World Exclusive First Listen: Moon 761 and 791 Review

June 8, 2023 § Leave a comment

Aavik P-580 Amplifier & C-580 Preamplifier Review

May 29, 2023 § Leave a comment

The Aaavik P-580 amplifier and C-580 capability of decoding even the smallest fragment of music and format it with the correct harmonic order to avoid the trap of music sounding univocal were further cemented with “Crossroads”  by Memphissippi Sounds from Welcome to the Land.

By achieving the density of higher-level acoustic focal points, Aavik P-580 and C-580 initiated a musical framework without impediment vicinity but allowed the proximity of notes to expand and breathe in space thus forming an objective acoustic space that was not subjected to the angulated holosphere sound effect.


 Dan D’Agostino Momentum Phonostage Review

May 14, 2023 Comments Off on  Dan D’Agostino Momentum Phonostage Review

The Momentum did this LP full justice, presenting a transparent window onto the recording. Hartman’s voice was three-dimensional, and possessed all the warmth in his lower register, even as his precise articulation was fully delineated, and the slight bit of added reverb was put in proper context.

In the second chorus, as Billy Taylor’s piano subtly floats down in the mix, behind and off to Hartman’s side, to create a relaxing bed, and as Wilder’s three-dimensional flugelhorn emerges from pitch “black,” I heard the Momentum’s reproduction of air and honest texture (not too soft, not too etched) and harmonic rightness—not quite as ripe as through ARC’s Reference Phono 3, but sufficiently developed to make the case. But in terms of dynamics and transparency, the Momentum won.

Chord Electronics ULTIMA PRE 3 6 POWER amp REVIEW

May 12, 2023 Comments Off on Chord Electronics ULTIMA PRE 3 6 POWER amp REVIEW

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,

VTL TP-6.5 Signature II Phonostage $18,000 Review

April 21, 2023 Comments Off on VTL TP-6.5 Signature II Phonostage $18,000 Review

Review complete except for this wrap-up: I still haven’t returned to either reference phono preamp. Grant Green’s Feelin’ the Spirit (Blue Note ST-84132/B0033488-01) plays at moderate level in the background, and both the “Tone Poet” and VTL’s 6.5 MK II nail this one. Transparency, transient precision and delicacy, harmonic richness (RVG got Herbie Hancock’s piano just right on this 1962 recording), and an enveloping sense of the large, open Englewood Cliffs studio space produce a “you are there” sensation (and I’ve been there!).

I greatly preferred the active JFET/tube input to the transformer-coupled input, though I most preferred my costly transformer into the mm input. A different cartridge or a different system might produce a different result, but I don’t think so. My only complaint about the 6.5 Mk II was that there was more background noise (“tube rush”?) than I like to hear, and I wish it had been quieter. But that’s it. Successful transplant. In an email, Luke Manley (whose signature could not be found anywhere on the “signature” phonostage) wrote that “we are selling all we can make of this design.” I believe it.

McIntosh MP100 Phono Preamplifier Review

April 13, 2023 Comments Off on McIntosh MP100 Phono Preamplifier Review

I did end up doing some ripping of certain albums to my laptop just to experience it with the MP100. I ripped five different albums including the ones I used for reviewing the unit in its primary function. The process was easy, and the results were actually quite impressive. I recently dumped over 3000 CDs because I stream, listen to vinyl and reel to reel these days, and as part of our start to downsizing, getting rid of them seems the wise thing to do. Going back and forth between tracks downloaded through the MP100, and the same tracks on vinyl, I have to say that they sounded amazingly close to the original. The quality of the transfer was really far better than I expected. 

Pioneer Marantz. Stereo HIFI Repair Restoration Testing.

February 26, 2023 Comments Off on Pioneer Marantz. Stereo HIFI Repair Restoration Testing.

EMM Labs DS-EQ1 Optical Phono Preamplifier Review

February 13, 2023 Comments Off on EMM Labs DS-EQ1 Optical Phono Preamplifier Review

However, Jason offered sage advice about the price near the end of his review: “Within audio, more money doesn’t necessarily mean more better. More money can result in better sound quality, but there’s no guarantee.” He went on to say that “the nine large above the cost of the DS 003 phono stage is more than just justified,” citing its build quality, which in his view “surpasses the DS 003,” as well as “the improvement to the bass, the refinements up in the top end, and the holy-shit imaging.” Those accolades, among many others within Jason’s review, earned the DS-EQ1 a Reviewers’ Choice award when the review was published—and have also earned the DS-EQ1 a Recommended Reference Component award this month.


January 29, 2023 Comments Off on AURALiC ALTAIR G2.1 Review

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