June 5, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The BAT VK-56SE had a fine talent for pumping bass out of Harbeth’s M30.2s, but no one would mistake it for a solid-state amp. With the M30.2s, the VK-56SE’s midrange was exceedingly lush and overtly textured. But with Harbeth’s smaller P3ESR speakers it sounded distinctly not lush. Driving the mini-Harbeths, the BAT sounded more precisely focused, more like solid-state. Consequently, it made the P3ESRs “disappear” even more than they usually do. Björk’s Gling-Gló was depicted with a surprising, bright clarity and a breathy, wide-open effortlessness. The soundstage was big in every direction. Björk was now better described and easier to “see.” I noticed less electronic-ness in the space between her and her voice mike. In my room, the BAT amp sounded its absolute best with the little Harbeth P3ESRs. But . . .
When I removed the VK-56SE and connected the P3ESRs to First Watt’s astute, 25Wpc SIT-3 solid-state amplifier ($4000), which I reviewed in February 2019, I noticed, first, a slight loss in apparent woofer grip, which I perceived as a reduction in image contrast. Punch and drive were also reduced. However, these losses were accompanied by a radical increase in the density of small-scale information. The SIT-3 made trumpets, drums, guitars, and human voices sound more complex—more fully expressed, and microscopically textured. Both amplifiers sounded extremely good with the extremely good Harbeth P3ESRs, but I think I favored the BAT’s extra oomph and push.
April 18, 2019 § Leave a comment
Before I started writing this review, I said to myself that there really wasn’t much of a reason to break down how this component performed in different categories of its frequency response, bass, midrange, and treble. And yet after discussing some of its other sonic traits, I did just that. This might be due to the presence of its large tubes on the top of its cabinet, which aided in giving the Woo Audio WA33 what I can only describe as an organic sound, one that reproduced musical instruments and voices as many would describe as palpable. It was able to take the program material and present it simply as a music – often very dramatically – with a seemingly unlimited amount of somehow letting us in on the intentions of those who made the music on the recording. I suppose by describing its bass, midrange and treble response I could explain to others how it could do this, mostly because I don’t understand why the Woo Audio WA33 performs as spectacularly as it does. And with that, I’ll give a short description of its treble response.”
April 4, 2019 § Leave a comment
“Despite the price, despite the sheer quality of the finish and the scale of the finished system, don’t confuse these speakers with some luxury exercise in cost-no-object consumption. These speakers are all — and only — about performance. In a market where an increasing number of products appear more concerned with their role as male jewelry than they do with their achievements in musical communication (the audio equivalents of tote bags with logos from the likes of Chanel or Dolce & Gabbana that are so big that they overlap the available surface), the Living Voice Vox-series speakers are a singular — and singularly successful — exception to that trend. If the general public struggles with brand recognition much beyond Bang & Olufsen or its spiritual descendent Devialet, if the likes of Wilson Audio are flying well below the popular radar, then where does that place the Vox Palladians? The simple fact is that nobody will buy them to impress their non-audio friends. You don’t buy them to impress your fashion-conscious audio buddies either. You don’t buy them to convince yourself that you are younger than you feel, and you certainly don’t buy them to impress your interior designer/decorator, who really isn’t going to understand the positional demands they dictate. You buy the Vox Palladians (assuming you can afford to) for one reason and one reason only — to be transported by music. Arguably more than any other speaker system I’ve tested, they stand or fall by that measure alone — and stand they most definitely do.”
December 19, 2018 § Leave a comment
“Today we’re revealing quarterly reporting from three categories within the Discogs Database and Marketplace. We break down the increasing growth of user collections based on new (2017/2018, inclusive of reissues) and catalog releases. We then take a look at the Most Expensive Items Sold via Discogs over the course of the third quarter of 2018. We also have the Top 20 Best Selling Release Variations, which looks at the distinct release variants that are selling across the Discogs Marketplace. By breaking sales down to a variant level, we’re able to surface other leading releases that aren’t rolled under a singular master release.”