May 31, 2019 § Leave a comment
“. . . I then moved the speakers until their tweeters pointed directly at the listening position, as Gryphon prescribes. The speakers’ positions relative to the walls remained virtually the same, but now I was listening directly on the tweeter axes. Though this doesn’t work with most speakers — many tweeters sound too hot listened to directly on axis. The Gryphons’ sound came alive — so alive that I wanted to dive right into my best recordings to hear precisely what they could do.
But not before relistening to Dido’s “Hurricanes.” Now her voice and guitar locked in very precisely on the soundstage, and while the tonal balance leaned slightly to the warm side of neutral, the nuances I now heard in Dido’s singing revealed that this track had far more depth than I’d thought it had. As it continued, I became aware that pop processing had entered the mix, but the sound never became thin or flat or too compressed. Dido’s voice sounded clear, and densely packed with sonic information. I could hear no cupped-hands coloration or other tonal abnormalities.”
May 31, 2019 § Leave a comment
“Classic R2R array has a flaw associated with the problem of signal conversion while virtual zero crossings. At this moment all logical circuits are switched simultaneously and even tiny non-synchronism causes an overshoot of stray impulses (the so-called glitches).
In Super R2R virtual zero crossing poses no problem because R2R arrays have balanced discrete sign-magnitude hybrid ladder topology. Positive and negative half-waves of the signal are processed independently, each by a separate array and are mixed only at the output. As a result, there’s no virtual zero crossing at all and no corresponding problems!”
May 30, 2019 § Leave a comment
“I’m totally sold on the A2+. At this ridiculously low price point, there’s absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be sitting at every music lover’s desktop, or in a whole lotta dorm rooms across the country. They acquitted themselves so very nicely in a relatively large room—it only reasons to think that they’d really sing and provide a seriously satisfying listening experience in a much more typically sized environment. And even though they weren’t ideally placed in the room, they filled the room with remarkably good sound that defied localization—exactly what you’d expect from any pair of speakers with audiophile pretensions. For $269, you generally expect to get junk, not something that truly offers a generous taste of the audiophile experience. Very highly recommended!”
May 29, 2019 § Leave a comment
“Right from the first track, the XR50 showed why it often pays to use equipment from the same manufacturer. The result was balanced, very natural and quintessentially McIntosh. The McIntosh combination was one made in heaven or more correctly, in the McIntosh factory! The sound was warm and uncannily lifelike, displaying many characteristics that revealed the human factor in the music-making process. Intake breaths, which more often than not are distractions, became an integral part of the music.
In spite of the diminutive size relative to my reference speakers, the bass output was bigger and deeper and more akin to what I know of in live performances. For example, double bass bowing and plucking on Harry Allen’s New York State of Mind had tremendous presence and furniture-vibrating qualities. I must add, this was reproduced in a most natural manner.”
May 28, 2019 § Leave a comment
“To me, this is one kick-butt headphone. The frequency response is just about spot on perfect. Compared to the Aeon, the upper midrange is a bit cleaner and less shouty, the mids a bit more full, especially in the lower midrange, with a bit more bass presence and dynamics than the Aeon and a super smooth treble response that is neither bright nor warm, but exceptionally balanced. The mids are silky without being too forward or too warm. Some measurements and listening revealed to me a response which is much like a smoother, less aggressive version of the Harman Curve. This is just about right for my tastes, and everything the headphone does has an effortlessly resolving and transparent feel to it. I was most surprised by the sense of imaging however. This is one of the only headphones that feels like it has a real sense of soundstage and clarity to me without being harsh. The image it throws is distinctly in the forward-ish location in relationship to my eyeballs, and remarkably tangible. I could see some folks feeling the treble is ever so slightly dry, though I found this to be somewhat amp dependent and in general I didn’t hear the treble as being bright or overly damped or peaky. Certainly this headphone has a more natural sound to it than some of Mr. Speakers earlier headphones, such as the first generation of Ether headps which were a bit analytical for my tastes.
May 28, 2019 § Leave a comment
I just received a test CD with my British Hi-Fi+ magazine subscription. The CD reads, ISOTEK: The Ultimate System set-up Disc. Even though it is primarily a system set up recording it does have music sound tracks. Reasoning that the Cronus amplifier is now the center of my music system listening to it could be very informative. Part of the test recording contains a series of sound and imaging tracks both left and right, including depth and even a 360 degree sound sweep, all perfectly done. Happy to announce that my music evaluation machine with the Cronus in the system is all neat and tidy and properly set up. Unfortunately, the music tracks on this test CD are just mediocre and do not really test the ability of the Cronus Magnum III. However, I do have a CD that will reveal this amplifiers detailing ability.
Chances are a committed audiophile would own a copy of Nils Lofgren’s SACD Acoustic Live, and so let’s spin it up. Immediately there is a dimensional expansion of the sound scape. The scale of stereo imaging within the performance space, including those in front of the stage, are clear to hear. There are great aural hints of 3D space. Space is what you should expect, and that’s what would be a wonderful characteristic of this vacuum tube powered soundscape. Razor edged transient attack is what you might hear with a solid-state setup, yet Rogue Audio’s Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amplifier with phono stage reveals something far more satisfying. The sound is full of natural resonant harmonic overtones both odd and even. More than that, those overtones decay into silence much more gradually. My favorite Harry Pearson phrase is “Continuousness”, and here it fits nicely.”