reviews

Marantz SA-7S1 and Cary 306 Professional CD/SACD Players

I had just about given up on CDs. There were some recent changes to my digital playback system and CDs were sounding better than they ever had in my system. Even so, vinyl LP playback still made CDs seem like second class citizens. Sure they have a place in the audio landscape, but for enjoying music to the fullest, those old long-playing records provided far more accomplished and enjoyable listening experiences.

Mark Levinson No. 326S Preamplifier with Phono

The Mark Levinson No326S (326S) solid state stereo preamplifier arrived. After removing 37 staples from the outer box, and opening inner box number one, I found the preamplifier inside a third box. While many audio components are packed to survive a short drop from the back of a delivery truck, it is conceivable that this preamp could be delivered by the U.S. Army into a combat zone without damage.

Merlin TSM-MMe Loudspeakers

I am having an acute sensory conflict. My eyes are telling me one thing and my ears are reporting something completely different. I clearly see the Merlin TSM-MMe loudspeakers sitting on 22” stands. And there is music in my room. The problem is that the music is so completely disconnected from the speakers that it creates some confusion about the source of the sound.

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Miyajima Kansui Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

In my November, 2008 review of the Miyajima Shilabe phono cartridge, I concluded with “The Miyajima Shilabe phono cartridge is closer to perfection than any cartridge I have previously experienced. It may be possible to surpass its outstanding performance, perhaps with a “Shilabe mk. 2”. Until then, I am ...

Miyajima Madake Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

Miyajima Madake Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

Let's start this review by taking a step back in time and having a look at my 2011 review of the Miyajima Kansui phono cartridge. The Kansui has been my main phono cartridge since before that review was posted. Using that "10 LP" review as a starting point, the new Madake, $5,895, is better.

Miyajima Shilabe Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

Let me jump right to the conclusion of this review and save you the wear and tear on your mouse wheel. I have adopted the Miyajima Shilabe stereo moving coil phono cartridge as my long term reference. This decision was reached in precisely 100.3 hours. The Shilabe received 100 hours of break in using the Cardas Test and Burn In LP. Then I listened to one side of one LP.

Modwright KWA 150 Signature Edition Stereo Power Amplifier - mini-review

This year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest was another great show. Even with almost three full days, there is so much interesting gear, new and not-so-new, that I often hurried through the hundreds of components and rooms to be able to see and hear everything of interest.

ModWright SWLP 9.0SE Preamplifier

I had a good idea last year. I may have had another good idea in 2006 than the one, but I don’t remember it. The good idea was about music listeners, like you and me. In my review of the PS Audio GCC integrated amplifiers, I talked about two kinds of listeners: “toe-tappers” and “eye-closers”. To wit:

Monitor Audio Platinum PL100 II Loudspeaker

The Monitor Audio PL100 II is the smallest member of Monitor Audio’s top-level Platinum series. The PL100 was introduced in 2008 and the upgraded PL100 II model hit showrooms worldwide in 2016. The II version includes a single 6.5" RDT II mid-bass driver and MPD tweeter. “RDT II” is Monitor Audio’s second-generation midrange-woofer sporting a smooth concave cone.

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