Sunday, February 22, 2015

PBN doing vintage tables - who knew?

Certainly not me, but I've always liked PBN's products and the prime man Peter Noerbaek's straight talk on audio  so I drop by their site occasionally just to see what's going on. Their Groovemaster tables always caught my eye, being a mix of great looks, practical use of existing technology and innovative design. So today I find another table option there, the Vintage Direct line -- a mix of the beautiful PBN wooden plinths, old Denon direct drive tables, and a choice of arm. Find out more here  I'm usually not one for vintage tables, give me a contemporary product with today's best engineering anytime but I have to admit, this table hits so many hot buttons for me. Price on request, guess it's tied to various options, but how come this design is not better known? 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Some sad goings on at Stereophile

There's been lots of internet fallout from the announcement that Sam Tellig and Wes Phillips are leaving Stereophile. In the case of ST, that's after 32 years of contributions. Hard to make too much sense of the various commentaries on this but it does appear ST was aggrieved at not receiving payments for columns in a timely fashion, a result of corporate reorganization it would appear. You can read some of the direct complaints and responses here: 

None of this makes for particularly pleasant reading but beyond the name calling from a few, it's probably worth reading  in order to learn that some regular contributors are not salaried employees but contractors, and yes, they are likely justified in being annoyed at their payments being delayed. It's hard to reconcile the allegedly short-lived delays with the departure of writers after decades, so one wonders if there is more to this, but for me S'phile remains a worthy read -- it's beautifully produced, has measurements, covers music, and costs little on subscription. And hey, it arrives on time every month, no mean feat. As usual, John Atkinson handles the flak with grace despite some provocation. Personally, I'm not going to miss one writer too much (it would be a different story for me if Mikey F or Art D were to leave) but I would miss Stereophile if it disappeared.  Still, with HP dying, and now another couple of long-term contributors going away, it's easy to see why some are wondering if the end of audio journalism as we know it is nigh.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Diggin' the TTW tables

Am running some fun gear at the moment (new integrated  tube amp from Raven Audio doing duties now, plus some great tweaks to review, stay tuned). Am on such a major vinyl kick at the moment that it's causing all sorts of renewed interest in tables. Cue then the amazing number of new videos from Canadian manufacturer TTW, whose new line of Precision tables and Avro arms offers precise VTA setting with a gauge for measurement (though quite how a dial is going to tell you anything other than where the arm is in relation to parallel, I'm not clear). Still, these are lustworthy, about the best looking tables this company has produced. I used to think the other models looked kind of industrial but the Precision line starts to look really sweet.  Main man there Larry D just seems to be on a roll. I'd love to give one a run through my system, especially with the 12" arm...check this out: