August 14, 2018 § Leave a comment
“In the 1990s, I had a pair of Apogee Centaur Minor speakers and, fairly or unfairly, they’ve affected my view of hybrid designs ever since. The Centaur Minor had a 6.5” dynamic woofer alongside a 26”-high ribbon tweeter, and were murder to set up properly in my room — they sounded good only in just the right places, and then only if I never moved my head. If I moved my head even an inch to left or right, the soundstage would disappear and the tonal balance would go all wrong. But even with my head in that virtual vise, I could always tell which sounds were being produced by the dynamic woofer and which by the ribbon tweeter — the former sounded a bit rubbery and soft, the latter fast and crisp. Forget any sort of convincing reproduction of the sound of an acoustic piano, which ranges from the very low bass up past 4kHz — the very different sounds of the Minor’s drivers screwed that up completely.”
August 12, 2018 § Leave a comment
” If anything, the Aavik U-150 falls into the inviting sounding presentation, although that makes it sound like its a bad thing. Actually, it just makes music sound like it’s the kind of thing you’d want to listen to, rather than analyse. It’s dynamic and exciting, accurate, and yet not bland or sparce. It’s just a damn good amplifier, and a perfect ambassador for Class D.
What the Aavik U-150 does so well (as the U-300 does so well) is deliver a consistent and integrated performance. Some amplifiers are a great DAC with a mediocre amp attached, or a fine line-stage with an afterthought of a phono section. The Aavik platform is none of those things. It is an exciting performer regardless of whether you are using the line stages, the DAC or the phono. And, also like the U-300, the Aavik platform really ties the music together well. Music flows well with Aavik, and the sound easily moves from theme to theme and from beat to beat.”
August 11, 2018 § Leave a comment
“Thirdly, the mobile app for the M-150 can be a little hit or miss. At least on iOS. Some days it’s all, “Hey, there’s your amp! Here’s some internet radio you might enjoy!” Other days it’s more along the lines of, “Dude, you sure you own one of our products?” And on other days still it just craps the bed and dies. That might have something to do with my enterprise-grade network, which I know some audiophile products just don’t get along with. But the inconsistency of its reliability makes me think probably not.”
August 10, 2018 § Leave a comment
“The rosewood gloss finish is just superb, never mind the price. Granted, Aurum Cantus did cut a few corners by using a black gloss for the rear and bottom panels, but even these parts of the speaker are not out of place, and the deep black gloss compliments the rosewood. Inspect the speaker carefully. Quality is instantly apparent, especially on the front sloped baffle that facilitates time/phase coherence.”
August 10, 2018 § Leave a comment
“This octave is getting its own section. It is that good. First, it is perfectly integrated with the mid bass, mids and treble. Nothing sticks out. But when specified by the composer or the engineer, pow! Try the two tubas (low F) and bass drum in the opening of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (Salonen/LA/DGG)—this is one of my hidden gems to surprise guests. On this live recording, the engineers replicate the sound perfectly. All three instruments are separated by tone and in space, but the effect, the visceral movement of air, is astonishing.
August 9, 2018 § Leave a comment
“As expressive and balanced as they are, man, can the Spirits rock! I heard stories from Philip O’Hanlon of absurdly loud SPLs with no distortion, and I have no trouble believing them, as my own rocking-out test had them playing briefly at 110–115dB peaks with absolutely no sign of stress or strain. During this experiment, I kept turning them up, certain that at some point they would start to distort. Good sense took over long before I ever found a breaking point; they do have a 1600-watt power-handling rating, after all! With clean and dynamic power amplifiers (the Audionet MAXes deliver 400 watts into 8 ohms and the CIA Audio D500 MkII’s bring 500 watts to the party), these speakers seemed utterly bullet-proof.”
August 8, 2018 § Leave a comment
“The XA200.8s’ reproduction of air around individual instruments was fine, but through Wilson Audio’s Alexia and Alexia 2 speakers the Progression Monos topped it in the presentation of the entire acoustic spaces of recording venues. The D’Agostino also excelled in dynamic contrast—hardly a surprise, given the Progression Mono’s greater power into these 4 ohm Wilson speakers: 1000W vs the XA200.8’s 400W.”