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Latest Reviews & Commentary
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 […]

Show-Report-2015

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

  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 clarinet, performing jazz, swing, dance, Latin and ethnic music on three continents.  His career paralleled the history of jazz […]

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Audio Note M9 RIAA Signature phono stage Review, Part 2: S9M Step-Up Transformer


Amplification | Phono | SUT | Tube
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Tekton Design Mini-Lore Monitors Review


Bookshelf Speakers | Speakers

David Blumenstein

From all outward appearances, given what the public knows from images of Tekton Design’s speaker range, one would be hard pressed to immediately identify the Mini-Lore Monitors as part of the family. But, they would be wrong. Absent the inverted tweeter-woofer drivers positioning, these speakers are about as standard in design as one would get […]

Show-Report-2015

2018 CAS Report by Marc Silver, Part 3


CAS | Event Reports

Marc Silver

Day Two CAS 2018 See Day One, 2018 CAS (CAS8), Pt 1 and Day One, Pt 2   I have to admit, I slept in this morning. Last night I hung out with Peter Soderberg of MartinLogan and a few other exhibitors from the show, talking about vintage audio gear and commiserating on what has […]

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Hana EH moving-coil cartridge Review


Analog Sources | Cartridges

Byron Baba

I have been using the Hana EH high output moving coil phono cartridge for the past two years, and I had a chance to meet the man responsible for the Hana cartridge distribution, Mr. Masahiro Shibazaki of Sibatech when I was in Japan last year. His company, Sibatech, was originally contracted to do worldwide export […]

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COS Engineering D1 DAC + Pre-Amplifier Review


DACs | Digital Sources | Preamplifier

Doug Schroeder

Three Taiwanese connoisseurs of sound decided they need to bring some of their perspectives to the world, so they started COS, which stands for “connoisseur of sound”. Evidently they wish anonymity, considering this is the extent of information given about them on the website: “COS Engineering, founded by three close friends serious about audio entertainment, […]

Commentary

Interview with Slawa Roschkow of SW1X from England


Commentaries | The Columns

David Blumenstein

Slawa Roschkow/SW1X: Valves/Tubes in the 21st century. Were it not for my restlessness on one of my many excursions to London, England where I found with myself with free time, idle hands being dangerous, coupled with black diamond level curiosity and that could mean only one thing: GOOGLE. So, there I was searching the Greater […]

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Rogers High Fidelity 65V-1 tube integrated amplifier Review


Amplification | Integrated Amplifiers | Tube

David Blumenstein

It’s been a while since tube/valve gear made any extended appearance in any of my homes. Nothing against the gear, but what with graduation and traveling and not settling down it just wasn’t practical. This is not to say that in my time I did not possess tube/valve gear from Audio Research and Conrad-Johnson, but […]

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Audio Blast: Linn Selekt DSM Network Music Player


Audio Blast | Digital Sources | Others | The Columns

Doug Schroeder

 Also see the Linn Selekt DSM Press Release of September 18, 2018 On September 18, 2018 Linn Products held a press conference in Chicago at the James Hotel in during which GiladTiefenbrun, the Managing Director of Linn, as well as Jen Cassidy, the Sales and Marketing Director, Mechanical Engineer Adrian Choong, and Software Engineer Peter […]

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PMI Belles Aria Preamplifier and Monoblock Amplifiers Review


Amplification | Mono Block | Preamplifier

Doug Schroeder

It’s all about simplicity, and it is something audiophiles tend to forget. It seems the machinery of industry always wants to push a new feature, another aspect of operational complexity. Our cars are becoming technologically laden, far more so than computers of ten years ago. Phones are ubiquitous with the continual addition of functionality. Bluetooth […]

Commentary

Exogal Interview


The Columns

Doug Schroeder

Publisher’s note: Doug Schroeder sits down with Jeff Haagenstad and Jim Kinne, two of the four co-founders of Exogal, at 2018 AXPONA and talks about the company’s new product called the Streamer. Video format: MP4 Duration: 26 minutes

EDITORIAL
Updated with remembrance by Nelson Pass

Siegfried Linkwitz (1935-2018)


Editorials | The Columns

Constantine Soo

Originally published September 12, 2018. Updated on October 2, 2018 with remembrance by Nelson Pass. Siegfried Linkwitz (November 23, 1935 – September 11, 2018) September 11, 2018 (San Francisco Bay Area): On this day, we have lost an industry giant. Renowned audio industry veteran Siegfried Linkwitz passed away in his Sea Ranch residence on September […]

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Barbara Lashley, A Love Affair with Song


Jazzed Up | The Columns

Dave Radlauer

Singer Barbara Lashley (1935-1992) was a bright light in San Francisco Bay Area jazz during the 1980s.  This article offers an introduction via her best but long out-of-print 1983 record album and three newly recovered live performances.  The live sessions are not polished enough for commercial publication yet recall her love affair with song and […]

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Studio Electric M4 stand mount loudspeakers Review


Bookshelf Speakers | Speakers

David Blumenstein

I first came into contact with the Studio Electric M4 speakers in 2017 at a show, where I met company founder David MacPherson for the first time. We would and have met regularly since then at shows. There was something about these speakers that I could not shake. It was as if I had heard […]

Commentary

Making Conscious Dreaming possible: the Audio Note M9 RIAA Signature


Amplification | Commentaries | Phono | The Columns | Tube

Audio Note UK

Publisher’s note: Audio Note UK has graciously provided the following article detailing the conceptualization and design of the company’s M9 RIAA Signature phono stage. The article is authored by Andy Grove, electronics designer of Audio Note UK. Read the Audio Note M9 RIAA Signature Review, Part 1 The M9 was intended, from it’s very conception […]

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Audio Note M9 RIAA Signature phono stage Review, Part 1


Amplification | Phono | Tube

Fred Crowder

Introduction About six months after I reviewed and subsequently purchased the Audio Note M10 Special Edition Line Stage, AN asked whether I had any interest in reviewing their top of the line phono stage which, in their opinion, represents an ideal match to their M10 SE line stage. In their words, no expense had been […]

Show-Report-2015

2018 CAS Report by Marc Silver, Part 2


CAS | Event Reports

Marc Silver

See Day One, 2018 CAS (CAS8), Pt 1 Day One, 2018 CAS (CAS8), Pt 2   After a short break back at my room, I am now refreshed and ready to see some more demo rooms. Whammerdyne Heavy Industries/PureAudioProject Whammerdyne is known for its very high-end low-output power amps. On display was what they call […]


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