August 4, 2018 § Leave a comment
“There have been several songs that have been thrown to the zeitgeist of audiophile tracks as references for music that fully represents entire spectrum of sound for testing purposes. During a tour of Harmen’s testing facilities in California, researcher Sean Olive expressed a nomination for Tracy Chaplin’s Fast Car. While not the most uplifting song every penned, it does a fine job as an amplifier illuminator. Though the WA33 the polished dynamics of the tube driven amp really laid the foundation for a capability to be drawn into the music. The bass was so supportive of the rest of the mix, the overall presentation sounded accurate, but also fun. If one was to break down the feeling into more certain terms, you could look at two separate, but intertwined ideas. 1. its relaxed 2. its intimate. This Woo isn’t relaxed in the sense that it has opened its grip on transparency, control or otherwise, but rather it finds a balance between the analytical nature of pureform detail pass-along and the slowly creeping edge of overpopulating the notion of information presentation. It’s the emotional equivalent of someone saying “relax, we got this” before coordinating a game winning play. There both confidence and authority in the delivery. The intimacy is derived from a robust tonal structure that fills in the lost spaces between reality and recreation. T
July 31, 2018 § Leave a comment
“Not having heard Simaudio’s less costly Moon 880M monoblock, which was reviewed by Brian Damkroger in June 2013, I can’t be sure, but I’d bet the Moon 888 sounds similar, albeit with greater nuance, grace, and finesse, especially in the upper octaves, and greater transparency overall. Of course, if the recording is poor, you’re going to hear that poorness in all its awful glory—but that’s not the amplifier’s fault. However, with the best recordings, regardless of genre or whether it was on LP, CD, or hi-rez file, the Moon 888s produced the highest level of sound quality in my system, passing along warmth or chills, transparency or sludge, grain or greatness, as dictated not by the electronics but by the recording itself.
To say that the Moon 888s delivered what I’d expect and demand for $118,888/pair is not to say that it will necessarily meet the expectations of every audiophile, especially those who prefer warmth and, perhaps, a more fleshed-out harmonic presentation even if it’s not on the recording. But they sure met mine.”
April 14, 2018 § Leave a comment
“If the Viva Egoista 845’s price is out of bounds, the company also offers the somewhat smaller Egoista 2A3 tube headphone amp for $9,750 in the US. The prices are for the amps in Viva’s standard painted finishes, custom ordered automotive paint finished amps are available for a $500 upcharge for either Egoista amp.
April 11, 2018 § Leave a comment
” This new version of headphones have really come a long way! The world famous Abyss bass is still there, deep, powerful and masterfully detailed and in the end offers some of the very best presentation of the lowest octaves in a recording that you’ll ever hear from a pair of headphones! The stand-up bass portrayal really put the musician literally right there in my minds’ eye. But the two biggest areas for improvement of the new Phi headphones over their predecessor was in the treble region and overall transparency.”
April 6, 2018 § Leave a comment
“I was visiting The Source A/V in Torrance, CA, for the World Premier presentation of the MrSpeakers VOCE Electrostatic Headphones being auditioned on a gorgeous Blue Hawaii Headamp. The brilliant Dan Clark was personally presenting them. The Source is the only dealer in America authorized to sell HeadAmp products outside of Virginia. I brought along my trusty pair of Grado PS2000e Headphones to plug in around the store in the dozens of incredible headamps on display. As I listened to the marvelous(!) VOCE, I asked if there was a phone plug I might use to check the Grados. Right there was a very red finished GS-X mk2 with the identical musical source. I plugged in only to hear my Grados come to life like protoplasm was super injected into the drivers. The BIG Grado PS2000e have the biggest drivers ever utilized by Grado, and the ability of the GS-X to make them sit up and take notice with up to 6 watts of power is rather compelling!”
January 24, 2018 § Leave a comment
“With the power hungry Abyss Phi (some were using speaker amps to power the Abyss, for good reason), I preferred the WA33 with 100% of my listening. There’s an application of palpable textures and visceral impact to all genres of music and I’ve found it sounds great with poor/harsh recordings. Guitars have more crunch, drums have more smack, and violins are tactile. The WA33 provides a more dimensional and weighted sound which complements the DAVE’s DAC beautifully. Separation and smoothness are also better presented. Surprisingly enough, I felt some of the micro-details were brought forth in natural fashion while female vocals and cymbals had improved timbre. From direct DAVE, the detail was there but it quite a bit leaner and thinner. I also felt the image was larger and more forward with the WA33. There’s also more sonic extension and headroom with the WA33.”
December 23, 2017 § Leave a comment
“Having just come off the mind-boggling experience that is the Magnepan MG30.7, I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to yet another dynamic speaker in a cabinet. Once heard, the big Maggie’s boxless, “freed-up” presentation—with its lightning transient response, sensational resolution of musical detail, and uncannily natural tone color—is indelible. But the M6 matches it, strength for strength. Indeed, it exceeds it in the treble and the power range and the bass, where, as superb as they are, the MG30.7’s true ribbon and huge twin bass drivers are comparatively limited in power-handling and dynamic range (due to driver-excursion limits). While it is true that the M6 does not have quite the same lifelike size as the 30.7s on really big instruments (such as Clifford Curzon’s concert grand on the great Decca recording of the Brahms First Piano Concerto with Szell and the LSO [ORG]), it has much fuller low end and power-range color and impact (startling impact on tuttis). Moreover, unlike the Maggies, the M6 doesn’t make smaller instruments or voices sound outsize or bring them forward in the mix or add excessive sting (once again due to excurision limits) to high-pitched instruments played very loudly. In sum, it is far more naturally robust and faithful-to-sources and, ultimately, realistic.”