reviews

Valvet E2 Stereo Power Amplifier

Valvet High-End Audio, of Bargteheide, which is near Hamburg in northern Germany, has been making high quality audio components since 1982. Owner and designer Knut Cornils has a goal for all of his components: “(T)he transmission of music free from artefact or manipulation, music that stimulates the senses! A simple but well-thought-out circuit, short signal paths and the best, reliable components”.

van den Hul Condor XCM and XGM MC Phono Cartridges

I can’t tell you what to buy. Even if I found the perfect component…well, what is “perfect”, anyway? Take an amplifier, for example. Let’s say that I thought that the Cary 300SEI amplifier was the absolute best amplifier on the planet. In my room and with my speakers, it just might be the best choice out of the hundreds of other amplifiers out there.

Velodyne Optimum-12 Subwoofers

Adjusting the controls on a subwoofer for best performance takes time and patience. It is always interesting to see ads for used subwoofers appear on the Web stating “only a week old” or “barely broken in”. These almost always identify a dissatisfied owner.

VPI Aries Turntable with SME V arm and SDS

An unexpected thing happened as a result of this review. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but I didn’t expect it would be a turntable that was the catalyst. I was finally convinced that satisfaction from reproduced music has a tenuous connection to objective observations.

VPI Classic Turntable

VPI introduced the Classic Turntable to mark the occasion of their 30th anniversary. Since this turntable was auditioned earlier this past summer, a Classic 2 and Classic 3 have been announced.

VPI Prime Turntable and JMW 3D Tonearm

VPI Prim

Making quick judgments about the sound of a new component is dangerous. Those snap judgments are usually just a comparison to another component and are subject to change as the listener gets to know the new component better over time. For a new component, being definitive is often being silly.

Weiss DAC2 Digital-to-Analog Converter

The Weiss DAC2 benefits from the experience and technology of the well-received Minerva digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The DAC2 is distributed in the US by Vintage King Audio, a well know dealer of pro audio equipment. At a list price of $2995, it has fewer features, but the same audio and digital circuits, as the $5000 Minerva which the DAC2 has replaced.

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