Friday, February 15, 2019

McIntosh slimming down and looking good.

Ok, not that slimmed down once you see the details (24" wide!) but there's no denying the new RS200 wears the leaner look well.  I've never quite warmed to McIntosh products. They always seemed too blue, too blingy and too concerned with the brand over the sound, even if I've admired their longevity, loyal following and apparent bullet-proof ability to be serviced and used for decades. Now that I say it, how did I not appreciate them more? Oh well, this still smacks of marketing the 'lifestyle' but as an all in one, (yep, there's speakers built in there) it sure beats Bose. $3000. More info here, no they won't send us one to review but am sure the usual suspects will be covering them soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Auris new headphone amp invokes the muse

Puffy PR piece but interesting looking design. New company (to me, they've received some reviews her), tubes, decent specs and a look that seems set domestic use.  This is not listed as of today on their website but it's coming. Priced at 1499, as of today in Europe but I only see two outlets in the US for them on their site so not sure what the price here will be.   See more of their designs here
Auris Audio presents you Euterpe, a new high end headphone amplifier. According to the Greek Mythology, Euterpe was one of the nine Muses, the Goddess of music and a ''giver of delight'' and that's exactly what Auris Audio Euterpe will bring to audiophile community, more happiness.
Designed in a single ended configuration, integreted audiophile asynchronous DAC xMos/ESS Sabre, it allows you to use digital sources such as PC or mobile devices. Integeted in a piece of art chassis, Euterpre ( Headphone amplifier/DAC/PreAmp/Stand ) gives you everything you've always dreamed of.
2 X PL 95 , 1 X ECC 81
Amplifier configuration
Single Ended
Power output
0.9 W RMS
Conversion rate
USB: DSD 64, DSD 128, PCM max 32bit/384kHz
Output Impedance
Low32–80Ohm / High>150Ohm
Power supply
115 / 230 V AC
1 x USB, 1 x RCA
6.3 mm Stereo / RCA Pre Out
Dimensions (WxLxH) mm
270 x 210 x 230
Weight (kg)
4.1/NET ( without PSU )
Weight (kg) PSU
Dimesions PSU (WxLxH) mm
95 x 185 x 55

Saturday, February 9, 2019

NYT Article explaining loudness war and music recording

Interesting op-ed from the Times today, dealing with a topic near and dear to the h(ear)ts of audiophiles. I like how it provides examples but the lack of real comparability (either by using the same tune or explaining what to listen for) meant that well-intentioned readers I shared it with seemed to find it less than clear. Oh well, full marks for effort.  Lively comments too.

Read piece here

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Jerome Sabbagh update

It's been a wait for those of us who backed the new Jerome Sabbagh/Greg Tuohey vinyl but I have few doubts the results will prove worthwhile. Latest mailing to backers indicate the albums are finally ready and will be shipped next week.

It's been a couple of years since the last vinyl release which I've continued to enjoy so much and the coupling of Jerome's playing with a top-notch guitarist in Greg just raises the anticipation. More when I get a chance. Kickstarter page here

Sunday, January 20, 2019

LP counterfeiting plant discovered

I suppose the money involved in special LP releases of old stuff has obviously attracted the criminal element (and no, I'm not talking about endless repackaging of Jimi's recordings). Just read that special intelligence work in the UK led police to a pressing plant in Wales that specialized in niche recordings of Northern Soul. These were sold via Ebay and Amazon and netted enough money obviously for one of those charged to have over $150,000 in his PayPal account alone (might that have been a sign?).

More info here

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New Music Matters series 2019 plus a Tone Poet series on the way

So, in case you had not heard (where was I that I missed the earlier notice?), Music Matters is embarking on a fresh set of classic jazz releases on vinyl. As a subscriber to the last two series I figured I'd just be on whatever list was mailed this info but if so, the mail went awol. More likely no such list exists. Regardless, these are marketed as the 'definitive Blue Note reissues' on new Silent Running Xperience (SRX) vinyl, apparently a new formulation that runs quieter than previous slabs.

The various records run about $60 a copy (!) and will be limited edition. The full list contains mostly recordings that saw previous light in the 2x45RPM releases (10/12 I think, but don't quote me) so it's not clear how much demand there will be nor why these titles were chosen over others but I have to say my experience with Ron Rambach and co's previous efforts render these very desirable and certainly worthy of attention. See more, including the chance to buy all 12 for a cut-rate $699, on the official announcement page

Coupled, sort of, Joe Harley and Don Was are planning a new series of high quality vinyl releases this year under the 'Tone Poet' title which will (I believe) involve 18 releases from Blue Note's vaults also given the MM-level treatment. This is good news for music lovers but surely a taxing prospect for many people's wallets. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Vinyl sales slightly up in UK 2018?

Latest numbers out suggest vinyl sales continued to rise, albeit slightly, in the UK last year. Not sure how to interpret this as the totals are still pretty small but with CDs sliding further, it seems the LP format will continue for a while longer, despite predictions of death going back decades.

Not entirely surprised or excited by what is selling however...Rumours? Dark Side of the Moon? Still, Arctic Monkeys and Ezra make a bit of a change from the usual suspects over here.  Hard to be too sure of the numbers here but trends are trends...

Full story here