Wednesday, July 31, 2013

McIntosh sizzle video

More PR than substance but a short video from McIntosh with enough to keep you watching:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Floyd Toole on audio

A couple of years old now but this is still worth listening to as one of the leading experts on sound reproduction outlines his work with Harman and beyond for Home Theater Geeks (give it a second to load)

Friday, July 26, 2013

SVS speakers in for review

I have a pair of the SVS Ultra Towers in my rig at the moment. For $999 each, this is an eye-catching pair for $2k, internet-direct. Duke Ellington grooving away as I write, the side-firing woofers needing some careful placement for optimal fit with my room but here's another affordable speaker that challenges you to listen carefully for what extra money gets you. I am in a groove at the moment having heard some great sounds from the sub $3k loudspeaker market in the last year. Sure I'd love to try some Magicos but it's a true education to hear what's available at the level where both casual buyers and audiophiles won't go, each for different reasons. More in due course.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Best Buy sells tube gear!

Is this a sign of audiophile-resurgence? Best Buy now sells Samsung tube-gear. You didn't know Samsung did tube gear? Me neither, and Best Buy makes little effort to explain this directly but check out their sound bars and wireless woofer packages. No details on the tube types or expected life but they appear to be used in the preamp stage and are marketed here as offering a warmer, more vibrant sound. Cue the scorn of some who think they know better but this a fascinating turn.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another ultrasonic record cleaner hits the market

This one from KLAudio -- serviced (if not manufactured) here in the US. This offers greater power and no need for cleaning fluids other than distilled water. Impressed? Well, unfortunately, the competition for Audio Desk's cleaner has not led to any price war, this one is also nearly $4k, but think of the savings on fluid :)

I know, I really really want one, if only to save time. I love my Loricraft but the thought of spending nearly 20 mins doing a deep three-stage clean of each album has me wondering how long I will have to live to get through my record collection, even if I clean in relays. Just keeping up with purchases is hard enough never mind working my way through the backlog (and I have a comparatively modest LP collection). Anyhow, I'd love to review this one but I think I'm too far down the totem-pole for the company to send one on, but we'll see.

Update -- KLAudio did get back to me. That's a positive since some companies never do.  As expected, they've got some out for review with the majors but they are keeping my interest 'on file'.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

June issue of HiFi'Zine now live

The latest issue of the 'Zine is now live and contains two reviews from me. The PS Audio Powerbase was a major improvement on some components but less so on others, and quite surprisingly, seemed to have positive effects on my line regenerator more than my digital front-end. You can hear the differences quite easily on sources and I enjoyed it under my 'table. I also fell heavily for a new set of power cords from Absolute Fidelity. I know, I know....what can wire do? I don't know how it works but my ears loved these cords on most components, particularly my preamp. The only downside is the price! Be warned.

The issue also has great new articles on the Cyrus 8 integrated amp, an interview with it's designer Peter Bartlett, and technical articles on plugins for audio, and a primer on active speaker implementation with Pure Music from John Reekie. Once again, all of this is brought to you advertisement-free and at no cost by this talented team (ahem!). Read, enjoy, get involved.