Hegel Music Systems H30A Stereo/Mono Amplifier Review
April 29, 2023 Comments Off on Hegel Music Systems H30A Stereo/Mono Amplifier Review
Things are a bit more conventional at the top of the frequency range. The Hegel doesn’t sweeten the sound in any way, but it’s clear, free of any sense of grain, and true to the signal. There are tons of squeaky, high-pitched overtones on Piazzolla’s bandoneon, and on “Milonga del ángel,” the H30A got me right up front and close to the reeds. This old, thin LP is exceptionally well recorded, and delivers a clear window into the performance. At points, the highs can get the tiniest bit abrasive, especially when played at realistic levels, and the H30A didn’t tamp that down in any way. But I was easily able to listen through that nastiness, right into the heart of this terribly sad, beautiful music.
I want to dwell on that sadness, the feel, the sheer monstrous emotion of “Milonga del ángel,” and how it relates to stereo equipment. I could happily listen to this album in the shower, using a Bluetooth speaker propped up in the soap dish. But to get this music, to really, really get it, to understand what’s going on and find something new on each listen, my system has to be beyond reproach. With the H30A commanding my Aurelias, I got it. The H30A’s solidity of image allowed me to see inside the music and understand some of the more complicated transitions between the violin and bandoneon.
Are Nakamichi’s as Nice as They Say? Let’s Find Out.
April 29, 2023 Comments Off on Are Nakamichi’s as Nice as They Say? Let’s Find Out.
B&W speaker Matrix 800 room tour
April 29, 2023 Comments Off on B&W speaker Matrix 800 room tour
HiFi Rose RS250A Network Attached DAC Review
April 28, 2023 Comments Off on HiFi Rose RS250A Network Attached DAC Review
The RS250A offers the usual HiFi Rose combination of civility and musical excitement and is as adept with a large-scale classical recording or a heavy rock track as with audiophile-approved small ensemble content. Thus the calypso take on Cole Porter’s ‘Night And Day’ on Everybody Digs Bill Evans, in its 2007 remastered release [Riverside Records RLP-1129], found the player probing deep into the track’s knockout bass and drums – there are times when the pianist seems almost like a passenger. Yet it did so without calling attention to itself, allowing the listener to enjoy the virtuoso playing.
Even with the slightly rough sound of ELP’s At The Surgery release of live broadcasts dating back almost 50 years [X-Ray XRYCD015], which is a counterpoint to the whistle-clean Brain Salad Surgery album of the same time, the RS250A is all about the main event here – the musicianship and tightly locked interplay of the trio. Emerson’s whizzing and whirring synths mesh with Lake’s taut, unflashy bass playing and Palmer’s ‘max attack with total control’ mastery of his massive kit. This is the band at the peak of its pomp, for better or worse, and the massive sound was conveyed convincingly by the RS250A, bringing waves of nostalgia to this ‘I was there’ – well, at some point of the massive tour – listener. There’s even an 18-minute gallop through ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’ here, and a Palmer drum solo running to almost 12 minutes until it segues into a breakneck ‘Rondo’
KEF LSX II Wireless Loudspeaker $1399 Review
April 28, 2023 Comments Off on KEF LSX II Wireless Loudspeaker $1399 Review
I loved my time with the LSX IIs. The best pieces of equipment get slotted into my listening room and basically disappear if I’m not actively taking listening notes and comparing them to other gear. They become the medium through which I’m enjoying music and nothing else. The LSX IIs vanished almost the second they were set up, and I got over the brief learning curve and really dove into what they can do. After a day, their novelty wore off, and I found myself listening to music for the fun of it, and that’s really the biggest takeaway from this entire review. I was delighted by their sound, their ease-of-use, and all the important improvements KEF worked into the LSX IIs. If anyone’s looking for a pair of wireless speakers that can do just about anything at a genuinely reasonable price, these should be at the top of the list.
April 28, 2023 Comments Off on Customer Systems
Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression S350 Stereo Power Amplifier $27,250 Review
April 26, 2023 Comments Off on Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression S350 Stereo Power Amplifier $27,250 Review
The frequency extremes the Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems S350 reproduced were extraordinary; never before have I heard a treble sound so extended yet so natural sounding. I’ve had experience with tube amps that had a seductive treble, one that sounded as if it possessed the gestalt of the real thing. Still, the S350 came close to doing this, but at the same time, no amplifier I’ve previously auditioned gave me the impression that I was hearing as close to what was exactly on the signal feeding it. Transparency is the name of the game, and the D’Agostino Progression S350 sound quality possessed what I would call, without exaggerating, the epitome of transparency.
After the D’Agostino S350 was in my system for a while, I never became accustomed to its supernatural sound. Never before have I had a component in my system that made each musical selections, regardless of how many times I’ve heard it before, sound as if I’ve never really heard it. I could use this amplifier to demonstrate every audiophile characteristic that one would desire, frequency extension, transient response, micro and macro dynamics, soundstage, imaging, etc.
VTL • TP-6.5 Series II Signature Phono Stage $15,000 Review
April 26, 2023 Comments Off on VTL • TP-6.5 Series II Signature Phono Stage $15,000 Review
What is less obvious is the way that instrumental substance and intent contribute to the weight of the musical performance, the clear understanding of what is being played, but, more importantly, why. Why did anybody think this music was worth writing, playing or recording? The TP-6.5 II makes playing records more than just an academic, matter-of-fact exercise. It reveals when (and revels in) a performer who is more than simply going through the motions. It rewards the listener in turn — and it does so regardless of genre or scale. I’ve concentrated on the individual in describing this unit’s performance, but don’t overlook the cohesive, musical coherence it brings to proceedings. The notion of a choir all singing from the same song sheet, or of the orchestra as instrument, are vividly embodied by the VTL. Whether it is the quicksilver brilliance of Mozart Divertimenti or the sparse soundscape of RVW’s Sinfonia Antarctica, the TP-6.5 II imbues the performance with both presence and purpose — as well as the Antarctic landscape with a stark and bleak chill,
GoldenEar ForceField 30 subwoofer Review
April 26, 2023 Comments Off on GoldenEar ForceField 30 subwoofer Review
PureAudioProject Quintet15 Review $10,900 Review
April 25, 2023 Comments Off on PureAudioProject Quintet15 Review $10,900 Review
It is not as easy to achieve the wall of sound experience with dynamic speakers having fewer woofers. Some listeners enjoy the perceived fullness that the additional woofers create despite the slightly additive effect of the multiple wavelaunches. Having switched dozens of times from speakers with a minimal number of drivers to those having multiples, I have never experienced a line source type speaker that does not have slightly less precision in the bass due to the multiplication of bass drivers. However, I also have never heard a speaker with minimal drivers create that wall of sound with the fullness that multiple drivers afford. It is a design principle that one either enjoys and accepts or does not enjoy and rejects. I appreciate the virtues of both and so regularly hear both types of designs. I feel they are both legitimate expressions that capture different aspects of sound reproduction.
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