Monday, August 15, 2016

Another cable interface option - the Muse from Tara

It seems several companies now offer various add-on connectors that sit at the cable/component interface. High Fidelity cables caught my attention first, and then I received an invitation to review the Bybee RCA adapters (currently warming up in my ARC phono stage for review). Today I hear another announcement, this time from TARA Labs who offer their own spin on this, the Muse. To quote from the press release:

"Using The Muse Interface, RFI/EMI is dissipated and absorbed within the Muse technology. This function occurs in isolation from the signal conductors. The signal path is not cut and fitted with additional components. The Muse Interface is extremely effective in eliminating the noise of RFI/EMI without the attendant high-frequency anomalies of filter networks. This translates into a sound that is closer to live than ever before."

$795 a pair (but neater than those big bulky boxes from you know who....). Seems there's a new product category. No, I haven't heard them. More info at the TARA page

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Give to CARE, get gear....Cable Co show the way

This year, there are more than a few products available and if you purchase some from over 50 companies, your full cost ends up as a donation. Yep, not just the regular 50% to CARE but the full sales amount. How do they do this? Well, commitment from partnering manufacturers seems to be the key. 
The hi-end audio industry tend to get lots of brickbats for its pricing and occasional imaginative use of science, but credit where it's due. The Cable Co has annually worked with manufacturers on a fund-drive for CARE, whereby sales  during August generate revenues that in part are donated to the charity. This year is no different, regular audiophiles seem to have come to expect it, but it seems worthy of our renewed attention. 

See the details here
Fancy some new cables? Better yet, a new table from Rega or SOTA, or maybe an Audioquest Dragonfly new edition? Buy it this month and all your money goes to a great cause.  Well done all involved in this. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Little Fwend tonearm lifter

Looks like a very elegant solution to an ongoing vinyl usage challenge, getting the arm off the record without leaving your seat - now from Little Fwend Love to give one a try but $250? Is this what is meant by audiophila being a relentless engagement with first-world problems?

LITTLE  FWEND from on Vimeo.

UPDATE -- Lasse from Little Fwend has offered to send me one to check out....I'll let you know how it works when I get it. Thanks Lasse!

Friday, June 24, 2016

For cryo-ing out loud!

Never quite understood the fanatical desire for cryo-ing cables or components but I know there are real believers out there. Thought of this again when I stumbled across a new cord company (well, new to me), IceAge Audio.  Here's a cord and cable producer that is pretty clear on what goes in to the design and even offers you the chance to build it yourself if you want to save some money. That said, at the prices they charge, I don't see much cost in paying for it all done and delivered.  I was suitably intrigued to ask Rick and Brodie to supply me a cord for review and so, watch this space, one or two are on the way, where I'll be able to compare them to a few other brands I have on hand. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Paypal Inflation?

Since when did using PayPal incur a 4% fee? I always calculate it at 2.9% +30c, or whatever PP lists on their site. But more than few sellers on various audio lists now request 4% for using this service. Is this to cover their own incurred costs? And I've had more than a handful of sellers point me at their own excellent feedback attesting their honesty while suggesting I use the 'gift' option if the fees are to be avoided! No irony there for sure.  Welcome to the reputation economy.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What fundamentalists want to do to music listeners

So a group of folks in a record store in Istanbul want to have a listening party for Radiohead's release. Apparently they violated someone's ideas of what can and cannot be done during certain calendar periods.  Warning - this contains subtitles (you can defeat, but you should read) which, if accurate, tell you all you need to know:

Fancy a little hologram with your vinyl, sir?

Cool effects....not so sure about the music:

Monday, June 13, 2016

If you regret selling yours CDs, get 'em back

Instant collection for sale on eBay, local pick up only. So this is what 20,000 cds in a pile looks like:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Salk lauch their Desert Island speaker

 News of a handsome  new speaker from Salk, -- always welcome to me given my experience of their qualities. And at a sweet price point too:
The Song3 is a vented 3–way member of the Song loudspeaker family. For an accurate, low distortion treble response, the Song3 employs RAAL Advanced Loudspeakers’ select model 64-10 tweeter coupled to a 4th order crossover network. The 4" midrange driver, with a bamboo fiber reinforced cone and neodymium magnet, is complemented by a 7.5", low distortion high sensitivity woofer with an Egyptian papyrus cone. The speaker’s nominal impedance is an easy to drive 8 Ohms, with an 88 decibels (dB) sensitivity. Despite the slender, decor friendly design, the Song3 achieves a frequency response of 33 Hz to 40 kHz, ±3 dB. The dimensions of each tower is 9.5" wide and 42" in height. Front to back depth is 14.5", and the weight of an individual speaker is 70 pounds. The suggested minimum recommended power is 50 watts per channels. 
Jim Salk, founder and chief designer, is always concerned with balancing capability and cost. Believing that great sound shouldn’t require great expense, Salk initially thought that the design mandate was a contradiction. When asked to design a great 3–way for under $3000, he thought that it couldn’t be done. Now, with advances in driver design “…and our increased manufacturing proficiency, we have delivered an uncommonly smooth and neutral speaker with seamless integration of the carefully chosen components. It plays remarkably low and, as one critic mentioned, throws one heck of a wide and deep soundstage thanks in no small part to the ribbon’s outstanding transient response.”

Per pair pricing for the Song3 is $2895 for the standard curly maple, curly cherry and curly walnut, plus oak, straight mahogany and satin black finishes. Hardwood trim, custom colors and dyed finishes are also available as an option, as are crossover component and bi–wiring upgrades.
For additional information visit SalkSound dot com.

Monday, May 23, 2016

German Physiks back in the US

Was pleased to learn that speaker manufacturer par excellence, German Physiks, have settled on new distribution in the US so it might now be easier to hear these wonderful speakers. Distinctive Stereo of NJ are now handling these speakers in the US and Canada. More information will be available when the website is updated but as I've often said, the German Physiks sound is among the most natural and engaging I've heard at shows over the years so am hoping I get a chance to hear more of their line in the future. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The price of old vinyl....worse than you think?

Sort of surprised to see an early Rollins Saxophone Colossus reaching past the $2k mark on the Bay yesterday. And guess what, not play graded but examined and considered good by looking at it under a light!  Makes those MusicMatters reissues a positive bargain really. Maybe I am just too naive to get it but more likely, I realize now I am really never going to be a serious collector.