January 6, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The biggest problem with Internet Radio is what psychologists call the paradox of choice: there are too many options. Organization of the thousands of channels available becomes critical. With the CXN (V2), stations can be searched for by stream name/call letter, or browsed by Location or Genre. “Location” means country of origin, and with more than 10,000 results for the US alone, subdivision by state and city would have been nice. Helpfully, you can drill down using combinations of genre, subgenre, and location — for example, Music, then Classical, then Opera, then Italy produced a more manageable list of Italian stations broadcasting opera. Nonetheless, I found it easier to identify streams on the web or using TuneIn, then search for the stream by name on the CXN (V2).
Having found a station, the CXN (V2) presents a list of streams, typically variable in quality, from which to select. Rather than go through the process every time, the CXN (V2) lets you store up to 20 presets, the first eight of which can be accessed with a single button press on the remote control. During playback, the display shows stream name, track name, bitrate, format, and, depending on the provider, station art and other metadata. While the streams of most Internet Radio stations have low bitrates, there are some better options including Linn Classical, Hi On Line Radio, and The New England Jazz Express. These stations are very listenable; I’ve taken to using Linn Classical’s 320kbps MP3 stream for background ambiance. Within the limitations of MP3, the Avison Ensemble’s rendition of Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in E Major, Spring, from The Four Seasons, with Pavlo Beznosiuk as soloist and conductor (Linn CKD 365, Linn Classical Radio), was spacious and pleasant, with a good balance of instrument sounds.”
January 4, 2019 § Leave a comment
“As I’ve said before, not everyone will agree with the picks and many will bemoan something not included on this list, but since this is subjective in its very nature, I can only write about what I’ve heard, not what you’ve heard. Regardless, variety is the spice of life and I hope you find either joy, interest or enlightenment in these, my humble choices.
December 24, 2018 § Leave a comment
‘As I listened more, I began to concentrate less on the performance of the SD 6.2 within specific frequency bands. For instance, when I tried to focus on what the AVM was doing in the bass, I realized I was assessing more the sound of the speakers than of the electronics. This became obvious when I swapped out the EgglestonWorks Kivas, which are fairly large, three-way floorstanders, for Monitor Audio’s smallish, two-way, Studio stand-mounts, then swapped the Kivas back in again. My takeaway from all of that was that the Ovation SD 6.2 had no problem of bass lightness or heavy-handedness. Its sound seemed perfectly neutral, feeding each pair of speakers exactly what it needed to produce excellent bass within that model’s capabilities.
Eventually, as I began to focus more on soundstaging, I came to find out that this largely depended on how the SD 6.2 handled high-frequency subtleties. Basically, the AVM’s reproduction of the treble was so delicate and precise that its re-creations of the subtle cues of the acoustics of live venues were stunningly realistic. Concert recordings took on a more holographic nature in terms of soundstage depth, and my perception of the AVM’s ability to reproduce the ambience that placed me at the center of a soundfield — as opposed to looking in at it from a distance, from the outside — also increased.”
December 9, 2018 § Leave a comment
“It provides a solid foundation for the Edge NQ’s full-bodied and often luscious-sounding midrange. Voices in particular are treated impeccably with a combination of detailed timbre and impressive scale, while those considerably higher in pitch or more caustic in tone are allowed to break free.
Timing generally is a struggle inherent in streaming music, but Cambridge has succeeded here as well. Across all inputs, there is a strong, musical sense of rhythm, which adds to a well-rounded performance”