet and […]


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